We went to Maya Key thru a Carnival Cruise excursion in mid-January, mostly because we had heard that the snorkeling here was very good. We were not disappointed! When you arrive on the island (about a 10 minute boat ride from the Carnival port) you walk up the path to the main building where you are given a quick briefing of all the island has to offer. There are nature trails, various animals, sharks, sea lions (not a show - just to view), the beach, locker rooms, etc. We made our way to the beach first. There is a long dock, and a gazebo type thing built at the end where you can sit and put your flippers & masks on. You climb a short ladder into the water, and follow the floating water bottles to guide you through the reef. The reef is endless! It was absolutely stunning. It was the first place we had ever snorkeled where it was 100% reef, and there 100's of fish in all shapes, colors and sizes. We just couldn't get enough. But, we did get out eventually to eat lunch, which was excellent BBQ chicken, fried fish, and salad. The homemade tartar sauce was excellent! Very good lunch! Then, my husband swam with the sharks (for an extra fee of $30 - cheap!) They have them in a pen, similar to what you would find dolphins in, if you have ever done a dolphin swim. He took video, and got some amazing pictures. They are nurse sharks, which are not aggressive sharks. We walked around & looked at the animals they had on the island, and then we took one more short snorkel before it began heavily raining. The water was very nice and warm in January, but we have to admit, the weather was mostly rainy this time of year at every port our ship visited. However, do not hesitate to try Maya Key. It was well worth the money!