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“magical experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Plantation Inn Dive Shop

Plantation Inn Dive Shop
9301 W Fort Island Trl, Crystal River, FL 34429
3527955797
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Ranked #5 of 33 activities in Crystal River
Type: Water sports
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Attraction Details
Owner description: The Adventure Center at Plantation on Crystal River, where the manatees would need room keys if they where any closer. Endulge yourself with a manatee echo tour or simply rent a boat to visit the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, home of the largest concentration of manatee in the world. Crystal River is one of the only locations in the world where man and manatee play. We are a true adventure center offering Manatee Tours, Dive Tours, Padi Scuba Lessons, Boat and Kayak Rentals as well as Fishing and Scallop Charters.
Toledo, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“magical experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

My entire family (ten of us) were fortunate to meet the gentlemen at the Plantation Inn Dive Shop and experience a safe swim with the manatees. Captain John was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions about manatees. We swam for two mornings and some of us three mornings. The experience was magical. Do yourself a favor, take your family or just yourself and have the experience of a lifetime. Captain John will take care of everything for you, wet suit, towels, hot chocolate, coffee and all the information you could want about manatees. Pat Hardin and family

Visited November 2013
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130 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
The Hague, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Highly recommended!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

We took the tour with Captain Ross. He took us to two sites where we were let into the water to snorkel with manatees. There were plenty of manatees around and we could observe them at our leisure without bothering them. One of the great things about meeting manatees is that they are wild yet curious animals and they like to interact with humans. Captain Ross is very knowledgeable and he made sure that we understood and observed the rules of engagement without curbing the joy of the experience. This tour is definitely worth the money and getting up early and we highly recommend it!

Visited December 2013
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Vancouver, Canada
1 review
“Captain Jeff gave us a full lecture of Manatee and how to behave to get the most out of the trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

I met Plantation at the Dive show. I am a Underwater Video Cam and smart phone U/W housing Supplier Bonicadive.com I wanted to dive with Manatee so bad. Met John from Plantation. He gave me a good deal, so I booked a trip. I had my equipment ready and taking two hour drive from Orlando to Crystal River. It was foggy on that day. The drive was a delay due to the fog. I came in late. The boat was gone. The plantation staffs gave me a short TV lesson and then gave me a wet suit and fin. I put them on he called the radio and found out that they are not too far away. I got in a small boat and they gave me a ride to join the big boat. When I dip my fin into the water one big creature appeared. He/she was looking at my yellow fin. I started to flood and I was instructed not to kick too hard then they will come to me. The Captain told me to flood and swim like them. That one manatee was stay with me the whole time. May be my body is as fat he/she think I am one of them. I took many amazing pictures and posted on Facebook right away. I got 50 like that is a record on my FB. On my FB post if you think they are cute we have to love and protect them. Kind of educated my friends and to tell the public we need to protect them. Captain Jeff gave us many information as how to protect them such as wearing Polarized Sunglasses and slow down the speed in the river. He also gave me information of manatee behavior and what not to do to preserve them, such as not to pet them, feed them and so. Do you know one adult manatee can eat one football field seagrass a day. I was told from the Captain. If you want more beside swimming with manatee. Captain Jeff and Plantation is the best. I am so glad! By the way Captain gave us coffee or Hot choclate after every dip, so thoughtful..... Tim Fan from Bonica Vancouver Canada

Visited November 2013
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Saint Pete Beach, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“SWIMMING WITH THE MANATEES WAS THE MOST AMAZING DAY I'VE HAD - FOREVER ETCHED IN MY MOTHER & MY MEMORIES!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013 via mobile

We had the best day! Wonderful views! We came in Oct. not yet the best time to come, not cold enough yet, but my mother was only here in Oct. for a vacay from Central America. But due to the skill of our Captain we found QUITE a few! Incl. a couple of mothers w/babies! A particularly memorable experience was when I had a LARGE Manatee surface 2X's & both of those times it came up right under my butt. They'll tell you what to do if that happens cause it's important not to frighten them away or change their habits & because we did everything correctly he stayed longer &&& SURFACED MORE!! The same one surface right next to me so I touched its back slowly 1 handed...& it liked it SOOO much it started to roll over (mill) I got to touch its side, & tummy too. It was even so pleased with my doing that.. it was flicking its fore-flippers happily!! It was a moment I'll NEVER forget!! It's great they educate you on the manatees while enjoying your boat ride & taking pics! If I had to say there was ANYTHING that I was disappointed with...it'd be that we were guaranteed there'd be someone who works for their company that'd be taking pics while we're in the water. That the Captain (or whoever would take the shots) would use a Go Pro Camera & even be IN THE WATER WITH US A LOT OF THE TIME!! So they could -Quote " take pics of us in the water with the manatees, & they could get shots of the manatees faces. How else can you get those shots but UNDER the water. - Unquote!! Unfortunately I was VERY DISAPPOINTED to find out that WERE NOT taking pics of my ONE & ONLY TIME WITH MY MOTHER WHILE IN AMERICA WHILE WE DID OUR BUCKET LIST OF SWIMMING WITH THE MANATEES! We were expecting that & therefore didn't bring a camera cause they didn't tell us of the change til on the boat! Or we could've bought one! Because they guaranteed it & that we could buy the shots after.VERY UPSETTING! Nothing to memorialize it, or show to friends & family. Couldn't have been more disappointed there! But the trip was a BLAST!! Enjoy!

Visited October 2013
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Ann Arbor, MI
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Top Notch Manatee Viewing Experience! Well Run & Knowledgable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

We did a manatee snorkel trip with Plantation Inn. A tip- rent the wetsuit and get a hood. You will need it. One thing I liked about this trip- the captain really cared about safety. Both for those on board and for the manatees. Our snorkel trip had two stops. We saw manatees (both large and small) on both stops. I had an underwater camera and was able to take great photos at the second stop (water extremely clear). Fantastic experience- coffee, hot tea and hot choc. on board to help warm you up. The water is cold but the experience is worth it. Great for people of all ages.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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