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“Awesome reef, poor hosts” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Spirit Snorkeling

Spirit Snorkeling
MM 47.5, behind Porky’s Restaurant on the Bayside, Marathon, FL
305 289-0614
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Stanford, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Awesome reef, poor hosts”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

I went on the Spirit Snorkeling trip today with my sister, brother, and mother. Sombrero reef was awesome; the fish and corals were diverse and beautiful.

However this review is of Spirit Snorkeling, not the reef. Overall the company seemed more concerned with squeezing money out of the guests than providing a quality experience.

Our trip was scheduled to depart at 1:00 pm. Most snorkelers arrived early as instructed and
were ready to depart at 1:00. Several passengers did not arrive on time and the staff seemed more than happy to push back the departure to wring a few extra dollars. We left after 1:30. (Over half an hour in a three hour trip was spent sitting at the dock waiting!)

Parking was limited, and customers were informed (in harsh words by Captain Herb) after they had parked to move their cars elsewhere.

Captain Herb was a grumpy man who seemed to bark angry commands whenever he opened his mouth. He was reluctant to engage in actual conversation and wasn't able to provide much information about the reef, even when asked.

Snorkels were of low quality without self-draining valves(which means they were harder to clear after filling with water).

Our 30+ snorkelers were forced to stay within 50 yards of one side of the boat. If anyone strayed from this zone, Captain Herb would blow an obnoxious air horn, causing all snorkelers to stop what they were doing look up and notice his angry gesturing.

People from other boats were snorkeling all over the reef outside these limits and it was not clear why these rules were imposed on our boatload.

Even with the late start, the ship made it back early! Which meant we had far less time in the water than expected. (around 1 hour total)

The dive master/first mate was the only quality employee we interfaced with. She was good at explaining the equipment to the first time snorkelers, and was quiet but friendly.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Hartford, Connecticut
1 review
“Great value”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Saw many beautiful fish; great hosts. Be sure not to sit by the netting in the front, unless you want to get soaked!

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Alcala De Henares, Spain
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Almost hit me!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012 via mobile

I was under full sail and this disrespectful captain put my crew and his paying guests into danger by choosing not to leave a safe assured distance to another vessel who had right away! Who goes full bore by another boat within a few yards? This guy apparently.

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“First snorkelling experience - A great one!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Was a little skeptic when I called them to check where they were located. They don't have an office but have a desk next to Porky's restaurant parking lot. Marlyn/Carolyn? was very sweet and took care of the reservation, wet suit, underwater camera, etc.
The boat crew, Captain Dan and the dive master were extremely friendly and knowledgeable.
Captain Dan gave us instructions and we headed out to the Sombrero reef next to the lighthouse which was built in the 1800s. While on the boat, the dive master gave us individual attention and explained how to use the snorkeling equipment. On our way, we saw a couple of dolphins :) .. As we approached the lighthouse (approx 30 min journey) we could already see the corals and the white sand through the clear water. Inside the water, the fish and the corals were spectacular.. it was like watching a 3D movie..
While returning, the Capt also gave us some information about the crabs and lobsters harvesting.. All in all a great trip with a wonderful crew.

Visited December 2012
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“wow”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

so many fish visible from the boat and as we entered the water it was like stepping into a giant aquairium!

the crew was delightful

Visited December 2012
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