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“Dedicated to providing a great experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shell Island Boat Rentals & Tours

Shell Island Boat Rentals & Tours
3605 Thomas Drive, Treasure Island Marina, Panama City Beach, FL 32408
(850) 234-7245
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12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Dedicated to providing a great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

We did a dolphin tour and then searched for sand dollars. Though our captain was running a little late due to boat maintenance, he was prompt in getting us where we could start seeing dolphins. It was a fun ride around and really a game to see who could spot the most dolphins. He would park us right where they were swimming and tell us when to slip out of the boat to see them. And we did! So cool to see the pods in their natural habitat, still showing off, jumping, doing flips. Even the baby dolphins! It was also nice to see different company crews working together telling each other where they were spitting them. It made an overall great experience not just for us but the other guests wanting to have fun. There were 4 of us which we definitely appreciated- we don't like big noisy crowds so the experience was very personable. After seeing and watching dolphins for about 1.5 hours he parked us in a shallow part of the bay and we found a ton of live sand dollars. Also spotted a stingray, turtle, and some other marine life. Water was a bit murky due to rain but you can't really get away from that.
Overall I would say its worth $50 per person considering you get to watch dolphins from a distance anyone can appreciate aNd stop to snorkel for shells and things.
Great job guys and keep it up!

Visited October 2013
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13 reviews from our community

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English first
Moorhead, Minnesota
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
65 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
“Full Day Boat Rental”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

Our family of four (mom/dad/ 3 & 8 year olds) rented a pontoon boat for a full day, and we really had an awesome time!

We did have a difficult time finding the place in the morning, it is just a small kiosk at a marina, but we called and they helped talk us in. The people were very helpful, they helped load and unload the boat and showed my husband how to drive it. They provided a map (the map was only just ok, if you can find/bring a more detailed one, that would be better) The boat itself was GREAT! It was a newer boat, the interior was in very nice shape and clean. There was lots of seating, all of which was cushioned and there was a good sized canopy that covered half of the seating area.

We spent a good portion of the morning tooling around trying to figure out where we were and what we should do, but it was an enjoyable time and we watched dolphins swim around our boat during this time. We ended up pulling up to the dock at Shell Island (husband let me and kids off at the dock and then pulled the boat on shore) and we walked across the boardwalk to the Gulf side beach of Shell Island. This beach is GORGEOUS!!! There are some waves to be expected since it is gulf side, but the sand is white, the water was a beautiful color and no development. Since husband and 3 yr old were not into swimming, they went back to the boat so the little one could take a rest in the shade and he could read while sitting on a neat little sand bar just off the dock, which worked out nice for the 8 yr old and I to swim!

After this we explored some more and hit the jackpot with a beautiful, empty calm expanse of beach with no one else to be seen anywhere!! How awesome! Here we found several sand dollars, tons of crabs, conch and a sting ray. We had a great time walking the beach, swimming and the 3 yr old could enjoy the nice calm (lake like calm) water too. We could have spent an entire 8 hours here alone.

Too soon it was time to head back! I was worried a full day would be too much, but it was just right! I would definitely recommend this and would love to do again too!

A few things to note
*A garbage can/bags are not provided on the boat, so you will want to bring a bag to put your garbage in. (this would be a nice addition for the rental agency)
* When you rent a pontoon here, you will only have the roam of St. Andrews Bay (which I was disappointed in at first, but later realized it was good experience and the water was very nice and calm - lots of beach area to ourselves)
*There are no restroom facilities anywhere during this trip
*Bring plenty of water and snacks, since you will be out for several hours and it can get hot during the heat of the day!

Visited June 2013
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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fun at sea!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

Shell Island Boat Rentals and Tours is money well spent if you are going to Panama City Beach. We booked a pontoon boat ahead of time for a full day, but the day that was scheduled ended up being a complete rain out. The staff was very accommodating in changing our day which is greatly appreciated, as we were really looking forward to this. The pontoon was worn but ran great and had more than enough space for four of us and all of our stuff. We explored Shell Island, snorkeled and fished for the entire day and had a blast! Even got a visit from the ice cream boat! One negative about this day was that the water was initially clear as glass but some awful brownish tide came in and dropped visibility considerably. The fishing was great, we were pulling nice fish in one right after the other. We had so much fun doing this that we decided to go back out but this company was booked. We had to use a nearby competitor and they were awful!! Well worth the money to have the freedom to roam the area!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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