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Namaste' Eco Excursions

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Key West, FL, USA
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About Namaste' Eco Excursions
Namaste Sailing/Keys Eco-tours specializes in coral discovery tours to the less frequented ecological reserves in the Florida Lower Keys. Each trip includes a professional ecology presentation complete with professional underwater images of all the different corals, invertebrates, and reef fish we encounter. Snorkel equipment is provided along with expert instruction. We only accommodate 8 guests per excursion so our guests are guaranteed a crowd free and intimate coral reef experience.
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Namaste' Eco Excursions
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Whitney M wrote a review Sep 2019
10 contributions2 helpful votes
Jeff and Trish are great folks who are great at sharing their passion for the coral reel and ocean life! Excellent communication from start to finish and were flexible to work with our schedule. This was a perfect outing for our small group. Namaste!! :)
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Date of experience: September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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MidAtlantic Mermaid wrote a review Apr 2019
New Jersey12 contributions3 helpful votes
You could spend $40 and go out to an unhealthy reef with 80 or so other people in the water with you, where you get dumped off for an hour and maybe see some fish. Or, you could go on a tour with Jeff (and a max of 2-4 other people), see healthy reefs and a wide diversity of fish and invertebrates and learn a little something about reef ecology from a guy whose passion for coral reefs is palpable. Not only will you have a better experience with Jeff, but you will also be supporting sustainable tourism/recreation by patronizing a company that "walks the talk" in regard to reef protection and restoration and doesn't harm what it is you are paying to see. Just a couple reminders....The ocean isn't Disney World. The weather won't always be sunny, the sea won't always be flat and calm and the visibility won't always be clear. And the reefs are not zoos. You can't just cruise on out to a reef 365 days a year and be guaranteed lots of fish, "big" fish, sea turtles, sharks or whatever. So please keep that in mind when booking (or reviewing) a trip. I can assure you though, that your best chance of having an enjoyable experience will be with Jeff. The other tour operators just don't care what you see or don't see. Thanks for a great afternoon, Jeff!!!
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Date of experience: April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from P4284QDjeffb, Owner at Namaste' Eco Excursions
Responded May 2, 2019
Thank You! We put our heart and soul into our trips and our very best reward for that effort is folks like yourself. You got it and you're absolutely correct, Mother Ocean is not Disney World. When we have the pleasure of sharing the reef with folks like yourself that realize that nature's gifts don't come prepackaged and cue controlled our joy factor increases exponentially. Please think of us again on your next visit! Jeff Bowman Co-Owner Namaste ECO
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JeffGammon wrote a review Apr 2019
Brooklyn, New York9 contributions19 helpful votes
My husband and I booked a snorkeling excursion with Namaste and felt like it was only an adequate/average experience. Clearly, Namaste is very well reviewed on TripAdvisor (which was a factor in our booking them), but our experience made us wonder whether something had gone awry with our tour. The information we read on the website made it seem like it would be more of a special, hands-on three hours on AND IN the water. While Jeff was eager and informative about his on-deck timeline presentation about the millions of years of geological history regarding coral reefs, the information about the present day was a little lacking. Additionally, it was a bit surprising to be on an “eco” excursion and to hear Jeff talk about how global climate change doesn’t concern him as much as pollution does, especially since climate change is the result of pollution by greenhouse gases. During Jeff’s presentation on the boat, there were some details and photos of different corals, but there was no instruction in the water. The pics and description on the site made it seem like the four of us who were “guests” would be led snorkeling around the reef and be presented with observations and sightings of the marine life first-hand—for example, there’s a photo onsite of a diver showing/handing a guest a sea cucumber. What actually happened was that Jeff dove into the water before any of the guests and then seemed to be off swimming on his own personal snorkeling adventure during the roughly 40-45 minutes we were snorkeling, although he and his (very friendly) wife, Trish, did swim by to take underwater pics from time to time. And that brings me to another point: We paid extra for a photo package, which ended up being publicly available pics that they posted to Facebook after the trip anyway; no “photo package” was ever provided specifically to us. Additionally, there was no checking in at any time about the comfort level of any guest—nothing asked about swimming abilities, no suggestion of floatation assistance in the fairly choppy water, and no requirement even of life vests at any time during the three hours we were on/in the water. This actually discouraged my husband (a nervous swimmer) from even getting in the water, although neither Jeff nor Trish ever inquired about why one of the only four guests on board didn’t want to get in the water or whether there was anything they could do as guides. (The tour description called for strong swimmers but also accommodated “shy swimmers.) Jeff and Trish seemed, in this regard, as being rather amateurish, and the food and drinks provided were lackluster as well (a block of supermarket cheese cut up on the spot, along with shrinkwrapped watermelon and pineapple slices and crackers dumped out on plates set on deck. We aren’t super fancy or picky, but we’ve been on less expensive and equally informative snorkeling excursions elsewhere (St Thomas, Turks and Caicos, etc), and Namaste was a bit adequate by comparison, especially regarding the higher price and the hands-on explorations that was promised via the Namaste website.
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Date of experience: April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from P4284QDjeffb, Owner at Namaste' Eco Excursions
Responded May 2, 2019
We truly regret that this reviewer feels she did not experience the quality trip that we are so well known for. Over the years, we have developed a quality interpretive science presentation that allows guests to identify and understand what they see while in the water. Our presentation is rife with actual pictures of the area we visit, and we familiarize folks with ALL the wonderful ecology they are likely to encounter. In preparation to joining this underwater world, we demonstrate correct mask and fin use, we show guests how to clear their snorkels, and our guide tows a float and instructs the group to stay close so as to see and hear the guide’s commentary. Unfortunately, even with all the advanced preparation, some guests make the decision to swim away on their own and miss this important part of the presentation. As for the observation that our guide "seemed to be off swimming on his own personal snorkeling adventure,” the guest was instructed to stay close so as to hear the commentary and be included in the photos. Usually, the guests do stay close and enjoy the benefit of in-water coral identification from a passionate guide. We can present the opportunity, but we can’t force guests to pay attention. One person in the party stated flatly that he would not get in the water. Obviously, he missed the most important part of the experience, but we are not in the business of forcing anyone into the water. After many years of experience with nervous swimmers, we have learned that it is best to allow them the opportunity to make their own choice and not pressure or embarrass them. Many times, a reluctant swimmer will gather courage in a few minutes if not pressured or embarrassed. This reviewer obviously took issue with many aspects of our trip. Her comment about climate change and its effect on the long-term survival of coral reefs is popular but uninformed, and I believe that her disagreement with the guide’s observations may have soured the entire experience for her. Her observation of our indifference to her husband’s reluctance to join us for the in-water experience is a good example of her misperception. Finally, her complaint about our choice of snack selection and preparation is true, but again, ignorant of the facts. It is illegal to cook or otherwise prepare food for the public anywhere but an inspected facility. Food served on an excursion like ours must be packaged at an approved facility, i.e. a restaurant or food store with inspected kitchen. As much of her experience is with out-of-country providers not bound by these rules, she is clearly not aware of the law. As for the reviewer’s last complaint about not getting her photos, we regret that she has not opened her email from us with the link to her full-size, high resolution photographs. I would advise her to check her spam file and contact us if she doesn’t find our email so that we can resend it. We want our guests to be happy! In closing, please know that we absolutely love our reef trips. Quite honestly, we are the best at insuring a quality experience. We give all our guests the best we have to offer in scheduling the best day, the best location, and the most passionate presentation of the Florida Reef Tract. We have been very successful with first time snorkelers and swimmers who are a little nervous, but we do not give swimming lessons, force guests to be in the best position near the guide, or make them get in the water. We are proud of the safe, quality experience we provide, but the guests must be active participants if they expect to have the best experience. Jeff Bowman Co-Owner Namaste ECO
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TaraKentucky wrote a review Jul 2018
Louisville, Kentucky19 contributions1 helpful vote
I absolutely loved everything about the snorkeling tour. Jeff, Garrett, and Emily were very friendly, knowledgeable, and fun to be around. It was a wonderful experience that I would highly recommend.
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Date of experience: July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Snorkel_Susie wrote a review Jun 2018
Denver, Colorado26 contributions9 helpful votes
After a frustrating snorkel excursion in Key Largo with over 100 other snorkelers, my sister and I were in search of a small group excursion to a more secluded reef. We came across Namaste' Eco Excursions, and after reading the description and reviews, we decided to book a trip. Booking the trip was quick and easy. Jeff arranged for us to meet the next day, earlier in the morning than their typical departure time so we could avoid the afternoon storms. When we arrived, we were greeted at the marina by Jeff and Tricia, and to our pleasant surprise, we were the only two guests on the trip! Jeff and Tricia had a very nice comfortable boat and great snorkeling equipment. On the way out to the reef, Jeff gave a fascinating and educational lesson on coral reefs and the importance of taking care of our oceans. When we arrived at the reef, it felt as if we had the entire ocean to ourselves, with the exception of a small dive boat off in the distance. Jeff and Tricia were patient and helpful as we swam with them from the boat to the reef. Once at the reef, they pointed out the various species of coral and fish that we learned about on the boat. It was so much fun to find all the different creatures and understand their roles in the ecosystem. When we got back on the boat, Tricia cut us some fresh fruit and served cheese and crackers for our post-snorkeling snack. Jeff navigated us safely back to the marina just ahead of the storms that he predicted would come in that afternoon. I have always been passionate about protecting our oceans and the coral reefs, so I found that Jeff and Tricia's shared passion for the ocean was what I enjoyed most about this trip. But on top of that, their warmth and hospitality far exceeded our expectations. I will definitely book another trip with them next time I visit The Keys, which I hope will be soon! Thank you, Jeff and Tricia, for all that you're doing to educate the community and preserve our oceans. Your work is truly admirable!
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Date of experience: June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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