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“Very Good; Pleased With My Experience”

Strike Zone Charters
Ranked #5 of 22 Tours in Big Pine Key
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed August 2, 2012

Although there were some bad reviews, I had a good experience with Strike Zone for a snorkeling trip. I took 3 trips over 3 days with 3 different companies within the Keys. 2 of the 3 were great, including this one. I did quite a bit of research for the best snorkeling in the Keys and found that Key Largo and Big Pine Key had some of the best places. We booked the 9:30am trip out to Looe Key, which is a fantastic reef to snorkel or dive.

The staff was friendly, including the captain; but he was a little cheesy. Oh well, this is a touristy type thing, so that's not unusual. My only complaint was that the boat was over-crowded. They did take some divers, but they were able to successfully accommodate both snorkelers and divers unlike the company on snorkeling trip #3 I took the next day. See my awful review for Florida Keys Dive Center for reasons why.

I highly recommend snorkeling Looe Key. There are both deep and shallow parts for snorkelers and divers. We had a nurse shark visit us on this trip and he came within 2-3 feet from us. We saw lots of sea life, including schools of Atlantic Blue Tangs, Queen Angelfish, large Barracudas, and, of course, the shark.

We went to two sites during the trip. Overall, it was great, and the price was about the same as the other tours at $38 bucks each. It was a nice day to spend out on the water, and I'd probably go with these folks again.

Thank JRA2000TL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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140 - 144 of 196 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2012

If you have young children or are not a confident snorkeler or diver, then go on this boat. Strike Zone ensures the best safety and precautions as any boat I've been on in the Keys. However, if you would like to see the best sections of Looe Key and would like to be able to swim further than 50ft from the boat, do not go with them or you can look forward to constantly being yelled at. Also, don't expect a smile from any of the office workers. For essentially the same price there are more accommodating, less restrictive boats that take you to the best sections of Looe Key such as with Looe Key Dive Center (also a hot shower after!). Strike Zone on the other hand took us to a section with virtually no life other than another huge boat of snorkelers. When I asked if we could go to a more lively section for the second dive (I gave a specific site I know to be great), the crew moved to a buoy ten feet away...to basically the same dead spot we were just at.

1  Thank Xtremelimits64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

I would give Strike Zone Charters 5 stars for their service and friendly boat captains if they had not taken us out snorkeling on a day when they should have known that sea conditions were too bad to snorkel. I have never been so sick in all my life. Most everyone else on the boat was sick. The waves were so high that it was too dangerous to be on the water. Getting in and out of the boat was terrifying. Since the ocean was like a washing machine, the visibility was only about 8 feet. All sea life was out of sight. We went to Looe reef, supposedly the best reef in the US. It was a huge disappointment due to the choppy seas. After speaking to several other boat captains the next day, they all said that any responsible charter would have cancelled the excursion due to the high winds and choppy seas. I guess they were more interested in our money rather than our enjoyment.

2  Thank Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

These people know what they are doing. This was our second time using them for snorkeling, used them two years ago. They go out to two places on Looe Reef. Since this was our fourth family trip to the keys some words of advice. Don't waste your time going to Penningcamp State Park, the reef is dead there. All locals will tell you the two best places are Sombrero Reef and Looe Reef. These people have no control over the weather and how clear the water will be. Be an informed consumer. Check the weather station and ask the front desk people what the winds are that day. Anything over 5 mph and the water will be choppy. If there are white caps on the water, it is not a good snorkel day. The front desk will tell you honestly what the conditions are. The first spot we stopped was crystal clear and we were a foot above the reef, and tons of fish! The second spot was a few yards away and here the water was deeper and you could dive down deep. The owner was the captain that day and he was happy and jolly and made it an enjoyable trip. You can buy bottled water and candy bars for a $1, and there is free water in cups. They have a nice store to buy equipment, hats, etc. and clean large restrooms.
The only thing my husband wasn't happy with was that we were not told ahead of time he could not use his weight belt to snorkel with. When he started to put it on the captain told him it wasn't allowed and he could lose his license. Something about if you drown you wouldn't float back up. Don't know if this is really a law since the divers aboard use their weight belts...but if use a weight belt you are now informed. The front desk is very professional and knowledgable and will answer all your questions patiently. They are located right after the 7 mile bridge going south on the right. I highly recommend them.

Thank camellia15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012 via mobile

An age limit should be set because a couple chose to bring a baby under 1 year old & he cried the entire trip. You can use the cries as a homing device to make sure you didn't wonder too far of course.

The first sight off ofthe Looe key was a little cloudy and then we moved to the second spot about 20-50 ft away and those views were amazing! Crystal clear as far as the eyes could see; fish all colors and sizes.

The crew had fun with us and was all about safety too. Great trip

Thank busymomrn0629
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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