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“Poor management!!!!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
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2-Day Miami South Beach Adventure from Orlando
Ranked #10 of 120 Tours in Key Largo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: A beautiful state park that features land and undersea adventures.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Poor management!!!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2012

Read review written on December 12, 2012 by frugelmyser and took advise to be careful to go out without getting lost, so we called far in advance before we even arrived to the keys to make arrangements to have a guide provided for us and was told that they did not have anyone available. We were will to pay extra & gave them plenty of notice of our arrival days. Asked for a guide to dive since we found out one is dose not go with group & again was told one was not available processed to ask for a snorkel guide & was told the same thing. Yet they have a price for guides. Did not end up going out with them & called Pirate Island & Horizon and they were willing to accommodate to our needs of guides, even told us that they were going to put us down for a guided trip & if someone else signed up they would let us know just in case we would rather have a private guide. So you read it from other reviewers that you need to be careful when you go out on your own at Pennekamp Park because they will not assist you in any way shape or form. Go to Pirate Island or Horizon Divers they seem to know how to be organized!!!

5 Thank Rkbbhk8c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CRPCconcession, General Manager at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
At this location, we do offer a Personal Dive Guide Service as well as Personal Snorkel Service.

The Kayak Guided Adventure is no longer being offered due to the creation of the Self-Guided Paddle Eco-Tour Trail Guide. These charts have been in service for about a year and have been very helpful.

We just shifted from the Slow Season to the very busy Holiday Season.

During the past several weeks, we have been able to accommodate the majority of the Guide requests.

However, during the very busy days, we have been utilizing 100% of the Certified Guides as Tour Boat Captains, Dive Masters, and SCUBA Instructors.

If we are unable to accommodate a request, it is likely due to the availability of the Qualified Staff Member.

We appreciate your patronage as well as input.

Happy Holidays.


Capt. Daryl D. Obenour
Vice President
Coral Reef Park Company, Inc.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,832 reviews from our community

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Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Best Park in the Keys”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2012

There is lots to do in this park. There are three ways to see the reef. We opted for the glass bottom boat tour v.s. scuba diving or snorkelling. The boat tour was at a pretty good price for a trip of this length. The snorkelling from the beach is also great. All of the state parks in the Florida keys have very reasonable entrance fees.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Krzysztof D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sioux City, Iowa
Level Contributor
151 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“A jewel at the park!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2012 via mobile

The 3:45 boat trip was beautiful through the mangroves out to the ocean. Seeing a stingray and shark was amazing. So many beautiful fish in the molasses reef...thank you to the park rangers for your insights on this jewel of the ocean.

Thank PamLM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Glass Bottom Boat Tour is a must”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

This was the best tour we had in South Florida. The boat is big and comfortable, the staff totally professional and skilled. We took the tour on a day when the sea was very rocky, which they warned us about several times, so that people could opt out. They also sold some excellent seasick medicine for $1. I am not prone to seasickness, but I am glad I took the pill because when the book is rocking while you stare out at the fish through the glass bottom, you can get a little unsettled. There was a naturalist on board who described everything we were seeing, and there were all kinds of wildlife on the reef. The captain steered the boat carefully, so that we could see everything. Because of the condition of the ocean that day, a couple of people did get queasy. They had one staff person assigned to watch out for people who were getting uncomfortable, and to help them immediately. She was very kind and proactive. It is a wonderful 2 1/2 hour boat ride over and above time spent on the reef. I enjoyed going through the channel and watching the birds at the beginning and the end of the boat ride.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank Carola870
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
118 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“The highlight of our trip to the Keys”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

We are not snorkelers or divers and can't even paddle a canoe (or kayak) but this place was memorable. We started by taking a couple of the short boardwalk trails. One of them passes through the only key lime plantation in the Keys. The best bit for us was the trip out on the glass-bottomed boat. Our young guide was so knowledgeable about the ocean on the way out to the reef. And another equally-knowledgeable guide took over when we got to the reef, pointing out the different sea creatures passing under the boat. Even though we didn't dive or snorkel ourselves, the boat gave us the means of exploring the Coral Reef. It was also great to take a trip on the ocean. We only allocated half a day at the John Pennekamp so we didn't do it justice but I would recommend it to everyone.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank GreyPoundLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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