The Echo catamaran tour, Worth every penny!
Took an afternoon tour on the Echo, based mostly on the recent reviews from trip advisor. I was thoroughly satisfied. My group consisted of my wife, my eight year old daughter, and myself.
The vessel was clean and well appointed. There was a full boat, meaning about 14 persons including our group of three. We did not at all feel crowded. The ride out to the snorkel spot took about one hour on glassy, smooth seas. The wind was not blowing enough to unfurl the sails, but that was not the tour operators fault. Snacks and soft drinks were provided.
When we arrived at the mooring buoy for snorkeling, we were given a proper briefing and sent out on our way. The first mate got in the water to make sure all was a ok, while the Capt. made the entry safe.
The site was a shipwreck that went down in 1991, very fishy with good visibility. Echo provides snorkeling equipment that is in great (new) condition. We were given about an hour to tour the artificial reef.
On the return trip, beer and wine were offered and readily accepted. The whole boat seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as I was.
What's that up ahead? A pod of dolphins! A baby and two adults right off the bow. They were joined by two other adults soon after. Our group was treated by these beautiful mammals who circled our boat for almost twenty minutes. If you have never seen dolphins in their native habitat, I can tell you it is a transcendent experience.
The service provided by Capt Noah and 1st mate Tess was top notch, and I give the Echo my full recommendation. Skip the large over marketed charters that are on every Key West corner and give these guys a shot. JD