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“Great snorkeling!”
Review of Spirit Snorkeling

Spirit Snorkeling
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Spirit Snorkeling of Marathon – providing daily snorkel trips to Sombrero Reef & Pirate’s Cove. Specializing in families and first time snorkelers, our friendly crew will take you on a fun filled adventure to the either the Sombrero Reef Marine Sanctuary and Lighthouse or to our special location on the Florida Bay—Pirate’s Cove. Sombrero Reef is the third largest barrier reef in the world and this beautiful 30 acre coral reef ranges from 2–30 feet deep with thousands of tropical fish. The Sombrero Lighthouse was built before the Civil War and today still helps mariners navigate the Keys with its light. Coral Reefs are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth. They are second only to the tropical rain forests in the number of species they harbor, and indeed are sometimes called “The Rain Forests of the Sea”. You haven’t really seen the Keys until you’ve seen our under water areas. If the weather is too rough to go out to Sombrero Reef our dedicated crew will take you over to Pirate’s Cove, where the water is generally much calmer. Here you will see many species of tropical fish, under water plant life, lobsters and even sea horses. The water is quite shallow, making it a perfect spot to snorkel. Even sightseers enjoy our trips as many species can be seen from the boat. We take no scuba divers, we only go to shallow water snorkeling locations and Back Water Eco tours.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Great trip out to Sombrero reef. The water was rough but the captain and his mate warned us ahead of time. We were able to take some pictures and the sights were terrific. There was plenty of time to snorkel and take a break if needed. The first mate was very helpful and patient with the beginners. It would have been nice if there was more than one ladder for getting back on the boat. I would definitely recommend this trip…good value!

1  Thank Ann B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"captain ray"
in 125 reviews
"sombrero reef"
in 420 reviews
"snorkeling trip"
in 148 reviews
"dive master"
in 104 reviews
in 363 reviews
"pirate's cove"
in 15 reviews
"great trip"
in 100 reviews
"captain pips"
in 17 reviews
"boat ride"
in 50 reviews
"friendly crew"
in 20 reviews
"beautiful reef"
in 32 reviews
"recommend this trip"
in 17 reviews
"great snorkeling"
in 17 reviews
"weather conditions"
in 15 reviews
"morning trip"
in 15 reviews
"nice boat"
in 16 reviews
"sunset cruise"
in 23 reviews

1,621 - 1,625 of 1,779 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2013

My friend, mother, and I went on our first snorkling adventure in Marathon with Spirit Snorkling. Unfortunately we were unable to go to the reef due to the weather, so we went out to Pirate's Cove. Although the team were very professional and were willing to help anyone who had issues, there were a couple things worth pointing out. A lot of the life jackets had what looked like dots of black mold which was also on some snorkling gear handed out, the fins were solid rubber which made them heavy in the water, and the price for Pirate's Cove was the same as if we were going to the reef. Although it was nice to snorkel, Pirate's Cove was a major let down as far as seeing tropical fish and other ocean life. Because if this, there should be a price reduction. If the weather does not allow, I would highly suggest finding local places to snorkel along the bay side, ask some locals for such spots to go for free. Other than this, the crew was cheerful, boat ride smooth, and the captain even threw in some historical facts about the surrounding area. As for our second trip out, we got to go to the reef. This time, my friend and I brought our own fins but still used their masks and life jackets. Again the crew was very nice and helpful but, more than anything, the reef was amazing. We must have seen over 40-50 different kinds of fish and the spur and groove reef was covered with plant life. Overall, if using this outfit for your snorkling adventure, bring your own fins and possible snorkling gear along with a towel. You do not have to bring a cooler or camera as water, chips, and underwater cameras are available for sale. The trip to and from the reef as well as Pirate's Cove was smooth, but if you get sea sick, you still may want to bring something. I general, I would use Spirit Snorkling again for going to the reef but not to Pirate's Cove.

1  Thank Traveling D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We called to schedule a trip to snorkel over the reef. The lady on the phone told us they were going out!! When we arrived, we realized this was NOT going to be a reef trip. We decided to still go out though because of how beautiful they made it sound. She stated that it would still be a great trip! We were going to pirates cove and she said that there would be a lot of soft sponges and we would see lobster, sea horse, and colorful fish. We had been on previous snorkeling trips so we knew that the caption had to follow regulations and was suppose to tell us where the life vests were stored however this never happened. When we were already on our way, they stated that in order to see the lobster you needed to dive down to look under a ledge on the edge of a boat channel. This would have been helpful to tell the passengers who would not be able to dive down to see things before the trip started. We jumped into the water and it was murky and muddy with extremely poor visibility. Diving down into the channel we did not see one lobster. We saw some parrot fish, however they looked like brown lake fish in the murky water. After an hour, we moved to a second location that was just as bad as the first. When the caption went to anchor the boat, he got very close to the surrounding boats. The captions on the other boats, looked very concerned and our mate was telling him he was a little too close. He kept the boat there. The mate threw the anchor in and the caption asked if there would be a passenger that would volunteer to dive down to make sure the boat was anchored! When we were getting onto the boat in the second location the current was strong so it was hard to get on the boat. The mate didn't help anyone by grabbing their fins so they could climb up the ladder more easily. In fact, after I got in the boat I helped the following passengers by grabbing their fins for them while the mate and caption stood watching. When we went out with another company to snorkel in Looe Key, the mates grabbed fins from every passenger before they climbed back up onto the boat. This made it much easier to get out of the water. We didn't leave a tip with spirit but I'll give you a tip here... skip it!! They are just out to make a quick buck! Don't waste a half day of your vacation on this trip! If they are not making a trip to the reef, save your money and go to Bahia Honda State Park to snorkel instead. We saw beautiful colored fish, sting rays, one Barracuda, and crab snorkeling at Bahia Honda state park. We did not see any of this on our trip to Pirates Cove and we paid a lot more money on the Pirate Cove trip. We also went snorkeling to Looe Key with another place in Big Pine. We had a great experience with them so there are good places to use. Spirit snorkeling would not be one of those places though. When we come back to the keys in the future, we will definitely be snorkeling over Sombrero reef however we will not be using this company!!

9  Thank Jennifer G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We liked them so much we went out twice!! We were lucky enough to get Captain Dan on both trips, the first time he was the dive master and the second he was the captain. The boat is very comfortable and everyone was very nice! The reef is amazing and there was more than enough time for snorkeling. In fact, I noticed other companies who came after us and left before we did. The team at spirit snorkeling does a great job. If you want to go on a snorkeling trip go with them!

4  Thank Ritawoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 15, 2013

Wow we had a great time, got lots of nice pictures.
I thing we all got first rate attention form the Mate and the Captian was great , he took us to the Sombero light house, built in 1958.
We will do this again before we leave the Keys

2  Thank Jack S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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