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“Steer clear of these guys”

Grand Lagoon Watersports
Reviewed September 7, 2013

I called in the morning and made a confirmed reservation for renting a pontoon boat that afternoon. After packing, getting lunch, snacks, drinks, snorkels, etc., on the way to the boat, I called to double-check and make sure everything was ready. They said, "sorry, we don't have a boat for you." When I asked how that could be, they said that somebody had cancelled earlier, but then they changed their minds and decided to go, so they gave them my boat ! Unbelievable ! I hope this saves your family from a similar disappointment.

9  Thank alindal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 9, 2013

I did a lot of research on pontoon boat rental in the months leading up to our vacation in Panama City Beach. I checked rates and availability for our travel dates and decided on Grand Lagoon Watersports because their rates were the lowest. I reserved a full day for $180.00 which includes gas but when we arrived at the dock the day of the rental we were told by Captain Brian that the rate was actually $249.00. When I showed him my notes he said he had quoted me the off season rates and agreed to reduce our rental to $200.00, which was still $20.00 over his original quote.

I rented snorkel gear for $10.00 and asked the young man who was helping me to recommend the the best place to snorkel. He suggested the "Kiddie Pool" on the Shell Island side of the channel. After I got on the boat I found out that Captain Brian had told the rest of our group that we were not allowed to take the boat into the channel. Then I found out there was no ladder on board ("we're waiting for the part"). Is that even legal?? We would not be able to swim or snorkel in the open water because there was no way to get back on board.

To top it all off, the motor was stuck in the down position ("we're waiting for the part") so we weren't able to raise it when we got into shallow water. Because we didn't have a ladder, we needed to get as close to shore as possible to be able to get on and off the boat but weren't able to get too close for fear of damaging the propeller. We did anchor several times at different beaches to swim, walk the beach and look for shells but all five of us ended up scraped and bruised from maneuvering, pushing, pulling and dragging each other back into the boat.

The Grand Lagoon is a fantastic area to explore (we did see some dolphins) and the beaches on Shell Island are beautiful. In the end, the stress and battle scars of the day left us feeling exhausted and beaten. We were very disappointed in Grand Lagoon Watersports.

8  Thank lolayaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

I was given the company as a recommendation by a friend who owns a business near them. The pricing was "ok". My friend insisted I use them because he could cut me a deal and they had the best pontoons around while others where always breaking down and such. So I took the advice and rented a pontoon. The guy we spoke with was very helpful and very nice and the pontoon was in great shape. They gave us the directions out of the marina area and said Shell Island was bout 10 mins away. We had a pleasant time indeed. We saw a sea turtle, crabs, sting rays, and many fish. Wasn't until we got ready to anchor that I realized there was no ladder? Me being overweight was like HOW the crap am I supposed to get out of the boat and snorkel if I can't get back in here. I can't crawl back in here. So needleless to say we had to anchor and I had to drag the boat as close to shore as I could in order to get back on the boat in hopes that the boat didn't drag once trying to leave the sandbar. We went to another area I believe they call it the kiddie pool I couldn't even get off and snorkel here (where my husband was finding a lot of shells) because I couldn't get back in the boat and the shoreline was way to far out. So i had to sit in the boat and just admire the beautiful clear water at the end of the pontoon with my daughter. The water was about waist deep so there was no way I could get back in there. So we get back to shore and I ask the guy "Um question where is the ladder? I couldn't even get off the boat in some spots because of not having a ladder" the response was "Oh yea we have those on order they should be here next week sorry" I wasn't given any type of warning or notice there wasn't a ladder and I still paid the full amount as anyone else renting the pontoon. We had a great time but I think next time I will go with my first choice which was cheaper (and offered discount as well because of where we were staying) and was near our hotel which we plan on staying at from here on out. Thanks for the experience!

4  Thank tawnahelums
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

I was staying in Bay Point, just a short walk from the marina, so I tried GLW for a 1 hour wave runner rental. It was a smooth rental process that only took minutes. The wave runner was in great shape and I had no issues at all. I would use again if staying in the area.

Thank SuperDave41042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Set up with the owner an afternoon rental with a pontoon and wave runner. Everything was promptly read when we arrived, and the equipment was in great - almost new - working order. Loaded our gear, offered a couple of minutes of instruction, and we were off into the great beyond exploring shell island, the dolphins, and with the wave runner - great ocean swells (don't take the pontoon anywhere near these; the waves would rip it apart!). Pontoon was very beach-able for shell island exploring, and the wave runner was very capable 50+ mph on the smooth water in the bay and awesome air time out out in the gulf swells! Our only issue was the wave runner wasn't filled up to start the day, so we needed to run the machine back to the home dock for a refill, but the owner gladly re-tanked (did I mention that the rental price included free fuel?!?!). Would certainly rent again.

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

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