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Review Highlights
2018 vacation

These folks are excellent to deal with and work hard to make your plans come together. The day... read more

Reviewed September 19, 2018
JohnandKristy
,
Saint Peters, Missouri
via mobile
Best Tour in the Area

Our Guide was perfect. The boat was new and spotless. Took us to the perfect beach and My wife... read more

Reviewed August 29, 2018
206abrahamm
,
Hernando Beach, United States
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Reviewed August 3, 2014

After a safety briefing, our guide, Logan loaded us onto our wave runners and off we went. Logan had informed us prior to leaving that we were going out during the busiest time of day, but we saw plenty of dolphins...and other boats. We rode our wave runner's to shell island and spent some time picking up shells and listening to our guide tell us the history of the island and the area in general. After leaving Shell Island, we took a general tour of the area on the wave runner's. Logan was an awesome guide and was very easy to deal with and very knowledgeable about the area. The wave runner's are new models and very well maintained. We will most likely visit them again on our next trip.

Date of experience: August 2014
1  Thank stephen t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2014

I admit that I was a bit nervous when I approached the little kiosk at Shell Island Boat Rentals. It didn't look like much. However, the staff was VERY friendly, they had great maps and descriptions of all the tours and the girls inside recommended specific things for me based on what I wanted to do. I was really impressed.

My group of 8 rented a pontoon boat for a 4-hour trip to Shell Island. The boat was clean, the map was easy to read and everything worked perfectly. We had a fantastic trip! We even found a few of the good snorkeling places the folks at Shell Island Boat Rentals recommended. My friends and I are still talking about this trip. One of them is even thinking of buying a pontoon boat!

This was definitely the highlight of my vacation and I'd recommend it to anyone. The prices are reasonable (I paid about $200 for the 4-hour trip) and you can do so much in that amount of time! (It only takes 20 minutes to get to the "good stuff" at Shell Island. You have plenty of time to snorkel, fish, collect shells and even ride the boat around to see some dolphins.)

You should definitely try this!

Date of experience: July 2014
2  Thank JamesSunValley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2014

We booked here by default... but sure glad we did because from what I seen in the bay, Shell island boat rentals have the nicest boats and some very nice staff. I had originally booked with another outfit but when we got there that morning they didn't have a boat for us because they had a boat motor go bad on them that morning, So we were scrambling to find a pontoon boat for my family of 10 very short notice. We were afraid our day was ruined! We were amazed to find this place with a boat still available. I can't say enough about how nice the staff here was, they explained everything and had a map of where to go to enjoy shell island. What a great day shelling on shell island, even got to see some dolphin in the bay. The boat are nicer with a larger motor then the other outfits in town!! Wouldn't hesitate to rent a boat with them again!! Thanks Shell Island Boat Rentals!!

Date of experience: June 2014
4  Thank nefamily7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2014

I was really skeptical when my buddy said we were renting a pontoon boat for the day. I have been on at least a 1/2 dozen boats on my life, sat behind the wheel of maybe one of them. We show up at Shell Island Boat Rentals, and had an awesome experience. The pontoon boats are super easy to captain. The water in the bay is very easy to navigate. As long as you give the bigger boats some room, you too can have a successful day on the water.

The equipment -- the operations of the pontoon boat are really simple. Trim, throttle, and tunes. You can turn on the navigation lights if you want to get fancy! Out boat was brand new. The Black Pearl had been out once or twice before. It had plenty of storage for our lunch and coolers. The boat was good for at least 10 to 15 knots getting us from one side of the bay to another on about 45 minutes.

Shell island was awesome. My wife and I spend a fair amount of time at the outer banks and shell island is so much better. There are several anchor spots to choose from. We picked the furthest point and anchored for several hours. You can float on 3 feet of water in the bay, or take a quick hike to the gulf side of Shell Island. It was the best day we had for the whole vacation.

Customer Service -- Shell Island Boat Rental folks are amazing. Since we are talking about marine equipment, sometimes stuff happens right? Our quick connect fuel line got disconnected 1/4 of the way home in the middle of the bay. Cell reception with Verizon was spot on and we phoned back for help. Our guy came out within an hour and diagnosed the problem and had us up and running in no time. Too bad I was such a newbie, I could have saved them a trip. He was really cool about the whole thing, and we would definitely recommend this company to anyone visiting Panama City Beach area. How did the fuel line get disconnected? The group agreed it was a local sea yeti pulling pranks

Date of experience: May 2014
5  Thank Tony L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

We did a dolphin tour and then searched for sand dollars. Though our captain was running a little late due to boat maintenance, he was prompt in getting us where we could start seeing dolphins. It was a fun ride around and really a game to see who could spot the most dolphins. He would park us right where they were swimming and tell us when to slip out of the boat to see them. And we did! So cool to see the pods in their natural habitat, still showing off, jumping, doing flips. Even the baby dolphins! It was also nice to see different company crews working together telling each other where they were spitting them. It made an overall great experience not just for us but the other guests wanting to have fun. There were 4 of us which we definitely appreciated- we don't like big noisy crowds so the experience was very personable. After seeing and watching dolphins for about 1.5 hours he parked us in a shallow part of the bay and we found a ton of live sand dollars. Also spotted a stingray, turtle, and some other marine life. Water was a bit murky due to rain but you can't really get away from that.
Overall I would say its worth $50 per person considering you get to watch dolphins from a distance anyone can appreciate aNd stop to snorkel for shells and things.
Great job guys and keep it up!

Date of experience: October 2013
2  Thank Katefriedl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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