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“Disappointing; would not recommend”

Island Boat Adventures
Ranked #2 of 81 Tours in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: We offer daily excursions to Egmont Key Island. Egmont Key is a magnificent island just a few miles off shore at the mouth of Tampa Bay, in the lovely Gulf of Mexico. Accessible only by boat. Egmont Key is the GEM of the Bay Area and a Florida State Park. It is not to be missed on your vacation. Egmont Key's history dates back to the 1800's during the Spanish / American War era. Call and book your trip today for a truly memorable vacation experience and a fantastic day of Adventure and Excitement you will not soon forget. Just a few of the sights you may experience on your journey are pods of wild Bottlenosed Dolphins playing in their natural habitat, or a huge manatee gracefully swimming along side of the boat, stingrays, rolling Tarpon, numerous native birds, Gopher Tortoises, the Egmont Key Lighthouse, the soldier cemetary, and the ruins of old Fort Dade. It is our goal to provide a fun, affordable, memorable vacation experience in a safe environment that the whole family can enjoy. Call today for reservations.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stroller parking, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Reviewed October 22, 2013

We booked this based on all the positive reviews, and the co-owner, Betty, was helpful when booking, but were disappointed in the ride and snorkeling. Egmont Key is beautiful and I would love to go again, but would look for another way to get there. (And we were only there about half an hour, so it definitely wasn't long enough.) The boat location itself behind the motel is a little hard to find. Once we started, the other co-owner, Captain Mike, played loud 80s music (plus Gilligan's Island theme which he thought was so hilarious) and sang along with the rock music, which made it even more annoying. We stopped when we saw dolphins, but the beauty of watching the dolphins was marred by the blaring music. The snorkeling at Fort Dade was a complete waste of time (and unfortunately we were there longer than at Egmont). Not many snorkeled as it was cold. The water was dark and one person in our group saw a small unidentifiable fish. (If you have ever snorkeled before, this will be extremely disappointing). It would be better to snorkel at Egmont, where it is at least picturesque and perhaps you might even see something, but there was not enough time. There is a BIG emphasis on tipping. Have been on many catamarans in many countries, but never has it been so overt. I am happy to tip for good service, but usually there is a tip jar or you personally hand it to someone because they were so deserving/helpful - have never seen such unabashed "suggesting". They have at least 2 signs on the boat that say "it is customary to tip 20%". Then when the ride is over you can't just hand over payment, you are given a form in a plastic pouch to fill out and hand in where it is printed with "it is customary to tip 20%", and the guy who handed out the form said, "and here is where you put in your tip". And then when we handed it in at the dock, the guy at the dock asked, "and did you put in the tip?" Based on all of the above, we would not book this again and would not recommend.

4  Thank ladyslippers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betty34607, Manager at Island Boat Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

There is always time for fun, laughter, singing and dancing on 'Calypso Cat'. From all of us here at Island Boat Adventures: The Owner, Co-Owner, Captains and Crew. In unison, a little loud, with huge smiles on our faces. All together now... Ready 1...2…3…

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
a tale of a fateful trip,
that started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailing man,
the Skipper brave and sure,
49 passengers set sail that day,
for a four hour tour,
a four hour tour.

Enjoy Life!! :)

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721 - 725 of 975 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2013

I can't even begin to say enough about Island Adventures! This hy far was the best part of our vacation to Florida! The crew was very attentive, fun and super informative. The boat ride out and back was so relaxing! We got to see a ton of dolphin and learn all about them. The snorkeling was great fun, both by the ruins and on shore. We collected a ton of cool shells and got to see some pretty neat fish and plants. The island has a lot to see and explore. We will definitely be back to do this tour again!

Thank dlm1005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betty34607, Manager at Island Boat Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Thanks for letting us know that you enjoyed Egmont Key Island as much as we do. There is so much to see and do on your adventure with us, that one visit may not be enough! See you next time! :)

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Reviewed October 19, 2013

Calypso Cat was a fun and relaxing way to see st. Pete for the whole family. Captain and crew were friendly, helpful, and informative. Beautiful scenery and lots of dolphin sightings! Made my day.

Thank Sarabeachseer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betty34607, Manager at Island Boat Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Thanks for letting us know that you had fun on your Island Adventure with us!!

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Reviewed October 5, 2013 via mobile

My niece and I just enjoyed a great afternoon out with Hans and Vinnie in the Calypso Cat. We were glad that they took the time at the beginning of the trip to explain to us what to expect so we could just relax and enjoy the adventure. Betty was very friendly too helping us to coordinate everything and find the marina. We only saw one dolphin but did see other fishes, sting ray, star fish, pink coral, sea urchins etc. and a manatee. It is an affordable alternative to other Florida tourist options. They earned their tip by giving us excellent customer experience.

Thank Osborn007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betty34607, Manager at Island Boat Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Glad to know that you saw a lot of wildlife while you were out with us and enjoyed the break from the amusement parks! :)

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Reviewed September 30, 2013

We have taken three trips on the Calypso Cat this year and will return again when we have visitors. Dolphin viewing is better some days than others, but the crew gives you the best they can. Snorkeling depends on how choppy the water is, but the waters abound with life. This last trip we saw, dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays, various birds, jellyfish and other fish. The Island has lots of interesting history and great shelling. There are gopher tortoises everywhere if you venture off the beach. The crew of the boat may vary, but they are always friendly and helpful.

Thank Cindy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betty34607, Manager at Island Boat Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Thanks Cindy! We always enjoy having you and your guests on the 'Calypso Cat' with us! Everyday is different, sometimes we see 30 dolphin, sometimes we see one. But the cool thing is that you'll want to come back again and again, because you never know what you're gonna see! Just the other day we saw five Loggerhead Sea Turtles! That was AMAZING! See you soon. Cheers! :)

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