We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

Ohio
2 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

Beautiful Key West Florida and all that it has to offer shouldn't include SunSet Watersports. Unfortunately, our family scheduled a Snorkel Safari Tour that sounded like a great 2.5 hour tour of back country of Key West, snorkeling in a marine sanctuary and swimming with topical marine wildlife all while being the captain of your private speedboat. What was supposed to be an exciting tour ended up being a total disaster. The 2 guides were brand new and admittedly didn't know where to go, several of the boats weren't worthy to take on the tour because the guides rigged the gas tank and another one of the boats was slow and couldn’t keep up. No instruction or life jackets were provided and thank goodness we own our own boat-so we were comfortable taking the boats out. We proceeded on the tour on a beautiful sunny day after starting 30 minutes late thanks to the representative not being in their booth to greet us. It was immediately apparent that the guides didn't know where to go when they asked each other continually where to go. We drove our speed boats following them basically in circles until one of the guides grounded his boat on a sand bar. One of our boats followed but we were able to push ourselves off the sand bar. The guide wasn't able and his boat never started again. He was left with his boat in the backcountry. Not long after leaving one of the guides, the other guide continued with us behind and then another boat stopped. It had run out of gas because something was wrong with the gas tank and they rigged a 10 gallon tank for the tour. Obviously the boat shouldn't have been taken out. The 2 ladies in that boat were also left behind in the middle of the ocean with their boat. Thank goodness we had water to provide to them on the hot day because the guide didn't have anything available. 5 boats started on the tour 3 boats returned to the dock. We were then taken back to the dock to find gas to provide to the women on the tour because they were stranded in the ocean on their boat. Our tour ended within 2 hours, of which, at least 45 minutes of it were spent dealing with the boats, losing a guide, the guides asking each other where to go, and unfortunately one of the boats running out of gas. We never saw any marine life, reef, beach, marine sanctuary etc. This tour is 69.00 per person and we had 5 in our party. When we contacted the owner of the company to let him know that we weren't satisfied with our tour and that the tour basically didn't take place as promised, he began yelling and telling us it was our fault! He was unwilling to discuss or even hear us out about the horrible experience we had. He basically said his guides didn't tell him about it- so therefore it didn't take place. We hope that when you decide to go to beautiful Key West- you choose a company that is responsive, professional, and stands behind its tours. It is a shame that our tour experience lacked all of the above. No more SunSet Watersports for this family!

Key West, FL
Level Contributor
1,187 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

Love2travel,

Seeing as this your first post, I would invite you to post more frequently. That way people can get a better idea of where it is you are coming from.

Next, using paragraph breaks to break up the information helps considerably in being able to "uptake" your posts. Large blocks of text are somewhat impenetrable.

And tell us more about what you liked. Not to diminish your report above, but when we hear what you like, we can relate and then give more earnest consideration to your complaint up above.

Lastly, your complaints merit your sounding off. Living here I here and see much that is "behind the scenes." My question is does anyone else have anything to contribute in defense of Sunset Watersports or add in support of love2travel's complaints?

As an active proponent of quality backcountry safaris with trained professional guides, such as the ones offered by Sebago, Java Cat, Blue Planet, Lazy Dog, Big Pine Kayak, and (my employer) Danger Charters. Hearing this sort of thing is upsetting to me. Hopefully you will stay on the board and offer more — bad and good — to this forum.

In the meantime, I would personally like to know do any other contributors have anything to add?

Key West, Florida
Level Contributor
4,604 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

Mike - Did a brief search of the forum for Sunset Watersports and they have not been I.D.'ed as being bad. In fact, taxi knows the owner and gave him good grades.

Love2Traveltwo - Please don't think I'm doubting your experiences or sincererity HOWEVER, past experiences on this and other forums TENDS to teach me that first-time posters who bring a complaint are not necessarily legit. (Again, please understand that it's EXTREMLY easy for an unscupulous competitor to cast dispersions on other companies under the guise of a bad trip report or review. I'm just wondering why this would be your first post when you hadn't posted here before your trip to help plan it.)

3. Re: Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with regards to family-friendly language and/or subject matter. We will remove messages or topics that contain objectionable language and images (avatars or links to pornography), including but not limited to profanity, obscenity, vulgarity, pornographic literature, racial slurs, hate speech, personal insults, hostile comments and threatening language.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 02 January 2008, 13:59
Crown Point, Indiana
Level Contributor
581 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

I've done this exact tour and we had a blast! Our guide was first rate and I have absolutely no complaints about the tour or the company.

Ohio
2 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

Love2traveltwo- yes this is my first post because I felt it so necessary to let the public know about my experience. No I am not a competitor...perhaps you are from Sunset Watersports and are attempting to defend the problem. However, as mentioned, the guides were brand new- they admitted it was only their 3rd time out. The one guide ran a ground and the other guide left 2 women stranded with their boat because they ran out of gas. We never experienced the beauty of Key West as described in the tour. Had the owner reacted anything but arrogant, I would never have posted. But he - as many of you- took his tour guides word that none of this happened. Perhaps they have a good operation and perhaps we just experienced 2 new guides that didn't know what they were doing, but truth be told, the fiasco that occurred, did occur. If I owned a company with a very good reputation, I would want to know if any of my clients experienced a problem because dealing with problems only makes the company better. This tour was riddled with lack of professionalism and safety issues and if I was the owner- I would want to know so I could address it to make sure it didn't happen again.

Rochester, NY
Level Contributor
191 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

With due respect to the previous posters, all of whom I've gained knowledge from, I don't think it's fair to question the poster's comments simply because it's their first post. If the first post had been a positive one, would it be any less relative? Yes, unscrupulous operators can come on this forum and slam the competition. However, we have also seen unscrupulous operators give themselves glowing reviews. It's the nature of the beast. Just my opinion.

Happy and safe New Year's Eve to all...

Key West, Florida
Level Contributor
4,604 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

For the record...

No, I do not work for, am not associated with or even know SunSet Watersports, thier owners or employees.

YES! I have called people on first posts with glowing reviews and much more often than not, they never come back and respond. (busted.)

Love2Travel... I apologize for calling in any doubt on your validity but you can imagine, based on past exeperience where I am coming from. It's always suspicious with first postings that either glow or blow... Ya know?

key west
Level Contributor
6,101 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

I'm friends with Rich Welter and his wife (owners of Sunset WS) but if you had a bad day, you had a bad day. I do think however that your phone conversation may have gone a tad differently.....understanding that you were very upset, he may have wanted to wait until he heard both sides, as I would want in my business before making a judgement call.

Rich has been in business for YEARS in Key West, has beautiful children and owns a beautiful home. A scammer would not have this. He works his tail off to ensure quality passage for his customers, so that they may return next trip.

Things break, especially things that have saltwater running through them. I'm sure everything happened that you said happened, and perhaps the guides were new, although I can't see Rich sending out two new guides without a clue.

In any case, we're hearing one side....Rich has a very, very good, reliable, trustworthy operation. It's his living, how he pays for his childrens' food. He's not going to mess with that.

Florida City...
4 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

I Loved SunSet I think I saw Nessie and Maybe Jesus in the Sunset...It was an emotional time,

Toledo, Ohio
Level Contributor
258 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Beautiful Key West- Horrible Sun Set Watersport Experience

I have went on this tour myself, and found it to be one of our favorites. All the boats on our tour were equiped with life jackets, and our guides very knowledgeable. We have went on several other tours with Sunset, and have always been satisified.

Very surprising, we have always been treated very good with this company.