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“Boating to Key West” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Key West Express - Marco Island

Key West Express - Marco Island
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Get away to Key West, America's Caribbean Paradise, aboard Key West Express, where getting there is half the fun! What are you waiting for? Climb aboard our sleek, clean, modern, air-conditioned high-speed ferries - Features sundecks, snack bar, cocktails, and big-screen TVs - and we'll have you there in just a few hours!
Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Boating to Key West”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2014

I did not do this (not enough time by the time I found out about this) but will the next time I am on the Island. The idea of boating down to the keys - rather than drive - is exciting and takes the stress out of driving there. Looking forward to it! I must say that the people at Rose Marina off of Bald Eagle are so very kind and helpful - any thing that you need to know or need - they have the answers.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Pat S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KWE_Mgr, Manager at Key West Express - Marco Island, responded to this review, 9 August 2014
We greatly value the opinions of our guests and look forward to welcoming you aboard at a future date. We sail year round from our Fort Myers Beach location and seasonally from Marco Island. Please be sure to review once you have sailed with us.
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143 reviews from our community

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Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Pros and Cons of Taking the Key West Express”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014

I am a big fan of the Key West Express on some levels and not on other levels. I have had about a dozen trips on it over the last 10 years or so. It is a great way to cut hours off a long, and sometimes tedious drive.

THE CONS: 1) The food and drinks are truly TERRIBLE and expensive. It will cost you $8 plus a tip for a measured bar grade mixed drink and $5 or $6 for a domestic beer. The hamburgers do not even resemble or smell like beef. YUK factor is very high.

2.) I hate paying $9 a day to park the car (It was free at one time). It just bugs me...like the owners got really greedy one day or something! It is like paying the store to shop in it - just does not set well with me.

3.) The seats are close and uncomfortable.

4.) Can be very crowded on holiday weekends and weeks....if you are not into that, best drive all the way. I usually travel at slower times because of that.

I leave my home in St. Petersburg by 5 a,m. to board by 7 or 7:30 and we never leave til about 9. The seating is very uncomfortable - worse than most airplane type seats. Confirm departure and return in advance because weather can be a factor and they have been known to cancel because of that. Coming back the boat loads at 5:30 pm and gets back to Ft. Myers Beach at 9:30 or 10 pm. I usually get home close to midnight after driving the rest of the way home.

My advice for that is if you want a table to sit at, you need to be on board before everybody else. You can sit outside but it is really noisy from the engines. Beautiful though. You can get a tan on the way to Key West :) See magnificent sunsets on the way back too :) Indoors has air conditioning and movies on each floor (subtitles) and TIP...The movies are different on each of the 2 floors indoors. The seats tilt but not much and there is a tray for food, etc.

The cost is $147 RT per person plus tax, tips.. Tip: If you order a couple of weeks in advance, you can save some money - something like $119 RT and watch for Groupons, Living Social deals, etc. Sometimes you can find $99 RT and remember, you can use them for 2 years. No REFUNDS are given. Bring your own food and beverages - pack some snacks and drinks in a cooler. That is the best way to save cash and still enjoy the trip fully!

I gave the Key West Express a 3 because of the way the business is run. The people who direct the cars in, some of the ticket takers and especially those who serve the poor quality food are NOT friendly or helpful and neither are the bartenders That is just my opinion. Perhaps your experience will be better.

It is still a lot to pay for a boat ride. The shorter drive is the main reason I like it and it saves on parking hassles on the island. That can be very inconvenient and extremely pricey. You can walk or take the bus anywhere.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
33 Thank FloridaArtsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KWE_Mgr, Manager at Key West Express - Marco Island, responded to this review, 9 August 2014
Glad that the pros overrode the cons as you have traveled over a dozen times. Guests may certainly bring their own food/snacks on board though we do have a variety to suit the needs of most. Our departure is actually 8:30 am from either location. More often than not we are ahead of schedule. As you mentioned, there are some discounted fares available. Be sure to call or visit our website for details!
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Marco Island
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“perfect!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2014

can't ask for a any other better get away trip to Key West than this. You can go down in one day and have a really neat time or you can stay over night. keep a close eye on the marco island shuttle schedule as it is not always available…. but it is great fun!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Esther33_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KWE_Mgr, Manager at Key West Express - Marco Island, responded to this review, 22 April 2014
So glad you enjoyed, and thank you for your review. You are correct. Travel from our Marco Island location is seasonal therefore important to check the schedule. We do sail year round from Fort Myers Beach. We hope to welcome you aboard many more times in the future!
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Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great Ride”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2014

I thought the boat ride was great smooth as can be, although I heard in rough weather people do get sick, I recommend that you check the weather forecast good before leaving. Too do this trip in one day its def not worth it, Must do an overnighter just way to short and you will have about 4 hours on Key west. There is so much to do and see and the food is amazing. I will be boarding that vessel again soon!!!!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank 20nout1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KWE_Mgr, Manager at Key West Express - Marco Island, responded to this review, 22 April 2014
Good recommendation. In fair weather conditions the ride is very smooth however it is always a good idea to pay attention to weather forecasts. Just like air transportation, in windy weather conditions there can be turbulence therefore those with motion sensitivity may wish to take a precaution. You are right, key West has a lot to offer. If schedules and budgets permit spending a night or two will allow you more time to enjoy, though sometimes a day trip is enough to give you a little taste of what Key West is all about. Thank you for your comments and come back on board again soon!
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Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
73 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Not cheap, but a fun day out”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2014

We took the Key West Express from Marco Island to Key West and enjoyed the experience. We bought our return tickets online at Christmas when the company offers specials for $99. We saved about $50pp. We had about four hours to explore Key West before heading back to Marco Island. If you prefer you can stay over on Marco and return on another day, so long as the company knows ahead of time.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank mungoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KWE_Mgr, Manager at Key West Express - Marco Island, responded to this review, 18 April 2014
We are delighted that you had an enjoyable time! Be sure to watch for our Holiday sale again this year. We typically begin around thanksgiving time and sell until shortly before Christmas. Thank you for sharing your comments.
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