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“Technical Knowledge from Mote Aquarium Excellent”

LeBarge Tropical Cruises
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Come join us aboard LeBarge, a Sarasota landmark for 30 plus years. Our casual laid-back atmosphere is enhanced by our tropical decor and yes, the palm trees are real. Let the mermaids lead the way through the tranquil waters of Sarasota Bay. We offer you a full menu of cruises, each totally different: the morning Dolphin & Manatee Watch Cruise, afternoon Sightseeing & Nature Cruise, and the world-renowned Tropical Sunset Cruise with live entertainment. All cruises feature a full bar and light food menu. In addition to our regular cruises, LeBarge offers Private Charters, the perfect venue for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, office parties, reunions and even the occasional burial at sea. No vacation in paradise is complete without time spent on Sarasota Bay aboard LeBarge, Sarasota's tropical cruise experience.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 7 April 2014

We called for reservations & information for the Dolphin Watch Cruise on a weekday, earlier that same day. That didn't matter because we still had to stand in a long line in the hot sun to pay. We had a $2 discount coupon, which was completely ignored by the cashier. She even stapled it to the receipt! When she handed it to the next employee with our credit card, she ignored it and we were charged $50 for 2 people; instead of $48. When I brought it to her attention, she told me that we had a $2 credit for food aboard the ship, instead of cash back.
The technical knowledge that I learned from the Mote Aquarium naturalist/marine biologist was excellent information about dolphins and manatees. We couldn't see her demonstration materials because the person that I was has a mobility impairement and couldn't climb the steep steps to the upper deck. No accommodation was made for us on the main floor.
I was greatly disappointed that we only saw the top portion of one dolphin and manatee from the main deck. People ran from one side of the deck to the other, blocking our view from our table. If it wasn't on our side, we didn't get to see it. If you don't see at least one, they guarantee a free second chance. Which is nice, but impractical when you are on vacation and a tight schedule.
I would not recommend this company based on our experiences. They seem to like having a long line, probably to generate more foot traffic interest, instead of letting us aboard when we arrived. When we were inside the barge, the staff had not used our waiting time effectively. The toilet paper needed to be replaced immediately in the tiny bathroom aboard. There were a lot of staff, but, the barge was not fully prepared for visitors, especially ones with any disabilities. They prepared hot food, but, with limited equipment, it took a long time to be served.

Thank Zoe Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"sunset cruise"
in 149 reviews
"le barge"
in 36 reviews
"top deck"
in 36 reviews
"sarasota bay"
in 85 reviews
"great cruise"
in 18 reviews
"dolphin manatee"
in 10 reviews
"beautiful evening"
in 9 reviews
"nice sunset"
in 6 reviews
"two hours"
in 21 reviews
"nice trip"
in 6 reviews
"available for purchase"
in 6 reviews
"real estate"
in 7 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 12 reviews
"saw dolphins"
in 15 reviews
"marine biologist"
in 9 reviews
"bird key"
in 6 reviews
"boat ride"
in 13 reviews
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572 - 576 of 619 reviews

Reviewed 19 March 2014

We took two houseguests (in their 70's) out for the 2:00 trip. We all loved it! The "cruise" was well-narrated with information about Sarasota history and natural surroundings but wasn't intrusive to the enjoyment of the views and sounds of the bay. Looking at the homes and tropical foliage was enjoyable. After all, Sarasota is as much about the beauty of the waterfront real estate as it is about the weather and the beaches. This was a perfect Sarasota outing for folks who would not otherwise be able to access the water in other ways. I've read that the drinks were expensive - we got a draft beer and a bloody mary for $8. ((and yes, there was alcohol in the BM). It is possible that they may hike the prices up for the sunset cruise.....
Only caveat - the stairways up to the top deck are very steep and take some manuvering if you are not used to this type of activity. We will definately take guests on this cruise again.

Thank Jeanne323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

Went on the sightseeing cruise with my wife and son, had a blast. For only 25 dollars a person ,you get and informative tour of Sarasota Bay and the surrounding islands. The trip around Bird Key is simply amazing. The properties are incredible. As a bonus this trip we even spotted a manatee and a few dolphins. The tour guide is fantastic. If you choose to indulge in a libation they are reasonably priced. Outstanding value, many repeat custumers,including myself.

1  Thank snorkler09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

First this is an OLD ship. Second it is nothing more than a booze cruise. Third it is boring. Fourth it is tacky. I live in Sarasota but had company and thought this might be a good idea to try. I was wrong. I was embarrassed by the whole event. There are trashy people who want nothing more than to get drunk on this cruise. The guitar player was awful. I kept wanting him to get the tempo right instead of reverse which is what I believe he played. There is no narrative on this cruise and at one point on the way back in from the very short ride they stood still to use up the time before heading back to the pier. Try one of the larger sailing ships that takes people out. At least there you will know what you are looking at from the captain. Either way you never leave the bay to get into the gulf. the route is the same for both boats.

3  Thank HMKeenan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 December 2013

Took the Manatee and Dolphin tour and had a wonderful experience. Very great experience with the number of dolphin that we saw.

Thank hobos2332
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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