Planning a vacation somewhere you’ve never been can be challenging, particularly in a place like the Florida Keys, which is saturated with overpriced tourist traps. In that context, it is a welcome surprise to discover a small business that really knows how to combine great customer service with great fun.
My family and I recently stayed for a week at the Hampton Inn on Islamorada, Florida. One of our goals was to get in some snorkeling for my husband and I with our younger daughter, some scuba diving for my father, and a discover scuba course for our teen daughter. We spent a few hours pouring over possibilities before we left, but were still unsure.
Since my father is an avid Master diver, the first thing he noted when he arrived at the hotel was a sign for the “Dive Shop”. This turned out to be a small business, named Seamonkeys Water Sports, located at the edge of the Hampton Inn property. From our first introduction the day we arrived, Seamonkeys Water Sports became our home away from home.
The shop is owned by Bill and Colleen, who have each previously owned small businesses prior to their “retirement” to the Keys. What really makes them stand out is their ability to anticipate the needs of a traveling family. Our youngest daughter had never snorkeled before and needed practice swimming before attempting to go out into the boat. We were able to rent appropriately sized equipment for her for the week so that she could practice in the hotel swimming pool. Since we were all in the same family, they were flexible enough to allow us to bring the snorkelers in our group with the divers. We were grateful for this, as we could all stay together.
Colleen’s training for our daughter in the Discover Scuba class was top notch. I had a previous bad experience with a class I tried on a cruise, but I was impressed by the careful attention Colleen gave my daughter and the drills she put her through while she was still in the safety of the pool. By the time we got on the boat, I was confident my daughter would be safe and have a great diving experience. I was right, and she loved it.
Seamonkeys has all of the equipment you need for whatever program you choose, including masks, fins and wet suits. Most importantly, these items are included in the posted prices. This is something many people forget to look into prior to signing up for a program. Most of the other operations in the area post the price of the program and then charge a lot of extra money to rent the equipment you need to participate.
If you are going to the Florida Keys on vacation and are looking for a great place to go for your water sports, I can’t recommend Seamonkeys enough. They are located at mile marker 80 on the Overseas Highway. Visit them at their website at seamonkeyswatersports.com or call them at (305) 664 – 4555.
Disclosure: I received no compensation or free programs in exchange for this review. I decided I wanted to review my experience after having participated in and paid for their programs.