• Report: #78089

Complaint Review: Key West Express - George Hilton Owner

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  • Submitted: Sun, January 25, 2004
  • Updated: Mon, January 28, 2013

  • Reported By:Cape Coral Florida
Key West Express - George Hilton Owner
2500 Main St. Fort Myers Beach, Florida U.S.A.

Key West Express - Big Cat Shuttle - Key West Shuttle - Sea Key West Express ripoff NOT a boat for Key West Party Trip! Fort Myers Beach Florida

*Consumer Comment: Great transportation

*Consumer Comment: Your right it is a ferry service

*Consumer Comment: Your right it is a ferry service

*Consumer Comment: Ferry Service, Not Booze Cruise

*Consumer Suggestion: Key West Express Ferry Is Great; Some Passengers Are Not

*Consumer Suggestion: I was there also, stay away from this company

*Consumer Suggestion: I was there also, stay away from this company

*Consumer Suggestion: I was there also, stay away from this company

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On January 24, 2004 a group of us boarded this vessel for a day trip to Key West Florida. When we purchased the tickets, nothing was stated about not being allowed to bring our own beverages or food and when we boarded this vessel, there were no signs stating this either.

Our trip to Key West happened with no problems even though our group was loud and excited about the day ahead. Our group consisted of 9 women (ages from their 40's to their 60's). It was the return trip that was a nightmare.

Many people go to the Keys to shop and drink. The boat serves alcohol and just about every other business on Duval St is a bar so they know that passengers are drinking yet when some of our group started to have "too much fun" they were reprimanded by the crew in front of everyone.

Yes, some members got a little loud but we kept it to our own 2 tables and our party was not the only one on board that was drinking. Yes, several of us got a little "raunchy" but there were no children near our tables. The children on this vessel were in another part of the cabin closer to the galley.

When our group started singing (songs from the 50's and 60's) we were told to quiet down by a crew member even though they were not singing loudly. I was one of the "sober" ones of the group, having only 2 drinks containing alcohol earlier that day and I can say they were not singing loudly. I can understand if the crew felt the need to reprimand our group when we were playing with an adult version of a squirt gun, that was in poor taste but the rest of the trip it seemed that we were not allowed to have ANY other type of fun unless it consisted of sitting still and not speaking.

Several of our group purchased beer to bring on the boat because they like a certain brand and no one said a word about it when we boarded. I would also note that the crew said nothing about our flask that they knew we were drinking from. Yet during our trip home, it was decided by one crew member to inform us we not allowed to bring our own drinks on board and the beer cans were taken from our members. I would also like to mention that we DID purchase items from their galley such as food snacks and sodas and we put money in their tip jar so it wasn't like they did not make money off of us.

Several other people on the boat came to me and told me that they felt we were being treated unfairly as they were being louder and "raunchier" than us and no one said anything to them. I am the president of a social club and I can tell you that our club will not be using this company, another member belongs to another social club and she plans on telling her club not to book any excursions with this company and another of our group owns a business that deals with Florida "snowbirds" and she will be telling our customers not to use this company as well.

This boat has 2 decks, the simple solution would have been to tell either our party or the offended parties to gather on the other deck or they could designate one deck for "family use" and another for "party use" which would take care of any problems. If you are easily offended by drinking adults who like to have fun, stay in the "family area" but instead we were treated like naughty school children who needed to be punished in front of everyone else to teach us a lesson. The only lesson we have learned is to call another company who told us that they welcome "partying" adults. Another simple solution would be to place signs stating that no beverages are allowed to be brought onto the boat.

My advise, use this company if you belong to a church group or have small children but if you are an adult who likes to have a good time and let off some steam after working all week, don't bother because you could be the next one to be treated in the manner that we were.

Jeanne
Cape Coral, Florida
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/25/2004 08:58 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Key-West-Express-George-Hilton-Owner/Fort-Myers-Beach-Florida-33931/Key-West-Express-Big-Cat-Shuttle-Key-West-Shuttle-Sea-Key-West-Express-ripoff-NOT-a-78089. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Great transportation

AUTHOR: Fla Native - ()

Sorry to chime in years later but Wow I can't believe these "ladies" thought they got ripped off. You were delivered safely to and from Key West. Since finding this company my friends and I wouldn't dream of ever making that long slow drive down to Key West again. Save your partying for your destination. Have fun girls.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Your right it is a ferry service

AUTHOR: Florida 305 - (United States of America)

I agree with the post stating that key west express is a ferry service, bot a booze cruise. I live in key west and actually used this service to visit my relatives in west southern Florida since it is cheaper in gas and renting a car!!!! Also family visiting me in key west used this service and every time there has been no complaints. I feel that it is a affordable travel option to get off the island and have visiters on the inland. I never got upset with the people who drank a lot on it because going to key west and booze go hand and hand, but to write a complaint about how you smuggled booze on a ferry and seemed loud and obnoxious and complained that the crew interveined.???? You even wrote yourself that your large party of woman drank all weekend, sang on the ferry( and with a group that large it had to be heard older then you thought and if the party next to you said it wasn't im sure they were more intoxicated then you,and you stated playing with a "adult squirt gun" . Are you sure you wernt just imbarrassed that a ferry crew scolded a grown group of woman for being overly obnoxious. If so I hope that wasn't, the reason that compelled you to write ripoff report a complaint about key west express. Just saying..
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#3 Consumer Comment

Your right it is a ferry service

AUTHOR: Florida 305 - (United States of America)

I agree with the post stating that key west express is a ferry service, bot a booze cruise. I live in key west and actually used this service to visit my relatives in west southern Florida since it is cheaper in gas and renting a car!!!! Also family visiting me in key west used this service and every time there has been no complaints. I feel that it is a affordable travel option to get off the island and have visiters on the inland. I never got upset with the people who drank a lot on it because going to key west and booze go hand and hand, but to write a complaint about how you smuggled booze on a ferry and seemed loud and obnoxious and complained that the crew interveined.???? You even wrote yourself that your large party of woman drank all weekend, sang on the ferry( and with a group that large it had to be heard older then you thought and if the party next to you said it wasn't im sure they were more intoxicated then you,and you stated playing with a "adult squirt gun" . Are you sure you wernt just imbarrassed that a ferry crew scolded a grown group of woman for being overly obnoxious. If so I hope that wasn't, the reason that compelled you to write ripoff report a complaint about key west express. Just saying..
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#4 Consumer Comment

Ferry Service, Not Booze Cruise

AUTHOR: Kristina - (U.S.A.)

The boat is a ferry, not a party cruise. People use this boat for pleasure. business, etc for transportation to Key West. The fact this complaint was filed on the premise they don't allow loud, drunken parties seems to be counter productive. I'm not aware of too many transportation companies that allow you bring alcohol on board and party like rock stars.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Key West Express Ferry Is Great; Some Passengers Are Not

AUTHOR: Val - (U.S.A.)

Having read this complaint, I have to defend this company. I have taken the ferry from Ft. Myers to Key West around a dozen round-trips over the years (my husband took it this weekend for fishing) and I have NEVER had one complaint with the boat or the staff. It is the fastest way to the Keys except for a plane, and the boat is a smooth ride except in the most extreme weather. The staff are all long-timers and very professional, and the boat is always very, very clean.

The ONLY complaint I have ever had with the ferry throughout the years, is the passengers like the one that posted this complaint. She says that her group was drinking, got loud, got raunchy, was singing, and was using squirt guns. She thinks that is okay on a boat full of people? Would her and her friends act like that in a restaurant or on a airplane and expect no complaints? What, just because you're going to Key West you're allowed to act like a jerk???

If you have never been on the boat, it is spacious but when it's full and you're tired, a gang of drunk revelers can really be irritating especially if you're trapped inside with them due to rain. This woman and her friends demonstrated the exact behavior that makes the trip unbearable sometimes; they're partying so they think everyone else should put up with their bad manners.

I've used the ferry to go to the Keys for diving, fishing, and site seeing and HIGHLY recommend it to all. This boat is intended as a fast way to get to the Keys (driving takes 5+ hours) and has NEVER advertised itself as a "party" boat or "booze cruise" so I think it very unfair of this poster to slam the company because her friends were not being considerate to the sober people. In closing I highly recommend to the ferry that they continue to key the drunk people in line!
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

I was there also, stay away from this company

AUTHOR: Debra - (U.S.A.)

I was on that trip aslo. January 24th on the Whale Watcher. I was not drinking at all as I am not a drinker and I can say the group was just trying to have fun. They were treated badly and I felt like it ruined my first trip to Key West.

I had a great time while at Key West but next time I want to visit, I will use another company or spend the extra hours driving. Why? Because it seems as if they do not want you to have a fun time. You have to keep quiet or someone might complain. "Old" is a state of mind and it seems as if this company prefers to cater to the type of person who wants to be "old". I prefer to stay young at heart, thank you very much! We were a group of women trying to have a day away from kids, grandkids, work and the daily grind and enjoy ourselves.

They offer no TV and they keep the music so low that you cannot hear it over the boat and unless you want to sit and play cards quietly you have nothing to do. If I wanted to act like a little old lady I could have stayed away from the boat and gone to play bingo instead! I will be telling the women of the Helena Club to stay away from this company.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

I was there also, stay away from this company

AUTHOR: Debra - (U.S.A.)

I was on that trip aslo. January 24th on the Whale Watcher. I was not drinking at all as I am not a drinker and I can say the group was just trying to have fun. They were treated badly and I felt like it ruined my first trip to Key West.

I had a great time while at Key West but next time I want to visit, I will use another company or spend the extra hours driving. Why? Because it seems as if they do not want you to have a fun time. You have to keep quiet or someone might complain. "Old" is a state of mind and it seems as if this company prefers to cater to the type of person who wants to be "old". I prefer to stay young at heart, thank you very much! We were a group of women trying to have a day away from kids, grandkids, work and the daily grind and enjoy ourselves.

They offer no TV and they keep the music so low that you cannot hear it over the boat and unless you want to sit and play cards quietly you have nothing to do. If I wanted to act like a little old lady I could have stayed away from the boat and gone to play bingo instead! I will be telling the women of the Helena Club to stay away from this company.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

I was there also, stay away from this company

AUTHOR: Debra - (U.S.A.)

I was on that trip aslo. January 24th on the Whale Watcher. I was not drinking at all as I am not a drinker and I can say the group was just trying to have fun. They were treated badly and I felt like it ruined my first trip to Key West.

I had a great time while at Key West but next time I want to visit, I will use another company or spend the extra hours driving. Why? Because it seems as if they do not want you to have a fun time. You have to keep quiet or someone might complain. "Old" is a state of mind and it seems as if this company prefers to cater to the type of person who wants to be "old". I prefer to stay young at heart, thank you very much! We were a group of women trying to have a day away from kids, grandkids, work and the daily grind and enjoy ourselves.

They offer no TV and they keep the music so low that you cannot hear it over the boat and unless you want to sit and play cards quietly you have nothing to do. If I wanted to act like a little old lady I could have stayed away from the boat and gone to play bingo instead! I will be telling the women of the Helena Club to stay away from this company.
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