Sprawling across more than 17 acres, this tropical marine mammal facility has been in the Keys for many years, showing the ... More
Theater of the Sea
Sprawling across more than 17 acres, this tropical marine mammal facility has been in the Keys for many years, showing the underwater world to curious travelers. Shows focus on conservation, natural history and all the details of marine mammals, particularly dolphins, and you can swim with those friendly creatures. You can also tour the seas aboard a glass-bottom boat or go on a four-hour cruise for a look at marine life in its own environment. Prices for the swim programs range from $50-$155, while admission to the facility is $23.95 (ages 13 and above) and $15.95 (ages 3-12). Children of 2 years and below are admitted free.
We really liked the park as a whole. My daughter had the dolphin encounter and loved it, is not as pricy as Sea World's. The shows were very nice, upclose and personal, great for kids. My daugher was able to get a kiss from the sealion and the dolphins without paying extra during the show. The staff was very nice and were able to answer all questions about each of the different animals. We would definitely go again!!!
WHat we didn't like: Take your own camera because the pictures are ridiculously expensive, the boat ride is a joke, and the water was pretty dirty we couldn't see underwater.
We loved that our money was going towards a good cause in this place, protecting and supporting marine life and the natural grounds around it. The staff were entertaining and knowledgeable. We loved the dolphin & sea lion shows, and watching the different types of fish in the ponds. The gardens are truly a sight to see. If you have a little one, make sure you go to the little beach and feed the fish (25 cents for pellets). Skip the "bottomless" boat tour -- lasts 5 min and you dont really get to see more than you would on land. Beware of the vicious pelicans and seagulls of you have any food!
The Theater of the Sea is like Sea World. You can see a sea lion show, a dolphin show and take a tour. There is also an 'open-bottom boat' trip. The parrots are very friendly, and some will show off for you to take pictures. (I have posted a picture that I took of a camera-loving parrot from the Theater of the Sea.) There is a small resturant at the center of the outdoor area, and during the tour you will get to see sea turtles, an alligator, a crocadile, a giant grouper, also known as a jewfish, and when I was there you got to touch/pet a baby bull shark. There is a parrot show that is quite entertaining, and the staff are all very friendly and informative if you get to talk to one outside of a show. Before you get to do the tours or see shows, there is some great shopping, for clothing, souvineers, jewelry, etc. My husband bought me a beautiful necklace on our way out. I can't recall the price of admission, but I remember thinking that it was worth it, plus the clerk that sold us out tickets had a parrot helper! I would definately make time to go to the Theater of the Sea the next time that I am in Islamorada!
Beautifully landscaped with tropical plants like orchids, cram-packed with shows (dolphin, sea-lion,parrot,land-show), and inexpensive when compared to larger, better known parks. Watched staff nicely handle a guest that was determined to be miserable (the lady actually pitched a fit and lay down on the floor kicking and screaming in front of her 4 year old (LOL). Nice little cafe in the center to get cold drinks, ice cream, hamburgers , and the like. Very dedicated animal staff (they allow the animals to dictate whether they're going to do a show...cute) and a very enjoyabl experience all around.
The place is a lot more impressive on the outside than it is on the inside. Inside it looked like they hadn't spent any money on it in thirty years. Most of the cages were empty and you felt sorry for the few animals they had. I wouldn't go back if it was free.
Even the dolphins did not look happy. I expected pleasant service and did not get this. The boat ride is a farce. It has potential but maybe it was a bad day . I won't go back. There are many more places like this that have more friendliness.
Overall experience was ok. As previously stated the boat ride is a joke. The snorkeling and beach area are nothing more than a murky canal that has been divided with chain link fence. There certainly are a lot prettier areas to snorkel in the keys.
The highlight was the interaction (for an extra charge) with the Dolphins, well worth the money.
Unfortunately for my youngest son his last memory of the attraction was the fact that he left a favorite pair of swim trunks and tee shirt in one of the changing rooms. We were staying about 40 miles away in Marathon and had arrived back at the resort before realizing it. We called the attraction and they had found them and assured us that we could pick them up 3 days later on our way home. When we returned later that week on our way home no one had a clue where the clothes were and of course no apology. We also learned that the lost and found is basically a shelf under the cash register.
I was very concerned about the overuse of the animals. There were many scrapes on the bodies of the seals, and the noses of the dolphins. Some are rescued animals but many were born there...these were the ones with the scrapes! The areas for the animals, nurse sharks, dolphins, etc. are so small that they do not seem to have enough room. This place is very disturbing when you look under the "fake" outside shell.
We have been on a quest to show our grandkids (whose parents work at Disney Orlando) the real Florida, taking them to springs, caves, and smaller & older parks throughout the state. The Dolphin swim at Theater of the Sea was their favorite so far. Swimming with the Dolphins for a 9 and 14 year old was an adventure they'll never forget. The park was lovely; the shows entertaining and informative without being too long for short attention spans. Two warnings: First, save yourself a disappointment; swimming with the dolphins must be booked months in advance. It's pricey, but not as costly as Sea World's Dolphin swim and more fun. Second, the professional photos offered after your dolphin swim (and several other activities) are ridiculously expensive. We felt it was an unfair fleecing so we acted accordingly and did not buy any. (Thankfully we had our own camera.) Also, don't miss the small beach area, one of the few places where one can swim safely in the ocean in the Keys. The cove was loaded with big fat colorful tropical fish swimming with the kids. Not everything is a mega park like Disney, thanks goodness. This park is a small taste of the original Florida lifestyle and we loved it.
Amenities:Television. Kitchen/Kitchenette. Hair Dryer. In Room Wireless Internet Access (Free). Air Conditioning (In Room). Whirlpool (In Room). In Room Broadband
Internet Access (Free). Microwave Oven.
Amenities:Television. Refrigerator. Hot Water. Microwave Oven. Non Smoking Rooms. Hair Dryer. Mini Bar. Balcony/Terrace. Safe (In Room). Air Conditioning (In
Room). Private bathroom. Kitchen/Kitchenette. Hotel Details:Pool (Children). Health Spa/Massage. Concierge/Club Floor. Game Room. Health Club/Fitness Center. ...
This oceanfront resort consists of a series of whitewashed cottages, each one a homey, self contained unit. Located on 18
acres, the cottages are decorated in modest tropical themes, making this a very romantic vacation spot and a great ...