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lelms

Key West: honest opinion.

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Hi all, we're a first-time cruising couple in our 20's planning to go on Enchantment of the Seas this September. We were looking over different shore excursions for Key West, but none of them seem to be a good fit for us. Some museum/aquarium tours might be okay but I'm not sure if it'd be worth the trouble of disembarking. Would it be better to book some spa treatments and enjoy the ship all to ourselves that day? Or would we be making a mistake missing Key West? Thanks in advance!

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Even if you don't drink, you have to go see Sloppy Joe's and Hogs Breath, then you can say "Been there, done that, have the t-shirt to prove it"...

When we visit someplace we have never been before, we at least get off and look around, you might hate it but who knows, you might love it, when we go back to those same places a 2nd or 3rd time, then you know if you want to get off.

We have been to Cozumel 12 times, but we still get off because we have favorite places we like to visit, then we get back on the ship, Fish tacos from Pancho's anyone...

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2 hours ago, tiny260 said:

Even if you don't drink, you have to go see Sloppy Joe's and Hogs Breath, then you can say "Been there, done that, have the t-shirt to prove it"...

When we visit someplace we have never been before, we at least get off and look around, you might hate it but who knows, you might love it, when we go back to those same places a 2nd or 3rd time, then you know if you want to get off.

We have been to Cozumel 12 times, but we still get off because we have favorite places we like to visit, then we get back on the ship, Fish tacos from Pancho's anyone...

Yeah, what tiny260 said.

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I absolutely love Key West! No need for an excursion - it's an easy walking port. I personally love bar hopping around after a huge seafood lunch at Conch Republic - just make sure to be back on board in plenty of time! 

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Key West is fun.  Not an excursion-type place like Kla said.  Bar hop, eateries, Mel Fisher treasure museum, "interesting" people on the streets, its a great day.

 

 

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Guest toodle68

When we stopped there we did not book an excursion. Just got off the ship and roamed around. We did the trolley ride, had lunch, eat some ice cream and wondered around the shops. 

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Thanks for all the responses. I was looking at pictures and we have a lot of tourist-trap-like bars where we live, so it doesn't seem like we'd be missing much. But I guess theres no harm in just checking it out. Can't know unless we try, right?

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8 hours ago, whenismynextcruise said:

not sure what time you will be there but Mallory Square sunset time is a great experience too. 

Sadly, Key West usually kicks the cruise ships out before sunset these days.  Its a big draw for land tourists and they want Mallory Square free and clear for the view.

 

 

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Love getting off the ship and just walking around Key West.  There's no need to book an excursion, you can walk off the ship and get the Conch Train if you wanted, rent bikes, or just walk around.  Like others have mentioned, great bars to stop in and get a drink or just look around.  It's well worth getting off the ship.

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13 hours ago, PRC said:

Sadly, Key West usually kicks the cruise ships out before sunset these days.  Its a big draw for land tourists and they want Mallory Square free and clear for the view.

 

 

I just did a google search of "Mallory Square Key West". PRC is right on target about "a big draw", Mallory Square turns into a 2-4 hour sunset celebration!

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1 hour ago, rjac said:

I just did a google search of "Mallory Square Key West". PRC is right on target about "a big draw", Mallory Square turns into a 2-4 hour sunset celebration!

It's pretty amazing if you've never experienced it! 

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Lelms  - I don't know what your interests are, but we don't like hanging out in bars either and don't like shopping.  We went to the Hemingway House and had a wonderful time.  It was so fascinating and honestly the highlight of my visit there.  We weren't on a cruse so I don't know how far it is from the port but nothing is too far.  We also rented scooters and zoomed around.

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Hemingway tour was great...if you get the red headed tour guide, he will have you in stitches. You can purchase the trolley tour once you get off the ship and it will take you around to several stops. You can get on and off as many time as you like...there's always one 15 minutes behind. It also stops at the southernmost point in the U.S.

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I'd spend at least a couple hours walking around.

Looks like you're there 10am-6pm.  When you get off the ship, head down Caroline Street and get something to eat:

  • Pepe's if you want Breakfast
  • Schooner Wharf often has live music
  • Half Shell if you just want to sit by the docks with some decent seafood
  • B.Os fish wagon if you want conch fritters, onion rings, hot dogs or just about anything fried.  Don't let the appearance fool you, this place is a gem!

From there, walk off the food by heading back the way you came and turning left down Duval.  There are some interesting shops and museums between the T-shirt sellers and slushy-rum-thing spots.  If you hang a right on Olivia (about a mile down) you'll walk past the Hemingway house.  I've never done the tour, but have been wanting to--time just got away from us the last few times.

You can backtrack to Duval or hang a right on Whitehead to get to Mallory square and back towards the ship (there's more stuff to see on Duval, but there are a few neat spots on Whitehead).

Overall, skip the ship-sponsored tours, I wouldn't bother with the trolley if you don't mind walking a 2 mile loop at a leisurely pace.  I also would skip the Southernmost Point, it's just a big concrete buoy with a long line of people waiting to take their picture in front of it.

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