Florida Guide > Travelling
Key West Express
On our trip to Florida at the end of December we decided we would like to see Key West. After some research we chose Key West Express ferry. As we were visiting friends in Rotonda West first, Key West Express fitted in nicely with our plans. We made our booking on the internet which was straight forward and easy to use/navigate. We printed off our Reservation Confirmation Form and as stated on that form we telephoned the number given to confirm the departure the evening before. You are asked to do this in case, for whatever reason, the ferry is not sailing.
The directions on the form were easy to follow and we were required to arrive at the boarding dock no later than one hour prior to our departure. Our leaving time was 8. 30 am and we arrived at 7. 30 am. Upon our arrival there were plenty of parking spaces and marshalls directing us to a space. Our hearts, however, did sink a little when we saw the queue for tickets but we soon cheered up as when we were about to join the long line of travellers we were asked if we have pre-booked. We enthusiastically said we had and were given our tickets straight away and told to proceed for boarding. A short walk from the ticket office and we were approaching as what I can only describe as a mammoth ship. – awesome. We were greeted in the usual friendly enthusiastic manner and helped on board. By helped I mean a hand was offered to steady you as there was a small rise and fall ramp which, if you were carrying heavy luggage, as some people were, it could have made you a little unsteady. We were one of the first people to board and once inside we quickly found a suitable seat and settled ourselves and safely secured our small amount of luggage. The ship had 3 decks. There were plenty of seats. Some reclining seats like airline seats and some with tables. We chose to sit on a table with six seats. Not long after we had sat down an announcement came for everyone to “shuffle across” seats. It soon became apparent that this was going to be a busy ship and all seats were needed. We were soon joined by 4 Americans and the conversation soon started to flow. There were plenty of television screens about the ship and a film was shown once the ship was on its way. There were subtitles accompanying the film.
The bars offered a large variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and the snack bar offered a small choice of food. You could only use cash on board. The toilets were clean and tidy and the crew were polite and obliging. The general feel of the ship was one of looked after and ready to serve.
For the return journey we were asked to take our tickets to the dock and be presented with a number. This was done to facilitate a first to arrive first to board arrangement for getting on the ship, which worked quite well.
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