Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters

Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters

Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
At Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters it is easier than ever to interact with marine species of all shapes in sizes in environments that closely mimic those found naturally in the Florida Keys. Our primary attractions revolve around our unique Aquarium Encounters. Our hands-on encounters immerse our visitors in the heart of the action and allow them to get up close and personal with 50+ species of tropical fish, rays, and sharks! If you're not looking to get in the water, our facility still boasts many activities sure to thrill and excite guests of all ages! Stop by Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters today and immerse yourself in the Magic of the Ocean and the native marine environment of the Florida Keys.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,122 reviews
Excellent
821
Very good
197
Average
70
Poor
22
Terrible
12

Finn O
Jersey, UK7 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
I am basing this review on two things, firstly of the actual experience and one of the desk workers, this review is of the experience, the experience was incredible, to be able to snorkel with such incredible fish, feed them, and even pet the rays was incredible, then to feed huge sharks was out of this world, the man who we snorkeled with us was very knowledgeable, very patient and very kind. All the staff ( not sure of their title) who fed/ cared for the animals etc, were very kind and wanted to grow our understanding of Florida wildlife, a man even told us about all the invasive reptiles of Florida and managed to find and show some to us, the food was what you would expect, we were greeted by many wild iguanas during it, which was amazing, they had free tours every hour, and was just very inclusive in a very kind atmosphere. Now I’m not the person to normally buy photos that companies take for you, but I just thought how incredible this experience was so I had to, so I ordered photos of everyone in our family feeding the sharks and a few more, I paid for them and off we went, it had been two days, no photos sent, as I was staying only 10 mins away I went back and asked about the photos, they said they haven’t got round to it and they’d do it that day, a day goes, no email, driving past so I go in again, they said they’d re-send, then two days later nothing, so I go back up and ask again and told them that was ridiculous, they ask if they’ve got the right email and get they’re ‘photo sender’ to show me my email, this person clearly did not have an understanding of how to send emails, shows me my email and they spelt yahoo with 3 o’s, I’m sorry but if your job is to send emails how do you not know how to spell yahoo, and it wasn’t like I mis spelt it, they did! also it wasn’t as if the park was over whelmed, each time I went about the pictures the car park was almost empty, this person did not apologize and acted if it wasn’t their fault. So anyway, everyone makes mistakes I thought, so I accepted it, they finally sent the emails and they only sent 4 of the 6 or 7 photos we selected, I know it sounds like I’m going on a bit, but if they had just sent the wrong number of pictures originally I’d be fine with that and be accepting, but the fact I went there 4 times to get one email sent of a few photos which weren’t even all the ones I chose is just ridiculous.

If aquarium encounters get in touch and send me the pictures I will happily take this review down and put up a 5 star one, again the park is incredible I recommend it but the service…
Written 26 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Finn O, We are glad that you enjoyed your experience; however we are also saddened that you had such issues with your photos. Let me assure you that is not typical. Please email marketing@floridakeysaquariumencounters and we will ensure that you get the correct photos ASAP. Sincerely, FKAE Management
Written 8 September 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MICHAEL A B
2 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
Great experience with our grandchildren who loved touching the raise and other sea creatures. Sure we will be back again and again.
Written 13 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Fun in Fl Keys, Thank you so much for your review! We are thrilled that you and your grandchildren enjoyed your experience at our facility and plan to come back! This is the perfect time to consider a membership. Members enjoy unlimited admission for an entire year, 10% discounts at our snack bar and gift shop, and 25% off of the Coral Reef Snorkel and Stingray Cove encounters. If you purchase memberships during our September member drive, each membership also comes with a free encounter of your choice up to $130 value. We hope to see you and your family again soon! Sincerely, FKAE Management
Written 8 September 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mby1day
Orlando, FL40 contributions
Aug 2022
They had 5 different interactive tanks. Very clean place. Everyone is nice and knowledgeable. I stuck my hand in one tank that was 39°, that was 4 days ago and I'm still cold!
Written 8 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Mby1day, Thank you so much for your review! We are so glad that you enjoyed your visit to our facility! Our friendly, knowledgeable staff love teaching guests about our animals almost as much as they love the animals themselves. Sticking your hand into our giant isopod touch tank is a great way to cool down on a hot day! The conditions of their tank mimics the icy cold deep sea floor habitat in which they live. We hope to see you again on your next visit to the Keys! FKAE Management
Written 23 August 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Heather T
2 contributions
Jul 2022
Great value for all ages. We go to this place every year we visit the keys with kids in tow. They LOVE it! Great staff!
Written 31 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear heathertJ2358EM, Thank you so much for your review! We are thrilled that you love our facility so much that you return each year! Our aquarium is a great place to visit, whether or not you have kids in tow. Young and old alike delight in our friendly stingrays, various interactive touch tanks, and feeding opportunities. We can't wait to see you and your little ones again on your next visit! FKAE Management
Written 15 August 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

NandaDevi
33 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
The stingray experience was phenomenal!!! Myself and three teen girls!!! Top top top rated. Buy the $15 photo package in advance. The rays are like begging dogs! It was far beyond our dreams. The big rays give hugs and the little ones give kisses “suck on your suit” LOL!!! Highly recommend!
Written 30 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear 289devih, Thank you so much for your review! We are beyond thrilled that you had such a wonderful experience. Our mission is to help our guests immerse themselves in the magic of the ocean, and it makes our day when we see reviews like this! Our gentle gliders are without doubt some of the most charming beings you will ever meet, and getting right into our Stingray Cove for a guided encounter with one of our biologists is the best way to get to know them. It's truly a bucket list experience! Thanks again and we hope to see you again on your next visit to the beautiful Florida Keys! FKAE Management
Written 4 August 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Erin N
Chicago, IL64 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
We loved our visit here. Our daughter enjoyed seeing all the animals but her favorite part was feeding the turtles and sting rays. This is a great place and all the staff were kind and had lots of interesting information to share.
Written 26 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Erin N, Thank you so much for your review! We are thrilled that you and your family enjoyed your visit to our park! Feeding our charming turtles and stingrays are always a hit with guests, especially little ones. Our friendly staff are always happy to answer questions and share their knowledge of our unique local marine species. With five touch tanks, eight feeding opportunities, and hourly tours and presentations, Aquarium Encounters is a fun and educational place to bring the family for an hour or a day. We hope to see you again soon! FKAE Management
Written 4 August 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Melanie L
345 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
Enjoyed all the touch tanks and being able to feed so many kinds of animals. The staff was extremely knowledgeable and did a great job talking about the different animals. Unless you are doing an up close encounter, you will be done in about 2 hoursWe enjoyed it and recommend it!
Written 26 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear melanielB9677NK, Thank you for your review! Our aquarium is a wonderful, fun and educational place to spend some time, whether you are just looking for a place to stretch your legs between Key West and the mainland or a way to spend a day. We have five separate touch tanks, eight different feeding options, and beautiful exhibits as well as the opportunity to take part in one of our encounters which include getting right into our coral reef or stingray cove tank, petting and feeding an adult nurse shark, or helping us feed our juvenile stingrays. We hope to see you again soon! FKAE Management
Written 2 August 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chris Gordon
Hudson, FL31 contributions
Jul 2022
This was a very unique aquarium. Most of the exhibits were outdoors in a natural habitat area. It's very small, but I loved it! Many different animals and fish. Very cool place!
Written 25 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Beachninchick, Thank you for your review! We are happy that you enjoyed your visit to our aquarium. While our footprint may not be large, we do pack a lot into it! Guests can interact with stingrays both large and small, assorted tidepool creatures, and even giant isopods in our five touch tanks. We offer eight different feeding opportunities as well as hourly presentations by our knowledgeable marine biologists. Guided tours are included in admission and guests also have the opportunity to take part in one of our encounters, which get you right into one of our exhibits and really up-close and personal with our animals! We hope to see you again soon! FKAE Management
Written 2 August 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Robin T
1 contribution
Jul 2022
WARNING...DO NOT BUY TICKETS ONLINE!

I purchased three "deep dive" encounter tickets online, when I arrived at the aquarium I was greeting by a friendly ticket agent, she retrieved my ticket and presented me with waivers to sign. As I was in the middle of filling out the forms a middle aged ticket agent arrived, she demanded we provide our "numbers!" I asked "what numbers?" Tracey, an agitated middle aged woman began speaking in an aggressive manner at me demanding I pay an extra $300 on top of the almost $500 I paid for the "encounter." Tracey proceeded to explain to me, at the top of her voice that "no one UNCERTIFIED can sign up and pay for a ticket online."

I'm confused at this point because I am not certified and I absolutely signed up and paid online, the software did not ask me for a "certification number" or the "certification number" of my children. I was absolutely allowed to continue with the payment online without providing a "number" or any prompts or "stops" that asked me about my diving experience or that prevented the aquarium from taking my $500 payment. Tracey rudely and in front of the entire aquarium scolded me, embarrassed me, degraded me, and gave me inaccurate information pertaining to the system "allowing an uncertified diver" to sign up and pay online.

Tracey demands NO-ONE uncertified can buy a "dive encounter" online... WRONG... their software is lacking and did allow me to buy three dive tickets online without being certified.

Traceys remarks to me concerning "only certified divers can by tickets online" begs the question "why would a certified diver go to a child's aquarium to dive in 20 feet of water in a glass bowl? but I digress...

I was willing to pay the additional $300, however, Tracey's behaviour was so deplorable that I couldn't get a word in nevermind getting clarification on how I signed up for the "encounter" without being certified. I did not ask for any type of refund and was ready just to forego my $500 and just do the tour; yet Tracey continued scolding and degraded me at the counter for at least 10 minutes, I asked her to lower her voice but she only became more irate and irritated with me. When I decided not to take part in the medically acceptable lower cost "snorkeling encounter" (again without asking for any type of refund) Tracey said to me "just because you don't like me doesn't mean you should not take part, that's just a shame a shame" which she repeated several times to me. REALLY Tracey!?! Tracey was so rude I still can't believe I dropped over $650 at this place and was treated with such indifference.

I did not ask for my money back all I wanted was for Tracey to lower her voice and explain the situation to me. After reflecting on the experience I believe Tracey is the "guard dog" and is there to react to customers who paid a large fee unwittingly online and then are confused when presented with this additional large "medical fee" at the time of the event.

The aquarium is small and largely lacking, the food counter "had to reboot their cash register" so they could not take my order, (though later I was able to place an order and received undercooked food) the photo's were lacking and of poor quality.
Written 21 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear robinT6815EE We are sorry to hear that your experience with us was not all you had hoped it would be, and would like to clear up any misunderstanding. First off, the only way to purchase the dive encounter online is to click the "certified dive" option. While there is no way to prevent anyone who is not certified from clicking that option, the description specifically states, "Must be certified, if you do not have your certification card we can look your certification information up." So, while technically a non-certified diver can purchase that encounter, it is based upon the purchaser's statement that they are certified. This is why we require proof of certification upon arrival. Meanwhile, under the "noncertified dive" option next to the certified dive option, the website does not allow online purchase but instead states, "Call 305-407-3262 To Book This Encounter." This is because we are prohibited from allowing non-certified divers to use regulated air without first satisfactorily completing a medical questionnaire. Here is the link to the coral reef encounter purchasing page so you can see for yourself: https://floridakeysaquariumencounters.com/encounters/coral-reef-encounters/ Secondly, the price of $130 for the dive option is for certified divers. The price is $230 for non-certified divers, as stated on the web page linked above. There is no "additional large medical fee". Tracey was charging the difference between the certified diver price that you paid and the non-certified diver price you needed to pay. Please feel free to call us at 305-407-3262 if you would like to discuss any personnel issues. As for the "Child's Aquarium to dive in a 20ft water in a glass bowl", our aquarium is designed for all ages, whether they are certified or non-certified. In our 100,000 gallon salt water tank, you can feed many different species of fish, our cow nose rays and then through an acrylic window feed a shark, eel or grouper. which your family participated in. It is unfortunate that you did not. To anyone reading this, if you decide to participate in an encounter and you may have questions about any encounter, please give us a call at 305-407-3262 and our "FRIENDLY GUEST SERVICE REPRESENTATIVES" will be more than happy to assist you! FKAE Management
Written 24 July 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

IdanBer
Herzliya, Israel31 contributions
Jul 2022
Great experience for entire family, playing and feeding Stingrays, fish, lobsters, and turtles.
Really unique creatures, different sharks and amazing aquariums.
Crew was explaining everything and provided good service to all.
Written 18 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear IdanBer, Thank you so much for your review! We are very happy that you enjoyed your visit with us! Guests of all ages love interacting with our stingrays, tide pool invertebrates, and giant isopods. Feeding our turtles and tortoises is a delightful experience, and sparking a feeding frenzy with our tarpon and jacks in our lagoon is always a hit! Our 200,000 gallon coral reef/predator reef system is filled with over 2,000 fish representing 50 different species, and it is easy to lose track of time watching the beautiful fish. With five touch tanks, eight different feeding options, and educational tours and presentations throughout the day, our park is an excellent place to spend an hour or a day! Our friendly staff members love to share their knowledge of our unique marine life with our guests. We hope to see you again! FKAE Management
Written 25 July 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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FLORIDA KEYS AQUARIUM ENCOUNTERS (Marathon) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters

Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 2 Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters tours on Tripadvisor