Over the past few months, I’ve found myself down in the St. Pete and Tampa Bay area frequently to visit my grandmother, so I decided it was high time that I do a dolphin sunset cruise! It was really hard to choose which one to take because there is a sunset cruise Tampa, St Pete sunset cruise, and sunset cruise clearwater beach. However, when you consider traffic and drive time, they are almost all equidistant.
I opted to go with Tropics Boat Tours because I wanted to be more into the Gulf of Mexico. When I was looking at the routes of the dolphin cruises from either Tampa, St. Pete, or Clearwater, I felt like the St. Pete and Tampa ones were only in a closed-off area of the bay. I thought that maybe the Clearwater Beach Sunset Cruise would have better views of the sun over the ocean and more dolphins!
What Will I See on a Dolphin Sunset Cruise?
For the Tropics Boat Tours, the dolphins are only guaranteed during the day cruises, not the evening cruises, although it is still possible! Once you get on board, the boat takes you around the water to point out different things!
Some of the things pointed out are celebrity houses, famous buildings bought by celebrities to be used for ~mysterious reasons~ and interesting hotels. Once out on the main water, you’ll be in prime spot to see a beautiful sunset!
What Amenities Are on the Sunset Cruise Clearwater Beach?
Worry not! Wifi is available onboard! But your phone data should also be available for at least most of the tour! I saw some people taking phone calls. Plus, maybe you don’t want to wait to post your beautiful pictures!
Snacks and Drinks
There aren’t any snacks on board, but you can get drinks! You can either buy individual drinks or a drink package. Drink packages range between $6-$14 depending on if you want soft drinks or alcohol. Bonus: Souvenir coozie! You’re not really on long enough to justify snacks anyway.
Drink packages will allow you to be able to drink during your whole cruise, so if you’re planning on drinking at least WHAT, it is probably worth it. Do be aware that everyone over the age of 21 will also get a sunset champagne toast.
There is a guide with a microphone that pops on over the speakers to alert you when anything is of interest around and to give a brief history! I didn’t feel like the guide came on too much or too little, so I think they struck a fine balance! Sometimes because of the wind, it can be a little hard to hear depending on where you are on the boat, so just be mindful of that if you’re wanting to listen!
Crisis averted! There are, in fact, restrooms onboard the ship! That is a must for me! I never like to get trapped anywhere without a bathroom! Make sure you read the directions to properly use this nautical toilet!
Is the Clearwater Beach Sunset Cruise Just about the Sunset?
I would say that the main focus is definitely the sunset. They time it out and position the boat to get the best views possible. As it is a sunset cruise and not the Dolphin Cruise (which is another option), it is more about the sunset than dolphins. However, that isn’t to say that it isn’t possible to see dolphins as well!
But since during the cruise, you are able to see other interesting natural and man-made places of interest, I wouldn’t say it’s *just* about the sunset, but that’s definitely the main draw.
Where Do I Go for my Dolphin Sunset Cruise?
Obviously, Clearwater Beach! When you get your confirmation email, you’ll get a nice list of directions and parking suggestions depending on your needs! You can take the ferry and utilize the ferry’s free parking, or the pay by spot parking just across the road. Due to time constraints, paying to park at the lot across the street was easiest. Not too expensive and convenient!
Will I Get to See Dolphins?
If you do the Dolphin Exploration Tour, you’re guaranteed to see them! So if that is a must for you, you need to do that one. It is only offered during the day at various times. The sunset one is obviously in the evening, and the dolphins are not guaranteed, but possible.
What Types of Boat Tours are Offered?
Dolphin Exploration Tour
This is the primary tour to see dolphins! The boat captain knows where the dolphins like to be and will seek them out. Since it is the dolphin tour, they do guarantee to see them. However, they obviously can’t guarantee them on that departure; the guarantee is that you can come back again to try and see them. Either way: worst-case scenario… a lovely boat ride!
Dolphin Sunset Cruise
Then there is the sunset cruise! I opted for this one myself due to time constraints on me and the fact that I like sunsets! Plus, I had heard that Florida was a good place to encounter the Green Flash. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before, but it is a brief flash of green as the sun rises or sets.
On Fridays in March, there is a Booze Cruise that sets sail at 8 pm. It’s $10 to get on board and then drinks as a la carte after that. It might be fun if that’s what you’re into!
Any Restaurant Suggestions for Afterwards?
YES, I DO! Ok, so I asked the crew where to go for dinner, and they suggested The Bait House. It was a quick walk from the boat, and it was a totally nondescript building. It didn’t look like much, but it was so good. I still fantasize about the shrimp quesadilla I had that night. But what you really need to get, is their drunken shrimp!
As a bonus, there is a bird that hangs out around the Bait House. You can ask for a fish (they put it right into your hand!!) to feed him! He will hop down and eat it!