14 Feb Crazy vs Calm: Miami Boat Tours
Boat tours are around every corner in Florida, but your ride can vary greatly from one boat to another, even when you are exploring the same area. The Star Island and Fisher Island areas in Miami’s Biscayne Bay, are popular spots for obvious reasons–the island’s residents have consisted of celebrities such as Rosie O’Donnell, Gloria Estefan, Shaquille O’Neal, P. Diddy and so many others.
Micah and I have been on two Miami boat tours; we went on the Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventure with his mom and stepdad, and I went on the Millionaire’s Row Cruise with my mom and aunt about a month later. I am amazed that I enjoyed not only one, but both of the tours, as I really wasn’t expecting the entertaining experience we had on either of them. Both tours chartered roughly the same area around Star Island and Fisher Island, but they couldn’t have been more different.…
Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventure:
After boarding the power catamaran and taking a short speedy ride through Biscayne Bay we slowed near the bay islands for a closer look at the homes of the famous. The captains were funny and upbeat and humor was a large part of the commentary. Once we were done searching for stars, the highlight of the trip began. We sped out into the ocean and started flying through the waves at speeds of up to 55 mph. I was laughing so hard because I could hardly see due to the water splashing up in my face. Tip: if you want to stay dry, do not sit along the outside of the boat. This is the only Biscayne Bay boat tour that gets you out into the ocean for a high speed jaunt. It was an exhilarating 45 minutes, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Millionaire’s Row Cruise:
This ride is much more relaxed, but every bit as enjoyable. I wasn’t too thrilled to be taking another boat tour of the same area in such a close time span, but thankfully, the ride on the Island Queen was very different. It was a bright sunny day and we lucked out by snagging front row seats in the bow of the boat. After a leisurely ride through the bay, we arrived at Fisher Island and Millionaire’s Row, the main attractions of this boat ride. We followed a similar path as the speed boat tour, but I was surprised to hear some conflicting information! The guide on this boat told us a couple different stories than the guides on the previous tour. It was interesting to hear the differences, but I never did learn which of their stories were correct. I also had a chance to play tour guide to my mom and aunt, telling them details of the properties that were not mentioned in the Island Queen’s commentary. It was fun to share facts that I learned on the previous tour. Since this boat is much larger and slower, the ride around the bay and back took 90 minutes, and before we knew it, we were heading back to the docks. Even though I got a sunburn, I still had a great time on the sunny spin around the bay. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of the Island Queen, but it is a much larger boat than the Thriller–holding up to 140 passengers, the Island Queen has a covered open-air deck and an air-conditioned enclosed deck as well.
If you want to spend some time on the water in search of celebrities, both of these rides will provide you with a fun way to accomplish that task. Just remember to bring your sunscreen!
The Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventure is $35 for adults and $22 for children under 12, but you can save $3 per person by making online reservations. There are 5-7 tours a day depending on the season.
The Millionaire’s Row Tours are $24 for adults and $19 for children, and there are 10 tours offered on three different boats throughout the day.