The Sunset Watersports Party Cat - getting ready for our Key West sunset dinner cruise
Is there any better way to enjoy a fabulous Key West sunset than from the deck of a ship dancing to calypso music? It’s at the top of my list of fun things to do in Key West. On a beautiful tropical evening, my trusty husband with a camera, Jefe, and I headed over to the Key West Historic Seaport for Sunset Watersports' Key West Sunset Calypso Dinner Cruise.
If you haven’t visited the Historic Seaport yet, be sure to leave extra time before or after your sunset cruise to explore this funky part of old Key West. You can follow the boardwalk around the harbor and admire the boats, watch pelicans posing for the camera, and soak up the local flavor. With a multitude of gift shops, restaurants and bars, there is something for everyone’s taste and budget. Don’t forget one of Key West’s favorite pastimes - the great people watching!
Soon it is time for us to board the Party Cat, Sunset Watersports’ state-of-the-art 65 foot Gold Coast power catamaran, for our 2 hour adventure. We head to the top deck to fully enjoy the amazing view and balmy weather. If you prefer, the large main cabin is enclosed and air conditioned with tables to sit at and look out the windows to take in the sights.
Talia greets guests with a smile and tropical Rum Runners
After a safety talk, the catamaran cruises out of the harbor and the fun begins. Party Cat has bars on both levels featuring free margaritas, rum runners, well mixed drinks, draft beer, wine, champagne, soft drinks and chilled water. Talia, our friendly bartender for the evening, serves up some delicious rum runners. If your taste runs to premium cocktails, there is a cash bar available to purchase your favorite drinks.
We listen to Frankendread play some awesome reggae tunes on his steel drums while we soak in the views on our Key West sightseeing tour. Cruising out of the Historic Seaport we pass Mallory Square, home of Key West’s Sunset Celebration. Mallory Square is packed full of people enjoying the festivities while awaiting the magical moment when the blazing orange sun disappears into the blue ocean. Perhaps we will see the elusive green flash tonight!
Frankendread delights guests with his calypso music on Party Cat’s top deck
Cruising along, we admire the big ships at the Navy Mole and look for the Civil War era Fort Zachary Taylor. Opulent Sunset Key where the rich and famous reside comes into view on the open water. We watch the pelicans, sea gulls and Magnificent Frigate birds riding the thermals high above us. Many times, dolphins and turtles will be spotted in the water although we don’t see any this evening.
Taste of the Tropics Dinner Buffet
Shortly after cruising from Key West, the dinner announcement is made and some guests head in to the buffet. Refreshing our drinks, we walk around the deck enjoying the sea breeze on this perfect Key West evening. Getting hungry, we make our way down to the air conditioned main cabin and check out the tropical food buffet. Tonight’s delectable selection includes fried fish, sweet plantains, BBQ pulled pork, BBQ chicken, shrimp pasta salad, black beans and rice, mixed veggies, mashed potatoes, and Cuban bread. Piling our plates high, we find a table and dig in to enjoy the bounty of tasty food.
Jake in action, handing out after-dinner drinks!
With the sun sinking lower in the sky, and our stomachs full, we head back to the upper deck to enjoy the main show. Passengers are dancing to Frankendread’s calypso tunes or enjoying drinks around the bar. Frankendread announces that several guests are celebrating their birthdays and soon birthday wishes and toasts are exchanged with the lucky guests. A Key West sun set cruise sure is a delightful way to celebrate one’s birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion.
Talking with Talia at the bar, I learn that one of her favorite Sunset Watersports tours is the Dolphin Snorkel trip. With only 14 guests, it’s an intimate outing on a 45 foot boat combining a reef snorkel with a cruise to the dolphins’ natural playground. This is a great combo excursion to make the most of your Key West vacation. Even better, its one of the tours offered on Sunset Watersports 2:1 Vacation Pass coupon.
Another exquisite Key West sunset in paradise
By now, the sky is blazing in fiery shades of orange, pink and red as it sinks into the Atlantic. While living in Key West for 10 years, this is a sight that never grows old. Each Key West sunset is unique - taking the time to really experience it renews our senses and reminds us of how fortunate we are to share special moments with our loved ones. Everyones’ eyes are fixed on the sublime sky. Couples share a romantic moment, glowing in the beauty of the setting sun. Drinks are raised in celebration of a perfect day in Key West. Darkness soon replaces the fading sky and now we watch the moon and stars emerge for their night-time show.
Pure Bliss in Key West
With the Party Cat returning to Key West’s Historic Seaport, its final call for guests to freshen their drinks and say good-bye to their new-found friends. Having docked, guests depart to enjoy Key West’s night-life and experience more of the best of Key West.
Take a moment to walk along 201 William Street, the same building where you check in for Sunset Watersport’s sunset cruise. Turn the corner and you will come face-to face with artist Wyland's stunning mural “Florida’s Living Reef.” Wyland uses his love of the ocean and its marine life to inspire his art. Several decades ago, Wyland started a 30 year project to paint 100 life size Whaling Walls in 100 cities worldwide. Key West’s mural is #52 in the series and provides passersby with an uplifting view into Key West’s coral reefs. While his gallery is on Duval Street, he chose to paint by the water, using the former Waterfront Market building as the canvas on which to paint his massive mural that wraps around 2 sides of the building.
Wyland was back in Key West in 2012 to restore his Whaling Wall. Many locals, including Jefe and me, stopped by to watch Wyland and his team at work. It’s amazing to watch such a world-famous artist at work on such a grand scale. Its even more amazing to learn that Wyland doesn’t charge the city for his mural. His Whaling Walls are part of his contribution to increasing public awareness for protecting and preserving the oceans and their inhabitants. Wyland’s “Florida’s Living Reef” provides a resplendent moment on which to end our superb evening.
Check-in for Calypso Sunset Dinner Cruise at 201 William Street, Key West. Check-in and boarding times vary during the year to provide you with the optimal sunset cruise.
Phone: 855-378-6386 or 305-296-2554
The Party Cat is available for your Key West destination wedding. Sunset Watersports in-house wedding planner works with you to make your dream Key West wedding come true. A one-stop planner, Sunset Watersports offers everything including photography, wedding cakes, live music, flowers, and transportation.
The Sunset Calypso Dinner Cruise is part of Sunset Watersports’ coupon offer in the Key West Vacation Pass where you buy one adult ticket and get the 2nd free. On the 2:1 coupon, Sunset Watersports goes wild and lets you choose up to 4 of their tours - save on 1,2,3 or all 4 of the following trips: Sunset Calypso Dinner Cruise, Dolphin Snorkel, 3 hour Snorkel Trip and PM Parasail. Sunset Watersports offers a wide range of Key West water sports tours, Key West boat tours, as well as private charters. For more information, visit the Sunset Watersports website.
To experience more of Key West’s best watersports, be sure to use your Key West Vacation Pass coupons to save on offers from Barefoot Billy’s Water Sports, Capt. Moe’s Lucky Fleet Charters, Danger Charters, Fury Water Adventures, Key West Eco Tours, Sebago Watersports, and Schooner Appledore.