The tour started off well: the Key West Express bus arrived early. However, some later customers didn't turn up so we wasted half an hour waiting for them. On the way, we passed another bus (Half Price Tours) which had broken down and, since we had empty seats, we gave some of them a lift. However, later on, a tyre burst and we were delayed two hours waiting for someone to come and fix it. This was annoying but not anybody's fault . The day visitors were compensated by the guide extending the return time to give them the full stay of six hours. We were staying overnight in Key West so, whilst being annoying, it didn't really affect us. While we were waiting for the tyre to be fixed, a replacement Half-Price Tours bus arrived and picked up the 24 passengers whom we had helped out. We asked about the pick up arrangements for our return the next day and were given a phone contact to ask the following afternoon. When we phoned we were told that the bus would start boarding at 5.40 to leave at 5.45. We duly arrived in good time at 5.15. By 5.40 no Key West Express bus had turned up (although another chap was waiting for the Half-Price Tours bus). We phoned the contact again and then were told that we would be picked up by the Half-Price Tours bus with the driver Louis. Shortly afterwards, a driver came along looking for Half-Price Tours customers (he had parked his bus round the corner). He didn't seem to have a record for us but when I mentioned the phone contact and driver Louis he said it was OK. However, when we reached the bus we found that some people were standing outside saying that there was not enough room for everybody. Eventually we got on, but the driver had to leave two people behind. The bus seats were more cramped than the Key West Express and there was no guide. Moreover, we have found out subsequently that Half-Price Tours price was two-thirds that of the Key West Express, so I think we need to have some compensation for our hassle and inconvenience.
The bus picked us up in good time, although the driver was a bit uncommunicative (there was no guide). When we arrived at the Everglades, we were all unsure of what to do (the driver did not make this clear) so we just waited around. Eventually one of the rangers called our group to board an airboat. The airboat ride was great and its driver/guide was very good. The subsequent talk/demonstration by a ranger was also very good, although we hardly had any time to walk around the site before catching the return bus at 5.00. We would have preferred to have started an hour earlier to give us more time at the park.
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