Blu Q offers two trips per day during most months of the year; however, during the off season & slower months, we may only offer one; so please check our availability calendar. The morning trip is usually a snorkel trip or a snorkel combo trip including kayaking. It's a half day trip of approximately 5 hours and includes all the gear, lunch and beverages. The afternoon trip is a two hour sunset trip with a harbor tour and includes beer, wine, sodas. Many of our guests enjoy doing a day trip on one day and a sunset trip on another. A full list our trips is found on the website and also on our real time booking calendar.
The morning trip is typically at 10:30am (November thru April) and 11am (May thru October). The sunset sail departure time varies throughout the year from as early as 4:30 p.m. in the fall and winter months to 6:30 p.m. during the summer. The best way to plan your trip is to go to our website and click on "Boarding Times".
Blu Q is a licensed USCG vessel with a max occupancy of 37 passengers. As a matter of practice by the owner, Blu Q usually books a maximum of 20 persons per day trip and occasionally will book a sold out sunset trip. However, most day trips average, in season, from 10 to 15 passengers and sunset trips about the same. The point being, we intentionally and carefully manage the number of bookings and don't overcrowd the boat so you'll have the best quality experience possible.
We need a minimum number of people required to do a trip. Usually, that's 4 to 6 persons. We've found that most of our passengers prefer a group of people to mix and mingle with. Making new friends is a great part of each trip on Blu Q. So, it's our practice to have at least 6 people aboard. (See the next question below). We never want to disappoint anyone, so it's very important for our customers to realize that we cater to a smaller and select clientele base. Given that, during the slow times of the year, it's best to plan ahead, be as flexible as possible & if you book in advance on our website, try and allow in your schedule a secondary day just in case.
Most of our customers prefer to go with several other people. However, sometimes, in the real world, we don't get enough reservations to have our minimum number. It's important for our customers to realize that we are the only boat that offers "gay only" trips; so we don't have the demand of the other boats. We also realize, that you might want or need to go on the original date scheduled. So, we will call you at the phone number you provided as soon as possible. If you can't reschedule to another trip or just don't want to, then you have the option of paying a "guaranteed-to-go" price which is equivalent to our minimum number X the seat price. I.E., if the minimum for a sunset is 6 persons and the seat price is 45 per person, then you could pay $270 for the trip total. The same applies to the day trip. The minimum is 5 persons X 89 per seat for a total of $445. That's still much cheaper than a private trip and you get to go.
We operate year round. That said, some months are slower than others due to seasonal tourist travel trends and weather. Our busiest time of year begins around Feb. 12th and continues to increase through the summer months, peaking in July. August is a great month as well. Holiday weekends are always very busy and advance reservations are recommended. We now have an "on line real time calendar" for your planning and booking. September tends to begin the "wind down" into the fall. December is quiet, except for Christmas and New Years. January and early February are typically among the slower months of the year for water sports. However, there are always great opportunities to get out and enjoy the water throughout the year in Key West. The main thing I recommend to everyone: plan ahead and give yourself an alternate day for your activity with us if possible in case of weather or seasonal demand.
People ask when the best time of week to book.... the answer is, I don't have a clue anymore..... it can be busy during the week and not as much on the weekend and vice versa. If you can figure this out for me, you can get a free trip! Just plan and book ahead of time thru our on line calendar. It helps us better plan our trips successfully. Give yourself an alternate date. I can not say this enough!!!!!!!
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Blu Q is located conveniently in the Key West Bight Historic Seaport (main address is 201 William Street). Walk to the end of William Street. William Street ends at the Marina. Look for the Rainbow Flag flying proudly on the mast of Blu Q. The marina is walking distance from just about anywhere in Old Town. There plenty of pay parking, however, I generally recommend walking, or biking or mopeds. And of course, there's taxi service too. Due to the convenience of our location, we do not offer transit or pick up services. Click Here for Blu Q Location Map (printable jpeg).
Even if you have never snorkeled before or cannot swim, our experienced crew will show you how to use the equipment and give one on one instruction. Our First Mate also accompanies you in the water to assist you and show you the amazing aquatic life. Snorkeling is basically a floating sport. You use your feet to propel you thru the water with the fins provided. If you're not a swimmer, no problem, we give you a floatation device to assist you. Additionally, the salt water makes you incredibly buoyant, unlike a fresh water lake or pool. Once you've tried it, and start experiencing all the incredible underwater sights, you'll forget you don't know how to swim.
Captain Steve decided many years ago when he began his charter business, that the key ingredient for a fun filled day on the water was the ease of doing it. So, Blu Q provides everything for your outing. The day trip includes all the equipment you'll need for the activity, including beverages, lunch and even cookies for dessert. All you need to bring are personal affects such as tanning lotion, towels and anything else you want to make your day more enjoyable. A note on tanning/sunscreen lotions: please do not bring any "oil based" lotion. It makes the decks of the boat extremely slippery and unsafe. Also, the spray aerosols just do not work outside in the wind and tend to get on just about everything except you! So, the old fashioned lotion in a bottle applied by hand is still the best and most affective; also the most economical. You should bring a swimsuit for the public areas we visit. Sunglasses are a must too. The sunset trips include all beverages, free beer, wine and sangria. If you used our easy advance reservation feature on our website, you only need money for tipping the crew (they'll work very hard to make your day the best). You're welcome to bring a camera too.
So here's a list to help you plan your day:
Are the trips clothing optional?
The day trips allow passengers to tan "as you like". We visit a lot of different places in order to give you the best possible experience for the activities involved. Sometimes, this will take us in an area frequented by other boats. When that happens, we obviously have to abide by public nudity laws. Away from the crowds and when underway and in isolated areas, we allow our passengers to sun as they like at their discretion. Will everyone on the boat be naked? Probably not, but it's always different. The main thing we try to do is allow everyone to be free to be themselves, enjoy the outdoors and be comfortable whether clothed or not.
Will I get seasick?
Seasickness is no fun for anyone. But, it doesn't have to happen and rarely does. We do a lot to prevent it. First, a sailing catamaran is one of the most stable of all boats and doesn't lean over or tilt. Secondly, our crew makes every effort to take you to the best waters with the calmest conditions for snorkeling and kayaking. Of course, we like a little adventure sailing at times, but we are very conservative and knowledgeable about the local weather and sea conditions. Now for your part: don't be hung over! Get a goods nights rest and have a moderate breakfast in the morning. If you've been susceptible to any type of motion sickness in the past, then it's not a bad idea to take an OTC remedy or a doctors prescription ahead of time (usually 2 hours before).
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What's the mix of the group like on the boat?
I get this question a lot. Will I be the only single guy on the boat? Over many years, I've seen Key West change from one extreme to another. But one thing remains constant: the diversity of it's people and visitors. I have so many wonderful customers from so many different walks of life. Many different ages from young to old. Single, couples and every once in a while a "threesome". It doesn't matter whether you're old or young, single or married, shy or friendly, fat or thin, muscle guy or bear, you can't help but fit in with the wonderful people that frequent Blu Q. Our crew is pretty darn friendly too. If you don't fit in, it's because you don't want to. Over the years, we've found many of our customers met other great people on Blu Q and have gone on to be long time friends and yes, even got "hitched up" too!
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Tell me about the boat: size, amenities and facilities on board.
Blu Q is a USCG certified passenger vessel for up to 37 passengers. It's 42 feet long and a beam of 26 ft. Blu Q is an incredible sailing vessel that has reached speeds of up to 18 knots under sail, but is also power driven by Honda outboards in the event of a calm day. We never overcrowd the boat, so there's always plenty of room to stretch out on day trips. There are two restrooms (heads) on board, a fresh water shower and plenty of sunning area. Plenty of shade is provided by a large bimini canvas top with plenty of seating and a great Bose surround sound system with plenty of stylish music to entertain you.
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Can I charter the boat for a private sail?
Blu Q's daily trips are sold by the seat at a price that gives you the amenities of a private trip without the crowds at a price that is value oriented. If you have a special occasion for a group of friends, we can certainly do that as well. We are certified for up to 37 passengers, but can accommodate smaller groups at extremely reasonable rates. Birthday celebrations, Anniversaries, Commitment Ceremonies; whatever your event, we can put it together for you and make it memorable. Contact us with your plans and we'll put together a great trip at a great price. CONTACT US for a PRIVATE CHARTER QUOTE
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What does the name Blu Q mean?
A lot of thought went into the name. And there's a lot of speculation what it means, especially the Q! But the name really is a way of expressing the essence of what we do. The blue waters and blue sky are the inspiration of our trips. The Q: well, we love to keep you guessing. But we would like to think it stands for quintessential; the ultimate experience on the water.
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What happens if I book on line and pay in advance and the trip is cancelled?
Our reservation and cancellation policy is outlined on our reservation page where you book the trips. Basically, if we cancel a trip for whatever reason, then you get a full refund. If you don't show up, sorry; you forfeit the money. Now, if there are serious extenuating circumstances, we will be happy to extend another day to you so you can go with a gift certificate. Please read our cancellation policy. Also, if we have to cancel a trip due to weather or insufficient number of people to make our minimum, we give you the option to go another day. We always recommend having an alternate day for this type of activity.
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What's your cancellation policy?
Cancellations less than 7 days of the trip date are not eligible for refunds. 7 days or more may be assessed a 20% processing fee & refunded within 14 days of notice. Notices must be done by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cancellations by us, due to weather, lack of sufficient number of persons or other problems beyond our control, will be due 100% refund. We will notify you via the phone number you provide. We may need to make changes to the trip schedule, without notice, due to conditions that might affect safety, comfort or seasonal demand.
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We retain information as required by law and for credit card companies and USCG (which governs passenger vessels). We do not release information without your permission to anyone unless required by law.
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Who do I contact if I booked a trip on line and need to cancel?
Our reservation cancellation policy can be viewed on our reservation booking page. You have to agree to it to book a trip on line. According to the policy, you need to contact us by emailing us at email@example.com . We do not accept cancellations for "on line bookings" over the phone. We also offer you the choice of a "gift certificate" at full face value for trips in the future should you need to cancel the scheduled trip for extenuating emergency circumstances beyond your control. Our goal is to try and accommodate you and get you out on the water for the "Best Day of Your Vacation".
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Can I bring my straight friend or family member with me on a trip?
Most of our day trips are men only primarily because we allow clothing optional tanning. However, we are starting to incorporate into our schedule, as demand dictates, during peak times of the year, a mixed day trip (check our on line calendar for availability). The sunset trips are predominately gay, and we welcome your gay friendly friends/family members. In other words, we are "straight friendly".
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If you still have a question that we didn't answer above, please contact us.