Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to bring?
- Bait, fishing license, and tackle are all provided for you on the boat. So all you need to bring is a cooler with any drinks and snacks you want on board.
What is your cancellation policy?
- We ask for at least a 24 hour notice, but if you could let us know as soon as you do, we will be able to provide that empty spot for someone else!
What do you catch?
- Typically we are bottom fishing. Our most popular fish is the Red Snapper of course, but we also catch Grouper and Trigger. Occasionally we get a Cobia, Mackeral, and Amberjack as well. Check out our 'What We Catch' link at the bottom of the page to get a description of each fish we catch on the water!
Will I get sea-sick?
- If you are prone to motion sickness, we suggest that you take either Ginger tablets or Dramamine. It helps if you take some the night before and then first thing in the morning when you wake up with oatmeal for breakfast. Make sure you eat something for breakfast as well so that your stomach is settled before you go out!
Is there a bathroom?
- The America II is equipped with 2 bathrooms as well as an indoor air-conditioned cabin.
Is there a child rate?
- We are the cheapest 4-hour fishing trip in town, so everyone is the same rate. Our mates are on board to help your child if they need it, and the kids are also welcome to help the captain drive the boat back in to port.
What if I don't want to fish, but I want to go out on the boat with my family?
- You will still need to pay the $59 price and the $5 fuel surcharge since you are going on a 4-hour cruise. We do have a large upper deck that is great for laying out as well as the ideal place for taking pictures of your family while they real in the big catch!
Do we get to keep what we catch?
- As long as it meets regulations, you will get to keep what you catch if you want. The mates on board will be able to let you know once you reel your fish in.
How far do you go out?
- We go off-shore 8 to 15 miles and bottom fish in the Gulf of Mexico.
What is the difference between inshore and offshore fishing?
- Inshore fishing is bay fishing. Primarily they fish for speckled trout, red fish, catfish, and flounder. Offshore fishing takes you 8-12 miles offshore into the Gulf and bottom fish at a reef. Primarily the fish are snapper, grouper, and trigger. Inshore trips are on a 6-passenger boat with more personal time with the captain, while offshore trips are on a larger boat with many more people.
How much is it to get the fish cleaned?
- It is 30 cents per whole pound fish. The mates will filet the fish for you and put them in a plastic bag for you to easily carry it away.
Do I need to bring a cooler to put my fish in?
- Most people use the cooler they bring for drinks during the trip. By the end of the trip, the cooler is empty, and the fish fit great in there!
How far out do we go?
- The America II travels 8-15 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico so we can bottom fish.
Dolphin and Nature Cruise
Are we guaranteed to see dolphins?
- Dolphins are wild animals, but our captain does communicate with other boats to help locate where the dolphin are for the day so that we can view them from a distance.
Do we get to swim with the dolphin?
- This is a dolphin cruise, so you will not be able to get in the water with the dolphin. Keep in mind that these are wild animals, and we are only viewing them in their natural habitat.
Do I have to pay for my baby to ride?
- Infants 1 year old and younger are free to ride. However, they are required to bring an infant-size lifejacket to wear on the boat. The smallest size lifejacket we have for use is the 30 pound child size.
Can I bring a cooler?
- You are welcome to bring a cooler with any drinks and snacks you want on board. Adult beverages are welcome, but are preferred to be in a can or cup and not a glass bottle.
What if the weather is bad?
- We always try to work around the weather. It is not your fault if it storms on the day that you have reserved, but we do try to help you get on a cruise if you would like to reschedule before you head home. Since there is always a possibility for bad weather, we do suggest that you make your reservations early in your vacation so that you have more flexibility with the weather.
Can we feed the dolphin?
- Dolphin are wild animals and we are only observing them in their natural habitat. Feeding wild dolphin can cause them to forget how to hunt, and we are not here to disrupt their natural instincts. It is also against the law to feed any of the wildlife in our area.
How long is the cruise?
-The cruise lasts two hours and is full of nature and wildlife. Our most popular cruise is at sunset so it also sets a romantic and pleasant backdrop of the area.
Where do we go?
- We go where the dolphin are. Our captains communicate with other captains who have been out that day, and are able to let us know where the dolphin have been seen that day. If the Gulf is calm, we will venture out through the pass and enjoy the Gulf waters, however, we do not wish to get anyone sick for any reason. If it is too rough, we stay in the back bay and enjoy the wildlife that is found in Perdido Bay and Wolf Bay along the intercoastal.
Is there air-conditioning?
- Yes, the America II does provide a large indoor, air-conditioned cabin with plenty of room for sitting. There are also two restrooms on board.
How long is the cruise?
- The cruise is about 2 hours long and it is full of fun games and entertainment!
Will we see dolphins?
- Sometimes we see dolphins, but we are primarily an entertainment cruise. We do take time throughout the cruise to look for wildlife and look at the scenery.
What is included in the trip?
- Mates are on board and provide facepainting for any who would like to 'be a pirate', as well as a paper pirate hat. There are guns on the boat that are for use only during the cruise, but will be turned back in at the conculsion of your trip. The kids will find gold on the boat and use it to 'purchase' the complimentary drinks (free) about halfway through the ride. After drinks are served, the boat will participate in a limbo contest, and all who are willing and able are welcome to participate! Just before the ship gets back to port, a treasure chest will be presented and the kids will get to choose a treasure to take home and enjoy!
Where do we go?
- If the Gulf is calm enough, the American Star will cruise along the beaches of Orange Beach, Perdido Beach, and Gulf Shores. On the days where the seas are too rough to venture out of Perdido Pass, we will set sail in the back bays of the area for a more protected cruise.
What age group is this trip good for?
- The Pirate Ship Adventure is fun for kids of all ages! However, we are very kid-friendly, and it is a good cruise for the whole family.
Do we need to wear lifejackets?
- Children 8 years old and younger are required by the Alabama Marine Police to wear a lifejacket at all times while on board a vessel. If you have your own lifejacket, feel free to bring your own. We have them available for kids 30 pounds and up. Infants who are free are required to wear them as well and you need to bring an infant-size lifejacket that will fit them. We do not have lifejackets available here that will fit your infant! Adults are not required to wear lifejackets while on the boat, there are safety vests located in the cabin that will be distributed to you if necessary.
Are there group discounts?
- The only group discount we offer is if you would like to rent the group for a private trip. This discount is good if you have a group of 35 or more. The boat can hold 65 passengers, and we constantly fill up trips, so we are not able to offer discounts for groups smaller than 35. However, we do provide a $3 off coupon on our website that will take $3 off of each person in your group. You only need one coupon for each party, and it applies for each person in your group.
Do we need to dress up?
- You are more than welcome to dress up if you like! Our mates will be in full pirate attire, and welcome any little mates who want to participate in the pirate dress. For those who are already on vacation before finding out about us, we provide facepainting and a paper pirate hat on board. We also sell various pirate gear in our dock store!
Is there shade on the boat?
- The American Star is modeled after the original Pinta and Nina that sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. It is an all-wooden boat, and there is a cabin on board which will provide some shading if necessary.
Will I get sea-sick?
- Our adventure is designed to entertain you. Occasionally we do venture into the Gulf, however, we will not go if it is too rough. The bay areas are always calm, and since we are on a large 65 ft vessel, she handles the water fairly well. There are periods where we will rock for a brief time, so if you are extremely prone to motion sickness, then it would not hurt to take some as a precautionary measure, but we do not think it is necessary.
Is the boat wheelchair and stroller accessible?
- We use a ramp to board our passengers, and there are a few stairs that need to be used in order to get down on the boat. Typically we have carried wheelchairs and strollers onto the boat, and it has never been a problem.
Is there a bathroom on the boat?
- There is a single restroom on board if you need to go while out on the cruise. Keep in mind that it is a marine toilet, and no paper products need to go down the toilet when you flush. There is a wastebacket in the bathroom for you to dispose of such papers.
Does my infant count as a person?
- Yes! Even though your one and under is free, we still need to include them in our count on the boat. Our Pirate Ship can only carry 65 people, and infants, even if held, count as people.
Is fuel included in the cost?
- We send you off full, and when you get back, we fill you up with gas. You only pay for what you use, and the cost is just $3.75 per gallon.
Are lifejackets provided?
- We have lifejackets for everyone 30 pounds and heavier. Any infants under 30 pounds need to have their own lifejacket brought with them to wear. Kids 8 and under are required by law to wear lifejackets while on a boat. Please let us know if you want wearable lifejackets for any of your children over 8 years of age.
What are the times available for half day and full day rentals?
- A full day rental includes a full 8 hours out on the water. All boats need to be returned by 6pm, so the latest time to pick up your boat is 10am for a full day rental. Anytime before 10am is also good to pick up your full day boat. Keep in mind that you need to have your captains here at least 30 minutes early to complete their paperwork so that we can get you out for your full 8 hours. Our half day rentals are broken up into morning and afternoon times. Afternoon times are anytime between 12.30pm and 2pm for pickup and returned in 4 hours. And the morning times the boats can be picked up anytime before 10am and returned in 4 hours.
What is the difference between luxury and standard boats?
- Our luxury boats are newer boats. All boats are in good condition, however, but the luxury versions are only a year old. The 19 foot luxury pontoon has a lounging chair in the front as opposed to a couch on the side. Our 21 foot and 23 foot luxury boats have the couches all along the side and front of the boat, so there is a lot more room for sitting.
Can you fish on the boat?
- We prefer that you fish on our 19 foot standard pontoons. They are set up for fishing with the swivel chairs in the front as well as a livewell underneath the couch. If you would like to fish, you do need to have a temporary fishing license which you can purchase online (http://www.OutdoorAlabama.com/licenses) or over the phone (1-888-848-6887).
Will the pontoon be able to pull a tube?
- The boats can pull a tube, just keep in mind that you are on a pontoon boat, and it will not pull a tube in the same manor that a speedboat will. Our 19 foot standard pontoon, and 21 foot luxury pontoon are set up to pull the tube with a pull bar. The 23 foot pontoon is more of a cruising boat, but can pull a tube on the cleat if you so desire.
Where will we be able to go with our boat?
- You can take your boat anywhere in the bay area. The only place you are not allowed to go is under the bridge, into the pass, and out into the Gulf. We sell a map here for $10 which we will go over with you before you go out if you do not wish to purchase it.
Do you rent runabouts or speedboats?
- We only rent pontoon boats and jet skiis. If you are looking for a faster boat, I recommend you rent one of our jet skiis!
Can an 18 year old drive the boat?
- As long as your 18 year old has a valid driver's license that is not suspended in any state, they can drive the boat.
Does the boat have a cd player?
- All of the boats have an auxillery outlet for an iPod, however only our standard boats have the cd player with the stereo.
Is there an age or weight limit to parasail?
- You need to be at least 4 years old to parasail. The weight limit depends on the wind that day, and the captain on board will be able to help you with that information once you are on the boat.
How long is the ride?
- You are on the boat for about an hour and a half and in the air for about 10-15 minutes.
How many can fly at once?
- We can fly one, two, or three people at one time depending on the weight and the wind.
Can we bring a camera?
- Yes, but we do sell photo packages as well. If you find it too difficult to take your own pictures while out on the boat, you are welcome to upgrade to a photo package and pay for it once you get back.
Is there a photo package?
- Yes! We have a telephoto lense and take high quality pictures! Our mates will take anywhere from 30-40 pictures of your flight, and you will keep the 1GB SD card at the conclusion of your trip.
Do I have to pay for my baby to ride on the boat?
- Yes, we do not recommend that you bring infants on our parasail boat, it can be rough for infants to ride in the boat out in the Gulf.
Jet Ski and SeaDoo Rentals
How big are your jet skiis?
- We have 3-seater jet skiis, but we recommend due to the weight limit, that it is best for 2 adults and one small child at most for the weight. The more weight you put on the jet ski, the more likely it is that the ski will flip over and all people will fall off.
How old do you need to be to drive a jet ski?
- At 16 you can drive on your own ski with a parent out on another ski with you. At 21, you are good to go alone.
What do I need to rent one?
- All you need is a valid driver's license and a major credit card that we can hold as a damage deposit.
Is there anything that I need to bring?
- There are no timers on our jet skiis, so you need to bring a way to tell time. If you do not have a watch, we sell them in our dock store here.
Where can I go on my jet ski?
- Anywhere in the bay. The only place you are not allowed to ride is in the Gulf. If you are found going under the bridge, out into the Pass, and into the Gulf, you will be escorted back to the marina and you will not get a refund.
Is there an age restriction to ride?
- Any age can ride. It is up to the parent to decide.