Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to the Lagoon Pontoon FAQ’s! Here you can find the answers to most of our commonly asked questions. We look forward to helping you make amazing memories during your next Panama City Beach Vacation!
Am I required to have a “Boaters Education Certificate to operate a boat or jet ski?
Drivers/operators born after 1/1/1988 are required to have a “Boaters Education Certificate” to operate a boat or jet ski. Click here to take the course online and earn your certification today.
What do the State of Florida Boat Operator Regulations say?
Florida law requires that anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 who drives Jet Ski Rentals in Panama City, to have a picture I.D. in their possession AND a boater safety certificate, issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. If you would like to receive a temporary boater’s certificate, you can take the test at our Marina. Please arrive 30 min. prior to your tour time to take the boaters safety course or go online & take it at: http://myfwc.com/boating/safety-education/courses/ please call our office if you have any questions, (850) 588-8700.
Do I need a fishing license?
If you plan on fishing and are over 16, you will need a Florida fishing license. You may obtain a Florida fishing license online at Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or any tackle store. Children under 16 do not need a license.
Booking & Cancellations
What is the cancellation policy?
If you cancel at least 24 hours before your arrival date then you will receive a 100% refund. If the weather is severe and we determine that you cannot go out on the day you are scheduled, then you will also receive a full refund. If there is any need to change dates or times, please give our office a call as soon as you foresee a problem so that we can reschedule you. As long as you have given us sufficient notice there will be no charge for rescheduling.
What if we need to cancel or someone in our group doesn’t show up?
If anyone in your group needs to cancel please call the office, we must be notified 24 hours prior to receive a refund. If you or anyone in your group does not show up you will not receive a refund and will not be eligible to reschedule.
The weather Is getting rough, what do I do?
If it seems a storm is approaching, the crew and office staff keep watch on the radar and discuss options. If you are nervous about inclement weather you can cancel and reschedule at any time, but cancelling is usually a last minute decision. It is highly recommended that you let the Lagoon Pontoon management make the call. If cancelled due to bad weather you will have the opportunity to cancel, reschedule, or receive a refund.
Dolphins & Other Wildlife
Do you guarantee dolphins?
The Gulf Coast is one of the best places in the world to see bottle-nosed dolphins in their natural habitat but of course they are wild animals & there can be NO guarantees. That being said, it is very likely that you will have an up close encounter with these beautiful animals. We suggest that you take a look at some of our previous customer’s reviews so you know what to expect. You won’t be disappointed.
What are the attractions of renting a pontoon?
The best things to do in Panama City are truly out on the water & renting a pontoon boat is a fantastic way to experience what Panama City Beach has to offer. Here are some of the things that you can do while on your pontoon boat rental:
• Visit the beautiful un-inhabited Shell Island
• Snorkel the shallow grass flats & the rock Jetties
• Encounter friendly dolphins
• Fishing is always fun
• Find your own private beach
• Hunt for sand dollars, starfish, a variety of crabs & lots of other sea creatures.
• Just sit back and cruise the bay.
• Our Double Decker Party Barges have 2 slides for twice the fun!
You’re the Captain so “go with the flow” and do as much or as little as you like. Whatever you decide, you won’t regret your time on the water. Our pontoons are the newest & cleanest on the beach & they are just as popular with the locals as they are for our visiting guests for all of the reasons mentioned above.
Do I need previous boating experience to operate a pontoon?
No. Pontoons are easy & safe to operate even if you don’t have experience & our bays are very easy to navigate. We will give you a thorough orientation, which includes operation of the boats controls, a map to guide you through local waters & we will make you aware of any laws or regulations that apply to you. If you can tell left from right you can be taught to operate a pontoon in our waters. If you would like, you can even watch a quick overview of pontoon boat operation!
How many people can your pontoon boats hold?
Bring the whole gang! All of our pontoon boats can hold up to 12 people which makes them a great way for your entire group to spend the day together. If you have more than 12 people, consider getting two boats, the Double Decker Pontoon also only holds 12 people.
Do we need to bring out own life jackets for the kids?
No. We will supply life vests for everyone including children and infants.
What’s the minimum age for renting a pontoon boat?
You must be 18 to legally rent any watercraft in Florida. Any age can go along for the ride.
What’s included in your pontoon boat rentals?
All of our boats are fully equipped with USCG safety equipment, retractable Bimini tops for shade if you want, anchors, customized swim ladders and plenty of storage under the seats. We also include a map of the area and helpful tips to make your day on the water as care free as possible. Gas is also included in your pontoon rental.
What should we bring?
Depends on what you want to do. Some suggestions include:
• Beach toys
• Coolers loaded with your favorite beverages
• Snorkel gear
• Fishing gear
• Beach chairs
Can we pull a tube or skis behind the pontoon boats?
No, we do not allow anything to be pulled behind the pontoon boats or the jet skis.
What if I’m not sure which day to rent a pontoon boat?
We understand that you want to fit everything into your vacation & that weather doesn’t always work in your favor. You should know that pontoon boat rentals are one of the most popular attractions in Panama City Beach so we encourage you to book as early as possible but if inclement weather hits you will be given priority for rescheduling to ensure you don’t miss out on this activity.
What is a tritoon boat?
Like a pontoon, a tritoon has large aluminum tubes underneath the deck that help it stay afloat. The difference is that a tritoon has a third tube that is in the center and helps distribute weight making it even more stable than a regular pontoon. It can also go faster and hold more people!
How many types of boats do you have to rent out?
How long can I rent a boat for?
We have half-day rentals (4.5 hours) and full-day rentals (9 hours) available. Hours can vary during the off season.
Jet Ski Rentals
How old do you have to be to operate a jet ski?
On unguided rentals, the operator must be at least 18 years of age or older.
Is a jet ski the same thing as a wave runner?
Pretty much. Some people call them Wave Runners others Jet Skis. It’s basically like the difference between a Honda & a Toyota. We use new, top of the line Yamaha Wave Runner vx110s. They are fast and comfortable for up to 3 passengers or 400lb.
What if we’ve never been on a Wave Runner before?
Then you’ve been missing out on some exciting action! You don’t have to be an expert, or even experienced to take our Wave Runner tours. We’ll supply you with all the instruction you need to have to operate these machines safely. It’s easy, simple & did I mention, an absolute blast!
What can I bring?
The Wave Runners do have plenty of storage but anything you take risk the possibility of getting wet. We recommend a waterproof camera & a mask for swimming. We sell both here at the marina.
Jet Ski Dolphin Adventure Tours
How old do you have to be to operate a Jet Ski on the guided tour?
We require that you must be at least 16yrs of age to operate a Jet Ski on our tours & 18 to rent the machine.
Will we get to see Shell Island during the guided tour?
Our guide can show you the best spots of this pristine uninhabited paradise and you can take as much time as you’d like to explore and search for souvenir seashells to bring home. We can stop to snorkel the coastal shallows, play with the dolphins or whatever else you want to do as well.
Will we see dolphins on the Jet Ski tours?
99% of the time our guides will get you up close and personal with our famous friendly dolphins. Our experienced guides know their favorite spots, & where they can be found. Of course, they are wild creatures so we can’t absolutely guarantee an encounter on the tour but Panama City Beach is home to one of the largest dolphin populations in the world. It’s almost certain you’ll run into at least a few while out on the tour.
How fast can we go?
Our Jet Ski Tours are fast paced and if you want to go wide open you will have that opportunity but for those who want to go a little slower we can accommodate you as well. Whatever your thrill or skill level you will have a blast on this Jet Ski Adventure!
Do we drive our own Wave Runner?
Yes. This is a guided tour but the tour guide will ride his own jet ski & you will ride your own.
Are the prices per person or per Jet Ski?
Prices are per machine. You can ride 2 or possibly 3 on each Jet Ski depending on weight.
How old to be a passenger on Jet Ski?
That’s primarily up to the parent, but 5 or older is usually the best advice. The tour is fast paced & passengers may be in for a wet bouncy ride. After all, this is a Shell Island, Jet Ski Adventure Tour!
Dolphin Boat Snorkeling Trips
What will we do?
Each trip is customized for that group but some of the highlights may include.
• Exploring the beautiful Shell Island
• Great chance to get up close & personal with friendly dolphins in the wild.
• Snorkel the grass flats & the Jetty rocks. (Customized to accommodate any skill level.)
• Stop at our Captains secret Sand dollar hole.
• Find a secluded spot on the Island to do some shelling.
Our Captains can help with suggestions and they know all of the best “secret” locations and will tailor your cruise to the enjoyment of your group.
How many people can go?
Each boat can accommodate up to six people but we can take multiple boats to accommodate bigger groups. We keep our groups small to allow for a closer, more personalized dolphin experience. Don’t cut yourself short by packing on a boat with 100 other people. Our boats are shaded, equipped with nice swim ladders, have comfortable seating and are designed for this specific activity.
Who can go?
All ages are welcome & all ages will have a blast on this tour. Sorry, no wheelchairs due to the nature of these tours.
What do we need to bring?
We provide the snorkeling gear so don’t worry about that but you will definitely want a record of this trip, so bring a camera! Also bring a towel. We keep a cooler of ice on board so you are also welcome to bring along your favorite beverage.
The weather Is getting rough, what do I do?
If it seems a storm is approaching, the crew and office staff keep watch on the radar and discuss options. If you are nervous about inclement weather you can cancel and reschedule at any time, but cancelling the cruise is usually a last minute decision. It is highly recommended that you let the Lagoon Pontoon / Island Time management make the call. If a trip is cancelled due to bad weather you will have the opportunity to cancel, reschedule, or be refunded.
Where can I find out more information about the Panama City Beach Catamaran Sailing Tours?
Visit islandtimesailing.com for the most up-to-date information and booking available. The Island Time is THE best catamaran sailing tour in Panama City Beach and always gets rave reviews!