A few weeks ago we started planning our getaway. I didn’t want to leave our great State without seeing what all the fuss was about down in the Keys. Reservations at Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina were made and I was counting down the days until we would be sitting by the beach… relaxing!
Let me start by saying that your opinion of Sunshine Key is going to vary greatly based upon a few factors:
- Location of your site
- Other visitors
Location, Location, Location:
The Premium sites were located on the edge/waterfront of the island. Some of these sites had a water view, others did not. We were fortunate enough to have a waterfront site with a (haha) private beach. I laugh because we constantly had other guests at our beach but I couldn’t tell them “no” when the other sites were so terrible.
If I were not in a Premium site I would have been miserable for the entire week! I have no idea how the people stuck in the middle of the island enjoyed themselves at all. They had no view and it looked like a desert! If I were staying in one of those spots I would be spending a LOT of time away from the resort or on a boat because they didn’t have anything good to write home about!
The weekenders were there to party and party they did! We enjoyed loud Latin music for much of Easter weekend. The arguing in Spanish at 3 a.m. was fantastic. I couldn’t understand a word but the wife was VERY upset!
Once everyone left on Sunday the week was peaceful and quiet. We were able to enjoy our beach and the company of a few great neighbors.
If you have the opportunity to visit the Keys and you wish to forgo the party lifestyle, go during the week. Sunday through Thursday was wonderful. Once everyone arrived on Friday afternoon – we were feeling a little cramped.
Mother Nature Hates Us:
The weather during our visit was wonderful…. until Thursday night. The entire campground flooded! We retreated to our pull behind utility trailer a hour before the water started to rise. We spent most of the following day in hopes that the sun would dry everything out… but it didn’t. The water stunk so bad that we started to wonder if the sewage from the RV sites were backing up into the puddles. It smelled terrible and our RV neighbors had to be pumped out two times in ONE day!
The employees offered no assistance to us or anyone else.
The following is a picture of our campsite under water:
Maintenance and Upkeep:
The island was beautiful but poorly taken care of. If we had stayed for the entire duration of our reservation I had planned an island cleanup with the kids for an early Earth Day activity. The trails near our site were as though bags of trash were thrown about. The trash cans were never dumped. Only the dumpsters were removed daily and I think this was because the workers we able to drive around with a recreation vehicle to take it away for dumping.
The housekeeping crew was wonderful and the bathrooms were always very clean. They had a little trouble keeping the restrooms stocked with toiletries over the busy Easter weekend but otherwise was fantastic! These employees do their job and don’t cut corners!
$2.00 per load for washers / $0.25 for 7 minutes in large dryers, 10 minutes in small dryers
There are several top loading washers available. They took a really long time to fill with water and many guest would bring in a water hose from outside to fill the washer’s with if they were in a hurry. Several of the dryer doors did not close properly.
I checked out other laundry mats in the surrounding Keys and the price was double outside of the Resort. I recommend you pack enough to not need laundry services during your stay.
They do allow pets and don’t enforce any sort of breed restrictions or weight requirements. Many of the guests with “little” pets didn’t clean-up after their dogs but what can you do? I can only hope that these guest don’t ruin the relaxed pet policy for other’s with their lack of respect for the rules.
The wifi service here is sketchy… at best. If you have a specific reason to be online prior to noon, the McDonald’s in Marathon Key will be your new hangout! I think the only day I was able to access wifi service before noon was when I stayed up almost all night and never lost my connection on my laptop… everyone else in our family wasn’t able to connect, but I was able to maintain a connection that morning. I realize this doesn’t make any sense, as it didn’t make any sense to us either, but that is how it was.
There were days when I needed to get work done that I felt a little like Robin Williams in RV… walking around the RV park with my laptop begging for service. I even went inside the office lounge to see if I could connect to the office wifi… no luck there either.
Is not done here with a smile! I have no idea where the employees of the office came from but none of them were very helpful. They always seemed like the guest were bothering their “busy” day. While I was hanging around trying to connect to the wifi one afternoon someone came in and asked about restaurants… instead of responding politely, the employee pointed to a binder with menus on the table. She never even looked up from her desk.
Later in my visit I heard the same employee tell a caller to “hold on a sec.” The appropriate way to request someone hold is to say “would you mind holding please?”… “hold on a sec” should never be used in an office… in any office.
The Friday after the storm I went to the office to rent ping pong equipment as we were trying to avoid the mess that was our campsite. When I was asked what site I was in I responded with “402, you know, the one that is completely under water with a river in front of it…(smile)” There was no “tone” in my voice, it was said in a joking manner (although some acknowledgement of the situation would have been nice)… she looked at me like I had two heads, never showed an ounce of sympathy, and walked away without saying a word… (classy).
Overall, I found the mannerisms of the employees to be cold and disrespectful of others. After the storm the grounds keepers would drive by on their golf carts and quickly turn around and leave once we spotted them while we were trying to cleanup. It was as though we had a disease…. it was called work and they wanted no part of it!
Checking Out Early!
On the second day of having a completely flooded site with no assistance from the employees and staff of the park, we left. The morning of our departure I went to the office and explained that we would be leaving early BECAUSE our site was flooded but that I was letting them know so they could prepared the necessary paperwork since it was significantly early. I was told “Well, you have all week to pack up so whenever you get done… no rush!”
Still not an ounce of concern from a single employee – I came to the conclusion that they simply didn’t care and left knowing that I had made my situation known and they could have cared less.
Didn’t I Check Out?
I called Thousand Trails to find out if we would be receiving credit for not staying at Sunshine Key for the entire duration of our reservation they said that Sunshine Key still had us in the system as being “checked in”.
When I called Sunshine Key and spoke with an employee over the phone she said… and I had to laugh… “Oh my gosh! Your site flooded and no one offered to move you! Wow, we are SOOO not like that here!”…. [Oh.. but you were! You ARE sooo like that dear! ]
And to top it off, she refused to check me out of the system so we could make further reservations. I had to call corporate back and have them call Sunshine Key to pull us from the system. Thankfully they were able to get somewhere with the employees because I certainly wasn’t!
*Disclosure: Our stay at Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina was included in our paid membership to Thousand Trails. I was not compensated for this review and was under no obligation to perform a review. All opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the owner or managing company.