22:06 PM

‘Local’s Choice’ Tips from Dan Cornell

Dan Cornell, who owns Cruisin’ Tikis Key Largo with wife Laurie, operates three Tiki boats that depart from Snooks Bayside Restaurant & Grand Tiki Bar and Sundowners restaurant in the Upper Keys.

The couple launched their Cruisin’ Tikis Key Largo venture in 2019 after moving to Key Largo from Ann Arbor, Michigan, three years earlier.

Cruisin’ Tikis accommodates six passengers on a Tiki and operates 90-minute daily trips and two-hour sunset journeys. Passengers can bring their own beverages and enjoy an onboard sound system while cruising calm, nearshore waters.

Cornell oversees marketing and is a mortgage broker, while Laurie manages operations.

“It’s a novelty and something different for guests to do,” Cornell said. “Many people visiting the Keys don’t ever get out on the water. We take out families and friends. On the Tikis, guests can see dolphins, manatees and many species of birds.”

The thatched-roof motorized party boats feature a middle circular seating area and can be booked for birthday parties or anniversaries; parties celebrating retirement, engagement or bachelor and bachelorette events; corporate retreats or even weddings. Two boats, each with a licensed captain, can accommodate up to 12.

Options include Tiki Fun, sunset and night cruises on motorized Tiki vessels.

The thriving business has been “real good to us,” Cornell added.

His motto: “Every cruise is important. We leave our troubles at the dock for an hour and a half.”

Where he dines: Lazy Lobster in Key Largo.

Where he explores: Everglades and the Florida Bay.

How he relaxes: Scuba diving and watching sunsets on the Tiki boat!