Disastrous Relationship with Dinner Key Marina, Biscayne Bay, Miami, AICW Statute Mile 1095
If the customer service in most places in Miami is subpar, then the service at Dinner Key Marina is absolute garbage. The kind of service that makes you immediately regret having moved to Miami (and I speak fluent Spanish). The kind of service that forces you to set aside ample time to sit down and write a juicy, one star review just like the one that you are about to read. So you do not mistake this review for one coming from a non-credible source, I should probably mention that I am a USCG licensed Captain (50 ton Master) and a Cambridge engineering graduate with 20 years of boating experience. Also for the record, I have never really written a review before, but this nightmare could not have gone unpublished. Here is the sequence of events:
1. I signed a one year contract with the marina for a commercial slip in August of 2014. The plan was to run charters to small groups of elite guests aboard my 41-foot Maxum. Having endured a 3-hour long trip down from Fort Lauderdale, my father and I finally pulled into our allocated slip. The very next morning, we were rudely woken by a bunch of goons banging on the fiberglass, asking why we had parked there. They had chained the boat to the seawall. I kindly replied that I had signed a one year contract for that spot. They later unchained the boat and barely made an apology. That is Dinner Key Marina’s idea of a welcome, apparently.
2. One week following my arrival, I drove up to Orlando for a few days. There, the local police came knocking on my door announcing that they had found a boat registered to my name up on a beach in Fort Pierce (about 125 miles north of Miami). Long story short, a ring of drug smugglers stole my 41 Maxum from Dinner Key Marina. I still wonder if it was not someone from the marina who tipped off my absence. It took 3 months of investigations by the USCG, DEA, and the local Sheriff’s department, and an additional 3 months of quoting repairs before I recouped the money from the insurance company (the boat was declared a total loss). Dinner Key Marina did not help out with anything and did not even express their sympathies for what had happened. I later suggested that they install a camera to monitor that pier (Pier 9) and they really could not have cared less.
3. I returned to the marina with a new Concept 36. Why do you ask? Because none of the other 30 odd marinas in Miami had availability for commercial vessels. I should also mention that although Dinner Key Marina welcomes commercial vessels, they are not zoned for commercial use. I found that out following a visit to the City Hall trying to get my zoning permit. So technically, everyone there operating commercially is illegal. The operations lady at the Dinner Key Marina, Maria Busto, one of the most impolite, ill-intentioned, dysfunctional individuals I have ever had the displeasure to meet, had promised me following the theft of the 41 Maxum, that she would give me priority on my original slip. Sure enough, when I returned to the marina with the Concept 36, she had given it away to somebody else and left me with a slip amidst a bunch of shrimping boats. Just for the record, all of the frustrating experiences delineated above were delivered almost exclusively by her, Maria Busto. Do not waste even a second of your time with her. Talk directly to Stephen Bogner, the manager, anytime you need assistance. I found this out too late. He is of great character and although he does not have much control over what goes on in his marina, he means well.
4. My dad fell ill in early 2016 and I was forced to move back to Orlando to tend to him. I terminated my contract with Dinner Key Marina under this premise. My dad just passed away from heart failure at the age of 55. Even knowing about these circumstances, it took Dinner Key Marina nearly 4 months to refund my deposit. E-mails went unanswered almost every time. Every time I called in, no one was around even during business hours. Simply unbelievable.
5. Summarizing, this was the worst experience I have had with any company in my entire life. I failed to mention the countless times I had to fend off people trying to steal my stuff at the dock (and they did), obnoxious fishermen tossing garbage around and having to pick up after them, birds crapping shrimp guts all over my boat, vandalism, and daily encounters with ill-tempered employees of the marina (with a few exceptions, including Renato, an awesome security guy). Come here at your own peril. This place is a disaster. It will drain you emotionally and ruin your life!
Alexander N Endlein
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