It was my experience that the manatee hang out in the mangrove areas and the water was not as clear as you would think. The ones we saw were a bit difficult to see and we never did get a close up. It was absolutely fascinating, but it took forever. My kids got a little bit bored, but we also stopped at shark ray alley on the way home and they had a blast. If you combine it with something else, it't not to bad. Remember though, the manatee is a protected species and you cannot swim with them like in years past.