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Friday, June 5, 2015

One Family Reveals the Real Clear Lounge Experience

clear lounge underwater oxygen bar

Clear Lounge — The world’s 1st underwater oxygen bar has been getting a lot of buzz, and it is not just the O2! Since it’s launch in April at Puerta Maya in Cozumel Mexico, Clear Lounge has been all over social media, news, and blogs with a lot of shares, likes and comments.

The comments have ranged from excited pledges to participate during upcoming vacations, to disdainful jokes about how boring it must be, and even disbelief that Clear Lounge is even real!

This week Sub Sea Systems reveals the firsthand account of one family that participated in Clear Lounge — and by the way… it is REAL!

The Murphy Family visits Clear Lounge

My name is Andrea Murphy. I am the social media and web designer for Sub Sea Systems. I also write this blog. I was inspired to write about my personal experience with Clear Lounge when going through social media posts and comments. I was really surprised to see that some people thought Clear Lounge looked like a boring thing to do, (I think it looks amazing) but I have also actually experienced the Clear Lounge, and I personally know how exhilarating, entertaining, and truly fun it is.

My husband (Sean Murphy), my 8-year-old daughter (Katie Murphy) and I were able to be some of the first participants to enter the Clear Lounge before it was shipped to Cozumel. My Son (Finn Murphy) watched us play in the 13,000-gallon aquarium, and begged to go in (he is only 5, and the age requirement is 8).

Clear Lounge employs an easy-to-use helmet diving system called “Sea TREK®” which enables guests to walk around and breathe in the underwater lounge. Sea TREK is so simple that nearly anyone can do it – non-swimmers, glasses and contact lens wearers, and even those who want to avoid getting their hair or make-up wet!

Hannah Mayfield (Sub Sea Systems’ Director of Marketing and an experienced Sea TREKKER) explained how the experience would work. She showed us the proper hand signals, and made sure Katie was listening and understood what to do. Katie does not know how to swim; in fact she does not even like to put her head underwater (she had a traumatic experience at the beach when she was 4). I was very surprised that she wanted to try Clear Lounge, and I was apprehensive; I did not think she would go through with it, but I was happy she wanted to try.

Hannah entered the Clear Lounge first, and then Sean. I stood by while Jim Mayfield (President and CEO of Sub Sea Systems) lowered the helmet carefully onto Katie’s shoulders. I grabbed Finn’s hand and quickly headed down the stairs to the front of the aquarium, so I could watch and get pictures of Katie. As I hurried away I noticed the look of panic on Katie’s face– I hoped that Hannah, Jim and Sean could coax her down. I raced down to the front so that could get at least one picture. By the time I got to the bottom Katie was walking around in the tank with a huge smile on her face. She kept waving and smiling, and writing messages on the magnetic message boards. Smiley faces, “This is so cool!” and “I like this!” were some of her messages.

8 year old says hello to little brother from inside clear lounge

Finn and I watched while Sean and Katie played underwater Jenga and shot the bubble guns. Katie even wrote a message to Finn, and placed her hand against the inside of the acrylic while he placed his hand on the outside.

When it was my turn to go, I realized my heart was pounding– I was nervous! I had to tell myself,  “If my 8 year old can do it, I can do it!” As I climbed down the ladder into the aquarium, the helmet was lowered onto my shoulders and the water level around me began to rise. I felt a little fear. It was confusing because my brain told me I should hold my breath, but my body could still breathe normally. At the bottom of the ladder Hannah used the “OK” signal to check on me. I was still feeling a little weird. Hannah mimed taking deep breaths, and I followed her instructions. After I took about 2 deep breaths, my fear vanished — YES, I can breathe even while underwater! I began to notice things other than my panic. The citrus scent I had selected subtly blew into the Sea TREK helmet, and the cool breeze from the airflow supplied me with oxygen.

sea trek in clear lounge hi to the outside world

I turned around to view my environment and find my little Katie. It was so beautiful and surreal. The lights and bubbles sparkled all different colors. The crystal clear acrylic gave me a view of my husband and son watching us from outside. I walked toward Katie and noticed how amazing it felt to walk on the bottom. It was like bouncing, being weightless, floating and walking at the same time. Katie began to shoot me with the bubble gun. It was exhilarating to watch and feel the torrential bubbles burst apart against the acrylic lens of my helmet. I grabbed the other bubble gun and started firing back at Katie. I could see her giggle even though I could not hear it. Then we walked over to the photo booth and posed together with fun props. I even held my hand up to the acrylic so Finn could mirror my hand from the outside. Before I knew it, it was time to get out.

While I waited at the top of the ladder, Hannah had to convince Katie it was time to get out. She kept writing messages, “I don’t want to go!” and “Just a little longer.”

When she finally reached the surface she was grinning from ear to ear.  “That was so cool, Mom!” she said.

When I asked her what she thought of the experience she said,  “At first I was afraid, but then I got used to it and I was not afraid anymore. I was unsure about how heavy the helmet would be, but I was happy because the ball float made it lighter for me.”

“When I was underwater it felt like I was in the air, like I was flying, because there’s not as much gravity in the water,” explained Katie.

8 year old does sea trek in clear lounge with props

Katie expressed that she really enjoyed walking around, and her favorite part was shooting me (her Mom) with the bubble gun. Of course! She loved the peppermint scent, and the lips and glasses photo booth props. She recommends her friends try Clear Lounge, and says she can’t wait to do it again.

sea trek in clear lounge with props

My husband, Sean, said that he loved the feeling of weightlessness and the beauty of being in the clear water. He wishes he had tried bouncing around!

Finn (my 5-year-old son) says, “It was really cool! I want to do it so I can stay underwater with an air helmet because I can’t hold my breath that long!”

I am pretty sure the oxygen gave us all a second wind that night, but maybe it was just the excitement of the Clear Lounge — although, Finn went to bed early — Hmmm?

Clear Lounge was a hit with my family (to Finn’s chagrin he will have to wait 3 more years before he can participate), so for anyone who thinks this might be boring, think again. This was one of the most exciting, distinctive, unconventional activities that I have ever tried. This is a bucket list item you did not even know you needed to check off your list.

For more information on Clear Lounge please visit 
If you’re ready to check the experience off your bucket list, you can make a reservation today through: