My husband Jeff and I travelled to Venice, Italy in 2009 and one of the activities that we wished we'd done but didn't was hire a gondolier to ride us around the Grand Canal. But it was so overpriced and we were travelling on a "budget". What a bummer. We thought we'd never get the chance to enjoy a gondola cruise unless of course we returned to Italy on a more ample budget. Boy was I wrong! We were enjoying an evening at Loew's Coronado Bay Resort for my birthday last week and we decided to book a nighttime gondola cruise of the Coronado Cays.
We booked a private, 50-minute cruise for 2 at 10:30pm with Enrico as our gondolier. Words cannot express how romantic and peaceful it was, just floating through the calm waters of the cays. It was such a wonderful experience. The views were beautiful. What a way to see this side of the bay.
If you want you can bring your own beverage of choice - they will uncork and provide all of the glassware and hardware. You can also choose between chocolate covered strawberries or an hors d'oeuvre plate. We chose the strawberries, hands down. The gondolas were in great condition. The company provides you with a nice, cozy blanket (just in case) and for those who want to enjoy a more subdued ride with less conversation and more ambience, there's authentic Italian melodies playing in the background.
Enrico was, in a word, fantastic! He was amiable, talkative if you wanted him to be but insightful enough to know when to be quiet to allow folks to enjoy a romantic ride if they wanted one. He wore traditional Italian gondolier attire to help make the experience even more authentic. What a pro! I understand not all gondoliers through this company bless you with the gift of song but Enrico serenaded us with two songs, one of which was the most beautiful rendition of the happy birthday song I've ever heard in Italian. He also sang a lovely Bocelli. It made our cruise absolutely perfect.
And guess what? This excellent experience cost $85 total. What a steal! In Italy, I believe the going rate for a 40-minute nighttime gondola cruise is about $125. Yikes!
The folks at the Gondola Company were all terrific and very pleasant to work with. By all means, if you're travelling to San Diego (or live in the area, like us, and just need a staycation) book a gondola cruise for a unique, one-of-a-kind experience!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.