Being regular to the Old Saybrook/Essex area during boating season, we were members of the River Museum for several years. It's worth a quick stop if you're there. I always wondered why the museum isn't more popular. Anytime we went to visit, the front desk staff questions membership with an attitude that makes one feel unwelcome and it seems there are often events that are cancelled without notice and not properly rescheduled. After many years of having the museum's "Eagle Watch Tour" on our wish list, we decided to schedule the trip. Three times are offered: 11am, 1pm and 3pm. We were scheduled for the 1pm trip. Since we made a weekend of it and stayed at a local Inn this would give us time to get lunch prior to settling onto the boat. We were called the day before and bumped to the 11am tour. The 1pm was cancelled due to lack of bookings. An inconvenience to plans but we agreed to the 11am, as we paid for the hotel and were already en route to the area. The trip cost $40 pp. and boats only run if they have enough participation. We pulled into the museum lot at exactly 11am to see the boat leaving the dock. Being a holiday weekend, there was some traffic. I asked the woman at the front desk if she could call them back and she was extrememly snippy and uncooperative. Our 9 year old daughter was upset and crying in the car. I later noticed there was a message on my cell phone from this woman, she left the message at 11am right when we pulled into the lot. Her message was lecturing stating the boat had left and accusing us of possibly being on the boat without having paid...$120.00 for three people, a significant fee for a boat trip up the river. We were shocked at how unaccommodating this woman was. While I understand we should have been there on time or early, I certainly was not expecting that the boat Captain wouldn't wait 5 minutes so the Museum could make the $120.- for our reservation....and since they had our conatct information, why didn't they call 5 minutes before the boat left to confirm our arrival and the possibility of running a couple of minutes late rather than after the boat had already left without us. They certainly had made the effort to call the day before to bump us. When I asked if they could put us on the 3pm, we were told that boat was also cancelled. A sunny better than average day on a holiday weekend in February and only one boat at the beginning of tour season, I wonder why? Not impressed, poor communication between the museum staff and the boat Captain. We were lectured like children! Words of advice: if you decide to participate in this tour, get there early! There is zero tolerance and flexibilty for customers. When we reschedule, we'll be booking on the River Boat Eagle tour from Haddam and we'll be sure to get there early! Lesson learned.
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