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“Worth a stop, Eagle Tour staff could be more accommodating” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Connecticut River Museum

Connecticut River Museum
67 Main Street, Essex, CT 06426
860-767-8269
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Ranked #2 of 12 things to do in Essex
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: The museum covers the maritime history of the Connecticut River Valley.
Connecticut
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Worth a stop, Eagle Tour staff could be more accommodating”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

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.

Visited February 2013
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85 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Bellevue, WA
Top Contributor
189 reviews 189 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
205 helpful votes 205 helpful votes
“Interesting snapshot of Essex history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

This is a very quaint museum. The Connecticut River is 410 miles long and the museum presents stories and pictures of the communities along its banks. The staircase going up three flights has a painting of the river with photos of the area, too. The museum also focuses on the trade over the centuries as well as the battle against theBritish of 1814.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Interesting museum with more to it than you would think!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

We were with family that lived in the area and they were able to get a 1/2 price pass from their library for us to use. This was interesting, had three floors of things to see and as you walked up the stairs from floor to floor had a 'map' mural along the wall, very cool! There is an elevator if you can't do the stairs too. This would not be for small children but if you or your older kids find this sort of thing interesting, its a nice side trip for an hour or two. It is walking distance from the small town area that is very pleasant and had some shops and a deli to order food to go. It was a relaxing stop.

Visited September 2012
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Branford, Connecticut, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“a bit of cts maritime history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

right on the ct. river. Excellent history of maritime working men. well presented and easily understood

Visited July 2012
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Plainville, Connecticut
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Good stuff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

If you want to kill an hour or two and love "The River", this is the place to go.....Take the kids too!!!

Visited August 2012
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