This was not a good experience for us at all. Locating the gondola was very very difficult for us since we were very unfamiliar with the area. We could find nowhere to park once we figured out where we were headed. The gondola itself was very underwhelming and we had exhaust coming back at us. The actual trip/ride was an extremely short distance, west from the Andrews bridge to the Avenue of the Arts//7th Avenue bridge where we turned around and went back the exact same way we came. We did not travel east of the Andrews bridge. The scenery was nondescript, but we did see some awesome yachts tied up along the way. There was also two beautiful Great Dane dogs in one yard that we passed. Pretty pitiful when that was a highlight of the ride, although they were great dogs. We paid so much for this boat ride, and never before have I felt so ripped off. We should have taken a water taxi for $5 each, and probably would have seen more. I must say, however, that our gondolier was a very agreeable, nice person. She tried to help us as much as possible with directions and accommodated our tardiness. I'm just amazed at all the other highly rated reviews. I guess they came from love struck couples who were happy gazing into each other's eyes over wine. This is not a family activity, much better options. This is the first time I have ever written such a negative review, and believe me, I regret that it was such a bad experience for us. I really would have liked to have experienced a 5 star activity.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
April 22, 2013
“I never would have dreamed this review came from a woman who seemed to enjoy the ride, gave me a $30 tip, and whose kids high-fived me at the end of the ride.” Quote from Martha, the gondolier.
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I will respond to each of your negative comments numerically below:
1. Locating the gondola – When you booked the trip, we explained where the boat is, we sent you a map, we told you where to park, and called you prior to the ride to confirm.
2. Late Arrival – You called us several times for directions and arrived 40 minutes late. We are emphatic in our confirmation that you must arrive 20 minutes prior the ride. Luckily, we did not have another ride booked after yours or you would have ended up with a half hour ride. The gondolier stayed and waited to accommodate you.
3. Upon your arrival, the gondolier walked to show you where to park and then walked you to the boat, 40 minutes after the confirmed departure time.
4. Second Pick Up- When you arrived, your party was not all together and in order to accommodate you, we went out of our way and picked up your daughter and her 2 kids at another location.
5. Extremely Short Ride – Even though you were 40 minutes late, we did give you an hour and fifteen minute ride. We know the time because the Jungle Queen comes through the bridge at 6:20 and the gondolier wanted to make sure the kids saw it. This proves that it was not an extremely short ride.
6. “Went Back the exact same way we came” – We must come back the same way we went since the ride does not circle
To conclude, the fact that you feel you did not have a good experience was due to your tardiness. We did everything we could to accommodate you. The 4:30PM ride actually took 2 hours.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.