Gondola Adventures, Inc.
Gondola Adventures, Inc.
4.5
About
As featured on the cover of American Way Magazine (American Airlines in-flight worldwide magazine). Romance afloat! Cruise the Newport Beach harbor in one of the most beautiful gondolas in the US. Choose from our exclusive white-canopy-covered gondolas or our authentic Venetian gondolas, imported from Venice, Italy. Elegant, classy, exclusive, romantic, and relaxing cruises for all occasions. Quite simply the best.
Newport Beach, California

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles65 reviews
Excellent
58
Very good
2
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
3

C1589PHerinm
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
So impressed was I with my Gondola adventure. On my bucket list it was, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Windy but doable, the short cruise featured excellent dining selection, stimulating knowledge and wonderful singing by Greg our Gondolier. Next time I am in Newport Beach I shall repeat my business with them.
Written May 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott G
Providence, RI101 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2011
I surprised my wife for our 15th wedding anniversary with a gondola cruise yesterday (Friday, June 3rd) at 5:45pm in the Newport harbour. The reservation process was very easy and Anne helped with all the details. My wife thought the 1 hour criuse in an original Venetian gondal was incredibly romantic and relaxing. Our gondolier, Steve, was an excellnet host, singer, and paddler. I would recommend this cruise for anyone in the Newport Beach area with their special someone. Thanks for a great time!
Written June 4, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nbkl39u
Huntington Beach, CA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2011
My wife and I have never had a "Gondola Adventure" quite like the experience we had celebrating our second wedding anniversary. From Ann in the front office helping me with every part of the reservation to Greg our gondolier. What a unique experience Greg gives you. You feel like you are the only one on the water, from dinner to the story telling to the great live singing. An excellent experience. Very helpful, genuine and nice from begging to end.Thank You
Written April 30, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mrstewa
Onalaska, WI2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2011
Waited 40 minutes for my gondolier. Never showed. Called company after 20 minutes of waiting and left a message. Got a call back 15 minutes later stating that their gondolier got sick, but if I'd wait 10 minutes someone else would be there. Obviously a lie. I had dinner, roses and chocolates ordered for the trip, nearly $400. Yet they couldn't schedule it correctly? How would someone have a full dinner ready in 10 minutes?

They told me later they fired the gondolier, but why would you do that if he was sick? This was our anniversary trip. They ruined what was suppose to be a great evening. Then on top of it all, they continued to lie to me and make excuses about what happened. If they would have told me the truth from the start, they may have kept a costumer.

They did give me a complete refund and a gift certificate for a free ride. I wouldn't use them again if they not only gave me the certificate, but also paid me.

I would never recommend them to anyone. The parking attendant also ruined the surprise. Wouldn't let me just pay for parking, he insisted on knowing why we were there.
Written February 15, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are incredibly sorry for your experience and that you left a message for us on an unstaffed voicemail instead of pressing 1 to reach someone immediately. The gondolier who didn't show up or notify us of a problem was fired that night. Everything was ready for you and the replacement gondolier lives 5 minutes away. No one ever lied to you. The food had been ordered already, the salads and desserts were waiting for pickup by our no-show gondolier, and the restaurant would have had the hot food ready in 10 minutes. We tried to contact you so the other gondolier, in uniform, could hand-deliver a $50 solid chocolate gondola, a dozen long-stemmed roses, specialty chocolates, etc. to your restaurant with our apologies. In addition to a full refund, we did deliver these to your hotel later that night, along with a certificate for a complimentary cruise so we could make up for the gondolier's error. We did everything we could to make it right. This is not the level of service that we like to provide, and our weak link has been removed. Even though we haven't heard from you, your certificate is still valid and we would appreciate the opportunity to showcase our services to you.
Written June 14, 2012
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alisha A
Irvine, CA1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Couples
I just got done listening to 2 recordings of my husband booking a gondola ride with Gondola Adventures. The reason why I have a copy of the recordings is because gondola adventures e-mailed them to my husband to prove that he was aware that all cruises and gift certificates are non-refundable.
On the recordings he spoke to a person by the name of April and Anne. April was nice and helpful, Anne spoke down to my husband and sounded frustrated during the call. I wish my husband would have never booked a gondola ride with this company but he did and there's nothing I can do about that. This was a birthday gift from my husband but I was not able to make the appointment so they gave me a gift certificate instead.
While I was in the other room my husband received a phone call from Elisa who said she was the VP of the company. The way she spoke to him was terrible, so I got on the phone...not exactly what I wanted to deal with on my birthday. After we got off the phone with Elisa it left a bad taste in my mouth. I DO NOT recommend this company if you love your family and want them to be treated with dignity and respect. Shame on you Elisa and Anne.
Anyone want a free gift certificate? I don't want anything to do with this company.
Written October 17, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are sorry you feel that you were not treated properly. Our cruises are non-refundable because we block off a gondola and a gondolier specifically for you. It is similar to theater tickets; once you’ve reserved, no one else has access to that boat and time. When Elisa first talked to your husband about canceling, he told her no one ever explained the cancelation policy to him. This was very concerning to her because all of our staff are trained to make sure the guests understand this prior to booking (to avoid situations such as this). She told him all of our calls are recorded for quality control and she would go back and listen to the recordings to make sure this had been properly done by our staff. He insisted that he was never told, so she asked him if he wanted her to send the recordings to him as well. He said he did. Sending recordings is not normally something we do – in fact we’ve never done it before – but your husband did say he wanted to hear them. What she discovered when she listened to the recordings was that in your husband’s first conversation with Anne, he specifically asked if it was refundable, and Anne advised him that it was not and that he should make sure he was able to make it and then call back to book the cruise. He did indicate that this was a surprise for you and it sounded like he wanted to make sure you had the evening available before he called back to firm up the booking. In his second conversation with April, when he did book the cruise, April again told him about the policy and he agreed. We are truly sorry your husband shared the recordings with you, because he did talk about how he wanted to surprise you because you thought he hadn’t planned anything for your birthday. We again apologize if you feel that you weren’t treated properly by any of our staff. We work hard to make sure our customers receive excellent service before, during, and after our cruises. We hope you will use the gift certificate that was graciously provided to you so that you can have a relaxing experience on the water and witness firsthand what our cruises are like, instead of forfeiting your entire cruise and giving a negative review for an attraction you’ve never experienced.
Written October 18, 2013
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Clark W
Phoenix, AZ11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Couples
I proposed to my girlfriend on a 2 hour sunset gondola ride and it could not have been better. First of all booking this was really easy. You can book online but I called because of the special occasion and spoke with Anne for over 30 minutes getting the whole thing set up. She even gave me some other ideas for romantic/fun things to do in the area. Since this was a surprise they kept everything secret from my girlfriend beforehand so as not to spoil anything. The ride itself was beautiful, romantic and relaxing and our gondolier did a fantastic job. I opted to propose using their message in a bottle option and it went off without a hitch. We ate dinner as well which was delicious. I can't say enough good things about the whole experience. For anyone looking for a romantic activity this it. We'll definitely come back the next time we're in town.
Written June 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for cruising with us, Clark. Congratulations on your engagement and best wishes for a romance-filled future together.
Written July 10, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MikeDeMilwaukee
Milwaukee, WI2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Couples
Full disclosure: I am the ultimate anti-romantic. I don't get into Valentines or Sweetest Day and feel that I show my love for my wife on a daily basis, so I don't need to go crazy with romantic gestures.

With an upcoming business trip to Newport Beach, CA; my wife was searching out interesting things to do and a friend of hers suggested Gondola Adventures. So, in my defense, my wife came up with the idea and the gondola ride from this point forward was not going to be a surprise. Likely the only surprise to her was that I actually agreed to this, as I get to ride in my buddy's fishing boat all the time; so why would I pay $135 for an hour in a canoe with some stranger along.

When I called to book details of the trip, Anne immediately realized that I was the ultimate anti-romantic. She could not believe I had already shared details of the night with my wife or that I had no interest in adding rose petals or a message in a bottle to the package. Anne was in no way pushy about it; but was definitely trying to provide suggestions for making a memorable experience.

The night of the gondola arrived and when we went to check in at the pier, as Anne had suggested, the gondola workers had no record of our booking. Checking in at their office; they also could not find us on the leger and since the manager was home for the night said they would have to call us in the morning to try to re-book. Well, when we returned to the hotel, where I had accidentally left the booking confirmation; we realized that we went to the wrong gondola pier. I had no idea there were more than one gondola companies in Newport; so when I googled directions, I must have just grabbed the first gondola company that came up.

I also left my cell phone at the hotel that night and picked it up to find multiple voicemail messages from our gondolier and Anne; worried about us and wondering what happened.

Calling Anne in the morning, I explained the situation, hoping she wouldn't just say "shove off you unromantic jerk"; since the missed trip was completely my fault and Gondola Adventures had paid a gondolier to sit on the dock for an hour+. Well, Anne was completely sympathetic and even a bit upset that the other company did not think to send us (literally) across the bay to their dock since they should have realized we might be at the wrong business.

Anne worked her magic and was able to not only rebook us for a sunset cruise two nights later, but also managed to get us their #1 gondolier (and we later learned the president of the company); Greg. Greg was incredible, offering just the right amount of humor to make us comfortable (it is a bit weird trying to feel romantic with someone standing 5 feet behind and above you the whole time) and providing an incredible a capella soundtrack to our experience. This guy lives and breathes romance and gondolas (see http://www.gondolagreg.com/). Anne also threw in the rose petal experience without telling me and free of charge, just so my wife could have one surprise for the evening.

In the end, we had an unforgettable adventure that we will tell people about for years. The views of Newport Harbor at sunset were incredible!
Written August 14, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wow Mike - what a great review! Have you ever considered being a writer? We are so glad we were able to accommodate you even with the unfortunate snafu. Perhaps this experience might graduate you from anti-romantic to neutral at least? Come back to us when you're next in town and we'll help you become a PRO :-)
Written August 20, 2012
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jokraina
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Star filled night skies. Being seranaded with Italian love songs. Finding a love letter in a bottle floating by. All of these elements make this the number one choice for an evening cruise. It's a must do.
Written July 15, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for cruising with us and for your review. Looks like you had the best of all worlds: the starry sky, the singing gondolier, the bottle message -- you are one lucky gondola guest! We hope you cherish your memories forever.
Written July 19, 2012
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mike537
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We would like thank Greg, our gondolier, and the entire Gondola staff for what will be one of most memorable moments for duration of our lives! The combination of the exquisite dinner, gondola cruise, Greg's operatic voice and the passion he demonstrated for his work, his wonderful wife and 10 and 13-year old daughters made our time together enjoyable, spirited and compassionate.Jodi still raves about the message in the bottle! As a senior leader within the U.S. Military, I applaud the volunteer work you have provided to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Boy Scouts of America. We always reflect back on our collective memories and Jodi and I can say we will hold this as one of most cherished Greg.

Your Friends,

Mike and Jodi
Written April 10, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheCouchSurfer
Troy, OH5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2011
I was in Venice, Italy in November and I did not enjoy it there as much as I did in Newport Beach. Now Venice itself is better but the Gondola experience was not. In Venice they were rude and did not really care about us having a romantic night; Gondola Adventures however made out night the most romantic ever for us. I have used Gondola Adventures a few times and will be back, we love it.

I noticed the review below me and am shocked as I have never had anything but a good experience. I also look down at all the other reviews and see that this is the only bad review they have, that should say something.

If you want a romantic night that will impress your mate, I highly recommend Gondola Adventures.
Written February 16, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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