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Recommended experiences in and around Manapouri
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Reviewed January 20, 2014

On a very positive note the staff are very welcoming, our crew included Kelly the Chef, whose food was remarkable given the constraints she and her team work under. The staff overall were very good and the laid back Kiwi who gave the evening nature talk was very good. My only complaint is that some of the guests would do better with a firmer hand from the crew.
Example one, we took the small launch boat out, a doze or so guests aboard to take in the views, strangely one side of the boat was polite and remained seated so as not to obliterate the view of those about us whilst on the the other side it seemed to be a competition as to who was the most selfish and could stand up the longest so as to obliterate the views of those opposite. The crew member should have sorted this and didn't.
Example two; we were told parties of 5 or more could reserve a table in the dining area and those in parties of less than 5 just had free for all for a decent table and seat. This did not take into account how much you had paid for the various rooms on offer. We found ourselves in the company of a large group with loud scruffy kids who had two tables for a total of 12 people reserved for them constantly only to find them in the observation room or wandering around, certainly not looking for a shower, whilst those that gad paid for dearer rooms struggled to get a seat to eat their meal. Rubbish rule that was exploited somewhat dubiously by a party of 4 camera happy plonkers staying in cheaper cabins than ourselves who were able to reserve a table. When I went to school was 4 less than 5 however this bunch managed to get the crew to reserve a table for them. Rubbish rule, scrap it and be fair to everyone.
My tip would be to go with on one of the smaller boats and get a more personal experience away from those who easily exploit the very relaxed crew.

Date of experience: January 2014
1  Thank honestview23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

It's rainforest ecosystem here folks, so it rains a lot. Expect it and be delightfully surprised if you see blue skies...
We didn't see any blue skies - but saw a lot of swirling dramatic cloud play among the mountains, and a LOT of pouring rain - and it was still terrific. We saw dolphins, lots of fur seals with young pups, waterfalls everywhere - lots of natural drama. We were very pleased with the boat - even in foul weather, it was comfortable and had great sight lines from indoors. Our interpreter gave us interesting information on the natural history of Doubtful Sound, and the 'engines off/no talking/no taking photos' time was a wonderful opportunity to just listen to the sound of waterfalls all around the boat. And a great reminder to just 'be present in the moment.' Such a beautiful place; a relief to see no development along this wild coastline.

Date of experience: December 2013
1  Thank NewHampsterite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2014

We were not lucky with the weather, all rainy and misty so we weren't able to see the Sound as it should be seen but still loved every minute of it. Our room was perfect size. Dinner was delicious, Staff super friendly and acomodating. Saw hundreds of waterfalls. The minutes of silence to absorb the scenery brought tears to our eyes. Will do it again

Date of experience: January 2014
2  Thank cailebotte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

Our family of 3 thoroughly enjoyed this full day trip to Doubtful Sound from Manapouri. This was our 1st trip with Real Journeys and after this experience we went on to to book 2 further trips (Milford Sound cruise/Te Anau Glow Worm Caves). Real Journeys are an extremely organised company & all staff are efficient & friendly, in particular the staff on the boats. We picked an 8am cruise to beat the crowds and are very pleased we did based on the much larger group that arrived for the cruise after ours. Doubtful Sound itself was absolutely stunning & we were lucky in that we had a fine day. Very cold on the decks of the boat but the inside area is warm with big windows to still enjoy the scenery. Food on the boat was lovely & the hot chocolates were top notch. We enjoyed the rolling commentary and did not feel it was too much information. Well worth the money, a truly fabulous day trip!

Date of experience: December 2013
1  Thank BrisbaneDearie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

I loved every moment of this 24 hour trip. The boat was far nicer than I had imagined and the crew was great. The food was awesome and the activities were fun! Watch out for the blackflies…they were vicious! The only thing I would change about this trip was my footwear! They will bite you even on the deck of the boat! I wish I could do this trip again and would highly recommend it!

Date of experience: November 2013
Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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