We purchased a Groupon deal to use on this cruise. It was very cheap, and the experience was probably worth exactly what we paid for it. The deal was for the Lady Jane vessel, but we were actually boarded onto the Emmalisa (smaller, older vessel).
The people at the booking desk were a little rude - my partner was snapped at when he ordered the chicken soup entree, as 'you don't order the chicken soup, it comes standard, you only request the veggie soup if you don't want the chicken.'
Dude. Who cares? You work in what we call 'customer service'. Put a smile on your dial.
The little red boat they put us on was quite old with mismatched brown chairs, long booths with tilting tables. So the decor was pretty old, but with the soft lighting they use, still kind of cosy.
As it happened, they forgot that my 'super special requested' soup option was the veggie and served me chicken anyway. To be fair, the cook/server seemed horrified and bustled off to heat me up some veggie soup. It tasted canned, but whatever, it was still ok. The buttered bread was a little disconcerting - it just looks 'handled' to me, and are rolls really so expensive? But we were hungry, and so it was eaten.
The captain's commentary came on every now and again, to point out the casino, mountain, etc. It did drop in and out, and the poor guy seemed unaware of this.
There were self-serve drinks - white wine, red wine and a big bottle of Coke. We weren't sure what to do with the drinks - the server did say that we could help ourselves to 'a complimentary drink' but then didn't return to offer us further drinks. The other people on-board were just helping themselves to the wine, so in the end we did this too. The white wine was sweetish, but quite nice.
There were five mains to choose from, and ours were tasty - I had the fish, which was two big pieces of pan-fried crumbed fish - no idea what fish it was, but it did taste fresh and good. My partner had the steak and gravy, which was also appetizing. They were definitely 'home-style' meals, with a boiled potato and some salad, but pretty tasty and filling. Not restaurant quality, but more like tea at grandma's.
The cruise itself was... ok. We went under the Tasman bridge twice, which was fun, but other then that, you could only sit inside at your table, or step out onto a tiny little outdoor patio area on the bottom level. You couldn't access the top of the boat at all, which was disappointing. It was a decent night and the experience would have been totally different if you could relax upstairs with a good view and a glass of wine. That was sort of what we were planning on.
Dessert was one option - tinned fruit and ice cream. Again, we ate it because it was there and it tasted ok. But, come on. I wouldn't serve that to dinner guests at my house.
And the boat was leaking near our feet. We spent a few minutes discussing which shore we would swim to if the boat went down. We decided to head towards the Casino - if we managed to make it there, surely we'd have to be in luck.
The cruise only went for 2 hours, not the advertised 2 hours 30 mins, but this was not a problem as we were a little bored by then anyway and ready to leave.
All in all, the cruise was a little dull, and the meals were sufficient but not 'professional' quality.
This cruise made me think that it would be suitable for taking out your grandparents for an afternoon or evening, but not so suitable for a couple's dinner cruise experience.
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