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“Not as promised and lied to”

Black Raven Pirate Ship
Ranked #55 of 190 things to do in St. Augustine
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Black Raven was designed and built for its purpose, to be a floating performance stage. Our goal is to provide a variety of live dynamic and interactive entertainment programs for all ages. The crew’s ambition is to deliver the best live pirate show in Florida regardless the audience’s age group. The performance is rehearsed, but unscripted, allowing the pirates to improvise with the crowd. We are currently offering three different programs:1. The Adventures for all Ages.2. The Treasure Hunt3. The Club 21+ (adults only)In general, the Adventures for all Ages depart every day at 2:15 PM and 6:15 PM except during weekends (Sat & sun) when the 2:15 trip is replaced with the Treasure Hunt. The Club 21+ sails every Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:15 PM. Reservation is always recommended and, please call ahead to reconfirm the departures. Do not travel from “far away” without checking with us. Please, remember our schedule may change according to the weather.
Reviewed August 5, 2013 via mobile

Went on this ship in 2012 and was promised a cannon fight and much fun, instead got a trip under the draw bridge and some joke telling.

Decided to give it another chance and booked this year ahead of time by telephone. Went to St Augustine on the appointed date and received a phone call saying that they had a SUPRISE Coast Guard inspection and the ship was out with them and would not be back for our booking, well, we drove right by the docks and low and behold the ship is sitting there, no one around. Don't lie about it, just say there isn't enough people to go out, not some lame CG excuse.

3  Thank Edharrison985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlackRaven5Star, Owner at Black Raven Pirate Ship, responded to this reviewResponded August 12, 2013

We are truly sorry for the inconvenience this caused you. This is the true fact: The U. S. Coast Guard inspection was scheduled to start at 9:00 AM on the morning of August 5, 2013. An inspection like this may take anywhere from 3 hours to a full day. Unfortunately, the inspectors did not arrive until around 10:00 AM and at around 11:30 they did decide to take out the ship on a short “sea trial”. At that point, I decided to call the office and cancelled the 2:15 PM trip. I could not tell if we were going to be back in time to prepare for the 2:15 PM trip. We had to play it safe and let people know that we were running out of time. We did get back to the dock about an hour later and we had the inspection wrapped up around 1:30 PM.

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182 - 186 of 342 reviews

Reviewed August 2, 2013 via mobile

Overall this was a good activity for kids. It was a bit overpriced. We went on the 215pm cruise. They start off with BlackBeard stealing treasure and we have to go search for his ship to fight and get it back. Along the way the pirates on board joked with each other and some of this seemed like filler while we waited to get out in the bay to find BlackBeard's ship. I would have preferred more pirate songs and less banter, much of which went above my 4 yo's head. It was cool going through the drawbridge.

Then things get going, when they teach the kids to swordfight and then they paint kids' faces. Both these activities were fun and the girl who painted my kids face had some real talent! Then the ship is spotted, cannons are fired, and the kids 'swordfight' with Blackbeard and captain hook. At the end the treasure is recovered and the kids get their own little pirate chest. Aside from the heat and limited seating, it was a good experience for kids. Not a historical cruise about pirates but it doesn't advertise itself as such.

Thank Frank O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

We went on the family trip. Shocking. It will only be great for your family if you are raising your kids to be racist. An actual exchange during the show:

Pirate 1: Gold Tooth, what happened to your gold teeth?
Pirate 2: I sold then when the price of gold was high!
Pirate 1: you sold your own teeth! Why would you do that?
Pirate 2: because I am a Jewish pirate!

Awful. If we hadn't been in a boat I would have walked out.

5  Thank Shira K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlackRaven5Star, Owner at Black Raven Pirate Ship, responded to this reviewResponded August 12, 2013

I am sorry for this "joke" and I will make sure it will not be repeated.

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Reviewed July 31, 2013

The boys, ages 7 and 11, loved this trip. The older child was concerned that he was too old for this as there were any "under fives" on this 2:15 voyage. I admit it did get off to a slow start, but picked up when the kids actually got involved in the sword fighting and face painting. The 11 yr old had no trouble buying in. At times it was a bit cheesy for adults, but our target audience is still reciting the jokes .It felt like we were a bit overcrowded when we first came aboard because we all had to find a seat, but once we could move about the ship the crowd thinned out. All in all a great adventure, but don't expect history, just fiction and fun.

Thank Johnspinhead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

The attraction is OK, but could be so much better if they actually drew people in by sharing the history of the city as it relates to pirates. We took the adult cruise and the acting, by the Pirates, was marginal at best. The food that was provided consisted of some hors d'oeuvres that were on a plastic serving dish without any serving utensil. People were putting their hands all over everything, which didn't seem sanitary to me. Finally, we went to get a drink and waited on a long line only to get cheap wine in a little bottle that tasted terrible. The owner and crew should consider learning the history about the area and making this a top-notch attraction in St. Augustine instead of a floating tourist trap.

Thank Tessie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlackRaven5Star, Owner at Black Raven Pirate Ship, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2013

Thank you for your feed-back. We are sorry that we missed the serving utensils. That will definitely be corrected. No more “hands-in-the-food” trips. As for the wine, we sell that in sealed and un-opened bottles in order for the customers to see exactly what they are getting before they buy. We do have limited storage space onboard the ship and if they do not like the brand that we carry, then there are other types of drinks available.

As for the history issue, when we first started the company, we had hired some of the best tour guides in the city. However, we quickly discovered that the people that came out on the ship did not want to get another history lesson, they came out to have a fun time. There are quite a few other companies that are offering history tours, about the city, about ghosts and about pirates and we did not want to compete with these attractions. We decided to offer something else, something on the lighter side, entertainment and not history lessons.

Again, we appreciate your time and attention.

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