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“hopeless and waste of money and time”

Rivers Restaurant Cruises & Boat Charters
Reviewed January 13, 2013

If you're looking for a dinner cruise that serves reheated food and also has the bonus of providing terrible customer service, then look no further, Rivers Cruises is certainly for you. I will never, ever recommend this cruise or Rivers to anyone I know. In fact, I will only be speaking words of absolute disgust and disgrace. If you have a complaint with these guys, maybe take your phone and computer to the grave because that's the only time you will ever get a reply. Went with a couple of friends for Christmas, one word, horrendous. It seems the most positive reviews are dated before the Christmas period, this would suggest that Rivers are a let down during the busy Christmas period. This shouldn't be the case for what you pay. We could have easily chosen to go to QT Hotel or Citrique at the Marriott for better value for money. They promoted the event to people who want good food, entertainment and value for money, when in fact this cruise obviously attracted the opposite, thus standards were lowered.

2  Thank Sasha D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura J, Function Coordinator at Rivers Restaurant Cruises & Boat Charters, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2013

I am sorry to hear you did not have an enjoyable Christmas Cruise. Here at Rivers we pride ourselves upon offering fantastic food, top class service and great entertainment. We hosted over 500 guests this Christmas Day (lunch and dinner cruise) and had some fantastic feedback. I am sorry to hear the cruise fell short of your expectations. In your review you are not specific about the issues you encountered other than the food being reheated. We are extremely proud that we are the only cruise company in the Gold Coast that prepares and cooks all of our food onboard in our fully equipped commercial kitchen. This, plus the fact that we source the freshest produce available, means that guests come back time and time again to celebrate with Rivers. Perhaps you could send me more detailed feedback to functions@rivers.net.au so I can look into your complaint further.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (88)
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67 - 71 of 88 reviews

Reviewed January 10, 2013

We made the big mistake of spending $500 for a Xmas Dinner cruise with this organisation (if that's what you can call them). There were five of us including 2 students and 2 pensioners who payed what we considered a lot of money for our first xmas outing in 22 years. Believe them when they say 'subject to change without notice' because everything was changed on our cruise. Time leaving, food, ambiance, time returning and the drinks provided to name just a few things.

There was no feeling of being on a boat because the windows were all locked and we were so cramped onto our tables that it felt like being in a gaol. Air conditioning worked at one end of the boat but not our end. Topside, where one of us attempted to escape the claustrophobic effect even before we were offered food (it was taking so long) also had mainly closed windows. The two that were open were taken by all the smokers although there were signs everywhere saying 'NO SMOKING'. When a staff member was informed he just shrugged his shoulders. The safety information about life jackets was hardly audible and not visible where we were sitting.

The food (when we got to it) was reasonable at best and not as advertised at worst with horrible tough crab which was just shell that nearly broke my teeth. The trio (choice we thought) of christmas pudding or sweets proved to be a sickly, sweet, dismal concoction in a flashing glass. Would have eaten more of the reasonable main course but was saving up for the 'assortment' of sweets which never eventuated.

Half an hour out I realized we were back at the dock. Should have got off then. Apparently someone was ill but they failed to inform us and thought we wouldn't notice.
Coming back, at least four attempts to dock. One of our party saw the staff throwing the ropes but it wasn't thrown through the correct hole and pulled off the handrails. Supposed to dock at 9 pm but finally docked (with the help of the police launch) at 9.50 pm. The most worrying thing during this episode is the fact the young, hardworking staff were often precariously positioned outside with nothing between them and the water. No lifejackets on. Where are OH S (Occupational Health and Safety regulations with this industry?

I was most embarrassed because we had invited our daughter's fiance who is a hard working student who cannot afford to throw away good money. He was so looking forward to this xmas outing and he enjoyed it the least.

The lack of communication regarding the early return to dock and the problem docking at the end of the evening was very frustrating and rude to the guests. Very unprofessional as well.

We have tried to contact the company to get a refund but the manager does not even have the manners to return our calls.

We will be advising the relevant government agency/s of the contravention of OH&S legislation and have taken this opportunity to advise prospective customers not to be disappointed and out of pocket like we were.

3  Thank allthatglitters52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura J, Function Coordinator at Rivers Restaurant Cruises & Boat Charters, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2013

I am sorry to hear you and your family did not have a great experience onboard our Christmas cruise. We hope that all customers have a great experience when cruising with Rivers and I am sorry to hear on this account you did not. We aim to provide all customers with excellent food, high standards of service and great value for money. We felt $99 for a 3 hour Christmas Cruise with all you can eat and drink and live entertainment was excellent value. The majority of feedback we have received has been exceptional.

With regards to the windows being locked, this is part of the design of the boat. This is intentional due to the fact it is a restaurant and we have air conditioning throughout. I can assure you there is air conditioning all through the boat on all levels and after confirming with the crew there were no air conditioning issues on Christmas Day. I am surprised to hear you felt claustrophobic and can only apologise. We can seat 300 comfortably (the vessel is actually licensed for 650 passengers) but we decided to limit numbers to 260 guests for lunch and 240 guests for dinner to ensure there was enough space for all guests to be comfortable. We felt that the comfort of our guests was more important than extra tickets sales. As I am sure you were aware we sold out months before and we could have taken extra bookings but we decided not to.

The boat is a non-smoking vessel although it can be difficult for the crew to enforce all the time. We do not supply ashtrays and advise guests they cannot smoke, however, as I am sure you can appreciate this can be very difficult for the crew to manage. When guests do smoke it very rarely causes any issues for other guests and should not have impacted you at your table as there would have been a fair distance between any dining tables and the outside deck.

We take the health and safety of our crew and passengers extremely serious and is always our priority. The safety briefing was made over the PA system and a demonstration of how to don a life jacket took place in three locations. This is carefully designed so all guests can see the briefing. If you had issues hearing or seeing the demonstration you should have alerted the crew immediately so that they could have gone through this with you. The crew are there to assist you with any safety concerns you have.

With regards to the menu there were a few changes made to the advertised menu. We started promoting this cruise in May and used a sample menu on all our promotional activity. We stated this with the menu advertised. Some menu changes had to be made due to seasonality and the quality of the produce we were able to obtain. Where changes were made a suitable substitute was made.

Unfortunately, we had to dock mid cruise on the Christmas night cruise due to a crew member collapsing. As I previously stated, we take health and safety of our crew and passengers very seriously. After a medical assessment onboard our captain decided it was necessary to return the vessel to the marina so our crew member could get serious medical treatment. I am sorry if this impacted on your evening but I am sure you appreciate in instances like these our captain must look after the health of everyone onboard before thinking of their enjoyment. An announcement was not made as we felt it would be less disruptive to take the crew member off the vessel without everyone onboard looking on. Reports from crew were that the majority of guests did not even notice we docked mid cruise as our entertainer tried to keep the evening going so the incident did not impact the cruise. As soon as we were able to we departed again so guests could enjoy the rest of their evening on the water.

With our return at the end of the evening we encountered a few issues due to strong winds. Our vessel MV Voyager is a very large vessel and in strong winds it can be difficult to dock at Marina Mirage. Our crew tried their best but in the end had to engage the help of the water police. Our crew did everything within their power to dock as quickly and smoothly as possible. They are not required to wear lifejackets, in fact lifejackets could be a potential hazard when securing the vessel. As with earlier in the evening, our cruise director felt it was in the best interests of guests enjoyment to allow them to continue with the party whilst we docked. He felt it unnecessary to stop the entertainment and alert everyone to the docking situation. This would not only have caused further delays but ruined everyone’s evening.

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Reviewed January 3, 2013

Thanks Heaps
We had a birthday party for 11 people. We were all treated to an amazing night out and the staff and food and atmosphere was electric.

Thanks for your hospitality
Brett Hohn
General Manager
Moroccan Resort

Thank Moroccan-gm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura J, Function Coordinator at Rivers Restaurant Cruises & Boat Charters, responded to this reviewResponded January 6, 2013

Hi Brett, Thank you so much for your great review. I am glad to hear you enjoyed. Our new Yum Cha lunch cruise started this Sunday so maybe we will see you one Sunday.

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Reviewed December 28, 2012

Overall it wasn't bad, it was just neither here or there. Firstly, staff were really friendly & helpful worked hard and will go out of their way, the DJ was trying hard to get the mood right but music was very 'Love boaty' & music choices were alittle cheesy.The boat was due to depart at 7.30pm but didn't leave till 8.15pm. The process for the buffet table was not very good at all, we weren't too fussed about missing out as staff kept bringing out more food, they had half of the people sitting on one side of the boat line up first, so we sat & watched them for 48mins before people around us had enough waiting & got in line for their food.Something was not right & staff did come up to apologise for the wait, you might feel like you bought the cheap seats (when you didn't) having to wait so long. Food was fine although the crab was dry & I don't think it was fresh at all.Going up to the dock there is a hand rail to hold onto, there were a gooey thick blobs that could had been there for awhile, scenery wise it was so dark outside, you can see plenty of apartment and building lights and once close enough to the shore some houses and roads.I'd recommend going if you don't mind a buffet style dinner on a boat, bear in mind the time the cruise is on as you might not see much at all whilst sharing the dock with smokers.

Thank GreenSoap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura J, Function Coordinator at Rivers Restaurant Cruises & Boat Charters, responded to this reviewResponded January 6, 2013

Thank you for your feedback. I have passed on your comments to the crew so they can look at where we can improve in the future. If you are back in the coast in the future we would love to welcome you back onboard.

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Reviewed December 16, 2012

Thanks Rivers for an awesome night out for our Christmas Function for work. It's not always easy to please everyone all the time but in this case you were right on.

Great food, fantastic music and room to dance. Would reccomend to all.

Thank Sue D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura J, Function Coordinator at Rivers Restaurant Cruises & Boat Charters, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2012

Sue, Thank you so much for taking the time to provide feedback on your recent cruise. We are so pleased to hear you all had a great time. We would love to see you onboard again for next years Christmas party.

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