A month ago I received a great deal from LivingSocial NYC regarding a 3 hour themed boat cruise for just $39 per person, originally priced at $85 per person. Each ticket included a buffet, dance lessons, and a DJ... I totally thought it was a bargain. I convinced a few of my friends to join me, however only 2 of them got sucked in, Jhiane and Marian.
Today we excitedly showed up at the New York Skyport Marina at East 23rd street and FDR Drive to experience a 3 hour sail up the East River. After the cruise, I left having a different opinion about the experience, read more under My Review.
New York Skyport Marina
E 23rd Street & FDR Drive
New York, NY 10002
Families with young kids ranging from ages 5 to 14.
PURCHASED FROM @ COST
LivingSocial at $39 per person, originally priced at $85 per person. This cruise is from Allen Batista Travel.
Where do I even begin? First off, we were supposed to set sail at 2 PM, however there was a 15 minute delay. The DJs didn't seem that professional since there was a lot of testing going on with the most irritating noises that would cause one to cringe. There was an introduction made and supposedly the guy below was introduced as one of New York City's TOP DJ... okay, WHATEVER! So not true!
Plain and simple, this cruise lacked class. There was a mixed crowd ranging from young kids to the elderly. The interior of the boat was just sad looking.
The boat sailed on the East River so there were barely any views of the Manhattan skyline. At the very least we thought the ship would sail to the Statue of Liberty, however that didn't happen either. In short, this cruise was not scenic at all besides this one view of the Empire State Building.
I believe this is the Brooklyn Bridge.
Moving along, there was no announcement made that food was being served, however since the 3 of us were starving, my friend suggested we go downstairs to see if people were eating. Luckily, lines had just started to form, so we got in early. Now there must have been about 100 people on this boat with only 4 items on each side. Here is what was served... salad, plain white rice, Caribbean style chicken, and vegetable noodles.
My day started with a cup of tea and a banana, so by 2:45 PM, I was famished. I ate a little bit of everything to keep myself going for 2 more hours... SIGH. The food was terrible, and I'm being nice! In particular, the vegetables noodles totally lacked flavor. It appeared to be catered from some cheap Caribbean shack in the city and I would know because I love Latin cuisine. When it comes to food, I know I have my nose up in the air and with good reason, however it would have been a lot easier on them, and us, if they had simply served some good ol' bread and butter with some chips, or even given us an option of a hamburger vs. a veggie burger, basically items that a cook can't mess up. What's worse is that soda and water weren't included, at the very least it would have been nice to get a can of soda. To top it off, people were shoving and pushing due to the lack of food on the boat, luckily we were in and out of there before all the commotion commenced.
Here is what I got, but sadly only ate half of it because it didn't please my palette and I wasn't about to waste my calories on below average food. We ended having Altoids and gum to curb our appetite.
In any case, Jhiane was craving soda so she bought a cup for $2 - RIPOFF! On top of that, it sucked. I totally think the ice was bad, it didn't taste anything like Pepsi/Coke. I'm not sure why they just wouldn't sell a soda can, again, it would have been easier for them, and us. A win-win!
While we were at the bar, I overheard the bartender saying that he wasn't even a bartender and asked people not to order drinks that were complicated. And guess what the price for each drink was... $8 to $12! Are you kidding me? Why not just head to a club and get a real drink from a real bartender? I wasn't planning on drinking since it was broad daylight, but I wouldn't purchase a drink from someone who admits that he doesn't even know how to make drinks. The last thing I needed was a bad, strong drink on a moving boat. I've experienced too many of those and it's not fun.
The music was okay, and the part where they actually taught us how to Samba was actually fun. Here is a picture of the live band playing Samba music... it sounded good.
There wasn't enough room for everyone to dance, but we all made the best of it. Samba is a type of Brazilian dance, however it slightly reminded me of African dancing.
Here is a video of the band playing Samba music.
An hour later my friends and I went downstairs to see some Belly Dancing entertainment. To our dismay, there were 5 empty boxes of pizza in the garbage can. WHAT? WHEN? HOW? We were all pretty hungry since we barely ate the unpleasant Caribbean food that was served to us, by this point pizza sounded great. It was all over and no one on the second floor was even informed. Jhiane was so annoyed that she ended up dropping her review from a 1.0 to a 0.5... LOL! I couldn't stop laughing when she said that. Anyway, this all boils down to poor management. They should have ordered enough pizza for everyone on the ship and they should have brought a few pies upstairs, in short, horrible customer serivce!
My friends and I went back upstairs and hung out and anxiously awaited the boat to dock. We had already discussed that we were going to have pizza as an early dinner... that tends to happen when you see something you can't have. Eventually when we did dock, we headed to the closest pizza place on 3rd Avenue and I got myself a Spinach and Mushroom Cheese Pizza, it was good, but not Manhattan's best. You know how when you are starving, even good things taste amazing, that's how I felt.
VERDICT - 1 / 5
Honestly, I cannot believe these guys even have the audacity to charge $85 per person for a cheesy cruise with terrible food and poor management, luckily I paid half price and even that felt like a ripoff. Do yourself a favor and save your $40 or $85 bucks and head to a $$ to $$$ restaurant in Manhattan which will probably result in very good customer service. I can't even imagine owning some type of business and giving my customers poor customer service... that's just not cool!
Although there were a good amount of couples, I believe these themed cruises would appeal more to families with young children who like to dance, but just make sure you feed your kids before boarding this boat. If you are interested in learning Samba, Belly Dancing, or Salsa, I strongly recommend taking a proper class and skipping this cruise all together. I realize my review may come across as harsh, however the 3 of us were left disappointed and hungry.