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“Thank God for Howard!”

Convict, Castles and Champagne Tour
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Sydney Harbour Cruise and Goat Island Walking Tour
Ranked #100 of 420 Tours in Sydney
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Fee: Yes
Reviewed 3 January 2017 via mobile

The highlight of the trip was having Howard give us a tour of Goat Island, he is a star and is very friendly, knowledgable and informative.

Overall this was very a disorganised event and although you think you have paid for a tall ship adventure - you have not. Lunch consisted of chicken and mayo wraps (advertised as your choice of beef, lamb or chicken rolls). The wraps were not cold and were siting out on the deck in plastic containers sweating in 38 degree heat when we boarded. The guide started the day by subjecting us to a personal tirade about plastics and how he hated them. He then with the stamina of a nazi general made sure everyone brave enough to eat warm chicken and mayo recycled correctly and drew unnecessary attention to people who did not.

When we arrived at Goat Island, The nazi general rationed the water giving everyone only 1/2 of a 500ml bottle of water (one between two) for an 75 minute walk on an island in 38 degree heat. He kept yelling at people who wanted a bottle to themselves (which they had actually paid for in their tickets) thats enough, thats all you need. You dont need anymore. I guess he was giving us the real convict experience. Thankfully we planned ahead and had our own water with us.

When the Goat island tour finished there were several people not feeling well I put this down to not enough water being provided. The nazi general then singled out an American lady of Chinese descent by yelling where's the asian lady, where's the asian lady (who happened to be sitting right in front of him) and told her and the rest of the boat through his yelling that she should have drunk more water if she didnt want to be sick.

I had to make the deck hand open the windows on the boat as it was boiling hot and this was also contributing to peoples discomfort. As she was opening them her comments were 'I should have done this 2 hours ago - Im not sure why I didn't'. I guess some people shouldn't work in service or tourist industries. Without Howard this day would have been really awful.

Date of experience: December 2016
2  Thank Orangetablet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 15 of 284 reviews

Reviewed 17 December 2016

As you prepare for your voyage back in time to the early settlement years of Sydney Harbour we were graced with a lovely old girl who was able to transport us to yester year past. (some imagination required). Crew were friendly but don't be late or you will miss the boat.... The tour itself was very interesting and the guide "Esther" was quite knowledgeable in relaying information concerning "Goat Island" and its wonderful past.
Don't forget to wear sunscreen, take a hat to wear and water to drink... Oh also a camera for the superb photos that you will get of the harbour. Wonderful day.

Date of experience: December 2016
Thank sherylpayne62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2016

Sydney Harbour is beautiful but be careful what tours you book.
We were given a gift of a tour with Red Balloon on Sydney Harbour.
The boat was so old, it leaked & broke down before we even started our cruise.
The staff were inexperienced in roping the boat to shore for us to get on - rough seas
- it took 1/2 to put board out for us to walk on to boat!
When we did get going there was no commentary.
We had to rush walking tour of island as we were very late.
I don't know where the Castles were!!!
Food was less than average.
We did a Review as requested by Red Balloon but have not received any feedback.

Date of experience: October 2016
1  Thank travellers0212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2016

Having been given a Gift Voucher for this cruise we were very excited. It was a lovely afternoon and our guide Esther was fantastic. She was very knowledgeable, great sense of humour and all round wonderful. It was a lovely day on the harbour and the lunch and free bar great. We didn't know Goat Island existed and it is an absolute gem. I would recommend this cruise for an interesting afternoon out. Thank you to all the staff and crew. Keep up the good work.

Date of experience: November 2016
Thank Barbara B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 November 2016

Was not sure what to expect when I booked this tour but it did sound interesting and ticked all the boxes for me. When I first saw the boat (the grand old lady) rocking away at the dock I was a bit apprehensive but after getting out into the harbor things became a lot smoother, thanks to the experienced crew. Our guide Esther was super friendly and was very attentive to all us travelers, which included serving us drinks without us having to negotiate the steps each time we wanted a refill. She kept us informed on the boat and on the Island. Although she had probably done the speech many times she made it sound interesting and was quite humorous in parts. The lunch was tasty and there was plenty, the brownies however were the star!

Date of experience: November 2016
Thank Dawn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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