Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruises - which one is best?

Old Sep 11th, 2003, 06:39 AM
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Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruises - which one is best?

Hi y'all.
Anyone been on a Sydney Harbour Dinner cruise and what was the experience? I am looking to book one but not sure if John Cadman is worth the money or not? and has anyone else been on the really expensive 7 course dinner cruise?
Going in early November 03.
Please help.Thanks.
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Old Sep 11th, 2003, 07:16 AM
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Hi, Clauds!
I guess there are three elements involved here: the sights you see, the commentary, and the food. While I have never heard anyone rave about the food on a harbour cruise, or even to state that it was good value for money, I haven't heard of any horror stories, either. It's just food.... not, of course, as good as you could get at any of the dozen restaurants within a few paces of where the cruise boat leaves from. So my feeling is that you wouldn't go on any of the cruises for the meal.
As for the harbour scenery: well, it's great, especially on a bright sunny day. I know this because I travel in the commuter ferries as often as possible. They are cheap, they leave every few minutes, you can buy a ticket for $13.40 which lets you travel all day and into the night as many times as you want, and they go into every nook and cranny of this wonderful harbour. There is nothing the dinner cruises can show you that you can't see as well, or better, from these. And by doing it this way, you get to rub shoulders with Aussies, not tourists, and you get to be boss of where you go, where you get off, and how long you stay in any place. So you wouldn't go on a Dinner Cruise for the scenery.
Lastly, there's the commentary. Well, you don't get that on a commuter ferry. When you sail past the Opera House, you will have to know, without being told, that this is the Opera House. When you go under the Harbour Bridge, no one will tell you that you are going under it; you'll have to work it out for yourself. So the dinner cruise wins hands down on this aspect. Then again, you could always go on a commuter ferry and take a guide book with you!
I have lived in Sydney now for more than sixty years. I never ever took one of those dinner cruises, because I have always thought that they were an almighty rip-off. However, I have heard tourists (some on this site) praise them highly. I guess it depends on what you want to do: see Sydney Harbour like the Sydneysiders see it, or do the expected tourist thing and line someone else's pocket.
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Old Sep 11th, 2003, 01:02 PM
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Hi

We've taken the Harbor dinner cruise on the Matilda and we really enjoyed it. Food was quite edible and we had no problems with it. With almost ten days in Sydney we used the ferries better than cabs and loved them!! We got to see so much in that beautiful city but we also thought it would be nice to take the dinner cruise on a fairly large catamaran. I'll pass our secret on to you - we did not buy a ticket until the afternoon we were taking the cruise. After 12 or 1 pm the tickets were reduced in cost and we had a really nice and fairly inexpensive 7 course dinner cruise. When the sun goes down the view becomes spectacular. We also had dinner at the Opera House the night we took in a show there. If you're going to enjoy their city, may as well do as much as possible.
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Old Sep 11th, 2003, 01:57 PM
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I took my husband down to Sydney a couple of years ago for our Anniversary and a harbour dinner cruise - what a waste of money that was.
Food - if you are Japanese and are into being shunted around in groups of 200 with food to match its OK. The show was too loud and you could not hear the commentary either for that matter.
Value for money........ non or very little
Food...................pathetic
Cruise................. just about anything else would have been better
Ambience............... none unless you are a sheep!
Have a wonderful dinner and one of the harbourside venues, take in a show and a trip on the Manley ferry - you will have a much better evening for much less money!
 
Old Sep 11th, 2003, 06:13 PM
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Hey, Janese!
You're starting to sound like a lady I used to know once, named LizF! (She was usually right, too, by the way!)
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Old Sep 12th, 2003, 04:35 AM
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Hi Alan, thanks for that - it's kind of answered my question. I think we will use the ferry or even water taxi now and go to a restaunat that way.
How good is the Peir on Rose Bay?
C.
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Old Sep 12th, 2003, 06:04 AM
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Hi, Clauds!
Can't tell you a thing about Rose Bay Pier.... but I hear lots of nice things about Doyle's at Watson's Bay, right where the ferry stops. There's another nice-looking place at Mosman Bay, also very near the ferry. I can't comment on the food for either of these, but it's sure a nice way to travel to your restaurant! (And you could probably do one for lunch and the other for dinner and still be ahead, compared to the dinner cruise cost).
There are also several nice restaurants around the pier area at Manly, and that is a VERY nice ferry ride, and quite a bargain if used in conjunction with the $13.40 all-day ticket.... you could, if you chose, travel back into the city by bus on the same ticket, which covers trains, buses and ferries.
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Old Sep 12th, 2003, 03:45 PM
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If you have a $....get the sea plane flight from rose bay to pittwater and go to Jonahs at whale beach for lunch.

Get back to manly by bus/cab and catch the manly ferry home.
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Old Sep 14th, 2003, 08:30 PM
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Pier is excellent.

Get the ferry there, and enjoy yourself. May be a tad expensive, but....

As an aside, don't count on a taxi to Bather's Pavilion taking 10 minutes. It's a fair way, and, if travelling in peak hours, could cost an absolute fortune! (but there is sometimes a ferry to Balmoral, as well!)

But - horses for courses....
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