Cruises >City Lights Cruises New York
20 West 20th Street, New York, NY | Directions 1001140.740075 -73.992327
Neighborhoods: Flatiron District, Midtown
Awful Experience – I had the unfortunate luck to experience a City Lights Cruise this past weekend. Suffice to say, there is a misrepresentation of what this cruise is going to be. The pictures and brochures make it seem like a happy, elegant party boat (to be fair, I should have known better when they said it included a dance floor).
The boat itself is cramped, and you'd better get there about an hour before boarding time to secure a good seat. Seating is first come first serve, and the queue grows to about 300 people for a packed boat.
The tables are cramped and designed to pack as many people onto this boat as possible. It certainly makes eating uncomfortable when you're shoulder-to-shoulder with the persons next to you.
The music starts in immediately, and though the brochure states a mix of music, there certainly wasn't any Sinatra played (as indicated), and in fact it was all 80's freestyle electronic dance music for the first hour and a half. The music was intrusively loud.
You get two free drink tickets as part of the ticket price. The first action everyone takes, after jockeying for position at a decent table, is to crowd the bar and get a drink. The previous poster was correct - the "free" drinks are bottom shelf generic alcohol and Yellow Tail wine. You have to pay extra for top shelf liquor.
After about an hour, when you've taken off, they start setting up the "buffet", and begin calling tables, in order, to queue up and get your food. Now, my impression of a buffet is where there's a table of food, and you can go up and choose whichever food or foods appeal to you, and that you can take as much as you want. Not so, in this case. The food line is run with military precision - everyone gets one piece of bread (indeed, they ran out before the end of the night!!), a tongful of salad, some pasta, and a piece of suspect looking chicken breast fillet. That's it. No seconds allowed. The staff was rude, and they did their best to move everyone along like cattle, and badgered people if they asked any questions or tried to get more than their food allotment.
The food was pedestrian cafeteria food at best. Edible, but not good. After dinner, the dance floor upstairs opened up, and the boat cleared out a bit. We ended up spending most of our time outside at the back of the boat. The engine fumes were tough to take, but lung damage was better than the ear damage going on inside the boat.
The trip itself was nice enough, it takes you up to the Queensboro bridge and then back dow around the Statue of Liberty before finally docking. Outside of the views, however - which you can get on any cruise - the City Lights cruise has nothing to recommend itself.
The aim of this Cruise Company seems to be to sell as many tickets as possible, then get everyone off the boat as soon as possible, with no attention to the customer. I imagine that many of the customers are tourists, so they're not concerned about repeat business. There is no indication at all that they are interested in making people happy or accommodating their needs. They just want your money, and want to honor your contract with them to feed you and give you two free drinks - and by honor I mean legally say they have done these things.
I would not recommend that anyone take a cruise like this. I've heard better things about some of the other cruises. They may cost more money, but, you get what you pay for in the end.
WORST EXPERIENCE, DON'T WASTE YOUR $$ – Well I don't even know where to start, the picture that they show on the website is nothing like the actual boat you will be crusing on, don't expect good food (maybe after about 6 drinks it might taste edible). The ship left 40 mins after the time it says on the website CITYLIGHTSCRUISES. COM, then we get on the ship and notice it's a glorified ferry, already being disappointed we proceeded to the bar to get a drink, and there I encountered the tackiest bartender of my life, she refused to pour you a drink unless you tipped her. The two drinks that were included were the bottom shelf krap that is $5 at the store, if you wanted grey goose it was $10! after finally getting a drink they opened the buffet. OMG I wouldn't dare eat this food (I think even the homeless on the streets would refuse it!) after deciding that we would all rather starve we thought we would dance, this wasn't to bad until some girls were dancing on the pole like strippers exposing themselves.
After we got off the ship a HUGE fight broke out and fists was flying every where. The crew memebers of the ship did nothing, and instead just watched it all happen. The whole crew was clearly intoxicated and didn't care abvout making it a good experience for anyone.
A few days letter I called city lights to tell them that I was very disappointed with my experience as well as how embarrassed I was. Every person at this office that I dealt with had a B*tchy attitude, all they could do is give me 2 free tickets (I purchased 8 for the cruise I went on) I told her I didn't want tickets and that I wanted a refund. She said "We can't do that" I asked her to have the head person in charge call me back. After 2 days of waiting she never called me, So i called them, they then kept giving me the run around saying that she wasn't in the office (must be nice to work 12-3) Finally i got the manager and she had a bad attitude as well. Overall this was an experience i'd like to forget about and a HUGE WASTE OF $$$
Editorial Review by Citysearch Editors – Charter company provides public cruises and personalized private parties, offering drinks, dancing for up to 700 people on various yachts.
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