“The views of the city are amazing, especially at that hour.”
“They served refreshments - the beer was super cold and the crew & service staff was cute, friendly and informative.”
“have been a bunch of times now and yes Shearwater is a little more expensive than the Adirondack, but it is such a nicer boat and a real authentic experience.”
“.... the experience I had with this company/ service provider was terrible.”
“They are just a big, huge rip off.”
Terrible Wine tasting experience.
Terrible Wine Tasting Experience
We were booked on the 2-hour Wine Tasting sail for September 18th and we were really excited about this trip as it was our first time on the Shearwater. However, once we got out into the harbor, we knew it wasn't going to be smooth sailing. The crew told us that it was the worst day they had ever had this year . Less than 20 minutes out it was very windy, raining, grey, and too choppy to pour the wine. The smelly blankets and flimsy ponchos could not keep us warm or dry. It was worth your life to try and get the cheese and crackers but they were also wet. The wine expert tried her best but it was very difficult to manage the 4 very small tastings and to hear her description was virtually impossible.
I am keenly aware that sailing is an all weather activity, but the management had the ability to make this "experience" pleasant. There were a lot of unhappy customers and I believe Manhattan by Sail had the opportunity to improve this, considering the tickets costs $95/person. They could have turned the boat around after 10 minutes and rescheduled us, or they could have offered another day instead of a 20% coupon to go sailing again, which they gave us at the end of the ordeal. It's clear that the captian or crew had no authority to make that kind of decision, so we didn't penalize them and tipped generously. But I strongly believe that we, along with the other passengers were penalized and the crew's apologies for the rather miserable experience did not satisfy us. Many of our friends have asked us about this boat ride and I told them of the bad management and only hope that others heed our experience. I know that on a even decent day with less choppy waters and frigid temperatures, we could have had an enjoyable experience.
I had nine reservations, $355 worth, for the October 2nd Clipper City sunset sail worth over $350. But minutes before passengers were to start boarding the boat, they suddenly cancelled the trip, apparently due to administrative negligence. The fact that a fireworks display occurred and that the river was shut down should have been known to the management long in advance!
This is the second time I had to reschedule the sail, the first was at the end of August due to Hurricane Irene. This sail was supposed to be my birthday party (my birthday is August 27). When I asked for a refund after they cancelled on me in August, I was told that they have a "no refund" policy. So I rescheduled all my guests to October 2nd. They brought food, they paid $25 and more for vehicle parking near South Street Seaport. People dressed up, cooked, traveled from far away.....only to be cancelled on at the last minute. What makes matters worse is that I called an hour in advance to make a weather check since it had been raining on and off all day, and was told everything was fine and the boat will be sailing. This was completely unconscionable. Needless to say my guests and I were discouraged and I have to contacted my credit card company to dispute the charges.
Brunch Pirates of New York Harbor.
If your idea of a "brunch cruise around the harbor" is being packed like sardines onto a schooner and waiting 20 minutes for a crewhand to bring you a drink because the boat is so crowded there is literally no room to move without elbowing someone into the harbor, if you like to nosh on (what was admittedly fresh and tasty) food about a foot and a half from a stranger's face (it's that oversold), if you like being given nothing but the damn deck or a hardwood railing to sit on, if New York Harbor water in your face from the wake of a Staten Island Ferry passes for "ocean spray" for you, then by all means, try the Shearwater Sailing Brunch Cruise. For myself, I will wear the badge emblazoned "LANDLUBBER" with pride for all time, if this is what passes for service and truth in advertising.
When one spends well upward of seventy dollars a ticket for this inimitable nautical experience, one assumes there will be room enough to actually move around on the deck. This ride was so crowded, I wanted to climb up on the perch at the bow of the ship--but it was being used as a seat the whole time by two or three kids. I had no idea I would be expected to eat while whitecaps broke against the fast-moving hull. Believe me, it is not easy, given you are balancing a plate in your lap and holding a beverage in your hand because again, there is no place at all to put anything, to keep your balance as well, with motorboats, Jet Skis, barges, ferries and other sailboats creating wakes in all directions.
The crew is competent and pleasant, don't get me wrong. The fault does not lie in the ship, the food, or the crew. The fault lies in the management, who think nothing of packing every square inch of deck space with a clearly excessive number of passengers. And just as clearly, the crew are under orders not to expend any fuel, because on our windless day, instead of finding one of New York Harbor's numerous quiet and picturesque corners by using the motor, we basically putted out to the middle of the traffic lanes, past the Lady in the Harbor, sat there for a bit and, with no free wind forthcoming, puttered back in. What bothers me the most is that this is the kind of thing you wouldn't do more than once, anyway, so even saying "never again" gives no satisfaction. And when my wife read the above review over the phone to the manager, she didn't even have the decency to offer us our money back. Instead, she quoted how many people were LEGALLY allowed to ride. Legally?! This wasn't a RESCUE; it was supposed to be a pleasure cruise! The bar they set for themselves is not their guests' enjoyment, but maximum occupancy?! I wish there were a zero-star rating to give them!
But why should they give us a refund? There's no goodwill or repeat business to worry about; they already have our money. And I think this is what their business model is built on: advertise a very phony ride on the water, pack 'em in like cattle in a boxcar, and if they don't like it, well, don't come back, right?
NO REFUNDS FOR HURRICAINES?!.
Extremely dissappointed in this company. I am from Seattle, I went to New York for my first time last weekend, (great timing- through hurricaine Irene). I had booked a sail through Manhattan by Sail for my boyfriend and I two weeks in advance (before the hurricaine was on the radar). We arrived in NY on Friday and received a call that our trip was canceled- and FAIR ENOUGH! I dont want to be out there any way! So I asked for a refund, since I didnt cancel it. She told me sorry no refunds, but you can reschedule. I told her Im only here for the weekend and from Seattle, probably wont be back within a year, this is a one time thing. She told me sorry, they have a no refund policy... apparently even if theres a hurricaine and THEY cancel on you... no refunds.
She DID tell me I can call to reschedule if i would be in town on Monday, so I did. It was a GEORGOUS day by then (hurricaine passed) and so I called to reschedule. "Sorry, our boats wont be back until Thursday." ?? Seriously? So you canceled and without refunds, to everyone from Friday to Thursday?? Wow, you made some $$ there, didnt you...AWESOME. There goes $100 with absolutely horrible customer service and no options for someone not from there. Which Im pretty sure, anyone that books this PROBABLY isn't from there to begin with. So watch out before you book- they can apparently cancel ON YOU for any reason without refund. PERIOD.
HUDSON RIVER EXTRAVAGANZA! LOVE LOVE LOVE!. I decided to be unique and change up hanging around our amazing city! My friends and I sailed around the Statue of Liberty! Amazing boat, fantastic cocktails and breathtaking skyline! I am going back for July 4th and counting the minutes! Thank you for a fantastic experience and I can't wait to cruise again with the fireworks bursting above me!
Best graduation gift ever !!. Gosh, I knew I deserved such a unique chill out experience after the commencement, but still! I did not expect it to be thaaaaaaaat impressive and pleasant ! Great sailing experience. The views on the Manhattan skyline are breath-taking (not to mention those on the Statue of Liberty), staff is gorgeous, drinks are free... Well, can't wait sail with them again (I just need to find another excuse now that school is over...)
amazing boat. the best sailing experience ever and i have had quite a few. from the moment i called to booked it until the moment i left the boat everything was magic. NY is just amazing at the sunset cruise. i love it
A wonderful sailing experience. My husband and I took a sunset sail on the Shearwater as part of his birthday celebration, and we had a wonderful time on board. The crew was fantastic; we felt like we received the same exceptional service you’d expect from a five-star hotel. The boat is beautifully-crafted, and we had a great time just exploring the boat itself. The views of the city are amazing, especially at that hour. Also, maybe we just got lucky, but we found ourselves surrounded by a great crowd. Overall, it was a very classy experience that we’d be thrilled to repeat.
Methinks they doth protest too much!!! Real sailing... in nyc!!.
I don't understand the negative comments that have been posted about Shearwater. I have been a bunch of times now and yes Shearwater is a little more expensive than the Adirondack, but it is such a nicer boat and a real authentic experience. The boat is from 1929 and is a historic national landmark, the deck is original and you sit around very casually and people walk around and socialize - crew is cool, new yorkers, artists, actors enjoying themselves. It is a real, beautiful classic boat - with a soul!! Not a boat ride...
I bet those comments are from someone who works for Adirondack? Methinks they doth protest too much!!!
Check both boats out for yourself and then come back and write a review...
i was so looking forward to sailing with shearwater. the website looked beautiful and in theory it sounded like a great idea. i booked a sail with them to celebrate my one year wedding anniversary. it was my surprise to my husband.
THREE HOURS before departure, they called to tell me the sail was cancelled because not enough other people signed up for it! three hours. i had no warning - no heads up whatsoever - so i could not plan anything else. the manager offered only bad, non-options: a refund (unhelpful the night of your wedding anniversary), to reschedule (the date sort of mattered), or purchasing the remaining tickets myself (8 of them - so this was really a non-option).
i explained the situation - yet, this was the "best" they could do for me. i was absolutely crushed. i had planned for this. i had not planned to cry on my one year wedding anniversary. if the sail had been cancelled due to weather, i could have understood that. this, on the other hand, was a choice made by management. it was in their power to do the right thing, yet they chose not to. so i was left without anything for my husband on our first wedding anniversary. he understood, but i still felt terrible.
do not use this company. this was entirely unprofessional. i cannot believe they run a business this way.