There is a lot of hokey here, but $19 for 90 minute tour is worth it despite many things that are underwhelming or outright annoying. For non-children, this attraction would be a better value if the soundtrack wasn’t 90% corny/cliché and one could enjoy a proper bevy. Although it was my first time, I’ll bet I’m more sick of the music selections they play than the crew who has to listen to them on each and every trip! It also appears to be less music than they need, since we heard the same irritating songs we started with as we return. BTW: I never knew how much I dislike Jimmy Buffet until this voyage. “Cheese-Cheesy in Paradise!” The music selections have all the creativity and grace of putting Miracle Whip on a Corned-beef-on-Rye from Canter’s Deli.
The boat is not well kept. The owners are clearly careless about what weather can do to raw wood, which makes me wonder what else they might neglect. I have no doubt that she is sea-worthy, but she is way overdue for some paint and quite a bit of other cosmetic repair. Pealing plywood and hanging brackets (that should be screwed to the hull like all the others) do not make the ship look “battle-worn” – they look more like sloth. Details about the boat ride state that there is a “full bar” on board, but that’s a bit like saying that Denny’s serves steaks. They might – might! -- be able to make a Martini, but definitely not a Negroni. Wine and beer? Wine lovers, I suggest the Bud lite (EEEYuck!). They refused to allow me to drink my 2003 Ch. Gloria, especially from non-plastic! See that ice chest? That’s the bar; look inside. See? It’s full. We have a full bar!
The ride was smooth but breezy and there are no sails. The boat is rather small, seating maybe 20 adults, max. The boat is the boat from the movie “Time Bandits.” There is some decent history of Big Bear to be heard from the “captain” and there was a set up meeting with the son of Mel Blanc at his lakeside cabin. I will assume this is not guaranteed, since son-of-Mel can’t possible be there all the time. (It’s a damn shame what son-of-Mel and Co. have done to the greatest cartoon character ever: Bugs Bunny.)
FYI: Reservations during low season are subject to cancel.
A better option might be to rent a skiff ($60-70 for 4 hours) or pontoon (if you're a big party) from the same people/marina and have a picnic while you're out. You lose the history lesson, but there's a lot possibilities on your own.
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