- Can I purchase a gift certificate?
Absolutely – gondola cruises make wonderful gifts!
You can purchase a gift certificate for any type of cruise we offer. Certificates can be purchased online or over the phone by calling 855-466-3652.
- Where do we cruise?
The gondola typically cruises through the canals, depending upon wind conditions. Otherwise, you explore the lobes of Lake Carolyn.
- Do you provide wine or champagne? Can I bring my own?
No, we do not provide alcohol. You are more than welcome to bring your own, and we can provide the bucket and ice, corkscrew, and glasses ($11 plus tax service fee applies).
- Do I need to make a reservation?
All of our cruises are by reservation, so please call us or go online to make your reservation.
- Can I request a specific gondola?
In our Texas location, we have four different styles. Please take a look at our Cruise Upgrades page to browse the different gondolas. There is an additional charge for the uncovered, traditional style rowing, and Crystal Swan gondolas. Availability is limited.
- Can I use my own photographer?
From time to time, we receive requests from gondola clients to bring their own photographers to take photos of their special occasion from the shore. Sometimes these photographers are friends or family members, and sometimes they are professional companies. This is often followed by numerous calls and/or emails from the clients, friends, family members, or the photographers asking us to pinpoint the specific time and location when a bottle drop will happen, when a proposal will happen, or when the gondola will pass by a landmark or bridge.
Unfortunately, this information is very difficult for us to provide, for several reasons:
- Not all clients arrive on time
- Not all gondolas travel at the same speed
- Our cruises vary from one hour to two hours, depending on cruise type
- Wind and current impact not only speed but also routing and bottle message location
- Other factors can impact routing and bottle message location, such as the other gondolas, pedal boats, SUP traffic on the waterway, weed and other growth under the water, special events on the lake, etc.
- If the cruise included food service, we can’t always predict the serving time from the restaurant
All of these factors combine to make it nearly impossible for us to provide detailed information to independent photographers about how best to capture images of special occasions. Furthermore, our phone and sales staff are not equipped to answer such questions.
We do offer professional photography services in our Irving location. The photographers have been trained and regularly interface with the gondoliers to capture special moments. However, we don’t have the time or ability to replicate this training with friends, family, and outside photographers who will only be doing one photo shoot for one customer.
Clients are always welcome to have someone along the canals to attempt to capture photos, but not only can we not guarantee a time and location where specific events will happen, but we cannot even give a 100% guarantee that the gondolier will enter the canals (sometimes the wind and weather prohibit canal cruising). Most importantly, our focus is to provide a gondola cruise, and we must emphasize to guests providing their own photography that we cannot be responsible for any outside photographer’s inability to capture great images.
The only suggestion we can make is to have your friends or photographers be at the dock location from which you sail (hiding somehow), and follow the boat. Our typical route is a one-way loop through the canals and the lake. Perhaps you can communicate with your land-based photographer via text during the cruise to advise them of important happenings.
Thank you for your understanding.
- When is the best time to cruise?
Although the most popular time to cruise is during sunset, the best time can really only be determined by you. Consider a bountiful breakfast cruise, a picnic lunch cruise, or a late afternoon appetizer cruise as a great way to start your evening before a dinner reservation. Perhaps you might enjoy one of our dinner cruises on the gondola or a delicious dessert cruise under the stars.
- Are your cruises just for romantics?
On the contrary, we also host families, friends, and business groups. We can also accommodate large groups. Please call for details.
- Can I cancel my cruise?
All of our cruises are non-refundable, but they are transferrable. Once you make a reservation, that date and time are held specifically for you. If you are unable to arrive for your cruise, we suggest having a friend or family member cruise in your place. Please call our office at 855-gondola as soon as possible to discuss the situation.
- Do I need to arrive early for my cruise?
Please arrive on the dock at the time of your cruise. If you arrive early, your gondolier may not be in from a prior cruise or he may be setting up your gondola. Your cruise should depart at the appointed time.
- What do I do if I'm running late?
We row by reservation, so your gondola and gondolier’s time are blocked specifically for your cruise. If you are running late, your gondolier will be waiting for you by the gondola (for at least 45 minutes into an hour cruise and 90 minutes into a two-hour cruise). Depending on the gondolier’s schedule, your cruise may need to pull in at the scheduled end time. Because all of our cruises are non-refundable, please still plan to arrive if you are running late so at least you can enjoy a portion of your cruise.
- Are your bottle messages presented with plastic wrap to keep the message dry?
Absolutely not! Our bottle messages are presented on beautiful parchment paper, rolled tightly and tied with a ribbon, placed all the way into a brand new clear glass wine bottle, and sealed tightly with a cork. The cork keeps the message 100% dry until the guest of honor retrieves it. Removal from the bottle is accomplished by popping the cork and tugging on the ribbon.
- What about inclement weather?
All of our cruises are non-refundable. In case of inclement weather – if it is raining or too windy to cruise – we will contact you and either reschedule as soon as possible or issue you a gift card.
- Will there be anyone else on the boat besides my date and me?
All of our cruises are private for you and your guest(s).
- What about music?
Some of our gondoliers sing, while others do not. All of our gondoliers play soft romantic music. If you would like a singing gondolier, please note it in your comments (please be advised requests cannot be guaranteed).
- Can I bring my children on the gondola? What is the price?
You can bring your children aboard our gondolas. Children under 5 are free.
- What should I wear?
While some guests prefer to dress up for the occasion, we always recommend that you dress comfortably and season appropriate (for example: dress warmly in winter, although we do carry blankets on board). We find our guests generally dress in a nice but casual fashion, as they would to go to a restaurant.
- Do the gondolas have life jackets aboard?
All of our gondolas have life jackets under the deck. It is our policy that children age 12 and under wear a life jacket. Please know that our gondolas are very safe; however, if an adult would like to wear a life jacket as well, please notify the gondolier when you arrive.
- Can we smoke on the gondola?
No. Some of our gondolas are made completely out of wood, and some have many wood and flammable elements.