Tucked away in Long Beach is the fun adventure of Gondola Getaway and I was invited to take a ride while on vacation with my daughter in the area.
We were both super excited for the gondola ride, and for a chance to just kick back and relax off our feet for a while after a couple of days of waking around amusement parks. Tanning in the sun for a while was just an added bonus.
It is just a short walk from the street (yeah for free street parking) and we were at the offices of Gondola Getaway. We arrived a few minutes early were greeted by a friendly receptionist that confirmed our reservations and invited us to sit down and relax until it was time to go on our gondola ride. We took advantage of the time to slather on some sun block. A short time later our gondoliera introduced herself and we were off for our trip across the bay.
Everything about Gondola Getaways is about personal service. Reservations are made by phone while talking to a real person, and a confirmation e-mail is sent shortly after you hang up the phone. If you book a party of two people for your gondola ride, you will only have two people in your boat. This is not a cram as many people as you can into one ride kind of place. Our boat had room for six, and my daughter and I were seated way up in the front of the boat. We were invited to sit back and relax and enjoy the ride. When I made the reservations I was informed that we were more than welcome to bring along any food and drink for our ride, so armed with some iced teas and snacks we kicked backed and enjoyed our ride while our gondoliera rowed us across the bay with some soothing music playing in the background.
Seating in the boat was very comfortable and just in case either of us were chilled, blankets were readily available on the backs of the seats. The ride across the bay was smooth and peaceful, and our gondoliera was happy to answer any questions we had, and entertained us as we rowed through the Naples Island Canals, while pointing out fun named boats, and telling us a bit about the history of the area She even told us how some of the houses she tells her daughter are homes of fairy tale princesses, so my daughter and I started to hunt some out and guess which one ones made the cut.
A few of the houses cracked me up by having pirates out by their own docks. My daughter cracked up when we came around a curve and I immediately identified the Captain Morgan pirate. At one point we passed a couple on another gondola and she pointed out the difference between the two boats, the length of the oars, and the different rowing techniques for each type of boat.
My daughter and I had a blast, and we loved our gondoliera. Before we took of on our cruise the receptionist snapped a picture of my daughter and I in the boat, and when we returned she presented us with our picture inserted into a postcard. You just have to love it when you get an instant souvenir! If my husband ends up traveling to the area again, I am going to book and evening cruise for the two of us.