Sunday, July 03, 2022

Sydney 4 Part 2

Raw post, not edited or corrected.

It was a coincidence that we visited Sydney during its lighting display Vivid. We discovered Vivid would be on after we booked our trip. So to what we subsequently booked we added a Captain Cook early dinner cruise to see some of the Vivid lighting. The later dinner cruise was already booked out. 

Our departure time was 5pm and thinking 45 minutes would be plenty of time to get there for the ninety minute cruise, it wasn't. We had to wait quite a few minutes in evening peak time for a train from Museum to Wynyard, then a decent walk and we came out (I know this now) with the King Street wharfs to our left and Barangaroo Wharfs to the right. We went to the Barangaroo Wharf 3 and it was fairly clear that wasn't where we would depart from. We got to the correct King Street Wharf about ten minutes before departure with R stressed. Why? We are here ten minutes early. Really though, I should have allowed more 'things going wrong' time. Almost everyone was onboard.

It was pretty well three courses in an hour and be ready for the lighting up by 6pm. I had to order a bottle of wine using a QR code on our table and enter my card details. Bad luck if you couldn't work out how to do it. It would be a 'dry' argument. We paid extra for a table for two at a window, probably not worth it.

Listed on the online menu were three entrees to choose from. Three mains and three desserts. We were asked if we had any dietary requirements and we answered no and so the choice was down to choosing between choices for each course. We thought we could choose but no, we were given one each of both courses. So for entre I had thinly sliced salmon, which I can eat but I don't really like it and R was given a very nice salad.

We both wanted chicken for the main, but no. We had to one of chicken and one of fish. R started to protest. The waiter checked with the on floor manager. She rudely called over to us that we had to have one of each. She was also very rude to the staff under her too. R argued with the waiter. I told him to let it go. I will have the fish.

We sat discussing the matter and the very nice young waiter returned with Sir, you can have the chicken too. It is not a problem. 

R was so pissed off at this point he said no, I'm not having anything and stormed off leaving me with two roast chicken meals and three quarters of a bottle of wine. The serve was large and I couldn't finish even my own dish. R's just sat on the table. I was asked what dessert I wanted and as I ordered for both of us, R sent me a text. I'm on the top outdoor deck. Come up when you have finished. The views are lovely, and they were when I joined him before returning to eat my dessert and finish off a bottle of wine, less one glass. The uneaten chicken had been removed, replaced by dessert. 

Now really, at least here in Australia if you have a set menu with a couple of meals listed for each course, you can choose which you have. It is standard practice. Management knows from experience what is popular and what is less favoured and cater accordingly. 

To R's credit, he did not let the meal experience spoil the evening. Up on deck by 6pm, we saw the lighting up and it was terrific. There is so much public lighting up for Vivid in Sydney and we only saw what can be seen from the boat within the harbour. 

The trip was worth it to see the lights. The meal not so. It was a fast paced production of churn them through by a certain time without any personalised service and minimal staff to the point you can't even have a waiter take an order for a bottle of overpriced wine. I cannot recommend a Captain Cook Vivid cruise and I am part way through writing a critical Trip Advisor review. However, we have taken a harbour lunch cruise in the past and that was as I remember, quite good.

The interior lighting was good. Unfortunately on the outside of the ship windows were strings of LED lighting, rather spoiling some photos.


The parkland and walking areas that were part of Barangaroo development do seem quite good.



We passed under the harbour bridge four times during the cruise.


Underside of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


People were waiting for the 6pm switch on of lighting. 




Here we go. 



From his lovely highrise apartment with views of the bridge, Victor sent me a text, asking if it that was us passing by. It was.







Luna Park looking towards North Sydney is always lit.





After disembarking, the area was absolutely buzzing. What a terrific atmosphere.


I thought this may amuse north Americans, taken as we sat outdoors having coffee. Please don' t tell me I have to explain it.


On the way back to the station, we passed by this entertainment. A short video to end the post.


I am not sure that R has ever done this before but once back at the hotel on social media he gave a scathing review of the Captain Cook cruise. We don't always agree on such things but he was quite right.




26 comments:

  1. A big sigh at the meal. Vivid looks spectacular though - and thank you for the video.

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    1. EC, I understand the economics of the meal service but not the lack of choice. The illuminated buildings we saw were ok, but there are some very nice more low key illuminations.

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  2. I heard Capt Cook was an interesting person.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    1. Dora, he is quite important in our history.

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  3. Fabulous photos but the meal experience was unforgiveable. Even at an alternate drop wedding dinner we had some say in what we got.

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    1. Caro, I guess the key was when were asked about dietary preferences. But who would have thought that would be I don't eat fish, when I actually do, when I want to.

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  4. How good to see those sails, they are looking great. Your shots are good too - shame about the meal and the cruise itself..

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    1. Thanks Margaret. Lucky the whole experience wasn't spoilt.

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  5. Are you sure you didn't dine here: https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/parents-beware-kids-are-pranking-mum-and-dad-with-trips-to-sydney-s-rudest-restaurant-20220623-p5avyk.html ?

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    1. MC, the link didn't seem to work but I guess you mean Karen's. What fun.

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  6. I've never been to a restaurant where I was told what to eat, but I have been to plenty where there was no choice.

    The Opera house looks fantastic. By the way, the word 'Butt' first appears in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, I think it was in The Miller's Tale. So, English rather than American.

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    1. But Cro, you don't use the word butt now whereas Americans do.

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  7. Such a shame about the meal stuff-up, quite deplorable actually and I hope it never happens again. Perhaps if you go again just see the lights without the meal part, have a hearty late lunch then a decent late night snack back at your hotel instead.
    I'm glad R was moved to put a scathing review and you too on Trip Advisor.
    The lights are wonderful seen from my living room here today.

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    1. River yeah, deplorable is a good word to describe the meal service. There are easier ways to see the lights, granted. But we wanted the experience. Are you joking about your lights?

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    2. Your lights photos, the Sydney lights, seen via my computer screen.

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  8. I have to say that it is pretty strange that one would be told what you're going to have for your meal. And then to have someone yell across the diningroom that you HAVE to have it? Wow. I'd have walked out too.

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    1. Debby, you have spurred me on to make complaint directly to the cruise company.

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  9. Thanks for putting your buttocks in the bin? Please don't!

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    1. No, best not to do that Hels.

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  10. Butt as in cigarette butt, the part you suck on.

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    1. TP, you are a filthy bad boy. Go to detention.

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  11. Anonymous3:50 am

    To me, that was a lot of fun. I would not mind the cuisine at all. The lights were spectacular. Gigi hawaii

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    1. Thanks Gigi. The lights are spectacular indeed.

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  12. Unbelievably beautiful night lights, Andrew. Just fabulous. As for the dinner experience, how badly one person can sour a great time out.

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    1. Thanks Strayer. Yes, pity about the dinner, but we'll remember the lights more strongly.

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  13. What a pity about the meal on the cruise, and good on you and R for complaining. The Vivid Light show is fantastic. I visited Sydney a few years ago during one of the shows and I was like a child in a candy store. So many pretty things to look at 😁

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