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Old July 8th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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Default Would NOT recommend Orca Enterprises in Juneau

Orca
July 2, 2008

Booked for 9:00 am, check in time 8:30 am whale watching with mendenhall glacier.
Upon arrival they said they changed our reservation to 11:30 due to boat problems.
We wanted to go earlier but felt we had no other options. Boat did not go Out till 12:30 and we returned at 2:30 when it should have been a 2 ½ hour boat trip. I was concerned for time because we had to board the diamond princess by 3:30 Pm. Boat had mechanical Issues (possibly seaweed) and would not go above 5 mph. Consequently, we Couldn’t go very far and saw only one whale. Captain Larry who smells like Liquor had two cigarettes on board which was very offensive. Shuttle driver talked loudly on personal cell call causing “customers” to hear too much information. Friends who went out a couple Minutes earlier with a different orca driver and boat had a better experience.

Orca’s brochure states while Cruising their “high speed purple jet boats you will see endangered species, humpback whales and stellar sea lions, along with killer whales, eagles, harbor seals, dalls porpoise and a variety of sea and Shore birds”.

Feeling extremely disappointed in my experience I contacted Carol Pitts, CEO/CFO. She twisted my
Comments about time into “sorry you couldn’t enjoy it because you were too busy looking at your watch and timing ride” when I was concerned about missing the boat. In second conversation, she said if we only got two hours ride time she would reimburse a ticket and admitted that the boat had a seaweed problem. In third phone call, she said “as Her treat” she would reimburse us the cost of the mendenhall glacier (a total of $38.00) as opposed to $114.00 for whale watching. Mendenhall
Glacier wasn’t the issue, everything else was.

Therefore, I would strongly recommend another whale watching company in Juneau.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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I think I'll take my chances, went with Capt. Larry once before and he was awesome. I feel bad that your boat had problems and hope they do fix it for you. I'm only doing the whale watching tour.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 09:14 PM
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Anyone who's been around online Forums for a while knows that every now and then business people come onto a Forum and trash their competitor as their first and only post. Perhaps you're not one of those, but having had 2 great trips with Captain Larry and having seen hundreds of other positive reviews (and the only negative one was 3 or 4 years ago), I'll keep giving Orca my business.

Murray
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Old July 10th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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I actually watched this tour while sitting at the dock a while back. It seemed VERY un-characteristic for Larry's boat, and was in stark contrast to the other 2 purple boats running that day.

I am suspicious of a first post with a negative review, but remember the volume issue as well... any operation that serves tens of thousands of people each season is bound to have a few "hiccups".

It does sound like Carol tried to make things right after the fact. I know Mendenhall wasn't the issue, but at least you received a partial refund and a bit of an apology. With fuel prices up and tourism down, anyone who receives a portion of a tour should be expected to pay for a portion of the total.

Sorry your experience wasn't all it was hyped up to be. At least now you've got another good reason to plan another trip to Alaska and do things again!

-Case

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Originally Posted by Yukon
Anyone who's been around online Forums for a while knows that every now and then business people come onto a Forum and trash their competitor as their first and only post. Perhaps you're not one of those, but having had 2 great trips with Captain Larry and having seen hundreds of other positive reviews (and the only negative one was 3 or 4 years ago), I'll keep giving Orca my business.

Murray
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Old July 10th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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Take it up with your credit card company..I had a problem with Orca Ent over a deposit and was refunded..

Kelly
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Old July 12th, 2008, 06:25 PM
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Default June 30 - Orca Enterprise experience

We just got back from our cruise to Alaska (Celebrity Millennium). I had booked a tour with Orca after reading about them in a forum. We had a wonderful time on it. Saw around 5 whales and two had babies. Captain Larry didn't say much but Captains Derks and Sean were a lot of fun and full of information. In fact, we booked a tour for Icy Strait Point on Derks's recommendation with Teckk Outfitters. It was just what we were looking for - no big bus with too many people and we saw two 3-year old bears and Keith was really great.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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Actually, I'm not a competitor. I based my selection of them on other reviewers. I realize that companies may have a "hiccup". I just believe they should make it right as it is not cheap.
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