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.