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Moonshadow Cruises Review

Destination: Port Stephens

Category: See & Do

Topic: Moonshadow Cruises - Twilight Dinner Cruise.

We did this cruise as a family group to celebrate our daughters birthday. It was early June, so unfortunately, being the beginning of winter the sun had already well and truly set by the time we departed the jetty at 7.15pm. This meant that the entire trip was done in darkness rather then enjoying the sights of the Bay in 'twilight' as would be the case when taking it in summer.

The cruise takes about 2.5 hours, leaving from Nelson Bay, around to Shoal Bay and then travels down the bay to Soldiers Point and returns. Venturing outside from the cabin during the cruise at this time of year was a little cool at times, but not too bad. The lights reflecting from the shore was still pleasant and we were were lucky enough to have a beautiful calm night, lots of stars in the sky, and the water was like glass. An added bonus was to have a number of dolphins join us and ride the wake of the boat as we slowly cruised around the bay. We could easily see them as we watched from the standing platform on the bow of the boat as they moved from one side to the other below us.

A highlight was when we were heading east back up the bay nearing the end of the cruise, a bright yellow full moon was rising and its light, plus the lights of Nelson Bay, were reflecting on the glass like water under a clear star filled sky, creating one of those goose bump moments!

Inside the main cabin area is also pleasant, but starting to look a little old and tied in some places. There was a girl providing live entertainment singing cover songs and a few of the other guest on board ventured onto the dance floor. A buffet style dinner is provided with the cruise, this was good but not great, enjoyable but not wonderful. A good selection of drinks is available from the bar on board. The cabin staff were also pleasant, but feel they could engage a little more with those on board. The captain allowed the kids to have a go at steering the boat, which was real treat for them.

In Summary
We had a very enjoyable evening, but I think we made it so by taking some initiative to go outside the main cabin and take in the sights even though it was cool. Some on board did not do this due to it being winter time. Although we all had a good time, we can't help think that this is a cruise much better suited for the warmer months when it really is a twilight cruise. By taking it at this time those on board would really get better value out of it by spending the bulk of the cruise outdoors enjoying the sights rather than spending it mostly inside away from the cold. In summer, there would also be more passengers on board, which would help to add more of a party atmosphere.

We hope to do this cruise again in the warmer months so that we can give an updated review and compare the two experiences.

Cruises depart every Saturday at 7.15pm. Additional cruises available October - April.
Duration 2.5 hours
Departs from d'Albora Marinas Nelson Bay
Moonshadow Cruises: Shop 3 Stockton Street, Nelson Bay
Ph: (02) 4984 9388


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