Love the gondola ride, my husband and I were fortunate enough to sit together, the other 2 couples had to sit across from each and away from each other. But the ride was still good, riding through the alley ways was interesting and getting to see the island was beautiful.
This was worth it. One of our favorite excursions even though there was no singing. It was very relaxing. Only issue was after a long day of touring had to walk to the meeting place and than walk back to the gondola service which we had passed on the way to the meeting location.
This is the only tour that was disappointing and we decided not to even get on the gondola. The crowd was like no other anywhere in Venice yet all other gondola services had very relaxing and pleasant atmospheres.
It took almost an hour and a half to take a 30 minute gondola ride. We met a the travel agency on the voucher and someone then walked about 40 of us over to where the gondola's pick up the passengers. However we were not the only group. They were about half way into the group that was before us so we stood in life for over an hour until we were able to get on the gondola. Then the person navigating our gonola spent the entire time having a conversation with the guy navigating the gondola in front of us. And we only spent about 3 minutes on the Grand Canal.
There are ton of places where you can walk up and hire a gondola driver. I wish I had known that because I would have done that instead.
Glad to have been. Was 15min later by the time we got onto the gondola and instead of the 30min ride it was only 20mins. Wasn't expecting a lot from the gondalier- he spent most of his time talking to another gondalier and on his phone. But perhaps a brief acknowledgement of our prescence?