This is not a new bucket list tick for us as we have been on a pirate ship before. It was, however, a considerably more fun family adventure and an improvement on our first pirate ship experience. The Black Raven pirate ship runs from the harbour at St. Augustine in Florida. They run family orientated and ‘booze’ orientated cruises.
Black Raven Pirate Ship St Augustine Florida – Review
The black raven pirate ship is one of the many days out ideas in St Augustine. If you’d like more ideas why not check out my post – The Black Raven doesn’t rank particularly high on Tripadvisor however we had a lovely time and I would recommend it as a family cruise. I believe the evening ‘booze cruises’ cause the most complaints.
Price of Tickets on the Black Raven Pirate Ship
We pre booked online which also saved us a little bit of money. Currently booking tickets online costs $33.95 for an adult and $22.95 for a child. Toddlers are free. They have a shop with a ticket office at the St Augustine City marina. Here you can purchase your tickets or collect your tickets via your online booking. It’s also a good place to buy your kids pirate memorabilia or drinks for your journey out to sea.
The earlier you arrive at the boat the better the seat you can get. We were the first there and therefore the first on. We managed to get a seat right by the main action on the boat. Other seating areas are indoors or up on the two decks of the boat. If you have a shy kid like ours I totally recommend sitting as close to the pirates as you can. He actually joined in with the activities for once as he felt more involved than normal.
The Black Raven Pirate Ship – The boat
The boat is authentic in its look. It was designed and built for its purpose to be a floating performance stage. They have even built a mini version that you later meet out at sea for the ‘sea battle’.
Although it has masts it doesn’t have working sails. The boat is powered by a diesel engine. Which is a shame but understandable as they would need more crew to operate the boat as well as the actors.
The Black Raven Treasure Hunt
The Black Raven treasure hunt is the cruise that you want to be booking on as a family. It is dependant on the weather, however, most days they have a cruise at 2:15pm and one at 6:15pm. With an extended summer schedule. This trip is for all ages. Once you have boarded the boat and have met the ‘good pirates’ the adventure begins. Blackbeard boards the boat and steals the treasure from the Black Raven pirates. He then sets off on his own mini pirate ship and you meet him later on for a battle out at ‘sea’ to recover the treasure from him.
The pirates were very entertaining and if they weren’t singing songs they were telling tales and making jokes. There’s a small crew but the boat didn’t need any more pirates. Once you are out at ‘sea’ (I call it ‘sea’ as it’s a bay inlet from the sea) you pass under the bridge which has to open the road up for you.
The pirates then commence their activities. First on the agenda is getting all the kids ready to fight Blackbeard. They start with teaching them sword skills. Don’t worry they aren’t real swords. Each child takes it in turn to sword fight with one of the pirates. Considering how hard he was getting ‘beaten up’ the pirate in question deserved a medal. Even our shy son joined in which was an event in itself. Once they have been trained they go in the cabin to have their faces or other body parts painted.
The trip itself lasted for around 1 hour and a half. It doesn’t travel particularly far out however the bay is quite limited in size and it is too choppy to take it out to sea.
Once the kids have learnt how to sword fight and had their faces painted they start to build up the excitement for them with the arrival of Blackbeard. There are a few loud bangs and Blackbeard starts circling the ship in his own pirate ship.
He then boards the boat and battles with the main two pirates. They end up exchanging the treasure for a bottle of rum. Our son loved this part and it was good fun having another ship involved. He was a little scared as we ended up right next to all of the action and sword fighting.
All of the children are then given their own pirate treasure chest with some treasure in. He was over the moon with this and spent a lot of time playing with what was inside.
This then concludes the trip and the ship sails back to the harbour. The kids are also able to pose for photos with the two main pirates.
Drinks were available to purchase and alcohol was available along with cold soft drinks. We brought our own water on board which we had purchased in their shop. They didn’t have a problem with this.
It is advisable to take cash for drinks or your own drinks on board as it can get pretty hot out on the water. Sun cream is also essential and take something long-sleeved if it’s a slightly cool day as it gets much cooler once the boat is sailing. The boat has a toilet on board so don’t worry if your child forgets to tell you that they need the loo.
Overall we passed a fun hour and a half on board the boat and it was more than worth it for us to see our son joining in and genuinely having fun. He felt very important and he was very convinced that the pirates were indeed real pirates.
If you are looking for other things to do in Saint Augustine why not check out my other posts about the city. Including Our Visit to Castillo De San Marcos St Augustine Florida and our Eco Tours St Augustine Florida Review – Dolphin Tour and my post for my Top 8 Things To Do With Kids in St Augustine Florida.
Are you looking to book a holiday to St Augustine? Why not follow this link for booking ideas.
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