I visited when I had a one day London Pass which covered a 'rover ticket' meaning unlimited river travel for a day.
(Find out more about the London Pass.)
City Cruises Review
As part of my London Pass day I was really looking forward to a Thames river cruise and was planning to cruise to Greenwich and back to relax after dashing around to so many attractions in the morning. I checked the timetable carefully online before setting out so I knew what time I had to complete my earlier visits to ensure I could join the last cruise of the day.
I got to the London Eye Pier, right next to the London Eye, found the Departure Point and with no staff around I simply waited for the next boat to arrive. Twenty minutes later a boat came across from Westminster Pier, near the Houses of Parliament on the other side of the river, and a member of staff came out of his office to meet the boat. Only as the boat's door opened did this member of staff tell me I should have collected a ticket from the Ticket Desk at the entrance to the Pier so I couldn't get on that boat. He also told me boats were running every ten minutes and not to the online timetable that I had printed out and this was because it was during the school holidays.
I fumed inside, got a ticket and waited again, this time with a large group of French school children who were noisy and obviously couldn't read 'Wet Paint' signs nor would listen when I tried to explain. The next boat came and I then discovered it was only going to Tower Pier almost opposite where I had come from! I wanted a cruise to Greenwich and back to relax but I chose to get on the boat just to change locations and reassess what else to see.
No relaxing to be had as the French students got on too but I did find a power point to charge my phone as I was tweeting my day for followers. A 'tour guide' talked over the loud speakers for the whole journey (25 minutes) telling us 'facts' and how he wasn't paid to be a guide but staff seemed happy to wave a bucket at us for tips as we disembarked. Never again, I say.
I had got a 'rover ticket' which meant I could go on more boats throughout the day but I decided not to endure the company's poor service anymore.
There are many companies providing Thames river cruises and I would choose a different one to City Cruises if I were you. I can see why tickets are included in packages with 'Hop On Hop Off' bus tours and the London Pass as they would not have many customers if we actually had to pay them directly for what they provide.