Melodrama on the High Seas

Posted on 14 May 2009

By Robb Wirt

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, A tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port aboard this tiny ship. …For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.” OK, it was only two and a half hours, and well, does tropic in spirit count? You get the point. I went on a dinner cruise in the San Diego bay. The “fine dining vessel” took me down 25 scenic miles of San Diego’s picturesque skyline. That’s what the website said anyway. How many pictures can you see in the dark? I’m just saying. Sure, the lights were on so I could see the buildings. But come on, it wasn’t anything I hadn’t already seen on my drive down the freeway. I’m getting ahead of myself though. Let me start at the beginning. I arrived at the bay, picked up my boarding pass, and then got in line to board the ship. I never understand why long lines don’t have a bar. I mean, I’m just standing there. Why not have a drink too. Anyway, as I waited in line for the boarding process to begin I got caught up in what seemed like a line to get into the sample sale at Jimmy Choo or Prada. Actually, now that I think about it, it was more like a scene from Stepford Wives. I was surrounded by fifty robotic women, none of which could stop talking in these high pitched mechanical voices. They were paired off in two’s. Each pair looked alike, well sort of. Long story short I was freakin’ in the middle of a sorority event! Mother, daughter look-alike contest was in full effect. The horror-of-it-all!
We board the ship and receive a customary glass of champagne. We are seated at our window table. Everyone was very friendly and shared my enthusiasm. Well, until I started asking questions anyway. What can I say? I’m curious and I crave information. We ordered wine and drinks. The wine list featured, oh what does it matter? The sparse list was all very inexpensive. I’ve seen better wine selections at Denny’s. The full bar didn’t carry Southern Comfort so I made due with a Jack Daniels Collins. It was delicious. Dinner came, and well, the waiters were running in every direction pulling food from who knows where for everyone, so it was an unfortunate time to need another drink. My bad. Patience is a virtue… We started with a traditional wedge Caesar salad followed by Dungeness crab stuffed Pacific snapper oven roasted (Where else would it be roasted?) and served with a lemon caper sauce. I also had the herb grilled breast of chicken with roasted vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes. To top it all off dessert was a chocolate mousse cheesecake. A thin layer of rich New York style cheesecake topped with a layer of creamy chocolate mousse and decadent chocolate ganache. All in all it was all right.

You don’t take the cruise for an amazing dinner experience. The experience as a whole is supposed to be amazing. Because this cruise is only 2.5 hours I felt that dinner was rushed and then remember the sorority girls? Well, they’re still on the boat. They needed to have a fashion show and walk the catwalk. I suggested the plank, but that joke bombed. Anyway, they pranced and I judged. Literally. I was part of the panel of judges for the mother daughter look-alike contest. I think the winner was fixed though. After all that hoopla everyone is supposed to relax and enjoy the cruise. I walked up on deck and took in the view of downtown San Diego and its beautiful skyline. The bottom of the Coronado bridge was also quite impressive. So much in fact that the boat circled it three times. Next we went to the lower deck to check out the DJ and dancing. OK, that’s long enough it’s time to leave as the boat has docked. So let me wrap this up for you in a nutshell. All in all I’d have to say the cruise isn’t long enough. It needed another 40-50 minutes so that the dinner didn’t feel rushed and then one could leisurely relax and take in the scenery or dance the night away. The staff could have been a little more knowledgeable about where the boat was going. At one point I thought we were going to Mexico. We didn’t. And if you want that perfect bottle of wine with dinner, bring a flask.

Categorized | Travel