Friday September 4, 2009 / 7:00pmNina's Dandy Dinner Cruise
How was your experience?
I was very disappointed that the "tide was too high" and we couldn't cruise past the National Monuments. I don't know exactly how you figure out if this will happen as I'm sure Dandy Cruises has no incentive to tell people in advance! Maybe because of that the cruise seemed very long. We checked in and were seated at 6:20 for a 7PM departure. We stepped off the boat at 10:35PM. It was a total of over 4 hours and for the last 2 hours they seemed to be making big circles around the National Harbor/Alexandria area. It wasn't unpleasant but not very exciting. On the other hand the weather was as lovely as I've ever seen in DC and we sat on the upper deck for the last hour plus enjoying the balmy breeze and bug-free evening. The crew was uniformly courteous and helpful. Their wine list is decently priced and we liked the bottle of white wine we got for $25 which we consider good for a restaurant. My husband had a premium bourbon on the rocks which was $6.75, very reasonable. The food was not outstanding but OK. Vegetables sadly overcooked, I can see why vegetarian reviewers haven't been happy. My husband had the prime rib and potato, both of which he liked. I had the stuffed shrimp and rice. The 4 big shrimps with crab were fine, the rice was mysteriously undercooked. The pianist who played during dinner was wonderful. He roamed smoothly through songs from the 40's-80's and we enjoyed recognizing our favorites. We are 55-65 and a younger couple might have recognized less, but it would still have been very agreeable background music. The DJ who played the dance music later seemed to be doing a lot of line dancing (?) numbers, but many people got out on the floor and they looked like they were having fun. We went up top at that point, which was better for us. We knew from other reviewers to expect the gratuity to be based on the pre-Goldstar price. I think that's reasonable as the waitstaff has the work to do either way. They did give us the choice of 15, 18 or 20% gratuity so you have some options. I'd like to do it again, but next time I will try to do more research on the tides and water levels. For our next outing I'd like to try a shorter, day-time cruise with more things to look at on shore. Many thanks for all the previous reviewers who helped us get an idea of what the cruises are like!