Todd Minners’s Event Journal

Odyssey washington 120312
Wednesday November 12, 2008 / 7:00pm (Dinner Cruise)
Odyssey's Luxury Brunch & Dinner Cruises
3 tickets
Maitre D' Seating

How was your experience?

Clear I hated it I didn't like it It was OK I liked it I loved it!
I went for dinner w/ a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I don't know if it was because I got "cheap" Goldstar tix, but I was disappointed we were seated right next to the band, especially since our group had 2 people in their 70s. Most of the 85% full boat was being used for private/corporate parties so pretty much no matter where you sat in the public area, it was hard to hold a conversation without shouting as the band got louder throughout the evening. Another disappointment: we took the southern route after they announced that the tide was too high to pass under the bridges, so all we saw was Alexandria waterfront lights. The wait staff was courteous and efficient but not overly friendly. The food was nicely presented in 3 courses + dessert and the taste was on par with coat and tie-type restaurants; about like mid-grade cruise food such as Royal Carribbean. We brought our own wine bottle and were told of a $20 corkage fee which I persuaded the waiter to waive due to the special occasion. At the end the waiter comp'd the anniversary couple 2 glasses of average tasting red wine which we clearly didn't need since we had barely finished our own bottle. At the end when we were departing, it was clear the waiter expected an especially generous tip for doing those favors as he glared at me and reminded me firmly to take care of him. As others have said, the anniversary couples are announced and asked to come share a slow dance. The band played typical lounge music such as I Will Survive, Electric Slide etc and they were as good as any major casino lounge band. They managed to more or less fill the dance floor, especially during the last half hour or so. They took a few short breaks during which we could actually talk at almost normal voices; the rest of the time in order to have a conversation we stepped out on the pleasant deck where they had a few metal bistro tables & chairs. The parking was free in special reserved spaces with attendants helping us park and I had no troubles picking up the tickets at the window about 10 min before the cruise left. Overall it was worth trying it at the Goldstar price which included fuel surcharge and taxes (good deal!). I did seem like we were on a mini cruise (including $20 photo package in front of the life ring) without all the travel required for a real cruise. To me, the Odyssey dinner cruise is most suited to large corporate parties, couples in their 30s, and girls' night out. Not recommended for intimate conversation or kids.