Saturday, August 6, 2011

Odyssey's Wine Lover Dinner Cruise

On a recent Friday evening, a throng assembled on Rowe's Wharf, behind the Boston Harbor Hotel, waiting to board the Odyssey Cruise for a Friday Wine Lover's Dinner Cruise.  It was in some respects a diverse crowd, many senior citizens but also various young couples, some looking almost too young to be of legal drinking age. It was overcast, and the occasional sprinkle fell from the sky, threatening to keep the ship in port. At 6:00p.m., we were permitted to board the ship and the crowd formed a line down the walkway.

Nine others and I were there as part of a complimentary food blogger dinner. I am sure that the Odyssey hoped this would garner them some positive press but I don't think those hopes will come to fruition. Frankly, most of the experience felt as if I was at a mediocre wedding reception, and I don't have the slightest inclination to repeat the experience.

The Dinner Cruises usually cost about $89.90, except on Saturday nights when it costs $119.90. For that price, you receive a three course meal, musical entertainment, a three hour cruise of the harbor and the ability to dance. On Fridays, they have a Wine Lover's Dinner Cruise ($89.90) which also gets you one free glass of wine. So, you can already see that this is not a cheap dinner. For two people, with a couple drinks, tax and tip, it will probably cost you $250-$300 for the night.

The dinner menu, which apparently changes only once a year or so, is small, with four Appetizer choices, six Entrees and five Desserts. The dishes sound appealing, like the Caramelized Duck en Croute and Bourbon and Peach Glazed Pork Loin, but in their execution the food is often mediocre, what you might see at a wedding reception. Most of the people dining with me were very disappointed in much of the food. For the high price, you would expect the quality of the food to be much better. I have to admit though that I did enjoy my dessert, the Seasonal Fruit Cobbler, though it certainly was not gourmet.

The wine I had, the 2005 Westport Rivers Brut RJR was a good sparkling wine, but most wine dinners I attend provide more than a single glass of wine with the meal.  Our server, who said he had worked on the ship for seven years, made several misteps. The band had its ups and down, murdering some songs while doing well on others. The dance floor was crowded at several points, but it still seemed like a wedding to me.

Sure, it is a pretty view but I would rather have skipped dinner and just had a drink on the upper deck, over looking the harbor. For the money, you can find much better experiences in Boston, and I would not recommend this cruise even for a special occasion.


Odyssey Dining Cruise on Urbanspoon
Odyssey Cruises on Urbanspoon

8 comments:

Daisy said...

i like your review. i was still happy for the experience, even though I probably wouldn't do it again.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Even though the food wasn't great, I still enjoyed our cruise because of the company :) It was great meeting you there. I went to brunch that following Sunday and the experience was much more pleasant (service wise, it was literally night and day). Plus they had a chocolate fountain during brunch ;)

Richard Auffrey said...

Yes, getting to hang out with everyone was the best part of the evening. It was good to meet some new people, like yourself Bianca, and to reconnect with others I already knew. Hopefully we can all meet again at a place where the food is better.

Wining Ways said...

I agree with assessment of the Odyssey experience being like a mediocre wedding reception where the food is concerned. At least you enjoyed the Westport Rivers wine.

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