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Want to start your weekend off early, need an excuse- buy a ticket for the Friday Early Escape Cruise on the Portland Spirit. Sail down the willamette starting at 3pm while listening to local bands jam on deck. Check their website for bands scheduled.
If you ever have a houseguest who seems particularly captivated by the large river running through Portland and would like to sail around on it, consider treating them to a ride on this big old-fashioned cruiser, where you can sit on the top deck and eat shrimp cocktail and drink sparkling wine and gape at huge riverfront mansions. It's actually pretty fun.
Disappointed. It was a lovely day for an excursion on boat. That was about the only redeeming thing about my experience on the Portland Spirit. While the crew was certainly polite, the servers and bartender were overworked and it took considerable time for many members in our group to get their drinks. The most disappointing part was the dinner. We ordered the salmon, but the consensus at the table was that all dishes were completely bland. Cafeteria food in a retirement home. I will say that the cheesecake was decent and that the scenery was enjoyable.
My daughter had her wedding here. You should take a look at it yourself. For some its amazing
Had my wedding here!. Great place.
Celiac Sufferers Beware.
I had made a reservation in advance for my wife's birthday. She had never been on the Portland Spirit and was looking forward to a nice meal on a beautiful cruise. Because she is celiac, I requested a gluten free meal. Two days before the dinner, I called to make sure that they could accomodate her dietary needs and was assured that the chef would provide a tasty alternative.
When we arrived we told the bartender/waitress that we had prearranged a gluten free selection. Her response was that there were gluten free options on the meal and eliminated one of the four options, the Spinach and Ricotta stuffed pasta shells. The rice pilaf also had some flour in it, so she had to settle for the chicken with extra veggies which were heated frozen vegetables.
Come dessert time, the standard dessert was a Sara Lee cheescake, which, of course, she could not eat. She was then offered a "fruit plate" as an alternative. A bowl of cut fruit arrived that looked as if it had been sitting in the refrigerator too long.
When the bill came, we found that we were charged extra for the extra veggies and for the "upgraded dessert". All in all, this was a disappointing experience for her and an embarrassment for me. Regarding my meal, I was given a few slices of roast beef piled atop my rice pilaf and some microwaved frozen vegetables.
This was the worst dining experience I had ever had in the United States or Europe (I had some MRE's in Vietnam that were worse). I could NOT recommend the Portland Spirit to anyone. They were obviously not educated in gluten free alternatives and their attitudes were quite surly. I felt like I was interrupting them with my concerns.
Disappointing and NOT recommended. We went on a dinner cruise and the only merit for the evening was being out on the River. The boat is dreary and no effort has been made to make the dining room more cheerful. The dinner was mediocre, lacked flavor, was poorly presented and reminded me of a large TV dinner! Even though dinner was (expensively) prepaid, they nickel and dimed us by charging extra for the appetizer and dessert. Apart from the cruise director, the service was surly and non-existent: we couldn't get a second drink with dinner and we had to physically hunt down a server to bring the dessert. The only good part was the warm, summer evening and that was outside their control! All in all, a very disappointing evening and I would NOT recommend wasting your money on a dinner cruise.
Allows floating memorial services and scattering ashes.
A family member passed away recently who had stated that he wanted to be cremated. He never liked funerals. He was a sports fisherman until arthritis crippled his hands so he could no longer hold a fishing pole. With that in mind we were looking for an inexpensive way to scatter his ashes in the river on a cool April day so he could rest near his favorite Willamette fishing spots, and celebrate his life with a few close friends.
After a few calls I found out that the Portland Spirit was more than willing to accommodate our request and the cost was extremely reasonable. We booked just the sightseeing passages for our guests which was half-off in April, so it was $10 per person. We did not opt for the full brunch - instead we bought beverages at the bar after we were on board. The bar tender made us a pitcher of mimosas and another pitcher of plain orange juice for those who don't drink alcohol. We spent about $30 with a generous tip included.
While we were enjoying a table by the window on the second floor of the ship - the lovely music of the piano from the brunch down stairs wafted up the open stair well and gave us the perfect soft background music. We enjoyed visiting and reminiscing about a dear friend and family member as we celebrated his life in a way he would have approved.
The captain of the ship visited with us personally and explained that we would cruise one hour up the river and then the ship would turn around at which point he would position the ship so the wind was right for scattering the ashes. The ship's staff would clear other passengers from the bow (which is also on the second level) and our group would have the exclusive use of the bow area to pour the ashes over board and do a small ceremony. The captain then would blow the boat's horn for the traditional signal when remains are committed at sea - two short and one long which means "cast off".
It went perfectly. We had enough time for a reading of some personal thoughts and a poem and then the ashes and some flowers went into the water. The ships bursar stood on the bow with us and signaled the captain to coordinate for us and then with our permission played a traditional burial tune on a little music pipe.
We then enjoyed the hour cruise back. We had the fortune to have a sunny day so we stayed on the bow, but had it been raining we would have been snug inside and still enjoyed the view.
The two hour cruise for 9 people with drinks - about $120.00 (plan on ticket prices of $20 a person during peak months). We got lucky and had a sunny day, but on a rainy day it would have worked as well.
You do have to give up the tables on the second deck to people buying brunch if the downstairs fills up so check with the cruise people when you make plans as to whether your particular date looks crowded. Keep in mind that there is an alternate lunch cruise during the week that I would expect would be less crowded that would work as well.
Many many thanks to the captain and crew that made it possible for us to have a pleasant memorial for our loved one, someone that they had never met but who they accepted as part of the maritime brotherhood and who they helped give a proper send off.
A big group of us decided to go on the brunch cruise that the portland spirit offers about a week ago. We agreed that it was a great deal for all of the food and free champagne that they served us. They offered various meats, egg selections, cheeses, and a yummy vegi lasagna, as wells as desert. The service was friendly and surprisingly knowledgeable about river ride.
Fellow foodies, go, try it and let me know what you think
We Had a Romantic Time on the Portland Spirit. I was racking my brain about where to take my wife for her birthday last weekend, and decided that a trip on their boat was a good idea. It was very a very different setting than any resturant you'll find in town (because it takes you up the river, no not to prison), but on the other hand you'll find the type of entertainment you'd expect in a nicer place like Wilfs for instance. The food was great and tasted fresh. I had their beef option and thought that it was tender and well cooked. She had a vegetarian plate and was happy. The singing and piano playing was above par and not too loud, so we were content with the setting. With the cold, but dry weather we were able to spend some of the night outside and found the setting to be a bit of an aphrodisiac. Without getting too long winded; I would recommend this business to you all.
Portland Spirit is a pirate ship, they get you on and steal your loot!. It was a nice trip down the WIllamette, but don't expect a great meal. The service wasn't typical of a meal of it's price range either. The salad was remarkably bland and uninteresting. The Salmon was mediocre as well as my GF's beef tenderloin. It was not horrible, but for the price, it could of been much more impressive. The drinks from the bar are pathetic and extremely weak. They use generic everything. The live entertainment was a joke. There was a piano hooked up to an Ipod with a pianist who only played half of the songs and allowed the Ipod to dazzle us with the other half. We feel that the Portland Spirit could put much more effort into dinner and less effort into extracting our loot!
Great time, great food at a company organized thing.. We went here with our co. during the NFWP expo in January and it was so good that I came back with my family on a trip this May, which was for the cruise much better when it was warm. Anything involving lamb I would recommend from my two trips and the Jambalaya which was surprisingly good for the great white north. Smooth sailing, remarkable views and service. Just the river views are worth the price of admission.
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