The holidays can be overwhelming when it comes to shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, and cleaning, we often forget to enjoy the Christmas season and take some time to enjoy eachother. This past December my husband and I planned a staycation in San Francisco to get away from it all if only for 30 hours, focus on our marriage, and take in the bay area in a unique way! Along with a wonderful stay at the Hotel Griffon, we strolled over to the nearby Embarcadero and hopped aboard the San Francisco Belle at Pier 3 to enjoy a Holiday Dinner Cruise thanks to Hornblower Cruises. Starting out with only two vessels in 1980, Hornblower has sailed since for over 30 years in the bay area and now has 35 yachts serving 7 California ports, they offer spectacular scenery and diverse tour offerings making their cruises one of my favorite things to do in the city!Our immediate thought when we boarded and approached the registration table was that they know how to greet their guests. Glasses upon glasses of champagne were lined up for a welcoming toast. I soon forgot how chilly I was this winter evening with my first few sips. On our boarding pass was the level and the table number we were assigned and we zipped through the line very quickly. The next stop was a photo opportunity and that line was longer and at a standstill, we were eager to find our seats so we promised to come back. It was so neat to see people dressed to the nines, tuxedos and sequins in every direction, though it was not a requirement but suggested we did also see casual wear that seemed just as appropriate. We found our seats and our table had an assigned waitress who found us right away to offer a glass of premium brand wine or beer (on this cruise both were complimentary throughout the night, cocktails were for purchase).The boat was decorated so nicely lights, evergreens, and bursts of red poinsettias. I was eager to get my dance on, so when the DJ began spinning popular tunes, I had my husband hold our place in the buffet line as I warmed up on the dance floor. Groups of women, couples, business associates and even a few children made their way to the music and got the party started! The DJ had a perfect mix of high energy songs, group numbers for line dancing, and a few slow ones mixed in. It was time to enjoy dinner which included a feast of holiday favorites, salads, vegetables, pasta, meats, and potatoes. The pesto tortellini was so good as was the chicken with mushroom sauce. My husband chose the steak, but his meat was a bit too rare. We contacted our waitress who didn’t hesitate to take his plate and usher him back in the line for another selection, she said she didn’t want her guests to be disappointed, we appreciated her hospitality. Seconds were definitely encouraged while the dessert table had many creative cakes and pies to choose from.The wine flowed all night and after a few more dances, my husband wanted to bear the cold and wander outside the ship for all the evening views. Luckily I brought two extra layers and a scarf because although it was in the 50’s, the wind cut through you. It was worth it though, the views of the city skyline, the famous Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz Island were completely photo worthy! The wind died down at the end of the evening, but we needed a warm up, so more dancing it was. Coffee stations were brought out as well to end the evening and the DJ played all the way to disembarkation. We had an amazing 3+ hours cruising the gorgeous San Francisco Bay at night and look forward to planning our next trip. The combination of dinner, dancing, and spectacular views make it a perfect date night, girl’s weekend event, or holiday gift experience. Visit https://www.hornblower.com/home/sf for more information on booking, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and other great cruises are available, happy sailing!
As a side note, my husband tends to need medication for motion sickness on boats, there was very minimal rockiness this particular evening and with his half dose Dramamine, he was just fine. I don’t get motion sick and honestly forgot at points in the night that we were on the water, it was smooth sailing!
Our experience was hosted, gratuities and opinions are 100% our own.