A night on the town: the Spirit of Philadelphia

By Elizabeth Brachelli
December 8, 2006

Meghan Hurley

Cruising down the Delaware River while overlooking Philly’s twinkling sky-line and indulging in exquisite food and energetic entertainment is the ultimate outing for college students looking for a night out.

The eventful night out can be enjoyed on the Spirit of Philadelphia, a dinner cruise. Located on the Penn’s Landing waterfront, the Spirit of Philadelphia has a jam-packed, three-hour dinner cruise that appeals to all crowds.

Bob Gregory, the general manager of the Spirit of Philadelphia, sums up the cruise in the few words he constantly hears from college students and all types of crowds. Gregory said, “It’s fun. They love it.”

The night aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia begins with stepping on to the three-deck ship to be escorted to the tastefully decorated tables and decks for the holiday season and the night’s festivities. The ship takes parties of two to 600 guests by reservation. Guests can also reserve whole decks for large parties.

Gregory said, “A lot of people just think we’re a boat ride and dinner.”

The Spirit of Philadelphia involves more than a boat ride and dinner. After being seated on the ship with either group reservations or other guests, there is the opportunity to venture around the ship and take in the views from the panoramic windows surrounding the ship. Also, the strolling decks are accessible if the skyline view is not enough from within the ship’s climate-controlled decks. If that does not appeal to the guest, the full-service bars are open.

Once the boat is ready to cruise the Delaware River, the dining and the entertainment begins. Guests are able to choose from an endless assortment of freshly prepared food after being invited by their waiter to the Grande dinner buffet. The buffet includes a salad, a carving station of ham and roast, entrees of chicken teriyaki, chicken marsala, andoille sausage, shellfish and stuffed sole Chesapeake. There is also accompaniments of white rice and various types of vegetables. After eating dinner, guests can choose delicious desserts of either vanilla bean cheesecake or chocolate marquis.

While eating dinner, the dance floor is busy with entertainers engaging the audience in the ship’s live musical revue “Red Hot Rhythm & Blues.”

Leah Salamon, the director of entertainment, said, “We have positive feedback from our audience.

The musical includes clips from every era of music from Motown, rock, classic rock and classic rock and roll. The cast of the musical wears sparkling costumes fit for each tune. Audience members are pulled from their seats to sing and dance in tunes.

Salamon said, “It’s a real audience pleaser.”

Once the live entertainment slows down, the guests can take over the dance floor with the disc jockey’s playing of the top 40 hits.

After guests spend the night dining and on the dance floor, the boat docks back into the Penn’s Landing waterfront port.

If not able to spend the night out on the town to relish in the dinner and entertainment, the cruise also offers lunch cruises with narration on Philly’s skyline. Moonlight cruises as well as theme cruises are available all year round at different pricing. For more information on pricing and the Spirit of Philadelphia, visit http://www.spiritcitycruises.com/ph/index.jsp.

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Elizabeth Brachelli

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