With the likes of Pier 39, San Francisco Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and even AT&T Park in the bay of San Francisco, it makes good sense to check out these attractions from a different perspective – a San Francisco Bay Dinner Cruise!
Thanks to the great folks at Hornblower Cruises and Events, we were able to experience just that and here’s a lowdown of that experience!
San Francisco Bay Dinner Cruise with Hornblower Cruises & Events
San Francisco Bay Dinner Cruise aboard California Hornblower
The departure time for our dinner cruise was at 7:30pm and the boarding time was 7pm. We arrived at Pier 3 of Embarcadero at 6:55pm and the boarding started promptly. Once we boarded the ship, we were given a card with our names with the table number and we were off to explore the ship!
Our first impression of the ship was actually pretty good! Originally, we had thought that a bay cruise ship would be small and with quite a number of passengers aboard, space would be a premium. On the contrary, the ship was well laid out and everyone was able to have spacious seatings with amazing views of San Francisco Bay. The ship was very clean and elegantly decorated. Even the heads (nautical term for toilets) were spacious and nicely adorned.
The dining area also included a dance floor, a full service bar as well as a live band – the Hornblower Trio!
San Francisco Bay Dinner Cruise Menu
Starting at $105, the San Francisco Bay Dinner Cruise with Hornblower Cruises & Events includes
Three hour yacht cruise (Fri. – Sat.)
Two and a half hour yacht cruise (Sun. – Thurs.)
Four course seated dinner
Live entertainment and dancing
Soda, iced tea, coffee, hot tea and water
Wine, beer and cocktails available for purchase
Scenic San Francisco Bay views including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge
And here’s what we had…
Dorothy, our host for the evening, introduced us to the Blue Bay Lemon Drop Martini ($12) and it was indeed delicious. A beautiful bluish cocktail with a lemon twist on taste. Yum!
The dinner started with the California Hornblower Wedge Salad (maytag blue cheese dressing, smoked bacon, chopped eggs, tomatoes, scallions). Although, the “wedge salad” looked like it had a simple preparation method, the blue cheese dressing along with the diced condiments added flavour and texture to the salad.
Next up was the Fisherman’s Wharf Clam Chowder (potatoes, celery, onions, fresh thyme, smoked bacon ). We felt that the portion was a little small but the taste was rich with large fresh clams.
For entree, Kate had the Porcini Crusted Petit Filet Mignon (porcini sauce, parmesan truffle mashed potatoes
watsonville late harvest vegetables), medium well while Tom had the Mary’s Organic Pan Roasted Breast of Chicken (roasted red bell pepper coulis, cannellini bean ragout
bloomfield spinach). Both mains scored high on presentation and taste. The filet mignon was tender and was well complemented with the porcini sauce. The chicken breast on the other hand was a nice little surprise. Besides the drumlet, there was no bones within the meaty chunk of breast meat. The tomato based sauce was so appetizing that pretty soon, the plate was cleaned out (sauce and all)!
Throughout the entire dinner, we were well entertained by the Hornblower Trio. Elegant and classy tunes filled the atmosphere as we tucked into our meal and as the evening progressed, couples were invited to dance and make dedications. It was a romantic evening as couples celebrated birthdays and anniversaries while groups pretty much came out just to have an awesome time. For us, the Hornblower Trio made the difference for the evening. Cruise with them and find out why…
Tip: Remember that sodas (coke, sprite and diet coke), ice tea, water and coffee/tea are complimentary. During our cruise, we realized that not many passengers utilized this. Not even desserts with coffee! That’s kinda troubling…
San Francisco Bay Dinner Cruise – The Foggy Evening
Our only gripe was that the evening was shrouded (literally) with really really really dense fog. This meant that we were not able to see Alcatraz nor GGB. However, the Captain quickly made astute judgement calls and we headed over to central bay where we had the company of the San Francisco Bay Bridge for the evening as well as a little visit to AT&T Park – while the Giants were playing! And we came right next to the stadium!
As the sun set, we cruised around the Bay Bridge as the lights on the bridge started to illuminate and “dance”. Speaking of dance, the dance floor aboard started to heat up as well. After dinner, many started to hit the dance floor and it was pretty fun to just dance the night away. Check out our video coverage of the San Francisco Bay Dinner Cruise with Hornblower Cruises & Events…
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**Special thanks to Janna and Olivia for making this experience possible.