Let’s be honest: if you’re from New York City, you don’t really feel the need to explore your home turf the way tourists do. You roll your eyes at the guys handing out pamphlets outside the Empire State Building and feel like giving the people on those tour busses something to really talk about.
But more and more, locals seem to be hopping aboard dinner and dancing cruises, attractions once reserved for those looking to sightsee and eat at the same time.
When I got the invite, I decided to swallow my hometown pride and be open to the experience of seeing the city skyline at sunset with fresh eyes — and despite having seen her a thousand times, I may have gotten a little misty-eyed seeing the Statue of Liberty up close at night.
Paul Owen, director of sales at Entertainment Cruises’ New York Metro Division explained to The Daily Meal why visitors and locals alike are jumping land for ship:
The Daily Meal: Dinner cruises are usually reserved for out-of-towners — please share why a native New Yorker would want to hop on.
Paul Owen: Living in one of the greatest cities in the world, it’s easy for New Yorkers to take for granted some of the sights and attractions that make the city so renowned. But dining on a boat is more than just the meal! It’s about the experience. The senses become heightened as you take in the skyline from a whole different angle.
Is there a specific art to designing the menu for a dinner cruise?
As with any restaurant, it’s important to design a menu that fits with current culinary trends, and a dinner cruise is no different. Most of our guests consider a dinner cruise to be a celebration, so our menus are decadent and indulgent and accompanied by attentive tableside service and wine pairings.
Have you seen a "floating food" trend emerging? What does that culinary landscape look like right now?
New Yorkers love to take advantage of that fact that Manhattan is an island and utilize the rivers to the fullest extent, which has inspired a number of “floating food” options for locals throughout the city. Over the past 16 years, there’s been a need for an upscale dining experience that can serve as a backdrop for special occasions and turn ordinary meals into something memorable.
What are the biggest differences between the regular Spirit Cruise and the Bateaux?
Spirit Cruises is great for those who are looking for a more casual upbeat experience. Diners have the chance to explore multiple observation decks or get on the dance floor with an interactive DJ. It’s the ideal cruise for families and young adults, whereas Bateaux is a more sophisticated experience. Guests dine on an all-glass, European-inspired vessel with an open-air observation area as they sip wine and signature cocktails and enjoy a live pianist and band.