* Prices may differ from that shown
In this review i will be reviewing the London Showboat dinner and dance cruise and giving consumers an overview of the company City Cruises.
About City Cruises.
City Cruises is the leading operator of passenger services on the River Thames, carrying in the excess of 2 million passengers annually on its extensive sightseeing, entertainment and charter services. The company was incorporated in 1986. It offers mainly sightseeing cruises everyday on the River Thames serving: Westminster, London Eye, Tower Bridge and Greenwich piers. It operates the services mainly using purpose-built wheelchair-accessible 'River Liner' vessels, which have a large open top deck and enclosed lower saloon with panoramic windows and bars, backed up by some ex-Paris single-deck conservatory-style sightseeing boats. The company also owns a number of other boats with which it provides a variety of private charter and waterage services on the River Thames. City Cruises owns the London Showboat , under which it operates an evening dinner, cabaret and dance cruise from Westminster Pier throughout the year, and also owns and operates the Restaurant Ship Hispaniola, which is permanently moored alongside Victoria Embankment close to Embankment Underground station in central London.
About the London Showboat dinner and dance cruise
I came across the London Showboat whilst i was searching for a present for my girlfriends 18th birthday. I had little idea of what to buy her and so i thought i can't go far wrong with taking her out somewhere nice in London. My friend mentioned to me how he took his girlfriend out for a meal on a ship on the River Thames called the Hispaniola,which is a static boat / restaurant moored alongside Victoria Embankment and he highly recommended the food and overall experience. I didn't want to copy what my friend had done but i came over this dinner cruise on the internet and was automatically intrigued by it. It offered a lot and i thought that this would be the perfect present and experience for the both of us.
What the cruise offers:
Complimentary glass of fizz as you board the boat
Four course meal
Complimentary half a bottle of wine per guest
Dancing until you dock at 11:00
The cruise lasts around 3 and a half hours and leaves from Westminster pier at 7:30, the boat heads downriver, passing Canary Wharf and Greenwich the boat arrives at the Thames Barrier where it turns back home.
Price for the cruise £78 per guest
I booked the cruise online and being myself i always try and find the best and cheapest option as i am a student. I found a 2 for 1 offer on the national rail days out guide deals if you travel by train. I booked the cruise for a Sunday in April for me and my girlfriend.
I arrived at Westminster pier at 7 pm and the boat was already there waiting, i boarded the boat with my girlfriend ten minutes later and was welcomed onto the boat with a glass of sparking white wine. I was shown to my table by a waiter which was by a window which was an added bonus. The boat departed Westminster at 7:30 and the waiter approached our table asking what drinks we would like. I told the waiter that me and my girlfriend weren't too keen on wine and he offered us 2 bottle of cider each which was really good, as i didn't want to pay to drink something i didn't like. As the boat passed the ionic landmarks of London (The London Eye, Tower Bridge), I went to the top open air deck to take photographs of London and the views from the boat were incredible. We stayed on the top deck for a good twenty minutes soaking in the amazing views of London. As we returned to our table the entertainer on board started singing and telling jokes he was very funny and a joy to watch. Our first course was Smoked Scottish Salmon,King Prawns
with Capers,Lemon and Dill Dressing it was a small portion but truly delicious. The other courses i have detailed below and were given to us throughout the cruise spread out in intervals.
Thyme,Rosemary and Lemon Roasted Supreme
of Chicken with Creamy Leek and Tarragon
(main courses are served with minted new potatoes
and seasonal vegetables)
Warm,Dark Chocolate Fondant with Berry Compote
Tea or Coffee and Mints
(A vegetarian menu is also available)
The food was truly amazing i particular enjoyed the main course which was the chicken. I was surprised as to how much food you get and the quality of the food. I could not scrutinize the food, all was at a hot temperature and all tasted delicious. Once we had finished our meals i have to say that me and my girlfriend were very full. Towards the end of the cruise we took more photographs on the open deck and admired the beauty of London at night time in all it's lights and glory. The entertainer continued to sing songs from West End musicals and old classics as we sat down drinking cider and watching people dance. I was having such a good time and i danced with my girlfriend under the disco lights until we docked at 11 pm. I wished the night would never end. I was sad to leave the boat but decided to go out clubbing in London after. I guess the real question was if my girlfriend liked it and she truly did. The cruise was romantic for sure and i have recommended it to everyone i know. I will remember this experience for the rest of my life and i cannot thank the City Cruise staff on board the ship enough they made the night very memorable.
About the boat
Toilets (which were very clean and well maintained)
Fully stocked bar
Open air upper deck
Another point to mention is that City Cruises regularly have deals and discounts on their website for booking the dinner cruise and also on their Facebook page. You have to book to go on their cruise in advanced.