The other night I mentioned that we went to Branson, MO this weekend to take my mother-in-law on the Showboat Branson Belle. A year ago I bought tickets to go through a United Way fundraiser at work and we absolutely LOVED it so this spring my parents went with us and then this last weekend my mother-in-law finally got to experience it.
I can’t even begin to tell you about the awesome weather. We couldn’t have asked for a better weather experience! Other than it was a bit overcast and extremely windy, the weather was perfect! You had to wonder if it really was December 1st when the high topped out on Saturday at 72 degrees.
Now the Showboat Branson Belle is located on Table Rock lake. Table Rock Lake has 800 miles of shoreline so it’s a good sized lake for a good sized paddle wheel ship that that took 60 cases of bananas 9 seconds to slide the ship off the shoreline into the lake :).
From Branson you cross over the Dam and then you’re at the Port of Showboat Branson Belle.
When you first walk up there are fun little shops with souvenirs that you can purchase as well as guest relations where you pick up your tickets.
And I love how the geese are going to “pull Santa’s sleigh” :).
And there she is. The lovely paddle wheel boat. When they decided to make her, they based it off of the 1800’s paddle wheel boats that were used up and down the rivers. This particular paddle wheel boat at full speed will hit 10 knots which is 12 mph, although they said that they generally just go at a nice cruising speed of 6mph. There are 200 crew members on land and lake.
And here’s the trio getting ready to board the boat. I so need Go Go Gadget arms for photos like these! Especially when I’m stuck on the far side of the picture taking button :).
Then as you board the ship they take your photo and offer them to you later in the evening as a souvenir.
The Showboat participates in a program to help keep musics in schools and because of that they usually have high schools come and do a “pre-show” show to entertain. These gals were the Honeybees from Bryant, AR. Excellent all girls choir might I add.
On your table they have these little flier things. These are additional in price to your ticket. My parents bought us one in April when we went and I’ll tell you, the Strawberry Fruit Smoothie is awesome.
About 15 minutes to departing time they start serving the meal, anyway that’s what the waitress told us this time. Or should I call her a server? I don’t care, I was one at one time and being called a waitress never offended me!
Corn Biscuit – excellent I may add!
Iceberg & Romaine Salad featuring a Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing topped with homemade Croutons – They do a feature at the beginning while you’re eating that takes you around the boat and lets you see behind the scenes footage. The chef said they start cooking every morning at 7am and everything is made right there on the ship except the desserts (I think is what they said anyway.) The ship is owned by the same people who own Silver Dollar City and the pastries come from there.
Slow-simmered Beef Roast and
Honey-Dijon Glazed Chicken
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sugar
Snap Snow Peas with Julienne Carrots – You’ll be happy to know I was eating Snap snow peas – which is very odd for me. I guess I found something new I like 🙂 I can’t even begin to tell you how good the Beef Roast is and I’m not a huge fan of roast but this, very excellent! I’ll actually eat it! The chicken is the best though… IMO :). And those potatoes! Oh My Gosh!
While you’re eating, of course they show you the footage of the boat but they also have the house band come and play music for you. These are all very talented musicians!
And then, there was dessert!
Golden Brittle Lemon-Berry Torte drizzled with Caramel – I’m not a huge dessert/sweets person but I swear I could almost just come for this and this alone. It’s excellent!
And a year ago, because of this ship right here and a cup like this, I became a coffee drinker 🙂
Then there’s like 30-45 minutes after your meal/dessert is served until the big show begins so you can walk out and enjoy the scenery that is Table Rock Lake. Now my aunt used to and my grandparents still own a lake cabin on Table Rock Lake so I got to grow up with this scenery some in the summers when I was younger. Although I still can’t water ski to save my life!
Because the day was so windy, the Captain decided for the safety of the passengers and crew we were going to stay docked at the shore. It didn’t matter because that meant we got to go have your photo taken with the captain, go into his quarters and even see the huge wheel, that in the movie they said the wheel alone weighed 650lbs.
And here’s one of the smoke stacks 🙂
And for good measure, my hubby’s cute butt. And if you don’t think so, well that’s just mighty fine too 🙂
Now they never stated this, but I wonder if you’re unruly if they make you “Walk the plank” :).
They do curtain calls at 15 minutes and 5 minutes to show starting so you’ll have plenty of time to get back to your seats. Being the Christmas show they started it with snow! This will probably be the only snow we’ll see here in Missouri this Christmas season with unseasonably warm temps in the 70’s that go through like next week. Not normal Missouri weather, that’s for sure.
Now, not only do you get dinner but you also get a show.
Then you have the ShowMen made up by some extremely talented musicians! Holy Cow! And they brought them in from all over the country! I swear sometimes I wonder how people wind up in Missouri although Branson does have a lot to offer I guess 🙂
I make that comment and then they brought Janice Martin from New York City. I love when she says there are a “few differences” between Branson and NYC :).
I swear, one minute I could say the reason to come is the food, but then I think, no Christopher James has a little something for everyone, but the ShowMen, they’re excellent singers, but the band makes the show but then you have Janice Martin who can sing and play the violin & piano and does acrobatics with silks and oy…. I’m not sure, I think you almost get the complete package here!
I do think my Mother-in-Law had a fabulous time on the showboat. Anyway I sure hope so!
Until next time Mr. Polar Bears!
Ok two things with this very long winded, photo heavy post:
- Don’t forget about the Review that starts on Friday! Remember lots of goodies and Prizes!