Spring is in the air and sunshine has been blessing us a few days a week throughout the winter this year. An unusual winter, indeed. When the warmer weather returns and the rain is even more scarce, I always long to get on the river. There are many ways to make a river journey here in Portland. You can rent a boat for a day, kayak or canoe, sail, or even hop on the Jet Boat that makes for a great ride on a really hot day in August. Then, there is the brunch, lunch, or dinner cruise on the Portland Spirit.
The Portland Spirit is the flagship yacht of the fleet. It measures 150′ with three decks, two of which are enclosed and climate controlled. The Spirit offers riders a plated meal, which I wasn’t all that impressed with. Some of the more appealing features were the full service bars with a vast wine selection, grand pianos, and the singing wait staff! When they broke out in song, I nearly forgot how bad my food was.
Of the food I ate, I was only really happy with the Caesar salad. However, I see from their website that they may have changed their menu a bit, and hopefully have improved the quality and preparation since last year. My biggest complaint was that the food was not fresh, but frozen. The crab and fish in the seafood appetizer were bland and watery. The entree’s meat was overcooked and dry and the flavors were all wrong. On the plus side, the food was colorful. Had it matched in flavor and freshness, it would have been perfect.
Let’s be honest about this experience: its not the food that really makes this journey along the Willamette River. The cruising and the views along the way make it worth every penny. Keep an eye out for the little goats on the edge of the western side of the river as you pass the golf course. Make sure to make your way to all decks of the boat. There are fun things to spot around every corner. Above all, relax and enjoy the 10 (soon to be 11) bridges!
More information about your cruising options on the rivers of Portland is available at www.portlandspirit.com