Willamette Queen Sternwheeler - June Events

Friday, June 17 - Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise, 7 pm - 9 pm
Two hour Dinner Cruise and Murder Mystery entertains you each month. New plays will be performed each month performed by Cwerks. Audience inter-action while you dine and cruise along the river. Reservations required. PG $48 adults, $28 kids (4-10)

Saturday, June 18 - IMPROV on the River, 7 pm - 9 pm
Do you like to laugh? Do you like to float while you laugh? Do you like to eat while you float and laugh? Well, "Improv on a Boat" is for you. Capitol City Theater will be pirating the Willamette Queen for a night of food and fun. Get your tickets to see Improv Comedy while you eat and saunter your way down the mighty Willamette River. $45 adults, $25 kids

Sunday, June 19 - Father's Day Brunch & Cruise, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Join us for Father's Day brunch, a 2 hr cruise, and a great magician. Hart Keene, performs all over the Northwest and even appeared on NBC's 2010 Hit Show 'America's Got Talent.' He is absolutely wonderful and gets rave reviews. Don't miss his show! Don't forget your camera! Check out Hart's webpage at www.hartkeene.com, $48 for Adults and $48 for kids (4-10)

Sunday, June 19 - Melodies on the River, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Local high school students show off their musical talent while you enjoy a relaxing cruise on the river. Proceeds go to enrich school music programs.

(503) 371-1103
Willamette Queen Sternwheeler


Oregon Maiden said...

Anyone know anything about the quality of food on the boat? Seems like a few years back they touted a highly-qualified chef (French maybe??), but I've not heard another word since.Thx.

Anonymous said...

I searched and only found a few reviews. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g52053-d284682-Reviews-Willamette_Queen_Sternwheeler-Salem_Oregon.html

Chuck Bradley said...

I tried to secure reservations for a lunch cruise. They evidently need a minimum (11, if memory serves) number of reservations to float the boat. I asked if they would call me next time they had a quorum. I was told to book a reservation, then call them to see if they were really going. All the effort was on me which really kind of turned me off. I found four reviews on other sites. 3 were favorable and 1 was luke warm.

Oregon Maiden said...

Thanks...what a weird series of consistent complaints to which the captain kind of responds, but I didn't think he addressed the food issues anywhere near adequately---just kept saying what they DON'T do in lieu of what really happens.

I only had one experience with a medical meeting there about 10 years ago and was underwhelmed---kind of hoped that the more recent chef would be fab...unclear if they even HAVE a chef.Think I'll avoid them until I hear more positive feedback...

Anonymous said...

I do not think they have a chef.I think it is the Captains wife who cooks.
I took my husband on a cruise a few years a ago for his birthday and was really disappointed by the quality of the food for the price.
A few weeks back we were invited by friends to go.
We thought we would give it a try again.The river cruise is beautiful, the Captain is super nice and personable...however the food needs serious help.

Anonymous said...

That's too bad. $48 is extremely pricey. The food would have to be good.... the cruise itself is not enough to tempt me.


Anonymous said...

We went a few years ago, and took out of town guests...what a disaster! I was told the night we were going would be a "gormet buffet". It wasn't.

The buffet had very few food items, and the amount in the tin foil containers was small. We had to go downstairs to get the food, not good on a boat. Then pack it upstairs. Like I said, this was a few years ago. But left a horrible impression on all of us.

Also, no air conditioning that night, and it was hot. And the waitress never returned my credit card after dinner. So I went on the hunt for it, and some man had it! She gave him his, and mine! I was not happy. If ANYONE has had a meal with them lately...I hope they will let us know if they have changed.

Anonymous said...

Who owns the Stern wheeler,the city ,the state or is privately owned?

Anonymous said...

Willamette Queen's Website says that Richard Chesbrough is the Captain and owner.

Stephanie Matlock Allen said...

I went on a Valentine's Day dinner there a few years ago, and it was a terrible experience. The food was bad, the service was worse. I couldn't wait to disembark...

Anonymous said...

I took my mom from out of town on a lunch cruise a few years ago. She had fun and the narration, while possibly not 100% historically accurate, was entertaining. But the lunch was kind of like what they served grandma at her retirement home: half a turkey sandwhich, Reser's potato salad, an Archway Homestyle cookie. Even by Salem standards, they really needed to up their game. But maybe seniors are their demographic. I'm sure many people would find this sort of fare just fine, but I was hoping for something a little more gourmet. Hopefully they've upped their game since then.

Jay Burke said...

My wife and son treated me to the Father's Day Brunch on Sunday. There was a little plate of goodies on our table when we arrived and we found that the food was hot, plentiful, and delicious. The crew was attentive and our server came to refill our coffee cups several times. We even went underneath Salem's bridges; which I didn't know it was able to do. A magician entertained us and we thought it was a very enjoyable trip.

Willamette Queen said...

Good morning. I would like to address some of the comments from your readers. We did have a French chef but he moved on years ago. Our menu options include meat, chicken and fish. We can also offer personalized options such as: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and fares for diabetics, if we are made aware of them. We are sorry that we can't offer the menu choices that you would find in other restaurants, but we don't have a galley large enough to accommodate multiple choice meals from every passenger. The buffets on our dinner cruises usually consist of a meat dish, a chicken dish, salad, vegetable, and bread. Dessert is also offered with a choice of a non-alcoholic beverage.

Mr. Bradley, I am sorry that you felt you were put upon to call back to check on your reservation. We do need a minimum of 10 adults to take the boat our. We wish we could accommodate everyone at anytime, but regretfully, with the cost of fuel so high, insurance cost, and the necessity of a crew, financially it is not feasible for us. We attempt to work with everyone, but it sometimes it is necessary to try to move people, if possible, to insure a cruise will run. We do, sometimes, have to cancel a cruise if we don’t have enough passengers; offering the next available cruise to them.

Another person commented on the price. $48 for dinner. Here is the breakdown: a normal cruise is $12 an hour for one adult, on a dinner cruise its 2 hours cruise ($24). Then your food, which includes two entrees, two sides, salad, bread, dessert, a non-alcoholic beverage, and your gratuity for $24. If you need assistance carrying your plate upstairs, we are more than happy to take it up for you. We understand that some people can’t physically manage. I would like to add that there is little in the way of movement, as you would find on an ocean going vessel, unless, of course, the boat is in the middle of a turn.

For our Father’s Day Brunch, the menu included: Three Salads, Ham, Roast Barron of Beef, Kielbasa, Cheese Blintzah’s, Ham and Cheese or Vegetarian Omelets, Cheese Potatoes, Biscuits and Gravy, and Baked Salmon Wellington, with an assortment of pastry sweets.

We try to accommodate the needs of everyone. We are truly sorry that some do not have good experiences and wish that more of the people, who had a great time, would comment on these sites.

Anonymous said...

Willamette Queen, I appreciate you being willing to respond on the site, and I completely understand that you can not make a different meal for each passenger.

However, I don't think you are hearing what people are saying. The major complaint I read here so far is that the quality of food and service is not to par for a $24 dollar price tag.

Hopefully you'll be willing to work on that and then filling up cruises would be less of a problem.

Oregon Maiden said...

Thank you for your response...it's nice to know that someone "in charge" takes the time to read comments and send a response.

Chuck Bradley said...

Willamette Queen. I appreciate the economies of scale and the lack thereof.

Here’s a respectful suggestion which has no downside and just may increase your bookings and therefore your profits: When your receptionist receives and inquiry, have her give the caller a choice alternative. Suggest they make a reservation and call to be sure sufficient numbers have been reached to warrant casting off. If they demur, suggest they be put on a list, to be called when embarkation is assured. When you’ve reached your requisite 10 passengers, have her pick up the phone and call the folks on the list. On this short notice, some will have schedule conflicts, some will not. Free business! This is all I asked for when I called. I couldn’t believe she would not be bothered to call me on a day when the vessel was sailing and there was an empty seat available.

DeeDeeDiner said...

I echo the willingness of the Willamette Queen folks to reply, but also agree that the responder seemed to be slightly missing the point.The majority of food-related comments indicated poor quality (and value) were the issues--- addressing those would seem to be the first priority if you want customers to sign on for a cruise that involves a meal.