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“Cruisin' the Mississippi” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mark Twain Riverboat Dinner Cruise

Mark Twain Riverboat Dinner Cruise
Mark Twain Riverboat Dinner Cruise, Hannibal, MO 63401
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Ranked #7 of 20 Attractions in Hannibal
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Warminster, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Cruisin' the Mississippi”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2011

We did NOT do the dinner cruise, but took an afternoon cruise along the Mississippi on this beautiful paddlewheeler. The narrator was entertaining, and in between was a soundtrack of banjo and other "river music". Spacious boat on three levels with lots of seating choice inside the cabin/saloon and outside on the decks. Wonderful breeze, great views of the river and banks. The narrator also gave recommendations for places to eat in Hannibal - we tried one - the Ole Planter's Restaurant - and were very glad we did!

Visited August 2010
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lafayette, Indiana
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Management Owes Written Apology”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2009

Imagine yourselves taking a day trip to a small town miles away from your home. It is your anniversary weekend and you want to do something memorable. You stumble across a small, falling apart historical town by the name of "Hannibal". You stop at the Visitors Center and are pointed to one of their attractions, "a dinner cruise on a riverboat". You bite on the opportunity to do something so you aren't bored. Prior to the cruise, you call ahead and reserve tickets (you are NOT told that a wedding reception would be on board that evening); you did your duty and arrived when instructed; stood patiently and tolerantly among hundreds of people standing in and outside awaiting their tickets; find out at the ticket counter that a wedding reception WOULD be on board; tell the ticket person you do not want to be seated amongst the wedding group; and was told that you would be on the 1st level and not seated among them -- so -- all is clear and have an enjoyable adventure. Sounds good so far - huh? They funnel you through the room where you are squeezed among this large group of boat boarders; find yourself in a holding area where you are forced to get your picture taken (if you refuse, they nastily tell you that you have to show your ID for insurance purposes) -- only to find out later that after the cruise ... your picture will be hanging on the wall at departure ready for purchase. As you begin to board the boat, you are informed by young management that you will be seated with the wedding guests. After you clearly tell them the ticket person assured you that you would not be seated with the wedding group -- the young management says to you, "too bad - this is all we have for you". Keep in mind - we were about to cancel our tickets at the desk if this would have been the case. It was our anniversary night - our special night. You feel lied to - and you communicate that to the young management. Esp. when you are told, "too bad - this is all we have". Here is your new situation -- you have 100+ people standing behind you wanting to be seated and you cannot move forward or back because you are now trapped. You immediately confront the seating management about the communication breakdown and express your complaint while standing your ground. The confrontation heats up further when the head coordinator (young and unprofessional) gets involved. She hears the frustrations and places you at the front of the boat on the 1st level. So, here you are ... placed in what everyone would remind you all night long of as the 'the worst spot ever". At this point, you are happy to be seated and try to get past the initial communication breakdown. You are crammed in your spot but isolated to have privacy. You cannot move and you are in close quarters with anyone. Moments later, here comes the head coordinator ... prancing in a rush down to your table who now hovers over you to pick a fight. Where did this come from? Why is she at our table? Body language cocky; facial expression unkind - mildly snearing. Not warm -- cold and obvious, unable to handle conflict. Here you are crammed at yoru table unable to move and here she is -- hovered over you. You feel trapped -- and are about to experience being scolded for even expressing an ounce of frustration regarding their poor communication skills. As the head coordinator starts to talk down at you ... you don't pull any punches and confront her back by asking her why she is at your table. Is this bully behavior? Is this harrassment? Why are you here? Let's step away from this moment and set the scene further -- your husband is a well-known respected doctor who has helped thousands and you have law background while being also awarded "teacher of the year". You have both won major awards for providing service to people and now, you are being bullied and treated like "trouble makers" by people who cannot communicate. Who is the trouble maker? Now add to this -- your special day -- your anniversary. A long drive. A memorable experience. A sleepy town. And, here you are trying to get past a pet peeve. A Tylenol moment. All she did while hovered over us was to attempt to throw us off the boat. Did she offer a refund? Yes. Did she offer us drinks? Yes. But, that led into something else -- something that would tell the story a little better ... her inability to be professional at her job. So much for pleasant -- we were treated like trouble makers and unwanted guests. That turned into "you need to respect me" ... dear god ... is there a god? Since when is the customer who has been wronged ... WRONG? And, since when do you need a warm blanket and a stuffed animal. We eventually told her to leave our table and her glaring eye snear was just another illustration of how we felt the whole time we were on this boat. Were we offered a new location? Not at this point - she wanted us to leave the boat. This turned into the captain paying us a visit at our table. More harrassment and more bullying. Looks at us like we are trouble makers and expresses, "we don't want trouble makers". Imagine this ... another round of bullying. Once again, we are crammed at our table, unable to move, and the captain is hovered in front of us accusing us of being trouble makers. Thank you for making us feel like welcomed guests -- dirt, unwelcomed, uninvited, trouble makers, not worthy, etc. Now you are asking me -- why didn't we get just off the boat? How would I be able to write our story? How would I be able to share with you what 'bad behavior" or "unprofessional" behavior looks like. When we told the captain we wanted an apology - he looked at us like we were crazy. Hence, another one fooled by the an immature worker who has a self-esteem problem. And, it was obvious that he wanted us to be "tossed" off the boat. Not once did either say, "sorry for the confusion". Not done yet. He leaves and now comes the owner of the boat. Even though the owner had a calmer demeanor -- we were sick of all of them at this point. So sick of unfair confrontations and bully behavior. She wanted to give us everything (refund, drinks, etc.) ... but we refused it all. We are people with good character and good behavior -- being treated like dirt. What a nightmare. Therefore, here is our report ... the food was dry (they have heard this before but won't do anything about it) ... the younger wait staff was exceptional and attentive ... the band was very good (for 2 men) ... the boat was crammed (when we were told it would be otherwise) ... no one informed us that there would be a wedding group on board (and should as some are sensitive about that) ... we felt belittled and bullied by all of them ... we could have taken this further and would have if we were unfairly thrown off the boat. So much for apologies and so much for our memory. Terminate your head coordinator for poor management practices and ask the captain to listen to the customer once in awhile without buying into her BS. Gets no one anywhere.

Was this review helpful? Yes 47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“It was wonderfully relaxing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2009

We arrived early and thus did not stand in line long to board the riverboat. It is rather a small gift shop that people gather in to board but the line moves along quickly. I was impressed that people who were in wheelchairs were easily assisted with a ramp and strong helpers to board the boat as well. All of the workers were helpful and friendly and seemed to know their jobs well. The band was enjoyable but not great. The food was wonderful and there was plenty to eat with the one trip buffet. We went up on the deck to see the beautiful scenery after dinner and took some beautiful pictures at sunset on the Mighty Mississippi. I would recommend this dinner cruise to everyone and want to return in the fall when the leaves are turning. It was about $40 a person but a wonderful experience.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Not Vegetarian Friendly”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2008

If you are a vegetarian traveler you know how to find healthy food to eat on a vacation. I researched this cruise and was happy to see that green beans and macaroni salad would be on the menu, at least I wouldn't go hungry. NOT!

EVERYTHING had ham or bacon in it. All I found on the buffet to eat was a dry potato and a cold roll. It was an unhappy experience, to say the least. Even my friend who ate the beef and chicken was disappointed in the dry meat, and the liberal use of bacon grease used to "flavor" the green beans. She had never seen a macaroni salad like the one presented with huge macaroni in a strange shape, slathered in mayonnaise and covered with dry, tough bits of hammish bacon chunks.

Other than the extreme disappointment with the food, the cruise was pleasant and the crowd was controlled. Do be aware that you may be boarding and exiting with a huge crowd of people. The boat seats 400 diners.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Decatur, IL
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Riding on the River”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2007

When visting Hannibal right before the 4th of July this year, we decided to take a late morning cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat which is based in Hannibal.

I was surprised by the price of about $14 per person but don't know why given the price of fuel these days. The boat is more of a steam engine looking craft than a true paddlewheel ship but a small paddlewheel in the back was enough effect for us. As other tourist places in town you wait to board in a small gift shop area. We were first on the boat and of the 3 decks elected to sit on the very top in the sun since it was a nice day. There were rows of plastic chairs up and there and it took the passengers a bit but we figured out they could be moved out of their rows to get a better view or to sit with friends.

My husband later went to a lower deck to get out of the sun since the trip lasted about 1 hour. It seems that they may be limited by bridges to the north and power lines to the south hampering the boat from going farther. It was just enough. The riverboat captain has a lively tour and music monologue for you to listen to and it is interesting for tourists new to the area and the River. Up top you are also near the steamboat whistle which is pretty loud but fun.

The inside decor of the boat looks like a '70s lounge or VFW hall or something. OK but don't expect the Queen Mary. This is where the dinner and entertainment is for the night cruises. There are drinks and sno cones and popcorn available for a price on the inside 2nd deck. My teenagers who need to eat every 2 hours it seems were quite pleased with the snocones.

Would recommend suncreen or hats and sunglasses if you want to sit up top. Also not sure if this is handicap accessible. Check first.

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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