We booked an Odyssey brunch cruise for March 30, 2012, the Saturday before Easter. I had booked it a couple of weeks before when that date fell squarely within the dates predicted for peak cherry blossom viewing. Alas, that prediction was wrong, and there were no blossoms to be seen. The views were wonderful, however. One can see the monuments, Potomac Park, planes taking off from Reagan airport, etc. We paid extra to sit right next to the window so that we would have a perfect view, which was nice, but honestly you don't need to do that because the boat is designed to be pretty much all window and they do not crowd the Odyssey with too many tables they way the do on some other boats--so I doubt there are any tables with a bad view.
The food was what you would expect--very average (of course it is--they have to feed an entire boat, you can't expect great food). At the brunch they serve the kind of things you can set out on a buffet for people to put on their plate as they file past. I remember there being pastries, including muffins, croissants, and danishes; stuffed french toast; raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream; scrambled eggs; bacon and sausage; little belgian waffles; some strange mixture of potatoes and ham and green peppers and onions (sounds like hash browns, but the chunks of potato and ham were so large that it was kind of strange--not really hash brown like); macaroni and cheese; green and caesar salads; fruit salad; lox; green beans; "roasted vegetables" that didn't resemble any vegetables I've ever seen before; some kind of chicken breasts; some kind of fish; and a roast beef carving station with gravy. There was a chocolate fountain, and about halfway through the cruise they put out the stuff to dip in it--berries, cookies, marshmallows, rice crispy treats, etc. They also put out some cakes at that time.
So the food was, as is to be expected, average. But what you need to know about it is this--expect a long line to get to the buffet. Odyssey recommended that we get there 45 minutes early. That was not a bad suggestion because if you get there that early you will be able to get your food without waiting in a long line. We got there about 25 minutes before the boat left the dock and we were in a short line for food. Ten minutes later there was a long one that didn't let up until at least half way through the cruise. If I had it to do over again, I would take their advice and get there 45 mins early.
There are different prices for the brunch cruise, and they go up if you want to drink bloody marys or mimosas, or if you want a shrimp cocktail appetizer, or a guaranteed window spot, etc.
The service was surprisingly good. Our server did a great job of bringing my drinks and she refolded my napkin every time I got up from the table. The band was fine, light jazz at first, but we had to go outside once the "Electric Slide" / "YMCA" nonsense started up.
Which brings me to the outside--there is a deck all the way around the boat that you can go out on. It is really nice, make sure you go out there. The views are amazing. Getting out from behind that glass makes a difference.
Taking this boat tour is one of those typical cheesy touristy things to do, but you really can't get views like that from anywhere but the water, and we enjoyed it. I would do it again.
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