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Lake Mead Dinner Cruise, the story

Discussion in 'Restaurants & Buffets' started by easystreet57, Aug 18, 2014.

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  1. easystreet57

    easystreet57 Low-Roller

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    The following is an excerpt from a not yet posted Trip Report. A trip report that is significantly wordy, approaching 5000 words. I selected the section on the Lake Mead Dinner Cruise to post it here in the restaurant thread because there was not much forward information posted about it, no first hand experiences. I wanted to be sure to share this part of the trip with anyone who may be interested in, or not even know that it available without it being buried in a long trip report that some may chose not to suffer through.
    The facts and figures of the trip are as follows;

    Offered only Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from Lake Mead Cruises.

    Advance reservations are available through Grey Line Tours and other travel sites, which provide transportation and cruise/dinner as a package. I think that same day plans can be made, provided you call get pick-up information. I believe you also can show-up at Lake Mead yourself and buy a dinner cruise ticket.

    Our cost was $110 p.p., /$220 was the total amount for two, including all tax and fees. Complete except for the gratuity for the waitress and the driver. Plus optional picture package for $20. There was a $60 fee for the bus entering the Lake Mead Recreational Area.

    Trip time was from approx. 4:30 pm. till 9:30/10 pm. with 2-2 ½ hours on the water.

    That it, here is the Lake Mead portion of the trip report of 7/27 – 8/2/2014.

    Next up on the planned dinner list was the much anticipated “Lake Mead Dinner Cruise”. This night was booked from home pretty much sight unseen. Very little information was available from the tour operator, and even the knowledgeable VMB was sparse with details. No matter, booked and paid for the trip receiving only a receipt and instruction to call the number 24 hours in advance of a late afternoon pick-up in exchange. When the time came, the voice on the phone at Grey Line Tours told us to be at the Planet Hollywood bus platform at 4:30 and to look for a Grey Line bus, ok. Upon arriving at PH, we quickly found a security guard and asked about the location of the bus platform, a nice guy, he walked with us and took us right to the location we need to be. The below level area was not in the Vegas glamour brochure, but we waited on a concrete island as other buses and cabs came and went. Seemingly out if no where another couple appeared on the island, now there were four freshly washed object perched on the” island of fumes”. After a few glances the females made contact, “Are you waiting for the Lake Mead bus? Yes we are. Oh good. This began some relaxed conversation with the nice people from Nebraska which continued throughout the evening, passing the time till the sought after bus did arrive about ten minutes late. More pick-ups at Excalibur and we were off to the Grey Line office, somewhere in an industrial park SE of the strip. Off the bus and in-line to be processed to be sure everyone had paid before the bus ventured any further. With everyone ready, back on the bus and off to Lake Mead. The 40 min. or so trip through Henderson was uneventful and interesting to some degree, because this is the side of a Vegas trip not always seen by us, and probably not many others. The bus driver talked the entire trip pointing out places and telling little known stories of what was passing by the windows. He is often asked” Where do the real people (of LV) live”, he tells us, “Well, this is part of the real (LV area), and these people are the real people going about their lives.” As the trips nears Lake Mead, the stories change to the plight of the Lake in regards to the continuing lack of water, very sad, I sincerely hope the trend changes so that one of the greatest accomplishment of the “Great Generation” isn’t undermined by the one thing thought to be constant. Anyway, this is an evening to enjoy the lake, we’ll worry again tomorrow. With the paddle boat in sight, called the “Desert Princess”, we left the bus and lined-up for wrist bands and photos, always the photos, and on to the boat to set sail. The staff at the boat landing as well as the on board crew, all seemed like a nice bunch, like all those in the tourist industry, genuinely glad to see you.

    We were shown our assigned tables as the seasoned, but well cared for boat made its way into the center of Lake Mead. Two level of table seating for eating and drinking, the third level, on top outdoors was provide for walking and taking in the beautiful scenery. One note was the high temperature. Indoors the AC struggled to keep the temp comfortable, but outside on the deck, you couldn’t help but notice and comment on, the hot breeze blowing on your face. The bus driver told us to expect this as the walls of Black Rock Canyon tended to reflect the heat of the day onto the lake surface, he was right, easily 10 degrees hotter than the advertised land temperature. But no matter, more noticeable then the heat was the absolute beauty of the lake and the surrounding Vistas of the canyon in the setting sun. The American Southwest can be breathtaking. The “Desert Princess” rounded the last rock formation to bring into view the back side of the Hoover Dam, complete with the intakes standing too far above the water level. And always while enjoying the views, that hideous white ring, now seeming stretching 100 ft above the lake top, the high water mark from the 80’s. God, please send tons of snow to the Rockies! Dinner is served…

    The meal was good, but not the reason for the trip. More like, ride our boat, see the sights and might as well eat something while you’re here…A choice from each food group was offered, meat, fish, poultry and pasta. Certainly respectable enough coming from a floating kitchen on a little boat, but just one part of a great trip. Now with dinner over, and the lake nearly in darkness, came the last chance for more top side strolling and viewing the sights. We spotted the silhouette of a long horned sheep standing atop the canyon peering down on us, as by now, everyone on deck was pointing at him, good stuff. As the paddles slapped the water, the lights of the lake port came into view. With the boat and the dock coming closer and closer together under a crescent moon, nothing to do but embrace and enjoy this moment in time. A good trip and an evening away from the glitz well spent. This sight unseen gamble paid off. With romance over, time to get back to the Vegas fun…

    The trip included a stop at the famous Vegas Welcome sign for a photo opt, good idea except it was after 9 pm. when we arrived, along with everybody else in Vegas. The little parking area was jammed packed with people, brides and Elvis(s) everywhere. Getting that motor coach in there was like the 10lb. of ____ into the 5lb bag, but he did it, much to the annoyance of others, including several stretch limo drivers trying to herd their charges in and out of vehicles. There were people everywhere. The driver told us to be quick and that he couldn’t linger here long. We tried to make the best of this opportunity but it was just way too crowded and the site of the bus not parked but constantly moving and repositioning to let other in and out was distraction. Having been off the bus for only 5-7 minutes, we ditched the picture taking and hurried back to the bus for fear it would leave without us, which it almost did. I think our new mid-west friends spotted us outside and told the driver to wait up. We fear some other were not as lucky. Back on the bus, we noticed some now empty seats that we thought were occupied when we arrived, the abandoned sweater and bags were another clue. We’ll never will know how that all worked out, second drop off was the PH and the driver was still talking and unconcerned when we left the bus. Little did he know he was maybe headed back to the “sign circus” or to the Supervisor office in the morning.



     

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  2. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Interesting post easystreet, thanks for sharing. Boy you sure can notice the depth of water loss from your pictures taken on the lake. Scarey to think what the future holds....
     
  3. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Thanks for sharing! Look forward to the rest of the report!
     
  4. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    I'd been wondering about the dinner cruise. Thanks for posting.

    Bill
     
  5. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Never knew there was such an animal. thanks for the enlightenment.
     
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