Let's just start out by saying that Heather and I had a fantastic time. This brunch cruise was an experience that really is hard to compare since it was three distinct things wrapped up into one happy package. For instance, raise your hand if you've ever done a booze cruise with someone you love? Keep your hand up if you've done a harbor cruise that involved a meal ... Ok, now keep you hands up if that food has been great, the service excellent, and the experience was one that you can't wait to do again. Yeah, not a lot of hands are up still, but that's ok!
You probably haven't had the opportunity to sail with Flagship Cruises out of San Diego before.
The company offers several different cruises ranging from whale watching excursions to sunday brunch, and even a jet boat. However, despite this diversity of types of cruises offered and my initial scepticism that they might be a jack of all trades and master of none, I can heartily recommend it and I will almost certainly go again. Heck, I'd even recommend their other experiences based on this one!
This isn't some party barge run by a company looking to exploit tourists. Flagship Cruises has actually been serving San Diego for 100 years and will be celebrating their centennial on May 2 from 2-6 p.m.
The ship we sailed on is their newest and largest vessel, the California Spirit and frankly it felt more like a luxury yacht than a brunch cruise.
From the moment we boarded it was clear this was something different and we were treated as guests aboard a private yacht and trust me, the mimosas and champagne were flowing freely that day to make the experience even more enjoyable!
Inside, we were treated to all of the normal sunday brunch things you would expect - omelet station, carving station, and warm dishes like pancakes, bacon, mashed potatoes etc.
However, what made things extra special was that they had tons of great seafood including shrimp, mussels, crab, smoked salmon, and even caviar!
Mimosas and caviar! So, THIS is how the other half lives ...
Of course, if you wanted to eat healthy there were also salads ...
Make sure you save room for dessert though since there was a fantastic dessert table stocked with mini cheese cakes, carrot cakes, and even a chocolate fountain!
For those of you concerned about eating and drinking while on a moving vessel, don't worry.
1) There was plenty of time to eat before we left the dock.
2) San Diego Bay is very well protected and the ship moves very slowly so you won't feel anything more than a gentle rocking (if that).
Another nice thing was that each table is reserved so if you've had enough for the moment ... simply step outside, grab some fresh air and let your stomach settle before going back for more!
Of course, this is a brunch cruise, so that means no matter how good the food is, the cruise experience should be pretty good too. We were not disappointed here either!
Up on the top deck I didn't expect any service but quickly discovered that there must be a rule that your mimosa glass must never be less than half full.
Every time I turned around there was someone there to refill my glass. As such, I don't have as many photos from the cruise itself as I do from before and after :)
The tour of the bay included going out past the submarine pens and then back into the bay past the bridge where we had some great views of the shipyards and the various Navy ships.
Throughout the cruise, there was live music performed by Celeste Barbier who was singing various jazz and show tunes.
Our awesome servers / bartenders / storytellers Arturo and Mike (?) who took super good care of us the entire time.
So, at the end of the day the one rating that's most important is "would you do it again and pay for it?" The answer here is unequivocally YES.
It's always easy to say "that was a great experience, you should do it" when it's a press trip but Heather and I had so much fun that we are booking our Easter Sunday brunch on board here in a few weeks and hope you will join us too!