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DC Odyssey Cruise: The most “sophisticated” brunch cruise on the Potomac

DC Odyssey Cruise: The most “sophisticated” brunch cruise on the Potomac

Home > Get in Style > DC Odyssey Cruise: The most “sophisticated” brunch cruise on the Potomac

Post Date: August 08, 2011

Last week, my fiancee and I celebrated 7 years of love, caring, and putting up with each other’s BS, by going on a brunch cruise around the Potomac on the critically acclaimed luxury dinner liner, The Odyssey.

Hailed for its size, luxury, and elegance, it seemed like the perfect way to mark the occasion, with panoramic views of our beloved home of Washington DC.  It also features award-winning wines, live entertainment, and an “inviting dance floor.”  It looked like the perfect way for two twenty-somethings like us to celebrate and relax, so we bought our tickets at a total cost of $160, and set out a few days later on a beautiful summer morning.

Getting on the boat, we were greeted by a wonderful and friendly staff that welcomed us with bright smiles and a congratulations on our anniversary.  (We checked the box for “celebrating anniversary” when we made the reservation.)

Odyssey Cruise Washington DC

They gave us a complimentary little plate of cookies and cake for our anniversary. Cake is hidden behind cookies.

We were led along the elegant ship, windows wrapping from the floor all the way over the top like a greenhouse, delicate glassware and shiny silverware rest on fresh tablecloths, anointed with full table settings to give the full sense of luxury.  The buffet was in the middle, with a wide range of good breakfast foods, fresh fruit, and even a fondue fountain.

We were shown to our seats, and offered complimentary champagne and mimosas, and given our regular drink orders as well.  The food was pretty good, I got a typical array of breakfast foods (waffles, french toast, bacon, bacon, bacon, and more bacon).  All passed my inspection for taste and freshness, and were at least as good as IHOP (that’s a compliment, I really do love IHOP.  Especially after a drunk night at the club, but that’s another story…)  My fianceé’s said her food was excellent too, but I was too focused on my heaping plate of bacon to pay attention to whatever she ordered.  mmmm bacon…

This is what bacon looks like.

This is what bacon looks like.

We sat back and relaxed as everyone else got on.  We were probably the youngest group there, as most people were in their mid 30’s or older, but we still fit in because we were well behaved and properly dressed for the semi formal occasion.  I wore a nice casual button-up with pressed black slacks and dress shoes, my fiancee wore a lovely black dress.  We didn’t feel out-of-place at all among the families all dressed in their best Sunday attire, and the older couples in their polos, slacks, and sundresses.  It looked like things were going to be pretty cool.

Just then, a guy with a dirty tee, cargo camo shorts, and a pair of sneakers walked on.

Shortly thereafter, a woman donning her 8-inch wedges and a short dress that barely covered her ass strutted on to the ship.  Looking more like a “working girl” than a “dressy-casual” cruise patron, she boarded the ship with her date who was also inappropriately dressed for the occasion with his jeans with a white tee shirt and street shoes.

Fashion faux pas, this is NOT dressy-casual attire.

Why yes, you can see her ass when she bends over. Classy.

And there were a few others that failed to pass muster, but still got on anyways despite Odyssey’s supposedly strict dress code. Kinda made me feel like an asshole for dressing up nicely in long pants and proper collared shirt despite the blazing heat outside.


We recommend dressy-casual attire, such as nice slacks and collared shirts. We prefer no jeans, shorts, tank tops, halter-tops, athletic shoes or flip-flops be worn on any cruise.

— Odyssey Cruises

Annoyed, we went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and the views and smells of the Potomac.  Of course, I had forgotten just how wretched the Southwest Waterfront stank, just like rotten Lunchables.  It reminded me of my days working in a shit factory.

Still, the views were nice.  National Airport, 14th Street Bridge, The Watergate, Georgetown Waterfront and Memorial Bridge.  All the stunning views you see while sitting in traffic on Rock Creek Parkway or Ohio Drive.  And at 12mph, we were going about the same speed too.

The underside of memorial bridge washington dc

Now I know what the underside of Memorial Bridge looks like.

It was all going well until the DJ opened up the dancefloor.  With all the advertisements we saw before going on the cruise telling us about the fantastic live entertainment and DJs, we were excited to see what they had to offer.

Of course, that excitement turned to epic disappointment pretty fast when his first song rang out across the ship’s speakers: The Electric Slide.  It was at that moment that I knew I had to get off.  Now.  Sadly, there was no escaping the torture as we were far from shore, floating in the middle of the Potomac where it meets the polluted Ana-toxic-a river.  Really it was a difficult choice between standing through pure acoustical torture or swimming 1/2 miles to shore through fecal matter bacteria and syringes.

The decision to abandon ship seemed even more tempting as the DJ then blasted the Cha Cha Slide, followed by the Cupid Shuffle, and capped with most awful fucking song in the history of the world– YMCA.  With no real escape from the terrible music, I felt like a prisoner at Gitmo.  Couldn’t they have just waterboarded us instead?

As the cruise finally reached port at the end of the two hour ride, we were left with mixed feelings.  Sure, the place was lovely and the service was great, but the music was dreadful and the ride was nothing impressive for a couple of young professionals like us.  Certainly not worth the $160 total price tag for a nice breakfast for two.  This is probably something my parents might enjoy.

Next time we feel like taking a breakfast cruise down the Potomac, we’ll just order IHOP carryout, rent a canoe from Jack’s Boathouse in Georgetown, and crank DJ Saam‘s latest mix on our MP3 player as we float down the Potomac.

potomac river cruise odyssey cruises washington dc

If only I had brought my grappling hook, I could've flung a line to the underside of the 14th street bridge, climbed to the girders, Jackie Chan-ed from the underside up to the top, and escaped from the horrible music.