review by Abby Wyers ~ PDX Kids Calendar reader and local Portland area mom
On a rainy and windy Sunday afternoon my family found its way to the Portland Spirit for the Cinnamon Bear Cruise. What we found was warmth, fun, and a true welcoming spirit. As we boarded the ship our photo was taken and offered later for purchase (with no pressure). All the employees were dressed as characters: Candy Cane, Snowy, Sugar, Spice, Presto and many others from the Cinnamon Bear book. They all welcomed us aboard and let us know where we could sit and what to expect. I noticed that they spoke as much to the children as to the adults, which I really appreciated. We found a comfortable table near a window and were almost instantly served hot cocoa. We then helped ourselves to the buffet of fresh fruit, scones, granola, yogurt, coffee and juice. Soon we were cruising south on the Willamette enjoying the views.
After a while my kids wanted to explore the boat so we went to the middle and upper decks. At the upper deck they became candy buccaneers, explored gift shops, and generally enjoyed themselves. Later, carols were sung, photos of children with the Cinnamon Bear were taken (in a very well-organized way), and children gathered to hear Queen Melissa tell the story of the Cinnamon Bear and the Silver Star. My kids’ favorite part came next, when Presto the magician performed a magic show. Presto did plenty of tricks including awe-inspiring acts such as making a staff and a real rabbit appear. After the magic show, the photos were ready to pick up and the characters were available to sign them. My son really loved having his photo signed. We still had plenty of time to relax and visit together at our table downstairs, sing some more carols, and continue enjoying the views.
My family had such a great time aboard the Portland Spirit on the Cinnamon Bear Cruise. I believe that it was in large part due to the excellent staff who really focus on making guests feel welcome and are very attentive to everyone’s needs. My boys, ages 8 and 6, had a magical time and want to make this an annual holiday tradition. There seems to be something for everyone and plenty of activities to keep kids happy as well as enough unstructured time for visiting with family and exploring. We highly recommend this cruise.
Abby and her family were given tickets aboard the Cinnamon Bear Cruise to review this event on behalf of PDX Kids Calendar. She was in no way compensated for her views.
posted by Tabitha Rhodes