Showboat Branson Belle

A lake cruise, meal and show rolled into one

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What kid doesn’t like a big boat? When they were young, my boys loved the drama of boarding the Showboat Branson Belle 1890s-style paddlewheeler, eating (a bonus!) and watching a show. This is also a popular option for folks who might not otherwise get out on Table Rock Lake. I recently took my parents and 99-year-old aunt; they liked it as much as my kids did.

The popular lunch and dinner cruises feature dynamic shows of dance, music and comedy, including singer Cassandre Faimon-Haygood, the five-member vocal and dancing group The ShowMen performing mostly regional American songs and the best of Motown and a four-man dance troupe called Rhythm–the Fastest Feet West of the Mississippi that can tap dance so fast their feet are a blur. Acting as MC is Christopher James, who so effortlessly combines magic with comedy that you’ll laugh yourself silly. I would go anywhere just to see him. Check the schedule for the lunch and dinner lineups. During the lunch cruise throughout much of the summer there’s the Country on the Lake with country music. But whichever cruise you take, be sure to go out on deck during the sailing to gaze upon the lake’s pristine shoreline and communities.

The three-course meals, prepared in the ship’s galley, include a salad, slow-simmered beef roast, honey-Dijon glazed chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, vegetable, and dessert. A premium meal (available in select, upgraded seats) featuring more expensive choices in entrees (think 18-oz. rib steak or grilled Mahi-Mahi), as well as a  children’s menu, is also available.

On Sundays in summer, there’s the additional option for all the little princesses and pirates out there: the 90-minute Princess and Pirate Cruise, which includes grownups dressed the part (youngsters are also encouraged to dress up) and a simpler chicken meal.

In any case, this a great choice for people of all ages, whether they’re 9 or 99.

At A Glance

4800 State Highway 165
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March through Dec, dinner cruise most days of the week 4pm and in peak season also at 8. Lunch cruise at noon selected dates

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