Hornblower Dinner Cruise San Diego

Over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing details about our recent trip to San Diego. There’s just too many photos and details for one post. In short, we had a fantastic time! The weather was fabulous, and we got to see and experience so many different places. When I visited San Diego back in 2007 and 2008, the only place I explored was Pacific Beach. This time around, I made sure to expand my horizons a bit. 

Today, I’m sharing our experience on the Hornblower dinner cruise. Bryan and I have never gone on a dinner cruise together, so I figured vacation was the perfect time.  

Hornblower Cruises provided two complimentary dinner cruise tickets.
All opinions are my own. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Hornblower Dinner Cruise San Diego

{Image via Hornblower Cruises | Graphics added by Nicole Raudonis}
This is not our ship. We were on the Inspiration 

After checking in at the dock, we boarded the yacht around 6:30PM and were served a glass of champagne. {Hell yes. Booze before setting sail on the harbor should calm everyone down.}  I was a bit bummed that it was dark out before even boarding, but that’s my fault for not realizing it wouldn’t be a sunset cruise. We were seated at a table for two next to the window, which was great for seeing the view!

hornblower dinner cruise san diego

hornblower dinner cruise san diego

Let’s talk food, shall we?

I went on a dinner cruise when I was 16 for a friend’s birthday party and I don’t remember the food being anything spectacular – more like average wedding food type of deal. However, the food on the Hornblower cruise was really good! Since the chefs are preparing food in bulk from a set menu, I figured it would be bland and overcooked, but it wasn’t! The menu was pretty standard, nothing too complex or out of the ordinary. 

hornblower dinner cruise san diego

Our 3-course dinner started with a salad – mixed greens topped with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, butternut squash, and a light dressing. Bryan and both really enjoyed it. I loved that they used seasonal ingredients, even though San Diego didn’t really feel or look like fall compared to the east coast. 

hornblower dinner cruise san diego

We had the choice between a few different entrees, so I picked the Atlantic salmon with miso soy glaze and Asian-style chimichurri. It was served with a seared risotto cake, carrots and asparagus. This dish was really flavorful. The fish wasn’t overcooked and the risotto cake was nice and creamy. Everything paired well together.

Bryan ordered the lemon rosemary organic chicken breast, which was served with orzo pasta, peppers, sweet corn, asparagus and carrots. The chicken was prepared with sun-dried tomatoes, capers and fresh parsley and served on a bed of spinach, caramelized leeks, fennel and tangy artichokes. 

hornblower dinner cruise san diego

There was only one option for dessert – cheesecake, which is one of my favorites. YUM in my tum. Since Bryan would rather eat dirt, he ordered the “chocolate trilogy” from the upgraded menu. It was a chocolate torte with white and dark chocolate mousses and topped with a chocolate ganache glaze. Although we were quite full from dinner, we were glad with our dessert choices and ate mostly everything.

Details, details, details

  • The cruise from start to finish was three hours, which we thought was just a little bit too long. A 2 or 2 1/2 hour cruise would have been fine. Towards the end of the night, a lot of the guests looked tired and ready to go home. 
  • Although it was dark, the views can’t be beat. We saw many San Diego landmarks including the downtown skyline, the Coronado Bay Bridge, the Star of India, the North Island Naval station, and the USS Midway aircraft carrier. 
  • I loved that the cruise had a DJ. He did a great job of keeping people on the dance floor. He played a good mix of new and older music, with a slightly heavier dose of Latin music because there was a large party who requested it.  
  • If you’re interested in taking a Hornblower dinner cruise, they are offered in San Francisco, Berkeley (during the holidays), Newport Beach, Marina del Rey, and New York City.  

Thank you for reading my post today.
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