Think Pittsburgh river cruises are only for older folks and wee ones? Think again. Setting sail for a two-hour Gateway Clipper Cruise was just what this Pittsburgh-loving family need this summer. From good food to good music, there’s plenty of reasons why teens will love a Gateway Clipper Fleet cruise -and here’s five of the best ones to keep your teen entertained and happy. No eye-rolling involved!
Taking my daughter on the Gateway Clipper Fleet in Pittsburgh, PA is something we’ve always done – especially for its kid-friendly Lollipop Cruises. It was fun to take a cruise for an hour and let the clowns and on-board music do the entertaining. But, what happens when you’ve got a teenager? Will she still enjoy a more adult-style cruise? That’s exactly what I wanted to know, so we hit the road to Pittsburgh for a Sunset Dinner Cruise to put it to the test. Happily, she enjoyed it from beginning to end – and here’s five reasons why your teen will dig it, too.
1. Good Music
If I’m being totally honest, I though that the only music to be played would be the classics to keep everyone mostly happy. You know, instrumental muzak that plays in the background while everyone happily eats their meals? Wrong. So wrong. Our Sunset Cruise offered a live DJ that took requests – and fulfilled them! It kept my music-loving teen happy as he played plenty of Bruno Mars and even a bit of hip hop, but also kept the older adults on the cruise happy with selections from the 70’s and 80’s.
2. The Buffet
I’m pretty lucky with the fact that I’ve got a teen that loves pretty much all food. From sushi to octopus seviche, I know there’s always something on the menu she’ll enjoy. The buffet meal on our Sunset Dinner Cruise was filled with plenty of options and was ready to go as soon as we boarded. We enjoyed salad, chicken, and pork chops. Her favorites? Mac and cheese and the glazed carrots. Dessert was pre-plated (apple pie with whipped cream) and was probably my least favorite of the meal. Honestly, it wasn’t bad. It just reminded of pie you’d get from the freezer aisle. She also enjoyed flavored waters infused with cucumber and strawberry. As a teen that doesn’t dig soda (crazy, right?), she was very pleased to find the water dispensers instead.
3. Photo Ops. Yes, Photo Ops.
I have a 23-year old step daughter; I remember when she was a teen and would roll her eyes at family photos with herself included. Give her a camera and she’d happily snap dozens of selfies. I don’t even pretend to know why this is how teens roll. So, when it came time to board the boat and take a family photo in front of a life saver, I didn’t know how my teen would act: eye roll or smile. Happily, she smiled and waved.
Gateway Clipper Fleet offers Magic Memories photographers that really do their best to take really good photos. We took two poses with a beautiful view of the Pittsburgh skyline behind us. When we received our photo package after dinner, my husband the photographer commented on just how professional each looked. Honestly, it looked like there was a green screen behind us. Nope. The company also offers an online membership to check out your photos from every location you visit. You can create photo books with its photos, as well as your own, and have them shipped for free, too.
4. A Chance to Dress Up
I have a teen that lives in jeans and band tees, so when she asked if we needed to dress up for the cruise, I answered with a question. “Do you want to?”
Her reply? “Sure!”
I never really thought about it, but a two-hour cruise is the perfect excuse to dress up, especially for a teen. While folks were dressed up in everything from shorts to jeans (there’s really no locked-down dress code), go with what you feel most comfortable in. If your teen wants jeans and tees, it’s totally appropriate. If she wants to dress up, grab your camera and take as many photos as you can.
5. Top Deck Pittsburgh Views
Once dinner was finished, we were invited to take in the gorgeous Pittsburgh river cruise views via an open air top deck. We cruised all three rivers that make Pittsburgh unique: the Allegheny, the Monongahela, and the Ohio. We also cruised under several of the bridges that make Pittsburgh “The City of Bridges” and she loved it. Once the sun began to set, we were really hoping for a few stunning pics, but rain deterred our plans. We still ended up getting some pretty cool photos of PNC Park, Point State Park, and The Strip District.
Have you ever taken a Gateway Clipper Fleet cruise in Pittsburgh? Did you have a ball? Please let us know in the comment section below!