Captain Matthew Flinders sacrificed his freedom to become the first to circumnavigate Australia and discover it as a continent. A rugged navigator and respected cartographer, he endured undeniable hardships to explore, discover and further our collective comprehension of the modern world, and in this man’s humble opinion, I believe that he would be proud of the ship at Toronto’s Harbour front bearing his name.
My wife and I… yes wife, it still sounds strange when I say or write it, but strange in the best of ways, (we are newlyweds), decided to take a Saturday night dinner cruise aboard the aforementioned Captain Matthew Flinders, and we were blown away by its majesty and grace.
The first thing that we noticed was how smooth the actual boarding process was. As you board they take your names and lead you to pre-assigned seating. We were fortunate enough to have a semi-private table right off the dance floor, which was perfect for the first big date night of our married lives.
We were serenaded by the melodic voice of Johnathan Ryan as he seamlessly covered a combination of 90’s pop, classic and indie rock covers. We sipped on; read, chugged our scotch bonnet pepper-infused Caesars and thanked the powers that be that we were fortunate enough to enjoy incredible weather on Toronto’s rapidly re-gentrifying waterfront.
The rich interior wood-paneling, crisp linen table cloths and spacious seating created a “fine-dining” atmosphere on water. We were immediately impressed with the speedy, attentive and professional service, and the fully stocked bar had my all-time favorite Kronenburg Blanc in a bottle.
Johnathan played 3 different sets, each on a different deck of the ship. We enjoyed his music so much that we made sure to situate ourselves on the right deck for each set; our clear favourite being his final set which took place on the open-air top deck under the stars. It was the perfect way to cap off a perfect night.
The cruise offered a fantastic buffet with three meat offerings of salmon, chicken and thinly sliced roast beef, with an assortment of accompanying sides and salads. Of particular note were the cranberry quinoa salad and the rich and creamy mashed potatoes that were generously doused in gravy and consumed with gusto.
When we were called up for seconds, we propelled ourselves from our self-induced food coma’s and made a beeline straight for the buffet with both reckless zeal and embarrassment. YES the food was that good and I haven’t even touched on dessert!
My wife has a sweet tooth, whereas I prefer savoury snacks. That being said, we embarrassed ourselves for the second time that night by making multiple trips to the desert buffet… cake, and cupcakes, and a chocolate fountain, oh my!
I should also mention that the panoramic city views offered a perspective seldom seen by land-dwellers. It was as if the entire city had opened up and we were seeing it with different sets of eyes for the first time.
YES we are both born and raised Torontonians, but rarely have we been afforded the opportunity to take our city’s expanding skyline in from the water. Basking in the tranquil glow of the Rogers Centre we celebrated our first date as a married couple.
Thanks to Mariposa Cruises and the staff aboard the Captain Matthew Flinders for making this a “date night” for the ages. Every single member of the crew we encountered was ready with a genuine smile and a desire to make sure our night was one to remember, and for that we are both truly grateful.
About the Author:
Graeham Magee is a Senior Learning Support Specialist at George Brown College. He has a passion for sports, travel, cooking and his new wife.