Mariposa Cruises’ guest Jen Defreitas retells how she and her husband celebrated their 6 year wedding anniversary on the Toronto Harbour aboard the Oriole on one of our scenic dinner cruises.

OrioleAn evening we will cherish in our hearts for a while was our 6th anniversary on the Oriole. It began with a warm greeting at the dock, which by the way is an entertaining district all on its own. Having arrived a bit early, afforded us the luxury of wandering the area and taking in the full atmosphere of the waterfront – which is kind of a happening scene! The ship itself was a charming sight. It reminded me of a classic steam boat, with its rustic, nostalgic appearance. I adore anything historical, so my eyes darted all over the vessel imagining each corners story or past.

Once we boarded we were taken to our table, number 2, near the bar – score! and next to a window. I could see a bride boarding the ship next to us, and a red boat beaming proudly in the harbor. The table was set with white linens, and wine glasses. The cabin was decorated with wood paneling, wrought iron stair casing, port holes and lanterns. It was all adorable. Shortly after we were up on the top deck, catching a breeze and sipping on our drinks in the warm sun light.

Table-number-2 Oriole-staircase


The boat cruised along the water’s edge towards the CN tower. We had a spectacular view of the city. We went a little camera crazy snapping pictures of things we wouldn’t normally see from that perspective.


Having grown up in the area, my husband delighted in telling me stories about what certain buildings and landmarks used to look like, and fond memories he had of them as a child. In the background, the DJ played some silky tunes. The whole experience was quite romantic.

Upper-Deck-of-OrioleDinner was a buffet of leafy salads, colourful dips, warm bread, whipped potatoes, baked salmon, chicken breast and succulent roast beef – all of my favourites. Never shy about what’s on my plate, I feasted – and enjoyed every last crumb!

Dinner-on-OrioleAt this point the sun was just beginning to set, so my husband and I went back up to the main deck to take in some more fresh air. We sat on a bench situated at the bow of the boat. Because most of the other guests were still eating, we had the rooftop to ourselves for a few minutes. The whole setting was orange, sparkling and cool. I felt a bit like Kate Winslet in Titanic! LOL

Jen-&-Scott-on-Oriole Flag-and-sunset


Gradually more people wandered onto the upper deck. Then the DJ began to play current, upbeat music and took requests. Everyone was smiling, grooving and sharing stories. Families, couples – old and young, created a fun and cheerful mood. As the moon began to show, and the colours outside changed from orange to purple, it was time for dessert.

Purple-skyOne of my true weaknesses is chocolate, and like any true chocolate lover, you can imagine my excitement to find that there was a chocolate fountain with fresh fruit to dip. Yum! I also had a couple slices of tasty cakes…like I said, never shy!

During-dessertWith bellies full of sweet treats, and coffee, it was time to dance! The floor was happening with a crowd that knew how to have a good time. We laughed and danced until we were tired, all the while taking in the great view of the Toronto Island to the north and the seemingly vast waters to the south.


As the night was nearing its end, the city had another show to put on, a rainbow of lights. We were dazzled by its colours and dark figures, still and towering, in the evening sky. It was a bittersweet sight, because it was beautiful, but also meant the evening was drawing to a close.


To properly send-off and hold onto the last few minutes of a practically perfect evening, we snuck down to a private opening on the dinning floor, to reminisce and sip the last few drops of our wine…

Cheers to the Oriole staff and crew, for serving us up with a night we will always remember.

To learn more about Mariposa Cruises upcoming scenic dining cruises visit our Dining Page or go to our Dinner Cruise page to see when our next Dinner Cruises are.

If you would like to be featured in one of our Guest Experiences on the Captain’s Blog, please submit your story along with photos and a short bio to

About the Author:

While now a resident of Pickering, Jen grew up in the GTA and studied art and history at the University of Toronto. She is a grade 5 teacher and devoted mom to two beautiful children. Jen enjoys finding great deals, planning getaways, delicious food, and any opportunity to date her hubby.