Mariposa Cruises’ guest Luisa Fracassi recounts her experience aboard the Northern Spirit for the 80’s & 90’s Retro Dinner Cruise on the Toronto Harbour.


80s & 90s Retro Dinner Cruise

The Northern Spirit departed Habourfront a few minutes after 7. It was a sunny 23 degrees and my friend and I wanted to enjoy the weather on the boat’s large open upper deck. The theme of the night’s cruise was 80s and 90s retro. A handful of guests dressed in costume, myself included, imagine a splash of neon and acid wash jeans amongst a crowd dressed in smart casual attire.

Fifteen minutes later, the buffet which was located on the lower level was ready for dinner. There was a solid selection of foods to satisfy meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. I helped myself to three of the four salads – a summery mango and avocado salad, a classic Caesar and cranberry quinoa.

Retro Dinner Cruise - Buffet

On my second dinner plate I added the mains – ricotta stuffed rotalo, steamed veggies, moist salmon and from the carving station a few slices of roast beef. There was also mashed potatoes and chicken to choose from but there was only so much room on my plate. After ordering a drink from out attentive waitress, we began to eat. The standouts for both myself and my friend were the rotalo and the roast beef – we went back for seconds. We would have gone back for thirds if it wasn’t for the dessert buffet that we knew was coming up.

During dinner, the DJ asked three trivia questions about Toronto and Mariposa Cruises. A few guests walked away with prizes. I suggest if you want to win, check out the Mariposa website.

Retro Dinner Cruise - DJ playing 80's & 90's music

After guests had time to go up for seconds and thirds, the dinner buffet was cleared and the dessert buffet was set up. There were three sections: a table with individual treats like bite size cupcakes, brownies and blondies, a milk chocolate fondue station that included a variety of fruit and marshmallows and a cake station where guests were served by staff. I had a few pieces of chocolate covered fruit and a generous piece of a light and tangy key lime pie with a cup of coffee. A variety of teas were also set up for guests to enjoy.

Retro Dinner Cruise Dessert

For those without a sweet tooth, they could take advantage of the photo booth and large prop selection. No need to cram your party into a small booth, instead there’s a large open backdrop with a traditional photobooth camera set up. Guests walked away with photostrips of three pictures and as long as there was no line you can take as many pictures as you wish. My friend and I have three strips each commemorating the evening.

Retro Cruise photo booth fun

Around 9pm the dance floor started to fill up. There was a large group celebrating a birthday that seemed to dominate but eventually all the guests started mingling and it felt a bit like a dance floor at wedding where everyone seemed welcoming and familiar.

Retro Dinner Cruise sunset

After the crowd voted for best costume we began to sail back towards the harbour. The night’s winners were a woman dressed like Madonna circa ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’, another lady in 90s streetwear and a couple in matching red and white 80s workout gear.

Retro Cruise I heart the 80's

My friend and I took our last pictures of the Toronto skyline as the couples on board danced to “Lady in Red”. Overall it was a lovely evening, the staff was attentive, there was a good variety of tasty food and the scenery is Instagram worthy.

Retro Dinner Cruise - Toronto skyline at night

I would recommend the cruise for large celebrations or a special date. And if there’s a theme – be bold and dress up.


To learn more about Mariposa Cruises upcoming special events visit our Special Events Page or go to our our 80’s & 90’s Retro Dinner Cruise page to see when our next 80’s & 90’s Retro Dinner Cruise is.

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 captainsblog@mariposacruises.com.


About the Author Luisa Fracassi

About the Author:

Luisa is a native Torontonian who enjoys trying new restaurants, being outdoors and catching the odd wrestling match. She would much rather be out experiencing Toronto rather than sitting at home watching Netflix.