Last Christmas we had a bit of a hard time finding decent Christmas Eve dining options. Eating at the hotel as a last resort is expensive and not really what I had planned. This year I made sure we had something booked that we would all enjoy.
New Orleans had several options. Reveillon Dinner are very popular and many restaurants offer them even on Christmas Eve. They usually offer three to four courses for a fixed price. Unfortunately for me, they were pricey once I removed the seafood courses I would not want to eat. If you are looking for a great resource I used this website to see who had plans to be open during Christmas. https://holiday.neworleansonline.com/traditions/reveillon-dinners
The other interesting option was to take a river boat dinner cruise on the Mississippi river. I cannot do that at home in December! Both the Creole Queen and the Steamboat Natchez offer Christmas Eve dinner cruises.
Steamboat Natchez offers boarding beginning at 6:30pm, cruising from 7:30pm until 9:30pm. Tickets are $80 for adults, $45 for kids (6-12) and $26 for kids (2-5).
Creole Queen offers boarding: 6:00 p.m. at the Riverwalk/Canal Street dock with departure: 7:00 p.m. and returning at 9pm. Adult with dinner: $77 Child (ages 3-12): $39 Child (ages 0-3): FREE
Since I suddenly remembered to book this the second week of December the Steamboat was sold out. Creole Queen was closer to our hotel and I quickly booked three tickets for our family. In the end it worked out perfectly!
I had read other places that no matter which ship we chose we should arrive close to boarding time to ensure the best seats. We were at the dock by 6:10 and quickly escorted aboard.
The boat was decorated for Christmas inside and out.
We had a short wait in line to be seated. Our early arrival earned us a table against the outside wall with a river view. Later arrivals were seated in the middle of the room.
The buffet opened up a little before 7pm. We were offered drinks while we waited.
- Winter Salad
- Turkey Gumbo
- Steen’s Baked Ham
- Smoked Beef Brisket
- Creole Candied Yams
- Roasted Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Pumpkin Pie
- Pecan Pie
- Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
The food was very good. The ham and sweet potatoes were so tasty! The mashed redskin potatoes almost caused some problems. My Aunt makes the BEST mashed potato casserole. It is the stuff of Thanksgiving legends. So when my daughter said these potatoes were better than Thanksgiving I told she had better not say that aloud or repeat it if she wants to go to Thanksgiving dinner at my Aunts. These potatoes were pretty good!
Upstairs a band was playing Christmas music for us to enjoy.
Around 7:45 dessert was spread out at a table for selection. The bread pudding was pretty good. They also had pecan pie and pumpkin pie available.
It was grew very foggy as the night went on and it really cooled down on the water. I was happy to have taken a sweater.
We would love to do something like this again on Christmas Eve. We had wanted to take a river cruise regardless on our trip. The basic afternoon price is $34 for adults and $14 for kids 6-12. We had great service and a really fun Christmas Eve.
More information on the Creole Queen Christmas Eve cruise here:http://www.creolequeen.com/caroling-down-the-river
And the Steamboat Natchez here: http://www.steamboatnatchez.com/special_event_cruises.html#Christmas