Scenic skylines and expansive harborside vistas entrance passengers on the Spirit of Norfolk as the triple-decker luxury cruise craft plies the tranquil waters of the Elizabeth River. Revelers can sip wine and take in the ocean breeze on the open-air upper deck or groove on dance floors in the two climate-controlled interior levels. Full-service bars and on-board buffets serve up plenty of drinks and mouthwatering food, and live DJs keep parties going strong with energetic tunes and a cappella versions of their favorite sea shanties.
Jump to: Reviews | That's the Spirit! Captain Bonnie Barnacles: In an era when most women were relegated to sitting at home by the fire knitting children to help with chores, Bonnie Barnacles dreamt of more. Stowing away on the S.S. Anti-Authority in 1778, she quickly organized a mutiny, dazzling her crusty shipmates with her cutlass juggling and partial memorization of the alphabet. Today, she and her forsaken crew still haunt the harbor, turning a pretty pence with their home jewelry-making workshops and inspirational cassettes.
Saying that someone “wrote the book” on a topic is usually an exaggeration. Not so for photographer David Muse, whose resume not only boasts breathtaking glimpses of Baltimore’s coastline, but also the book he penned entitled Photographing Baltimore, Annapolis, and MD’s Eastern Shore. David’s combined encyclopedic knowledge of photographic techniques and the city he calls home harmonizes perfectly into his walking photo safaris, which lead students through the visual splendors of the ocean side city while imparting camera fundamentals. During his Inner Harbor Tour, which was praised by Andrea Sachs of the Washington Post, Muse inspires his students to capture stories of the city as they point their lenses at the harbor's bobbing boats, towering World Trade Center, and wavering reflection the iconic Domino Sugar sign, all the while expounding on optimal aperture openings and which flash settings can blind a rabid Ravens fan. All of David's events—from his historic Fells Point photo safaris to his wildlife photography weekends and West Virginia countryside workshops—all weave in his expert tips, hands-on instruction, and thoughtful, professional critiques of each student's work.
The film festival, which begins on January 4th, features seven eye-smacking films shown on a full-size, five-story IMAX screen. The fest lasts for nine weeks, and there's no need to purchase Science Center admission ticket to attend any of the showings. Film choices include movies like Hurricane on the Bayou, a stirring documentary narrated by Meryl Streep that taps deep into the musical soul of the Big Easy before, during, and after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Volcanoes of the Deep Sea brings viewers 12,000 feet into the depths of the deep Atlantic wherescientists aboard a submersible explore the alien creatures, landscapes, and fast food franchises of earth's ocean floor. Other larger-than-life flicks include Michael Jordon to the Max, Greatest Places, Survival Island, and Extreme, which follows adventure-seeking athletes as they challenge some of the most intense forces of nature to a game of foosball. Music fans can nod their heads to U2 3D, a front stage pass to U2's worldwide Vertigo tour, filmed during the band's stop in South America. For a full description of films on the docket, visit the festival's website.
On the third floor of the Hyatt, the team at Bistro 300 has worked wonders with Twinkies and tomato soup. They prepare their own version of the doughy dessert with chocolate dip and whipped cream, leaving out the plastic wrapper. As for the soup, it's available for lunch or as a dinner appetizer, and it's won praise from The Baltimore Sun for its "aromatic and richly spicy" mix of tomatoes from Hummingbird Farms.
Suffice to say, the kitchen here doesn't shy from reinvention. It combines regional ingredients—including Maryland crab, of course—into contemporary plates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Baltimore Sun also lauds Bistro 300's commitment to eco-friendly eats, noting that chefs serve up arctic char and black sea bass instead of less sustainable options, like salmon or fish that have starred in Disney films. Seafood is indeed a focus, as evidenced by the mix of shellfish in the sweet-corn cioppini, though chicken pappardelle and a dry-aged new york strip steak also grace the menu.
Each meal does come with a view, though the scenery varies depending on where you sit. Some diners glimpse the harbor through a full wall of windows, while others gaze into a large, decorative pool that stretches throughout the room.
At each Moe's Southwest Grill location, the same signature three-word greeting tickles the eardrums of each diner who enters the doors: ?Welcome to Moe?s!? Inside, chefs prepare a bounty of fresh burritos, fajitas, and tacos filled with grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken, grain-fed pork, and fresh veggies. The staff caters to diets of all sorts with high-fiber guacamole, gluten-free sour cream, and hand-diced pico de gallo made in-house every day, all of which complements hormone-free meats and organic tofu. In all, they use more than 20 wholesome and often sustainably acquired ingredients?one for each subliminal but positive message in the average PSA. As a mellifluous embellishment to the ambience, a sound system plays songs solely performed by deceased artists to honor their musical legacy.