Torn between seeing a show in Branson and spending a relaxing afternoon out on the lake? I know the feeling. With all of the talented acts in Branson, it’s often hard to make a choice between seeing a show and spending time out on beautiful Table Rock Lake. If you find yourself stuck in this dilemma while in Branson, spend the afternoon doing both. How? Take a voyage on the Branson Belle Showboat where you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a luxurious boat ride and a high caliber show within one setting.
Whether you want to enjoy a midday excursion, an afternoon cruise, or an evening boat ride, the Branson Belle offers three different cruises per day. It is necessary to arrive at the dock about an hour before the boat departs but don’t be wary about having so much free time; there is an outdoor shop where you can buy parasols, a gift store where you can purchase a souvenir or a cup of coffee, and you’re also permitted to board the boat early and stroll on the decks before finding your seat in the dining room.
The dining room consists of rows upon rows of long tables, all adorned with black tablecloths, crisp white napkins, and a number that corresponds to one on your ticket. Once seated, complimentary water, iced tea, and pink lemonade are all available in pitchers nearby. If you’re a coffee drinker, members of the hardworking wait-staff are always available to top off your mug, or even to refill the other beverage options. The wait-staff consists of friendly, helpful, and hardworking people who make it clear that their mission is to offer guests the best hospitality around.
Once seated, a pre-show begins at around the same time food service does. Host Christopher James (self-proclaimed “funny hyper magic boy”) begins the show with a handful of magic tricks. While dining on salad, cornbread biscuits, mashed potatoes, green beans, chicken, and beef, you learn interesting facts about the boat from an informative video. While digging into some mashed potatoes, I learned that the showboat uses 40,000 pounds of potatoes a year for meals! Additionally, I appreciated again the hardworking nature of the showboat staff after learning that a majority of the food is made onboard by employees who arrive at 7am each morning to begin preparing 2,100 meals.
The video also points out that the sparkling blue-green waters that surround the showboat are also preserved by the boat. When sliding the boat from the building site to the lake, two tons of bananas were used as lubrication in place of grease or oil. The Showboat Branson Belle takes pride in conserving the beautiful waters of the lake, and gives guests a thirty minute opportunity following dinner to walk any of the three decks, and relish in the views and breezes that the boat has to offer. In addition to walking the decks, there is a small gift shop in the interior of the boat that sells souvenirs related to the Showboat and media from the featured entertainers.
After a refreshing walk in the sun comes the show. It’s a quality production that features magic, comedy, versatile performers, music, and patriotism. The current show playing on the boat is titled “Made In The USA”. Impressive male vocalists comprise a group called ‘The Showmen’ who sing tunes both patriotic and American in origin, and both a capella and band-backed in nature. Host Christopher James infuses comedy, crowd interaction, and magic into the show. Most notable is aerial violinist Janice Martin who showcases her talents on fiddle, piano, violin, vocals, and acrobatics in a series of acts that highlight her talent as well as the great accomplishments of American musicians before her. The show is lively, entertaining, and of a high-caliber. Adults and children alike enjoy the music, magic, and general entertainment of the show. And the fact that it all happens on a boat on the middle of picturesque Table Rock Lake makes the Showboat Branson Belle an experience that can’t be compared to many others.
A ride on the Showboat Branson Belle is one you won’t want to miss. Combining two of Branson’s greatest assets (the lake and live entertainment) makes this boat ride unforgettable. Between incredible showmanship, extraordinary service, a beautifully crafted vessel, and a pristine lake, you can’t go wrong with this show.