We got on the steamboat for their lunch tour. It lasts 2.5 hours, with the first thirty minutes sitting at dock and loading people. We were one of the first in line and by the time they disembarked, we had mostly finished our lunch. You can buy the ticket to include a meal or not. There are two seatings of lunch. We chose the first because we figured we could eat before the tour really got started and then be present for the tour. There is a gift shop, and two bars located on the boat. And they have a deal that for $20 you can have unlimited drinks (they had three to choose from, and the one with rum was yummy).
Food was decent. It’s typical southern food, red beans and rice, Bread pudding, etc. It wasn’t the best southern food I’ve ever had, but it was pretty good.
They allow you to go into the engine room (well, part of it, Gabe explained that there’s a lot going on downstairs which we could peak in at but not go). There are some nice signs explaining how the steam engine works. Tristan had tons of questions, some of which Gabe could explain, but as he doesn’t work on steam engines, we had to defer to the engineer on duty. He was sitting and looking at something on his phone and at first, he was acting a bit put out that we were asking questions. After about ten minutes, he started to get really animated and actually did a fantastic job of explaining it all to Tristan who listened with rapt attention through the whole thing. While we were down there, the boat needed to turn back so we got to see the engines stop and reverse. Which was AWESOME (according to one little boy who is definitely gonna be an engineer someday), and then of course, we had to go outside to see the wheel turning the other way.