It’s easy to forget that Cleveland is a coastal city. The best way to truly see the city—or celebrate a special occasion—is on the historic Goodtime III.
Basking in the warm rays on the sun deck, you hear the sound of Cleveland radio legend Larry Morrow come over the speakers. Up ahead is FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns football team, and Morrow gives you the lowdown on the traditions and memories made on that special site. This is just one highlight your group will experience aboard the Goodtime III, a true Cleveland tradition.
Nearly a Century of Goodtimes
Twenty years later, the Goodtime II started up as a family-owned business providing cruises in the Cleveland and Cuyahoga River area and soon became a Cleveland institution. The river tour was named a top city tour and became a staple of school field trips. Guests have ranged from local residents to curious out-of-towners to well-known celebrities.
In 1984, the company was sold to the current owner, Captain Jim Fryan, who continued to grow the business, adding trips and making cosmetic enhancements, including a newly designed ship. The Goodtime III was unveiled in 1990 and is the largest quadruple-deck, 1,000-passenger luxury ship on the Great Lakes at 151 feet long, with four decks and all the amenities required for an unforgettable cruise.
The Goodtime III Experience
Groups can cruise down the Cuyahoga River and onto Lake Erie on this historic vessel. The boat has four full-service bars, a galley serving sandwiches and snacks, and two dance floors for party cruises. Guests can hang out in the enclosed and climate-controlled first deck, or spend their time at one of two bars located on the open-sided second deck. Up on the open third and fourth decks, cruisers can relax in the sun and snag the best views of the city.
During the day, groups can enjoy an educational two-hour narrated lake and river tour, which shows off Cleveland and is a great way for visitors to get acquainted with the city. Cruises are narrated by Larry Morrow, who offers guests a crash course in the history of Cleveland from the angle of the Cuyahoga River, as well as information on the latest developments on the lake and riverfront. Captain Bruce Hudec, who has been with the company since 1971, chimes in with his own insights on occasion as one of the preeminent historians of the region. Guests will take in numerous sights, such as the Buckeye Booster at the Cleveland Port Authority, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Flats, and, of course, Cleveland’s famous bridges. Known as the City of Bridges, Cleveland sports over 330 different crossings.
Choose Your Experience
The Goodtime III offers a flexible menu of cruise experiences:
The Luncheon Package: One of the most popular options for groups is the Luncheon Package, letting groups enjoy a hot lunch dockside before embarking on a narrated tour. They can choose from a buffet-style meal or a selection of box lunches.
Rush Hour Cruises: In the summer, your group can take part in a fun-filled Cleveland pastime: Rush Hour Cruises. Starting back in 1984, these cruises have become a huge hit and a great way to experience the city. Every Friday evening during the summer season, the Goodtime III welcomes guests for two hours of drinking and dancing on the river.
Dance Cruises: Get your groove on under the stars during one of Goodtime III’s Dance Cruises. The main deck plays a variety of music from blues to rock and roll to country, while the second deck features a DJ spinning all today’s biggest hits, sure to get your group moving. It’s the perfect way for visitors to unwind after a day of sightseeing and experience the lighted bridges along the river. Dance cruises run Friday and Saturday nights from 9:30-11:30 and feature two DJs on Fridays and a DJ and a band on Saturdays.
Dinner Dance Cruises: If you’re interested in a full evening on the Goodtime III, you can book a Dinner Dance Cruise for your group. Guests enjoy a sit-down buffet dinner of delicious dishes, including chicken piccata, hand-carved roast beef tenderloin and parsley buttered redskin potatoes. After dinner, visitors are free to move around the ship and enjoy entertainment on the main deck and the DJ spinning on the second deck. Or they can head to the third and fourth levels for stunning views of the city lit up at night.
All Day Cruises: For the ultimate Cleveland cruise, give your group a full-day experience with the Goodtime III. The company offers tour packages combining visits to Cleveland attractions with a memorable cruise on the water:
- The “A Rockin’ GoodTime” tour gets groups head banging at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum before venturing out on a Goodtime III cruise. This is a great way to entertain any group interested in the history of the music genre, as well as the city of Cleveland. Tour operators can select any of the company’s cruises to pair with the Rock Hall, giving them a variety of options for their group to enjoy.
- The “Science is a GoodTime” package is perfect if you have a crowd of science enthusiasts, ‘’and will have them reveling in mind-challenging exhibits and hands-on experiences at the Great Lakes Science Center and Museum. After a few hours nerding-out at the first-class institution, groups can take part in an educational day cruise along the Cuyahoga River. (Lunch packages available, call for details.)
No matter what kind of experience your group is looking for, the Goodtime III has you covered. From comprehensive introductions to the city to non-stop dance parties, there is something for everyone on this luxury ship. So take a couple hours to get away from the commotion of life and enjoy Cleveland from its best side.
Group rates are offered for public narrated lake and river tours running twice daily Tuesday-Sunday, on Friday night happy hour cruises and on dance cruises. A group is considered 20 or more people and the rate varies, so check out the website or give them a call for more information.
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