I recently planned an event that was held this week - it was a corporate sunset dinner cruise, and it was a huge success! The party was held on the Desert Belle that launched from the Saguaro Lake Marina in Mesa, AZ. We chartered the Desert Belle to cruise around the lake for three hours and served a dinner buffet from Special Moments Catering along with the beverages from the bar on board.
The guests were allowed to board 30 minutes prior to the boat launching. I did take a photo of each group/couple as they arrived as a keepsake for them. Once we left the dock, some key members of the company welcomed the guests, thanked everyone for their hard work, and reminded everyone to drink responsibly - always important!
The Desert Belle offered a guided tour, provided music, or allowed us to bring our own. We decided to have the captain point out key areas of the lake while it was still daylight, but for the most part we hooked up the music we brought on an iPhone and listened to a playlist we put together. We had four crew members - captain, concierge, and two bartenders. They all had great personalities which made it that much more fun for our guests! - and definitely helped each other out throughout the party!
Special Moments Catering did an awesome job with the food! We had some very specific requirements with one of the dishes as there is a large Indian population within the company. They prepared Paneer Mekhani, which I learned (from Wikipedia of course!) while planning this event that Paneer is a fresh cheese found in South Asian cuisine. To make Paneer Mekhani, the cheese is cubed and cooked in a rich cream-based, tomato gravy. This is typically served with Vegetable Biryani, Indian rice to which vegetables are added. For our event, we offered Lemon Zest and Herb Mediterranean Quinoa, which was a great pairing! This was not something Special Moments had created before, but they knocked it out of the park! It was delicious and a big hit with everyone on board. We also served a more traditional Lemon Chicken along with rolls, butter, mixed greens with a raspberry vinaigrette and an assortment of mini desserts. We had a banquet captain and a server from Special Moments throughout the event.
At the end of the night, we handed out favor bags to all of our guests. Since we were hosting the event in Mesa, I decided to reach out to the Mesa Visitors Bureau. They were kind enough to give us bags, chapstick, and some literature about Mesa. We also included mints with the company's logo along with small bags of cookies and some candy.
I would highly recommend using either one of these companies for a future party! Or - even taking a tour on the Desert Belle is a great time too. Because of the private charter, I was able to bring the hubby and two boys on a regular tour about a week before the event so that we could check it out, meet our concierge, and finalize details for our party. Thanks to the Desert Belle, Special Moments Catering, and the Mesa Visitors Bureau for helping us make our party a big success!