Lake Minnetonka's
Premier Cruise Line
  Call us now at:

6 Tips On Planning The Perfect Dinner Cruise Graduation Party

A record number of 83% of kids graduated from high school on time in Minnesota last year. That’s something to celebrate!

If your child is a graduating senior, then it’s time to plan something special for the big day. Your graduate deserves to be celebrated with a unique party.

Have you ever thought about planning a dinner cruise on Lake Minnetonka to celebrate?

Dive in for six tips on planning a dinner cruise for your graduating senior.

Planning a Dinner Cruise

A dinner cruise is a perfect way to celebrate your graduating high school senior.

From invitations to decorations, make everything perfect for your favorite graduate. A dinner cruise makes planning easy.

You don’t need to worry about hiring caterers or renting tents and chairs during the busiest party season of the year.


Make a great first impression with your invitations.

There are many styles and types to choose from. From custom-made faux passports to realistic looking cruise tickets, you’ll have a blast ordering or making the invitations.

Another great thing about a dinner cruise is that it limits the number of people you can invite. Although if you pick a large boat, it’s possible to invite up to 115 guests!

If ordering invitations, you can pick a pre-made design or design them yourself. For an affordable option, try buying online.

If you decide to make the invitations, no need to struggle with ideas.

There are so many ideas and instructions available on websites like Pinterest.

It’s a good idea to send out a “save the date” notice a couple of months ahead of time alerting your guests to leave the day open. This can be done through email or regular mail.

Be sure to send the regular invitations out 3-4 weeks in advance to remind your guests and give them time to prepare. It’s especially important to let your out-of-town guests know in case they need to make airline reservations.

Send the invitations via snail mail so you can set the tone with great nautical-themed invitations that are keepsakes for your graduate and friends.

Graduation-Themed Decorations

If you’re a DIYer, you’ll have a blast with the decorations. Start with a nautical-themed backdrop. As soon as your guests board the boat, direct them to the backdrop for a photo with the graduate.

It’s fun to hang old photos of the graduate. These make great conversation starters.

Make copies of your photos so you don’t have to worry about them getting lost. Bring along some twine and strong tape.

Use clothespins to hang the photos from the twine. You can make several strings of photos and hang them on all the walls.

It’s also fun to make a faux pirate’s treasure chest and provide decorated index cards for guests to leave words of advice for the graduate.

Don’t forget a cute decorated box to hold all the cards your graduate receives.

Provide envelopes and have the guests address them. This makes sending thank-you cards easy.

Get creative and come up with other great nautical-themed ideas.

Great Food

Traditional party planning involves a lot of food planning. One of the best things about a dinner cruise is you don’t have to worry about this difficult aspect.

No looking through recipes. No food shopping. Leave that to the cruise line!

Sit in the comfort of your own home while perusing the menus. It’s a good idea to let your graduate in on this part of the planning. He’ll have a better idea of what kind of food he and his friends will eat.

The charter company will provide appetizers, dinner, and drinks.

Remember that appetizers and alcohol will be an additional charge.

One of the great things about a dinner cruise is you won’t have to keep on eye on the kids when it comes to sneaking out and drinking.

If you decide on alcohol for the adults, the bottles will be tucked away behind the bar under the strict supervision of the bar manager. You’ll need to decide ahead of time whether or not you’ll serve the adults alcohol.

Once you’ve decided on whether or not to serve appetizers and alcohol and you’ve picked your favorite menu, the food planning is done!

Graduation Cake

What would graduation be without a great graduation-themed cake? Don’t forget to order this well ahead of time to bring to the party. Most grocery stores have an in-house bakery where you can order a custom cake.

If you’re handy in the kitchen, you can even make your own cake. You can find specialty cake molds in any craft store.

Cupcakes are a great option if you have guests with special dietary needs. You can make gluten-free and even vegan cupcakes.

When you get on the boat, be sure and set up a small separate table to showcase the cake. Put out a nautical-themed tablecloth. Spread some cute anchor confetti around the edges of the tablecloth. Use ship-themed paper plates and napkins.

Safety and Security

Since you’ll be in a boat on the water, security is an easy matter. The crew will be looking out for your guests. But, it’s a great idea at the beginning of the evening to make sure everyone is aware of all safety procedures. The crew will help with this too.

A dinner cruise is great when it comes to safety since the kids won’t be driving and the venue is limited to the boat.

The cruise is 2-3 hours, depending on which option you pick. This means everyone gets home at a reasonable time.

Party Favors

Show some appreciation for your guests by giving a little party favor as they disembark. This is a great way for them to remember the evening. A souvenir captain’s hat would be great for the young men and can be found for less than $5 each.

Lighthouse tealight candle holders are another fun idea. Put the gifts in a nautical-themed gift bag and you’re all set.

Now You’re Ready!

Ahoy, Matey! Now you’re all set to plan your own perfect graduation dinner cruise. It will be a special night that your treasured graduate will never forget.

Leave a Reply