Happy New Year! We cruised into 2020!

Dawn Ford at 11:38 aboard the Volunteer Princess Tuesday night.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a great time bidding adieu to 2019 and welcoming 2020. We definitely did.

As downtown devotees, we usually end up in one form or fashion on Market Square for New Year’s Eve, but this year we opted for something entirely different. We booked a cruise down the Tennessee River on the Volunteer Princess with our friends Dawn and Richard Ford.

It’s still downtown. And we added a couple of other downtown stops before we boarded the yacht, but we never did make it to Market Square, which we heard hosted a record crowd for the fun events planned there.

The Volunteer Princess cruise featured champagne at boarding and at midnight; appetizers; a three-course dinner; and dancing to a DJ. We upgraded to a private table for just the four of us. I still thought the cost was reasonable — $100 per person for a three-hour cruise and everything I just mentioned. We bought some additional wine (of course) at very reasonable prices.

The only downside when you book a public event is, well, the public. We chose not to sign up for the “alcohol package:” all you can drink for an extra $50. But some folks did and I think they were trying to get their money’s worth! One beautifully dressed young woman literally fell out of her chair and threw up. Making us doubly glad we had opted for our own table!

Read on for a re-cap. And, again, happy New Year!

We started our evening with a drop-by at Gay and Bill Lyons’ condo at Kendrick Place. There, our friend Rick Emmett, the city of Knoxville’s downtown coordinator, entertained with original songs he had written. His job gives him plenty of inspiration! One of his funniest numbers is posted at the end of this blog.

Appreciative listeners, from left, Bruce Anderson, Gay Lyons and Alta Emmett. Also on hand when we were there: Bill Lyons and Monique Anderson.

Next stop was the beautiful Drawing Room at The Tennessean Personal Luxury Hotel where we met up with Dawn and Richard Ford. That’s hubby Alan Carmichael on the right.

We over-ordered! Here’s the huge charcuterie platter we got. My favorite thing? That awesome pimento cheese at the top!

At 9 p.m., we high-tailed it over to the river to board the Volunteer Princess for a 9:30 launch.

It was a beautiful evening downtown looking south as we boarded.

We were seated upstairs, which we loved. This is a view toward the stern (and the dance floor).

The appetizers were appetizing: stuffed mushrooms and spinach-artichoke dip. Can’t go wrong with those two party staples.

Here’s a view toward the bow (and the bar).

I thought the simple rose centerpieces were sweet.

The Caesar salad was refreshing.

I took a peek at the group downstairs. The cruise was a sellout. This is facing the bow.

Here’s the captain, Chris LeMasurier, with the entree.

It was a duo of sun-dried tomato chicken breast and beef medallions with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

I stepped out on the chilly stern area and thought the lights reflecting on the water were stunning.

Inside, dessert was served.

And then — dancing!

Dawn and Richard getting down!

And before we knew it, it was midnight!

Here’s a look at some of that dance floor action:


As promised, here’s Rick Emmett singing “My Most Maddening Things” to the tune of “My Favorite Things.” Yes, it opens with the line: Street lights are shining in Cynthia’s condo. Ha.

I have to admit I did get a little upset when the city installed a street light right outside our living room window. But I never dreamed it would be in a song! Along with mentions of taggers, panhandlers and a guy urinating on the city’s Christmas tree! But I love Rick and we all got a good laugh about it.


See you in 2020!


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6 Responses to Happy New Year! We cruised into 2020!

  1. Becky Hancock, on January 2nd, 2020 at 3:38 pm said:

    I love this Cynthia! My cousin’s daughter had her rehearsal dinner on the Volunteer Princess in November, and it was perfect to have rented out the entire boat (yacht? ship?) for such an occasion. The scenery changed throughout dinner.

    And one of the city’s new street lights shines in my office window (and in my eyes) at the end of my work day in the winter… they are indeed bright! I love that you made it into Rick’s song. Haha!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on January 2nd, 2020 at 3:51 pm said:

    Becky: We love the “Princess” as an event center. We’ve had staff Christmas parties and other gatherings on it. Also appreciate knowing some else has a “street light issue!” Rick’s song was hilarious. Happy New Year to you and all our friends at the Tennessee Theatre!

  3. Gay Lyons, on January 2nd, 2020 at 3:52 pm said:

    Glad you were able to join us for the first leg of the evening–appetizers & Rick’s great songs. His job does seem to give him plenty of inspiration.

    The views of the city lights look beautiful from the Volunteer Princess. We watched the ball drop on Market Square from Judith and Michael Foltz’s 12th floor suite. Perfect spot!

    Happy New Year!

  4. Cynthia Moxley, on January 3rd, 2020 at 10:53 am said:

    Gay: Thanks for having us. It was a wonderful night.

  5. Elizabeth Goodale, on January 3rd, 2020 at 1:22 pm said:

    Happy New Year…Thanks Cynthia for the play by play of your Wonderful outing. Troy and I are spending time with family in lovely Saint Augustine Beach, FL. On yesterday we were at the nail biter Awesome TS/Gator Bowl; great game! Wow!

  6. Cynthia Moxley, on January 3rd, 2020 at 11:31 pm said:

    Elizabeth: Good for you! We love St. Augustine – where the Fountain of Youth is, right? And we were watching that nerve-wracking game on TV until the wonderful end! Thanks for reading!

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