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Listing all posts with label Volunteer Princess. Show all posts.

  1. If you're anything like me, you owe Pinterest a big "Thank YOU!" for reminding you that Father's Day is right around the corner. One would think I put a system in place for this after the great Mother's Day debacle of 2009, but I just can't seem to remember these parent celebrating holidays! And I have AMAZING parents who deserve to be celebrated! I think part of my problem is that those AMAZING parents spent the first 18 years of my life reminding me about Father's Day and Mother's Day, taking me to get a card, knowing what would be the perfect gift and financing the celebratory dinner. Now, at 30, I should be doing all of that on my own...

    But here's the problem with being 30 and wanting to do something creative for Father's Day: all the cool, fun, adorable ideas are intended for little kids. So if you're a little kid, or the mom of a little kid, you can knock it out of the park with some thing like, I don't know, the Father Daughter Ball on board the Volunteer Princess! But what am I to do? Does my Dad want a hand drawn card? Unfortunately not, even though my talent is on par with a 5 year old. And this super cute handprint shirt seems like it may loose it's sweetness with an adult hand.

    In quite the pickle, I began my search for the coolest, most fun, most adorable ideas for adult children to do for their Dads on Father's Day! Feel free to click on the ideas below and make them your own! 

    As an adult, you possibly share some common interests. My dad and I follow the same sports teams so this idea for a sports themed stuffed stein whould be perfect for him!

    For a sentimental Dad, the photo books from Artifact Uprising are not only beautiful but super affordable. Document your life as influenced by him and you're sure to get brownie points and maybe even a few tears (of joy)!

    We've all given our fair share of ties for Father's Day, probably too many! So, if your dad is cooler than you are, Not on High Street has a huge selection of hip and novelty items that your dad will actually want to use. Our favorite has to be these chocolate bars that say exactly what he'll be thinking...

    We'd all like to wish the Happiest of Father's Days to our VPC Dads! Thank you for being awesome and raising us right!
  2. Boomsday: an annual fireworks celebration that takes place on Labor Day weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is one of the largest firework shows in the Southern United States and is considered a top attraction in the region. The event is held on Volunteer Landing and accompanied by live music and festivities.

    All around Knoxville, people are preparing their plans for Knoxville’s annual Boomsday celebration. How to you plan to spend your Labor Day weekend this year? We have come up with a few fun festivities to celebrate the weekend the right way.
    Who doesn’t love to go out for a nice brunch to start their Sunday out the right way? Whether you are out for the food or the drinks, we have all the specials & places to be lined up right here for your discretion.
    Sunday Specials in Knoxville:
    Best places to Brunch in Knoxville:

    If you don't feel like getting out and about this Boomsday, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Knoxville's tradition right from your home. You can make some cute little treats that are fun for all to enjoy! If you are trying to spice up the night a bit, you could always invite a group of friends over and make your own Bloody Mary bar. The more the merrier.
    If Knoxville's hectic downtown doesn't scare you off, then here are some fun events going on around town this Labor Day weekend! The fireworks are the best part of the weekend, so be sure that you do not miss out on those! If you are looking to watch them from the best seats in the house, Volunteer Princess has a place for you. Visit our website at  to get your ticket today (and hurry, they sell out fast)! Here are some other fun ways to spend your weekend and a little bit more information about Knoxville's annual Boomsday celebration.

                                                                    WE CANT WAIT TO SEE YOU ON THE WATER!
  3. Fourth of July is a day that everyone in America can celebrate and be thankful for. Fun and festive foods, crafts, and decorations are easy to make and fun for everyone to enjoy! Whether you are spending the day relaxing, bar-b-queing, or celebrating on the lake- we know it will be one for the books. 

    If you aren't getting out and about for the Fourth of July, having some close friends and family over to celebrate together is always a good idea. In my family, it seems that the most common ground we have is not surprisingly, food. Whipping up some festive foods can be fun to tackle with a buddy by your side. Here are some food inspirations:

    Planning on having a Fourth of July bash? We have some adorable ideas so you can spruce up the environment with a couple DIY decorations. If you have kids, even better: they can help you create peppy decor as well! Here are some of the festive pieces that you can spruce any room up with:


    Don't have any plans yet? Join us aboard the Volunteer Princess on July 4, 2014 for an Independence Day Celebration featuring fireworks and a 4 Course Plated Dinner. Cruise down the Tennessee River aboard Knoxville's finest luxury yacht while drinking cocktails and eating delicious cuisine. There is no better seat in the house for this Fourth!

    We can't wait to see you!
    THE BEST EVENTS ARE ON THE WATER (especially fireworks) 
  4. It almost the time of year to celebrate the most important man in your life- your father! Fatherhood is filled with responsibilities that no one else gets to experience; like checking under the bed for monsters, tickling your feet until you cry, or giving the world’s best piggy back ride.  The best of us suffer occasional Gift Block, but when it comes to finding a great gift for dad, it can be especially tough. So for this Father’s Day, I’m going to make it easy to start thinking about some great gift ideas for pops.
    What dad doesn’t love a tie? Although, yes, they can be standard and expected; they’re actually put to good use! A fun gift for dad is a funky tie that can make anyone who sees it crack a smile. A more serious gift could be a fancy luxury tie if your dad isn’t the type to wear a tie with monkeys all over it. Here are some websites that have both types of ties, so you can find the perfect fit for your old man!
     (funky ties)
     (nice ties)
    Another great gift idea could be a new gadget that your old man has had his eye on- even if he won’t know how to use it. The best part of getting this gift is the time that you spend with him explaining what each button means and how to use it. Many don’t realize this, but the best gift you could possibly give your old man is your time; as there is nothing he loves more than a day well spent with his favorite little girl. Heres some cool gadgets that may interest your dad!
    That being said, this year you should treat your Dad to a relaxing cruise aboard the luxury yacht Volunteer Princess. Show Dad how much you appreciate all that he does for you with a fun and unique dining experience on the Tennessee River. Delicious food, outstanding service, and spectacular views of ever-changing scenery highlight this Father's Day Brunch Cruise. This year, give Dad a chance to getaway from everything he does for you and treat him to a day of relaxation, sunshine and good company. Here’s the link to buy the best father’s day gift that he will never expect!

  5. Mother’s Day is right around the corner, which is the perfect chance to show your mother appreciation for being the best girl around! Moms work hard 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They cook meals, clean the house, help with anything and everything, and somehow manage to fit it all in a hard day’s work. A small gift or a few short meaningful words can touch her heart and make this Mother’s Day extra special. There are plenty of things that you could buy for your mother, but spending time making something can mean even more. Here is a cute poem about Mother's Day:
    Once upon a time
    Someone held my hand and kept me always near
    Held me close and loved me,
    Thank you, dear Mother.
    Need a fun activity that you can do for your mother? Make her a homemade breakfast in bed! Every mom loves to splurge a little on her big day, so include everything from fruit to chocolate chip pancakes. It will not only give mom a break from cooking the meal, but also give you the chance to put a smile on her face.
    Another fun idea to give your mom is a gift basket compiled of all of her favorite things. No one knows a mother better than her own child, so why not give her all the best things so she can have the best day! You can fill the basket with toiletries, spa vouchers, chocolate, coffee, wine or books.
    Also, homemade baked goods are a hit in any home. You can personalize your treat for your mother with decorations and icing. A fun way to bring your mother “flowers” is actually with a cute do it yourself baked good. The only limit is your imagination- just think what she loves!
    Last but not least, bring your mother out to the beautiful Volunteer Princess located right here in Knoxville! Take an hour and a half to sail around the Tennessee River and share a memorable experience that only comes around once a year. We look forward to seeing you!
    Mothers everywhere: keep on being rock stars, thank you for being the irreplaceable rock in your children’s’ lives. We love you!


  6. We have had some beautiful mornings here at Volunteer Landing, and our Event Coordinator even found some beautiful baby ducks grabbing breakfast just outside out dock! The sky is brighter, the days are longer, and we can hear the birds chirping outside our office. Knoxville is blooming all around us, and warmer weather means more events, more to do, more time with friends, and less looking like you’re from the cast of A Christmas Story. If you’ve got cabin fever (like we do at Volunteer Princess), and just can’t take one more fit of this bipolar weather so typical of Knoxville, then I say…embrace this weekend. The weather is going to be glorious, and so much is going on that you cannot afford not to go enjoy yourself at this time of year. So grab some Claritin (you win some, you lose some with Knoxville) and go take a local spring time adventure!
    The Plaid Apron—My boyfriend and I went on a little journey through the seemingly endless Sequoyah Hills last weekend, and came across the most charming breakfast joint in Knoxville. This adorable local café has everything you could ever want in a restaurant. Concrete flooring, breath-taking wall paintings, friendly workers, a killer menu featuring some of Knoxville’s finest local ingredients (read: Cruze farm, amongst others), drinks served in mason jars, brunch until 2:00 pm on the weekends, and don’t even get me started on their maple spice latte (are you running there yet?) The Plaid Apron is an absolute must if you are even remotely interested in fresh, local, and seasonal food with a cozy front patio, and view of one of Knoxville’s must lush and luxurious neighborhoods…Oh, and if that’s not for you, there is always taco bell breakfast.
    Easter Egg hunts—Easter Egg hunts are bountiful to say the least, this year. There is an entire host of hunts running the Knoxville calendar for the coming week. If you have a tyke or a tot who is dying to meet the majestic Mr. Easter Bunny, then wait no more; the time has come. For a complete list of egg-themed happenings, visit the site below for more information.
    Oh, and look at all of these adorably chic ideas, tips, and tricks for a fun and modern Easter:
    Smokies Baseball—If you don’t get your fill of events this coming weekend, pop up to the Smokies Stadium for a fun and family-friendly baseball game that is sure to feed your appetite for entertainment and blow away the doldrums of winter. After all, nothing quite says spring time like a box of cracker jacks and an All-American hot dog. Tickets start at $9.50 for adults, and are $8.50 for children and seniors over the age of 55. To purchase your tickets today, please visit the Smokies website below.
    We hope this list helps inspire you to live, eat, work, and play the Knoxville way, and get the most out of the fun events Knoxville has to offer!

  7. We all know the weather in Knoxville is about as stable as a chair with two legs, and it can sometimes be hard to tell if you should wear a tank top or throw your parka in the backseat, “just in case.” Knoxvillians are constantly on the verge of sweating and freezing between the span of a single day, and then, all of a sudden, winter is gone for good, the Bradford pear trees bloom, and we begin to see less and less jackets on passersby.
    As long as it may seem to take, when spring does come it is here to stay, and we want to be prepared! Here you will find some really helpful tips for fellow boaters that either you or a friend who is a boater can greatly benefit from. De-winterizing your boat is an important process that will ensure your vessel is ready for the year ahead and ready to finally send the frostbite running. Some of the common themes include thoroughly checking the engine, oil levels, battery, electronics, cleaning suggestions, and more. Links to more in-depth instructions are below.
    De-winterize your boat:
    Spring boat prep:
    Boat ready for spring:
    Not a boater? Not to fear. There are a lot of ways to transition your life into spring. You could easily apply the above practices to any transportation method, especially to your car or RV!  You can also emerge from winter by spicing up your life or your home. Below are some really interesting articles, including one for family members of those serving in the armed forces, but the tips can be readily applied to any lifestyle.
    De-winterize your car:
    De-winterize your RV:
    Emerging from winter:
    Winter to spring transition inspiration from Pinterest:
    Transitioning your home décor:
    So whether or not you are weathered down, take these simple steps to de-winterize your life and make sure all of your favorite spaces are in full swing for spring so you can be your happiest, healthiest you.

  8. St. Patrick’s Day is the time of year that has everyone wishing they were Irish. Leprechauns, pots full of gold, rainbows, rolling green hills, shamrocks, they’re all so alluring and whimsical. Even if you aren’t getting kissed for being Irish, rest assured, the luck of the Irish may still be on your side. I was doing some research, and there are so many fun green foods out there to eat, glittery crafts to be made, and events to attend. I even found a twizzler rainbow with gold-wrapped rolos underneath, creating the perfect pot of gold goody bag! I mean, come on, who thinks of this stuff?
    If you are throwing an Irish celebration, check out some of these fantastic party ideas! There is everything from a shamrock pizza, to glittery St. Patrick’s mason jar candle votives.
    Shamrock pizza
    Pot of gold craft and white chocolate pretzel shamrock:
    Rainbow and pot of gold goody bag (my favorite!)
    Shamrock craft for the kids:
    Festive candle holder using dried peas:
    Mason jar shamrock votives:

    If you are thinking of a more (ahem) traditional Irish celebration (read: festivities requiring legal drinking age) there are some fun Knoxville events and cocktail recipes you can check out as well!
    The Old City is hosting its 6th annual Pub Crawl on Monday, March 17th! You can purchase a wristband for $10 admission to participating pubs. For more information on which pubs and bars are participating and where to purchase your wristband, you can check out the following website:
    Lucky martini recipe

    The Irish Times has a host of events to choose from, including traditional Irish music, food, dancing, and even tug of war! For a full list of all the attractions, you can view their website here:
    Barley’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K: to preemptively do something good for your body before Monday night’s pub crawl-packed festivities, you can register for Barley’s St. Patty’s 5K! Early registration is $35 (day-of is $40) and includes race entry, a cool t-shirt, pizza, and TWO beers! All of that, and the race also benefits a good cause! For more information on registering, head to the Taproom’s website here:

    So, even if you are not lucky enough to find a four-leaf clover this St. Patrick’s Day, you will surely feel the luck of the Irish is on your side if you attend one of these many fun events!

  9. March is going to be off to a delicious start with Restaurant Week just around the corner. Starting on March 2nd and going through March 7th we will be hosting three dinner cruises in which we are partnering with many other restaurants in Knoxville to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. We are so excited to be a part of Restaurant Week again this year! For those of you who are not familiar with this wonderful event, Restaurant Week is a week where restaurants all over Knoxville will offer fixed-price, three-to-four-course dinner menus for either $25 or $35 per person. Knoxville is one of several major cities across the country to participate in this hugely popular culinary event, serving as significant tourist attraction.
    For a complete list of restaurants participating in the $25 menus go to the following site:
    For a complete list of restaurants participating in the $35 menus go to the following site:
    Restaurant week is a great time to celebrate the great chefs that we have in Knoxville and our unlimited access to excellent restaurants. This special price serves to really benefit the large population of Knoxvillians who dine out, but also serves a rather larger second purpose. Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee will receive $5 from every meal that is purchased during Restaurant Week at participating locations, and will use the funds to help aid their effort to feed the hungry in their 18-county service area.
    If you are looking to try out that new restaurant you’ve had your eye on for a while now, looking to try some new, diverse cuisine, or just want to go to your old favorite, book your reservation for this fun, exciting event now because it has a wonderful cause that you can feel good about!
    For additional information, please go to the following site:
    To make a reservation with Volunteer Princess Cruises for Restaurant Week, please go to the following sites:

    For news and updates regarding Restaurant Week, please go to the following site:
    Do not miss out on this wonderful opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal at one of Knoxville’s finest restaurants, and give back at the same time!

  10. With Valentine’s Day here and gone, the main thing on my mind is spring. The wonderful time of year when grey skies, bare tree limbs, and snow days are finally replaced by small pink blossoms, chirping birds, and sandals (oh, and let’s not forget longer sunlight hours). 
    Springtime is a great time of year to do traditional things like spring cleaning, but there are also some other great opportunities you can capitalize on. After being cooped up all winter, why not throw a fun spring-themed party, or try something entirely new that you have always wanted to do but never got around to? It is a time for growth and change, and I like to think that change expands further than just the weather. 
    It is hard to break into a new habit, mostly because it is often very difficult to do something new. Change can be a little scary sometimes, but it can be so good for us and others around us; even if that means just cleaning out your closet, and donating the clothes your haven’t worn to charity, you can make such a huge difference in someone’s life in small ways! A really nice quote that I like to remind myself of, especially as spring and warmth are just around the corner is from a Japanese proverb that says, “One kind word can warm three winter months.” How often do you speak kindness? To others? Give someone a compliment; it can really brighten their day. And what about to yourself? Make this spring a spring full of self-love! Treat yourself to those strappy sandals you have been wanting, or tell yourself that you have really great (eyes, hair, legs, anything!). Thinking about yourself in a positive way will begin to shape and mold the lens through which you see others. This will lead to mental, spiritual, and often even physical growth and positive change.
    Maybe this year, instead, you just want to continue that New Year’s resolution all year; spring is a great time to reevaluate and measure your progress. In the same way, you might want to brighten up your house with some colorful décor, a new garden, or even just a vase of fresh flowers. Some fun ideas are listed in the links below for inspiration.
    spring crafts:
    spring parties: http://
    better homes and gardens:
    Spring is all about growth and revival. Growth is often best matched with self-reflection. Take a look at your past year and write down what you would like to see improved upon, and what you thought was really good about it. That externalization of thought can help you to achieve your goals, pursue the happiness that can so easily be lost in the winter, and add an extra spring in your step. 

  11. Hello Internet world! I am Cheyenne, and I am the new intern at Volunteer Princess! (*ignores nerves about blogging*)

    Here's a little a b o u t me:  I am a Knoxville native, a junior majoring in Public Relations at the University of Tennessee, and a sassy little\ lady who loves people and animals (read: future cat lady). I am so excited to be able to give some insight and perspective of my journey here this semester, and would love if y'all would come join me!

    As I was thinking about what I could blog today, my mind drifted to Valentine's Day *ugh, sigh. not another blog post about that*...but, wait. Before you exit the window on your browser and go back to Pinterest, just bear with me. There are two types of people in this world: there are the smitten lovebirds who just cannot wait to take their snuckums sweetiepie on a so romantic date, and then there are people who loathe Valentine's Day, they loathe it so much, they loathe it more than the Grinch loathed Christmas. This, friends, is my call to you. Which group are you in? I know, I know, "it was created by Hallmark, and it is only for couples, blah, blah, blah." STOP. If I have learned anything over the past year, it is that you choose happiness. YOU choose if you want to enjoy Valentine's Day this year or not. YOU choose if you want to have a wine night with the girls and watch stupid, sappy rom-coms while have the time of your life. This does not have to be your day to hate society and all of its (insert angsty claim against society), this can be a fun time for you and your loved ones, because isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about anyway? The reason I love Valentine's Day (and always have, even when I was single) is because at the root of the holiday is the premise of love. It does not have to be romantic love, and I cannot think of another holiday in our culture that promotes love like Valentine's Day does, and there is something to be said for that.

    This year, if you choose happiness, and you choose to enjoy your Valentine's Day and go all out, then I applaud you! Some ideas? I thought you would never ask. 

    ~Make it fun: do something you have never done before, take a small weekend trip, take a drive to the mountains or beach with the people you love most, listen to some freaking music about love, eat somewhere you and your date (or friend date) have never eaten before, buy yourself a new outfit. (think: #TreatYoSelf) 
            ~gift guide for him:

            ~gift guide for her:

            ~Valentine's Day gift guide:

    ~Make it yummy: find some friends to make a delicious meal to indulge in and treat yourselves to, or make that someone special a breakfast in bed or a decadent dessert to show them how much you care.
            ~delicious Valentine's recipes: 
    ~Make it personal: if you are on a budget, try doing a $1 gift exchange, pack a picnic to a cozy spot, and curl up and watch your favorite flick before bed; if you are wanting to do something more extravagant this year, then book a sexy and romantic cruise with Volunteer Princess (we have them running from Feb. 12-16, with times and lengths that could fit in anyone's schedule!), or splurge on that gift that they have really been eyeing.
            ~tips on a budget:

    Whatever it is you do this Valentine's Day, I hope that it's good for you. I also hope that you remember what the holiday is truly all about, and love yourself and those around you

    Until next time. 
  12.             On my last day here at Volunteer Princess, I have been thinking about this past semester and how fast it has flown by.  It seems like just yesterday I was trying to learn the difference between a Sea Breeze cruise and Sunset Dinner Cruise and what was included in a Platinum package.  As I get ready to leave my first professional internship, I want to share a few things I learned along the way and maybe some tips to help all you future VPC interns out there.
                You don’t realize how much an experience has impacted you or how much you have learned from something until you take time to reflect on the experience.  Once you can pinpoint what your struggles were, that’s when you truly learn.  From the days I still hadn’t grasped how to use the “Hold” button on the phone, to the days I asked why the Excel spreadsheet was blank (when really I just had to scroll up the page), every one of these experiences helped me in some way.  Whether it be thinking before I asked a question or becoming more professional at answering phones, I realized I had to make a few mistakes before I truly learned.
                I also learned how to be a self-motivator.  I was timid at first and would often feel unsure if I was completing the tasks I was assigned correctly.  Eventually I learned that I was better off if I just took a stab at something, rather than wait around and put off doing the “hard” tasks.  I learned the value of feeling successful when I did complete a task correctly.  This feeling in itself was a great motivator to get things done.  I loved knowing I had accomplished something during the time I worked that day.
                If I had to give my advice to future Volunteer Princess interns, I would definitely say to pay attention to your bosses.  You can learn a lot of things just from listening to what they say when answering the phone or how they handle a situation with a difficult customer.  You will save yourself from asking repetitive questions in the future if you are aware of things going on around you. 
                Another thing I learned is sometimes you have to abide by the saying that states, “fake it ‘til ya make it.”  If you put forth a confident attitude and friendly demeanor while talking to customers, usually they don’t even realize you’re the intern.  However, building confidence takes time.  I didn’t feel completely comfortable talking to customers until I knew the information well.
                I had a great experience as a Volunteer Princess intern and wouldn’t have wanted to (officially) start my public relations career anywhere else because as I have learned this fall, the best times are always on the water!!
  13. With the Orange and White game this Saturday, its fair to say that it's almost FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE! In the Volunteer spirit, I decided to talk about some of Knoxville's favorite traditions: The Volunteer Navy and the Orange and White Game. 

    The first Orange and White Game was in 1961 with attendance recorded at 15,000 fans. With attendance soaring into more than 70,000 fans, it is clear that this is a true Tennessee tradition. As Tennessee's athletic program's reputation has fluctuated over the years, the one constant is the ever-hopeful fans. This game essentially serves as a spring preview of the season to come. It features all current UT players divided onto either the orange or white team.  

    The Vol Navy began in 1962 when former UT broadcaster, George Mooney, first parked his boat in front of Neyland Stadium on the Tennessee River. The fleet is now made up of some 200 boats. Many members of the
    Vol Navy never actually go ashore to view the games, but instead watch on television from the comfort of their luxury yachts. The Navy docks around Volunteer Landing Marina. 

    If you have ever wanted to experience this treasured Tennessee tradition, join the Volunteer Princess for a Sailgate gameday cruise. As members of the Vol Navy, the Princess promises an exciting and memorable tailgating experience. 

    Now's the time to start preparing for this Fall's football season, which has the potential to be very exciting. Wear your orange and white with pride and prepare to support our Vols this Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Orange and White Game!

    Hello friends!

    I thought that’d I do a special blog post on one of my favorite things – food! More specifically, Restaurant Week! For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Restaurant Week takes place February 24 – March 1 where participating spots offer discounted menu items. Restaurants such as Copper Cellar, Nama and of course the Volunteer Princess feature special three-course meals for a fixed price of either $25 or $35 per plate. The best part? $5.00 from EACH meal goes to the Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, so you can fill up your belly while helping those in need! I’ve included the link for the Restaurant Week website for those of you who are interested.
    My favorite thing about the Restaurant Week concept, other than giving back, is that it lets people explore new restaurants for a fraction of what it would typically cost. As a college student on a limited budget, I ashamed to say that I haven’t explored Knoxville’s culinary scene quite as much as I probably should have in my 3 years as a Knoxvillian. So for me, this week is a perfect time to broaden my horizon, while also keeping my checkbook in check. K-town is among several cities across the nation that take part in the event, such as Chicago, New York and San Diego.
    Also, for those of you who have always wanted to know what it would be like to dine on the Tennessee River aboard a multi-million dollar yacht – here’s your chance! The Volunteer Princess is offering a special dinner cruise price of $35.00 per adult during Restaurant Week. This special will go through Friday, March 1, so make sure to reserve your spot ASAP by clicking on this link:
    I’d love to hear from my readers! Are you partaking in Restaurant Week? If so, what spots are you planning on, or have you checked out? Let me know in the comments below.
    Time for me to set sail – until next time VPC Intern readers! Oh, and happy dining J
    Restaurant Week Website:

  15.           Hello friends! First, let me introduce myself. My name is Jordan DeJarnette, and I get the privilege of interning for the Volunteer Princess this semester! I am from Nashville but currently residing in Knoxville, where I attend the University of Tennessee. I’m currently a junior, pursuing a major in public relations and a minor in business. I’m an SEC football fanatic (pardon my schools current record), love chocolate labs, and dream of moving to the Big Apple when I graduate. This blog is going to let people in on what it’s like working for a company as unique as the Volunteer Princess. It’s going to consist of various snippets, such as my daily happenings, upcoming cruises, and all around experience aboard the Volunteer Princess!
                    Now that we’ve gotten introductions out of the way, let’s jump right in! My first few weeks here have been slightly intimidating, but so fun! Like the new kid at school, I have to learn the ropes from the old pros as far as procedures, basic cruise information and how/when to communicate with current or prospective clients. My biggest accomplishment thus far was getting to write my first press release (shout out to all of my PR teachers – I’m putting my education to use!). The yacht is offering a week full of Valentine’s Day romantic cruises, beginning February 12 and continuing through Sunday the 17th. The Starlight Dinner Cruise is my personal favorite, offering a 4 course dinner and a DJ just to name a few! The Nauti Dessert Cruise is equally impressive, offering a DJ and dessert buffet. My job was to compile all of the Valentine’s Day cruises information into an informative, yet enticing, press release, and you know what? I think I did a pretty good job!
                    I can’t wait for everything that’s to come during this internship, and to share it all with you all! Time to dock for now, until next time friends! 
  16. When February comes up on the calendar, men and women everywhere have one day on their minds: Valentine’s Day. Finding the perfect gift or making the perfect Valentine’s Day experience becomes a key concern. I find that the best way to make a holiday memorable is with the little things. These do-it-yourself V-Day gifts will definitely earn you points with your significant other.

    Breakfast in bed: To start this special day off, try a fun twist on breakfast in bed. Make everything heart-shaped. This simple craft can easily be done with the use of a heart-shaped cookie cutter and a little patience in the kitchen. Some easier options are pancakes and bacon. A sweet crepe with strawberries will also be sure to impress.   Your significant other will be so impressed with your craft skills they won’t even notice you nearly burnt the kitchen down in the process.

    Crafts: Instead of buying a cliché Hallmark card, make something yourself that will actually be memorable.  This “52 Things I Love About You” booklet is one of my favorites. You take a deck of cards and decorate it with reasons you love your significant other. For under around 5 dollars you can have a tear-worthy gift that will earn you major points. If you don’t have time for this craft, a simple hand written note means a lot more than a regular greeting card.

    Starlight Dinner: If you are still looking for a fun, unique way to celebrate this year, try booking a reservation on a Starlight Cruise with 
    The Volunteer Princess. This gesture will be sure to impress while our packages give you every opportunity to make the night memorable. Each reservation comes with a 
    complimentary red rose. A Valentine’s Day aboard the Volunteer Princess will be sure to make memories to last a lifetime.

  17. Everyday millions of average Americans go out to their local gas stations and convenience stores in hopes of purchasing a winning lottery ticket that could change their lives forever. People often fantasize about what they would do if they ever won that large amount of money and the things they could buy; cars, homes, planes, yachts, the list goes on and on. But you would also have to consider the odds before you go out and spend all your savings on a whim!

    According to USA Today the odds of winning are 1 and 176 million; you are 176 times more likely to be struck by lightening than to win the lottery. But when the jackpot is up to as much as half a billion dollars, taking a chance and spending five bucks doesn't sound too bad. You may think that everyone has an equal chance of winning big money but according to some statistics from, some states are better than others when it comes to payouts.

    The top 10 states where it pays to play the lottery are:
    10. Illinois
    9. Michigan
    8. Ohio
    7. California
    6. Pennsylvania
    5. Georgia
    4. Texas
    3. Florida
    2. Massachusetts
    1. New York

    This past Friday the Mega Millions lottery hit the largest jackpot prize out of any other lottery in world history. The colossal prize amount was up to a reported $640 Million dollars. Many hopeful's rushed to the stores to get in on the game and the chance to make their wildest dreams come true. For 3 lucky winners that dream is becoming a reality. There were only 3 winning Mega Ball tickets sold, one in Kansas, one in Illinois, and the last was in Maryland.

    The jackpot had gotten so big because accoring to Mega Millions Lottery, it has rolled over 18 times without a winner! Tennessee has reported two winners for last week's jackpot, who had hit all five numbers without the Mega Ball number, winning them a cool $250,000. Like they always say, you have to be in it to win it! So until next time, take a chance on lady luck and may she bring you good fortune in the future!

  18. November is go green month, and here at Volunteer Princess Cruises, we strive to protect our environment as much as possible. While cruising on the Tennessee River, we come across wildlife ranging from geese to local fish. It is heartbreaking to see them swimming through filthy water. Here are some ways you can better the environment for the last few days of Go Green month AND the rest of your life! Keep in mind, you can use these tips when planning an event with us on the Volunteer Princess!

    1. Recycle vs. Trash: Knoxville is teamed with Waste Connections to ensure that Knoxville residents have the opportunity to recycle. One way to simplify your life is having both a trash can and a recycling bin in your kitchen, bath and other rooms in the house. Bottles and cans won't pile up on your counter tops.
    2. Skip the bottled water: Plastic bottles of water are popular when it comes to wedding favors. Unfortunately, plastic bottles take almost a thousand years to biodegrade. If it's in your budget, opt for a metal bottle; your guests would love this light weight and dishwasher safe bottle. Plus, it is a reminder of your special day for years to come.
    3. Buy non-toxic cleaning products: These will be helpful toward protecting the environment and keeping your home, office or boat smelling clean.
    4. Become a Paper Saver: The Volunteer Princess office strives to consume less paper. Any paper that is printed we will cut the unwritten space and use it as notepads and/or scratch paper. Once the paper is used, we recycle it. This past year, we've put more of our manifests and information on the computer to cut back on paper use. You can save paper when looking for your next event invitations- keep in mind using recycled paper. 
    5. Go Organic: When planning an event, food and drinks are always a must. The Princess finds the best local food in the area to ensure that both taste and quality are exquisite. Buying organic meats, vegetables and even wines ensures that your food and drinks are healthy and taste better. 
    6. Get involved with an organization: Give back to the community by cleaning up streets, parks and/or rivers. Here at the Volunteer Princess, we share offices with the Fort Loudon Lake Association. Their goal is to make the TN River and Fort Loudon Lake as clean as possible. We do our best to get involved with the many activities they plan. FLLA does great work for the Knoxville River system and deserves all support from local businesses and local patrons of the TN River. Fort Loudon Lake Association

    Try to remember these key tips to keep our city a clean place to live, for both you and the local inhabitants here on the Tennessee River.
  19. Date night means different things to everybody. For some, it may mean a night spent in sweatpants, eating popcorn and watching a movie on the couch. For others, they may be cooking their significant other a delicious gourmet meal. To us, date night means going out on the town and having an enjoyable night together. Lucky for all you couples, Knoxville has never ending ways you can spend your night out with your honey. 

    Go see a play at one of the many great theatre houses here in Knoxville. From November 23 – December 18, A Christmas Carol will be at the Clarence Brown Theatre located on UT Knoxville’s campus. Visit the theatre web site for dates, times and ticket prices. The WordPlayers will perform Leaving Iowa, a comedy, from November 12-26. Check out for more information. If you’re looking for powerful music to accompany your show, head to the Tennessee Theater for a night of opera. Their website lists upcoming shows, dates, show times and ticket prices.

    All aboard! The Three Rivers Rambler, a steam train here in Knoxville, offers public train rides down the river. Enjoy a 90 minute ride while you and your significant other take in the scenery. Celebrate the season with one of the many Christmas train rides! Visit Three Rivers Rambler for the train schedule and list of ticket prices.

    Were you or your partner blessed with two left feet? How about ballroom dancing lessons? Academy Ballroom offers fun, affordable classes for couples. If your idea of fun is something other than a class, try the Friday night dance parties! Anyone is welcome to come in and show off their moves on the dance floor. Check out for more information.

    Join us for a Starlight Cruise on the Volunteer Princess. You and your prince or princess will spend two and a half hours cruising down the Tennessee River under the night sky. Live entertainment, delicious food and gorgeous scenery - what more could you ask for? We have public dining cruises November through December. Visit our website for more information. We are also hosting a Second Harvest of East TN Food Drive. If any cruisers bring in two items Second Harvest needs, the cruise will receive a free soft drink and refills!

    Lace up your skates and twirl over to the Ice Chalet off Kingston Pike. The Ice Chalet has group lessons and private lessons for those who need a little extra help. There are over 15 instructors, and each private lesson is only $21. Check out the Chalet's site for a schedule of public skating sessions.

    Take a cooking class. It may seem cheesy and a total romantic comedy move, but learning something new with your partner is a great way to bond. The classes at Glass Bazaar are taught by world-class instructors, so you’re guaranteed to add a delicious recipe to your book. Visit Glass Bazaar to learn more and to make reservations. Bon appetite!

    Remember that Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are only about a 30 minute drive from Knoxville. If you’re looking for a little adventure, hop in the car and head northeast. You’ll have plenty of date options when you get there!

    Nights spent cuddling on the couch with your sweetie are fun, but getting out every now and then never hurt anyone. Enjoy your night out as a couple and remember, as long as you’re together, you’ll be having a great time! 

  20. Ask any Knoxvillian to name their favorite time of the year, and most would say autumn. The fall season in Knoxville is unlike any other- surrounded by beautiful colors and the Tennessee Volunteers singing their alma mater. Nothing beats Knoxville’s fall and everybody, whether Knoxvillians or visitors, should take advantage of the season.

    Take a hike! IJAMS provides some of the best Smoky Mountain trails for any level. During the trail, you will enjoy the fall weather and Knoxville’s scenery. You can also spot some of Knoxville’s native animals and trees. Visit IJAMS.

    Due to Knoxville altitude and climate, Tennessee is known to have some of the best pumpkin patches around. So, while they’re here, why not visit one? Take a ride on a hay ride or collect some awesome fall decoration while searching for that perfect pumpkin. And don’t forget: find one with a stem. It’ll last longer! Oakes Farm

    Attend a Volunteer Football game! Football is in the heart of every Southerner. Everyone around comes to see the Vols take on their rival. During the Saturday festivities, you should join us with our famous Sailgate cruises. We take a 2-hour long cruise on the Tennessee River and let our guests indulge in our delicious hors d’oeurves, watch other football games and mingle with fellow fans. Volunteer Princess Cruises is minutes away from Neyland Stadium, so getting to the game is simple.

    For our adult fans, Knoxville has its own type of Oktoberfest: Knoxville Brewers’ Jam is an awesome beer festival. Many brewers from Knoxville come to celebrate handcrafted American beer, food and music. Make sure this is on your fall check-list for next year! Brewers’ Jam

    And, of course, enjoy one of our dinner cruises aboard our vessel here at the Volunteer Princess. The leaves and sunset make it a perfect outing with friends, family and significant others. See our list of futures cruises on our schedule page.

    Autumn is a season everyone can enjoy when in Tennessee. These are just a few places that Knoxville has to offer, so start the pumpkin carving, pie baking and keep that football cheering going… it’s fall time in Knoxville.

  21. Fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner. If you’ve grown tired of trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving, here are some more exciting ways to celebrate Halloween in Knoxville.

    Haunted Knoxville Ghost Tours: Knoxville is home to several reportedly haunted locations. Take a ghost tour to have a real paranormal investigator (not an actor) guide you through Knoxville to see the haunts for yourself. The walking tour lasts for approximately two hours, spending around 15 minutes at each haunted spot. Reservations are required, so visit Knox Ghost Tour for tour dates and times.

    Scare in the Square:  If you’re looking for Halloween fun the whole family can enjoy, head to Market Square on Friday, October 28 for Slamdot’s 3rd annual Scare in the Square. It lasts from 5:30-9:00 p.m. and admission is free. There will be live music and performances, costume and pumpkin carving contests, face painting and fortune telling. An assortment of creepy critters from the Knoxville Zoo is scheduled to make an appearance, as well.  Food will available from Bread of Heaven BBQ, Scooter Doo’s Hot Dogs and Rita’s Italian Ice, so be sure to come hungry! For anyone with an abnormally large sweet tooth, the candy crawl is going to hit the spot.  For more information, check out
    Scare in the Square

    Boo Cruise on the Volunteer Princess: If you are 21 or older, join us for a Boo Cruise on October 31 from 9-11 p.m. Hosted by Star 102.1, it’s sure to be a fun-filled night with eerie surprises at every turn. Guests should plan to arrive in costume and enjoy two hours of cruising down the Tennessee River while snacking on delicious food from Wild Wing Café. Please see Star 102.1 for a spooky night on the river!

    Freaky Friday Fright Nite: Farragut will be hosting its 15th annual Freaky Friday Fright Nite on Friday, October 28 from 5 – 7 p.m.  Children ages 12 and under are invited to Mayor Bob Leonard Park for trick-or-treating, cookie decorating and games. Proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House, so you’ll be having fun for a good cause. Don’t forget your costume! To learn more, visit Town of Farragut.

    Dead Man’s Farm: Dead Man’s Farm is home to the only Haunted House in Knoxville that is proven “truly haunted.”  You and a group of 10-12 others will take a self-guided tour through a house of werewolves, gypsies and any other haunts you could imagine. Children 12 and under must have parental supervision. Chicken runs are available for those who can’t handle the fear! Are you brave enough? Find out at Dead Man's Farm.

    Oakes Farm: Oakes Farm offers the best of both worlds with a corn maze and a Trail of Doom (the haunted version). Those looking for a scare-free challenge should test their luck in the corn maze. The maze is an intricate design that will test even the most logical minds. The goal is to find each of the 12 hidden posts throughout the maze, and then find the exit. Those who want a little fear with their fun should embark on the Trail of Doom. The Trail of Doom is Knoxville’s largest and longest running haunted attraction and uses special effects, actors and props to frighten its visitors. For days and times of operation, visit Oakes Farm.

    So whether you choose to take the kids to Bob Leonard Park for trick-or-treating or try your luck on the Trail of Doom, your Halloween should be one to remember. Take pictures, enjoy the beautiful weather and eat enough candy to last you until next year!
  22. This blog has taken away my Monday blues, and hopefully, will lift your ghoulish spirit for this season!

    I love autumn and everything that comes with it: the smell of hot tea and the warmth it brings, the colorful cardigans brought out from storage, grandmother’s home cooking and the shades of the leaves (especially around here at the Princess; it’s such a beautiful site).

    But, especially, I love the treats!

    Lately, I’ve had some free time on my hands to search for the latest trends in Halloween treats. I’m going to try to push for Beverly (if you don't know her, see crew page; she's our great VP) to add these on our Halloween Star 102.1 Boocruise menu.

    Star 102.1 Boocruise

    If not, I think I’ll just make the entire crew come in and make them with me. Mauahaha. Just kidding…maybe.

    These are a few great ideas you should try yourself!

    Of course, I will start with a cake! This Chocolate Pumpkin Cake says “Big Orange” and adds a touch of mystery with the dark chocolate glaze running over the sides. 

    Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

    Rice Krispies treats never go out of style. The gooey, melted marshmallows will always bring an air of your childhood back to you. With these pumpkin twists, it’s a fun way to create an edible jack o’ lantern.

    Pumpkin Rice Krispies

    Easy-peasy, orange squeezy. No, this treat has nothing to do with oranges, but it IS amazingly simply and I want one now. Oreos are dipped in whatever chocolate your taste buds crave at the time, decorated with Halloween candy.

    Oreo Pops

    Want to stay on the healthy side? Obviously, I found an alternative for all of us watching our treat-eating this season…or trying to watch. You can add anything you want in these mini lanterns, but I suggest sticking with the fruit salad. 

    Alright, I know these aren’t technically labeled as a Halloween treat, but you can decorate any kind of face on these cupcakes. Think of it as a nice little monster. Be careful though, if I was making them, most of the ingredients would be in my stomach by the time the cupcakes cool off!

    Little Monster Cupcakes

    Pascal Cupcakes              

    If you don’t have time to bake and make, just go with a simple candy dish as this one. It’s festive and easy (to eat).

    Halloween Candy Jar

    By no means are we saying you should try just these recipes. There is a whole world of bloggers and food enthusiasts who create wonderful, seasonal treats. If you have any ideas of what we should try on the yacht, by all means, let us know!

  23. Throwing a great party for all of your friends is fun and exciting. Making your party one to remember can take some serious creativity; creativity, which, let’s be honest, doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Here is how you can be sure to wow your friends: put a unique spin on every aspect of the party. 

    Venue: Your friends have been to your house plenty of times. Try somewhere new! Knoxville is an amazing city that has many different places perfect for private parties.

    • Rent out a section of your favorite restaurant
    • Host your party at an outdoor location, such as World’s Fair Park
    • Take your party to the water and host an event on the Volunteer Princess yacht
    •  Host your part at a traditional Knoxville landmark that doubles as an elegant and exciting party venue, for example, the Sunsphere

     Anything that is new to your friends is surely going to be a good time.

    Theme: A great way to wow your friends is to host a themed party. Incorporate your theme through entertainment, party activities, decorations, food, music, etc. Here are great party theme:

    • Decades
    • Hollywood or Las Vegas
    • Luau
    • Fiesta
    • Black Tie
    • Under the Sea

    You get the idea! If your group of friends has a favorite movie, try hosting a party themed after the film. This is always a good call you can invite your guests to show up in themed costumes!

    Entertainment: Having extra entertainment available is always a good idea. Hire a live band or a DJ to get your party rockin’ and rolllin’. Other live acts can be a blast as well; stand up comedians and magicians do private events for great prices. You could also have party activities to keep your guests entertained: games, a scavenger hunt, karaoke and contests are always a hit.

    Food: The food is one of the most important aspects of your party. There are many options to offer: snacks, heavy hors d’oeuvres or a full course meal. The food is another great way to incorporate your theme. If your budget allows it, have your party catered. The food will be delicious and it will take a lot of work off your shoulders. Don’t forget about dessert; instead of having a typical cake, try a cupcake stand, fondue station or sundae bar!

    Decorations: Theme! Theme! Theme! No theme? Decorations can still liven up a party and make it a really special event. Balloons, signs, pictures, streamers and other décor ensures your guests are in party mode.

    Don’t forget the details! Often it’s the little aspects of a party that count. Handing out party favors to your guests as they leave gives them a way to remember your party. Sending home extra food always makes happy guests, too!


  24. In Tennessee, college football is a way of life. It comes as no surprise that fans come from all over the region just to tailgate before heading to Neyland Stadium!

    Neyland Stadium

    Whether you’ve been to every home football game since brith or you’re planning your first trip, here are five places with the greatest atmosphere to tailgate in Knoxville.

    The Strip

    The Strip, home to dozens of shops, restaurants and bars, is electric on game day. Cumberland Avenue turns into a river of orange and white, and “Rocky Top” can be heard from every passing vehicle. People tailgate at almost every establishment on The Strip; inside, in the parking lot or even in the backyard! The Strip is a Vol fan’s paradise and is a must-do for everyone in Knoxville on game day.

    The Vol Navy

    Knoxville is home to the SEC’s only tailgate on the water. Boats of all shapes and sizes line the River Walk to form the Vol Navy. If you own a boat, you should definitely dock it here for the weekend and enjoy some floating tailgating fun. If you don’t have a boat of your own, make friends with someone who does! (Just kidding…kind of). 

    Vol Navy

    Dead End BBQ

    Dead End BBQ has recently become a new hot spot for pre and post game tailgates. Located on Southerland Avenue, Dead End has an outdoor patio that can be rented out by private parties. The patio fits around 35 people and has a large flat screen TV, perfect for keeping up with games all over the country. Inside there is the Midas party room that can also be reserved for groups around 25. Dead End BBQ was voted Tennessee’s Best BBQ in 2010, so arrive hungry and be ready for a party!

    Calhoun's on the River

    Calhoun's on the River is a favorite of long-time Vol fans. Calhoun’s accommodates any size crowd: the upstairs alone can sit up to 400 people! The scenery can’t be beat; Calhoun’s offers a beautiful view of the Tennessee River. If you’re looking for a classic venue to take your friends for game day fun, look no further!

    Calhoun's on the River

    The Volunteer Princes Yacht

    If just being on the water for the Vol Navy or watching the river from the sidelines isn’t enough, try a “sailgate” with Volunteer Princess Cruises and spend a few hours cruising down the Tennessee River. With a fully-stocked cash bar and delicious hors d’oeuvres, the Volunteer Princess yacht is a great place to host your party before the game. The entire boat is air-conditioned, so no need to tailgate in the heat! Whether you want to join a public tailgate or you want to host your own, VPC is always the best party on the water.

    Volunteer Princess

  25. Why decide between holding a Wedding Ceremony or a Rehearsal Dinner on the Volunteer Princess when you can do them both?  Around two weeks ago, TJ and Kalie, did just this. Friday, July 22, 2011 they held their Rehearsal Dinner and Rehearsal onboard. It was a laid back, fun atmosphere and the bride and groom, to be, had a great time. They had time to become comfortable with the wedding venue and at the same time get a little crazy! The next day they were back onboard the Princess for their Wedding Ceremony.  It was a great way for us to get to know this happy couple and for them to become familiar with the place they said I do.The mother of the groom sent us this after the cruise, "Nikki, you guys did an awesome job!!!! We all had such a great time. Thank you so very much for making this a wonderful moment in time for the new couple. Wanda Myers."

    Here is TJ and two of his Groomsmen on Rehearsal Dinner night. They are comfortable and relaxed, just ready to get the show on the road. I wish I would have snapped a picture at the end of the night after a few of our wonderful cocktails! They were ready to celebrate TJ's last night as a single man. 






    Here is Kalie and two of her bridesmaids. They had a great time onboard as well. Kalie did not stop smiling the entire night. She was so excited for her wedding day to get here that she was just beaming from check to check all night long. 



    These are the two flower girls. They are sisters and family of the happy couple. Here they are practicing for the big day. It's difficult to do more than one thing at once and we are asking them to walk as gracefully as possible down the aisle while smiling and throwing rose's hard being a flower girl. SPOILER ALERT: They pulled it off and looked beautiful doing so! 

    The beautiful ceremony set up. White chair covers, white tulle on the sconses, and big white bows set the stage for a wonderful wedding.  

    The beatiful bride prior to the wedding ceremony taking some interesting photos. I am sure the photographer got some great ones because Kalie looked absolutely stunning. She was decked out from the tip of her head all the way down to her feet in jewels and sparkles. The bride is supposed to be the center of attention and the way Kalie looked on Saturday, 7-23-11 you couldn't help but watch her enjoy this day. She exuded happiness and love!

    After a lot of planning and even more planning, the Wedding Rehearsal/Rehearsal Dinner and the Wedding Ceremony were perfect. TJ and Kalie were wonderful to work with and I feel as though I know them better because we were able to spend all weekend together. Thank you guys for cruising with us for these events.  I am thrilled to have been apart of your wedding weekend. We wish you all the love and happiness in the years to come. 

  26. Here at the Volunteer Princess, we receive many questions surrounding everything from Knoxville and our crewmembers to party planning tips and event themes. Our daily life is filled with crazy phone calls, hilarious comments and curious river animals. We get to be a part of many different families and meet people from all over the world (last week a family from India came on board)!

    The Princess staff wants to share our answers to our daily questions, interesting articles, events on the boat, comments about our cruises and anything else we come up with!

    Our journey is not just a cruise down the river. We enjoy exploring everything from downtown Knoxville life and local trends to parties and wedding venues. So become a part of our blog! Comment, ask and share anything you would like; we’d love to continue our journey with you and the world.  

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 Volunteer Princess Cruises
956 Volunteer Landing Lane
Knoxville, TN 37915

(865) 541-4556