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Gift Certificates Make Great Christmas Presents

  1. 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.
     http://theplaidaproncafe.com/
     
    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.
    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2014/apr/08/knoxville-area-easter-egg-hunts-april-2014/
     
    Oh, and look at all of these adorably chic ideas, tips, and tricks for a fun and modern Easter: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=easter%20eggs
     
    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.
    http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t553
     
    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!
     
     

  2. 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:
    http://waterski.about.com/od/boatmarineengines/a/dewinterize.htm
     
    Spring boat prep:
    http://powerboat.about.com/od/maintenanceandrepair/tp/SpringBoatPrep.htm
     
    Boat ready for spring:
    http://fastboats.com/top-6-tips-for-de-winterizing-is-your-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:
    http://tools2tiaras.com/how-to-de-winterize-your-vehicle-for-spring/
     
    De-winterize your RV:
    http://media.channelblade.com/EProWebsiteMedia/6944/De-winterizing-your-RV.pdf
     
    Emerging from winter:
    http://www.military1.com/military-lifestyle/article/460531-emerging-from-the-winter-slump-tips-for-transitioning-to-spring
     
    Winter to spring transition inspiration from Pinterest:
    http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=winter%20spring%20transition
     
    Transitioning your home décor:
    http://www.wnct.com/story/25017795/transitioning-your-home-decor-from-winter-to-spring
     
    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.
     
     
     
     


  3. 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 pizzahttp://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/03/shamrock-pizza-squares-for-st-patricks.html
     
    Pot of gold craft and white chocolate pretzel shamrock:
    http://www.iheartnaptime.net/friday-favorites-st-pattys-day-edition/
     
    Rainbow and pot of gold goody bag (my favorite!)http://loomlove.com/rainbow-loom-party-ideas/
     
    Shamrock craft for the kids: http://handsonaswegrow.com/preschool-craft-shamrocks-for-st-patricks-day/
     
    Festive candle holder using dried peas: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/2b/66/de/2b66de5099d84639fbb36ecb737071c4.jpg
     
    Mason jar shamrock votives: http://www.mom4real.com/2014/02/shamrock-mason-jar-luminaries.html



    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: http://www.wimz.com/events/old-city-pub-crawl
     
    Lucky martini recipehttp://www.ohmy-creative.com/holiday-crafts/st-patricks-day/st-patricks-day-drink-ideas/

    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: http://www.irishtimesknoxville.com/
     
    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: http://www.active.com/knoxville-tn/running/barley-s-st-patrick-s-day-5k-2014
     

    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!
     


  4. 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: http://www.knoxrestaurantweek.com/cat/25-special/
     
    For a complete list of restaurants participating in the $35 menus go to the following site: http://www.knoxrestaurantweek.com/cat/35-special/
     
    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:
    http://www.knoxrestaurantweek.com/what-is-knoxville-restaurant-week/
     
    To make a reservation with Volunteer Princess Cruises for Restaurant Week, please go to the following sites:
    http://www.knoxrestaurantweek.com/item/volunteer-princess-cruises/
     
    http://www.volunteerprincess.com/public/restaurantweek
     
    For news and updates regarding Restaurant Week, please go to the following site: http://www.knoxrestaurantweek.com/news-coverage/
     
     
    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!
     
     
     


  5. 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:http://www.countryliving.com/crafts/easy-spring-crafts-0309#slide-1
     
    spring parties: http://http://www.marthastewart.com/275332/ideas-for-spring-parties
     
    better homes and gardens: http://www.bhg.com/decorating/seasonal/spring/
     
    pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/trueme/spring/
     
     
    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. 

  6. 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:http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/gifts/for-him/valentines-day-gift-ideas-him-00000000051491/index.html

            ~gift guide for her:http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/valentines-day/valentines-day-gifts-for-her-00100000095099/index.html

            ~Valentine's Day gift guide: http://www.redenvelope.com/valentines-day-gifts-rvfav

    ~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: 
                 -http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/packages/valentine-s-day.html
                 -http://www.foodandwine.com/valentines-day
     
    ~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: http://www.mydearvalentine.com/valentine/idea-tips/


    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. 
  7.             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!!
  8. Make easy-to-serve Finger Foods
    Fix recipes that you can make ahead of time, so you aren’t running around the day of your party whipping up last minute appetizers.  Dips work well that you can prepare before and just bake the day of.  Finger foods mean little to no need for eating utensils, which means less cleanup for you.
     
    Kiss the Cocktail Shaker Bye-Bye
    It might seem a bit old school, but a good bowl of punch is always a crowd favorite.  It is much simpler and less of a hassle to make one drink for the whole party rather than mixing individual drinks while trying to entertain guests.
     
    Set a Festive Mood
    Instead of tacking overused Christmas tree lights to every surface of your home, turn off overhead lights and use amber and gold-toned candleholders placed decoratively around the party area.  You can either place real candles or flicker lights inside them, if you don’t want to worry about a safety hazard.  Place metallic accents around to reflect lighting and give your party a relaxed feel.
     
    Update your Christmas Playlist
    To add a festive feel to your party without playing those overplayed Christmas songs everyone loves to hate (think “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”), add in a few traditional holiday songs to your usual party playlist.  Try to keep the ratio around 1 holiday song for every 3 normal songs.
     
    Keep a Coat Check
    Tired of having guests pile jackets on your freshly made bed?  Check into renting a coatrack.  Most party-rental sites rent out racks for around $20.
     
    Soak Dirty Dishes as the Party Goes
    Either run hot water in your sink or fill a large plastic tub with warm, soapy water and keep it in the kitchen.  Guests can leave dishes there, and you can pre-clean up as you go, avoiding a huge mess at the end.
     
    Send Guests on their Way With To-Go Boxes
    Buy Chinese to-go boxes for people to take home leftover food.  This saves you from extra cleanup and from eating all those stress calories you really didn’t mean to eat.
     
        
     
    Wishing You a Stress-Free Holiday Season!  Happy Party Planning!
  9.     With Tennessee football season winding down and cold weather setting in, Knoxville residents may be thinking about a weekend getaway to somewhere warm.  But little do they know, there are fun events going on right here in Knoxville almost every weekend this month.  From food tours to 5k races to concerts in Downtown Knoxville, there is sure to be something exciting for everyone in the family to enjoy!

    Ice Bears vs. Pensacola- November 1 at 7:30 PM

    Earth, Wind, and Fire Concert- November 1 at 8:00 PM at the Tennessee Theatre

    Free Family Activity Day: Pueblo Pottery- November 2 from 1:30-4:30 at McClung Museum. The family activity day will include mini tours of the exhibit, and afterwards, children can sculpt pinch pot animals from clay, and decorate them.

    Tinsel and Treasure- November 1-3 at the Knoxville Convention Center                                                       Friday: 10 am to 7 pm                                                                                                                                 Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm                                                                                                                               Sunday: 12 pm to 5 pm 

    Knoxville Symphony Orchestra: Autumn in Italy- November 3, 2:30 PM at the Bijou Theatre

    17th Master Woodworkers Show-
     Friday, November 1, 4:00-9:00 PM
     Saturday, November 2, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
     Sunday, November 3, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

    Barenaked Ladies Concert- November 3 at 8:00 PM at the Tennessee Theatre

    University of Tennessee Homecoming Parade- November 8, 4:00 PM at Circle Park

    Ijams Enchanted Forest- November 9 at Ijams Nature Center. You and your family will be led along our magical woodland trails where creatures will emerge to share their stories along the way.

    Elf the Musical- November 16 & 17 at the Tennessee Theatre, Doors open at 6:30.  This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner Elf.

    Running with Hope 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run- November 16 at 9:00 AM in Circle Park. Proceeds go towarsd the Fort Sanders Ronald McDonald House.

    Knoxville Food Tours- Hear the history of some of Knoxville’s most historic cities, sample food and drink from a selection of locally owned restaurants and specialty food shops, and meet the chefs behind the scenes.

    New Harvest Park Thursday Farmers Market- Open every Thursday until November 2.  Come by and browse fresh, locally grown or art created by Knoxville locals.

    Haunted Ghost Tours- Visit www.knoxghost.com to make reservations until November 30th
  10.           It’s no doubt that the University of Tennessee has always had a reputation for having one of the most spirited and successful football programs in the country.  Even through the unfortunate Kiffin and Dooley eras, fans stuck it out and continued showing up to Rocky Top and supporting the big orange team they love.
                However, this year something felt different.  There was a buzz in the Knoxville air and a new, exciting energy taking over Neyland Stadium. Butch Jones had taken control of this team, and it was a completely different team then the one UT fans watched last fall. 
                Coming from Cincinnati and Central Michigan, the SEC was a big change for this coach.  From the second Coach Jones started his job at the University of Tennessee, players have been inspired by his constant energy and positive attitude.  I had the opportunity to meet Coach Jones while I worked with the recruiting office last spring, and even in the few minutes I was around him, he even inspired me.  He made a point to shake my hand even though I was just a lowly recruit hostess.  From then on, he always went out of his way to speak to me and other employees at the athletic complex.  Coach Jones is a strong believer in family and always has his family around the complex hanging out and visiting with staff and players.  He incorporates this belief into his football team by encouraging students of the week and rewarding players to excel in areas other than football.
                Team 117, as Coach Jones calls them, truly is an example of a comeback story and of hard work paying off.  Every touchdown, field goal and completed pass represents the building blocks that are going to make this team one to watch in the years to come and restore the winning tradition to big orange football.
  11. Paint Your Pumpkins
    Instead of the usual pumpkin carve; try something new and trendy this year. You can do many more things with paint than with a knife!  If you’re looking for a more vintage look to put in your house or on a porch, use flat paint mixed with gold tones.  For a more fun look, try ombré with bright fall colors.  For a table centerpiece, paint your pumpkin a bold color and fill with flowers.

    Pumpkin Sweets
    With fall comes pumpkin and baking season, so naturally everyone thinks of pumpkin pie.  But there are many other yummy treats you can make to satisfy your sweet tooth. Some of my favorite fall treats include: pumpkin waffles, pumpkin spice donut pops, pumpkin bread, pumpkin apple muffins and pumpkin spice scones.

    Yankee Candle’s “Pumpkin Pie”
    Enjoy the smell of fall without the mess of pumpkin carving.  The best smell I’ve found is Yankee Candle’s Pumpkin Pie smell, which comes in candle form or wax form.  The wax melt goes perfectly with Yankee Candle’s pumpkin holder and serves as both a decoration and cozy fall smell for your home.

    Visit the Pumpkin Patch
    No matter your age, we know everyone loves a good ride through the pumpkin patch.  Where else will you find the perfect pumpkin?  If you live in the East Tennessee area, there are some great places that offer hay rides and corn mazes near you.  Oaks Farm, Deep Well Farm and Maple Lane Farm are all within 30 minutes of Knoxville!

    Bake Pumpkin Seeds
    For an easy and healthy fall snack, try baking your own pumpkin seeds. There are many yummy options.  For the simplest recipe, all you need is pumpkin seeds, 2 tsp olive oil/melted butter and salt.  If you want a more spicy taste, add garlic powder, cumin powder or red chilly powder.  Next, mix all the above ingredients and spread on a baking sheet in one single layer.  Finally, bake seeds in a 300 degree F oven for about 45 minutes until they appear golden brown and crunchy.

    Host a Pumpkin Carve
    What better way to get in the fall spirit then host your own pumpkin carving party?  Invite a group of friends and family over and pull out your carving knives and the biggest pumpkins you can find.  Try cutting a pumpkin in half, hollowing out the inside and filling with ice to create your own pumpkin cooler for a party decoration.
  12. Football season, Halloween, and changing leaves-- this is what comes to mind when you think of fall.  People don't generally hear "fall" and think of wedding season.  However, with all the new dazzling color schemes and unique textures appearing in this year's autumn flower arrangements, I think brides will quickly reconsider their opinions about fall as a wedding season.

    With spring and summer weddings, bouquets can easily look fresh, thrown together and like you have picked them right out of your grandmother's garden.  For fall, most brides envision a more put-together, chic, bold look, which can often be a challenge.  My roommate, Leah Harrington, is an intern at Blackberry Farm Luxury Hotel and Resort and has shared some flower arrangement trends she has seen so far this fall.

    Think Texture
    Go bold.  Pick flowers that aren't normally paired together.  One of the hottest trends in fall wedding flowers is rich hued bouquets with mixes of interesting textures.  Instead of only using two or three types of flowers, start with a base of classic flowers and then add on other types that fit into your color scheme.  Many brides even add in non-floral accent pieces, such as berries, lotus pods, or poppies with dark centers to emphasize the autumn aspect of the bouquet.

    Rich, Bold Hue
    Use the classic wedding flower but in a different shade than you normally would.  Choose something deeper and richer than you would for a spring bouquet.  Think burgundy, copper, forest green, plum and orange. Dahlias are often used in many autumn flower arrangements because they are available in many of the bolder colors wanted for fall.  Roses, antique hydrangeas and deep colored calla lillies also work well.

    Say "Bye" to Boring Glass Vase
    Now is the time to get creative.  The classic glass vase may work for spring or summer, but go with something more creative or bolder for fall.  Something copper, metal, or rustic all make for unique centerpieces for a fall wedding.  They also add even more intrigue to an already beautiful flower arrangement.  A flea market or antique store will probably become your best friend when vase shopping.  Some brides even use the centerpeices as guest favors and let guests take them home.

                  
  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!

  14. Hello all!

    I don’t know about you, but after returning from spring break I have officially caught spring fever. I am more than ready to ditch my chunky sweaters and dreary weather for shorts and sunshine! For young professionals, like myself, the warm spring weather also signals crunch time for finding a summer internship! I thought I’d write a blog post on tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way to help out those still on the summer-intern voyage!
     
                1.) Get personal. As it’s starting to approach crunch time for summer internship
                      applications, the most important rule is to stay personal. From the inquiry
                      email to your cover letter, make sure that the organization knows that you’re
                      interested specifically in them. Focus on key strengths that you possess
                      that are relevant to the organization and spell out why adding you to their
                      team would make a positive impact. NEVER copy and paste a cover letter
                      that you’ve previously used. You can use past letters as reference guides, but
                      make sure that you write a fresh cover letter for each organization you apply
                      to.
                2.) Make a connection. It is important that if you are applying for a large
                     organization that you make a personal connection with someone who already
                     works there. This can sometimes be tricky for those people who are venturing
                     out into a new field or city. Cue Linkedin! Linkedin is a fountain of knowledge
                     when it comes to finding and connecting with employees of certain companies.
                     Search the organization that you’re interested in on Linkedin and normally, a
                     list of profiles for its employees will pop up. You should aim to find someone
                     in your specific field, for instance if you were in marketing you could try and
                     find the marketing coordinator for the organization. Send them a brief message
                     when you request a connection with them by stating who you are and that you
                     are very interested in their specific position. Make sure you DON’T focus on
                     the internship in your initial correspondence. Instead, say that you would love
                     to talk to them to find out the steps they took to get where they are today.
                3.) Try, try and try again! My last tip is to not back yourself in a corner! You have
                      a better chance of securing an internship if you apply to two dozen than if you
                      apply to two. Don’t so much focus on specifics. It is important to keep your
                      options open – for instance, say you wanted to get into sports marketing, but
                      have a better shot getting a health care related marketing internship. Go with
                      health care! Just because a position isn’t in your specific field of interest
                      doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. You never know – a position at that
                      small health care group could lead to a connection with your dream team!
     
    I hope you all found these tips helpful! Leave a comment below with any tips or tricks you have for those on the job hunt. Until next time!
     
    P.S….The Volunteer Princess is looking to hire an intern for this summer! Not that I’m bias or anything I fully recommend the position (Not that I’m bias or anything :) ) 

  15. Springtime means something different to all of us. To some it means allergies, flowers and picnics. To most enthusiastic DIY-ers like myself, it means spring cleaning. While most of us do the basics when it comes to spring cleaning (clean the windows, organize closets, dust in those strange spots, etc.), there are probably some important places you have been leaving out that can make a big difference when cleaned.

    1. Washing Machine: It makes sense to clean the machine that you expect to clean all of your clothes. Cleaning your washing machine filter can help your machine function better and get rid of any lingering smell. People have also been known to find missing items in the filter such as socks, change and even car keys.

    2. Stove and Oven: There are few things more irritating that a dirty oven and stove. This cleaning project includes lots of cleaning wipes and patience. First, clean the stove with ‘Bar Keepers Friend.’ This amazing powder will help get tough grime off any type of stove top. Next, when cleaning the oven, it is important to not forget about the tricky mess in between the oven door glass. In order to clean this area, attach a wet cleaning wipe to the end of a stretched out wire clothes hanger with a rubber band and remove the bottom drawer of the oven.
    3. Closets: The simple fact is that most of us have way to much in our closets that we do not actually need. This year, don’t just organize your closet. Actually get rid of the things you do not want or wear anymore. Companies like Goodwill actually give tax benefits to those who donate clothing. A great way to determine what you should throw out is to turn all of the hangers in your closet backwards. When you take something out to wear it, turn the hanger around the right way. In a year, take the clothes that are on the hangers that haven’t been turned around and donate.

    4. Refrigerator/Pantry/Spice Cabinet: Spices are only supposed to be kept for around one year to ensure freshness and flavor. If you have old spices, it is probably time to throw them out and invest in new spices. Also, stale crackers and chips tend to hid in the back of the pantry. Clean off the shelves and throw away any old items to prevent bugs from getting into your home. Also, be sure to clean under the refrigerator where food can fall.

    5. Bathroom: The bathroom can be filthy if you go long periods of time without deep cleaning. I like to replace the inner shower lining every year because of mildew buildup. Be sure to wash all bath mats, cloth shower curtains and towels. Also dust and wipe down every corner of the room, including the shower and sink backsplash. Use a bleach cleaning agent that will remove mildew building in between tiles.

    Use these tips in addition to your normal spring cleaning routine to ensure your house is ready for the coming summer months. 

  16. It's time to break out your pastels and eggs: Easter is almost here! This year, make your Easter celebration more festive than ever with these unique decoration and food ideas.

    Eggs: Although we all love hunting for Easter eggs, the best part is decorating them! Try making your eggs more festive by using modgepodge and glitter. You could also use painter's tape to make dying your eggs more exciting and unique lines. Finally, if dye is too messy for you, try using Sharpie markers to decorate eggs with edgy paterns. Colored Sharpie's are great, but don't underestimate using just black. 

    Decorations: Eggs aren't just for hunting this year. Make a unique centerpiece for your table with your most attractive Easter eggs. Instead of using that tacky plastic grass, use real moss or a bundle of wheatgrass to give your table a sophisticated and festive look. Additionally, fresh flowers are always a good idea for an Easter centerpiece. 

    Food: 
    This year, forgo the giant chocolate bunnies and give unique Easter themed treats. Cupcakes are the new trend for any holiday, especially Easter. Incorporate eggs, carrots or bunnies into any of your favorite treats for a new take on Easter sweets. Some popular candies that can be used in cupcakes or any other treat are Mimi Robin Eggs, jelly beans, marshmallow Circus Peanuts (to represent carrots) and, of course, the ever-popular Peeps. 

    Try these unique ideas for decorating and cooking to help make this years Easter a memorable event. For a truly unique Easter Sunday, hop aboard the Volunteer Princess for an exciting and memorable cruise down the Tennessee River. Join us for our Easter Brunch Buffet or Easter Dinner Buffet and remember: The Best Events are on the Water!

  17. Now that Knoxville is finally seeing some warm weather, its time to start thinking about activities for the Spring. Whether you are planning a date or just a fun outing, take advantage of the beautiful weather and spend some time outside!

    1. Hiking: Don’t be fooled by the busy exterior of Knoxville. In fact, there are great hiking trails and nature reserves within the city limits. Ijams is a great place for hiking right here in Knoxville with attractions that will appeal to all ages. If you are looking for a little more adventure, head on over to Gatlinburg for the day and enjoy the best Tennessee has to offer. With more than 12 well-known hiking trails of varying difficulty, Gatlinburg is the ideal destination for this exciting activity.

    2. Picnic: While you are enjoying the great outdoors, try planning a picnic. Go to a park or, better yet, stop along the way during your hike to enjoy your tasty homemade treats. This is the perfect time of year for a picnic as the temperature is not ridiculously high. Pack some wine and sandwiches and enjoy a beautiful day in nature.

    3. Sporting Event: There is nothing more relaxing then kicking back and watching a baseball game in the spring. Splurge on some peanuts and cracker jacks and enjoy this favorite American pastime with someone special.

    4. Exercise: If baseball isn’t your thing, try playing your favorite sport. Playing a game of basketball or sand volleyball outside can be a great way to exercise and shed some winter weight while also having a great time.

    5. Drive in movie: Head to the drive in movie theater to enjoy a movie in the comfort of your own car. Bring blankets, pillows and your favorite snacks to make this a night to remember.


    Make it a date, an outting with friends or a day with the family by taking advantage of the upcoming beautiful Spring weather and enjoy some time outside. These springtime activities are sure to make your day in the sun an exciting one. 

  18.  
    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: http://knoxvillerestaurantweek.com/
     
    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: http://knoxvillerestaurantweek.com/

  19. When planning an event, it is easy to spend your entire budget on just the venue and amenities. This leaves you with a great venue and dull decorations. There are simple ways to decorate for your event that are guaranteed to impress without breaking the bank.
     
     1. For festive, specific events, try looking to websites such as PartyCheap.com or BuyCostumes.com. These sites have constantly discounted, classic party favors and decorations that will spice up any event. 
     
    2. The easiest option to decrease your spending is by reusing decorations. Ask friends or family members if they have decorations from past events that they don't have any use for. This includes things like fake flowers, center pieces, table runners, place mats and any other items that would not be worn down by time in storage.
     
    3. Utilize places like The Dollar Store or Dollar General to save on craft items. If you are good with your hands, there is no better way to save on decorations than to maken them yourself. Websites such as Pinterest.com and CraftGawker.com have great posts on how to craft for your event on a budget. Some great items to use from The Dollar Store would be glassware or glass bowls that can easily be filled with water, marbles or candles to provide and elegant look. Another trendy decoration is to take wine glasses and turn them upside down, making them into candle holders. 
     
    4. Look to the great outdoors for some less conventional decorating option that can save you big bucks. Depending on the season, objects like thin tree branches or pinecones can be painted or used as-is in centerpieces, flower arrangements and more.  
     
    5. Lights are one of the cheapest and classiest of party decorations. As long as you have an outlet and a way to discretely hide power cords, lighting is the best way to make your party decorations pop. Whether you are just accenting the tables or creating a full backdrop for pictures, proper use of lighting is a must.
     
    By utilizing items you have in your own home or looking to discount stores, you can save big and use the savings for a great venue, or just to simply pamper yourself. These simple decorating tips will make your guests think you spent a fortune on decor. 

  20. Knoxville weather is unpredictable to say the least. In any given week you could go from wearing a rain pancho to wearing shorts to strapping on your snow shoes. Those who know Knoxville weather know you must be prepared for anything.

    These indoor activities will be sure to help you beat the rainy day blues.

    On a cold, rainy day, there is nothing I love more than to relax with a good movie. Instead of just lounging on the couch alone, make it an event! Invite your guests over telling them to each bring their favorite movie snack (Junior Mints, Snow Caps, Sour Gummy Worms, etc.) while you provide the popcorn… lots of popcorn. Set your living room up theater-style and have a selection of movies for your guests to choose from. This festive movie night will make you second guess going to the theater ever again.

    You could also use this down time to try some adventurous recipes. Some great websites to look for more 
    daring recipes are foodgawker.com or pinterest.com. A classic rainy day meal sure to warm you up is any type of soup or stew. Also, any type of dessert is perfect for a rainy day. You can even try a twist on a classic like grilled cheese and tomato soup. Who knows, you could be creating your new favorite treat!

    You couls also use a laid-back day to catch up on a good book. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting back with a book, especially if you have a covered porch on a warmer rainy day. To simplify your life even more, consider buying a book online from Amazon.com or through the iTunes store so you don’t even have to leave the house.

    If you have been feeling particularly stressed out from work, rainy weather is sure to make the feeling worse. The best cure is a spa day... at home! Enjoy a relaxing bubble bath and give yourself a pedicure and manicure. Everyone deserves to be pampered every now and then and a stormy day is the best time to escape to an oasis, even if it is just in your bathroom. 


    Don’t let the gloomy weather keep you down. Use these rainy days for some much needed relaxation and enjoyment! 
  21.           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! 
  22. 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.

  23. Super Bowl Favorites with a Healthy TwistSuper Bowl parties are widely-known as a time for friends to get together, scream for their favorite team and, unfortunately indulge in unhealthy bar favorites. With some alterations to your favorite Super Bowl snacks, everyone can be a winner.
     
    Sliders: This bar appetizer will be greatly appreciated with some healthy alterations. Instead of ground beef, try making the tiny burgers with lean ground turkey. Also, adding some cranberry chutney will help utilize seasonal fruits for a fresh, healthy approach to the Super Bowl favorite.
     
    Guacamole: Guacamole is one of those Super Bowl favorites that tastes so good you don’t realize it is also good for you. Make your guacamole from scratch, avoid covering it with cheese and use homemade pita chips for a healthy snack your guests will love.
     
    Chicken Wings: You can’t have a Super Bowl party without wings, but you can have wings without all the guilt. Try baking your chicken wings with a light lemon, vodka and olive oil glaze and watch as your guests fall in love with your healthy creation.
     
    Fries: For an indulgent twist to your favorite fast food fry, try sweet potato fries with just a little coconut oil, salt and pepper. Other vegetable fries that will leave you satisfied are zucchini and avocado fries that include a light breadcrumb casing. Add a fun dipping sauce and you have a new Super Bowl favorite.
     
    Chili: For this cold FebruarSuper Bowl Favorites with a Healthy Twisty night, a warming bowl of chili is a must. Try making a lighter chili made with lean ground turkey or chicken and fresh tomatoes and beans. Be sure to rinse any canned beans in a strainer to remove excess sodium. This quick and easily doubled favorite is a filling meal for you and your Super Bowl guests.
     
    Brownies: For a sweet addition to your Super Bowl party, try using unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate in your recipe to reduce the calories.
     
    Making a Super Bowl party diet friendly will leave everyone grateful for these simple alterations to party favorites. This year, make your Super Bowl even better by adding these healthy additions to ensure you don’t leave with a “super buldge.”
  24. Tour your favorite Knoxville neighborhoods and gaze upon the Christmas lights and decorations.



    Christmas in the City, Knoxville's most anticipated winter festival, is in full swing for you to visit. Go to Market Square for Holidays on Ice. Get some delicious hot chocolate in the area and enjoy ice-skating! Plus you can look at the beautiful decor.



    Head down to Gay Street tonight at 7:00 pm to watch the Christmas parade, including floats, decorated vehicles, marching bands and dancers, plus a special appearance by Santa Claus!



    Last, but certainly not least, come aboard the Princess for one of our holiday inspired public cruises throughout the month of December!!



    To see our yacht holiday decor, check out this link: http://www.volunteerprincess.com/gallery/holiday!

    For more ideas, visit http://www.cityofknoxville.org/christmas/!
  25. It is the last day of November, which means December is TOMORROW!

    Here are some fun things to do in December to get you in the mood for the holidays:

    1. Decorate your home for the coming holiday season!



    2. Bake some holiday cookies!



    3. If you're lucky enough to live somewhere where snow falls, build a snowman and throw some snowballs! 



    4. Sing along to some holiday inspired songs!



    5. Last but not least, snuggle into your coziest PJs and watch your favorite holiday themed movie!



    ENJOY December! Happy Holidays!
  26. Not sure what to do with your leftovers? Here's some ideas for what to do with extra turkey, potatoes, and more!

    Turkey Hash with Sunny-Side-Up Eggs

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) Salt
    • 1 pound of Red Potatoes
    • 3 tablespoon(s) Olive Oil
    • 4 teaspoon(s) Olive Oil, for frying eggs
    • 1 small Yellow Onion, finely chopped
    • 3 clove(s) Garlic, minced
    • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
    • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) Chopped Fresh Thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) Freshly Ground Pepper
    • 3 cup(s) (about 1 pound) Diced Leftover White And Dark Meat Roast Turkey, skin removed
    • 8 large Eggs

    Simple Shepherd's Pie

    Ingedients
    • 2 tablespoon(s) Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
    • 3 small Carrots, chopped
    • 1 cup(s) Frozen Pearl Onions
    • 1 pound(s) Lean Ground Turkey
    • 1 tablespoon(s) All-Purpose Flour
    • 1 cup(s) Frozen Peas
    • 2 1/2 teaspoon(s) Chopped Fresh Rosemary
    • Salt
    • Freshly Ground Pepper
    • 3/4 cup(s) Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
    • 3 cup(s) Leftover Mashed Potatoes

    Turkey and Green-Apple Salad with Mint Dressing

    Ingredients
    • 1/4 cup(s) Fresh Mint
    • 1 small Shallot, roughly chopped
    • Juice Of 1/2 Large Lemon (About 2 Tablespoons)
    • 2 tablespoon(s) Gin
    • 1 tablespoon(s) Honey
    • 3/4 cup(s) Canola Oil
    • 1 pound(s) Leftover Turkey, shredded
    • 2 large Granny Smith Apples, cut into matchsticks 
    • 2 Green Onions, cut into strips
    • 6 tablespoon(s) Chopped Pistachios
    • 5 ounce(s) (about 8 cups) Mixed Green Salad Greens, such as mesclun and arugula

    Sweet-Potato Poundcake

    Ingredients
    • 1 1/2 cup(s) All-Purpose Flour
    • 1 teaspoon(s) Baking Powder
    • 1 teaspoon(s) Ground Cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) Ground Nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon(s) Baking Soda
    • 1/8 teaspoon(s) Salt
    • 1 stick(s) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
    • 3/4 cup(s) Granulated Sugar
    • 1/4 cup(s) Light-Brown Sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) Vanilla Extract
    • 1 cup(s) Leftover Mashed Sweet Potatoes 
    • 2 large Eggs, at room temperature
    • Nonstick Baking Spray With Flour
    • 1/2 cup(s) Chopped Pecans

    Sweet-Potato Waffles

    Ingredients
    • 2 1/2 cup(s) All-Purpose Flour
    • 1/3 cup(s) Sugar 
    • 1 tablespoon(s) Baking Powder
    • 2 teaspoon(s) Ground Ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) Baking Soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) Salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon(s) Allspice
    • 1 1/2 cup(s) Milk 
    • 1 cup(s) Leftover Sweet Potatoes, mashed 
    • 4 large Eggs
    • 3/4 teaspoon(s) Vanilla Extract
    • 1/2 stick(s) Unsalted Butter, melted; plus more for brushing waffle iron and pats for serving
    • Maple Syrup, for serving
    For more fantasitic ideas check out the link below!
    http://www.countryliving.com/cooking/thanksgiving-leftovers#slide-1

  27. Fact: One in four people in line at the local soup kitchen or shelter is a child. The sad truth is there are too many hungry children in East Tennessee. 

    Volunteer Princess Cruises and Scarecrow Foundation are teaming up for a Fall Ball Dinner Cruise aboard the Princess to benefitSecond Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee and its Food for Kids program, also known as the "Backpack Program". 

    Our goal is to support a school for an entire year with a donation of $3,000.00 to Second Harvest! We hope to reach this goal through ticket sales, private donations, and silent auction proceeds.

    For this dinner cruise we will sail up and down the Tennessee River. Guests will see sights such as Neyland Stadium, Sequoyah Hills, the Sunsphere, and more while enjoying a Thanksgiving style four-course dinner.

    Something unique about this cruise is that there will be a silent auction with fabulous prizes for guests to bid on. All auction proceeds will go towards Second Harvest's Food for Kids program.

    This 2.5-hour cruise is scheduled for November 16, 2012 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Boarding will begin at 6:00 pm.

    Tickets are $60.00 with 20% of all ticket sales benefiting Second Harvest.

    Reservations can be made online or by phone at 865.541.4556.

    We hope to see you all on board!
  28. A sad but true reality is that 1 in 4 people in line at a local soup kitchen or shelter is a child. Hunger is East Tennessee is a real issue. Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee and area schools created the Food for Kids program, also referred to as the Backpack Program, to fight hunger among local children. This program benefits schools all over East Tennessee by providing school children with a backpack full of food to take home. Prepare yourself for another devastating fact: for some children, this is the only food they will eat all weekend. 

    Volunteer Princess Cruises and Scarecrow Foundation are partnering up to host the Fall Ball charity cruise to benefit this worthy program. The cruise is set for Friday, Novmeber 16 from 6:30- 9:00 p.m. Boarding will begin at 6:00 p.m. 

    This 2.5-hour cruise will feature a 4-course Thanksgiving inspired plated dinner, the fabulous sites of the Tennessee River, a silent auction, and a DJ.

    Tickets are $60.00 with 20% of all ticket sales going to Food for Kids.

    Our goal of the cruise is to support a school in 2013 with a donation of $3,000.00. We hope to reach this goal by donating 20% of ticket sales (priced at $60.00), 100% of private donations, and 100% of silent auction proceeds to the cause. 

    Tickets are available online or by telephone reservation at 865-541-4556.


  29. Here are some fun facts about Thanksgiving to get you in the holiday spirit! How many of them do you know?

    1. Do you know which president wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States? 

    Any guesses?

    It was Benjamin Franklin.

    2. Did you know that the woman who wrote the popular nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb" is the same woman who persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving as a national holiday?

    Extra points if you know who this woman was!

    Any guesses?

    Her name was Sarah Josepha Hale, and she was an American magazine editor. 

    3. Do you know when the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began? 

    Clue: This time period is sometimes referred to as the "Jazz Age".

    Have a guess?

    This tradition began in the 1920s aka the "Roaring Twenties".

    Hope you enjoyed this quick Thanksgiving trivia! Stay tuned for the Christmas version. :)
  30. Election day is just over a week away and early voting ends November 1st! So make sure you are registered and know where you can go to vote! 

    Here's a list of reasons why voting is so important:

    1. Election Day is a day where everyone in the United States is equal and your vote counts just as much as much as everyone else's. 

    2. Every political issue and policy affects you whether you know it or not. If you don't vote, you're putting control of your world into the hands of someone else. 

    3. With the Internet, it takes about a minute to get all the registration and voter information for your state and county.


    4. Young people have the most to gain and lose in any election because they have to live with the consequences longer than anyone else.

    5.  Local elections like school board and city council races really do have an impact on your daily life.

    6. 
    It's your job. Congress, the president, the governor and your legislators influence what job training is available, minimum wage, pay equity, fairness in hiring, health insurance through your employer, job and pension security, and workplace safety.

    7. It's your health care. Actions by the governor, legislature and Congress as well as their decisions on Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance laws determine your access to health care.

    8. 
    It's your health care. Actions by the governor, legislature and Congress as well as their decisions on Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance laws determine your access to health care.

    9. It's your money. The county commissioners, governor, state officials, legislators, president and members of Congress you vote for will decide how much of our wealth to invest in public services and how to fairly share the tax burden.

    10. Afterwards, you get a cool sticker that says "I Voted!"

    For more information on how to register go to http://www.tn.gov/sos/election/registration.htm
  31. Fact: One in four people in line at the local soup kitchen or shelter is a child. The sad truth is there are too many hungry children in East Tennessee. 

    Volunteer Princess Cruises and Scarecrow Foundation are teaming up for a Fall Ball Dinner Cruise aboard the Princess to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee and its Food for Kids program, also known as the "Backpack Program". 

    Our goal is to support a school for an entire year with a donation of $3,000.00 to Second Harvest! We hope to reach this goal through ticket sales, private donations, and silent auction proceeds.

    For this dinner cruise we will sail up and down the Tennessee River. Guests will see sights such as Neyland Stadium, Sequoyah Hills, the Sunsphere, and more while enjoying a Thanksgiving style four-course dinner.

    Something unique about this cruise is that there will be a silent auction with fabulous prizes for guests to bid on. All auction proceeds will go towards Second Harvest's Food for Kids program.

    This 2.5-hour cruise is scheduled for November 16, 2012 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Boarding will begin at 6:00 pm.

    Tickets are $60.00 with 20% of all ticket sales benefiting Second Harvest.

    Reservations can be made online or by phone at 865.541.4556.

    We hope to see you all on board!
  32. Here's some fun facts about Halloween I bet you didn't know!

    It's one of the world's oldest holidays that dates back to Pagan times.

    There are approximately 36.1 million trick-or-treaters every year. 

    How we celebrate Halloween today (dressing up and trick-or-treating) started in Ireland. 

    In England, they carve large beets instead of pumpkins.

    The first jack-o-lanterns were made from turnips.


    Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday (after Christmas of course).

    The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with a 836 lb. pumpkin!!


    Both Salem, Massachusetts, and Anoka, Minnesota, are the self-proclaimed Halloween capitals of the world.

    Boston, Massachusetts, holds the record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at once (30, 128)!!

    According to tradition, if a person wears his or her clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, he or she will see a witch at midnight.


  33. Spook-out your house with these fun and easy to make decorations!
     Milk Jug Ghost Halloween Decoration
    These homemade lanterns will add a ghostly greeting to your guests.Flowerpot Pumpkin Halloween Decoration
    These pumpkin flower pots are a unique spin on jack-o'-lanters. 
    Jack-o'-Lantern Haunted House Halloween Decoration
    Put a big smile on your house for Halloween!Vampire Balloon Bat Halloween Decoration
    Hang up some Vampire balloon bats around the house!

    Mummy Trick-or-Treat Bags
    These yummy mummies will be a hit at your halloween party!
  34. Gloomy weather can ruin even the cheeriest moods. Fight boredom with this list of family activities and relaxing ideas!

    1. Pamper yourself with a skin softening salve.
    Do a little spa therapy with a homemade scrub. Grind about two cups of oatmeal, add a few handfuls of coffee grinds and brown sugar. Then stir in three spoonfuls of honey, ginger, and noni extracts. 

    2. Host a Tea Party
    Get all dressed up, set the table with your fine china, and use those formal manners. The menu is tea for you and juice or cocoa for your little ones and egg or chicken salad tea sandwiches in fun shapes thanks to your cookie cutters. 

    3. Organize your own film festival
    Get out those classics like Singin' in the Rain and new releases like Toy Story 3. Make sure you have a comfy blanket ready and a bowl of popcorn. 

    4. Bake chocolate chip cookies
    Nothing makes a rainy day better than fresh baked cookies. Dunk them in milk or eat them fresh out of the oven!

    5. Camp indoors
    Set up a little ten in the living room. Don't have anything small? That's ok because making a tent out of sheets and pillows is much more fun. When you're all finished have a picnic in your new tent. 

    6. Create a family recipe book
    All you need is an unlined journal, photos from family meals, photo corners, and recipe cards. 

    7. Make your own bubble bath
    Don't forget to add in honey and egg whites for stronger and long-lasting bubbles!

    8. Have a game day
    Brush up on card games and your favorite board games

    9. Go to a museum or an aquarium
    If you have little ones a trip to the aquarium can brighten their day! 

    10. Take the best nap you've ever had
    Running low on sleep? Cuddle up in your favorite spot and catch up on some sleep that you've been to busy for


  35. Fall has officially begun, and classes are well underway. Here are some great tips for success for students:

    1. Practice being on time everywhere you go.
    Post graduation, your boss will not be humored by your excuse: But my alarm didn't go off! To avoid trouble later, get in the habit of leaving early. This way you will always be on time.

    2. Study your notes each night before class.
    This way when test time rolls around, you will already be feeling well prepared. You will not need to pull an all-nighter cramming information.

    3. Keep a daily planner.
    Keeping your activities and assignments well-organized in a planner will help your life flow more smoothly. Desk calendars, datebooks, and phone calendars are all great devices available for you to utilize. 

    4. Network!
    Now is the time to start making connections. Network with classmates, teachers, and local professionals to start building your professional networking base. 

    5. Get involved in on-campus activities.
    Join a club, sorority or fraternity. Joining a campus organization is not only a great way to socialize, but also will look great on your resume. 

    6. Speaking of resumes, create a great resume.
    Now is the time to be creating and enhancing your resume. Utilize the career service center at your university. Ask a mentor for input. 

    7. Attend your classes.
    Remember in the words of Woody Allen 'Seventy percent of success in life is showing up'.

    8. Complete an internship.
    This is a great way to prepare yourself for the work world. Not only does it look great on resumes, but many professionals look for applicants who not only have excellent grades, but also have some experience under their belts. 

    9. Strive to be your very best everyday.
    Now is the time to get in the habit of always doing your best work.

    10. Get a good night's rest!
    In order to be able to perform at your best, you will need to get a good night's sleep! Don't skip out on this last tip.
  36. Fall has officially begun and so has wedding season! Here are some trendy ideas for those who are in the midst of planning!

    fall color palettes\\
    Berry and metallic color palettes are all the rage this season!
    fall wedding dress trends\\A unique twist on the ball gown is the hi-ho hemline so it shoes off your fabulous shoes!
    fall reception decor trends\\
    A cozy reception vibe is in this season! You can add monochromatic textures to tabletops. 
    fall wedding cocktail trends\\
    Fall themed signature cocktails are also a must! Bourbon apple ciders and pear margaritas are just a few ideas.
    fall flower trends\\
    The most popular arrangements for fall are lots of colors and texture!


    Enjoy the hottest new trends and happy planning!

  37. Come aboard the Volunteer Princess Thursday, September 27, 2012 for our last "Murder at the Cafe Noir" Dinner Show! Enjoy great interactive entertainment by Mystery and Mayhem Dinner Theater while eating a fabulous 3-course dinner prepared by our very own VPC chef extraordinaire, Beverly. Don't miss out on this fabulous opporunity. It is sure to be an experience you will never forget!

    Buy tickets online at: http://www.volunteerprincess.com/public/murdermystery or call our office today at 865.541.4556.


    When: September 27, 2012
    Boarding Time: 6:30 PM
    Cruise Time: 7:00-9:00 PM

    Ticket Price: $59.95

    MENU:
    - Princess Salad
    - Your Choice of Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast, Pork Tenderloin, Salmon with Sweet Chili  Sauce, or Vegetarian Option
    - Smashed Potatoes
    - Fresh Vegetables

    - Chef's Dessert


  38. Fall festivites are officially underway and this past weekend was jam packed on the Princess!!

    We had a Sailgate cruise for the biggest rivalry game of the year- UT vs Florida! It was a packed cruise for all our dedicated Vol fans. To see the stats from the game follow this link!
    http://www.examiner.com/article/look-back-on-week-3-the-sec-w-comments-top-performers

    Then we went straight into a Starlight Dinner cruise which was extra special because a Baby Shower was celebrated on board! 

    We ended the weekend with a Sunday Brunch cruise where a birthday was celebrated. And it was the perfect get together for the rest of our cruisers!

    If your social calender is looking empty this fall then fill it with our fall festivities!
  39. Summer is ending, and fall is right around the corner. Here are some fun fall ideas to get you excited about the change in season.

    Visit the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
               Take a nature hike while gazing upon the fall colors.

                 Visit the waterfalls and have a picnic.

                 Take a camping trip or view all of the beautiful wildlife in their natural habitats.


    Visit a pumpkin patch with family members.


    Visit Dollywood, one of the world's best theme parks, while the weather is starting to cool down.


    Come to one (or more) of the Volunteer's home football games!!
    Tailgate with friends, watch the game, and GBO!


    And last, but certainly not least, come dine aboard the Volunteer Princess!
    Have a fun and memorable experience on board with friends, family, and our crew that will last a lifetime.


    Enjoy your fall!


  40. Football time in Tennessee has finally returned and we are off to great start. After beating NC State the Vols moved on to conquer Georgia State. The rankings have been released and UT has made it in the top 25 ranking #23! To read the full list of ranked teams and who got dropped follow this link! http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings

    There is another home game this Saturday against the Florida Gators! You won't want to miss the game!

    Don't miss all the fun of tailgating because you're in the kitchen making all the necessities!! Here's a link to a fun tailgating menu that is quick and easy to make so you don't miss out on the fun. http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Holiday---Celebration-Recipes/Super-Bowl-Recipes/Great-Tailgate-Party-Menu




  41. School is back in session, so that means there is one thing on everyone's minds in Knoxville, TN: UT Football! The season began last Friday with the season opener in the Georgia Dome against NC State for the Chick-fil-a Kickoff. The Vols started their season with a win; the final score was UT 35: NC State 21.To read more about the game follow this link, http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/083112aaa.html, to get all of the information you can handle about UT football!

    Tennessee returns home this Saturday to Neyland Stadium against FCS opponent Georgia State on September 8th at 4 p.m. You won't want to miss this match up! 

    Volunteer Princess will be offering special public cruises throughout the season for select games we are calling Sailgates! Tailgate in style with our captian, crew and servers! The Sailgate features heavy hors d'oeurves, such as chicken wings, chips and queso, assorted desserts and more, a fully stocked CASH BAR, and AIR CONDITIONING COMFORT! Boarding begins at 12:30 p.m. for this 2-hour cruise! We will return to the dock one hour before kickoff at 3 p.m.! Buy tickets for our Sailgate aboard our 100 foot luxory yacht, the Volunteer Princess! Call today for reservations at 865.541.4556 or reserve your space online at http://www.volunteerprincess.com/tailgate

    As of today, we are offering Sailgate Cruise tickets for

    the UT vs. Florida game on Saturday, September 15th
    the UT vs. Akron game on Saturday, September 22nd
    the UT vs. Alabama game on Saturday, October 20th
    the UT vs. Troy game on Saturday, November 3rd
    the UT vs. Missouri game on Saturday, November 10th
    and the UT vs. Kentucky game on Saturday, November 24th! 

    So, what are you waiting for? Call NOW and reserve your space on the best tailgate in Tennessee! :)
  42. Labor is coming up in just a few days! Who is having a cookout or a party to celebrate the holiday? Here are some yummy treat ideas to serve your guests!

    Serve some great strawberry or vanilla ice cream topped with seasonal fruit! I recommend using melons or berries! Adding mint leaves for decoration is also a fun option.



    Bake some star shaped sugar cookies to fit into your Labor Day theme! Garnish cookies with strawberries and blueberries if you want to keep with a red, white and blue color pallet. Below shows kiwi is also a yummy idea!



    Here is a really tasty (and healthy) treat idea! Fill strawberries with small slices of apple. Add mint leaves for extra decor.



    Labor day themed cupcakes are always a great choice to make available to your guests!

       

    Garnish the cupcakes with fruit or sprinkles on top of icing!

    Last, but certainly not least, try these fun shish kabobs! 



    Mini cupcakes, themed marshmellows, and strawberries on a stick would be a unique and delicious treat!

    Enjoy your Labor Day festivities! 
  43. Come see the largest Labor Day fireworks show in the Nation aboard the Princess! We will be going on a fabulous 3 hour cruise prior to the show that includes live music from Dave Landeo, plus amazing food and drinks, PLUS AIR CONDITIONING! Guests will be served multiple appetizers and a four course meal while cruising. Once we return to the dock, we will rearrange all of the tables and set up theater style seating while you sit back, drink, and enjoy! Everyone is gaurenteed a great seat for the fireworks! This is for sure going to be the best location to watch Boomsday in town, so don't miss out! Tickets are going fast so call us today at 865.541.4556! We would love to have you and your guests on board to share in this wonderful experience!

    Here is the link to our Boomsday web page for more detailed information! You can also purchase tickets here online!
    http://www.volunteerprincess.com/holiday/boomsday






  44. On Tuesday, August 28, 2012 Volunteer Princess Cruises is honored to host a Dr. Bass Booksigning Cruise! 

    Dr. Bass is such an admired figure in the Knoxville area and we are honored to have him on board! 
    Dr. Bass is a forensic anthropologist who focuses on human decomposition. He currently is active with The University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility, however he has retired from teaching. The Anthropology Research Facility is more commonly known to Knoxvillians as The Body Farm. 

    The Body Farm can be seen from the Tennessee River which means on a typical public cruise we will pass this facility! 

    Dr. Bass has co-written multiple fictional works with Jon Jefferson. The two authors write together under the pen name Jefferson Bass. Seven of his works are Carved In BoneFlesh and BoneThe Devil's BonesBones of Betrayal,The Bone ThiefThe Bone Yard, and most recently released The Inquisitor's Key.

    We are so excited to have Dr. Bass on board to sign copies of The Inquisitor's Key and give a presentation to our guests!

  45. Only about a week left of summer, and then we are back to school for fall. You know what that means? Football season is just around the corner! Here are some fashionable game day ideas to wear the next time you enter Neyland Stadium:

    This dress would be cute for tailgating, while still keeping you cool during the game!


    Pair this with some cute tan wedges or white sandals to complete the look!

    Here is another cute dress idea:

      
    Why not wear this and add some style to your game day?

    For those who get cold easily, something like this would be adorable:



    Some orange shorts paired with a white top would also be a great choice to wear to the first game:

                  

    Try one of these cute ideas when game day comes!



  46. Like it or not it is almost time for summer to end and School to start…. BUT the good news is there are still a few days left before Knox County starts back to school! So if you are looking for a few fun last minute summer activities to do with your kids before you send them off to school check out our end of summer check list.

    1. For a fun filled afternoon pack some fresh fruit and sandwiches, grab the Frisbee and head to the park for a picnic!

    2. If your family didn’t have time for a get away this summer, no worries pitch a tent and grab some sleeping bags and have a camping trip in your own back yard! Don’t forget no camping trip is complete with out s’mores and campfire songs!

    3. If you have a sweet tooth, spend the afternoon making homemade ice cream (my favorite thing to do during the summer). If you have never made homemade ice cream you don’t know what you are missing!!  

    4. If you are looking something fun (but free) to do with your kids before summer ends, grab a jar from your kitchen and go outside to catch fireflies!

    5. Since school means crazy morning schedules, take a morning to sleep in late and have breakfast in bed
     
  47. People always ask us, what should I wear to cruise aboard the Volunteer Princess? Here are a few fun ideas to try with a nautical twist!

    Ladies:


    Both of these options would be adorable to wear aboard!

    Here is an option that's already in your closet!


    Pair a dark washed pair of jeans with a horizontally striped bouse or tunic. Then throw on a pair of white sandals or wedges. Add a white bag and some cute accessories to finish the look!

    Or maybe try a fun, flirty nautical themed dress!


    Pair this dress with white sandals or wedges to make an adorable nautical ensemble that would be perfect on any passanger aboard the Princess! 

    Gentlemen:

    Maybe you're taking your special someone on a date? Try this for your ensemble!


    Pair white slacks with a navy blazer. Wear a pale blue or grey button down. Add a red belt and pocket square for a fun touch!

    For the less daring, pair dark wash jeans with a solid or stiped polo in either navy, red or white!



    For Children:

    How cute would this be?

     

    Or this?



    Here's a cute nautical dress to put on your little girl:



    Now that you've seen these fun, nautical ideas to wear aboard the Volunteer Princess, book a cruise with us and show off your great yacht style!

  48. As summer is creeping closer and closer to time for the kids to go back to school, we thought it would be fun to list some fun ways that parents can create memories with their children doing activities that celebrate the start of the school season. Here are five fun-filled ideas to create memories with your kids:

    1. Picture Them
    Many families take pictures on the kids on the first day of school each year. These pictures are guarenteed to be looked back upon fondly as the dramatic changes are visible from year to year.

    2. Last Supper of Summer
    One fun way to welcome back the school season is to let each kid pick a meal that they want to have right before school kicks back in. They can pick their favorite homecooked meal, a favorite restaurant, or even to have dessert first! You can decorate the table with back to school decor and even let the kids eat out of their new lunchboxes. 

    3. Read an Inspiring Book
    One grandmother began a back to school tradition of giving a copy of the Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Places You’ll Go to each of her grandchildren when they entered kindergarten. The books were then read and reread each year. She says her grandchildren were inspired by the book’s message about all the possibilities that any new beginning holds. The book’s message reinforces to children that they survived the last big school challenge, and that they’ll do just as well in the next new grade.

    4. Bake Some Memories
    Some back to school traditions create lasting memories by way of the senses, such as how something tasted, felt, sounded, or smelled. For the kids, the aroma of freshly baked cookies waiting for them as they walk through the front door, the warm hug they get, and the comfort of having full attention on them as they describe their first day are certain to create lasting memories and perhaps a tradition to continue someday with their own children.

    5. Do a Happy Dance
    Although some familes dread the beginning of the school year, others cherish it and the structure that comes with a school schedule. One way to enforce to your kids that change and school are good things, is to do a fun happy dance as a family!

  49. One thing you may not know about Neyland Stadium, is that it is one of the only two collegiate stadiums that is right on the river. This has given the people of Knoxville the unique opportunity to tailgate on the Tennessee river directly across the street from Neyland.
     

    The Vol Navy has been around since 1962 and has become a great tradition in Knoxville. The Volunteer Navy has grown to see as many as 200 boats on any given gameday. Many of the members take the short walk to Neyland before kickoff to enjoy the game in the stadium. The others that may want to stay behind can watch the game in the comfort of their own boats but can also still hear all the cheering and music coming from inside the stadium.  
       

    Having the chance to tailgate on the river, is a once in a life time experience!   
     
  50. Congratulations Knoxville! You were just ranked one of the top 20 summer vacation destinations in 2012! Check out the article here!

    Thank you Frommers for the recognition! 



    The article focuses on Market Square, Boomsday, Shakespeare on the Square and more of the highlights in the summer. But really, how many destinations in the US have the climate, atmosphere, and culture that Knoxville has?

    WE LOVE YOU KNOXVILLE!
  51. "It's been a tough four years at Tennessee and I know the SEC has enjoyed taking advantage of our tough times," he said to sprawling room of media members, "but you're not going to have Tennessee to kick around anymore." This quote from Derek Dooley excited Tennessee fans from all around. 



    Our Vols finished 1-7 in the league in 2011, ending up in the bottom of the SEC East. On Thursday, Tennessee was picked to finish fifth. Four media-types picked UT to win the East, a feat that would require the Vols to go from worst to first.

    This is the order that is predicted in the SEC East:
    1.Georgia
    2.South Carolina
    3.Florida
    4.Missouri
    5.Tennessee
    6.Vanderbilt
    7.Kentucky

    Prior to speaking to national media members at the Wynfrey Hotel, Dooley was asked if the Vols can compete for the SEC East title.

    "Absolutely we can," he said. "We have a better roster than we've had since I've been here. We're more experienced, we're deeper, we're more talented. It doesn't mean that we're where we need to be, but yeah."



    There you have it, a quote from Dooley himself. We are predicted to do better than ever this year. Where was the last place you tailgated before a University of Tennessee home football game? No matter if you are a die hard Vol fan or an opposing team's fan, there is no better way to pregame than tailgating aboard the luxury yacht Volunteer Princess.  

    The Volunteer Princess is a 96-foot, world-class yacht located minutes from Neyland Stadium at Volunteer Landing Marina in downtown Knoxville. In addition to our regularly scheduled public cruises, we offer public tailgating cruises for UT home games. Rain or shine, the Volunteer Princess cruises for two hours and returns one hour prior to kickoff. Passengers will enjoy a wide selection of hors d' oeuvres and cocktails from our fully-stocked cash bar. Become a part of the famous Vol Navy as you tailgate aboard Knoxville's most luxurious yacht, the Volunteer Princess.

    If you want to charter the entire yacht for your own personal tailgate party, our events coordinators can organize a full day of football pleasure to fit your needs. Depending upon the kickoff time, we can create an early cruise with breakfast and/or lunch, full bar, total access to "your" boat for the full day or part of the day and dinner or heavy hors d' oeuvres after the game. It is a virtual tailgate party on the water! Because of game day traffic, limited parking can be arranged for your guests.

    The yacht is licensed to carry 149 passengers. We have two plasma televisions for the convenience of fans who do not have tickets or simply wish to sit in the comfort of the yacht.

  52. Summer 2012 is slowly beginning to wind down, but it is not to late for a quick getaway or to begin planning a great trip for next summer. From cities to mountains and beaches these were a few of the most visited spots this summer and could be great ideas for next year.  

    In no specific order: 

    1.) Boston- The city that always tops the travel lists did not disappoint in 2012. Some places to be sure to stop at are the Aquarium, The Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum which just reopened this summer, and Fenway Park. Boston is a city known for its New England charm and rich history. This is a great city to get away to. 

    2.) San Francisco- This summer marked the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. This celebration brought out many tourists that enjoyed a fun filled two days with music, exhibits and bridge memorabilia. In addition to the Golden Gate Bridge some other activites people enjoyed were watching performers along Fisherman's Wharf, chocolate tasting at Ghiradelli Square, and riding the cable cars through the hilly streets. 


    3.) The Mediterranean- Caribbean cruises have become increasingly popular. You can find several affordable rates, conveniant means of getting around from island to island, and countless activites for kids and adults.  

    4.)Belize- This is Central America's only english speaking country. This is the perfect place for adventerous people who love scuba diving and snorkeling. Belize is a very young country and in fact just celebrated its 30th Birthday last year. There have been countless hotel deals, activities, and festivals in celebration. 


    5.) Denver- This vacation destination offers many outdoor activites, public parks, and vistas. 2012 is a big year for the Mile High City. The opening of the Elephant Passage was this past spring. The Elephant Passage is a ten acre complex that will house many unusual animals. This new attraction has brought many tourists to the area. 

    6.) London- As London is the hosting city for the 2012 Olympics many people have thought to use this as an excuse for a once in a lifetime vacation. Even if the major events have sold out there are countless other festivals scheduled for around the city. London is an exciting and glitzy destination for vacation and this summer will be even more exciting then usual.


    7.) Orlando- This is one vacation spot that never gets boring, no matter how many times you have been there. Each year there are new rides, exhibits, and events in each theme park. Noteabley is Universal Studies which has grown significantly. Magic Kingdom is also expexted to double in size within the next two years. This is one place you will never run out of things to do. 

    8.) Nova Scotia- Canada is not a place many people think about for vacation destinations. If you are a sea lover this is a great place to go. There are many breathtaking harbors, shops, cafes, and outdoor activites to visit and experience. Swimming, camping, hiking, and whale watching are also among some of the  visitors favorite things to par take in. 

    9.) Oahu- This is Hawaii's third largest island. There is now a Disney resort called Aulani Resort on the island, which attracted many families. But there is much more to do besides visit the Disney resort, Snorkeling in the world famous Hanauma Bay is a favorite. But if you are looking for a place to lounge on  beautiful beaches and just take some time to  relax this is the place to be. 


    10.) The Grand Canyon- Last but certainly not least, is The Grand Canyon. This area has one of the most amazing landscapes in the world. Located close to Utah and Nevada this national park is a place everyone must visit once in their lifetime. 
  53. Here at Volunteer Princess we are SO pumped for the Olympics! (Only 10 days until the opening ceremonies - not that were counting) 

    Here's a few reasons why:

    1) We're feeling pretty patriotic. There's nothing better than cheering on your home country and the athletes that you've grown to love. 



    2) The athletes. Being an Olympic athlete is one of the highest honors one can receive. We also love that each athlete has their own personal story that is truly inspiring. Watch the video at this link and tell me you don't agree :)

    3) The drama. I STILL get chills when I watch videos and remember these great Olympic moments that I've witnessed in my lifetime. 



    4) ALL of the different events. Football, baseball, and basketball come every year. It's only once every FOUR years that we are fortunate enough to see such a high level of competition in all of these other sports - such as swimming and gymnastics. 

    GO USA! 
  54. During these hot summer months we all want to find fun ways to stay cool. Why not try one of these delicious frozen treats to beat the heat? 

    Since it's the summer, why not have a little bit of fun with your breakfast? Try a yogurt parfait, but substitute the yogurt for frozen yogurt. Add in some granola and fruit as toppings.




    Now for your mid-morning snack, try a frozen fruit smootie. The Food Network has a great recipe online for a strawberry banana smoothie that only takes 5 minutes to prepare! 


    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/frozen-fruit-smoothies-recipe/index.html

    For lunch and dinner in the summer, cook-outs are always something to look forward to. With all of those warm, delicious harmburgers, hot dogs, and barbecue we need a cold beverage to keep the heat down. A fun and festive way to keep your drink cold is to add a fruit filled ice cube!



    Making these adorable cubes is simple! Just fill an ice cube tray with water, while leaving enough room to add your fruit. Then add into each slot on the tray your favorite fruit. Blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, or pineapple are some other fun fruit ideas you may want to use! Place tray in the freezer; then serve frozen in your choice of drink!

    After dinner means time for dessert. This Mint Chip Ice Cream Pie is a chilly treat that is sure to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth. Better yet, this recipe is extremely simple!



    Find the recipe at REAL SIMPLE online in "17 Great Summer Desserts".
    http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/mint-chip-ice-cream-pie-00000000016226/index.html




  55. Let the countdown begin Only 53 more days 9 hours and 18 minutes until BOOMSDAY 2012!! If you are not from around here you may not understand my excitement, but being a native Knoxvillian, BOOMSDAY is my favorite ‘holiday’

     
    Boomsday is not just another fireworks display, is the largest fireworks display in the South East, not to mention the largest Labor Day fireworks show in the Nation! While Boomsday is technically in celebration of Labor Day, it has kind of become a holiday of its own in Knoxville. This year is the 25th Boomsday Festival so if you have never experience Boomsday make sure to mark your calendars for September 2nd, because this is something that you do not want to miss!

     
    If you are looking for a way to celebrate the 25th Boomsday Festival check out our Boomsday fireworks cruise so you can have the best view of the fireworks in town!  http://www.volunteerprincess.com/holiday/boomsday

  56. On the Fourth of July one of the first things that comes to mind is fireworks! Fireworks are iconic for this holiday and are used across the nation. From tiny sparklers to massive shows that take up the sky, fireworks are seen almost anywhere on this holiday. In honor of the 4th of July, here are just a few interesting facts! 
      

    -The first fireworks were made in China, around 2,000 years ago. In china today fireworks are known as, Chinese Crackers, and are used to celebrate weddings, festivals, birthdays etc. and also to scare away evil spirits. 

    -The first fireworks recorded to have been used in America were set off by Englishman, Captain John Smith, famous in the story of Pocahontus.  

    -The worlds largest single firework was set off at a festival in Japan in 1988. The shell of the firework alone weighed half a ton and the burst was over a kilometer across. 

    -In America we love fireworks, but the biggest display to date was in Portugal in December 2006. It is recorded that no less then 66,326 individual fireworks were launched.  

    -Fireworks are always alot of fun and enjoyable to see, but they can also be dangerous. In a single year there were around 6,300 firework related accidents. Almost two-thirds of these accidents happened in July.
      

    After that scary statistic here are a few safety tips to keep in mind!  
         - While watching fireworks stand far away
         - Never go near a firework after it has been lite, even if it has not gone off.  
         - Always hold your sparklers at an arms length. 

                  
  57. It is believed that the first people that lived on the Tennessee River Valley arriverd at least 8,000 years ago. In 1540, Hernando De Soto's Spanish expedition reached the Tennessee River. This expedition from Chattanooga to Guntersville, AL was the first recorded by European explorers.

    For the next two hundred years Native American tribes remained peaceful living along the Tennessee River. In the 1700s, the French established several trading posts along the river but lost them to the English after the French and Indian War in 1760. By 1791, Knoxville became the capital of the territory. Conflicts occurred between Native Americans and the new European Americans as both groups tried to settle near the water. In the winter of 1837, the US Federal Government forced seventeen thousand Cherokee to move west in what became known as the Trail of Tears.

    During the Civil War the Tennessee River was a key target for Union soldiers as they advanced toward the western part of the Confederacy. Major battles were fought in towns on the River including Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Shiloh.

    On May 18, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Tennessee Valley Authoriy Act creating the TVA. The main part of the plan was to create electricty and provide flood relief by building dams throughout the Tennessee River. In 1933, construction began on Norris Dam and was completed in 1936. The building of this particular dam and the changes it brought to the region inspired many films, books, stage plays, and songs. By 1945, the Tennessee Valley Authority had completed a 650-mile navigation channel the entire length of the Tennessee River and had become the nation's largest electricity supplier. 

  58.  
    We have all heard about the Body Farm, but how much do you actually know about the man behind the research?


    After obtaining a Ph.D in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Bass started his career working as an archeologist in the Midwest excavating Native American burial sites. In 1971 Dr. Bass arrived in Knoxville Tennessee to oversee the development of the Forensics Anthropology department at the University of Tennessee. With the help of Dr. Bass, The University of Tennessee began research it new Anthropological Research Facility (aka the Body Farm) in 1981. This facility was the first of its kind and included a 2.5 acre plot of land where researchers could study the decomposition of human bodies. Dr. Bill Bass and Knoxville’s Research facility have assisted in many high profile murder and missing person cases. Due to the success and valuable research obtained at the Body Farm, five facilities of this kind exist in the United States Today.


     So make sure to mark your calendars and join us for a special cruise on August 28th. Don’t miss your chance to cruise with well known forensics anthropologist and founder of Knoxville’s Body Farm, Dr. Bill Bass! 
  59. One week from tomorrow is the Forth of July. If you are looking to make your celebration more festive here are a few red, white, and blue ideas! 

    Using food as decoration is always a different way of doing things. Here are some 4th of July fruit Kabobs. Directions are pretty self explanatory if you just look at the picture! It is both cute and delicious!


     

    Here is another tastey decoration option. 

     

    Here is an easy to make patriotic wreath. Begin with a 10 inch styrofoam wreath. Then just simply insert the mini flags as needed to entirely cover the styrofoam. On average it takes about three packages of 100 mini flags to fill the wreath. 

     

    These are do it yourself candle holders using recycled cans and paint. Perfect for outdoor tables. This would be a fun activity for your and your friends or family to do together before your 4th of July celebrtaion.  

      

    For this centerpiece you can swap or substitute any of the materials. You can use mason jars or any small clear vase you  may have at home. To fill the jars you can also use a variety of things such as candy (red white and blue m&ms possbily), rocks, sand, or in the picture below they have used marbles. After your jars are filled just place the flags into your filled containters. 






     
  60. Independence Day, more commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States celebrating and remembering the adoption of the Declaration of Independance on July 4, 1776. This document declared independence from Great Britain. 



    Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbeques, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political ceremonies, as well as various events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. 




    The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China, where they were invented. Although fireworks had thier origin in China, eventually it spread to other cultures and societies. Currently China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks in the world.


    If you are looking for something fun and exciting to do on your fourth of July, join us aboard the Volunteer Princess on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 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. 

    Take in the sights and sounds of downtown Knoxville's breath-taking riverfront. Feel the fresh breeze and look out at the stunning city views beneath the stars and moonlight. Experience a side of Knoxville that only Volunteer Princess Cruises can show you. Enjoy the show in air conditioned comfort and watch the fireworks from the best seat in town!


  61. Yesterday was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the official start to summer. Here at Volunteer Princess Cruises, we also know that this means we are deep in the heart of wedding season! Here are some fun and random facts about weddings that most people don’t know.
    1. Wedding rings are placed on the third finger of the left hand because the ancient Egyptians believed the vein in that hand ran directly to the heart.

    2. Las Vegas is the top wedding destination with over 100,000 weddings each year, followed by Hawaii with 25,000 weddings a year.

    3. In many cultures, the groom historically stood on the bride’s right side so his right hand – or his sword hand – would be free to fight/defend a jealous rival.

    4. Throwing rice at weddings symbolizes fertility, prosperity and bounty. 

    5. In ancient times, guests would tear off part of the bride’s dress as tokens of good luck. This led to the tradition of the bride throwing her garter and her bouquet. 

    6. The familiar phrase “tying the knot” initially came from an ancient Babylonian custom in which threads from the bride and groom’s clothes were tied in a knot to symbolize their union. 

    7. An average wedding in the US has 175 guests.

    8. The top 10 First Dance songs in the US include: “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Just the Way You Are,” “Come Away with Me,” “Unforgettable,” “Wonderful Tonight,” “From this Moment On,” “This I Promise You,” “Thank You for Loving Me,” “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” and “All I Ask of You.”

    9. The reason why the groom isn’t allowed to see his bride before the wedding is because back in the days of arranged marriages, there was a chance that if the groom saw the bride for the very first time before the wedding, he might bolt. Other people say that seeing the bride in her dress is peering into the future, which brings bad luck.

    10. In the US, June is the most popular month for weddings, followed by August.

    If you're planning a wedding or you know someone who just got engaged, we can't think of a better place to be married than on the water aboard the Volunteer Princess. Click here for more information about what we offer. 

    Around here, we put a little twist on the common phrase by saying, "Something borrowed, something blue, something with a fabulous view!"   :)

  62. Downtown Knoxville just keeps getting better and better!

    On July 1, there will be a paleteria shop opening on Locust and Main. (For those of you like me who were't sure what a paleteria is...have no fear! A paleteria is a term for a super delicious fresh fruit Spanish popsicle!) 

    PopCulture popsicles have been sold recently in Market Square at the Farmer's Market, however they will have their own shop soon! For only $2.50 (that's cheaper than a cup of coffee from Starbucks) you can enjoy a delicious popsicle on a hot day! 

    Some of the flavors that are sold now are mango, honeydo, strawberry mint, spiced orange and honey, and blueberry limeade! 

    We can't wait!!!!!!!
  63.  It is hot here in Knoxville right now, so no better place to spend a free summer day then on and around the Tennessee River. The Tennessee River winds in and out through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Being located not far from downtown knoxville and The Unversity of Tennessee, why not take advantage? Here are a few fun and exciting things you can do with your family and friends. 
      



    -River Sports Outfitters offer many rentals such as pontoon boats and paddleboats for the river and also bicycles to use on the greenway.
      
    -Volunteer Landing Park is a scenic paved river walk along the Tennessee River. 

    -There are also many restaurants lining the Tennessee River here in knoxville. Giving you the chance to enjoy a  meal and also take in the view. 
            -Calhouns 
            -Ruth's Chris Steakhouse  

    -If fishing is your hobby this is the perfect place to come in Knoxville. Bring your fishing pole and come down to the river.  
     



  64. A nautical theme for a wedding incorporates the beauty and enchantment of the water in a wedding ceremony and reception. You can  incorporate symbols such as seashells, sailboats and seaside scenes for a nautical theme and décor.



    Here are some fantastic wedding examples that were taken here on the Volunteer Princess:
    http://dixiepixelphoto.com/2012/06/nautical-shoot-for-enchanted-brides-magazine/



    Typically people use ocean blue, starch white, and navy for the overall color theme. Another color scheme that you might see is sea green, tropical blue, and white. These color schemes also could include light accent colors such as bright green, sunflower yellow, and red.



    If you want to create favors for your guests you can look for lighthouse, sailboat, or anchor themed items and maybe even some little seashell candies. 


    Centerpieces really add a lot to the look and feel of the wedding. I would advise you to stick glass bowls or vases filled with seashells, starfish, and sand or some elegant lighthouse or lanturn candle holders. And of course you can't forget the flowers. Get creative, decorate with rope and life preservers, or even little lobsters. It's your wedding after all. 





    Most importantly you need to pick the perfect location for the wedding. Obviously a beach would be a beautiful traditional option, but a more fun interesting option is to go for a cruise on a yacht down the river for an ever changing view. Nothing says luxury and romance better than the water, a sunset and a beautiful yacht. 


  65. Some of you might be sitting here reading this and have the whole day already planned all out for your dad.  Others might not even realize that Father's Day it is fast approching (IT'S SUNDAY, JUNE 17th!). So here is a great little guideline you can use as you plan out the day for Dad:

    Wake Dad up. You can do this gently with a fragrant cup of coffee, with a loud shout from the kids, or if he is a really deep sleeper you could try an airhorn. It is imperative that he wakes up for all the fun activites you have planned for the day. Next give him your present.Whether you gift your fabulous father with heartfelt homemade card, a fun little trinket, or a free pass from helping with the dishes, he is guarenteed to cherish the thought and effort put in his personalized gift. 



    At 12:30 Begin boarding the Volunteer Princess. With the delicious brunch menu and breathtaking views of ever changing senery, this is a memory he is sure to never forget. What dad wouldn't want to spend Father's Day on a yacht on the lake?



    Now get active! Take a walk around the park or shoot some hoops with dad to ensure bonding and lifetime memories while staying heathy. You could even do something exciting like whitewater rafting or renting a jet ski for the day. 



    Lastly settle down with a good movie to relax Dad from an activity fillled day with one of these top ten Father's Day movies of all time:
    1. Big Fish(2004, Ewan McGregor)
    2. The Godfather(1972, Marlon Brando)
    3. In The Name of The Father(1994, Daniel Day Lewis)
    4. My Girl(1991, Dan Akroyd)
    5. Dad(1989, Ted Danson)
    6. Big Daddy(1999, Adam Sandler)
    7. Three Men and a Baby(1987, Tom Selleck)
    8. Father of the Bride(1991, Steve Martin)
    9. Father's Day(1997, Robin Williams)
    10. Daddy Day Care(2003, Eddie Murphy)
  66. What better way to cool off in the summer then a refreshing drink? The temperatures are getting higher outside, so here are 5 fun and delicious summer cocktails(adults only)!  

    1.) Tequila Sunrise  

    This is a tastey mixture of organge juice, grenadine, and tequilla. With its refreshing taste and pretty colors its a drink your guests are sure to love. 
     

    2. Margaritas 

    Margaritas are always a summer favorite and can be served in an array of flavors. This classic tequilla cocktail requires lime juice, sugar, and cointreau. 



    3. Mojito 

    To make this you will need the following: Spiced rum, mint leaves, sugar, lime juice, and soda. 


    4. Sangria

    Sangria's can be made with a combination of many different fruits and wine. This gives you the chance to get creative with your cocktails. Red or White wine can be used, lemons, limes, and oranges are the most popularly used fruits, club soda, and ice. Simple and easy. 
     

    5. Royal Blush  

    This cocktail is a summer favorite and inspired from a restaurant right from New York City. Here is what you need: Vodka, Lime juice, simple syrup, and dry sparkling wine such as champagne. 


      Read More http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/drinking/cocktails/summercocktailsroyalblush/recipes/drink/views/Royal-Blush-351592#ixzz1x7bwERAX 
       



  67. I saw this video the other day on the Today Show and it was SO cute! Cute enough that I might have watched it 20 times in the past week. 

    Here at Volunteer Princess Cruises, we've seen our share of extremely romantic proposals but the man in this video takes the cake (No pun intended) Guys around the world now have a new standard to live up to thanks to Isaac Lamb. 



    Isaac wanted to propose to his girlfriend in no ordinary way. In order to "go big" and also keep their closest friends and family involved, he came up with the idea to have over 60 guests lip-dub to Bruno Mars' new song, "Marry Me." 

    Watch the video here - don't worry if you're emotions are confused on whether to laugh or cry or hug the person sitting next to you (or all 3 at the same time.) It truly is so heartwarming! 

    Congratulations to the happy couple and thanks for sharing this creative proposal with us!! 


  68. Father's Day is quickly approaching us. So, here are some fun facts! 

    - There are an estimated 70.1 million dads across the nation. 
    -Father's Day did not become an official holiday until 1966. 
    •    President Lyndon Johnson declared the third sunday of June would be Father's Day. 
    -Neckties lead the list of Father's day gifts. 

     

    -Rose is the official flower for Father's Day. Wearing a red rose represents a living father, while a white rose signifies a deceased father. 
     
    -Father's Day makes up the Fifth largest card- sending holiday in the world. 
      
    - It is estimated that we will spend a total of $9.4 billion dollars on Father's Day this year! 
     


  69. We hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day yesterday!

    Memorial Day is a day to reflect and thank the men and women who protect America and our freedom. Most people take this day and spend time with family and friends whether it be on the water, lounging at the pool, or attending a BBQ. 

    Here are the some of the best Memorial Day pictures found on Instagram from Mashable.com. 

    Take a look at these pictures. I don't know about you, but I felt pretty patriotic after looking myself. 

    How did you spend the day off from work yesterday?
  70. In 1982 Knoxville was chosen as a site for the World's Fair. Most of Knoxville knows this, as we drive by or see the Sunsphere frequently. In fact, the 30th anniversary of the World's Fair is this year! 
    Once I found that this was such a historic year, I was fascinated with looking up more information about the World's Fair. I knew it had been here, but I couldn't picture what it was like to be in attendance. So after some research, I found an article written in 1982 - click here to read the article yourself! This article is quite long, but written with such great detail I can actually visualize what it was like! 

    Did you know that Knoxville was the last World's Fair to make a profit? (Granted, it was only $57) 

    Or did you know that the world's largest Rubix Cube was featured here? You can still see it in the Holiday Inn by the Convention Center! 

    The World's Fair is so historic to Knoxville. We can't wait to celebrate the 30 year anniversary! 

  71. What better way to celebrate Memorial Day weekend then out near the water enjoying food, drinks, and live music with friends? Pirates Cove at Volunteer Landing Marina is having their Grand Opening this weekend. Live music will be performed by Matt Tillery and the Tiki Bar will be open for service!
       
    In addition to this weekend there will be live music throughout June and July, there will be performances by Denver Stevens, Clint Young, Your Brand, and Matt Tillery will also be returning. This is the perfect place to come and enjoy one of Knoxville's beautiful summer evenings! We always love to see more people down at the Marina!  

      
  72. There is a recently published article in the May edition of Southern Living that is all about Knoxville! Click here to read the article yourself. 
    The title of the article is, "Doing Knoxville Like a Local." When telling readers what the best things to do in Knoxville are, the main focus was on the downtown area alone. Being published in a magazine such as Southern Living and getting national attention on our city of Knoxville proves how much it is growing! 

    The article describes what restaurants and merchants a local Knoxville couple does reguarly. They include the French Market, the Peter Kern Library, Bliss, and more. 

    The entire downtown area, including Market Square have grown so much and have become signiture to the city. There is so much to do and see that Knoxville has recently become a hot destination in the tourism industry as well. 

    Thanks to articles like the Southern Living one published in May, we can show the rest of the country how unique, quant yet with many opportunities Knoxville, Tennessee really is! 
  73. The Volunteer Princess is very excited about the opening of the new Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center. Located at Volunteer Landing is one of three locations. Residents of knoxville will now have the opportunity to take full advantage of the beautiful Tennessee River and its natural surroundings.
    The rental program they offer gives you a chance to rent kayakes, bikes, and jet skies to name a few.


      

    In addition there is a River Sports Outfitters store located on their bottom floor, this is a great place to browse some of your favorite brands and see some of the rentals that would be available to you.

       

    Just a short walk from the downtown area and close to some other great treasures of Knoxville such as Ruth's Chris and the Volunteer Princess, where you can come aboard for a delicious dinner after a long day on the river, this is a great way to spend a summer day. We can not wait to see more people down at the river!  
             
  74. We have had some fun researching many different alternatives to the very popular unity candle.  Brides and grooms are coming up with very unique and fun ways of celebrating the blending of their lives and families with one another. These all represent the uniting of two families into one. 


    Rose Ceremony: There are many ways to go about this alternative but our favorite one begins with the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom each bringing down a vase of roses (each mother has a different color of rose). They place these arrangements next to the bride and groom during the ceremony. At the time of the rose unity ceremony the officiant will explain what is happening and read a passage regarding the blending of two families in to one. The bride and groom will go and get the arrangements from their respective mothers and place them together in a larger vase interspercing the colors together. This arrangement can then be brought along to the reception! 

    Flower Press: Your moms will walk down the aisle together, each holding a flower. They will put the flower into separate vases. Later in the ceremony, the bride and groom will take them from the vases and put them on a flower press. You can press the two flowers together or do them seperatley. The bride and groom will tehn put the pressed flowers into one frame that is already opened up and ready for it. This too can be displayed in the happy couples new home. 

    Wine Ceremony: Your parents each pour wine into a cup (this could be their favorite wine or just seperate types of wine, one red and one white). They will then drink from their cup of wine and the bride and groom will drink from their respective parent's cups. Then the bride and groom each pour some from tehir parents cups into another and drink from that as a couple. 

    Unity Wish Lantern: Your parents each get up and write a wish for the bride and groom on their own lantern. Then the bride and groom get up and read them and then write each other a wish on their own lantern together. Then the bride and groom and parents will light their respectives lanterns and release the wishes and lanterns into the sky.   

    Cord of three strands. Parents bring own colored cord and the officiant brings another. (symbolize God). Each parent ties one braid with the three strings and then bride and groom go back and finish off the braid.  This could also be done as a knot instead of the braid.   


    Unity candle alternative: Include all your guests by giving them a candle. Then have the back of the room light their candles and pass it down the two sides of the ceremony. Once it gets to the parents they walk up to the bride and groom and light their candles and sing a song or say a prayer. The bride and groom then light the one large candle together.  This ceremony represents the unity of friends and family supporting the couple in their marriage.


    Unity Painting. The bride and groom will each have a canvas in front of them painted with different but complimentary colors. Then going down the side of the drawing the bride and groom will each draw a predetermined design on the far end. The idea is to have a finished product that when shown seperately it doesn't make sense but when put with the other it is a beautiful piece of artwork that you can display in your home.
    Sand Ceremony: The couple has 3 containers. Two of those containers are filled with sand, one color in one (for the bride) and another color in the other (for the groom). The sand is then poured into the third container during the ceremony and the two colors should mixed together as you pour. The sand will never  be separated into the two distinct colors ever again.  (this can also be done as a unity water or unity rocks ceremony)

    Salt Ceremony: Brides passes a handful of salt to the groom without spilling any of it. He then passes it back to her and the exchange is repeated three times. She then performs the salt excahnge with all the members of the groom's family and he with her family. 


    The Unity Tree: The couple purchases a tree sapling prior to the wedding and plants it in a pot. Give it a prominet position for the cermony. During the unity time your parents take a bowl of dirt already dished out and put it into the pot (symbolizing the love, nuturing, and support you will need from them). Then the bride and groom will each take a container of water and water the tree (symbolizing the need to continuly water your own relationship in order for it survive). After the wedding the tree is yours to plant in your new home together. It grows as your marriage grows. You can even plant additional tree saplings as each of your children are born to represent your growing family. 


    Lei Ceremony: The bride and groom exchange Leis. The families will exchange leis with the couple and the bride and groom will exchange leis with one another. The leis represnt the love and respect you have for the person you are giving it to and the unity of the new family. 
  75. Here at Volunteer Princess Cruises, we obviously know that Knoxville is the best city around.

    Where else can you see an SEC football game, go to the the Great Smoky Mountains, and come back for a dinner cruise on a yacht - all in 1 weekend!?  
    Last week the Best of 2012 Knoxville winners were announced by Metro Pulse. This new "Best Of" list not only made us want to go out to eat at all of the cool award-winning restaurants in town, but it also made us appreciate this city that we live in. 
    Pat Summit won the best Knoxvillian of the year award. This was no surprise to us as we are so proud to call Coach Summitt one of ours in East Tennessee. Not only has she changed the area of Knoxville, she changed women's sports as a whole. Congratulations, Pat! We are so proud to call you a "Vol for Life." 

    All of the winners proved to us how much Knoxville loves the downtown area in paticular. Tomato Head, Barley's, Pete's Coffee Shop and Bistro at the Bijou were just a few of the restaurants that won in the best food category. Knoxvillians sure do love to come downtown and eat! 

    Special congratulations to Magpies Bakery, who won the Best Bakery and Best Cupcake award. We are proud to call Magpies one of our catering partners for those who have a special request for a cruise. 

    If you want to check out the full-list for yourself, click on http://www.metropulse.com/best-of-knoxville/2012/full-list/ or pick up a Metropulse around town! 
  76. It is almost Mother’s Day, the day that we celebrate the woman who raised us and made us the person we are today.
     
    Mother’s Day Facts:
    • Mothers day was named a national holiday in 1914 by President Wilson.
    • Mothers day always falls on the Second Sunday in May (so mark your calendars… it’s the same every year so there is no excuse for forgetting!)
    • According to the US Census there are 84.5 million mothers in the US
    • 152 million – Number of Mother’s Day cards given in the United States last year, making Mother’s Day the third-largest card-sending occasion
     
     
    We all love our mom, probably because no matter what she always seems to be there. She was the one who taught us right from wrong, made us chicken noodle soup when we were sick, and always had advice when we were having a bad day, but believe it or not… her job did not stop there. On average Mothers typically spend 120 hours changing diapers (per child), and each year mothers wash 330 loads of laundry. So this mother’s day be sure to thank your mom for all of the little things that she has done for you.
     
     
    If you are still looking for the perfect way to thank your mother for all that she has done, let us help you out! While perfume, jewelry and flowers are wonderful gifts, get your mom something extra special this year and bring her aboard the Volunteer Princess for one of our mother’s day cruises! Already have mother’s day plans? NO worries! You can always make reservations for a different day… after all your mom has done so much for you, why just spend one day celebrating she deserves to be thanked all year long! 
  77. It is finally May! Which means it is time to celebrate birthdays at the Volunteer Princess! So since I have birthdays on my mind (because mine is only a week away), I decided to dedicate this entire blog to BIRTHDAYS!

     
    Birthday Fun Facts:
    1. In the middle ages birthdays were only celebrated by nobility (so spend your day like royalty)
    2. August is the most common Birthday month, over 21 million Americans have birthdays in August
    3. May 21st is the least common birth date, which is good news for Nikki our Cruise Coordinator!!
    4. In the United States, 2 Billion Birthday Cards are given each year.
    5. The Warner Music Group collects approximately 2 million dollars in royalties for the ‘Happy Birthday Song’ every year. 

    Since Birthdays are a sign of Nobility, celebrate like a King or Queen and:
    • Take the day off of work and treat yourself to a nice relaxing day, who really wants to spend their birthday at work anyways?
    • Buy yourself that nice gift that you have always wanted
    • Eat Cake! It is the one day of the year that you can have all the cake and ice cream that you want and not feel guilty about it! Check out this great website for some delicious Birthday cake recipe ideas.. http://allrecipes.com/recipes/desserts/cakes/birthday-cake/
    • CELEBRATE! No birthday would be complete without a birthday celebration, so grab your friends and family and have a party or go out to eat! 

  78. Spring has sprung and we are all in such better spirits around here. We have gotten the stink and gloominess of winter off of us and are looking forward to warmer and brighter days. What exactally about Spring time makes people happier? What are the best things about spring time? 

    We searched high and low to find out what people love about spring and this is what we found out.

    With springtime we experience longer days and warmer weather. It's not too hot and not too cold (kind of like goldilocks), just right. This makes us get out of our offices and homes and experience the great outdoors much more than we have the past couple of months. We breathe in the fresh air and enjoy blue skies and sun hugs! With longer days we get to spend even more time outside once we get off of work or back from a long day at school. You can get more things done around the house before you feel like it is time to crawl into bed. 

    Springtime also brings new growth and birth. The trees are blossoming, the grass is growing (and thus getting cut, giving us the wonderful smell of cut grass), flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and baby animals are coming about. The first wildflowers to pop up are bright yellow buttercups. Don't you feel like these are beautiful beams of sunshine? Springtime also brings in dandelions, daffodils, and primroses. Brand new life is abounding with ducklings, goslings, and turtles. (I wonder why these are all water animals? Might have to do with the fact that we are on the water day after day!).  

    Being a woman of course one of my favorite things about springtime are the clothing changes. We get to put away our big bulky coats, long pants, and boots and bring out our bright colored sundresses, skirts, capris, and sandals. Nothing lifts your spirits better than putting on a bright and happy sundress or showing off your newly pedicured toe nails with a fabulous new pair of sandals. 

    Even sports are better during the Spring! While we all love basketball, there is just something about being able to enjoy the beautiful weather and a hot dog while watching a baseball game! The warmer weather also means that we can ditch the gym and get our exercise outdoors by going for a run or playing a game of tennis.
     
    The beautiful Spring weather also means that there are more wonderful things to do outdoors like picnics, BBQ's, and Farmers Markets. Why go shopping at the grocery store when you can spend time outside shopping for fresh local produce at a Farmer's Market. 


    The Spring even makes the most dreadful things like cleaning exciting. Spring cleaning is a time to throw out the old and make room for the new. Plus there is just something about being able to open the windows while cleaning that makes Spring cleaning so much better than cleaning any other time of the year. 
  79. It is Spring time in Knoxville Tennessee, and in case you already have Spring Fever and are in need of a mini vacation, join us for a virtual cruise to see some of the beautiful sights that you would see on board the Volunteer Princess! 



    The first Knoxville landmark that you will see while crusing with us is the Henley Street Bridge... or what is left of it. The Henley Street Bridge was built in 1931 to connect Downtown to South Knoxville. Currently Henley Street is closed fora 3 year construction project that is planned to last 3 years. 
     

    Comming up the starboard side (or right If you are not familiar with nautical terms) you will see the University of Tennessee and the Home of the Volunteer's Football Team AND the 4th largest college football stadium, Neyland Stadium. Neyland stadium was first constructed in 1921 for $42,000, however since 1921 the stadium has undergone 16 expansion projects that total $27.4 million dollars! 



    The next notable Knoxville landmark that we will pass while crusing today is Thompson Boling arena, home of the Vols and Lady Vols basketball teams! 



    For all of you CSI fans, take a look to you left we will soon be passing Knoxville's Body Farm. The body farm is a forensic research facility that was started in 1981 by Bill Bass. This facility is one of only 5 forensic research facilities in the United States! 



    Well we hope you enjoyed your mini vacation on our virtual cruise, but if you still have Spring Fever and need another vacation join us on board one of our upcoming cruises for a relaxing 2 hour get away.  


  80. 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 dailyfinance.com, 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!

  81. Spring is here and there is so much to look forward to – baseball games, picnics, trips to the beach, and also the highly-anticipated Easter holiday on April 8th. If you’re looking for some fun and inexpensive things to do with the kids that weekend, look no further! We've put together a list of egg-cellent crafts (there has to be at least one "egg" pun) and easy games and recipes for your enjoyment.
    BUNNY EARS
    Let the kids "hop" around in this cute and easy-to-make craft!
    What You Will Need:
    White poster board
    Pink construction paper
    Scissors and glue
    Tape or stapler

    How to Make It:
    1. Cut a strip of poster board about 2” wide by about 24” long for the headband.
    2. Cut 2 ears out of poster board each about 8" long by 3" wide.
    3. Cut 2 smaller ears out of pink construction paper.
    4. Glue the pink ears inside the white ears.
    5. Glue the ears inside the band, positioning to fit behind the head.
    6. Decorate as you please with stickers, markers, crayons or colored pencils!
    7. Tape or staple the band to fit the child's head. Cut off any excess. 

    COTTON BALL EASTER BUNNY
    Not only can the kids play with this (carefully), it makes for a cute decoration!
    What You Will Need:
    Cotton balls
    Foam (polystyrene) egg
    White and pink pipe cleaners
    Wiggle eyes
    Small pink pom-pom
    Thin Wire
    Wire cutters
    Cardboard
    Scissors and hot glue

    How to Make It:
    1. Glue cotton balls on foam egg for tail and feet.  
    2. Bend white pipe cleaner around a thicker pink pipe cleaner for the ears. Stick a pair at the top of the egg. 
    3. Glue on wiggle eyes, a small pink pom-pom nose and thin wire whiskers. 
    4. Place on a cardboard circle with hole cut out for base of egg to rest in. 

    DECORATE EASTER EGGS
    Here is a less-messy, but equally as cute, version of this tale-old activity. 
    What You Will Need:
    Crayons
    Boiled eggs
    Neon food coloring and white vinegar (optional)

    How to Make It:
    1. Use crayons to draw designs on the boiled egg. Be sure to hold the egg gently so it doesn't crack!
    2. Optional: Mix 1 tbsp of white vinegar into a coffee mug of water (filled 3/4 full). Then add several drops of food coloring. 
    3. Dip the crayon-colored egg into the dye and let it sit for about a minute. 
    4. Remove and let dry. The dye makes the crayon look brighter, especially if you use neon food coloring.

    DEVILED EGGS RECIPE
    Save some of those eggs you're dyeing (or coloring) to make this yummy appetizer.
    What You Will Need: 
    8 eggs
    ½ tsp mustard
    1 tbsp creamy salad dressing
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 pinch of paprika

    How to Make Them:
    1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let eggs sit in hot water for 10-12 minutes. Remove from hot water and cool.
    2. Peel and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and combine with mustard, salad dressing, and salt and pepper. Mix together until smooth.
    3. Refill each egg half with the yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika. Enjoy!

    EASTER EGG HUNT
    This classic activity has been around for years and it's not just for the kids, adults love it too!
    What You Will Need:
    Either plastic eggs or real decorated eggs
    Baskets or bags for gathering
    Candy

    How to Do It:
    Hide the eggs in hard-to-find places, either outside or inside, for the hunters to find. You can set a time limit or just search at your own pace for hunters to explore and place any eggs they find in their baskets. At the end of the hunt, the one with the most eggs wins the candy!

    Now for our all-time favorite activity and number one suggestion of what to do this Easter Sunday…
    COME ABOARD THE VOLUNTEER PRINCESS FOR EASTER BRUNCH!
    Join us for a delicious brunch, accompanied by great service, a relaxing atmosphere and breathtaking views. We are offering two opportunities to enjoy this wonderful brunch – an early cruise at 11:30 a.m. and a later cruise at 2:00 p.m. Each cruise will depart the Volunteer Landing Marina and travel down the historic Tennessee River, returning an hour and a half later – just in time for that Easter Egg Hunt you’re planning!
     
    Tickets are $42.95 per person and the best part is KIDS CRUISE FOR FREE! Bring the whole family and don’t miss out on this fun and unique way to celebrate Easter Sunday. Make your reservations today, these cruises sell out fast!

    Call 865-541-4556 or book online at http://www.volunteerprincess.com/holiday/easter
  82. Pull out your best green outfit because St. Patty’s Day is only a week away! And we can not think of a better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with an Irish feast! So if you are feeling lucky, try out some of these delicious Irish Dishes

    1. Irish Stew: How can you go wrong with this delicious stew that combines beef, potatos AND Irelands best beer!?
     
    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/irish-beef-stew-with-guinness-beer/detail.aspx

    2.If you are looking for a more traditional Irish feast to celebrate st. patty’s day try out this recipe for corned beef and cabbage. 

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/corned-beef-and-cabbage-i/

    3. If you want to add a little green to your St. Patty's day feast make a side dish of Irish Champ (potatoes and green onions)

    http://allrecipes.com/howto/an-irish-feast/detail.aspx?e11=irish%20champ&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&event8=1&prop24=SR_Showcase&e7=Recipe

    4. Why not finish off your Irish feast... with more potatoes.. by making Potato Candy for dessert! 

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grandmoms-Irish-Potatoes/Detail.aspx

    5. If you are not Adventurous to try these dishes this St. Patrick's day (or if you are not a Potato fan) try out these yummy Shamrock Cookies to celebrate the holiday!

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/irish-shamrock-cookies/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=shamrock%20cookies&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Article
  83. You probably noticed a few black smudges on foreheads across town yesterday and it is no secret that the city of Knoxville and everywhere else around the globe celebrated Mardigras a couple nights ago. Fat Tuesday isn’t just about purple and green beads and a lavish trip down to New Orleans though. One of the main reasons Mardigras is considered such a wild celebration is because it signifies the “last hoorah” for many people who plan on giving up some specific treat or desire the next morning.
    Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter, and for those who observe the religious event, yesterday also marked the beginning of some type of fasting. People typically use the next 40 days and 40 nights as a time to give up something they routinely enjoy. Even those who don’t participate in Lent for religious reasons will commonly hop on the bandwagon and sacrifice some type of luxury they commonly benefit from. Many give up this vice as an attempt to remove barriers to God, while others use Lent as a time to buckle down on those forgotten New Year resolutions.
     
    So did you give anything up for Lent? It’s not too late to dig deep and pinpoint something that you do a lot of and that you find pleasure in. Some of the most common things people give up include:
    • Junk food. Actually food in general is the most popular thing to sacrifice for Lent. For Catholics, this means giving up meats on Fridays from now until Easter, or to fast entirely for one day a week. Other people just give up those beloved salty or sweet snacks that are so hard to resist (we’ll miss you, potato chips…).
    • Television. It’s amazing the free time that becomes available to people when they turn off the TV after dinner. It can be difficult to part with guilty pleasures like Deadliest Catch and Grey’s Anatomy, though, so we won’t judge if you begin a six-week countdown until McDreamy is back in your life.
    • Facebook. Whether you’re a college student or a mom with four kids, Facebook is a magnet for procrastinators around the world. Many people choose to give up social networking completely and separate themselves from the cyber world for the next 40 days. Forewarning: after deactivating your Facebook account, side effects typically include strong withdrawals from incessant status updates and also the common pastime of “Facebook-stalking” (don’t deny it). 
    • Alcohol. Stimulants like coffee and alcohol can have a strong presence in the daily lives of many people, so it is not rare to see fewer cars in the Starbucks parking lot and a shorter line at the liquor store for a while. No wonder bars around the world consider Fat Tuesday one of the busiest nights of the year!
    • Cussing. Swear words are considered to be a sin in the Bible, and they are also seen as a major faux pas in today’s society. A lot of people see giving up cussing as a challenge and they work on biting their tongue for the next six or seven weeks. Rappers especially struggle with this one.
    • Chocolate. It is no secret that chocolate is an all-time favorite treat for people all over the globe, so it comes as no surprise that it is typically given up for Lent. Hopefully everyone got their chocolate fix in last week over Valentine's Day!

    Lent is not all about giving something up. It can also be about adding good things to your life. In fact, you’ll sometimes find that by giving something up, you’re simultaneously adding something beneficial to your life too. A few suggestions are:
    • Mend a few bridges. Maybe there’s someone in your life that has done you wrong or vise versa. Many use Lent as a time to reconcile those negative relationships and move past an issue that has taken up too much space in their life.
    • Daily exercise. In the religious sense, many perceive their body as a temple, so in an effort to worship and give thanks to God, they focus on working out and taking better care of their bodies. Even if you aren’t religious, it couldn’t hurt to take another stab at that resolution you made to hit the gym at least four times a week.
    • Do a good deed every day. As the saying goes, you always feel better about yourself after you make someone else feel better. So go out and make someone’s day! Chances are it’ll bring a smile to your face too.
    • Spend more time with family and friends. Work and school tend to bog down people’s lives and can sometimes make them lose sight of what’s important. Whether it’s going out for a nice dinner with their spouse, playing a board game with their kids, cocktail hour with the girls, or even just taking some time to themselves to relax and be alone, many people use these next 40 days as a time to reflect and focus on those who are most important to them. 
    On that note, we urge you to come aboard the Volunteer Princess for one of our dinner cruises and enjoy a relaxing night out full of good food, good music and great views. Good luck to everyone who is giving something up for Lent – stay strong! Easter is only 45 days away and who knows, maybe you’ll like giving up that guilty pleasure so much that it just might stick and be gone forever :)
  84. Murder at the Café Noir

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be Sherlock Holmes, chasing the coattails of villains and trying to unravel the hidden mysteries of a story? What a thrill it would be to find clues that others have missed, and uncover answers to lingering questions! Well the good news is here is your chance to be the sleuth you have always wanted to become! Bring your magnifying glass, notepad, and intuition down to the Volunteer Princess because beginning this April the Mystery & Mayhem Dinner Theater comes to Knoxville!
     
    The Volunteer Princess is hosting a special event for all you detectives out there and we need your help! Guests will be greeted and shown to their tables by the swanky Madame Toureau, where they will be wined, dined, and interrogated to help discover who the culprit is. A traveling acting troop will mingle with the guests on board and perform the show before their very eyes, ensuring that every guest can be in on the action!
     
    The show, Murder at the Café Noir, will begin on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. and will be showing every Wednesday evening through the end of April. It will be a 3 course plated dinner and interactive murder mystery show for only $59.95! Remember, we allow detectives of all ages to participate so you can bring the little ones along too, and the best part is they are only half price! For dinner, a show, and a night of comical mystery it can’t be beat! But you’d better act fast before the seats disappear! Call or check our webpage to make reservations now. Until then, we will see you at the Café Noir!

     
    Murder at the Cafe Noir
    Dinner Show
    Boarding Time: 6:30 PM
    Cruise Time: 7:00 - 9:00 PM


    Be close to the action as detectives sort through a cast of clueless suspects in an effort to pinpoint the show's fiendish felon while enjoying a menu co-starring entrées like:
    MENU:
    - Princess Salad
    - Your Choice of Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast, Pork Tenderloin, Salmon with Sweet Chili Sauce, or Vegetarian Option
    - Smashed Potatoes
    - Fresh Vegetables
    - Chef's Dessert
    Trust in your hunches and arrest this Ticket soon, because savings like these never return to the scene of the crime.

  85. Some people love Valentine’s Day because they get to spend a special night out with the one they love. Others love valentines because it gives them an excuse to stay in and watch romantic movie marathons on TV. However my favorite this about Valentine’s Day is getting to see all of the proposals that happen on our Valentine’s Cruises. You can always pick out the guys who are getting ready to propose by how excited and nervous they are when the get onto the boat! 

    This year we had two surprise proposals onboard, and even though I had never met either couple before I was very excited for both the second they stepped onto the boat! 

    Our first surprise proposal happened on our Sunday night Valentines Cruise. For this proposal David planned to propose to his girlfriend Autumn while taking pictures. This was my first proposal that I had been apart of on the boat, so I will admit I was probably just as nervous as David was as I asked them to follow me to the back of the boat for their picture that was included in their package.  As I got ready to “take their picture” David turned to Autumn and surprised her by getting down on one knee and asking her to marry him! 
     

    Our second proposal happened on our Monday Valentine’s Cruise. Aaron wanted to be alone while proposing to his beautiful girlfriend, he planned to take a “walk” around the boat after dessert and surprise her by proposing on the bow. After dinner had been served the couple headed out front (and the crew headed to the pilot house to watch the proposal!). After he proposed Aaron suprised his new bride-to-be with a suprise photo shoot on the bow of the boat. 



    So in my opinion the best way to spend Valentine’s Day is on the Volunteer Princess, watching real “Happily Ever After’s” Happen!

    Congratulations to both Aaron and David for doing such a great job (they have set the standard for any guys that plan to propose to me!), and best wishes to both of the couples! Who knows… maybe we will see them on the Volunteer Princess again for their wedding or reception! 

  86. NY Giants win!
     
    This past Sunday’s Super Bowl was definitely one of the best overall shows that football lovers could ask for. The game kept everyone on their toes, the commercials kept everyone laughing, and the halftime show was truly a masterpiece!
     
    The New England Patriots and the New York Giants went head to head this year to see who could win the battle of the brawn. The players put sweat and tears into this game, hoping by some miracle they could pull out a big win and even bigger bragging rights. Throughout most of the game the Patriots were really doing a great job of jacking up their score while holding back the Giants. That is until the game changing play made by Mario Manningham, which gave the Giants a new breath of life and enough push to score a game winning touchdown.
     
    Let’s move on to everyone’s favorite part of the game, the commercial breaks! This is the time of year every well established company is waiting for, the time for them to bring out the big guns and show the world their best ad’s yet. Unfortunately some went out with a fizzle, while others went out with a bang!
     
    For many companies it is the most important time of the year to run an add because the super bowl is the most viewed show on television. Over 110 million people were said to have watched this year’s game, which is why companies are willing to spend big bucks to get their name out there in hopes of increasing sales revenue. Forbes has reported the estimated cost of running a 30 second add during this years super bowl cost $3.5 million dollars, plus the cost of production and special guests. As the old saying goes, great success comes with great risk, and these are just a few of the companies who decided to take that chance.
     
    Best-
    1.Honda with Mathew Broderick, throwback to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhkDdayA4iA
     
     2. The Voice commercial with Betty White.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvzIfrsViWg
     
    3. Chevy happy graduation commercial.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae52ourE3Pw
     
     
    Worst-
    1.Pepsi commercial with Elton John and Who? (Some girl, no one knew who she was. Apparently she was on Xfactor.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rZs8ZKTsp0
     
    2. David Beckham H&M underwear commercial. While I’m all for seeing David Beckham in his tighty whities, this commercial was a little awkward for me. It was too long just showing him posing. There seemed to be no message strategy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQb_-OY7Z0E
     
    3. The Doritos dog commercial. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STb6ZSo5CPw
     
    Then last but certainly not least let’s talk about this years fabulous halftime show. Halftime performer and world renowned diva, Madonna gave a great show at this year’s Super Bowl! Also performing along with her were special guests Nikki Minage, MIA, Celo Green, and LMFAO. These artists all came together in perfect harmony to create a show that no one could forget. From the elaborate entrance to the flashy costumes and grand finale, every second of this show was pure perfection!
     
    Overall this year’s super bowl was definitely a touchdown in my book. The game was awesome; the halftime performance was captivating, and the commercials only added to the entertainment. This year only made me more excited for next year’s game, though I think it will be hard to top it! Until then, go Giants!
     
     
     
  87. Only 13 more days left until Valentine’s Day! What are you going to get for your loved one this year?  If you haven’t thought of the perfect idea yet, we are here to help you out!

    1.  It may sound simple but honestly how can you go wrong with Chocolate, Champagne, and Roses?

     
    2. Valentine’s Day is only one day out of the year so get your special someone tickets to the movies, a concert or a sporting event so you can have a special date night in the future!
    3. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, so jewelry is always a perfect gift idea for any holiday gift especially Valentine’s Day!  We suggest a necklace or bracelet… No Rings unless it comes with a surprise Valentine’s Day proposal!!

     

    4. Maybe jewelry is not in your budget this year, but do not worry after all it is the thought that counts! So make something homemade. Need an Idea? Here is a fun website to make your own Valentine’s Day coupon book! http://familycrafts.about.com/od/coupons/tp/couponsprint.htm

    5. And of course our personal favorite Valentine’s Day gift idea! Surprise your valentine with a romantic cruise aboard the Volunteer Princess!

     

  88. Top 10 Proposal Ideas:

    So you’ve got the girl, you’ve got the ring, now all you need is the way! Well we are here to help! In keeping with the spirit of Valentines Day this upcoming month, we thought it only appropriate to write a blog with some unique proposal ideas for all of the love birds out there. Check out this list in your venture to make this proposal something she will always remember

    1. Go for a romantic stroll on the beach. Have a small bottle with a secret message inside asking her to be your bride!

    2. Try proposing at Midnight on new years. What better way to start your new year together than as a newly engaged couple! (We realize you’ll have to wait awhile to implement this one but hey here’s to planning).

    3. If she is an animal lover, take her for a swim with the dolphins! She will love this fun filled date even more when you have the dolphin swim up with a surprise present. Have the ring box in its mouth ready for your lady to open, and then pop the question. (You will need some help with this one guys). 

    4. Have a throwback to childhood, making her feel like a kid again when you send her on an exciting scavenger hunt to find X marks the spot! Place clues around the house or yard leading her to the place where the treasure is! When she finds the X she will find the ring or you waiting for her. 

    5. If you live in a place where the climate happens to be more on the frosty side, why not try to use the winter weather to your advantage? Try making a snowman in the yard and have him hold the ring for you. When she comes outside tell her that Frosty has a little gift for her! When she takes a look and finds the box she will be warmed by the fires of love.

    6. How about if you are more on the adventurous side? Try taking her on a skydiving trip!  Lay out a banner on the ground below popping the question while she is on the way down. Then when she lands be on your knee ready with the ring.

    7. If the skydiving doesn’t quite work for you, maybe try something a little more understated like proposing at a holiday party or family get together? It will be a nice moment for everyone to witness, and there will be sure to be lots of cameras for pictures!

    8. Take her for a night out on the town to see your favorite concert or music performer, contact the venue and ask them if it’s possible for you to do a surprise proposal on stage in front of the whole crowd.

    9. Now if you are looking for more of a grand gesture, you could try doing what this guy did for his girlfriend! Have some kind of fake scene set up with actors or even hire some carolers to come help with your proposal to your special lady!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJWlavnM6b0

    10. And last but certainly not least, you could always get engaged on a breathtaking 100ft luxury yacht! Dinner, dessert, dancing and stargazing. What more of a perfect scene could you ask for? Once you wine and dine her, there is no way she could say no! If you would like to know more feel free to check out our great engagement package deals!   http://www.volunteerprincess.com/product/Engagement


    Well there you have it! These are just a few of the countless ideas to choose from when asking the special person in your life to stay in it forever. No matter big or small, grand or understated, as long as you choose the way that works best for you everything will be perfect. Best of luck lovebirds and thanks for your interest!

    Also for more ideas on how to propose try:

    http://www.since1910.com/engagement-ring-blog/top-100-proposal-ideas/ 


  89. As the holiday of love quickly approaches, it's hard not to wonder how this popular day filled with chocolates, roses, Hallmark cards and balloons came about in the first place. Single women across the country typically dread the 14th of February, while happy couples tend to look forward to this day of romance. Regardless of marital status, everyone acknowledges this holiday in one way or another, and flower shops and chocolate producers prepare for their busiest day months in advance.   

    V-Day Stats:

    • Roughly 180 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year, making V-Day the second-most popular greeting-card- giving occasion.
    • 24.3 pounds of candy is consumed per capita in America.
    • The average consumer usually spends about $100 on gifts, meals and entertainment.
    • 73% of flower-purchasers are men, while only 27% are women.
    • 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
    • About 3% of pet owners give V-Day gifts to their pets.

    So where did it all start? How did the all the fuss about love and romance come about? There are several different theories on the origin of this hyped-up holiday but the most popular story dates back to the Roman Empire. Legend has it that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. The Emperor didn’t want men to marry because he believed single men made better and stronger soldiers. Valentine thought this was unfair and decided to marry young couples secretly. For this, Valentine was thrown into jail and sentenced to death on February 14th. While he was imprisoned, he supposedly wrote a love letter to the jailor’s daughter and signed it, “Your Valentine.” Sound familiar?

    More Fun Facts:

    • Young ladies of medieval times ate bizarre foods on St. Valentine’s Day to make them dream of their future spouse.
    • In the Middle Ages, men and women drew names out of a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They wore that name pinned on their sleeve for the next week. Hence the expression, “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”
    • Physicians of the 1800’s advised patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining for lost love. Guess chocolate really is the best break-up cure!
    • The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the goddess of love.
    • Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards each year!

    Can’t think of anything to get your significant other that day? This website has tons of gift ideas that are sure to help you out: http://www.gifts.com/ideas/valentines-day

    Need a great date option? Volunteer Princess Cruises is offering TEN different cruises with several special romantic package options. Check them out here: http://www.volunteerprincess.com/holiday/valentinesday. We couldn’t think of a more memorable way to spend the holiday than cruising down the beautiful Tennessee River with your sweetheart!

    So break out your mushy side and get ready for Valentine’s Day 2012! It will be here before we know it!

  90. When the weather outside is frightful and you are stuck inside all day here are some tips to get you and your family relief from a few days of boredom. When it snows outside your yard is transformed into a new playground. Make use of this winter wonderland and get outside. If you have done all you can outside then head back indoors for some fun activities to do with your loved ones. 


    Outside Activities


    Build Snow Forts and Igloos

             

    Make Big Snowmen and Mini Snowmen

             

    Go sledding, sliding, and tubing


    Create an ice bowling tournament


    Have a snowball fight


    Color the snow with food coloring or even washable paint



    Indoor Activities


    Bake cookies


    Make a fort in the living room


    Make your own pizza


    Have a family movie night and turn your living room into a theater


    Roast marshmallows in the fire place


    Play dress up and then have and film a fashion show


    Make your own movie or music video


    Have a dance party


    Play hide and seek


    Make Marshmallow sculptures using marshmallows and toothpicks


    Have an indoor picnic


  91. The buzz is over and so is the party, 2012 is here and we are all back to normal routines. It is time to start working on our new years resolutions. Why did we bother with creating these again? They are difficult to abide by and make us upset when we don’t accomplish them.

    New Year’s resolutions give us all opportunities to reflect on what we want to make out of our lives and change those things that bother us. This is a time to think about what you would like to do with your life and don’t get bogged down with what you should do.

    This year make resolutions that are achievable and will make you feel good. Don’t make your resolutions into tasks that you have to check off a list but think more of them as positive changes you can make in your life. Don’t be overly ambitious with your resolutions or set unrealistically high expectations that are impossible to achieve. Make a real commitment to seeing them through. To do this you need to spend time thinking about what you hope to achieve and how you plan to do that. Habits die hard so you need to come up with an action plan and attack one thing at a time.

    There are so many cool and useful apps out there now that will help you with your resolutions. Take time to find one that is really going to help you without making you do all the work. There are apps that will allow you to put in your New Year’s Resolutions and then they email you suggestions and ideas on how you can change your bad habits or go about achieving your goals.

    Here are some helpful websites with a few of the applications that are out there! Enjoy and let’s make this a great year.

     http://www.successmagazine.com/new-years-resolutions/PARAMS/article/1637/channel/22

    http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/news/science_tech/apps-to-help-keep-your-new-years-resolution

    http://blog.greengiant.com/category/all/3-mobile-apps-to-help-achieve-healthy-new-years-resolutions.aspx

    http://markets.financialcontent.com/stocks/news/read/16261521/PeerPressure_App_for_Achieving_Personal_Goals_Available_in_Time_for_2011_New_Year's_Resolutions

     

    I was also curious to see what people are making for their new years resolutions and some of the most popular ones are below. If you haven’t made your resolutions just yet don’t worry there is still time. Take a long hard look at what you want to change and get to it! Don’t worry if you fall short a few times just jump back up and get going again.

    •  Lose weight                                                                        
    • Organize Finances
    • Keep a Clean and Tidy House/Car
    • Waste Less Time in the Office
    • Stop Smoking
    • Watch Less TV
    • Spend less time on the Internet
    • Get more involved with the community
    • Explore all that my city has to offer
    • Be on time
    • Eat a healthier diet
    • Volunteer
    • Start Recycling
    • Get a better education/job
    • Start saving money
    • Run a 5k, 10k, ½ Marathon, or Marathon
    • Be a nicer person
    • Spend more time with Family
    • Take more Pictures
    • Find out who I am as a person

  92. Haven't  you always wondered who your Captain is while cruising onboard the luxury yacht, The Volunteer Princess? We thought it would be nice to learn a little more about the man in charge and share that with all of you. The man behind the wheel is Captain Chris. He holds a 100 ton Masters License and has had this since 2007. It wasn't just an overnight deal to become Captain. Chris has to document 720 days of water experience, attend a month long Sea school, pass several book tests, get a background check and get drug tested.


    Captain Chris was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and moved to Knoxville, TN at the age of three. He grew up in a boating family and has been on or around boats for as long as he can remember. Since the age of 12, Chris has Skippered everything from jet-skis to an 86 foot long houseboat. Living in Knoxville has given him plenty of opportunities to explore the waterways in and around the city, including the stretch of water he navigates the Princess on.  


    Why did he want to become a Captain you ask? Captain Chris’ response is simple, “I couldn’t think of a better job to have than getting paid to be out on the lake driving a boat. I would be out here anyway (well maybe not in the winter months) so why not get paid to do what I love?” He also has thoroughly enjoyed getting to work on the yachts two caterpillar diesel engines and two generators. “I’ve learned how to fix things I never thought I would just from jumping in and toying around with things.” Of course before he was allowed to just “toy around with things” Captain Chris had to watch and observe other knowledgeable mechanics etc.


    Chris has captained over 500 cruises since he got his captain’s license back in July of 2007. His favorite part about captaining the Princess is when the current is running strong and we are headed down river. Why you might ask? Captain Chris responds “The current helps us run over 10 knots which is incredibly fast for the Princess to run. Typically I push it if we hit 7 knots during a cruise. With the current running with us we really pick up speed and fly down the river.”


    Captain Chris also thoroughly enjoys the time at the end of the cruise when we are pulling back up to the dock, or in VPC terms: Docking. This is one of Captain Chris’ favorite times during each cruise because it is more challenging than just cruising up and down the river. It takes skill and knowledge of your conditions within the water as well as the outside winds etc. Each time Captain Chris has to adjust the way he approaches the dock based upon the weather conditions. His least favorite time onboard is when we have high easternly winds. This causes the yacht to be pushed away from the dock and he has to work hard with his bow thruster and two engines to get us back safe and sound to the dock.


    Captain Chris enjoys being out on the water so much that he also owns his own boat, a 20 foot Inboard Mastercraft. He loves to get out on the water when the sun is shinning down and wakeboard or tube with his wife Nikki and their friends. When asked how often he takes this smaller boat out Captain Chris said, “As often as I can!”


    Next time you stop on board the Volunteer Princess, make sure you visit Captain Chris in the pilot house. He loves to talk to our guests and explain as much as he can about captaining the luxury yacht, The Volunteer Princess. 



  93. The holiday season is full of delicious meals, festive treats and decadent desserts. But by New Year’s, most have had their fill of glazed ham and reindeer cookies. This season, experiment with holiday cocktails (adults only)! Though eggnog is a classic winter staple, it’s not the only drink that tastes like Christmas in a cup. Here are 15 holiday cocktail recipes that will make you wish it was December all year long. Cheers!

    Beverages perfect for brunch


    Jingle Juice 

    Jingle Juice, a delicious blend of juices and orange liquor, is the perfect way to start your morning. Fix yourself one in the a.m. and you’ll be jingling all day!

    Spiced Caramel Apple Martini

    Martinis for breakfast or lunch may seem odd, but this recipe is light enough to accompany any morning or afternoon meal. The combination of lemon juice and apple cider will keep you warm all day.

    Blushing Mimosas

    Mimosas, full of orange juice and pineapple juice, are a traditional morning drink. This spin adds grenadine, which gives it a perfect holiday glow.


    Tasty cocktails for appetizers


    Cranberry Ginger Fizz

    This is a temptingly sweet, juicy drink that adds a punch to any cocktail hour. It’s great for parties, too!

    The Grinch

    Don’t let the name fool you; this drink is anything but grinchy. Melon flavored Midori makes a rich green drink with a splash of lemon juice for a sour kick. Garnish it with a cherry or candy cane for a sweet touch.

    Candy Cane Lane

    A minty blend of peppermint schnapps and grenadine is an ideal pre-dinner cocktail. This drink is named perfectly; properly made, it looks just like a candy cane.


    Gourmet dinner drinks


    Christmas Jones

    The Christmas Jones pairs great with any entrée. A lemon-lime soda turns into a tasty evening beverage with just vodka and fruit. Top with a mint garnish and you have a lovely holiday drink.

    Eggnog Martini

    A clever spin-off of classic eggnog, this martini adds sugar, cornstarch and a splash of pumpkin-pie spice. Warning: after trying, you’ll never want plain eggnog again.

    Christmas Champagne

    A perfect solution for Christmas toasts, orange-flavored vodka and a sugar cube turn regular champagne into a delicious holiday cocktail.


    Delicious treats for dessert


    Godiva Chocolate Martini

    Nothing could be more suited for a dessert cocktail than a martini made with Godiva chocolate. This cocktail is the ideal balance of chocolate and vodka without being too heavy. Enjoy!

    Cake Batter Martini

    Skip the cake and head straight for this martini. Made with Pinnacle whipped cream vodka, crème de cacao and heavy cream, this drink tastes just like a slice of cake. Don’t forget to coat the rim of the glass with frosting and sprinkles!

    Kringle Kocoa

    Mix hot chocolate and Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka and what do you get? A deliciously rich, chocolate cocktail. Garnish with marshmallows on a skewer and you’ll feel like you’re sitting around a campfire.


    Festive shooters for late night fun 


    Santa Shooter

    A blend of mint and grenadine taste like a candy cane in a shot. Serve your friends these before a night on the town and you’ll be as jolly as Santa Claus himself.

    Christmas Tree Jello Shot

    Add vodka and bourbon to green Jello and red sugar for a Christmas tree that’s good enough to drink.

    Snowball

    A winter wonderland in a shot glass! Mint, white chocolate and a splash of brandy will have you ready to make snow angels in no time.


    We hope you’ve found some drink recipes that are perfect for meals, parties and after dark. Remember, if you plan to try any of our ideas, arrange to have someone else drive. Here is a link for an awesome taxi service in Knoxville: Knoxville World Class Taxi. Eat, drink and be merry this holiday season!

  94. 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.
  95. 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 http://wordplayers.org/current-season/mainstage-shows/leaving-iowa/ 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 http://www.dancingknox.com/ 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! 


  96. The frosty, glistening white months of the winter season provide great times to get married. This time of year allows brides to be festively creative with their special day. Here are some particular things to consider when planning your winter wedding. 

    For winter brides, the date is especially important because many of your guests travel for the holidays. If your wedding isn’t on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Day, be cautious of setting your date too close to the actual holiday. However, if you’re planning a Christmas wedding, give your guests extra time to evaluate their holiday plans. The beginning of December is usually a better time for guests as opposed to the end. If you give your guests enough time to plan accordingly most will be able to make it.

    The venue throws brides a twist if cold temperatures are likely. While you may want to hold your ceremony outdoors and hope for a snowy evening under the twinkling stars, you should consider having an indoor reception. It’s very difficult for your guests to enjoy your wedding when they’re forming icicles. Look for banquet halls with adjacent gardens or large outdoor areas. This way, you can have a starlight celebration outside and head indoors for some fun in the heat. For example, the Volunteer Princess is an ideal venue for winter weddings. You and your guests will be indoors (in the heat) without having to comprise on scenery. Talk about a win/win situation!

    Putting creative touches on the menu gives you the chance to showcase your style. A unique idea for winter weddings is a hot chocolate bar. Set up hot chocolate dispensers at one end of the bar, and have different toppings and garnishes next to it. Whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, marshmallows, cinnamon or cinnamon sticks are delicious ways to dress up hot chocolate. 



    Try serving warm cocktails, such as an apple cider margarita [*see below for the recipe!]. Drinks such as this allow guests to stay warm while enjoying the party. Also, consider having a soup bar. Soup is a winter staple; it tastes great and will keep your guests warm inside! Be sure to have several different kinds available and serve with crackers or toasted bread.

    The majority of your posed pictures are probably going to be taken outside. With that being said, you should lay out a plan for the different poses you will capture and who will be in each picture. Because it will be cold outside, it will be much less painful for you and your bridal party and are able to get out of the cold as quickly as possible. 

    Being prepared for bad weather is crucial for winter weddings. If a snowstorm were to happen during the ceremony or reception, you need to have a plan of what your bridal party and guests will do. Remember, safety first! If ice is likely to be a problem, valet parking is a great solution. Your guests won’t have to walk far in the cold, and you won’t have to have an emergency trip to the hospital because someone slipped on ice.

    All weddings cause stress for brides, but if you remember these winter points, you should be in the clear. Have fun, take pictures and hope for snow (but not too much…)


    * Here is a great recipe for apple cider margaritas from How Sweet Eats 

    1 ounce Grand Marnier
    1 ounce gold tequila
    5-6 ounces sweet apple cider
    Orange segments and apple slices
    Cinnamon, cane sugar and coarse sugar for the glass rim
    Cinnamon sticks for garnish

    Add a few spoonfuls of cane sugar, coarse sugar and cinnamon to a plate. Run an orange segment around the edge of the glass, then press into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the rim. Place a few orange slices in the bottom of the glass, fill with ice and then add the Grand Marnier, tequila and apple cider. Stir, then garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Enjoy!

  97. How often have you ever been a part of an engagement with a stranger? Obviously, this is a rare occurrence.

    Until last Friday, November 4, I have never been a part of an engagement surprise, much less with someone I didn’t know! Evan Potter changed this with the purchase of our engagement package.

    This package includes the use of our event coordinator, Nikki, and me, her assistant. Nikki collaborated with Evan at the end of October about planning the proposal. Evan and Nikki decided the best way for him to ask was near the beginning of the Sunset Dinner Cruise while the sun was setting and there was a perfect pink glow on the horizon.




    On the bow, I took Evan and his girlfriend to “take a picture” (or 20) for their photo package. Right before I took it, Evan mentioned he needed to say something first. His girlfriend looked extremely confused and sought my reaction. I shrugged and made my camera picture-ready to snap away.

    Evan got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage. His girlfriend could not believe it; utterly surprised, she asked if he was serious. Obviously, he was more than serious and said he loved her and wanted her as his wife.




    The rest of the cruise, they were able to enjoy their dinner and call their family about the news. I brought out champagne and let them toast to the night and celebrate their engagement and two year anniversary.




    It was perfect and I couldn’t have been more excited. Nikki claimed she was anxious, but with her experience, she appeared calm. After I was satisfied with the number of pictures I took, Nikki chose the best ones and printed them out for the happy couple.

    The night was both story-like and beautiful. I am so lucky to have been a part of an engagement and hope to be a part of more in the future!

    If you are looking for a possible engagement on our yacht, here is what our package has to offer:

    • Coordination with our event planners prior to the big day
    • Available planner on board for consultation during the cruise
    • Perfect proposal setting on board
    • Private area of the ship with window seating for two
    • Rose petals sprinkled on your table (use her favorite color)
    • Shipboard photography service to capture the moment
    • Custom framed picture of the newly engaged couple
    • Celebratory bottle of champagne or sparkling cider
    • Chocolate covered strawberries
    • One long-stemmed red rose 



  98. 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.

  99. 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!
  100. 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!

  101. 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!

     

  102. 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

  103. Boomsday was a blast this year- literally. People had so much fun that the excitement in the air even caught the railroad bridge on fire. Don’t worry, no rocks or rails were injured in the accident and the Knoxville Fire Department quickly extinguished the flames.

    [See WBIR for details.]

    The Volunteer Princess swayed to both the waves from the Tennessee River’s ships and the rock and blues rhythm of our onboard band: The Blue Heavy. The band rocked out downstairs and played covers such as Wanted Dead or Alive, Satisfaction, My Generation and Ain't No Sunshine. Every guest loved them, hence the loud clapping and dangerous head banging. 

    The numbers onboard were incredible: 90 cruisers! The night was filled with drinking, eating, dancing and, of course, socializing. Our entire fleet of crew members joined us on board to help the LeMasuriers with the celebration.

    Maggie Nichols, our newest crew member, was amazed of the numbers and the electrifying atmosphere. “It was fun! It was really stressful, but it was fun!” said Nichols.

    The rainy weather did not damper our outing. We passed boats of all shapes and sizes and cruised to Looney Island before our personal chauffeurs, the Coast Guard, asked us to halt our journey.

    “Looney Island was the best area to turn around because there are only so many places on the river the Princess can make a complete 180 degree turn,” said Captain Chris, “There were so many people, we cruised at three miles an hour through the crowd, but our guests still enjoyed every minute.”

    The Coast Guard led us back through the mass of river spectators and safely back to our dockside-sweet-dockside, where each guest had a great view of the firework and light display. The crew joined the upper deck party while guests danced and sang the night away!

    If you or anyone you know wants to be a part of next year’s 2012 Boomsday Cruise, we are taking reservations. Call us at 865.541.4556.

    Thanks to all guests and crew for joining us on our 2011 Boomsday Cruise!

  104. Everybody wants to be a part of a club, right? RIGHT!

    Volunteer Princess Cruises created the club during the summer of 2010. We want to enlighten our guests and expand it to all of our cruisers that come on board. Honestly, how many of you can say you are a member of the Princess Club? It is an opportunity to cruise like royalty.   

    You earn one stamp for attending every public cruise we offer; earning up to a maximum of four stamps per cruise if you bring four or more adults with you. Once you reach five stamps, you earn one free ticket to one of our Sunset Dinner Cruises, a delicious 3-course seated meal.

    Stamps keep adding up along with your free ticket! Here are additional benefits you should be aware of:

    • 10 Points: Free round of soft drinks
    • 15 Points: Complementary glass of champagne
    • 20 Points: Complementary glass of wine
    • 25 Points: Complementary bottle of champagne
    • 30 Points: Complementary bottle of wine

    Note that on each round of new points, you also maintain the benefits of the previous stamps. For example, when you earn 20 points, you receive:

    • A free Sunset Dinner cruise ticket
    • A complementary glass of wine
    • A complementary glass of champagne
    • A free round of soft drinks

    It’s a TID bit difficult, so you need to follow these steps to a “T”!

    Step one: Ask any one of our crew members about our club membership or call us at our office 865.541.4556.

    Step two: Fill out a form, either on the yacht during your cruise or online, with your name and information.

    Step three: Begin your membership after you receive your card.

    Wait. Did I say difficult? I meant unbelievably easy. As a Princess Club member, you receive first class treatment, early boarding, preferential seating, golf-cart pick up and extended dockside stay. The crew will keep tally of your total stamps as you go through Club Cards to ensure you receive your appropriate rewards.

    Live a little on the Princess side of life.

  105. After many events in your life, don’t you ever wonder what you could have done differently? Did you wish you had known something before the event took place?

    Our public cruise guests leave happy, don’t get us wrong! However, when they become returning cruisers, they always wished they had known something the first time around to make their occasion even more enjoyable.

    We want our first-time cruisers to be able to delight in the same experience as our returning guests! Here are some helpful tips about our public dining cruises that you should look into when you reserve your day or night of dining:

    • Order the split portions, so you can taste both the bacon wrapped chicken and pork tenderloin. The mushroom gravy is to die for! 

     

    • Buy a picture and frame to remember your night onboard. We snap it on the yacht and give it to you before you even finish your cheesecake dessert. Ask Captain Chris to be in it- he loves taking pictures with our guests!

     

    • Customize your public cruise by:
      • Having a bottle of champagne or wine at your table when your arrive to begin the special occasion.
      • Having chocolate covered strawberries for your significant other to show her how much you love her. Appreciation isn’t just for Valentine’s Day!
      • Include spinach artichoke dip, queso dip or a seafood martini for your private party to enjoy before courses.

     

    • We always have a special drink onboard at our fully-stocked cash bar. Right now, we're shaking up some delicious pomegranate martinis!

     

    • For those who want to sit back and relax in the comfort of air conditioning, we have leather seats upstairs. Of course, nothing beats outside seating in the front of the yacht.

     

    • You can guide our yacht with the help of Captain Chris. Go ahead, sit in the captain’s seat, wear the captain hat and take a joy ride in the pilot house!

     

    And no, you do not need to bring your own lifejacket; unless you just really want to show it off to the other guests.

    If you have any other questions, please let us know! 

  106. There are so many details that go into party planning, especially for birthdays. One of the biggest celebrations in a child’s life is their Sweet 16. It is a milestone in a person’s life, symbolizing a step into adulthood and freedom on the road. It’s a scary thought for the entire community, but it will happen. At least you already know the date 16 years in advance, right?

    Lately, I’ve been updating our Sweet 16 party themes. Themes are a great start to every event. They give basic outlines of the night, but the challenge is not the theme. The challenge is the customization of every individual's birthday because they, in fact, really are special. They have friends and relatives wanting to celebrate their great day in a great way! 

    So customization, I’ve learned, is key to any party and event. One girl may like pinks and purples, while another may like reds and blues. One boy love chocolate and fruit and another is completely allergic. This makes it fun for us at the Volunteer Princess to keep searching for ideas and plans to give families a head start to their customizable celebrations.

    Here are our new Sweet 16 parties on the map:

    • Fire and Ice
    • Black and White Formal
    • Vegas Vacation

    How would you change up a few of our basic ideas to show your own personality? It’s fun to think about. Get started!

  107. Summer: a time for watermelon, swimming and parties. What else does summer bring? Weddings, weddings and more weddings!

    Here at the Volunteer Princess, we love to help plan and design each wedding we host on our yacht. We have heard, seen and read many trends lately and here are some of our favorites:

    Pre-Wedding

    • Help is on the way! Lately, brides ask for help in organizing their wedding celebrations, including everything from hair and make up to using a professional events coordinator to fix the little details. A hired group of people who focus on the couple’s needs and wants has lifted the burden of figuring out all the small decisions of the bigger and better picture. The less stressed you are, the more fun you will have on your big day!
    • Along with hiring a coordinator for the wedding celebration, themes have had a huge impact surrounding the day. A trend that we see is the Nautical theme- and, of course, the Princess is a perfect venue! Anchors, seashells and seafood have been objects of desire for couples this season. You can incorporate a theme everywhere, including pre- and post-wedding events examples, such as: invitations, party favors, food and décor.
    • “Going Green” isn’t just for businesses anymore! Being environmentally friendly has grown in an exceptional way with the wedding season. This doesn’t mean couples are with-holding invitations! They are just sending them in a unique way: personal videos or web invitations. This also is a great instant gratification tool with RSVPs coming through by website or email. And no worries, if you are a traditionalist, you can incorporate 100% recycled stationary to get your save the dates out.

    Wedding

    • Brides are bringing back hair accessories. Don’t think 80s style, however. Ornate hair combs such as feathers, beading or bands have replaced veils. It easily shows off the bride’s personality. Some brides are going big and do both: veil for the wedding and hair accessory for the reception. Hair has always been a big part of the decision-making process; hair accessories accentuate you and your dress.
    • Flowers have always been a part of the wedding. However, just like hair accessories, flowers have brought upon the option of their own accessories. Pearls, rhinestones and other jewelry have been added to a bolder floral arrangement to make it an additional eye-catching wedding piece.
    • One of the biggest trends we’ve seen and heard lately is the party dress. This allows a bride to pick out an extravagant wedding dress for her ceremony and not stress about the heat, sweat and mobility at the wedding reception. Once the ceremony ends, a bride breezes into a short and fun cocktail dress.

    Post-Wedding

    • Cakes have been the catalyst of many arguments throughout the wedding centuries. However, it’s becoming easier to choose a cake (or specific dessert). Creamy butter cream cakes have been the go-to of the bride this season instead of the overused fondant. Brides have also chosen to incorporate their themes, using real flowers and fruit instead of sugar remakes. Also, cupcakes have turned into the main dessert of a celebration. Instead of one giant cake that takes time to cut into, guests can pick and choose from an array of decorative cupcakes!
    • Why not continue the celebration? It’s your special day, so celebrate it with everyone you can! Couples this season have enjoyed both a reception and an after party. Why not? Receptions are great, don’t get us wrong, but the bride and groom are constantly talking to each guest and don’t exactly get to live it up on the dance floor as newlyweds. Having an after party gives all the early bed-goers a break, while the couple can celebrate longer with more drinks, entertainment and friends.
    • When thinking about the wedding, you always have to think about the honeymoon! Couples these days are going across the world for an exotic experience. Brides and grooms have chosen the exploration route and vacation in places such as Bora Bora, Fiji, Morocco, Africa and Costa Rica. These travel destinations offer more adventure-seeking couples a getaway to scuba dive, horseback ride, kayak or kite surf.

    Even if you aren’t planning to get married just yet or have already said the “I do,” it’s still fun to keep a watch on wedding trends! Here are some of the sites we’ve read and been keeping a watch on:

    Weddingsjubilee.blogspot.com

    Savethedateevent.com

    Noteableexpressions.net

    Mypersonalartist.com

    Stylishweddingsideas.com

  108. 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 petals...it'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. 

  109. 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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  110. Day One - January 9, 2011

    It was an early start to the day.  I arrived at the Marina at 7:00 AM to prepare for our departure and it was bitterly cold.  Got the engines fired up and ready to go for our 8:00 AM departure.  As the crew started to untie the ropes from the dock, we ran into our first problem - the ropes were frozen around the cleats to the dock.  So after a few buckets of hot water poured over them, we were ready to go.  

    The top portion of the Tennessee River (from downtown Knoxville to Cherokee Country Club) is our normal route so I was excited to get below that and see all the beautiful homes.   

     

  111. US Coast Guard visits the Volunteer Princess

    We just celebrated our 4th anniversary of the Volunteer Princess cruising the Tennessee River in Knoxville, TN.  While it's exciting that we have been in business for 4 years, as captain of the yacht, I know this means it is getting closer to Coast Guard Inspection time.  Since we run a commercial cruising operation, the Volunteer Princess is a Coast Guard Inspected Vessel.  This means that each year the Volunteer Princess is inspected by the United States Coast Guard.  They check everything:  life jackets, flares, first aid kit, fuel tanks, fire extinguishers, fire pumps, main engines, generators, steering equipment, documentation, licenses, safety equipment, etc.  They have us conduct our safety drills including man overboard and our fire drill.  We practice these drills monthly to make sure we know what to do in the event of an emergency.  

    Even though we have been through this four times already, this is still a very stressful time for me because they could basically shut us down if there was anything wrong with the yacht.  In the previous years, they have found just minor things such as some rope that needed to be replaced and some first aid materials had expired, which we fixed immediately.  It's kind of like the health department- they have to find something.  Well we were inspected May 18, 2010 and I am very happy to report that they did not find one single thing wrong.  Everything was perfect.  Even our first inspection they found something, and the yacht was brand new!  After the Coast Guard finished our inspection, they were off to the Star of Knoxville to follow up on some things that they found wrong during their inspection.

    And the Winner is.......

    Knoxville Tourism Alliance presented the 2010 Pauly Awards on May 6, 2010 to local businesses and Volunteer Princess Cruises won the award for Museum & Attraction of the Year.  This was a great feeling for all of us because it feels like all of our hard work is starting to pay off.

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 Volunteer Princess Cruises
956 Volunteer Landing Lane
Knoxville, TN 37915

(865) 541-4556