The Dolly Steamboat at Canyon Lake

By Lynette Carrington

The Dolly Steamboat at Canyon Lake

The Dolly Steamboat is the sum of the passion and hard work of many people. One unique angle of the Dolly Steamboat is the hospitality that is imparted every step of the way during the many exciting Canyon Lake cruises offered by the company.

Dolly Kennedy is the namesake and the PR Director for the Dolly Steamboat. She explains, “To me, hospitality means kindness... courtesy, caring and compassion. When I’m in public, I make sure I am approachable. Wherever I go I wear my favorite attire-vintage style, late 1800s-early1900s dress and accessories. I am passionate about representing the Dolly Steamboat and ‘Dolly’ is my branding-recognizable and memorable.” Kennedy imparts her own brand of warm hospitality throughout the community as she attends her many monthly networking events. “I enjoy people and feel blessed to represent the Dolly Steamboat,” she adds. Potential guests at Canyon Lake get a taste of what they can expect on the various cruises available through the Dolly Steamboat when meeting Kennedy.

Hospitality permeates every area of the company that boasts picturesque and informative cruises via the large sternwheeler that stands command at Canyon Lake. That special Dolly Steamboat hospitality starts even before the cruise does and is vividly displayed by the entire staff. At the ticket booth where guests get boarding passes, Dolly personnel are pleasant and informative to all guests, welcoming them and answering all questions.

During a Dolly Steamboat cruise, the staff is cheerful, making a point to accommodate the passengers and assure their comfort. Kennedy says, “Whenever possible, a member of the staff actually walks through the cabin with pieces of amethyst to personally show the passengers, they also help guests recognize rock formations. Whenever there is a big horn sheep sitting on the slopes of the cliffs, bald eagle or a specific rock formation, the crew is there by the passenger’s side to help them distinguish the sights.” The skipper often reaches out to children on board and gives them an opportunity to “steer” the boat. Many children haven’t had a chance to be a large boat before and being a temporary captain is a thrilling opportunity!

When the cruise is over, the hospitality continues. The crew bids the passengers adieu and the skipper is at the bow of the boat, personally thanking passengers for visiting. Kennedy states, “The staff’s sincerity and warmth is evidenced by the passengers’ friendly response, often with a firm, ‘We’ll be back,’ or ‘This is our 10th cruise!’” In fact, Kennedy relays a unique passenger story. She recalls, “Recently, a lady told me a story about when she was a little girl. Every year before school started, her mother and father took her family to the Dolly Steamboat as part of a family tradition. She always looked forward to that. Now, she has a family of her own and continues the tradition!”

Kennedy continues, “In representing the Dolly Steamboat for many years, I, as well as the owners Jeff Grimh and Cindi DeLoseur believe a high level of hospitality is necessary to succeed in business. It confirms the integrity and commitment of the Dolly Steamboat. Our passengers are paramount in our business and in our lives.”

You’ll encounter the highest levels of service and hospitality during one of the many cruises with the Steamboat Dolly. Discover the beauty of Canyon Lake during a daily 1 ½ hour Scenic Nature Cruise. You will learn about our desert plants and saguaros along with the some of the desert inhabitants that are found along the lake including bald eagles, water fowl and other birds. Keep your eyes peeled and you just might see some of the many big horn sheep herds that can be spotted climbing amongst the canyon’s steep trails.

The Dolly Steamboat Twilight Dinner Cruise is 2 ½ hours and includes a full buffet dinner as you watch the sun sink behind the cliffs and capture the desert beauty as the moon rises and the stars reveal themselves. Private charters are also available for just about any event. The Dolly Steamboat has full catering available for guests who need it.

There is also a 2 ½ hour Astronomy Cruise (including dinner) with Dr. Sky, Steve Kates who will give cruise guests a breakdown of the night sky and interpret the constellations in a fun and engaging way, complete with a huge telescope.

For additional information on the Dolly Steamboat, a photo gallery and directions to the Canyon Lake Marina, visit For any other questions or to arrange private charters or corporate events, please call (480) 827-9144.