Today's Hidden Gem: The Goodtime
If you grew up in the Cleveland area, I'm guessing you have taken a voyage on the Goodtime (I, II, or III).
This has been a long standing Cleveland attraction spanning over the last 50 years! In fact, the Goodtime Cruise Line celebrates their 50th anniversary on June 13, 2008.
I remember as a child in grade school taking a field trip on the Goodtime. It was an exciting adventure. First, just going on a field trip was always a blast. But then going on a boat for much of the day! We felt like we were 'grown-ups!'
After that first trip, you either loved being out on the water, or hated it! For those of us who liked traveling along the Cuyahoga River, the cool sights, and just being at one with nature, we came back time and time again....
A little history.....
Back in 1958, Vince and Herb Fryan bought a 150-passenger ship to augment their income over the summer. They named it The Goodtime. During the rest of the year, the Fryans were audio-visual gurus renting movies to schools. Little did they know their summer job would turn into the dynasty it has become!
In 1961, Vince and Herb Fryan left their normal 'day job.' They purchased a 450-passenger Cruise Ship which they named The Goodtime II. They offered day and night cruises. During the day, they took passengers sightseeing with a recorded narration of the history of the Cuyahoga River. At night, they offered private charters. And even on the weekends, they offered an entertainment dance cruise!
The view from the Goodtime decks was simply amazing (and still is!!!)! Passengers got a glimpse of Cleveland's vibrant steel industry...could see the huge furnace flames working overtime....saw a myriad of ships docked at the Port from all over the world....heaping mounds of 'home grown' salt....and traveled under 21 different bridges on its River Tour.
Captain Jim Fryan took over the 'family business' from his father and uncle in 1984.
And Cleveland's landscape has had some great changes during Captain Fryan's tour including the built up Inner Harbor, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Great Lakes Science Center, Voinovich Park, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Port Development, and so much more!
In 1991, Captain Jim introduced his 1,000 passenger, four-deck, three million dollar Good Time III. Captain Fryan designed the ship himself! This latest ship was described as 'the largest, most elegant cruise ship on the Great Lakes!' The Goodtime III's main deck is enclosed by glass--containing both air conditioning and heat amenities! It also contains a large semi-opened second deck and two spacious top sun decks.
The Goodtime Cruise Fleet has made history through the years! Famous travelers have included Robert Redford, Halle Berry, Drew Carey, Peter Jennings, and Willard Scott --just to name a few!
Each ship has had amazing stories! For instance, The Goodtime I became enveloped in fog while touring with a church group aboard. The group's minister went to the bow and said a prayer. The fog miraculously lifted and the ship continued on its path.
The Goodtime II and its passengers were hosed down by the Cleveland fireboat one day. Thankfully, no one was injured and a round of free drinks for everyone!
And during the christening of The Goodtime III, the champagne bottle refused to break!
The Fryans, Jim and his son Rick, plan on keeping this a family business for many years to come!
Channel 3 News Today will be taking their show on the road Friday in honor of the 50 year anniversary of the Goodtime Cruise Line! You, too, can send in any photographic memories you have of the Goodtime! Just click on this LINK!
Take a cruise on the Goodtime III this summer and see yourself why it is this week's Hidden Gem!
A big THANK YOU to Public Relations Icon, Mike Rogers and everyone connected with the Goodtime Cruise Line for supplying the historical background information and photographs!