The Showboat Branson Belle in Branson, Missouri continually serves up great fun and delicious food. Here’s an account from a true visitor, and their experience on Branson’s Showboat Branson Belle Dinner Cruise:

We all exited the Showboat Branson Belle with the same question: “How does he make those dogs talk?”

That is Todd Oliver’s trade secret, of course, but his Web site assures that it’s approved and licensed by the people in Missouri who govern animal performing acts.

The singing and dancing are great, but those wise-cracking dogs steal the after-dinner show on the Showboat Branson Belle, a modern version of a 1890s paddlewheel riverboat that offers lunch and dinner cruises on Table Rock Lake.

Oliver is a ventriloquist who performs for the evening shows with his family pets, which he said were mostly adopted from shelters, and if you don’t believe dogs can talk you’ll just have to go see for yourself.

The evening cruise entertainment also includes Showstoppers, a Broadway-style act, and the Russian Adagio acrobatic dance team. Other acts including comedic magician Christopher James perform at noon.

We started our three-day Branson weekend on the showboat, which holds up to 720 guests and is a model of efficiency. Dinner is brought quickly to your table and you get two meat dishes for the price of your ticket, tender braised beef and chicken cordon blue. You also can ask for a vegetarian meal, or pay a bit more for club room seating with expanded menu choices. Children ages 4 to 11 get the cruise and a kid-friendly meal for half price. As with many Branson attractions, children 3 and younger are admitted free.

My family group included baby boomer grandparents, a 30-something son and granddaughters who are 3 and 11, and all of us enjoyed the food, the show and the scenery. White River Landing, from which the showboat sails, is easy to find and features ample free parking and a couple of nice gift shops. The cruise lasts two hours and 15 minutes and includes a video about the history of Branson and the building of the 278-foot long showboat, which was launched in 1995.

Information courtesy of The Oklahoman