Experience Cleveland like never before on the newly renovated GOODTIME III

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Fresh off a quarter-million-dollar revamp from stem to stern, the breathtaking GOODTIME III is ready to set sail on her 65th Anniversary season of fun. Find out how you can climb aboard. (Photography: Felicia Vargo)

By Mary Malik

Captain Rick Fryan spends his days and many of his evenings aboard Cleveland’s iconic vessel, one that has been a part of his family for 65 years. In fact, Captain Rick’s grandfather and great uncle brought the first Goodtime to the shores of Lake Erie in 1958. Rick officially joined his father, Jim Fryan in the family business in 1986.

“It was May 23, to be exact,” Captain Rick remembers. “This season we are celebrating 65 years of cruising the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie, entertaining and informing not only Clevelanders, but also guests from all over the world.” Captain Rick invites us all to join him and the crew for a cruise on The GOODTIME III this season, whether it’s your first time or one of many great memories here.

The Goodtime III arrived in Cleveland on September 16, 1990, and officially went into service on April 26, 1991. Captain Rick Fryan and his team have made numerous updates through the years and most recently completed a $250,000 renovation.

“There have actually been four Goodtime vessels,” Captain Rick says. “The Goodtime III arrived in Cleveland on September 16, 1990, and officially went into service on April 26, 1991. We have made numerous updates through the years and most recently completed a $250,000 renovation.”

That’s right, the Goodtime III is shipshape from bow to stern, including new flooring, lighting, paint and updates to the bar areas and audio-visual system.

“It has been an overhaul of the main and second decks,” Captain Rick says. “Many updates are not obvious, but we’re excited about the changes that will better serve our guests.”

And those guests are everyone from corporate groups, private parties and events to school field trips and families and friends. The Goodtime III’s spring schedule runs from Memorial Day through June 15, and the summer schedule from June 15 through Labor Day.

“We offer two cruises a day along with specialty cruises like the Happy Hour Cruise, City Lights Cruise and themed cruises like Pirates and Princesses Cruise, Superhero Cruise and the Sock-Hop Dance,” Captain Rick says.

Everything about the Goodtime III is fresh and new. The renovation included new flooring, lighting, the latest Sherwin Williams paints and updates to the buffet and bar areas and a new audio-visual system.

Captain Rick says people who cruise for the first time say they had no idea Cleveland was so beautiful. Others who have cruised many times say they love floating around the lakefront and leaving all their problems on shore. When talking about the Goodtime’s role in Cleveland history, Captain Rick offers a very personal perspective.

“The Fryan brothers were true pioneers in tourism,” Captain Rick says. “They were promoting Cleveland in the days when it was unpromotable from a tourism standpoint and highlighting Cleveland in a way people had never seen it, offering a whole new perspective on the city.”

Captain Rick can recount the many corporations that continue to utilize the Goodtime III to entertain employees and show off our great city to clients and vendors.

“Corporate outings and conventions are very popular,” Captain Rick says. “But we love nothing better than helping families celebrate events like anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, family reunions and more. Any time you’re ready to celebrate, we’re here for you.”

The Goodtime III takes care of every aspect of your event, from the food to the entertainment. Events are catered by Normandy Catering in Wickliffe and the ship staff can recommend live music of all genres for everyone to enjoy.

“My father Captain Jim was also a musician and played on the Goodtime III for nearly 20 years,” Captain Rick says. “Come aboard and celebrate 65 years of good times.”

The GOODTIME III is docked at 825 East Ninth Street Pier, North Coast Harbor in Cleveland. For a complete tour schedule and more information check the website Goodtimeiii.com or call 216-861-5110 with questions and special requests.