433 North Palmetto Avenue, Sanford 32771
(800) 423-7401; (407) 321-5091
Cost: $37 to $53, plus tax, drinks, and tip
Hours: Cruises at 11:00 a.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; year-round
Location: From I-4 Exit 103, 4 miles east on SR 46
The Rivership Romance is a refurbished, 100-foot, 1940s Great Lakes steamer that plies the waters of Lake Monroe and the St. John’s River for leisurely luncheon and dinner cruises. It’s not quite the “Love Boat,” but for a nice change of pace from landlocked dining, it will do quite nicely.
There are three-hour luncheon cruises on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday; four-hour luncheon cruises on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and three-and-a-half-hour dinner cruises on Saturday. Live entertainment is featured on all cruises and there is dancing to a sophisticated combo on the evening cruises.
On Friday nights, they will offer up more elaborate entertainment in the form of wacky wedding parties to which you are invited. These romps, somewhat in the mold of the Off Broadway hit Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding, use actors who roam the aisles, yell and scream at each other, and even eat at your table, all the while jabbering on in character. It can be a lot of fun, if you’re in the mood.
The dinner menu is short but sumptuous and, in true cruise line tradition, the portions are generous. After starting off with salad, you can choose from Tuscan chicken breast, herb-crusted grouper, Caribbean pork, beef loin, or eggplant parmesan.
The scenery’s nothing to sneeze at either. The St. John’s is one of just two large rivers in the world that flow north and during the four-hour luncheon cruise, you’ll get to see some 25 miles of its history-steeped shores. There’s not much to see at night, of course, except for the stars, which can be spectacular on a clear night. And for the romantic couples who take these cruises that’s the whole point.
Reservations are required and all major credit cards are accepted.
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