Tantalizing Tastes & Tours guides Jerry and Jasmine Bacon shepherd diners through the Fine Dining Tour, introducing palates to the seasonings and styles of four or five handpicked restaurants. Private chauffeurs depart at 6 p.m., driving guests to gourmand gems such as City Fire, at which diners indulge in upscale American fare, and The Nile, whose chef populates a menu with authentic Ethiopian dishes. As journeys roll along, panoramic views of downtown unfold, guides elaborate on places of interest, including Amway Center and City Hall, and rousing games of trivia require guests to consult their noggins to answer questions such as "Is Antarctica actually real?" Drivers will also pick up and drop off residents of other cities for an additional cost, including Kissimmee ($25), Lake Buena Vista ($20), and International Drive ($10). The directors request that guests refrain from wearing shorts, flip-flops, or clown noses on the excursion.
Adventures in Florida gives you the chance to experience the serene beauty of Florida galaxies away from the T-shirt-cannon-wielding mascots and bedazzled, man-eating airhorns of modern life. After grabbing your favorite life partner for your full-moon paddle, you'll be briefed by an ACA-certified kayak/canoe instructor who will put your paddling apprehensions at ease with a local's deep knowledge of the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. Set out in the midst of a sultry sunset and watch the moon come out to drench your vessel in dim, flattering light that's ideal whether you're looking for high romance or an atmospheric night of ghost stories. Adventures in Florida welcomes customers to bring wine and/or spirits to heighten the dizzifying majesty of the moon people that hide in their peripheral vision.
At Philly Station cooks build their eponymous sandwich by piling an Amoroso's roll with rib-eye steak and housemade cheese sauce. They create variations of this specialty sandwich by swapping the steak for chicken or a vegan meat substitute or topping it with bacon, teriyaki, or feta. Their sandwiches pair nicely with housemade soups, such as from-scratch dumplings and chicken off the bone ensconced in a sourdough-bread bowl. Tastykakes and Utz potato chips round out the East Coast experience, as does the graffiti-style mural on one wall that pays homage to Philadelphia better than a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Rocky.
David Lane and his business partner started their sports-rental shop inside a cramped garage filled with surfboards, kayaks, and paddleboards—items they used for sports they practiced themselves. Lane’s favorite part of his job is “helping people participate in the activities I enjoy,” and his business has grown to a full-size store that stocks paddleboards, surfboards, and bicycles and leads guided excursions. Inside, displays house surfboards adorned with sunsets, beaches, and coconut trees hand-painted by a local artist, alongside similarly painted canvases to display at home galleries or hang on monochromatic surfers. The owners also deliver rentals free of charge to customers, dropping off surfboards at the beach, taking kayaks to watery trails, or delivering bicycles to cruise ships’ port of call for passenger day trips.
Additionally, the store offers excursions and lessons, including surfing lessons, guided kayak trips, and adventurous surf-fishing trips to hook ocean creatures from tarpon to 9-foot sharks, which the store has helped tag for a research project with NOAA Apex Predators Program.
Victory Casino Cruises' four decks of maritime merriment abound with more than 600 slot machines, 30 table games, and an expansive food selection including hot entrees, meat carving and pasta station. The floating party ship sails out on five-hour morning and evening voyages that combine sweeping ocean views with the interior entertainments of casino games including craps, roulette, blackjack, and Duck Duck Goose. While testing their luck, gamers can request drinks from the Victory Girls, a roving band of waitresses who may just serve up luck alongside cocktails, beers, and tropical beverages. For extra entertainment, the ship’s Club V offers a beat-filled dance floor for celebration shimmies, and the Sportsbook Lounge houses tellers ready to take bets on football, basketball, or baseball. On the first deck, a buffet spread refuels gamers with carved meats, fresh seafood, and comfort foods.
Sister ships Orlando Princess and Canaveral Star II disembark from Cape Canaveral for daily fishing trips. The 80- and 85-foot vessels set sail with an experienced crewmember and soon-to-be seafarers equipped with fishing licenses, rods, reels, tackle, and bait. Full- and half-day excursions let fisherpeople hunt for mangrove snapper, grouper, and sea bass, and nighttime shark-fishing trips give them the opportunity to seek out bigger game. After catching a respectable haul, patrons can relax on the sun deck or in air-conditioned cabins and indulge in included hot meals. They'll also get unlimited beer or soda that tastes better than seawater, which is mostly made up of mermaid spit.