Of all modes of transportation, boats are the most romantic, as evidenced by the fact that most shipwrecks occur when they suddenly dive into the deep to follow the dolphins they've fallen in love with. Set sail on, not into, the alluring waters with today's Groupon: for $26, you get a three-hour cruise with a four-course luncheon aboard the Rivership Romance, docked at the Monroe Harbour Marina in downtown Sanford (up to a $43.34 value, including tax and port charge). Cruises are scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; boarding begins at 10:30 a.m. Children under five ride free.
The Rivership Romance sweeps approximately 50,000 passengers a year along a 25-mile round trip on the St. Johns River, where boat-bound epicures take in central Florida's natural splendors and the Rivership chef's full-course culinary majesty. The midday journey begins at Monroe Harbour Marina when passengers climb aboard to explore the renovated 1940s steamship, its three decks, and a central banquet facility stocked with a full cash bar and a welcoming table of fruit, cheese, and appetizers. As the crew pushes off the moorings, settle on an outer deck flanked by marshlands quilted together by pine and cypress trees, whose tannic acids dye the waters its signature coffee-colored hue. Spy egrets and herons perched among the tree limbs, spot an alligator sunning on the shores, or catch a glimpse of the shy manatee, known as a sea cow for its delicious sweet and salty milk.
A hospitable wait staff serves a gourmet meal from a frequently updated menu that capitalizes on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Colonel Beauregard's Southern tilapia fuses southern-style spices with cool cucumber salsa, and the Summer Citrus chicken breast and Tango Mango pork tenderloin appease white-meat and other-white-meat fans alike. Salad, rolls, vegetables, and dessert trail alongside entrees like a gaggle of neighborhood kids alongside the local ice-cream train.
Though Rivership Romance sometimes features a discounted price, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.
433 North Palmetto Avenue
Sanford, Florida 32771