Sunday, January 27, 2013

Barbara Lee

This is the ship Barbara Lee, a genuine paddle-wheeler.   You can see the name on the front of the wheel-house at the very top of the ship.
And let me say that the paddle-wheel really is the means of propulsion.   Those paddle-wheels sure churned up the water like a giant kitchen egg-beater.
The Barbara Lee sails out of Sanford, Florida which is northeast of Orlando.   The ship cruises Lake Monroe and then up the St. Johns river which feeds water to Lake Monroe.   It's a three hour cruise.   Yeah, I know,  the S.S. Minnow on the television series Gilligan's Island was on a three hour cruise.   Remember the lyrics from the theme song Ballad of Gilligan's Isle?   The cruise is a dinner cruise (or luncheon cruise)  and both the luncheon cruise and the dinner cruise serve prime rib as one of their meals.   My wife and I love the prime rib and we always get it.   The meals really are very good.   Plus the ship is quite elegant inside.
We were fortunate enough to have a table next to the window so that we could watch the world go by at a leisurely pace.
Did I mention the appetizer buffet before the big meal?   Yummy!
See those papers and pencils on the table?   Those are for selecting which meal you would like to have.   And yes, that is real butter and half-and-half creamer on the table.
Oh yeah, my choice was easy, the prime rib.   The cheesecake for dessert was a nice finishing touch to the meal.   The cruise was just a nice relaxing trip with a fine meal.   I enjoy it and I go often and am a "frequent floater" as they say.   There were many more amenities but this blog has gone on long enough.   Let me say that I don't work for the Barbara Lee but rather I am just a satisfied customer who sometimes just likes to sit back and relax rather than going on a roller coaster ride in a theme park.   Sailing on one of these dinner cruises is one of my favorite things to do to just relax and calm whatever stresses that I might have.   Here is hoping that everyone has a great day wherever they may be and that there is a similar dinner cruise near you.     Lew


Thursday, January 3, 2013


When I got married 9 years ago we went on a dinner cruise on a boat called Rivership Romance.   Very romantic name.   It sailed out of Sanford, Florida.   Sanford is a community on the northern edge of Orlando, Florida.  The meals were fancy gourmet-style meals.   Our favorite meal was the prime rib.  So flavorful and tender.   Making you hungry?
It was great.   A nice leisurely cruise on a large lake (Lake Monroe) and up the river (St. John's river) that fed the lake.   The river was slow moving and the banks were covered with jungle vegetation which made it seem as though we were going up the Amazon river.   Can you see the Spanish moss draped from the limbs of the tree on the right hand side of the picture?   I always loved seeing Spanish moss hanging from the tree limbs.  
There were alligators and white heron wading birds to see also.   As the boat went up the river there was a crew member who gave us a talk on the river, the lake and the wildlife.   
The fabulous meals that they served were included in the price of the cruise.   We always got the prime rib.   And so we always returned each year for the cruise on our anniversary.   A year ago they put the ship into dry dock for repairs and discovered that there was too much damage to the hull to repair (probably rust) and so that was the end of the boat cruises.   Unknown to us there is now a replacement boat (a paddle-wheeler).   It brings to mind that Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens at the time) was a master riverboat pilot of paddle-wheelers on the Mississippi river.   Could that be Mark Twain standing in the pilot house?   After we go on the dinner cruise I will check the pilot house and let you know.
A stately dining room and how anxiously I am at savoring the flavor of the prime rib and finishing off the meal with their signature cheesecake for dessert.  
I liked these dinner cruises because they were very slow and very relaxing (not like the rollercoaster thrill rides at the theme parks).    Sometimes a person just wants some peace and leisure.  
So as we sail off into the distance (or should I say paddle-wheel off into the distance) it is time to close this blog.   What fun it is living here in Florida.    Lew