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PALM SPRINGS, Calif.—The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa seems to have everything you could want: multiple pools, a spa, bars, restaurants, a golf course, tennis courts and even a falconer whose hawk is trained to keep peskier fowl away from the guests.
The resort also has a bay inside its lobby, where two 10-passenger boats await to take guests on a floating tour of the grounds and waterways. We climbed aboard one of the vessels—rechristened the S.S.