Delray Yacht Cruises offers year-round Sightseeing, Brunch, Dinner and Sunset cruises aboard the 105-foot Lady Atlantic and the 90-foot Lady Delray. My spouse and I recently took a two-hour Saturday evening Sunset cruise on the smaller of the two vessels, the Lady Delray.
After obtaining the $23 per person tickets from the Veteran's Park kiosk, we walked to the adjacent dock and, after a brief boarding photo op, climbed aboard the 90-foot yacht.
This particular evening, the Lady Delray was headed south via the intracoastal waterway from Delray to Boca Raton. She would make a turn at the one hour point and head back from Boca to Delray.
We've heard that the yacht doesn't leave the dock without a minimum of 25 ticketed guests and, in our estimation, there were approximately fifty on board.
Our initial impression in seeing row after row of plastic deck chairs was a touch of disappointment, but we soon discovered better places to settle in as the tour progressed.
Once the cruise tour is underway, a taped narration begins. The narration is mildly interesting, offering gossipy tidbits regarding the wealthy waterfront homes and homeowners. There is an overemphasis on the "rich and famous" and "see how the other half lives" angle and the tape is a bit out of date, but it is lightly enjoyable in an empty-calorie kind of way. There was a problem with the speakers repeatedly cutting in and out on this particular evening which we hope has since been resolved. The narration encompasses most of the first hour of the cruise. Afterwards, the passengers are free to enjoy the lovely peace and serenity that comes with being out on the water.
While on board, a small food and drink menu is made available to order from. Neither my spouse nor I ordered from the food menu, so I can not offer any perspective there, but we did order a single mixed drink each from the bar. While the bartender was friendly, the drinks themselves were unremarkable and were served in small plastic cups. As might be expected, the prices are relatively high - the bar tab for our two drinks was $30.
Boarding photos were offered for purchase for $10. Unfortunately, neither the photos nor the paper frames offered any indication of the vessel, the occasion, the location, or the date. It was a plain photo with nothing in the background indicating we were even on a yacht. Nice idea but poorly executed.
Toward the end of the cruise, a drawing is announced from those who provided their name, address, and email on a slip of paper in the bar area. Free passage on an upcoming cruise is offered in a random drawing to two passengers. When the names were called on our cruise no one got up to retrieve their prize, so it did leave me wondering whether or not a prize is actually distributed. All I can say is that the next day I was opted-in to a Delray Yacht Cruises email list.
A few suggestions for Delray Yacht Cruises: Please consider replacing the lined up plastic deck chairs with small clusters of metal two and four tops and standing bar tables. A flickering "faux" flame candle in the center of the tables would make for a more elegant after dark atmosphere. Also please consider replacing the Jimmy Buffet-type kitchy music with something from the vast Jazz, New Age or Chill genres. Consider increasing the quality of the drinks, i.e. serving in glassware and trimming with appropriate garnish. Also consider accepting American Express - for many of us, it is the only card we carry. And a suggestion for the bathroom, do consider installing a small occupied/unoccupied mechanism on the door. I used the bathroom once during the cruise and had someone trying the doorknob and knocking on the door repeatedly the whole time because it was unclear whether or not the room was in use. Would also suggest a circulating server who could accept and deliver food and drink orders. It was unclear to us how to place a food order and drinks had to be obtained from the bar itself.
A few suggestions for those booking with Delray Yacht Cruises: The evening cruises are an adult affair, please leave the kiddies at home. Check online and with local businesses for ticket, food and drink discounts that are occasionally offered - there can be substantial savings there. Check the weather and dress appropriately. Bring cash or a Visa card, Delray Yacht Cruises doesn't take American Express.
We found the Lady Delray, built in 2008, to be a beautiful vessel - well maintained and in good condition. The single bathroom was clean and well stocked.Those uniformed crew members that we met and had contact with were professional and pleasant.
Overall, Delray Yacht Cruises is a well-run operation and this was a very pleasant way to spend two hours on a Saturday evening in Fall in South Florida. We are thinking of trying the Brunch cruise next, now that we've heard there have been improvements made to the on board Brunch cruise menu. Bon Voyage!