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“Not enough Safety Guidelines!!”

Delaware River Tubing
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Not enough Safety Guidelines!!”
Reviewed August 22, 2009

We were caught in a thunderstorm with our 8 and 10 year old on the river. No one came to look for us and we felt very helpless. The river started out very calm and the day was beautiful. I don't fault the company for the weather, but they should have warned us to wear life vests. Only the kids had them on. They also should have warned us to have the kids tied to us. The company is very disorganized. I know I signed a waiver, but there is a reason I chose a company and not to attempt it on my own. They should have come to look for people in the storm to make sure their customers were ok. The Delaware is a huge river and we were stranded on an island in the middle of the river that we managed to get ourselves to with another group of 2 women and 4 little kids. It was thunder and lightning and the only way home was to get back in the river and float to the exit. We waited about a half hour for the storm to die down then we got back in. We were on the opposite side of the exit so we needed to somehow paddle (with arms) and kick our way to the other side of a very fast moving river. We tied the kids together with a shoelace. I hung out of my tube (while my 10yo held onto my tube) My husband kicked from the back while holding onto my 8yo. We were a very awkward tube train trying to get out before the next storm. All the time we could hear thunder in the sky. When we were about 1/4 mile from the exit a guy on a boat did come to check on us (how nice!!) Never Again!!!

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6 Thank fitlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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nj
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great experience despite a bit of unorganization”
Reviewed August 16, 2009

I'm going to write my review through commenting on the other reviews because my experience was basically the exact opposite of theirs:

"In fact there was NO CURRENT to speak of! The water was so still my travelmates begged to turn back after the first half hour because we seriously were not moving. Instead, we used our hands to paddle for most of the 4.5 hour trip." -------- When we went, they told us that the water was deeper and the current was faster than usual. The trip, under normal conditions, should take 3 hours. It only took us 2 hours. There weren't many rapids for us either, but there was definitely a current! (august 2009)

"We were told by the bus driver to stay to the left of the river the entire trip if we wanted to be sure to get to the hotdog guy." ---------- Must depend on the bus driver. Ours was informative enough to tell us to stay to the left the entire time EXCEPT for if you want to go to the Hotdog Man, then go right and follow the signs.

"As mentioned by the other reviewer, at the end of the trip we had to lug our tubes up a bit of an incline, but the tubes were light and this didn't pose a problem." --------- I didn't see this as a problem at all! It's an inner tube! I didn't see a single person dragging their tube either. And honestly, I don't blame the company for asking you to not drag the tubes over rocks!

"When it was our turn to board the bus to go to the river was the time that we were rudely informed by the person letting people onto the bus that food was not allowed on the raft and that we were not allowed to board the bus until we get rid of the food." ---------- No one said that food wasn't allowed to us. We brought food, water and beer in plastic bags and tied it to our tubes. This was not a problem for us at all.

"We finally got on the bus, mind you, a good 45 minutes later," ---------- This is the only reason why I am giving an average review. Because once we got our tickets (not confusing) and our tubes (not confusing), we had to wait at least 35 minutes in line, in the sun, to be boarded onto a bus. That whole process seemed very inefficient and took much longer than it should have.

"We got off the bus, and the company just drops off our three rafts on the side and the bus drives away. There wasn’t anyone there for direction or to help us get the raft into the river." ------------ Again, must be a bad bus driver. Ours told us to just walk straight across to the river. Didn't have any issues with that.

"We had to bring our 3 rafting boats up a hill (about a 45 degree incline) to the street level for pick up by the bus" ------------ I watched kids, overweight people, and older people (over 65 years) and no one had an issue with carrying their tube up the hill!! To complain about this is absolutely ridiculous. Anyone who had a raft, just had two people carry it up. If you're physically active enough to go tubing/rafting then I'd think you can handle carrying an inflatable object up a very short hill.

Overall, I would have liked the organization of getting on the buses to be better but everything else about the company was fine by me and I would go there again.

However, to be honest, I would be more likely to just set a car at the drop off point and one at the pick-up spot, buy our tubes and just make our own route instead of paying $20 to be dropped-off/picked-up.

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Thank lintacious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allentown, PA
1 review
“hot dogs took too long”
Reviewed August 12, 2009

In general the tubing was fun - it is definitely a slow trip - not like rafting. It is relaxing.

Our one complaint was the "Hot Dog Man" stop took almost 90 minutes. The line was incredible and very slow moving. If we had planned better we would have tubed from the PA side and skipped the hot dog meal. However, since we were very hungry and had already paid for it, we waited and waited.

The other thing to consider regarding tubing from the NJ or the PA side is how the trip ends. With Delaware River Tubing, you finish and wait by the road for a bus (5-10 minutes). Then you have a 10 minutes breezy bus ride to your car. You are wet and have no towel. It could be uncomfortable. If you tube on the PA side, you have a longer bus trip at the start (when you are dry) and tube back to the parking lot with your car. It is quick and easy to change if you are cold.

Again, if it is a hot sunny day this is not a problem. If you are cold it is.

Other than that, the actual tubing is obviously similar.

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Thank Kaizenboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NNJ
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Tubing was just ok--barely a current, senior staff needs to adjust attitude”
Reviewed July 20, 2009

Based on the one lone review on TA, I didn't expect much from DRT Company. It was somewhat better than expected. That said, if you want to go through the motions of river tubing in practically standing water that has little to no current, this is the place for you.

When we arrived and parked ($6 parking--we knew in advance), a man rushed up and demanded I re-park so that my car was literally 1 inch from the car next to me. Fine, I attempted to re-park, but the guy practically stood over me and would not move making re-parking the car without hitting him a challenge. It was 8:59 AM and he went out of his way to remind us "we're not even open yet" (even though other customers were also just pulling in). He seemed to get off on this little power struggle.

We checked in for our tubes which we'd reserved online for 9 AM, no problem. The woman asked if I'd like to use their free key check, I said "yes", she took my key and directed us to the tubes and buses. She failed to assign a "number" to my key and since no one explained that this was a necessity, it turned out to be a hassle when we returned--another cranky guy flipped on me when I tried to pick up my key, claiming it was my fault that a number had not been assigned (keep in mind, the woman who did not assign my key number was standing right next to him while he flipped on me, but she made sure not to acknowledge her error). So much for customer service.

Stopped to use a Port-o-John before boarding the bus to get to the tubing site. Remember, we were the first customers of the day. The portos were totally trashed and no attempt had been made to tidy them up or replace TP from the day before. But we knew we were there to rough it, so again, this wasn't a huge deal.

This company's concept of rapids must differ from mine. There was a little woosh here and there, but no rapids to speak of. In fact there was NO CURRENT to speak of! The water was so still my travelmates begged to turn back after the first half hour because we seriously were not moving. Instead, we used our hands to paddle for most of the 4.5 hour trip. We might as well have been floating in a swimming pool with really pretty scenery. And yes, it was gorgeous and relaxing, but a little too relaxing for our tastes.

We were told by the bus driver to stay to the left of the river the entire trip if we wanted to be sure to get to the hotdog guy. Funny thing is once we got near him, the signs pointed us to the right. Fortunately we followed the signs and not the directions we'd been given.

The hotdog thing was good-it was obvious the staff making the food was a little overwhelmed (and this was before the place got all that crowded), but they were quick and did their best. It wasn't easy walking on rocks in the water, carrying hotdogs, a drink and a snack, but it was a fun little adventure, and the picnic tables in the water were a nice touch, as was the rock music playing in the background.

As mentioned by the other reviewer, at the end of the trip we had to lug our tubes up a bit of an incline, but the tubes were light and this didn't pose a problem. One staffer graciously loaded our tubes onto the back of the bus and we got on and were returned to headquarters quickly and courteously.

Would I go back? Maybe for kayaking but not for tubing because it was way too sedate. Am wondering if the river has more movement on the PA side. If so, we'll try one of those outfits next time and hope their staff is not quite so cranky. But if this is as "exciting" as the Delaware River gets, then we probably won't be tubing on it again. I do think their prices were a bit steep for what we got and that parking should've been included.

If you want a really slow, utterly calm, non-adventurous ride on a river that barely moves, with gorgeous scenery and a nice-sized lunch, and don't mind cranky old guys who seem to get off on abusing the customers, then this is the place for you.

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4 Thank Bergenctygal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Start your Delaware River Rafting Day from the Pennsylvania Side!!!”
Reviewed September 4, 2008

My friends and I started Delaware River Rafting last year (2007). We were in Pennsylvania and started our rafting day from the Pennsylvania Side of the Delaware River. We had such a wonderful experience from the time we parked our cars until we returned to our cars that we decided to go rafting again this year (2008) to enjoy another leisurely day on the Delaware River.... But, since we all live in New York/New Jersey, we decided to use the Delaware River Tubing Company based in Frenchtown, NJ .

!!!!BIG MISTAKE!!!!

They advertise themselves as being the closest, cheapest, best customer service, easiest to get to from NY/NJ, with a free BBQ meal rafting business.
Yes, they may be closer and easier to get to from the NY/NJ area... But in my experience, that was all that was true....

1. Paying for the rafting trip was chaotic. There was very little direction on signing waiver forms, getting rental equipment, rules they seemed to be enforcing or getting on the bus.
2. We stood on line with everyone else, not entirely sure of what we were doing. (We were not the only ones who felt that way, we learned, after talking to the others in line with us) ...
3. When it was our turn to board the bus to go to the river was the time that we were rudely informed by the person letting people onto the bus that food was not allowed on the raft and that we were not allowed to board the bus until we get rid of the food. Mind you, this was not on any signs along the line or told to us by any staff members where we had paid or handed in waiver forms or picked up life vests (that one would have been difficult since there were no staff members available to help us to get life jackets in the life jacket area).
5. We finally got on the bus, mind you, a good 45 minutes later, just to be bussed across the street to the landing site of the Delaware river, where the driver gives us information about the Hot Dog Man food stop along the Delaware and instructions about being picked up at the other end of the Delaware River… (Finally, you say, someone offering some guidance... That was the end of that, though.)
6. We got off the bus, and the company just drops off our three rafts on the side and the bus drives away. There wasn’t anyone there for direction or to help us get the raft into the river. We finally just bring the rafts down ourselves and start our day...
7. After this most horrible start to our rafting day, we finally are on the Delaware River. The area is beautiful, the rafting relaxing and the water clear as anything. We did enjoy our day stopping along the river for a walk or a dip in the water or for lunch at the Hot Dog Man. The kids even enjoyed the Class 1 rapids every now and again...
8. At the end of the day, we had already forgotten about the start of our day... We were back on shore on the New Jersey side where there is a sign of instructions for pick up… There wasn’t anyone there at the shore to help... Here we go again... We had to bring our 3 rafting boats up a hill (about a 45 degree incline) to the street level for pick up by the bus... "You've got to be kidding" and no help, mind you. Try doing this with life vests, wet towels and kids in tow!!!! More closer to street level there was someone from the rafting company there... He actually got mad at a friend of mine because my friend was dragging the raft up the hill instead of carrying it up the hill... (Tell me, how is one person supposed to carry a raft up a hill? or better yet… Shouldn't you offer to help carry the raft up????)
9. Now at the top of the hill, we were in a line, for yet another bus. We waited and were finally able to fit on the 3rd bus. Not the way to end a fun day on the Delaware River, but we are FINALLY on our way to our cars....

A couple of other things to note: 1. Life vests provided could have been better. 2. Although lunch at the Hot Dog man was good, I would have liked the option to purchase a Hot Dog Man meal instead of having it "included" in the price. From looking up competitor's rates, it seems to me that their rafting rates take into account their "free BBQ meal"... 3. If what we experienced was an example of their best customer service, I think they need to work on that more for next year.

Overall, our experience with the tubing company was not the best... But our experience rafting down the Delaware River was absolutely wonderful.... Good friends, great weather and a beautiful, clean river is all we need... One thing I can definitely say for next time is that we will be driving the extra 20 minutes with our GPS in hand to the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River to start our rafting day...

PS. My rating for my overall experience is in relation to the Delaware River Tubing Company and is independent of my experience on the Delaware River.

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13 Thank TheJerseyTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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