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“Fine boat ride, but know it's a booze cruiz.”
Review of The Ben Franklin

The Ben Franklin
Reviewed July 8, 2017

First I did not know it was a "booze cruise". I'm ok with those but I wish I knew beforehand.
Staff - all were very pleasant, attentive and actively working throughout.
Food - we were the first on the boat and were not aware that the food was to be set up just inside the entry. We headed out to second level and didn't know the food was flowing until we saw people coming up with plates. There was cheese, pepperoni, olives, watermelon and salad when we went down. Later we saw people with other food but we didn't go back down.
Tour information - On the trip down the river information was given over the speaker about the shorelines but if you are on the back open air deck area it was difficult to hear.
Layout - Two lower decks enclosed and set up with tables banquet style. Minimal open air deck space (level 1 has some open air seats in the front) (level 2 had 2 tables at the rear and several chairs in the front.) Deck 3 is covered with open sides with minimal out of cover space at rear. Level 3 is the dance/dj deck.
Parking - good, right at the boat. We were told $12 but on arrival it was $20 (with parking attendant, another review said no attendant so maybe they are only there during concerts). We were told parking goes up when there is a concert just to the left of the dock. When the concert is going on the "noise" and base will vibrate the boat while you are in dock and make it difficult to hear. Very unpleasant, you might want to check on that before you book.
Surroundings - restaurants located adjacent both sides if you want to have a meal before/after your ride.
Price - I used a Groupon for two and felt it was a good value. I would recommend the ride with giving the information regarding the food set up, that it is more of a party boat, and the parking fee. Party boat is fine but for some people its not. Better to be informed than disappointed or leave a bad review.

1  Thank Sherry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"booze cruise"
in 4 reviews
"party boat"
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"both sides"
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"delaware river"
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5 - 9 of 19 reviews

Reviewed October 30, 2016

I was very disappointed with my experience on this boat tour. While not tiny, the boat was certainly not large enough to comfortably accommodate all 214 guests plus crew (I overheard a crew member doing a head count when it was time to dock, because everyone was shuttled back inside, off the front deck). The outdoor spaces, in total, could fit no more than 30 people across all 3 decks, which is a very small amount of people when you consider the fact that there were more than 200 guests on board. The buffet was set up so that it was right as you entered the boat, there was a very long line to get food and so every single person entering the boat had to squeeze between the line for food and the tables before they could get to stairs to get to a different deck. The food was mediocre, at best, and poorly laid out (e.g. the salad dressings were at the beginning, between forks and raw veggies, then came the cheese and fruit tray, then the salad) so people were cutting back and forth in line and it took what felt like forever to get food. And when we finally got food, it (the meatballs and penne) had gone cold. Drink prices were cheap enough ($5 for a bottle of beer and $5 for a glass of wine). All decks were hot and stuffy. I don't know why the crew did not take down the zippered window panels on the 3rd floor. It was a rare 80 degree day in October. My husband and I have done several different dinner cruises around Manhattan and quite enjoyed them, so we expected this to be a similar experience, but were greatly stunned by how dramatically different and underwhelming this experience was. I did appreciate the crew dressing up for Halloween, but overall, I did not enjoy this experience. I would not recommend it to others and I would not go back.I bought a deal for this trip because our friends had gone, liked it and wanted to go back with us. They ended up not coming because they couldn't find a sitter. So now we're out the cost of their tickets, as well as feeling like we didn't get our money's worth for ourselves (my husband and me). I bought the deal thru a social website, so I can't even complain to the cruise company for a refund, though I did send my above comments to them when they asked me to rate my experience. If I could get a refund somehow, I would. This trip was not worth the money or the hour's drive each way.

2  Thank Jennie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2016

I took my mom on the Sunday afternoon cruise. She loved it so much we are going back ASAP.. The appetizers were good. The whole experience was wonderful! Food, music, water and sunshine. What more could you ask for?

1  Thank Evelyn N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2016 via mobile

I guess I had missed the "booze cruise" type reviews when I booked this for our party of 3 couples. First, the $20 parking lot that took eons to get into because no staff mans the booth and the machine is sketchy.not cool....I had hoped for a mellow nice sightseeing cruise. We drove from NY and the others came up from Delaware....instead it was a crowded loud boat crammed full of folks. The ship did offer a very full extensive buffet, but only on the lower deck which was an immediate long line and pushing from folks trying to get thru to find seats. I wonder why they don't do a smaller buffet on each floor to minimize that mess? Then after waiting in line, watching very rude people cut in, and finally sitting we were off. I did hear the capt say a bit of facts that we liked hearing and got to see military ships, but I didn't realize how little of the actual city we would see. We did find a table on the second floor that was soaked from a leaking window so we at least could sit together while getting dripped on. Along the way we wanted to catch up and chat but it was quite hard to hear over the loud dj and music. If I realized it was more of a booze cruise I wouldn't have booked...not that I don't like a great afternoon drinking on the water... Just that I thought I was getting a calm enjoyable sightseeing trip. All hands on deck were very nice, the food was tasty and had way more offerings than needed for sure! the weather was great and didn't start pouring until we were driving home. So depending on what you feel like doing you might like it a lot....also would've been much nicer with about 100 less people on board.

Thank kathy m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 20, 2015 via mobile

We used a groupon for four on a recent Sunday afternoon. The boat boarded at 3:30. They have several tables of eight on the first floor. There are a few tables upstairs and a small dance floor. A simple buffet is set out and included in the price. Drinks are extra and most are $5. Food is so so but it is nice to have something to nibble on. Food was available for most of the cruise. We had sailed before and they had also put out sweets which they did not do or announce on this trip. We did sit near the buffet. When we were leaving I did see one small plate of brownies which were good. The music was upbeat. They offered information about local sights at the beginning of the sail. They had a music trivia contest. It was a fun afternoon.

2  Thank DMMcGW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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