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For my husband’s birthday, I got him a Groupon for a Duffy boat rental in
I had wanted to do something like this for quite a while but it just never seemed to work out. Finally, we made the plan and stuck with it. I definitely recommend it for others to try out also!
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Duffy Boat Details
After I purchased the Groupon for the 90-minute Electric Boat Rental, I called Newport Fun Tours to reserve our spot. They have select times available on the weekends for Groupon use. Make sure you know you can stick to your reservation time because they are not very flexible when it comes to rescheduling. For the most part, the scheduling was fairly easy.
We decided to pick up sandwiches from Jimmy Johns in Costa Mesa. We packed bottled waters and beers in an insulated bag similar to the one below. Next time, I think it would be great to bring a picnic backpack, especially if my husband and I come just the two of us. I really like this one
Experience on the Duffy Boat
After parking, we checked in at the front desk. It was fairly quick to check-in and receive our Bluetooth speaker to use and a map. We were given instructions on the route to take and where was okay to go. We waited for a bit until it was time to be led down the dock ramp to our boat. Once we were down the ramp, the kids were handed life jackets to put on. One of the employees helped us onto the boat, made sure we were all set with rules, and we were off.
My husband was more experienced with driving the boat so he took the lead. It looked fairly easy though so someone without experience can drive it as well. We made sure to take note of where we were leaving so we could find our way back. It was a fairly busy afternoon in the harbor so we took our time going around and looking at all the pretty houses. We ate our sandwiches, relaxed and enjoyed the views. A few times seagulls would land on our boat looking for food which was fun for the kids.
We did our big circle and managed to find our way back to the dock to park the boat. It was a fun time for the whole family and I would recommend it.
- It is family-friendly. Kids are welcome and will be given life jackets to wear.
- You can bring your own food and drinks.
- You can borrow a Bluetooth speaker to be able to play music from your phone.
- The boats are not hard to drive.
- It is very relaxing and the views are great!
- It can be hard to tell where the dock is to return the boat. We had to look at the map a few times.
- Sometimes it can be busy on the water with much bigger boats coming by.
- The life jackets were very old and worn and not sure how they would have held up if they were actually needed.
- The parking structure is very tight to park in.
- Reservations are not easily rescheduled.
Related Post- For another fun family adventure check out the USS Midway in San Diego, CA.
Overall I would still definitely recommend the Newport Harbor Duffy Boats as a nice leisurely family activity. I would not recommend bringing very active young children because there is nowhere for them to go and 90 minutes can be a long time for young ages. We were grateful to have my in-laws there to help with our 1-year-old because he was getting antsy. My older kids really enjoyed it and had fun “driving” the boat with Daddy.
There are a few companies that do Duffy Boat rentals and we might try another company next time. We enjoyed having the seagulls land on our boat and hang out for a while. This would really be fun during the Christmas holidays when all the huge houses put their lights up.
This would also be a really fun thing to do with a group of co-workers, bachelorette party, birthday or anniversary. Some of the boats hold up to 12 people so there are options.
The teething necklace I am wearing in the picture above was very handy when keeping my toddler busy. Here is the link if you want to check it out.
If you would prefer to go check out the Newport Harbor Duffy boats as a day date check out my post about how to find a babysitter.