After reading more comments and having more thoughts:
In the end, first and foremost it still is about having GOOD SHOW. This applies whether it's one of Club Chappies $700 cabanas, or if it's an attraction like the Aladdin spinners in the middle of a South Seas environment that anyone can ride with admission to the park.
Onstage in a theme park, in Epcot at least, World Showcase Lagoon is one of the focal points (one could make the argument that in WS it is the prime focal point - but that's subjective). If they were to use a Friendship boat (or something thats smaller but looks like it could be part of the same 'fleet') it likely wouldn't be a distraction. A pontoon boat to my mind looks more and more out of place.
Here's an extreme example. Renting a paddleboat on a lakeside resort fits. Now what if the National Park Service decided to rent paddleboats on the Reflective Pool outside the Lincoln Memorial? It's not appropriate for the setting...
In short, a non-themed pleasure craft with quiet, well behaved guests on board is out of place. Add noisy guests (plus the amplification effects of being on water) and it is significantly worse then that...
A pontoon boat is much smaller than a friendship boat. Just pretend that you're on the coast in any of these countries.. you'd see watercraft there as well
I won't be taking advantage of this, but I could see the appeal for a family of 4 or a group of friends, even a couple.This is a dumb money sucking idea. Who would do this? When I read the title I thought it might stop at each country for a snack or drink.
When you rent a pontoon boat you can't stop, the driver can't move, and you can't eat or drink, and you have a camera pointed right at your face. I have to stress that again. At least this way you can all enjoy the ride together, and eat. And drink. And move around. Lol
Oh-- and here's a big one- you also aren't allowed to use your camera while driving a personal rental. (I break this rule-oops)... but with this new offering you can use a camera.