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Phyllis P

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Phyllis P

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Oct192013

Tour/Activity

Philadelphia and Amish Country Day Trip from New York

New York City, New York

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

This tour was poorly organized. It was hard to find the tour bus; I was told that the meeting spot was across from the front of Grand Central Station. It would be better to say that the bus meets behind the Pershing Square building, which is across the street from Grand Central Station. There was two tour guides - Mike did an English commentary, and Andre did other languages. When we got to Philadelphia, Mike said we were all getting off the bus to use the restrooms and have breakfast. He didn't mention that he was also going to walk us around in the cold to visit the Liberty Bell and the other buildings, so some of us left our jackets in the bus. Finally I said something and Andre had the driver bring the bus around so that we could retrieve warmer clothes - thank you, Andre. Several others besides me retrieved jackets. My husband and I are very knowledgeable about America history, so it was shocking to hear Mike make errors about our history in some of his remarks; he kept referring to the original 13 colonies as states, kept confusing facts about the Declaration and the Constitution, and referred to Betsy Ross as "Betsy Rose". After this, we went to Amish country, and stopped at a place where buggy rides were given. We were then driven to a tourist trap with lots of shops and restaurants. There were a few trinkets for sale that were Amish-made, but most of it was made in China. Before we got back into NYC, Mike started a pitch for tips, suggesting $10 for each - him, Andre, and the driver. Since we weren't impressed with this tour, we didn't tip. MIke grabbed my husband's arm as were exiting the bus and asked for a tip, and my husband said no and pulled his arm away. We've never experienced such brazen and rude behavior for tips before. I do not recommend this tour.

Oct172013

Tour/Activity

Viator VIP: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and 9/11 Memorial

New York City, New York

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

This tour was just okay. After leaving the ESB, we were put on a bus that went through lower Manhattan, but the microphone wasn't working so we couldn't hear the tour guide's comments. We then went to the USS Intrepid and saw lots of old planes and the space shuttle, Enterprise, which was fun. After that we were put on a boat to a pier in lower Manhattan and the city views were nice, but the boat was overcrowded and the music way too loud. We got off at one of the piers, and the main tour guide gave us a good walk and comments while we went through the financial district. He left us at the 9/11 Memorial. The Memorial was very moving. After that, we returned on our own to the boat to go into the harbor to see the Statue of Liberty. It was later in the afternoon by that time, so the boat was overcrowded and many folks wound up standing, which meant that the ones sitting down couldn't see much. Folks were hogging the railings to get pictures of the Statue. While we were seeing the Statue, the music was deafening while playing "Living in America" by James Brown. It would be better to play something patriotic such as "America the Beautiful" and turn the volume way down. Overall I think the tour is a good concept, but there should be better communication and better crowd control on the NY Water Taxi boats, plus the music volume should be reduced so that it doesn't bother folks so much.

My Photos

  • 9/11 Memorial
  • Statue of Liberty

Oct162013

Tour/Activity

New York City Tour by Classic Car

New York City, New York

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was a great tour and we enjoyed it. Isaac drove us around and showed us some of the sights that aren't normally shown on other tours. He is a native New Yorker so he was full of interesting stories and information. We loved the classic car - lots of folks on the streets were staring at it - some even coming up to Isaac and making comments or asking questions. A very enjoyable afternoon, and a tour I highly recommend.

My Photos

  • Classic Car

Sep202012

Tour/Activity

Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods and Sausalito Half-Day Trip

San Francisco, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I booked this tour mainly for my husband since he is such an outdoor type, but I wound up being awed by the magnificent redwoods. They are simply stunning and it is impossible to realize how huge they are without standing near them. This place can't be missed.

Our guide/driver, Kenneth, also stopped at the Marin Headlands so we could get an amazing photo opportunity of the Golden Gate and the city.

Our last stop was Sausalito, where we enjoyed having a nice lunch and walking around the town. The views from Sausalito of SF, Angel Island, and Alcatraz are very nice. A lot of folks stayed in Sausalito longer and took the ferry back to the city. This was a great tour.

My Photos

  • Sausalito
  • Muir Woods
  • Muir Woods
  • Muir Woods
  • Golden Gate

Sep182012

Tour/Activity

Monterey, Carmel and 17-Mile Drive Day Trip from San Francisco

San Francisco, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We enjoyed our tour of Monterey, Carmel, and the 17-Mile Day Trip. Our tour guide and driver, Kenneth, was very informative and amusing. Our favorite place was the coastline of Monterey; we had a nice lunch there. What a beautiful place. Carmel is more of a tourist trap with lots of expensive shops, and it's a long walk to the beach since the rich, elite types who live there don't want the tour buses near their beach. Pebble Beach was very nice too. It was a long day, but worth it.

Sep162012

Tour/Activity

Alcatraz and San Francisco City Tour

San Francisco, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We enjoyed both of these tours. The city tour was nice; we stopped for photos at the Golden Gate Bridge, old Sutro Baths, and at Twin Peaks. I was disappointed that we didn't get to stop at the Victorians on Alamo Square, but the driver, Joe, explained that isn't allowed anymore. He let us off at the place to catch the ferry to Alcatraz, and told us where we should grab a bite to eat before the ferry left since no food is sold on the island.

Alcatraz was an extremely interesting tour. The audio guide was excellent. There is a tram for folks who can't walk the steep hill to the prison. I'm so glad we experienced it, and the views from the island were beautiful.

Jun072011

Tour/Activity

Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small Group Day Trip from Edinburgh

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was such a great tour. Liam was our driver and tour guide in one, and he did a great job. It was wonderful to see Glencoe, the Highlands, and Loch Ness. Liam was able to answer all the questions that anyone had and he knew a lot of history about the area. It was a very informative day and one we will always remember.

Jun052011

Tour/Activity

Da Vinci Code and Scottish Borders Small Group Day Trip from Edinburgh

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

We went on this tour earlier this month. Gavin was our guide and Beverly was the driver. Gavin spent most of his time in the van giving Beverly directions, which got to be a bit irritating since I asked two questions and both times was told that I would have to wait since he was telling her where to go. He did try to answer my questions later though. I most enjoyed Scott's View. We could have done without Melrose Abbey; it wasn't worth the money, but Melrose was a nice town to have lunch. Roslyn Chapel was interesting and mysterious. Don't expect to hear much about the DaVinci Code though as it will barely be mentioned.

Jun022011

Tour/Activity

Limerick, Cliffs of Moher, Burren and Galway Bay Rail Tour from Dublin

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We really enjoyed this tour, it was one of the best we've ever taken. Bob was our guide and John was our driver. We left Dublin on the train and then got on a bus and they drove us through Limerick. We toured Bunratty Castle, which was nice. We then went to Doolin, a small coastal town for lunch at the Doolin Pub, and it was one of the best meals during the trip. We got some chocolate at a little shop down the road and that was good too. Next was the big highlight of the day, the Cliffs of Moher, what a sight! Loved that place. Next was the odd landscape of the Burren. Galway Bay was beautiful. Then Bob took us on the train back to Dublin. It was a long tour and a delightful day. Don't miss this tour!

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