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Michael S

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Michael S

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Jun202012

Tour/Activity

San Francisco Departure Transfer: from Hotels

San Francisco, California

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

This got us from the airport to the hotel, and no real issues. However, we drove around the city for almost an hour dropping other people off first. After a long flight from the east coast - we really just wanted to be done traveling. Plus, we later realized that with 3 of us traveling together this was really not a cost savings over simply getting our own cab which would take us directly to where we wanted to be. If you have one or two travelers, this is probably the way to go. Three or more? Plan on taking a cab instead.

Jun182012

Tour/Activity

San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise

San Francisco, California

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

We planned this tour for the last night before departing San Francisco and it was a fun and fitting end to our week. Food was good - sandwiches, salads, antipasto, etc. However, the only plates available were WAY too small to even take a one bite sample of what was being offered (very small dessert plates). Scenery was beautiful, of course!

Jun182012

Tour/Activity

San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour

San Francisco, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was one of our favorite tours of our week in San Francisco! Linda Lee was fabulously interesting - taking time to know each family individually, and tailoring her comments to the ages and hometowns of the people on the tour. Her perspective as someone who had grown up in Chinatown, but is now thoroughly Americanized was very interesting, and I loved the personal stories from her growing up. We definitely learned things that we would not have gotten by simply going through Chinatown on our own. The Dim Sum luncheon was good for the adventurous eaters in the group as well!

Jun162012

Tour/Activity

Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Tour

San Francisco, California

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Our tour guide was excellent, having focused solely on this tour for many years. Wineries were good and samples were plentiful. We were traveling with an underage participant, and expected at least a grape juice sample for her at the wineries - and were disappointed that this didn't happen. With ages 12-99 paying the same price, there should be some kind of accommodation for those 12-20 year olds who aren't going to be receiving any of the wine samples. Or, the "child" price should apply to everyone under 21.

Jun152012

Tour/Activity

Yosemite National Park Day Trip from San Francisco

San Francisco, California

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The scenery was beyond amazing, we were just disappointed to not get up to the Sequoia trees. Rather than a two hour "on your own time", how about including a box lunch in the price of the tour that could be eaten on the bus in order to get everyone up to those Redwoods? Tour guide was good, and made lots of stops for photo opportunities and genuinely seemed to want to make sure we all had a chance to see and photograph the many gorgeous sights!

Jun142012

Tour/Activity

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

San Francisco, California

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

This tour was VERY disappointing. First of all, for some reason they decided to run the intinery backwards, which meant that instead of driving along the coastal highway in the morning as planned, we were instead staring out with the sun in our eyes if we wanted to take in the coastal scenery on the way home. I expected some kind of actual TOUR of Monterey, some information on the history of the cannery and Steinbeck while someone actually guided us to the historic sights, etc. There was nothing of the sort. Just a drop off to eat and look around at shops. Carmel was a one hour drop off at shops. Cute town, but not much we could actually get to and do in the limited time. I expected a TOUR of the Carmel Mission. What we got was a 15 second pause to try to snap a photo out of the bus window. The worst though was our tour guide's rush to get it all over with. He let us know that it was "his Friday" and that he had a date that night early on, and his entire goal appeared to be "making good time". That meant that we desperately tried to get photos as the tour bus flew by every scenic overlook without even stopping. Pebble Beach? You see the parking lot, since that's where you get dropped off and only have 15 minutes. Too short to actually even get a glimpse of the course. Mostly this was a long and frustrating bus ride, interrupted by mysterious drop offs in towns where we didn't really know what we were supposed to do. With a good guide, this may have possibilities. But, sadly, not on this day.

Jun132012

Tour/Activity

Alcatraz Tour plus Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods and Sausalito Day Trip

San Francisco, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Muir Woods was beautiful and awesome, complete with a very accessible hiking trail for all ages and ability levels. Sausalito is basically just a lunch stop. Alcatraz actually far exceeded my expectations. The National Park service has done a great job here - audio tours are provided to everyone, and give you a chance to hear the voices of actual guards and former prisoners as you are guided through the cell blocks. The view of the city is amazing - definitely worth the trip across the water for the photo op. I knew very little of the history of the island besides the prison - the film when first arriving on the island is worth watching. Perspective from children of the former prison guards about what their lives were like living on the island, history on the connection of Native Americans to Alcatraz and more. Don't let the talk of "four very steep hills" scare you off. The talk had me concerned, but I actually made it up the hills pretty easily (and there is a tram available for those who really need help). I went on the Alcatraz portion of the tour mainly to please traveling companions who really wanted to go; I wasn't all that excited about seeing a prison. I ended up pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed our time on the island.

Jun122012

Tour/Activity

San Francisco Arrival Transfer: to Hotels

San Francisco, California

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Worked fine as a ride to the airport. They showed up 25 minutes before the assigned arrival time. We actually were ready - but, that was quite a bit early! Again, if you have 3 or more travelers, just get a cab. No more money, and less circling around the city picking other people up. But if you are one or two travelers you can save some money doing it this way.

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