San Francisco, California
We bought this tour expecting a pretty high level of service for US$230. The tour was to include a 3.5 hour guided tour of San Francisco and then 2.5 hours at Alcatraz. We hoped that our tour guide, Walter would be knowledgeable, entertaining and that the bus would be comfortable and conducive to our hope of seeing the major sights in San Francisco. Unfortunately, we were disappointed.
Most of the tour was spent driving through downtown with the driver telling mildly sexist and racist jokes like "this is where artists spend their husbands money" and this neighbourhood is full of asians and jews. Another gem was on the Golden Gate when he informed us that "those people that jump from the bridge. They aren't romantic, they're depressed!" He lacked insight, admitting that he hadn't ever taken a competitor's tour. We spent more time outside the mission (admission $5, which nobody was interested enough to pay), the "only" place during the 6 hours of tour that we were told there were public bathrooms or food, than we did at the Golden Gate bridge and he lectured the tour bus afterwards that we paid for an English tour, so we have to be quiet when he is talking. (The bus made a lot more noise than any of the tourists, which often made the driver's personal experiences hard to hear.)
We defintely didn't see several of the attractions we were promised:
- there was no photo stop at Golden Gate Park
- we didn't see Chinatown
- we didn't get to see the victorian homes
- we saw only distant glimpses of the palace of fine arts
- we didn't see North Beach
(Two of the four "main attractions" weren't even visited - Chinatown and North Beach)
We only had 10 minutes at the Golden Gate bridge, barely enough time to run from the bus to the bridge, get a couple quick pictures and run back.
Alcatraz was great, and I would highly recommend that tour, but the bus tour was an awful waste of time and money. Even the small promise of free wifi on the bus wasn't offered. Ripped off.
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