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RIP OFF!!! or.. RAP-OFF Tour.. ?
I did not rate it 1 star just because Washington is beautiful. The tour itself is definetely not worth, at all. First of all, everything you are taken too would be free nonetheless, with the exception of the boat tour which is a complete waste of time. So you are basically paying 120bucks for a tour leader and transportation. The tour leader.. OMG!
Not being American as the majority of our group, I did not understand a single thing he said because of his accent. I mean, i work in US and live my way here with no probs.. but this guy.. was way more concentrated on himself and his pretending-to-be-a-rapper attitute than on the message he was trying to transmit. Which is ALL a tour guide should be about. He introduced himself with an apparently funny story all rapped-up his his hands shaking ups and downs all the time. I did not even get his name right. His attitude was like the one of a gansta, did not ask if we had questions at any point, was just telling quick stories on the bus and on the memorials.. with a clearly marked accent which left the majority of our group foreigners unaware of what he was saying.. AT ALL! When you are a guide you should make sure the message is delivered, that is what you pay for! He wouldn't care.. He called the presidents A for Abraham Lincoln or TJ for Thomas Jefferson... My wife and me are still laughing about his let's go see A sentence in front of the memorial of President Lincoln. at least he made us smile once. Took us a while to get the right rythm and try to understand at least a bit of what he was saying. Tour leader not even worth 1 star. You will get more information by reading a guide or on the internet. Transportation ok but then you'd rather take a hop on hop off and do it your self. The boat tour is a wast of time. You see nothing, trust me NOTHING more than what you see on the bus.. There is no need for a rapper tour of Washington. We were ripped-off, or rapped-off!
We loved this tour. The meeting and lining up process,not so much. We were to meet our tour bus in front of Union Station this is a very busy, congested, confusing place. We eventually found where we belonged. On the trolley/bus I was stunned to realize that a bus driver who was skillfully maneuvering this large vehicle through the D.C.streets and even parallel parking it at many of the sights was also narrating as we went. He was amazing and he gave a wonderful narrative. Trouble was, we were near the back and very rude people in the seats behind us were having their own private party oblivious to the tour going on in front of them and we had a difficult time hearing much of the really interesting narrative. The driver/tour guide told many fascinating stories about the history related to the landmarks we passed or stopped at. Because it was summer about half the tour took place in the daylight. That meant we could see many of the famous buildings and sights in the daylight. The driver often went by landmarks in both directions so people on both sides of the bus could get a good view. As night fell we were at the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument and we could look across the basin at the Jefferson Monument and the Washington Monument in the distance and enjoy the sight in the twilight. We stopped at the Lincoln Monument and Korean War Memorial in the dark and the lighting was striking. As we passed the White House lit in the dark, the driver informed us stopping in front of it is now illegal and Secret Service watch closely ready to give a 600 ticket to any bus that dares stop. He crept by hoping to catch the red light at the signal directly in front but failed. Still we got a really great night time view. Our party of 4 thoroughly enjoyed the ride, the narrative and the may sights of D.C. It was a great overview of the city and a spectacular view at night. Finally, the driver was really service minded and we appreciated the little courtesies he extended.
Fantastic! This tour covered all of the main sites in DC with comfort. Our guide Mary was so knowledgeable, engaging, and fun. Her personal touch gave us insites into the history and feelings of the times. Especially poignant were the FDR, MLK, Jefferson, war memorials, and Capitol tours.
Mike was awesome. Very knowledgeable and not at all cheesy. The loading process needs to be refined two employees should be loading the buses. Also would like a stop at Jefferson memorial and time at Lincoln should be at 40 minutes not 30 so you can hit all three monuments
This tour was great. Only downside was that we didn and #39;t stop at the Jefferson memorial.
So sad to have a tour guide, Smiley, with an agenda. SLAVERY and SELF PROMOTION. While Smiley was fun to the kids, he used that to make sure we listened and they did at his attention to slavery comments. Washington and Jefferson passed quickly by, but MLK and Lincoln glorified through scavenger hunts. Lincoln was probably our best president followed by Reagan, but the focus should've been on keeping union together. Smiley said that on Lincoln's statue.. one leg is set back representing slavery and one leg forward for freedom. This is not true. He should mention however that sheaves were bound together representing 'strength through union' and the 36 columns represented the bound states of the union. At MLK and FDR stop, Smiley put the people on a scavenger hunt at the MLK memorial making sure that more time was given that memorial than FDR who was more important to our history if not our preservation! At Arlington- no mention of the thousands of fallen soldiers from all wars, but only mention of slaves' graves who dug the civil war soldiers' graves. Then saying 'friendly reminder'. You would think tour guides could be hired who would want to glorify the country America instead of continue to racially divide it. I would sincerely like to talk to his supervisor. To boot- at the end of the tour, Smiley asked for excellent marks on his tour so that he could be the Guide of 2016! He needs reminding that the FOCUS of the tour is the history of our country and the people being honored by the monuments.....certainly not SMILEY. I was sorely disappointed and sickened by the obvious racial discriminatory tour. I certainly wouldn't recommend Smiley as a guide. He should be reprimanded if not let go.
This trip was perfect for our family of four. We covered all the memorials at the National Mall with a great narrative to go along with all the sights. We saw the Washington Monument, the WWII Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the MLK Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. So much more interesting when a knowledgeable guide tells a story along the way.
Doing what: Washington DC Sites at Night Bike Tour
I liked the overview route, with the exception of not visiting the Jefferson Memorial, but would have preferred a more historical narrative. The guide was very personable but a little too acerbic and comical for my tastes.
This is a great way to get an overview of DC without tying up the whole day. Very small group max 6 people and knowledgeable guide. Non polluting battery powered club cart is particularly appealing on a nice day - but it is equipped with snap on side panels if weather conditions require it. Only suggestion is that they allow time to actually walk up to the Jefferson Memorial, since it's kind of located off by itself, and would save us from having to walk back there later.
Seeing the monuments at night is great. Our driver was very courteous and knowledgeable. Too bad we didn't get to the Jefferson Memorial, the guy that wrote the Declaration of Independence.
I took this tour on 8/7/15. I ordered and paid for my tickets before leaving home. Viator sent me a receipt and an e-voucher. I received another email from them that stated I could use either a paper voucher or an e-voucher to take the tour. Since I don't have a printer, I was relieved. We got to Union Station 30 minutes before our 7:30 pm tour time, found the line not so easy, as many different tour companies leave from the same location, and waited. I got to the front of the line, showed my phone with the e-voucher, and was told I had to go back into Union Station to get paper tickets. Frustrated, I went inside to find the counter. I waited in yet another line with only one, very frazzled person working the counter. I showed this person my e-voucher, only to be told I had to EMAIL this to an address that was printed on a sign on the counter! I looked at my phone, and naturally, I had two bars of connectivity and a waning battery - but I forwarded the email. A gentleman next to me was having the same issue, and he'd tried three times to forward the email without success. I asked the man at the counter whether the email went through it was now 7:25, and was told he'd have to help the others at the counter first. I stood there waiting for all of the others to get served, and then he got back to me. I grabbed the paper tickets and ran back outside, only to find that the bus was full. They put us on the bus for the next tour. I did like the large open windows on the bus, and it was pretty comfortable. The guide was pleasant and very knowledgeable, but hard to understand. We could decipher about half of the narration. We stopped at the Martin Luther King memorial for quite a while 35 min, and was disappointed not to stop at the Jefferson memorial yes, it was in the brochure- I guess I missed it. The memorials are pretty at night, but I didn't account for the fact that some are NOT lit at night - which makes going to them at night rather pointless.
The tour guide was magnificent and super knowledgeable. A great trip around DC. If there was a way to squeeze in Jefferson memorial, it would be perfect.
What a great way to see ALL the monuments. We got to see the Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, MLK. We spent about 10 minutes at each one. Got the key points and facts. Got to walk around and take pictures. Just enough time to see what we needed to see -- no time to get bored! The ride itself was easy and mostly flat. Some tiny hills or inclines rather!. We passed loads of buses carrying people from one monument to another. Why sit in traffic when you can bike right by and see it all?
Doing what: Washington DC Sites at Night Bike Tour
Beautiful tour by night! We went on the 8pm tour and the sun was just setting... Just Joe was our tour giude. He was very funny! Kids will love him! Too bad they don't make a stop at the Jefferson Memorial then one would get great photos of them all...
This tour was disrupted because of the Breast Cancer Walk in DC, however we were still very disappointed at the lack of knowledge our guide had. We were hoping for more historical tidbits and even some knowledge about WHAT some of the buildings were. She told us she was new to the area and that it was her 3rd tour. He co-guide, who decided to call all of the shots and escort a couple of 2, vs. taking our group of 4 who booked prior to them, gave his tour a much more comprehensive tour. Instead of giving us more time at the ONE landmark that we stopped at, they chose to take us to some unrecognized spot/ building that our group had NO interest in and was NOT on the tour description. At the end we asked to be dropped at least NEAR the Jefferson Memorial since we didn't' get to see it and our guides said they couldn't get through the streets. Upon walking there ourselves, the street WAS open. OVER PRICED for very little in return. I would NEVER use this group again!
The tour was good, although I was surprised we didn't stop at the Jefferson Memorial and there wasn't enough time to see multiple monuments at one stop. Also, I felt like there should have been a tour guide to get out with us to give us details about the monuments like other guides did.
We really enjoyed our Best of DC tour. Our guides were very informative with a dash of humor. All the memorials were awesome to visit. I do wish you'd add the Thomas Jefferson Memorial as he/it is just as important as the others.
The guide who took us into the capital was great. The tour in the capital was really interesting and well guided -but I was a bit disapointed that we didn't see either of the chambers where the senators function. We were then taken to our guide for the rest of the day and our bus.
The monuments and memorials included on the tour were excellent - eg Vietnam memorial, WW1 and 2 memorials etc. It was disapointing that the guide took so long dramatcally telling us his facts and anecdotes about each that our personal time was limited at for example Vietnam memorial, Jefferson Memorial (quick photo stop for the back) and no stop at all at Iwa Jima. We were late for our lunch boat cruise- which was excellent and the commentary specific and to the point.
Lunch was not so good- soggy subway sandwiches - I was given a choice of sandwich but not drink and ended up with a fizzy drink - but I don't drink them.
I enjoyed al the monuments and memorials as mentioned and more (eg Martin Luther King and FDR).
The National archive ticket entry was for 4.30 pm- which gave us only an hour. Which was okay - but by the time I'd queued to see the key documents it left only a little time for the rest which was potentially interesting. However, it was really interesting in there.
This was a full on day but was a well thought out tour, which I have enthused about to my friends. I would recommend ithe tour unreservedly.
The only problem was the guide, who didn't like being asked questions, treated us like a bunch of idiots and was totally patronising and "picked " on people when they did ask him questions or strayed a yard away from him. He was boring, and pompous - prentending to be overly sincere and moved and kept going on about being a journalist. But for him - this would have been a 5 star review.
The guide was very informative, but she hurried us through everything. At some monuments I didn't even have time to snap photos before she was hurrying us on. My friend is in her 70s and had a lot of trouble keeping up and was "scolded" in front of everyone ~ kind of embarrassing for her. The lunch/boat ride on the Potomac was very nice and the pilot very personable and informative. Sorry the National Cathedral and Jefferson monumont were not on the tour.
Deborah K USA
Great tour guide. Enjoyed the tour stops, but not enough time at the stops. Was I possible to see three different memorials in 15 minutes. They are not particularly close together. Disappointed Jefferson Memorial was not included.
Overview of area with good stops at Lincoln and Jefferson and King Memorials. Usual tourist general information. Grandson enjoyed it. Would have liked a White House tour instead of just looking at outside. It also would have been nice to see congressional chambers since they were not in session. Rotunda was crowded as was statuary halls. Rote tour presentation there which made it unimpressive!
Our guide was very knowledgeable and told us memorable stories, especially at the Iowa Jima / USMC Memorial. I was glad that we got to spend some time at each of the places we visited. One thing that I was unaware of is that the tour didn't go to the Jefferson Monument, which I would have like to visit too.
This was a good tour and the driver/guide had a very good personality. That being said, this was the third time I have used Viator for this tour and this was the worst. By changing carriers/providers you cost your patrons the opportunity to hop off the bus at the Jefferson and WWII Memorials, and those are very important and without question worth seeing. We had to change our plans for another day of the trip so that we could see those before our trip ended. I was also disappointed to see as a teacher of history and government, that the driver at times gave pieces of information that were not true, such as telling us that Ira Hayes is not burried at Arlington when he is. Overall it was worth doing, but the previous years were much better and more inclusive.
Our tour guide, Jason was excellent. He was very friendly, approachable and had a sense of humor which kept us all entertained from the very beginning right until he kindly dropped us off at our hotel after the tour. The stories he shared and the way he blended jokes with interesting facts and stories about different attractions was brilliant. At no part of the trip did I ever think we had wasted our money. We were even lucky enough to have an almost full moon rise over the Capitol building whilst we were at the Iwa Jima memorial.
As for any regrets, there are barely any. If I had a disappointment it was that we did not stop at the Jefferson Memorial. However, it is understandable that we cannot fit in all the attractions on the trip. One other thing would be that the plastic material used as windows doesn't allow for great photos to be taken due to the reflection. Some advice for future guests would be to find a seat near a joint in the plastic material so that you can fit your camera through to get the perfect shot.
Apart from that, I would like to thank Jason for a truly unforgettable experience. We were only in DC for 2 nights and debated at length whether the tour would be worth it - well, it was more than worth it! We would recommend your tour to anyone who asks!
All the way from South Africa!!
Absolutely FABULOUS and the tour guides George and John were so knowledgeable and gave us little-known information you could not get on one of those fast-moving big buses that did not appear to stop anywhere. We had a great time, they were so personable we thought we had known them for a long time, outside of being on the tour. John even laughed when I would point to other people getting a group tour and yell at them - "Look, tourists!" As if I wasn't a tourist also. Good times. If I had known there was a basket on the rear with nothing on it, I would have brought my walker to get closer to some monuments.
Also, why is Thomas Jefferson in black stone and MLKing in white stone? HaHa.
If I get to DC again I will most certainly take this tour again. The electric carts offered great viewing access and a personalized trip. I recommend it to anyone wanting to see most of DC in a timely manner.
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