The quaint communities of Monterey and Carmel are worth the extra day to discover. If you've always wanted to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, this overnight tour is ideal, as you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the attraction without sacrificing your sightseeing time.
Firstly, please make sure you phone and confirm the day before. When we got there they didn't think we wanted the overnight staywhy would I have booked and paid for it otherwise??!!. Once the heaps of confusion was sorted out we got on our way. Fantastic trip. Tour guide really helpful and the scenery and wildlife were amazing. We stayed over in Montereywhich I recommend as the whole round trip would have been pretty long which again was beautiful. Decided to phone the bus company in the morning to check that the driver knew he was to pick us up again that evening - and guess what - nobody knew anything about it. The organisation within the company is poor but the tour is absolutely worthwhile. Just double and triple check everything!!
After a few busy days in San Francisco it was lovely to chill-out in Monterey and see other parts of California. The Hilton Garden Inn Hotel was great too!
It is a lovely tour.
I was doing the 2-day Monterey tour. It was worth the money. The hotel Hilton is quite luxurious and I have never been staying at such a hotel before. Spending two days in Monterey is perfect. It gives you enough time to walk through the nearby park, relax at the beach, observing wildlife such as birds, seals and sea lions, going to Monterey's stunning aquarium and doing some shopping at Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf (which is actually nicer than Cannery Row).
If there is anything I didn't like then it was the pick-up on the 2nd day. I was waiting for 1.5 hours and I was really getting nervous if they hadn't forgotten about me since nobody contacted me.
The tour staff is nice and helpful. I liked both tour guides and would travel with them again.
Really enjoyed this trip which was with greyhound of san francisco. Both the tour guides I had were great. However it was not very well organized by the tour company, I was the only one doing the two day tour so it was half of two one day tours. This would have been fine but when we got to Monterey I discovered my first guide had been given no information other than the address of my hotel so I had to phone the next day to arrange where and when to be picked up by the next tour (which was expensive from a uk mobile as I was kept on hold). Also, although the hotel (hilton) was very nice, it was not in monterey centre so not the best location for a single traveller to be dropped off at with no car. However I did really enjoy my time in monterey and was glad I did the overnight. I just feel that it wasn't very well thought out by the tour company.
I chose this trip because I wanted to visit the Aquarium which I needed more time then the tour allowed. We were given 90 minutes in each place (Monterey and Carmel).
The hotel I stayed was close to Transit Square where there is free trolley service to the wharf. The hotel was nice with a great staff. The free day in Monterey was perfect. I could do what I wanted, exploring both piers and the aquarium at my own leisure. The one thing that I feel could be improved was communication regarding the pickup time. The website stated the pickup would be around 4pm, and I was told between 4pm-5pm. I was back at the hotel by 3:45 and waited in the lobby until 5:30pm when they came to get me. I think if the tour company sent me a text message around 3pm telling me of any delays and narrowing the pickup time, it would have allowed me to spend more time exploring the area instead of waiting. Overall, it was worth doing and I enjoyed my time in both Monterey and Carmel.
Monterey is a must go however don't take this trip, the most terrible experience I had with Viator ever. To be honest, don't even go to any trip operated by Grayline.
So first, the trip was poorly scheduled. You will be mixed with the 1-day Monterey trip people in the first day then they drop you off you in the hotel all on your own until the next 1day Monterey trip bus come back to pick you up. Because of the mixture of the trip, lots of chaos happens, at least three mistakes they made for my trip:
1 The driver/tour guide dropped us at the wrong hotel at Monterey, I called the travel agent and they just let us find our way to the hotel they booked.
2 Miscommunication between Grayline and the hotel. I called the hotel which they said was the correct hotel for us to stay but people in the hotel told me they didn't find any reservation for us. After long anxious hopeless waiting, Grayline finally gave me a hotel confirmation number.
3 Due to the horrible experience on the first day, I called on the next day morning to confirm pick up location and time. They told me it's 4pm at the hotel entrance while no one, no bus showed up at 4pm in that afternoon. Again I called travel agent and was told pick up time supposed to be 6-6:30pm. Well, this completely ruined my trip, we had to miss the lovers point park to head back to hotel at 3:30pm and you told me the bus wouldn't come till 6pm?!!!
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