Broken Down, Running Red Lights, and Inaudible Speech

Our group decided to purchase a tour to see the WHOLE island.   The ticket sales people in their yellow jackets were everywhere and quite pushy about the “bus tour” We decided on City Sights NY over the Red Line for some reason.  The buses were clean and neatly decorated…no complaints there.  The 1st tour we went on was the “Night Tour.”  It went all over Manhattan over to Brooklyn and back…in theory.  We arrived at the bus stop and after a lengthy delay of 45 minutes and an argument between the staff and a Portuguese family about who was at the start of the line to board the bus, it arrived.  Every one boarded and off we went while the sun was up on the “Night Tour.”  We saw NYC at dusk.  I say “saw” because the speakers on the bus were horrible.  Not the person-the actual loud speakers cracked and went in and out so much that you really couldn’t hear anything the guide was saying.  We were still in awe of the city and its multitude of areas.  On to Brooklyn!  We were going to watch the sun drop and the city lights come on gradually at a location UNDER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE.  All that happened…we waited, and waited, lights came on, skyline was awesome, Empire State Building had the St. Patty’s green lights on, and every one was taking pictures and having a great time.  Everyone boarded the bus and…nothing.  The bus wouldn’t start.  45 minutes later another bus arrived and they whisked us back to the start to make up for the 1.5 hour (start delay and breakdown) delays.  Because we bought a 3 day pass, we naturally boarded a bus the following day laughing about the previous nights misfortune.  This bus did not break down!  It finished the uptown tour successfully. Now,  Let me tell you what I learned on this tour: The tour guide hates Madonna, Alec Baldwin, Jay Z, Jerry Seinfield, Donald Trump and anyone else he isn’t.  Oh, and he lived in a 2 BEDROOM apartment that over looks central park (I swear he said that 100 times) and fishes in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir for 4 lb bass with a man who bought his apartment for 25 million dollars.  The tour guide also told us he has been on CNN and Fox News.  Horrible.  So, what do you do when you have two less than perfect tours…TAKE ANOTHER ONE!!! We boarded the Downtown Tour bus with low expectations.  We were completely surprised that this tour guide was smart, funny, engaging and cool.  He looked like MOBY meets HIPSTER and he liked to rhyme.  We loved him and learned a lot about much of downtown including the less than popular spots.  You could tell he loved his city.  HOWEVER, the driver of the bus (NOT THE TOUR GUIDE) ran 5 red lights and chose to stop at NON BUS STOPS and pick up passengers for a bus that is completely full.  The tour guide was not happy and was visibly flustered and angered by the driver as we were frightened by his driving.  Another chance to do good thwarted by poor driving.
The good aspects of this tour service:  Clean buses, one great tour guide, and a means to see the whole city without paying cab rates
The bad aspects of this tour service:  Unreliable transportation, angry and disgruntled guides who like to fish, bad speaker systems, and fumes

This is my Trip Advisor Review to be published in 48 hours.  You get advance viewing!!!

Here is a link to the review.


About Matt

I was.

Posted on March 19, 2010, in travel, USA and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great writeup Matt, I can almost feel the frustration. Really though, it sounds like you’re really experiencing the city, and the bus is a great way to do it. On my first trip to NYC I took the tour around ‘the island’ and it really helped me understand where and what all the different neighborhoods were all about. On a recent trip I finally did the Empire State building, and really enjoyed it, recommended. Otherwise I recommend just spending too much money eating out, and then going to a regular looking bar to chat it up with locals. Oh, and make sure to get an ‘I ❤ NY' tshirt/coffee-mug/refrigerator magnet – those are required to leave actually 😉 Enjoy!

  2. oh i love NY. i remember being in Brooklyn once when i was a little girl, we went down to this abandoned pier on the 4th of July and watched the fireworks. it was great, we could see practically every show that was going on in Manhattan & the lights were reflected in the water.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: