Double Decker Bus New York

Sep 21st, 2008, 07:37 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 77
Double Decker Bus New York

As first timers to NYC, we would like to take a double decker tour bus on the first day to get a quick overview of the city. Which tour company has the best experiences?
zachanned is offline  
Sep 21st, 2008, 10:40 PM
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There are only 2 cos., Grayline and CitySights. Grayline are red buses, more plentiful. Citysights are blue and have some protection should the weather turn bad. I've heard pros and cons to both. Grayline has more buses but are more crowded.
mclaurie is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2008, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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The queues in Times Square can be over an hour long - If you walk down to the next stop, about 5 minutes down, you will get on the next bus along. You would have to sit downstairs but move upstairs once there are seats.
Also the 24(48) hour tickets are valid for 24 hours - make sure you get on a bus the next day before the time runs out & you get an extra trip.
The night time tour is marvellous.
johngerard is offline  
Sep 24th, 2008, 12:06 PM
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We tried the Grayline busses in June-only because I was nursing a sprained ankle. Will NEVER do it again! Sat in traffic for most of trip, and 2 out of 3 "guides" were so bad we got off the bus at the very next stop! The 3rd was bearable, but just...

elberko is offline  
Sep 24th, 2008, 01:01 PM
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We have done the Grey Line twice . . once with Mother-in-Law and once with Grandmonster.

Both times were interesting ( there is lots of traffic, but the narrator kept up a lively chat the whole time )

Once we did have a guide who was borderline unintelligible so we just got off and got on the next bus.

For us, it is a great way to get a quick overview of the city and decide where we wanted to explore more.

The busses can get crowded, but if it is too full to get up top, just wait for the next bus . . it's rare to see too bull busses in a row.

Rich is offline  
Sep 24th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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IMHO - a bus is not a way to get a "quick" overview of the city. Frequently traffic is so heavy that walking is faster.

I really encourage you to do walking tous of areas that interest you - and if you want an overview out of a bus window - pay $2 for the city bus that runs every few minutes.

(I made the mistake of doing this once - in London - and wil never wste time that way again. Plus the traffic here is much worse - so it's a lot of sitting and looking at locals doing their errands.)
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 24th, 2008, 01:18 PM
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I also would not do this in a city with stop-and-not-go traffic, such as NY or London, but I have also done it in less-trafficky cities and think its a great way to get an overview - Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin.
Sep 24th, 2008, 07:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 77
Thanks everyone for the feedback! We changed our mind on doing the tour bus. I cannot stand being stuck in traffic. We'll just get the 7 day metrocard for the subways and occassionaly take the city bus.

Does the Circle Line Cruise give a good overview of the city?
zachanned is offline  
Sep 25th, 2008, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,187
The two-hour cruise is a good option to see much of Manhattan. The boats depart from mid-town on the west side along the Hudson River, travel south to the Statue of Liberty, and then travel north along the East River all the way to the UN. You'll get a view from the water of most parts of Manhattan that interest visitors, as well as good close-up views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Brooklyn Bridge.
ellenem is offline  
Sep 25th, 2008, 07:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 340
You might also consider Statue Cruises , an authorized concessioner of the National Park service. You get to go to the Statue of Liberty, walk around and go inside and then continue on to Ellis Island where you can walk around and maybe find the names of ancestors who arrived at Ellis Island. See Reserve tickets on-line are $16 each. We are doing this. Will be in NY near end of October.
jaydh42 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2008, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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This is fine if your focus is to see the Statue and Ellis Island - but you won;t see much of Manhattan - just the harbor. Also it will take at least 5 hours - versus 2 for the overview cruise.
nytraveler is offline  
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