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barnumbailey Apr 28th, 2008 03:26 AM

Double Decker Bus Tour NYC
I just spent the weekend in Manhattan visiting friends who moved to the city last year. I've been to NYC numerous times & never done the double decker bus tour, so I decided to give it a shot this weekend. I enjoyed hearing lots of little tidbits of info. that I wouldn't have known otherwise. However, when doing the night tour I was disappointed that our tour guide had a heavy Jamaicaan accent. It was very difficult to understand him at times. For example, he referred to Macys as "messes" & I didn't catch on until I actually saw the Macys building. I understand that NYC is a culturally diverse area, but my feeling was that since it's America, I sort of expected a clear American accent from my tour guide. I'm curious about others opinions about this??

BarryK Apr 28th, 2008 03:43 AM

An American tour guide doesn't necessarily help. We were in Charleston last month and took a horse drawn carriage tour. Our tour guide had such a thick southern accent, we couldn't understand most of what she said.

barnumbailey Apr 28th, 2008 03:47 AM

That's funny. I live three hours from Charleston and go there several times each year. At least a southern accent fits in Charleston since it is a southern city.

SusieQQ Apr 28th, 2008 04:05 AM

That's ok, a number of years ago a journalist did research on those guides and found that a lot of their information was incorrect!

Anonymous Apr 28th, 2008 04:07 AM

The great thing about the "Hop On Hop Off" bus tours is that if you don't like your tour guide for whatever reason, you can hop off and catch the next bus.

mclaurie Apr 28th, 2008 05:00 AM

I've also heard mixed reviews on the guides. Unfortunately I think they don't get paid much and it's a good job for someone just starting out. is not hop on/off but their guides are evidently very good.

Aduchamp1 Apr 28th, 2008 05:05 AM

There information is often inaccurate.

Additioanlly, if you have a family of four that totals $160. that can purchase an awful lot of cabs, buses, and trains.

Pugsley Apr 30th, 2008 10:04 AM

We did it this past weekend and I enjoyed it for the most part. It's a great way to get an overview of Manhattan (and Brooklyn). The guides we had didn’t have heavy accents, but the sound system wasn’t very good so it was pretty hard to hear what they were saying. We had one guy who was terribly annoying. Spent the whole time telling us “Look at ME, look where I’m pointing, I’m trying to HELP you, ‘kay ‘kay ‘kay? And he was constantly begging for tips. It really rubbed me the wrong way when he tried to guilt everyone by saying “SOPHISTICATED people know how to tip.” Grrrr. Plus it doesn’t seem right to keep pressuring people to tip when it’s hop-on/hop-off. What if you ride several buses in a day and only ride each one for a couple of stops. Do they really expect you to tip every guide & driver (after already paying $50 per person)? The other thing that bothers me is that it’s so crowded that once you have a seat (on the top), you’re afraid to get off because you probably won’t get a seat when you get back on. We just did all of the loops without getting off and then took the subway back to places we wanted to see more of.

barnumbailey May 16th, 2008 03:57 PM

This double decker is something I'm glad I did once but would not do again. I did not do it for the transportation but just for the experience. I'm not disappointed that I did it.

Rich May 16th, 2008 06:32 PM

We did the open bus tour of lower Manhatten last spring and plan to do the upper tour next year.

We started with a good guide, got off and the next one was not so good. We just got off at the next stop and waited 10 mins for another one and it was even better than the first.

It's a great way to get a feel of the city.

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