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NYC bus tour

Old Jun 9th, 2015, 06:17 AM
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NYC bus tour

We are meeting my husband's older brother and sister-in-law in NYC this summer. It is the first trip for the brother and just the second for the SIL.

We have been a number of times and have always walked or taken public transportation. Since I am not sure if they are up to as much walking as we do and since they have not already seen the city, I may suggest a bus tour for an overview of the city. I know there are HOHO busses and no doubt Greyline tours. I feel like years ago I also read about small bus tours.

Can anyone give me advice on which might be the best? On one of our first trips, we took a walking/subway tour that was a highlight of our trip. I don't think we can do as well with a bus tour, but it might be our best option.
traveler2005 is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2015, 06:46 AM
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If they are just going to board the bus and sit, then the HOHO tours will do. If they plan to disembark and catch the next bus, I can't recommend them. The buses are particularly overcrowded in the summer, and the buses don't run often enough for the crowds, so you'll have to wait for multiple buses before you can reboard.

Personally, I think a small van or bus tour is always the best thing for NYC. I think big bus tours are a huge waste of money. But if you have limited money and can't walk, it may be the only alternative for some folks.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2015, 07:54 AM
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HOHO means 'Hop On Hop Off"

The majority of bus tours in NYC are HOHO and from aside from a possible few dollars difference in price they are all just about the same.

I will say that Grayline seems to be the most prolific (they have buses all over) with CitySights and BigBus following.

[As a native NYer I never felt a need to take one of these tours but I do note how busy these buses get.]
nycguy10002 is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2015, 07:56 AM
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Agree that HoHo buses don;t work in NYC for a couple of reasons - besides the expense

There is a LOT of traffic and the buses are often caught just sitting in it for quite a while

You can see only from the open top deck - which tends to be too hot and sunny in the long-term

They don;t run very often (every 30 minutes?) and are often already full when they arrive - so no good as transit (city buses will run every 5 to7 minutes)

There are many places where they can't go because they are just too large/intrusive - esp Greenwich Village but also other areas

I would agree if walking is too much for them - then explore the small or private tours in a van or mini-bus (there are some threads below with recos/info)
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2015, 08:33 AM
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The buses also cost about $45 a person. That is an awful lot of cabs, buses, and trains. Additionally the guides on those buses are notorious for inaccurate information.
IMDonehere is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2015, 03:22 AM
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Is the Kramer tour still operating?
DonTopaz is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2015, 05:05 AM
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Thanks for all of your help. I had scrolled down through notes looking for old ones about tours, but as you all know, there are LOTS of notes for NYC. Fortunately, one of your notes reminded me that I could also do a search and I found some info about Onboard tours. I don't know if we will do it or not, but it is an option if the relatives would like to go that route.

On one of my first trips, I went with a friend whose son was performing in Carnegie Hall with the Purdue Glee Club. One of the PGC relatives chartered a bus and my friend invited me to go along. We didn't do enough research in advance (it was her son, so I wanted to let her decide) and on the trip back home, we heard people discussing what they did. The ones that took a bus tour saw lots more than we did since we were spending so much of our short trip trying to decide what to do and how to get there.

In 2010, I went with my DH and different friends and we did the Real New York tour. It was wonderful. It did entail lots of walking though and we were beat afterwards.

I didn't want to repeat the early trip - hence the thought about a bus tour.

Some of you brought up the problem with the overcrowded buses and that we might have to wait a long time just to get on them. I remember reading that elsewhere in the forums, but wasn't sure how prevalent it was. It sounds like a pretty big problem.

Too long story short, thanks for all of the information.
traveler2005 is offline  
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