SF Grayline deluxe City tour

Old May 11th, 2004, 04:31 PM
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SF Grayline deluxe City tour

Has anyone done the San Francisco Deluxe City Tour with Alcatraz? Is it worth it. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old May 11th, 2004, 06:10 PM
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Hi TroyMan,
I have not done the city tour including Alcatraz, but I have done the deluxe tour without Alcatraz. I lived in SF for 7 yrs. and I strongly recommend this tour as a first day experience for anyone who has not been to San Francisco. It gives you a great overall view, in a short time span, of the major known highlights of the city and then you can get inspired and do your more detailed tourist stuff in the days that follow. Yes, it is worth it.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 11:27 PM
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We did this with 2 teenagers 2 years ago. At first did not choose to do city tour, but since it was over 7/4 time period, it was only way to get tickets to Alcatraz - they were all sold out.

We were very pleasantly surprised. Bus was no more than half full, guide was very knowledgeable and did not make the usual lame jokes I associate with this sort of trip. Since we were not origiannly planning to do this, I had thought I was very well prepared with info needed to see city - but he provided us with much historical and cultural info that we would not have gotten any other way.

Mixed ages on tour. Spent too short a time at a bunch of stops - but to us that is the idea of taking a tour on your first day - you know what you want to go back to.

The Alcatraz part almost seemed like not part of the tour - you got a ticket, they told you what times you could board boat, and off you went - no tour associated with Alcatraz (other than getting headphones for audio part)

No regrets - now more seriously consider tours in other cities.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 11:40 PM
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A few years ago I took a Grayline tour in SF that was very good. I don't recall if it was the Deluxe version or not. It likely depends on your driver. Ours was excellent. In another city I did have a Grayline driver who just told lame jokes, and that was so not worth it.
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Old May 12th, 2004, 07:05 AM
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I had a really bad experience with Grayline Tours in San Francisco a few years ago. I went with a friend of mine who happened to be a gay man. When the bus went through the Castro district, the guide made a series of unpleasant jokes and remarks (advised male tourists that if they dropped something on the sidewalk, don't bend over to pick it up - just as an example). Many of the tourists on the bus were non-English-speaking and some of this stuff went over their heads, but I was mortified and my companion tried to laugh it off but was obviously distressed. To give Grayline credit, I wrote a complaint letter as soon as we got back to the hotel, and they responded almost immediately. The driver was removed from the route and "re-educated". I hope she really did learn something. She wasn't that great a tour guide even without the nasty remarks.
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