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“American Dream Route 66 Cruzers "Guided" Tour - Beware”
Review of Route 66

Route 66
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Grand Canyon via Sedona and Navajo Reservation
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Affectionately dubbed the "Mother Road," this 2,400-mile route was the first all-weather, continuously paved highway linking Chicago and Los Angeles. The storied path is legendary for spawning America's signature roadside architecture and attractions, vestiges of which remain today.
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“American Dream Route 66 Cruzers "Guided" Tour - Beware”
Reviewed 9 October 2013

My wife and I had the misfortune to pay for a "guided" Route 66 tour with John Cartwright of " American Dream Routre 66 Cruzers" in May / June 2013.

The tour group of five cars were really good down to earth and honest people, some of who will now be lifelong friends.

It is truly unfortunate that the trip was ruined by the tour guide, John Cartwright. By the end of the trip, four of the five cars had gone their own way, disllusioned with the unprofessional and sometimes dangerous antics of our our guide. It was so bad after the first five days (of 18) that we asked for a $2000 refund and he gave it to us. Three of the other cars also asked for a refund by the end of the trip as well.

Issues included -

* Five days where advertised itinerary attractions were closed, including the first three days which we paid for which were on a US national long weekend.
* Multiple documented instances where the guide went in the wrong direction, even though tour members continually tried to call John on the radio to tell him. This included mornings where he went in the wrong direction 180 degrees for up to three quarters of an hour.
* Break downs to the guides1968 Cadillac on four (4) occasions which wasted at least one complete day of the available itinerary. On two occasions the tour group had to help with repairs.
* On one frightening occasion, the tour guide did a U turn after going in the wrong direction and and got bogged with two of the following tour cars having nowhere to go - so were parked in a horse shoe across the road. A petrol tanker then came over the hill and locked up its breaks trying to stop. If it hadn’t succeeded, there would have been four fatalities.
* Due to the above, the remainder of the trip was rushed, highly stressed with the remaining time to see many advertised attractions cut short or they were missed completely by the guide.

We met many really lovely and friendly people in the USA, who we would like to revisit by ourselves sometime in the future. Regrettably, legal action is now in train to recoup a further refund from this very poor and disorganized Route 66 tour operator.

Beware American Dream Route 66 Cruzers and the tour giuide, John Cartwright, if you are looking to have a holiday of a lifetime. There are a number of other more reputable tours out of Australia. Please choose one of those and save yourself the distress and disappointmen that we and others from our group had to undergo.

Visited May 2013
34 Thank PJ T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Over 2,000 miles all the way”
Reviewed 6 October 2013

From Chicago to LA... A life time dream for my husband. We've just come back from 3 weeks on Route 66 - on a Harley. It was magical. Whatever mode of transport you choose, just do it. Its fun, adventurous, lots of mystery and stories to hear and, each town you visit will have its own signature - you will see the scars on the road and the remains of abandoned businesses - where they had to close down. Empty, lonely buildings - no neon lights.

You may get lost on your journey and take the wrong turn.... don't let that worry you.. its part of the fun. You may do ten miles and then find the road ends on R66. Its fine, as this is part of the deal. Find your own way and enjoy it. We decided before we started; that if we get our directions wrong, then its no big deal, it wont spoil our journey. We just laughed it off. The trip is about getting your kicks.

We did the Route on our own, but you can do this with a group of riders. Great thing is, you have the choice. 'Julies Travels' arranged our trip and hotels. Highly recommend, she is most reliable, trustworthy and honest. As we travelled the route on our own, our luggage was limited, so sensible planning for this was crucial. We didn't go without and, on our journey, we saw many of the hotels and towns provided launderettes to use.

We had fun with the locamotive drivers as they passed by, and when we waved, they hooted. Route 66 makes you feel young and free spirit. We met the most fabulous people on this planet and, we felt most humble where everyone made us feel so welcome. Big, big smiles the whole time. We can't deny, we had some tough times with the heat - reached up to 104 temperatures. To stay cool.... we wet our T shirts while riding along from our water bottles, which helped us cope. A good tip.

We did 10 states in total, and stopped off at Monument Valley, Meteor Crater, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Oak Creek and Vegas. We packed a lot in but worth it.

Our Harley was the Electra Glide, which made the long journey comfortable and possible, with the comfy seats and back rest. We averaged 300 miles a day and had no problem at all with sitting too long. Weve done the states many times and this time we found it very expensive to eat out. Lasting happy, happy memories

Visited September 2013
29 Thank Sue D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wales, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
374 reviews
123 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 243 helpful votes
“Idea better than the reality - focus on east to west instead”
Reviewed 4 October 2013

I have given a two start rating because this is about rating Route 66. East o weat rating would be 5 starts without doubt

I have posted a full report on our Route 66 experience in the Trip Report Section here: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g1-i12567-k6888351-Our_Route_66_and_more_trip_best_described_as_east_to_west-Road_Trips.html so I won’t repeat what I’ve written only to say:

• A lot of the so called ‘must see’ of R66 were what appeared to be ‘manufactured’ – what has a giant hot dog or world’s largest ten pin got to do with it?
• You can end up visiting old gas station after old gas station alongside R66 museums after museum (some free some not) with old signs and old memorabilia – not all necessarily connected with the route – and souvenirs
• It will take you ages to drive the ‘old road’ (where possible) with little to see but road – and maybe on occasions the odd gas station and museum
• Williams and Oatman were great places to visit for ‘themselves’ – being on R66 was a by product
• East to west with R66 as and when is great as there are so many great things and places to see. You won’t see these if you stick to the route – Monument Valley, the glorious Sedona, Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon to name but a few
• Route 66 was a road to get from east to west. Progress with better transportation such as interstates inevitably means that the route will not be as popular. Look around the motorway infrastructure in the UK and see how villages and towns have been bypassed – maybe there is a road trip there somewhere?

So, Route 66 not necessarily, east to west most definitely.

Visited August 2013
5 Thank 19Nurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Road trip back to the 50's”
Reviewed 28 September 2013

I'd recommend this to anyone with a love for road trips, (be it in a car or bike) the 50's and America. It's like stepping back in time to the 50's all along the route (we went from needles to Williams) the Americans have done their upmost to keep things as they were when the Route 66 was in it's prime. There are cool diners, lots of old cars, plenty of places to stay and good old America enthusiasm and hospitality. Best of all apart from petrol costs it's free.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Ame1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Must do!!!!”
Reviewed 10 September 2013

My wife and I have just returned from driving the complete route from Chicago to Santa Monica, and Wow, what an experience!
We completed the Route in a 28 ft RV which we booked through Motorhome bookers UK, and we stayed in RV parks along the Route. The RV was a bit of a fuel guzzler at around 9 miles to the gallon, so the total expenditure on fuel was about £1000, which is a lot but well worth it. The RV parks cost around £20-£30 per night and included full hook up with electric, water and sewage.
STATEMENT "Route 66 is just a road". No it is part of US history and folklore, as much a Watling Street (built by the Romans in England) is part of our history and heritage. This is a fact that is very much underrated and misunderstood by Americans.
As you make your way along the Route you will notice farms, business's, homes and cars just abandoned. This is part of the American culture of consumerism where everything is disposable, and unfortunately this is also the case with Route 66.
The US being such a young country have very little appreciation for their own history, thinking that what they have is irrelevant, and as such many little gems are bulldozed and built over, or just neglected until they fall apart.
This is the truth about Route 66. It is not just a road. It started, in parts as the rutted path taken by the wagon trains of the early settlers, making their way westwards in search of a better life for their families. Along this trail small towns were built to provide for those travellers needs as they passed through. Small farms were cultivated to grow the crops and rear livestock that would provide food for the travellers and the towns that grew up along the trail. It then served as a route for the railroad, the the telegraph system to keep the people along the trail in touch and informed.
Then earlier in the last century, this rutted old trail, used for the best part of 150 years by countless thousands of people, was built as a modest two lane roadway. Since that time this mixture of unglamorous concrete and asphalt has weaved its way through the hearts of communities. Those communities relied upon the road as much as the early settlers relied on the wagon trail.
A heritage of middle America grew up along the road that replaced the rutted wagon trail, a heritage that could now be very easily lost, but for the determination of a few dedicated residents and business's.
That is the magic of Route 66, not the physical road but the people and the business that employs them making it possible for them to exist in what has become a back water along what was the most important artery in the US. If it was not for Europeans and Australians the route would be almost dead. There are too many things to marvel at along the Route and mention, the ever changing landscape, the fantastic buildings ranging from 1920's art nouveau to 50's chintz, but the greatest asset is the people who are genuinely pleased to greet you and make you feel special for visiting their Route 66.
I will gladly give any advice, tips and hints to anyone who wants to know more about Route 66, and travelling it in an RV. But the best piece of advice for now is JUST DO IT!!!!

Visited August 2013
31 Thank trottersontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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