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“Not on a par with services in other cities”
Review of Gray Line Chicago

Gray Line Chicago
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Chicago North Side Tour
Ranked #167 of 217 Tours in Chicago
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Gray Line Sightseeing Bus Tours provide the most comprehensive Scenic and Historic sightseeing tours of Chicago. With recent ownership changes, our North Side Tour will take you from the heart of the Loop up the Mag Mile, through Lincoln Park to Wrigley Field and back. Our South Side Tour departs the Loop through Historic neighborhoods to Museum of Science and Industry and back. The Grand Tour combines both the North and South tours to get the most comprehensive tour of everything Chicago has to offer. Architecture, Skyscrapers, Parks, the Lakefront, Museums, Sports Stadiums and Historic Neighborhoods. Gray Line Chicago's fully narrated sightseeing bus tours will take you there. *Gray Line Ticket Office: Arcade Level of The Palmer House Hilton, Inside of'Feelings Gift Shop'.
Reviewed 23 June 2014

I've always used Gray Line in other cities and as soon as I saw their stand in Chicago I went for them rather than even checking cost/route etc of the competition. I now wish I'd gone with the competition.

Photo copied tour guide with no map was unclear. The first guide was okay but kept going on about that whilst there was a "mob" background to Chicago that he didn't want to dwell on it. The next guide was doing her first trip so could be excused for some mix ups. The continual references to things being "discovered/invented" in Chicago got a bit jarring. She seems mixed up between discovered/invented and items shown to the public at the Worlds Fair, I.e. Trains. She also tried to explain that the lions outside the Art a Museum got there green colour due to the unique weather in Chicago. I thought all roofs/statues went like that due to patina over time.

Date of experience: June 2014
2  Thank RussellERennie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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132 - 136 of 242 reviews

Reviewed 15 June 2014

Manny made the tour awesome and fun. He gave us the history of the city, interesting tidbits about the sites and even
people along the route that caught his eye. He remembered everyone and the cities they were from. I'd recommend getting Manny as your guide. Oh and the Grey Line was every bit as good as the Red Line (others in our group did the Red) but was cheaper.

Date of experience: June 2014
Thank Jmcks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014

We bought the Go Chicago card and it included a Gray Line tour and the hop-on-hop-off bus.
North Side Tour is led by Paul and he gave a good and personal tour. Many sites of the downtown are included -- the loop, Daley Plaza, Magnificent Mile. We drive north on Lake Shore Drive all the while Paul is sharing his knowledge. We go to Lincoln Park and make a quick stop at the conservatory; a giant 124-year-old greenhouse! It is beautiful inside, several rooms and each one with a different humidity level and temperature. Paul also walks us into the Lincoln Zoo to see the baby Rhino but it isn't on display, on to the Polar Bears and they aren't out, the Giraffes are missing as well. Someone comments that the zoo is free because it doesn't have any animals -- HA! Continuing the tour we pass a few gangster sites including a church with one bullet hole remaining as a reminder of the violence. He tells us of places to eat and all things Chicago that should not to be missed. Good tour, Paul!
Back at the Palmer Hotel we get on the hop-on-hop-off double decker bus. Our guide is Victor; he is great at his job and customer service. Victor is talking, giving information, announcing stops, and answering questions. He tells us that Grant Park has a statue of Lincoln and Lincoln Park has a statue of Grant ... a bit mixed up! We hop off the bus to tour the planetarium but when we come out, who is the guide? Victor! So glad, as he is funny, respectful and informative -- love his tour. He also has a great relationship with the driver who honks in agreement with his comments on occasion. This driver hears Victor so they are in communication. Victor also asks people we pass if they are waiting to board, he realizes they may not know where the official stops are or may have been dropped in a different location. He is considerate and great asset to Gray Line!
Next day, back to Palmer Hotel for hop-on-hop-off again. Today, this bus only has the open-air top and no interior seats. Anton is our guide; he gives a good tour with a different perspective than the day before. Much if the information is the same, but his spin is more gritty, political and real. We enjoyed our tour with Anton but unfortunately we disembarked at the Sears Tower due to rain and waited for the next trolley in order to be be inside. Next tour guide is Joe; he is doing his job and nothing more. No personality, no passion for the city, no customer service. A foreign couple asked to be dropped at 360 Chicago. As we passed the John Hancock, they didn't know it was the same place ... Joe doesn't bother to tell them. We wanted to hop off near Marshall Fields; we come to block 37 and I ask if the driver will stop. Joe responds, "the driver should stop." We drive several more blocks and Joe says, "I guess the driver isn't going to stop." A normal stop IS Block 37 for the hop-on-hop-off so I'm not sure why we didn't stop. But, Joe should have communication with the driver since there aren't ropes to pull to request a stop. Joe is an average Joe and I would recommend you wait for the next trolley if you want personality and/or customer service. I sure wish we could have continued this day with Anton as our guide.
Overall our experience was good and I'm glad I had time to do the hop-on-hop-off for three trips. The Gray Line North Tour was also a good way to see many sites in a short period of time, gaining information and history.

Date of experience: June 2014
1  Thank Isletravelall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

With just a day in the city, the double decker bus was a great way to see the sights. Manny did a great job sharing the history of the city with us. He even dropped us off at our hotel at the end of the tour. Beautiful sunny day in Chicago. Can't wait to bring our kids back to see all the sights! Thanks Manny!

Date of experience: May 2014
Thank JSinCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 May 2014 via mobile

We were a private tour picked up in Joliet. Since we started our tour at 8 am, we hit a bit of rush hour traffic. It was great to see our tour guide Paul and driver Michelle quickly discuss the situation and re work the tour so we could hop off the highway and get started rather than loose valuable tour time on the highway. Paul was an expert tour leader, full of facts and interesting stories. He gave us two bathroom breaks at interesting places and a LakeMichigan/downtown photo opp. We enjoyed how the guide and driver continually worked together to design our route to give us the best drive by experience. Paul's commentary throughout the tour was top notch.
On the return trip the bus had a tire blow out. She expertly pulled over with flashers on. A state police escorted us off the highway to a safe place for the bus to park and for us to get out. I was pleased with Michell's ability to handle that big bus both during the tour driving downtown and during the tire problem.
Kuddos to Paul and Michelle for a great tour.

Thank AmazingMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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