The tour tickets sounded good from the brochure, and of course, the guys on every corner selling them. We bought a 2 day pass and regretted it.
What they don't tell you is that you can end up spending on an hour on the street queuing to get on a bus, particularly the Downtown tour. The queues get so long, and the buses so full, that you may end up waiting for the following bus or even the one after. My panoramic picture was taken from the bus, showing some of the people who, after waiting ages in the sun, didn't make it onto this bus and were going to have to wait for the next one.
They also don't tell you that a lot of the tour guides (or at least the ones we encountered) speak English as a 2nd language, and have heavy accents that make it difficult to understand them.
Not all tours will have the long queues (like the Uptown or Brooklyn for example), but we still found it to be not worth the cost.
If you try and "hop-on" at one of the many "hop-on / hop-off" points enroute (rather than the start point), the map they provide you with showing the points is quite vague, and we had many buses drive past us until we figured out where EXACTLY we should have been standing. Not easy when there are no signposts to indicate as such.
We ended up getting the hang of the subway, and found this to be a much cheaper, faster and independent way of getting around.
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