If you want to get a great look at NYC in one day - this is the perfect tour. Our guide, Tom, was incredibly knowledgeable about NY history and facts - then and now. The 9 hours flew by; at no time did we feel rushed - or bored! We were there Easter weekend and took the tour on Saturday. The city was very crowded, but thanks to this tour, we were able to see everything we wanted to see without waiting in horrendous lines.
A couple of tips - at the Empire State Building, make sure you say you have an "express ticket" to all the employees. There are lines in many rooms, but don't stand in ANY of them. Find an employee and show them your express ticket. So, that way you skip ALL the lines - which is a big deal given it would have taken three hours to get up and back otherwise. Regarding lunch in little Italy, we thought the food was good, the place was charming, and we appreciated talking more with Tom and learning about what it's like to live in the city. The food in NY is expensive anyway, so we didn't think $15 was too bad. At the Statue of Liberty, you get to skip one huge line, but still have to stand in some because it is a government run attraction and the security takes time. It wasn't a bad wait, though, and we had plenty of time to go up in the pedestal of the statue and take pictures. At the 9/11 memorial, there was plenty of time to see it. However, to get a true appreciation for everything it stands for, I'd recommend a separate tour for just that. We took one through the 9/11 Tribute Center (http://tributewtc.org/) that was led by someone who had lost a family member. It was incredibly moving.
We are so glad we took this tour and are very grateful to Tom for helping to make our vacation so memorable. If you are in NYC, this is definitely the tour to take and you should request Tom as your guide.
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