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“Take Tours 3-day hell trip to Niagara Falls”

L & L Travel Enterprises - Day Tours
Ranked #492 of 607 Tours in New York City
Attraction details
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Take Tours 3-day hell trip to Niagara Falls”
Reviewed 21 February 2014

We booked the 3 day trip to Niagara Falls and Washington with Take Tours. Take tours failed to mention that this tour ran through L & L Travel Enterprise, because otherwise we might have been more prepared based on L & Ls reviews. It doesn't help that Take Tours only posts the good reviews on there website. Take tours also implies that this tour is in English with Chinese available, there's no doubt about it: THIS IS A CHINESE SPEAKING TOUR.

When we first got on the bus we were informed that the toilet was not to be used and of all the added costs that we had to pay. When asked how much we were paying for each attraction the tour guide 'Windy' couldn't break down the cost for us. He charged children and adults the same overpriced fee as well. For one attraction we were charged $25 each, but upon looking at the ticket pricing we learnt it was only $7 entry and children under 12 were free as well as students, even though our tour guide told us they don't do concession prices at any of the attractions. When we said we didn't want to do one of the attractions because it had no interest to us he started to argue. This was all before our bus broke down in the middle of no where and we missed all the first days attractions anyway, one of which was the main reason we toke the tour: Niagara Falls at Night.

While our bus was broken down we only received one update from the tour guide 2 hours in saying they were going to fix the bus and it'd be around half an hour. 4 hours later a new bus arrived to take us to the hotel. We spent 6 hours standard. We reached the hotel just before 2 in the morning and were told we had to be on the bus by 7 - just 5 hours after checking in.

The second day we got to finally see Niagara Falls, complete with the Niagara falls movie in Chinese that we had to pay for. When we learned this was what he intended to do we asked for our money back and we were told that it was a good opportunity for us to learn Mandarin. Our tour guide hardly gave instructions in English, rather thought clapping at us to get our attention was more appropriate. When he did give English instructions or information it didn't make sense such as 'when you get off the bus go rightleft and straight' or '18th century they only rode sheep'. If we asked where we were we could expect answers such as 'Only I need to know that, trust me' or 'it only matters where we are going'. We would often drive up to 5 hours without a break because according to the tour guide there was no where to stop within that 5 hours for food or a toilet break other then a buffet significantly out of the way, which would be great if we weren't told we couldn't use the toilet on the bus and it wasn't past dinner time. We lucked out the second night as there was a supermarket for food next to the Chinese buffet, we weren't so lucky the following day at lunch where we stopped for another out of the way buffet. We got an early night on day 2, arriving at the hotel just before 11 pm to be back on the bus by 6:30 am.

Nothing beats the moment on the third day in Washington when we were going to visit president Thomas Jeffersons memorial and the tourist guide implied that the President was racist and said he was 'full of s**t' in regards to his proclamation of equal rights. The whole time in Washington he was not able to tell us what things were in English, luckily most of the sites had very helpful attendants so we actually knew what we were looking at.

This tour had no flexibility, we were given specific short times that we were allowed to be at each place before the bus left, sometimes given only 20 minutes to look at a landmark, go to the toilet and eat. This is in no way an American tour. I highly recommend seeing Niagara falls and Washington, but with a real tour company, and not this scam. He overcharged for attractions, we had no sleep, and were expected to pay $24 for his service each. One young girl didn't want to pay the full amount, rightfully so because his service was horrid, so for 30 minutes straight he yelled at her on the bus. Altogether I would not recommend this tour to anyone.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Kayla M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Total Scam with Sightseeing thrown in”
Reviewed 20 January 2014

This company provides a flat fee for a two day trip to DC and Philly from NY, with hotel included.
It wasn't until we were on the bus that the tour guide told us there was a mandatory $7 per day "service fee" for his and the bus drivers services ($14 for the 2 day trip). This is even though the website says "Tour guide included", apparently the service fee is for him not leaving you stranded if you don't pay the fee.
I felt this was such a scam as the website showed the fee included all fixed costs and showed only optional costs not included such as meal and optional sights.

They also charge $20 per person to see Fort McHenry (optional attraction) and we have to pay the guide and he pays the entrance fee. We looked up the Ft McHenry website and it showed $7 per person. We then found out that the extra $10 was a transportation fee to the fort, even though the bus was going there anyways. When we said we didn't want to pay $20 the tour guide dropped us off at a shopping center and picked us up on the way back. They wouldn't allow us to go to the fort with everyone because we would see the real fee was only $7.
Another total scam.
They also bring you to have dinner and lunch - both at all you can eat Chinese buffet, where, I am sure they get a cut of the fee.
There are a lot of attractions they squeeze in, but I did not like being scammed for money and lied to. I do not recommend this company.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Orit M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“They left us stranded in Hotel with 2 kids”
Reviewed 14 January 2014

Tripadvisor - please add zero as rating to make an exception for these guys.

If you want the worst journey of your life with the itinerary changes, Chinese (Chinglish) Guide, Chinese Buffets, 6am wake up calls, 90 mins lunch breaks, hidden $14/person extra cost on top of the ticket, stupid games (to only which the guide would laugh himself), and want to be left off at the hotel for being 10 mins late; this is the trip for you..

They left us stranded in the hotel. I was traveling with my wife and 2 yr and 5 yrd old. I had to take a cab to go from Virginia to Washington DC to catch the bus again in the morning.

No calls were made to me and when asked, the tour guide (Chinese - Jordan) and driver mentioned that I was called. I asked the tour guide to show the call logs and when the driver realized that I was not called, the driver apologized but not the tour guide. He asked me to call the customer service # after the end of the tour.

You will be asked to pay $14/person extra at the end of the tour as driver service fees.

Our itinerary was changed - we booked for a tour to avoid caves and our 2 days tour was cramped on the second day and the first day, it was done with the caves visit for which we had gone twice and not taken this tour for that reason.

You will be asked to take lunch and dinner at $16/person/meal Chinese Buffet and the only other choice if you are lucky would be Subway in the same complex. They make their commissions there and if you are vegan like me, you will be hungry for the entire trip.

The guide kept on saying that he is starting his own company at the end of the tour and his desire to make $150k per year at the age of 25 and how he achieved this number a year before. Come on!

I do not like leaving bad reviews but this time, I had to break the rule for these guys!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank Praveen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“The worst holiday experience of my life”
Reviewed 5 January 2014

What can you say about this company. Well, that's easy: Whatever you do don't travel with them. You will have one of the worst experiences of your life.

My partner and I spent 8 days of our life with them in October 2013 touring the East Coast of America going into Canada and we will never get those days back.

The rudest guide we have ever experienced, dodgy coaches, far too many miles covered in too short a time, inaccurate commentary and a complete lack of customer service.

They are very good at two things: Separating you from your cash for overpriced excursions which contain ticketed activities that you are unashamedly overcharged for and lying to you about hotels, places and what there is to do.

I strongly recommend you book your tour with another company. If not you'll always regret having anything to do with them.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Chaveydown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good value for money to cover many areas of east coast but be prepared to get up really early.”
Reviewed 23 October 2013

Did a 8 days tour of east coast of America. Book through their website if you want to get a good deal as many agents mark up their prices.

This tour is pretty tiring as we need to start the tour between 630am and 7am everyday and we only reach our hotel at 830pm on average. However, you get to cover many areas of the east coast. Though we can't spend a lot of time in each area, this kind of tour is ideal for travellers who find it inconvenient to make your own transport arrangements.

Most importantly, having a good tour guide is very important and depends on your luck. My tour guide called Scott is patient and organised. He is not like other tour guides who leave when members are not there. He ensures everyone is accounted for.

On my first day, my tour guide was Steven as I joined an additional tour from the same company. He is rather impatient with guests' requests.

All in all, it depends on your luck to get a good tour guide but they are multi- lingual and have good knowledge of the cities.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank mljleong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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