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“Not the worst of the tours, but you can see the bottom from here”
Review of CitySights NY

CitySights NY
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US$119.00*
and up
Super New York Package including Hop-on Hop-off Tour, Observatory and Statue of...
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US$69.00*
and up
New York City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Harbor Cruise
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US$145.00*
and up
New York City Shop, Hop and Top Experience including Woodbury Common and...
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Attraction details
Owner description: We are acknowledged as New York City’s best-value double-decker sightseeing packages including major attractions and activities such as harbor cruises, museum visits, helicopter tours, shopping day trips and one-day escorted motorcoach tours to Boston, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia & Amish Country.
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We took the Blue City Tours hop on hop off after a very disappointing and costly encounter with the Green Bus company (Go NY Tours). See that review here also. We opted for a cash purchase after the credit card fiasco with the Green Bus in the moments preceding. Should have known it was not going to be good after handing the salesman the cash and he gave us only two tickets (we had paid the "discount price" he was quoting us for 3). He had to go to another saleman who promptly spit out one more ticket from his machine. Waits in line for the bus to start were long and the intervals of arrival were sporadic at best. Our tour guide had the enthusiasm of a clam, the charm of a scorpion, and the local knowledge of a recent (this month) immigrant. He spoke in phrases. Don't think he had ever encountered a complete sentence in his life. A veritable fount of good will and information. Example - we stopped at the China Town Stop, and he was asked by a patron getting off the bus "how do you get to China Town from here". He replied, "Do you have the map?" Yes, she replied. "Then follow it". Really sound and helpful advice. Welcome to New York, and you paid $50 for this? That was the downtown tour. He did not hesitate mentioning and encouraging "tipping" when you got off. My "tip" to him. Get another job, preferable away from people.
Uptown tour was different and better, but only due to the tour guide. A retired school teacher, we presume, he had gone out of his way to research and inform the customers throughout the entire route. He was worth a tip. The downside -logistics and equipment of the company remained poor and a drawback. He too should get another job, maybe with the Brown Big Bus Tour. That combination would be worth waiting for.

3  Thank traderhorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CitySightsNewYork, Guest Relations Manager at CitySights NY, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2014

Although most of our tour guides are truly excellent, you may find one tour guide to be better than another. Your feedback is important and helpful.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (1,815)
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647 - 651 of 1,815 reviews

Reviewed 30 July 2014

The concept is good but the execution certainly lacks. The tour guides vary in people skills. One guide basically said "if you want to jump off the bus, I don't care". Another spent most of the tour taking about how excellent his customer service was and how we should be sure to remember him when it came time for gratuities! The buses are equipped with an annoying sound system, passengers are given a set up very cheap, very uncomfortable ear buds to plug in while the guide speaks into a microphone. Most of what was said was garbled because the guides either held the mic too close or wind noise interfered. One one tour we were let off and told we could catch the next bus. When the next bus came it was so packed we couldn't get on. A Greyline bus came by, took pity on us and let us board. Wow, what a difference. A nice tour guide, great information and we could actually hear him! Thank you Greyline!

2  Thank Michael E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CitySightsNewYork, Guest Relations Manager at CitySights NY, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2014

Although most of our tour guides are truly excellent, they are human and sometimes you may find one tour guide to be better than another. Audio devices are installed as an extra benefit. We make every effort to have these devices operational at all times. However, due to the exposed nature of its usage, the devices are often tampered with and require frequent repair. We apologize that you were unable to find a seat with a clear audio signal. We are proud to offer the largest fleet in New York with many convenient stops along the way. As our tour tickets are sold giving you the flexibility to use them whenever you are ready, we can only estimate the number of actual buses that will be needed. We usually have an ample amount of buses running throughout the day, but we do realize that there may be a time when the passenger volume may be at an uncommonly higher number than usual.

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Reviewed 29 July 2014

We had originally planned to use this, the Blue bus, to do our tours however we simply could not find where to purchase the tickets. The rep, from what we could understand, indicated that we had togo downtown to purchase them. Very confusing, and we could barely understand him; he could not communicate any information on the tour itself. In the end we went with Skyline (orange bus - see my other review) as they were easily accessible with vendors everywhere. I can't speak to the quality of their tours other than to say that we did not see many Blue busses. By far, the Red bus is the way to go for quantity.

1  Thank Steve6786768
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

As a family of six we were concerned about transport costs and the hop on-hop off City Sights NY buses ticked all the boxes for us, including taking our luggage to and from Penn railway station. A fabulous way to experience and discover the excitement and variety of sights New York has to offer. A variety of tour guides with lots of information to share. We all loved Allan France - he was on our bus a couple of times - so entertaining with some great stories and mannerisms and a welcoming smile, making our experience all the more memorable. Would use this service again without hesitation.

2  Thank Jacqui G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CitySightsNewYork, Guest Relations Manager at CitySights NY, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2014

Your review are very much appreciated. We carefully structure our tours to be very affordable and to provide great value. All of our guides strive to exceed your expectations and we are glad that your tour included the options that you were interested in. Thanks again for choosing CitySights NY.

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Reviewed 28 July 2014

As a long time resident of the New York City area, I know not to expect too much from the touristy attractions because they so often take advantage of the gullibility and passive nature of out of town and foreign visitors. While I did some research ahead of time and the Big (Red) Bus Tours seemed to come out ahead, I went ahead with buying tickets from CitySights vendors on 42nd because they offered a harbor cruise for an extra $2. Never mind that they charged the adult price for my son, or that they spread the tickets out over two vendors to share the commission or that they were absolutely vague about where to get the bus ("Jus' down the end of the block"), what ensued during our morning trip was entirely unprofessional and near criminal. Once aboard at 42nd and 7th for the downtown loop, the guide (who I believe has been characterized in other negative reviews) starts off by saying, "So I guess you want to, ah, get on and see some stuff and like that and...." in a tone which I know to be making fun of tourists. His jokes were sexist (stuff about shoes and girlfriends and danger) and graphic (something about the nuts of the Wall Street Bull). And, he kept shaking down passengers for a $10 tip in exchange for a t-shirt made by "Me, me, me, me" (with a Banksy design). He also made fun of a passenger with a deep southern accent by replying to his questions with his own demeaning version of the accent. What if he had done that to a Chinese or Indian passenger? By this time, Mr. or Ms. CitySights "Guest Relations Manager", you know which long term guide this is so don't even play ("all of our guides are human"). Once we got to Battery Park to take the ferry ride, he told us vaguely to just walk into the park and "follow the people" to the ferry. Of course, this was not where the ferry would leave so after about 30 minutes of walking around and trying to find the actual answer, we get back in line exactly where we left off for another bus returning to 42nd which would drop us off at Pier 11. Note: you can walk north 4 minutes to get to the exact ferry but you would never find it since there are no signs and a whole lot of dock area to get confused by. The bus and the change over to the ferry will actually take you 30+ minutes because traffic is so congested down there. I exchange words with the CitySights line guide about this lapse of communication and he basically tells me to be quiet. Ok, I expected that. Once on board, however, I ask the guide why there is such bad communication with this company and why the ticket sellers would sell an adult ticket to a child I would never anticipate what follows. He gets up and calls down to the line guide and tells him that I need to get off because I have a problem with the cost of my tickets. I tell him that he is really showing who's in charge by trying to get me thrown off the bus, but that we are not going anywhere. I ask him again why the ticket sellers would sell an adult ticket to a child and he tells me that I am an idiot for buying the ticket at that price (twice he says this). So, now I am annoyed and I ask again and he tells me, "If you do not shut up I am going to smash your face in in front of your child." Mind you, this is in front of a bunch of doe-eyed tourists (and my family) on the upper deck who probably think that this is normal treatment of tourists in New York City so they sit there without a peep. After some back an forth, the driver and some other blue-shirted employees of the company are up on the upper deck trying to diffuse the situation. I remained calm but adamant that this is not fair treatment. The driver extends his gloved hand once, twice to shake to get me to let it go, but I didn't want to see the guide's face so we got off and waited for another bus. The driver did not exchange words with the guide nor did any of the other staff. It was like it was a normal occurrence. I have his picture so Mr. or Ms. CitySights "Guest Relations Manager" if you are serious about improving your company, you can leave an email address in your comment and I will send it to you so that you can discipline this employee. In short, CitySights employees evidently have no incentive to be proper or understanding to passengers. We did have normal interactions with staff after this point--you will come in contact with a good number of them; they are everywhere. But, this last exchange was just beyond the pale. He evidently had no fear of being fired nor of making a fool of himself and the bus just took off with him at the front and the compliant foreign passengers at his attention.

3  Thank Samowammo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CitySightsNewYork, Guest Relations Manager at CitySights NY, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2014

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We appreciate your detailed review about your experience and sincerely apologize for the mishap by one of our guides. The information you provided about our guide was sent to our managers as feedback for improvement. Please feel free to visit our web site and click on the Feedback link.

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