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.
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