Our 4-day tour was an amazing experience but sometimes it was a bit rushed. this tour is for those people who wish to visit many locations in a limited time frame. Our tour guide, Cecilia made the tour better. Cecilia was charming, knowledgeable, entertaining, and caring. She helped and answered people's questions. She made sure people had a fun time. Driver Alexa was also very friendly and drove the bus smoothly. The bus ride was long but she did a good job driving. I will recommend this tour for those people who wish to visit many locations in a limited time frame.
Short version: You get to see everything mentioned but you wonâ€™t have much time to do so. The guide constantly stresses to be on time. If you want to do everything you pay around 600$/person but you donâ€™t have to. The hotels are good, the food-places are all Chinese Buffets. The bus is ok for the price you pay but it gets so cold you will need a jacket.
Don't get me wrong - we actually enjoyed this tour BUT there are some things you should consider before booking it. Sorry for the long read, but it really bugs me how this company treats its customers:
In case you are wondering, why it's so cheap:
1. There is an additional fee you have to pay in cash on the third day: 40$ that are meant to be some kind of "mandatory tip" for the guide and the driver (yes you read that right). Why not just add that to the price? I guess they can save some tax that way.
2: The company is upselling the "optional" activities, lunch and dinner. Again, nothing wrong about that, but they give you the impression that you really need to do everything or else you wonâ€™t enjoy it.
Now the tour itself:
Guide: I think he did a good job to keep the schedule. He reminded us (a lot!) to be on time an to use the bathroom. The information he gave us about the spots was very limited. Other reviews mentioned that the guide wasn't fully honest. Well, ourâ€™s wasn't too. Iâ€™ll give some examples later.
Driver and bus: He took us to all the places without any struggles. He spoke very little english. Some people got a cold from the air conditioning. They refused to raise the temperature because the windows would fog up. The result: Lots of sneezing and coughing on the last day.
Food: They do not tell you the exact locations and names of the hotels and restaurants in advance. At the website it says: international food. Nope, ALL of them are actually Chinese Buffets. Why wouldnâ€™t they tell you? Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with that, except for people who donâ€™t like it and would be glad if they knew. Also, we needed to pay in advance for it. All of them are located next to other restaurants or markets so you donâ€™t have to take the lunch/dinner option to get a good meal. Still he talked us into choosing at least one because food would be very expensive at the touristic places. Guess what: We never had lunch or dinner at a touristic placeâ€¦
Hotels: The hotels were good and very comfortable. We even got free breakfast on our 3rd day. The guide didnâ€™t tell us which hotel we were going to. He just told us, he didnâ€™t know yet.
Activities: The optional activities are sold at normal price, maybe a little bit higher. They keep the money they save for buying group tickets. Some of the "tours" are carried out by the driver and the guide at a pretty high price. For example, you can (optionally) buy a Watsons Glenn Gorge-Tour for 10$. The fee for a bus is 75$ which would be around 1,5$ per Person.
They try to convince (almost force) you to get attend the activities and thatâ€™s when it gets really strange: On some optional activities, the bus takes you to different places and/or picks you up at another place while you go there and here comes the fun part: If you donâ€™t pay for that, you have to get to the next appointment by yourself. You read that correct: You have to get off the bus and get there on your own. Waitâ€¦what?
Bonus: If you scroll down to the price excludes on the website it reads:
â€žYou cannot buy / use the tickets on your own or use City Passes.â€œ WTF does that mean? Do they force you to buy a ticket even though you already had one for some reason?
You canâ€™t just enjoy a trip when you constantly feel committed so someone who isnâ€™t always honest. I felt a bit sorry for our guide because I think he just followed his companyâ€™s policy. Why not just be honest about everything in the first place? It would make no difference.
Our 4 days DC, Corning, Watkins glen, Lancaster (Amish farms), Niagara, thousand islands, etc tour was a bit rushing and tiring, but totally worth it!!! Just follow our professional guide Emily Huangs arrangements, and you won't worry about anything at all!!! Sheâ€™s amazing - knowledgeable, courteous, friendly and caring!!! Our driver Richard was pretty amazing too!!! Thank you so much, both. Just a couple of things about the trip could be better: (#1) the hotel for the 2nd and 3rd nights should be of the same standard as 1st night (#2) stop at an area where there are other options for places to eat besides just the buffet