A terrible experience.
The day started off leaving approx 7am - 30mins later than tour says. Our guide introduces herself Isma, Imla, something like this - you will understand why I am unsure of this shortly, but then during her very brief introduction, she continuously answers calls. Advised the bus has power and wifi, but then we find out shortly later it does not not the end of the world. It turns out we actually must have booked a Spanish tour of Washington DC, with a little bit of English thrown in, as the guides 2nd language was English and you could barely distinguish when she was speaking English vs Spanish. Honestly, there were approx. 40 people on the bus, with maybe 5 that were Spanish speaking, and we probably received 70 Spanish and 30 English throughout the entire day - on and off the bus.
We stop at the first stop, get told to not be late to miss the bus. The entire group is then waiting outside at the pickup area and no bus or guide. After waiting 10mins, we find out the bus has gone to get gas. We get onto the bus when it returns to have the guide and the bus driver having an argument in front of us all as we start driving. We are also then held up at the next gas station for over 45 minutes whilst the bus then tries to refuel, as apparently the bus arrived at Times Square empty. The guide and driver still continue to argue as we drive off, and then she gets on the microphone to explain it is not her fault.
Before we hit Washington, I think we heard maybe 2 or 3 facts from our guide about our 4 hour drive.
We get rushed around all of the sites, and when people start asking about lunch and drinks, they are told, 'Soon', or 'You were eating on the bus so you dont need to eat anything', or 'Look how skinny you are, you wouldnt want to lose that shape by eating!'. The last time we ate was 9am - it was now 3pm and we were being told ' Soon!'. It was approx 3:35pm when we had access to food or drink facilities!! It was hot and there was no opportunity to stop for drinks unless we took the time from looking at the memorials.
Our last stop was the air and space museum, which I am not sure we got rushed through because of the morning issues or whether the time inside would have been the same, but because we had to squeeze lunch into this time 3:35-4:45pm, there was not enough time to see the whole museum which was disappointing.
Again, we stop in Delaware for food/drinks/pitstop and returning to the bus, the guide and driver were arguing.
After this stop we are then involved in a road rage incident on the highway where the bus driver said 'he should stop the bus and give that guy a New York whoopin'.'
Whilst we know that this tour is a snap shot of what Washington DC is all about, the experience should have been a lot better than this! The unprofessional-ism of both the tour guide and her attitude toward the driver was disgusting, as well as the Companies choice of guide for a predominantly English tour group was terrible. No one could understand the guide was speaking English.
To say we are disappointed is a severe understatement. Would avoid using this tour company again!!!!
Have never been to the east coast before so was really excited for this tour. Would have given higher rating because we loved seeing New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, and the stops in Washington, Dc., but did not enjoy the tour guide. She made the tour a bit rough. Our trip began in New York at 6:30 AM. Our tour guide was very blunt and very strict. She said minimal talking and no cell phone use because it was early and people need their quiet time and sleep. She made us feel like we were children at times because of her constant scolding. She even scolded the drivers. She said absolutely no food or beverages on the bus .It's 4 hours to Washington DC with a stop in Delaware for a small break. There was a driver change in Delaware, who she immediately scolded because she felt he didn't board the bus in a timely manner. When we began the walking part of the tour at Arlington Cemetery, she walked so fast that the older tourists had a hard time keeping up with her. Everything was so rushed that you really couldn't fully enjoy the stops. We barely had any time at Arlington, which was sad to me. While at the White House she didn't allow anyone to go into a gift shop to get a memento. She said it was imperative that we keep on a strict schedule. When leaving the White House site, one couple that was from Cuba where she was born were taking photos and she totally embarrassed them when they boarded because she mentioned they were two minutes late. When they got on the bus she said Welcome to Havana, he retorted I don't think so. She didn't allow us to stop at the Vietnam Memorial wall, we walked right past it. I told her a cousin was killed in Vietnam and I really wanted to see his name and get a picture of the wall, she said if I did that I wouldn't have enough time to see the Lincoln Memorial. She started walking away and we lost sight of her so we didn't know where to find the bus. So, I bypassed the memorial wall and went to the Lincoln Memorial. Luckily when we got to the Lincoln Memorial I recognized a couple from our bus and they told us where the bus was going to be parked. We barely had time to walk past the Korean memorial because she said we had to get to the Capital Mall. She was pretty boisterous about her feelings towards our government and our President. It was 100 uncalled for. We had two hours at the Capital Mall, which was nice. When we got back on the bus she was eating a hamburger!!! She then told us to be sure to get some food and beverages when we stop in Delaware on our way back to New York. So, I guess we're allowed to have food on the bus now!!!! She sat most of the time and really didn't tell us much about the states we were travelling through. When we stopped in Delaware she was angry because a passenger was late getting on the bus, she told his companion that he better start calling him and to get off the bus and look for him. The companion said he was taking pictures. When he got on the bus she immediately raised her voice at him and told him he was 3 minutes late and he needed to abide by the rules because now it was going to be his fault that we're late getting back to New York. She was pretty pushy when we arrived in New York when it came time to tip her. We enjoyed seeing the states we drove through and the stops. Just wish it hadn't been so rushed and the tour guide would've been someone who actually liked her job and wasn't so rude to the passengers.
This was a fabulous, but very long day. 4.5 hrs travel there and back in the bus, with not a lot to see on the way. Given the time constraints, not much time anywhere in DC, but good oppportunities to get photos of the incredible monuments. Breakfast and dinner stops at Delaware Welcome Centre, and late lunch stop at museums, very limited options for specific food requirements eg gluten free - would recommend taking your own if possible. Guide was very good. Got home to NY about 9pm with good traffic
Our Guide was fantastic and yes we had a split group of English and Latin but she dealt with this very easily and made everyone comfortable.My only complaint was that when in Washington I would have liked more time given for whatever exhibits we wanted to see but I understand there were time issues.
Washington is a must-see city.. , but you have to spend at least 2 days. For a quick visit this trip is fine.. you go to the major places like the white house, the congress and the Lincoln Memorial but you can also see some places from the window of the bus during the trip. There is not enough time to enjoy the monuments but you have enough time to take some photos. The bus was ok, nothing special, no usb charger and for me the wifi wasn't working. Our guide was ok.., just a guide explaining the very basics but she knows the city very well if you ask her. Also the sound system of the bus was not good.
5 stars for Washington - 3 stars for the tour operator.