New York New Year » Review by Emily
Okay so I went into this tour with high expectations. I mean come on, New Years Eve in New York!
There were 4 contiki groups in total - 3 stayed at Marriott and 1 stayed at Sheraton. All were in Brooklyn... Which brings me to my first issue - staying in Brooklyn. Now, I had been to New York before so even though it wasn't my first preference of where to stay, I thought I'd give it a go. The only reason Contiki stay in Brooklyn is because of money. We didn't do any activities or sightseeing in Brooklyn at all. So each day we would catch a subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan, where the real sights are. Though it wasn't too far to travel, it was frustrating when we would go into Manhattan as a group and see some sights, then be left to our own devices only to have to return to Brooklyn, change and get ready for dinner/nightlife back out in Manhattan that night... So every day we went into Manhattan twice. I personally would have rather spending more money and stayed in Manhattan.
Now, the night we'd all been waiting for - New Years Eve. This night was an absolute mess. We met our tour manager in the hotel lobby at 8pm ready to head into Manhattan for an buffet dinner and open bar in Times Square.
A lot of the subways were closed so we got off at an earlier stop. We walked back nd forth, constantly being redirected to a different route when trying to get to our hotel. So many of the roads were blocked and closed. We eventually made it to the bar at 1030pm. We then had to eat our so called 'buffet' which was about 2 options of meat, and 2 salads, without enough seats to for everyone, so it was a total disaster. Then we could all go downstairs to start drinking and dancing... for about half an hour...
Then they started passing around champagne getting ready for midnight. Midnight came and went, with no sense that we were actually in New York at all because we were in a room with 200 other Aussies (and a few Kiwis), without any view of Times Square at all... Pretty much straight after midnight we were ushered out of the bar and told to find somewhere else to party for the rest of the night... A lot of people went to a bar we had been shown the previous night because we just didn't know where else to go.
Some people snuck out of the bar before midnight and made their way into the crowds of Times Square - they seemed to have the better experience out of everyone, so probably do that if you do bother to go with Contiki...
If you want to do New Year’s Eve in New York, do it without a tour. Book a hotel in Manhattan, find a bar or a club (you don't have to book a year in advance like everyone thinks you do! We saw SO many advertised when we were there!).
Review written Mar 2013event 0.3