29 Apr 2014 - 06 May 2014
I have very mixed feelings about this tour. I really loved the places we saw and am happy to have gone to California after wanting to for so long.
There were only 4 people who were on the "California Highlights" tour. We were added to two other tours who had started a week before us. This wasn't at all what I had been led to believe and it was sort of daunting stepping into a massive group who had already formed friendships within the first week. By the time we got there it was hard to really get to know other people because groups had been formed.
I didn't feel our tour guide made an effort to introduce us to the group and there would be times where I had to explain when I arrived into the group. Given I didn't know I was being added into a much larger group, I'd have appreciated having the situation explained. We were given the impression that we'd all start and stop together, so being thrown into another group wasn't what I had in mind and had I had that knowledge I likely would have signed up for a different tour.
We weren't given our "day plans" until about an hour, sometimes even 5 minutes, before we were to depart the bus at a place. Sometimes we'd only find out we were going to have free time 10 minutes before getting off the bus, which gave people no time to make alternative plans. I'm not sure why the day plans weren't done in advance, but it really made things more difficult than they needed to be.
I thought the tour guide was very nice, but I also thought that she had very limited knowledge of places. She didn't seem to read up on any place and gave us the type of tour that most people could probably give of a place they're from. I really thought I'd learn more about a place. I didn't realize how little we were told until the last day when our bus driver ended up using the microphone to give us a tour of LA. He had so many facts and stories. He really seemed to know what he was talking about. This made me realize how unprepared our tour guide seemed. She was a very nice person, but I really didn't feel like she was making an effort, which was annoying to me since I had been saving for this trip for a while.
Honestly I didn't hate this trip or even dislike it, but it was not what I thought I was paying all this money for. The two best things I did - Alcatraz and Warner Bros. Studio Tour - were the two things I went out of my way to plan and spent extra money getting to.
The rest of the trip seemed fine, but my honest opinion is to skip the California Highlights tour and make sure to ask if your tour is being added to another. That can make a very big difference in deciding.
Review written Jun 2014event 0.3
10 Sep 2013 - 17 Sep 2013
It was the best trip and experience of my life till now. I cant say it in words how much this tour impressed and gave me. I enjoyed every single minute of it. I cant put this trip in a category. We`ve done so much: Nightlife in Las Vegas and San Francisco, hiking in Yosemite National Parc and biking in San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge, shopping in SF and relaxing at the beach in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica. Also I met so many friendliy and open people from all over the world. Guys I love you! It was funny to sit in a bus with 53 people who have all a hangover :-). We travelled a lot but it never feels like. The stops were perfect timed. After that tour i spent some days in a hostel. it was boring there. but i told him about contiki. how awesome this is and that they have to do it. and yes...they had immediately a look at the site and will book a trip.
I think i will write a book about this life experience...maybe in german..its easier for me :-)
I wanna thank Eileen, our Tour manager, for giving me the best time of my life. You did a perfect job. Showing us so many different things, telling us facts about different citys and showed us how to dance :-). hope we keep in touch and i can do another tour with you. Also thanks markus our driver. funny man :-). he showed me the best drink ever called AMF :-). And of course i wanna thank all people who shared the funny time with me. BIG HUGS from Berlin
Review written Sep 2013event 0.3
11 Jun 2013 - 18 Jun 2013
This tour was amazing, made so many friends and had so much fun along the way. My only issue was we didn't get enough time in certain places. I would definitely recommend this tour to others. So much is included and you see some spectacular views at Yosemite, as well as passing through many towns.
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3
22 May 2012 - 29 May 2012
This was my first Contiki trip, I didn't know they were such a big company, having never seen or heard of them before.
I met some amazing people on this tour, and I plan to see some again in the near future if the price is right!
The tour guides were great, Jack and Adrian.
There knowledge was great, telling backgrounds of places, where to go and what to see, all really interesting information, and they were really easy to get along with!
I can honestly say I didn't have a dull moment whilst on tour with the group I was with.
The accommodation was good too, absolutely no complaints there, beds were comfy and the hotels and cabins we stayed in were clean.
The highlight of my trip had to be visiting Yosemite national park, I thought the views were absolutely stunning, especially at the time of year that I went (May).
The only thing I didn't like were the early get ups, as I am not really a morning person, especially with a hangover.
Review written Mar 2013event 0.3
02 Aug 2011 - 09 Aug 2011
Such a fantastic tour-I loved it! My only regret is that I didnt do the entire Wild Western tour! Accommodation was really good, bus was more than adequate, tour manager well informed but totally cool and great fun. Loved our night in Vegas, my favourite part of the entire trip was Bass Lake and Yosemite National Park-totally spectacular and it's a great opportunity to get to know your tourmates who have already been together for a week already! San Fransisco was awesome,if a little cold-wish I'd known THAT in advance! Did the Bike Tour which was really good,all the restaurants we were taken to were diverse and showed every side of SF. Nights out were....mad! Santa Barbara and LA are short but sweet. All in all a fantastic first (but not last) Contiki. Strongly recommend!!!!
Review written Sep 2011event 0.3