California Highlights

Tour Length
8 days
From
US$1475

California Highlights » Review by VoyageFille

California Highlights
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Great places, but..

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 2014

My Contiki was: beautiful, rushed, hectic

event 0.3

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