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Tracy72
05-27-2010, 06:34 AM
I'm really hoping someone will be able to help me.

A couple of weeks ago, could even be a month ago someone gave brilliant advice about a tour company that they highly recommend. The tour company did 5 hour tours of New York City. They were also talking about hiring limousines for transfers.

I'm almost positive it was on this forum on the disboards.

Help please.........

Ms. Shuttergirl
05-27-2010, 07:43 AM
Tracy, I think it was me who mentioned the tour and limo company.

The tour we did was INCREDIBLE!!!!! I spent months researching which tour company to go with read hundreds of reviews . I'm obsessive sometimes. We wanted a tour that would allow us to hit the "highlights" so that we could determine what things we might like to go back and spend longer at. We ended up going with www.allnewyorktours.com and chose this company for 3 reasons:-

1. It covered everything we wanted to see in 5 1/2 hours and the price was very competitive.

2. The tour had a smaller number of people than the larger companies. I can't remember exactly but it was a small bus with maybe approx. 25-30 people.

3. This is the main reason, every review I read talked about the amazing tour guides. People raved and raved and raved about the quality of local knowledge and useless facts combined with great sights.

I can honestly say this was one of the highlights of our whole holiday. We had travelled most of the day before (Vegas-LA-New York) and we were exhausted. My husband was NOT happy about having to get up early and be on a bus by 9am and for 5 hours none the less . He grumbled while we were waiting for the tour to begin and I was nervous how we were going to get through it, hahaha. Within a half hour DH turned to me and said how AMAZING the tour was and how much he was enjoying it. WHEW!!!!!!

We didn't not feel the need to go back to see any of the things on the tour, we definitely felt they gave good coverage. The only thing that we did go back to was Central Park but frankly you could spend days there and still not see all of that so that didn't surprise me. We were the only people with children on the tour and I thought the guide was extra attentive to them. IN fact because the tour numbers were so small everyone ended up being quite friendly by the end, it was a really great experience.

The highlight was the tour guides personal stories when we were at Ground Zero, very moving.

The limo company we used 4 times while in New York was Wiro Limo. I highly recommend them. Price was good and very reliable.

Hope that helps.

Tracy72
05-28-2010, 05:21 AM
Thanks sooooo much.

Ms Shuttlegirl you are wonderful ! Yes, it was definitely your posts that I was looking at. Going to book the 5.5 hr tour over the weekend. The night lights tour looked good as well, but someone told me today that it is boring ? I think it looks great. Did you do that one ?

Also if I could pick your brain a little more, did you go to Washington ? We were thinking about doing a day tour up from New York. Did you do anything like this ? The daytours I was looking at did not include Arlington Cemetary.

Thanks so much again, I spent 2 hours yesterday trying to find the post.

Tracy

Kangarucci
05-28-2010, 07:02 AM
Hi
We spent maybe 3 nights in DC and would like to go back. The day that we did our tour it rained so we didn't enjoy/appreciate it as much as we would have. Visited one of the Smithsonian museums which was fantastic. It had a rocket and other space items. They had a special exhibition with Dorothy's red shoes from the Wizard of Oz.

We stumbled across a Spy museum. I wasn't that keen on going but it was really interesting with alot of hands on activities.

You can book tours of the White House and there are also tours of the Pentagon but unfortunately we were unable to fit these in.

Next time we would go to Arlington Cemetery and possible re-do the tour to fully appreciate the monuments.

We caught the train to New York which was a relaxing way to travel. Very pleasant.

I don't believe that one day would do DC justice.

Ciao

queenie82
05-28-2010, 07:15 AM
The night tour would (I imagine) be amazing but I don't know what they do. I will say NYC is beautiful at night though. We got the Top of the Rock pass which gave a day pass and night pass and it was stunning.
If it is anything like the Paris nightlights tour we did I would recommend it.

A daytrip to Washington wouldn't do it justice in the slightest.
The Capitol, The Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial (an absolute fav...stunning at night)

Arlington is interesting and is a bit of a goosebump moment in terms of the sheer size and number of headstones. But of things to miss it would be the one I'd pick.

Smithsonian Air and Space is simply stunning.

I could spend a week in the area

aussietravellers
05-28-2010, 07:21 AM
Ms.Shuttergirl did that NY tour include a boat cruise? If so what was it like, did you actually go over to the Statue of Liberty or just cruise around the river? I just looked on the tours website, was it the "See it all NYC" one that you did, it looks great. Did you go to the top of the Rock? Where did you have stops on your tour?

I have looked at this company before. They have a Niagra Falls day trip, including return airfares and lunch. I would really love to do it, but we are only in NY for 6 days (7 nights but arrive at night and leave early am on our last day) so I don't know that I want to spend a day out of NY doing that.

Has anybody done the day trip to the Falls? It is a really long day, but sounds really good.

Ms. Shuttergirl
05-28-2010, 08:32 AM
Thanks sooooo much.

Ms Shuttlegirl you are wonderful ! Yes, it was definitely your posts that I was looking at. Going to book the 5.5 hr tour over the weekend. The night lights tour looked good as well, but someone told me today that it is boring ? I think it looks great. Did you do that one ?

Also if I could pick your brain a little more, did you go to Washington ? We were thinking about doing a day tour up from New York. Did you do anything like this ? The daytours I was looking at did not include Arlington Cemetary.

Thanks so much again, I spent 2 hours yesterday trying to find the post.

Tracy

Hey Tracy, glad I could help. I didn't do a night tour but just the idea of that sounds fabulous.

We didn't visit Washington last time but definitely plan to go there next year. We are thinking 3 days.

Ms. Shuttergirl
05-28-2010, 08:33 AM
Hi
We spent maybe 3 nights in DC and would like to go back. The day that we did our tour it rained so we didn't enjoy/appreciate it as much as we would have. Visited one of the Smithsonian museums which was fantastic. It had a rocket and other space items. They had a special exhibition with Dorothy's red shoes from the Wizard of Oz.

We stumbled across a Spy museum. I wasn't that keen on going but it was really interesting with alot of hands on activities.

You can book tours of the White House and there are also tours of the Pentagon but unfortunately we were unable to fit these in.

Next time we would go to Arlington Cemetery and possible re-do the tour to fully appreciate the monuments.

We caught the train to New York which was a relaxing way to travel. Very pleasant.

I don't believe that one day would do DC justice.

Ciao

Are you able to share details of the tour you did? I would like to start researching this and always love to start with a recommendation.

Ms. Shuttergirl
05-28-2010, 08:34 AM
The night tour would (I imagine) be amazing but I don't know what they do. I will say NYC is beautiful at night though. We got the Top of the Rock pass which gave a day pass and night pass and it was stunning.
If it is anything like the Paris nightlights tour we did I would recommend it.

A daytrip to Washington wouldn't do it justice in the slightest.
The Capitol, The Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial (an absolute fav...stunning at night)

Arlington is interesting and is a bit of a goosebump moment in terms of the sheer size and number of headstones. But of things to miss it would be the one I'd pick.

Smithsonian Air and Space is simply stunning.

I could spend a week in the area

I think I might look into the night tour of NY, it really would be beautiful.

Are you actually able to tour the White House? I would love that.

Ms. Shuttergirl
05-28-2010, 08:36 AM
Ms.Shuttergirl did that NY tour include a boat cruise? If so what was it like, did you actually go over to the Statue of Liberty or just cruise around the river? I just looked on the tours website, was it the "See it all NYC" one that you did, it looks great. Did you go to the top of the Rock? Where did you have stops on your tour?

I have looked at this company before. They have a Niagra Falls day trip, including return airfares and lunch. I would really love to do it, but we are only in NY for 6 days (7 nights but arrive at night and leave early am on our last day) so I don't know that I want to spend a day out of NY doing that.

Has anybody done the day trip to the Falls? It is a really long day, but sounds really good.

The tour included a ride on the Statten Island Ferry. You go right past Statue of Liberty which was a great photo op and amazing to look at, past Ellis Island which I actually would've liked to go to (maybe next time) and back. We may do a cruise next time although I definitely felt the ferry was plenty.

aussietravellers
05-28-2010, 04:50 PM
The tour included a ride on the Statten Island Ferry. You go right past Statue of Liberty which was a great photo op and amazing to look at, past Ellis Island which I actually would've liked to go to (maybe next time) and back. We may do a cruise next time although I definitely felt the ferry was plenty.

Thank you :flower3:.....thats great, I didn't actually want to go to Ellis Island, just want to cruise on past. I was going to book Hop On Hop Off to do for a day to get our bearings of NY but we may swap to that tour as it looks great, although I have checked and the first day we arrive its only a 10am departure available, I was hoping for the 8.30am. I know where we want to go during our week...
(son's list) FAO Schwarz, Toy's R Us, Natural History Museum (or is that the name of it in London :rotfl:, its the one from Night at the Museum movie) Central Park Zoo and central Park. Our list is a cruise to see statue of liberty, Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, Greenwich Village (magnolia cupcakes here we come), Brooklyn Bridge and shopping and if possible I would like to go to the Martha Stewart show taping!

So really can't decided between the hop on and hop off or the one you did :confused3

The tour you did in NY, did you go to top of the rock? or just to rockerfeller centre?

queenie82
05-28-2010, 08:14 PM
Thank you :flower3:.....thats great, I didn't actually want to go to Ellis Island, just want to cruise on past. I was going to book Hop On Hop Off to do for a day to get our bearings of NY but we may swap to that tour as it looks great, although I have checked and the first day we arrive its only a 10am departure available, I was hoping for the 8.30am. I know where we want to go during our week...
(son's list) FAO Schwarz, Toy's R Us, Natural History Museum (or is that the name of it in London :rotfl:, its the one from Night at the Museum movie) Central Park Zoo and central Park. Our list is a cruise to see statue of liberty, Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, Greenwich Village (magnolia cupcakes here we come), Brooklyn Bridge and shopping and if possible I would like to go to the Martha Stewart show taping!

So really can't decided between the hop on and hop off or the one you did :confused3

The tour you did in NY, did you go to top of the rock? or just to rockerfeller centre?Looking at the list seems you want the citipass. Includes cruise, Museum of Natural City, Empire, Top of the Rock.
We did Top of the Rock and Empire. Top of the Rock is better but both are awesome. Best thing about Top of the Rock is looking straight across to Empire. :thumbsup2

queenie82
05-28-2010, 08:21 PM
I think I might look into the night tour of NY, it really would be beautiful.

Are you actually able to tour the White House? I would love that.It used to be easier to do...but not anymore. Sadly the terrorists stuffed that up :(
We haven't tried applying since this change happened but I would contact them and see what you have to do.

Public tours of the White House are available. Requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress and are accepted up to six months in advance. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Fridays, and 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturdays (excluding federal holidays). Tour hours will be extended when possible based on the official White House schedule. Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 30 days in advance. You are encouraged to submit your request as early as possible since a limited number of tours are available. All White House tours are free of charge. For the most current tour information, please call the 24-hour line at 202-456-7041. Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.

If you wish to visit the White House and are a citizen of a foreign country, please contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events

You MUST visit the Capitol though. It is amazing.
Welcome to the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center's online tour reservation system.

To begin the reservation process for your tour of the U.S. Capitol, select the MAKE A NEW RESERVATION link. If you wish to edit an existing reservation, select the VIEW, MODIFY OR CANCEL AN EXISTING RESERVATION link.
NOTE: You must have your confirmation number available in order to view, modify or cancel an existing reservation.

Tours of the historic U.S. Capitol are free; however tour passes are required. The Capitol is open Monday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tours of the Capitol begin with a 13-minute orientation film and last approximately one hour. Please take advantage of the Exhibition Hall, the Restaurant, the Gift Shops and other amenities at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center before or after your tour. We hope you enjoy your visit!
http://tours.visitthecapitol.gov/

Kangarucci
05-28-2010, 08:32 PM
Ms. Shuttergirl- We picked the tour brochure up at the hotel and booked then and there. I will have a look to see if I kept the brochure.

Yes, they do have tours of the White House but not on a Monday or Sunday. There is also a White House Visitor Center. If you are a foreign visitor you need to go through our Aus. Embassy in DC. Maybe give Foreign Affairs in Canberra an email and see what they say.

Check out the website below :

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events

Aussietravellers- Magnolia Bakery has a store at the Rockefeller Center: 1240 Avenues of Americas . I also plan on visiting.

http://www.magnoliabakery.com/

Toy Story
05-29-2010, 05:03 AM
[QUOTE=aussietravellers;36800951]I would like to go to the Martha Stewart show taping!

Hi Aussietravellers - we went to a taping of the Martha show when we were there in April. It was interesting - the warm up guy was great. Unfortunately it is hard to actually 'watch' Martha, as she is surrounded by TV cameras. Was great to see the whole workings of the show.

We did not do any tours, and found our way around pretty easily, using the subway. On our first day, we covered Central Park, the Zoo, the Plaza (to visit the Eloise shop), the Apple Shop (it was just after the ipad was released and it was crazy) and FAO Schwarz (we where there for about two hours).

We spent 10 days in NY, with a mix of sight seeing, shopping, and odd things thrown in (a comic book festival, a visit to Columbia University and two trips to the American Girls store).

aussiemickeys
05-29-2010, 12:32 PM
With regards to Washington DC - I would also recommend more than a day trip here if at all possible. I think 3 days is a good amount of time & even then there will still be a lot of the minor sights you still won't get to.
Cannot rave enough about how great DC is for tourists. So much of it is free to do (all the Monuments & Smithsonian Museums).
Arlington Cemetary is easy to do on your own. Once you are in DC, you just take the Metro to the Arlington stop (which is right near the entrance) & they have little tour buses that take you to the highlights (Kennedy' grave, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier & changing of the guard & I think it is Robert E Lees house which from behind it has an amazing view of the city).
Also I feel a must do is to go up inside the Washington Monument, which has the most amazing views from each of the 4 sides. Now this is free, but they only let 120 people up per hour. To garantee yourself tickets you can go onto the website & pre purchase them for a small fee of about US $2.75.

Love the Staten Island Ferry in New York. Free & it goes very close past the Statue of Liberty (so you can get some great photos). I have been to Ellis Island twice & have really enjoyed the Audio tour. Our father was an Italian immigrant to Australia, so maybe it resonated a bit more for us, as our friend also went & she didn't seem to enjoy it as much as we did.
Another massive vote for Top of the Rock (especially like it in the day time when you can look out over Central Park).
I think I also saw a few more branches of the Magnolia Bakery around last year when we there. I seem to remember that for some reason. Might be worth checking out to see if there is one closer to you than the original (unless the original is the one that you really want to go to). My 2 cents on the cupcakes - cake part was nice, but the icing made my teeth ache it was so over the top sweet. Having said that, we just had to try them.
Don't forget the World of Disney store on 5th Avenue as well. I know they will be moving to Times Square, but I don't think they have yet.
When you go the Museums, a lot will have a "suggested" entry price (that is very exxy), at these ones you can actually tell them how much you would like to pay to get in & they let you. A local New Yorker told us that one & then said "we let the tourists pay the full price & we pay a dollar or two".

I have just reread thru this post & it might seem I am fixated on "free" stuff, which I am not - but let's be honest, any extra money saved is more money for souveniers!

Ms. Shuttergirl
05-29-2010, 05:47 PM
It used to be easier to do...but not anymore. Sadly the terrorists stuffed that up :(
We haven't tried applying since this change happened but I would contact them and see what you have to do.

Public tours of the White House are available. Requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress and are accepted up to six months in advance. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Fridays, and 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturdays (excluding federal holidays). Tour hours will be extended when possible based on the official White House schedule. Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 30 days in advance. You are encouraged to submit your request as early as possible since a limited number of tours are available. All White House tours are free of charge. For the most current tour information, please call the 24-hour line at 202-456-7041. Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.

If you wish to visit the White House and are a citizen of a foreign country, please contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events

You MUST visit the Capitol though. It is amazing.
Welcome to the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center's online tour reservation system.

To begin the reservation process for your tour of the U.S. Capitol, select the MAKE A NEW RESERVATION link. If you wish to edit an existing reservation, select the VIEW, MODIFY OR CANCEL AN EXISTING RESERVATION link.
NOTE: You must have your confirmation number available in order to view, modify or cancel an existing reservation.

Tours of the historic U.S. Capitol are free; however tour passes are required. The Capitol is open Monday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tours of the Capitol begin with a 13-minute orientation film and last approximately one hour. Please take advantage of the Exhibition Hall, the Restaurant, the Gift Shops and other amenities at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center before or after your tour. We hope you enjoy your visit!
http://tours.visitthecapitol.gov/

Hey thanks for that info Queenie. I'm going to look into this more thoroughly because I think it would be amazing to do. I have a good client who works at the Embassy in Washington so might see if she can't pull some strings for us too :lmao:. It's worth a try anyway.

aussietravellers
05-29-2010, 11:18 PM
[QUOTE=aussietravellers;36800951]I would like to go to the Martha Stewart show taping!

Hi Aussietravellers - we went to a taping of the Martha show when we were there in April. It was interesting - the warm up guy was great. Unfortunately it is hard to actually 'watch' Martha, as she is surrounded by TV cameras. Was great to see the whole workings of the show.


Thanks so much for posting! Was it hard to get tickets? I have just looked at the site again and it says tickets for this season are sold out and to check back in August for tickets for the next season, so I have in my calendar to remind me on the 1st August to check again as i would really love to go!


Aussietravellers- Magnolia Bakery has a store at the Rockefeller Center: 1240 Avenues of Americas . I also plan on visiting.

http://www.magnoliabakery.com/

Thank you :goodvibes I do have that as a back up. I did want to go to Greenwich Village to have a walk around but if we don't get there then it will be Rockerfeller Center (or maybe both :rotfl: ), I have been wanting to go to Magnolia Bakery for so long. I read something the other day that grossed me out a bit though :sick: I read that you pick up a box and walk along and pick the cupcakes you would like and this person was there and the person in front of them was coughing all over the cupcakes :scared1: :sick: I assumed that you would to up to a counter and order what you would like and they would put them into a box or bag but to have them all open like a buffet, mmmm. Not sure, but I will be going regardless to have a look and yes I will probably indulge :lmao:

Toy Story
05-30-2010, 01:10 AM
[QUOTE=aussietravellers;36812855][QUOTE=Toy Story;36804775]

Thanks so much for posting! Was it hard to get tickets? I have just looked at the site again and it says tickets for this season are sold out and to check back in August for tickets for the next season, so I have in my calendar to remind me on the 1st August to check again as i would really love to go!

No - not to hard, you apply online, the tickets were available for a week at a time, and you could nominate a choice of any day or specify your first and second preference. There was two episodes filmed a day - the morning one that we went to was live, whereas the afternoon was for another day. When you apply you just give a brief outline of who you are and your interests, I specifically mentioned it was our first trip to NY, you also listed any questions you might like to ask Martha.

We were advised we had tickets about three weeks out. Then a few days before the taping we received another email saying there was still room in the audience if I wanted more tickets, then during the taping the audience was told there was still tickets for the afternoon show. Unfortunately we already had something planned for the afternoon.

In terms of cupcakes, we did not make it into the Magnolia Bakery near the Rockerfellar Centre, we did however have lovely cupcakes from Dean & DeLuca.

The Disney store was no longer open. There was 'opening soon' signs for a Lego store near the Rockerfellar Centre, there was also a Nintendo world nearby.

My partner and DD12 went to the Natural History Museum, allow at least half a day if you want to see it all, and keep in mind that a lot of school groups go through.

We also did the Statten Island Ferry, it was good - just don't buy the coffee at the Terminal! My youngest daughter wants to actually go to the Statue of Liberty on our next trip.