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Old 04-21-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
sunny45
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Sightseeing Tours of LA from Anaheim

We are not going to be renting a car and want to to take one day and go up to LA for a tour of the area.

There are 3 companies that will do that from Anaheim
Grayline, Starline and Anahaim Tour Company-all will pick up and drop off at our hotel in Anaheim.

All have good and bad reviews. Main difference I can see upfront is Starline doesn't go to any beach at all. Anaheim goes to Venice Beach -not really top on my list of beaches I want to see though.
Grayline goes to your choice of Venice Beach or Santa Monica Pier which would be the one I would pick out of the two (Santa Monica Pier).
All go to the major attractions we would want to see, Walk of Fame, Graumans, Farmers Market, etc. Starline goes to La Brea Tar Pits and the other two don't.

Anyone ever do any of these tours and what are your opinions.
Renting a car and exploring on our own is out. We have already discussed doing that. We want someone else to do the driving for us and not worry about GPS's, parking, etc.


Researched all of them and now have to make that final decision. This is the final decision I have to make for this vacation
woo-hoo
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
DisneyFreak06
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We did the LA Experience Tour with Grayline. I liked it! If you check out my TR from Disneyland, you will see my pictures and my review.

Here is a link to the page with the tour:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post44799447
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:50 PM   #3
bolty717
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We did a tour with VIP Tours 2 weeks ago - our hotel (Hyatt Regency) booked it for us - I'd previously googled Gray's and another but hadn't come up with VIP tours. They picked us up from the hotel to their office which was also on Harbor Blvd. We did a 9am - 3pm-ish tour of LA and Hollywood - finishing with lunch at the Farmers Market/the Grove. We chose to do the shorter one as we didn't think our 6 year old would have a heap of patience for the longer trip. The service and the driver were very good. Because we went on the shorter trip, we were picked up by a separate driver/van and brought straight back to Anaheim, but that all went very smoothly. We were on a fairly small bus (compared to some of the others that we saw) but that was fine too. The cost was $145 for the 3 of us (2 adults, 1 child) - plus tip (and they push the tip thing pretty hard!). Was still cheaper than some I had previously googled. We found it was a good day out and was a good length - didn't feel it took up all of our day and we were still back in plenty of time at the hotel for a swim and didn't feel we were stuck on a bus all day.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:03 AM   #4
sunny45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyFreak06 View Post
We did the LA Experience Tour with Grayline. I liked it! If you check out my TR from Disneyland, you will see my pictures and my review.

Here is a link to the page with the tour:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post44799447
Thank you for the information-your pictures are great. Gives a great overall idea of what we would be seeing on the tour. Did this tour require a tip at the end by having a sign posted in the bus? Were they pushy about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bolty717 View Post
We did a tour with VIP Tours 2 weeks ago - our hotel (Hyatt Regency) booked it for us - I'd previously googled Gray's and another but hadn't come up with VIP tours. They picked us up from the hotel to their office which was also on Harbor Blvd. We did a 9am - 3pm-ish tour of LA and Hollywood - finishing with lunch at the Farmers Market/the Grove. We chose to do the shorter one as we didn't think our 6 year old would have a heap of patience for the longer trip. The service and the driver were very good. Because we went on the shorter trip, we were picked up by a separate driver/van and brought straight back to Anaheim, but that all went very smoothly. We were on a fairly small bus (compared to some of the others that we saw) but that was fine too. The cost was $145 for the 3 of us (2 adults, 1 child) - plus tip (and they push the tip thing pretty hard!). Was still cheaper than some I had previously googled. We found it was a good day out and was a good length - didn't feel it took up all of our day and we were still back in plenty of time at the hotel for a swim and didn't feel we were stuck on a bus all day.

I never heard of this company before. Thanks for the information. I like some of the additional areas they go to. They have a lot of mixed reviews some very good and some horrifying
I see they are quite pushy about their tips in their reviews.
Did you tip their recommended 15% that is posted in the bus?
That would be nearly $20 for our tour ($130). I would prefer to tip what I felt the driver deserved, if he was knowledgeable and actually knew some history or just simply drove the bus and mentioned things in passing that were obvious, like that's the Hollywood sign, or we are on Rodeo Drive.
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1976 offsite w/ cousins
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2001 Feb Caribbean Beach (DH & DD's)
2003 Aug Yacht Club (DH & DD's)
2007 Sept POP Century-25th anniversary-DH&I
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:24 PM   #5
Freesia123
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Thank you! This is the perfect tour for us (6hours) this price is excellent as well!
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:03 PM   #6
Mabel67
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We did the Grayline full day one...I can't remember the name, but it was 9am-6pm ish...
Had choice of Venice or Santa Monica Pier. Next time would choose Santa Monica. Venice was not exactly our scene....
Would definitely take this tour again.
Just the right amount of sights and time off bus...
We were 3 adults taking tour and all enjoyed.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:04 PM   #7
sunny45
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Originally Posted by Freesia123 View Post
Thank you! This is the perfect tour for us (6hours) this price is excellent as well!

When will you be going? Would love to get your opinion as well.

I think I am going to book with them since they do have so many additional stops, and not worry about their tip pleas. Tripadvisor has them about 50/50 between excellent/good/average and poor/terrible.
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1976 offsite w/ cousins
1998 May Offsite (DH & DD's)
2001 Feb Caribbean Beach (DH & DD's)
2003 Aug Yacht Club (DH & DD's)
2007 Sept POP Century-25th anniversary-DH&I
2010 Dec POP 2 rooms (DH & adult DD's)
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mabel67 View Post
We did the Grayline full day one...I can't remember the name, but it was 9am-6pm ish...
Had choice of Venice or Santa Monica Pier. Next time would choose Santa Monica. Venice was not exactly our scene....
Would definitely take this tour again.
Just the right amount of sights and time off bus...
We were 3 adults taking tour and all enjoyed.
That's the LA/Hollywood Experience. Santa Monica would be our choice over Venice Beach as well.

The other tour (VIP Tours of California) goes to Venice Beach for a stop and then a drive through Marina Del Rey and Fisherman's Village for other "water" areas on their all day tour which makes that kind of interesting but I don't think they stop there. Starline goes to no water areas at all.

I know Venice Beach isn't our type of thing either. That's the one downfall, but at least we'll see the Pacific Ocean.
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1976 offsite w/ cousins
1998 May Offsite (DH & DD's)
2001 Feb Caribbean Beach (DH & DD's)
2003 Aug Yacht Club (DH & DD's)
2007 Sept POP Century-25th anniversary-DH&I
2010 Dec POP 2 rooms (DH & adult DD's)
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:54 PM   #9
rella's fan
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I booked with Anaheim 411 for next week, reviews seem to be good and I spoke with the owner "Tom" when booking. They also pick up at the hotel. They do a LA/Hollywood day, Hollywood transportation only, a Warner Bros. studio tour, and even a local beach day that includes Newport, Laguna and Huntington Beach. You might want to check them out.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:02 PM   #10
sunny45
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Originally Posted by rella's fan View Post
I booked with Anaheim 411 for next week, reviews seem to be good and I spoke with the owner "Tom" when booking. They also pick up at the hotel. They do a LA/Hollywood day, Hollywood transportation only, a Warner Bros. studio tour, and even a local beach day that includes Newport, Laguna and Huntington Beach. You might want to check them out.


Thanks. I will those are great beaches!!!
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1998 May Offsite (DH & DD's)
2001 Feb Caribbean Beach (DH & DD's)
2003 Aug Yacht Club (DH & DD's)
2007 Sept POP Century-25th anniversary-DH&I
2010 Dec POP 2 rooms (DH & adult DD's)
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:25 PM   #11
bolty717
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I never heard of this company before. Thanks for the information. I like some of the additional areas they go to. They have a lot of mixed reviews some very good and some horrifying
I see they are quite pushy about their tips in their reviews.
Did you tip their recommended 15% that is posted in the bus?
That would be nearly $20 for our tour ($130). I would prefer to tip what I felt the driver deserved, if he was knowledgeable and actually knew some history or just simply drove the bus and mentioned things in passing that were obvious, like that's the Hollywood sign, or we are on Rodeo Drive.[/QUOTE]


Our issue was that we had 2 drivers , so only 1 conducted the tour the other merely drove us back to our hotel yet still pointed out the tip sign. We tipped the 1st driver the most (he did most the work and was actually good). We noted that the other party we were on the return leg with did not tip at all. It did grate me a bit that we paid $145 for the trip and were still expected to tip another $20 or so on top. We come from New Zealand where no one tips and no one would ever ask for a tip.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:58 PM   #12
sunny45
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[/QUOTE]Our issue was that we had 2 drivers , so only 1 conducted the tour the other merely drove us back to our hotel yet still pointed out the tip sign. We tipped the 1st driver the most (he did most the work and was actually good). We noted that the other party we were on the return leg with did not tip at all. It did grate me a bit that we paid $145 for the trip and were still expected to tip another $20 or so on top. We come from New Zealand where no one tips and no one would ever ask for a tip.[/QUOTE]



We would have the same scenario-the driver from Anaheim to LA-then the actual tour driver-then the driver back to Anaheim. There is no way just the driver who transports us to LA/Anaheim and back should be tipped and definitely not 15% or 20% for just driving the bus.

The only one who should be tipped is the actual tour driver who is conducting the tour and then ONLY what you feel they deserve. They shouldn't tell you what you should pay.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:01 PM   #13
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I remember we gave her a small tip. Nothing extravagent, because I can't remember how much! I don't think they were extremely pushy about it either. There may have been a sign on the bus, though, but I can't remember. (Sorry! I guess I'm forgetful!)

I left my glasses in my sunglasses case on the bus, and realized it when we got in to the hotel. (In case you missed this story.) We went in, and the hotel called Greyline. The bus driver actually came back to drop off my glasses to me after her last drop off! She did not have to do that, but it shows that the company, or at least that driver, is quite honest and helpful.
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Someone left their inside b*** on the toilet (WDW, July/Aug 2014) Dorothy and Blanche: a tale of leftover shoes and lost things! My Club 33 Disneyland trip! July 2013A Blast from the Past (2009!)The trip to make up for the cold (WDW, July 2012) I'm never staying home for March Break again (Disneyland, March 2012) You little sneak, a TR with lies and pictures (WDW, July/Aug 2010)
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:38 PM   #14
sunny45
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Originally Posted by DisneyFreak06 View Post
I remember we gave her a small tip. Nothing extravagent, because I can't remember how much! I don't think they were extremely pushy about it either. There may have been a sign on the bus, though, but I can't remember. (Sorry! I guess I'm forgetful!)

I left my glasses in my sunglasses case on the bus, and realized it when we got in to the hotel. (In case you missed this story.) We went in, and the hotel called Greyline. The bus driver actually came back to drop off my glasses to me after her last drop off! She did not have to do that, but it shows that the company, or at least that driver, is quite honest and helpful.
That was really nice of her to do that. If you had given her a significant tip you probably would have remembered, or felt that you had to tip a certain amount. Grayline is a large company. They have fleets of buses all over the country. I think they have a big reputation to keep up, not just locally but all over the USA.
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1976 offsite w/ cousins
1998 May Offsite (DH & DD's)
2001 Feb Caribbean Beach (DH & DD's)
2003 Aug Yacht Club (DH & DD's)
2007 Sept POP Century-25th anniversary-DH&I
2010 Dec POP 2 rooms (DH & adult DD's)
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:11 PM   #15
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I'm not going until July unfortunately
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