January 7, 2014

NYC See it All Tour by OnBoard Tours

When planning our NYC trip, hubby and I agreed we'd do an organized tour on our second day. Our first day (arrival day) was allotted for resting at the hotel because we were arriving late in the afternoon anyway (which later turned into early evening because of delayed flight and traffic). That way, we'd get a feel of the place and see those other places we would not otherwise include on our own sightseeing plans. I had a choice between a hop-on hop-off and a guided tour.

A hop-on hop-off is not an organized tour. But I like the idea because you get to do your own sightseeing in your own pace plus the benefit of a guide who will tell you anecdotes of each building, place, etc. When I read the reviews however, I changed my mind. Some say, you'd have to wait a long time for a bus to arrive. And some even complained about the guides literally asking for tip every time you get off the bus.

I found a guided tour on tripadvisor with good reviews - OnBoard Tours. So I checked their website. Although the price is a bit expensive compared to hop-on hop-off, I chose this because the tour promises to bring you to places which we really wanted to visit (and more). The tour is only 5.5 hours, meaning it's not too long and it's not rushed either.

They have two schedules: 10am-3:30pm and 12:30pm-6:00pm. We chose the afternoon schedule so we could sleep in as late as we wanted. But guess what, we all woke up that morning at 5am. It was either jet lag or excitement or both.

The itinerary looks like this:
Times Square
World Trade Center Site
New York Stock Exchange
Wall Street
Trinity Church
World Financial Center
Federal Hall
Madison Square Park
Flatiron Building
South Street Seaport
US Customs Building
5th Avenue
Rockefeller Center
NBC’s Today Show Set
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Central Park
Strawberry Fields
Dakota Building
Plus: A ride on the world famous Staten Island Ferry and short trip to Staten Island 911 Memorial

If you notice, I've stricken some places. Well, those are the places we did not stop even though the tour promised them. But we did pass through them along with the other landmarks in the city (like Plaza Hotel, Herald Square, Macy's, Washington Square Park, SOHO/Tribeca, Chinatown, NYU, etc) with the guide telling us interesting stories about each place.

Adults: $89.99 and Children under 12: $69.99 (plus $5/ticket for handling fee)

Adults: $99.99 and Children under 12: $79.99 (plus $5/ticket for handling fee)

My review:
We did enjoy the tour. I was a little worried about EJ being bored but the entire tour was interesting and fun. Our guide, Jeff, seemed to know everything! He was very engaging and also funny.

The tour brought us to places which we would have never visited (because of lack of time) or passed through on our own. So I am very pleased we did this tour.

Here are some of our pictures from the tour:

{Our guide, Jeff, with his red and white umbrella directing our attention to Dakota Building}

{Bus meet up, is right in front of our hotel and is a few steps from Late Show with David Letterman}

{At Madison Square Park, perfect place to get a picture of the Empire State Building}

{At Madison Square Park. EJ ran to say hello to a squirrel while I pose}

{Flat Iron Building, one of the oldest building in NYC}

{Strawberry Fields - Memorial to John Lennon at Central Park}

{Aboard Staten Island Ferry}

{"Postcards" Staten Island's 9/11 Memorial}

{NY Stock Exchange, Wall Street}

If you notice, we were not wearing heavy coats. That's because the first two days we were there, the weather was pleasant. It was about 7-10 degrees celsius only. But the remaining days we were there, were sub-zero temperatures. Sabi nga tagos sa buto. LOL!