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“Memorable tour, with a good customer service twist!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tours by Isabelle

Tours by Isabelle
P.O. Box 740972, New Orleans, LA 70131
504 398 03 65
Website
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Visit like an insider
$80*
and up
Certificate of Excellence 2014
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Tours By Isabelle is the oldest locally owned and family run New Orleans tour company, providing first class, small scale, personalized service since 1979! Experienced and knowledgeable Driver-Guides on board comfortable, top of the line 13 passenger vans enthusiastically will make you fall in love with Louisiana!
San Diego, CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Memorable tour, with a good customer service twist!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2010

My parents and I signed up for the post-Katrina tour. At $65 per person (plus tip) it was a bit on the steep side, but the tour did live up to its billing in quality and customer service. Our driver, Stanley, was a local who was clearly proud of the community he was born and raised in. Personable and accommodating, I would generally rate him favorably. (Side note: the neighbors in the Katrina-affected areas reacted favorably to Stanley's tour - one woman flagged our van down and handed us some photos of the flood damage to her house! Apparently they like that the outside world is seeing how this situation has affected them... and hope that we'll work to make the situation better)

The customer service twist came when I realized I had left my iPhone on the van. I called in the missing phone within 10-15 minutes of having been dropped off. Unfortunately, the dispatcher said that Stanley was already crossing the Mississippi River and wouldn't be able to return to drop off the phone right away and that we'd have to wait and see if the cleaning service found the phone.

Fortunately, I got a call from Isabelle herself that night, who confirmed that they had indeed found the phone and that they would arrange to return it to me the next day (the last day of my trip). Even though they didn't have any tours scheduled that Monday, Isabelle herself drove downtown in her personal vehicle and delivered my phone to me! She probably spent an hour of her own time just to make sure I left my tour a satisfied customer, and I have to say that I appreciated the effort. Very impressive, and so happy to have my phone back too! When it comes to this tour company, you obviously get what you pay for: an interesting, personalized, first-rate tour, and top-notch customer service that goes above and beyond what you'd expect!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Washington, DC
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Delightful, Delovely”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2009

Tours by Isabelle provided the most personal service I have ever had the pleasure to experience on a group tour. Our guide was not just a fountain of memorized information but obviously had a passion for the subject matter and embellished it with wonderful human interest stories and conveyed to us her love for New Orleans. My friend and I took the Creole plantation tour over this past Labor Day and we thoroughly enjoyed it even in the pouring rain! Oak Alley is just at thrilling in a down pour as it is in bright sun shine. Our group was small and we were a family by the end of the afternoon. Isabelle was prompt in responding to messages left on a voice mail and everything was arranged with ease. Isabelle, we will be sure to contact you on our next trip to New Orleans. I am glad to know that the difference between Creole and Cajun cooking is tomatoes. Thank you for making a wonderful trip to New Orleans even better. Ann B. Washington DC

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Post Katrina Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2009

We took the Post Katrina tour yesterday. I had reservations about taking a tour - not wanting to "gawk" at the people still having such a hard time. Then I read an article that most people still living in the affected areas didn't mind the tours because it brought more awareness to their situation. I must say I was shocked. I had no idea of the devastation that still exists four years after the storm. It was very, very sobering but very enlightening. Our tour guide was Joseph, who evacuated during the storm, lived in a FEMA trailer, and had a lot of first hand knowledge about the situation. The tour is not really something you would take for enjoyment, but as a definite learning experience. I really felt like we came away from it with a much better understanding of how it happened and what still needs to happen. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who comes to New Orleans and thinks everything is back to normal. The van picked us up at our hotel promptly at 8:30 and it was a very pleasant and comfortable trip - with only 3 other passengers besides my husband and I. Thanks Joseph for telling us about Mulate's - just ate and danced there tonight!!!!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Isabelle Tours”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2009

We had the Katrina tour with Isabelle tours. Our tour master was Ginny. She was FANTASTIC!!!!! She has a wealth of knowledge and very pleasant. I would never use anyone else for tours in New Orleans. It was intimate and very personal. She came to our hotel and picked us up in front..service...lol Mid-point through the tour, we stopped at a very nice cafe. We used the bathroom and got some coffee....

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Moncton, Canada
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“City/Katrina Tour & Plantation Tour”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2009

I used "Tours by Isabelle" for both of the above mentionned tours during my 1st trip to NO this past April.
The plantation tour is really just a pick-up/drop off service as they only drive you to the various plantations. Once there, you are given your tour by the plantation guides; so any tour company can be used for this particular "tour".

I enjoyed the City/Katrina tour very much. The lady who gave my particular tour was very nice and informative. It was very sad, moving, and enlightning to see all the devastated areas, to hear what happened during and after the storm, and what is still happening today. However, as mentionned in a previous post, it's really a Katrina tour more than a city tour. You only see the city while driving to the various Katrina sites.

The company used passenger vans which can fit up to 13 people. Even though technically you can fit 13 people, it is very crowded and not comfortable for the people who are stuck in the middle of the seat (3 people per seat + 1 up front with the driver). I know it's a business and they are trying to minimize cost and maximize profits, but it's not very comfortable for the customer, especially for a long tour like the Katrina tour which last 3&1/2hrs.

Also, they only garantee tour departures when they have a certain number of people scheduled. Personally, I found this very frustrating cause you only have a certain amount of time when u're on vacation, and it's hard to plan your excursions and sightseeing when you don't know for sure what day your tour will be, or what time of day (morning vs afternoon).

Overall, they were satisfactory but I'm not sure I would use them again because of the vans (especially if it's a full tour) and their scheduling practices.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ToursByIsabelle, Owner at Tours by Isabelle, responded to this review, July 16, 2009
Thanks for your review! It's how we get better at what we do. We've recently changed the name of the Post-Katrina Tour and dropped the word 'City' from the title - it can be confusing. It's not a city tour, and we're glad you took something of value away from learning about and seeing first-hand the still-unbelievable devastation.

The vans are manufacturer-rated to hold 15 passengers; we never put more than 13 guests in one van. However, we can't know in advance the size of our clients, and unfortunately sometimes one row may be more crowded than the others.

Regarding our confirmation policy, it's frustrating for us, too! We're a small company, and can't run tours at a loss. We're thrilled to run any tour as long as we break even, so we've set our minimums very low (most tours require only four guests to confirm). Believe me, we want to take you on tour just as much as you want to go!

Thanks again for taking the time to review your experience with us. We hope to see you back in New Orleans soon!

Isabelle
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