This is long, but its what you need to know before you even think of booking a tour with anyone else.
My girlfriend and i are 25 years old. We like seeing cool and interesting things, minus all the "frommers fun facts" out of a text book that will bore us to death. So we recently booked a trip to NYC but only for a day. upon booking this trip i was looking into getting a tour as we had never been to NYC before, we wanted to take in as much as we could for the day that we were there. So upon doing that i stumbled upon these NYC "walking tours" on trip advisor and thought it would be a great idea alternative to riding one of those tour buses.(and boy was i ever right!)
So before i booked, I looked at the different kinds of tours on trip advisor and decided to email the top 3.(being that they are in the rank that they are for a reason) I gave each of them the scenario i was in, what i was looking for, and the kind of people we are in hopes that i could get a better feel for these companies as they replied with something i would like to purchase as far as a tour goes. I heard back from them all saying how great their companies were, how long they have lived in NYC for and yadda yadda.
What captured my attention the most was Max's reply. He seemed so down to earth and was more looking to cater his tour to us in a special way by customizing it however we wanted if we didn't like what his initial package was offering, In order for us to see everything we wanted. NONE of the others said anything like that. they gave me what their tour was going to cover, and that was it.
I then sent all 3 of them a 2nd email with regards to how their tour was comparable with the 2 others. at this point it was just to see if they each had something special up their sleeves, and how they viewed their competition. after receiving all 3 replies back, Max was on top of my list once again. he sent me an email that declined to share his views on his competition and also laid out a customized tour that might appeal to us. i was blown away at this point. after hearing trash talk from the other 2 about their competition, how the Gotham tour was more than double the price of max's, with no room to bargain. and how the real ny tours was going to just send us out with 1 of 20 of their struggling actors , It was easy for me to make my decision to go with max's City rover tours. HANDS DOWN.
So! we arrived in NY and went on our tour with max and i was so reassured that i made the right decision. he knows so much about the city. we talked about pretty much everything as we walked. and as far as stumping him goes? no such thing. this guy did his homework. as we were on our tour he would stop us and explain a few things on certain places, as we were standing there we got a few "ny locals" each time that liked to put their "2 cents" in and say that he was wrong and tried to tell him "how it really is". Needless to say these people walked away pretty quiet in the end with their pride being swallowed faster than a shot of Jack Daniels. This guy knows alot. there is no such thing as questioning/stumping him because its impossible, and he does it in such a way that it doesn't come off rude or as if 2 people are having an argument. Max is very professional and he makes you feel as if you are not a customer, but a friend. and he caps his tours at 12 people. that way you can actually hear what he's saying and get a more personable experience. we did see another walking tour that had about 20 people in it. there's no way everyone can hear what is going on. none the less, you look like one big mob walking down the street.
NOTE: if you were thinking of taking a tour bus around the city? Don't! its the biggest waste of money. as we were walking we noticed a couple of double Decker buses that were giving tours. This is not the place to be. these buses stop for all of 4 seconds and then go again. and in the meantime you get to try and hear the sound of a cab honking at you for stopping over what the guide is saying. not a good time at all.
In all, if you have made it through this novel of a review. i would have to congratulate you. 2ndly i will say that when i come back to ny, max will be the FIRST one i call to go on another tour with. this guy just loves his city and that's all there is to it. you will see if you book with him. it was the best money i spent in my time in NYC.
So in conclusion....
If you want to double overpay for a tour with a lady that thinks shes #1 above all others, and is looking to get rich off of you, go with Gotham.
If you want to have some random actor sent out with you, feeding you useless facts and the same corny jokes they do on all their tours, in a city they read a tour guide manual on and barely even know, go with Real NY Tours.
If you want a tour that meets your needs, has a very very informative guide that also owns the company and does all his own tours, and really makes you feel comfortable and at home in one of the largest city's in the world. Go with max and City Rover. You wont be disappointed.
Oh and lastly. Max is only been doing these tours since the spring of this year and hes already ranked where he is in the top 3. AND since i did my homework and booked with him 2 weeks ago, he is gone from #3 to #2 in trip advisor rankings. So that must say something in itself for only being in business for 7 months.
Book with City Rover & Enjoy a GREAT experience!!!