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8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

m l
Orange, California
3 posts
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8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

The actual tour bus company that took me on this tour was C&J/Seagull Holiday. Let me just say, it was not what I expected. Although we visited many sights, we were rushed at EVERYTHING. They will not let you use the restroom on the bus, but make restroom stops about every 2 hours. This may sound reasonable, however, know you will NOT be the only tour bus making these stops so there WILL be a huge line, AND you WILL be timed. If you are late to the bus, they will make a big deal about it. Things would be easier and smoother if they would just allow people to use the restroom on the bus. There ARE ways of dealing with odor, and they CAN empty waste daily (they just choose not to).

ALL STOPS/BREAKS ARE TIMED, with the least/minimal time allowed.

RESTROOM BREAKS: Everyone from the back of the bus will rush to the front of the bus because they’ve had to hold their bowel movements for so long. There WILL be a long line to use the restroom. You will be given minimal time to release yourself and cannot peacefully do your business.

MEAL BREAKS: are usually split for using the restroom and eating (30 minutes to 1 hour max…which may sound reasonable, but not when you’re fighting with a large group of people...including other busloads of people...who are trying to do the same thing). You are told to not wait until the last 15-20 minutes to use the restroom because there will be a line. However, when you eat, you tend to drink. Even if you used the restroom first, you will most likely need to use it again around the time you’ll be leaving to get back on the bus (but will have to wait another 2 hours to release yourself).

My diet and water intake seriously lacked the entire trip. If you are not a snacker or fast eater (both of which I am not), you will lose about 5 pounds from this trip.

A few times, we were told to provide our own breakfast/dinner via groceries. Two nights in a row, we were to get our own dinner/breakfast by WALKING in the freezing cold (17 degree weather) to stores that were NOT as close as they made it sound (tour guide said walking distance, the rest of us say it’s more like taxi distance).

SIGHT SEEING: again, your allocated time will most likely be split using the restroom and taking pictures. You will be extremely rushed to the point where you cannot fully enjoy the scenery (some stops will require some walking time to get to the desirable spot). Once you get to the spot you’d like to get pictures of, there will be a mass group of people trying to take pictures also. As you’re struggling to get in a picture, you also have to be aware of the time you need to walk back to the bus. You will be rushed, rushed, rushed.

GRAND CANYON: do NOT…I repeat DO NOT do the helicopter/boat portion of this. It’s about $200 a person, and absolutely not worth it. I would have rather gambled with that $200 (and I’m not even a gambler). You will be RUSHED onto the helicopter, which will fly you down the canyon (it doesn’t fly over much of the canyon…it’s merely a transportation vehicle to bring you down the canyon). When you get down the canyon, you will again be rushed onto the boat. The boat will move into the middle of the river (which isn’t a significant distance, probably the equivalent of 1 block or not even). The boat driver will take turns taking pictures of your party and the other parties on the boat. You will spend about 15 minutes on the boat, then you will be rushed back onto the helicopter. You can find a better experience down the canyon for that price on your own, I’m sure. This was a huge waste of money and time in my opinion. Huge.

You will get a meal voucher with your entrance to the Grand Canyon. My advice, use this meal voucher at Guano Point, not Skywalk/Eagle Point. At Guano Point, you will get some yummy BBQ and will be eating outside near the edge of the canyon (great view!).

WAKE UP: We usually got to the hotel around 830pm-9pm and had to wake up around 430am most mornings. Bus leaves around 5am.

EXTRA FEES ON THE BUS: there are extra fees collected on the bus which are for the national park entrance, and Grand Canyon entrance (this is mentioned in the “exclusions” portion when purchasing your ticket). HOWEVER, there is one more fee that they do NOT tell you about. That fee is what they call a “service fee”. This fee pretty much goes to the direct hands of the bus driver and tour guide. It was $56/person, so in total, they collected over $3,000 which is split in half for the bus driver and tour guide (at least $1500 each). We pretty much paid their salary with that fee. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is not good business practice. How are you going to charge a $56 service fee that was not even in the “exclusions” portion at time of purchase? Why are we paying their salary for them on top of what we paid for the tickets. My opinion, these companies are taking advantage of tourists who don’t understand where their money is really going.

HOTELS: this is the ONE thing that was decent. The beds were really comfy. However, I heard that our groups’ hotel accommodations were better than other groups’. So, I suppose it just depends on your luck with which group you belong to. One negative, some of these hotels don’t have elevators. So good luck to you if you are not on the first floor!

TOUR GUIDE: He did a good job speaking back and forth, English and Chinese. Made non-Chinese speaking guests comfortable.

I spoke to some exchange students on a different bus (still C&J/Seagull Holiday), and they mentioned similar issues as I mentioned in this review. It was very hard for them to enjoy their trip. The people who I was able to communicate with on my bus had the same issues too.

This trip was not relaxing or fun. I would not recommend this trip to anyone who is looking to have fun. If you just want to see with your own eyes (and don’t care for enjoying yourself) before you die, you could probably do this tour. Otherwise, I would recommend you just fork over a bit more money and do your own personal trip to enjoy yourself and the scenery.

I'm not sure how the other tours that Tours 4 Fun provides are like (I'm assuming different tour bus companies provide different experiences), but based on this tour itself...it's not Tours 4 Fun...it's more like "Rushed Tours 4 No Fun"

Honolulu, HI
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82 posts
26 reviews
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1. Re: 8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

What a coincidence! My mom was thinking of taking a Route 66 bus tour which was described as brisk. The itinerary mentions a new hotel every night and I will print out your description for her to read. She will "see the light".

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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19,092 posts
109 reviews
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2. Re: 8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

m l, thank you SO much for posting a review of your trip! We often have people asking about tours, and have had a few inquiries specifically about Tours4Fun. It sounds like you had a fairly good guide since he did not do the whole thing in Chinese which others complained about. Sounds like an awful way to tour.

If you want to come back to Yellowstone we would certainly help you plan your own s - l - o - w - e - r paced trip! We would like you to see things!

Pam

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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27,745 posts
384 reviews
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3. Re: 8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

Thanks for posting. Sounds like a fast paced trip for sure.

USA
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9,465 posts
44 reviews
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4. Re: 8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

m l, thanks for taking the time to share your whirlwind trip.

Were you informed beforehand that you wouldn't be able to use restrooms on the bus? The restroom situation sounded like a nightmare.

m l
Orange, California
3 posts
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5. Re: 8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

I would LOVE to come back to Yellowstone someday and actually get to enjoy it.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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19,092 posts
109 reviews
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6. Re: 8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

We would love to help you plan your perfect trip! I am sure you breezed by some things you would like to see in depth. Just for planning purposes, you need at least 3 to 4 full days in Yellowstone and 2 to 3 in Grand Tetons.More is better because you can really take your time and catch the rhythm of the park. Then there is Cody (did you whiz thru there?) and Beartooth Highway which would add a day each.

I very much enjoy sitting at geysers and waiting for them to go off, others like to take time at Canyon for the perfect photo or like to sit and wait in Hayden or Lamar Valleys for wildlife to appear. There is a lot to see and do!

Pam

m l
Orange, California
3 posts
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7. Re: 8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

I read some reviews talking about the restroom situation so I called Tours 4 Fun to see what the deal was with that. They did tell me the restroom is for "emergency" use only and that the bus would make frequent restroom stops. However, they failed to mention that your bus will NOT be the only bus at these restroom stops. AND, they failed to mention that you WILL be timed. Also, even if it IS an emergency, they will still try to force you to wait and make you feel bad for needing to use it.

USA
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9,465 posts
44 reviews
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8. Re: 8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

Well, I feel better knowing that they let folks use the restroom for emergencies!Whew! I thought maybe they had the on-bus restroom completely shut down.

9. Re: 8-Day Yellowstone National Park, Mt.Rushmore, Grand Canyon W

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