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“Left Standing at The Stop for about 1 1/2 Hours 28/6/12” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gray Line DC

Gray Line DC
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$105.00*
and up
Washington DC Supersaver: Mount Vernon and Arlington National Cemetery Tour
Ranked #43 of 139 Tours in Washington DC
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Attraction details
Owner description: Gray Line DC Tours provides numerous sightseeing opportunities in and around the Washington, DC area. Full-Day, Two-Day and Get-Away tours give you access to the many of the must-see locations, and charters provide groups with the opportunity for a private experience. Our drivers are also licensed tour guides for the city, and provide an enjoyable, entertaining and educational atmosphere. Gray Line DC: Truly the Local Expert!
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Left Standing at The Stop for about 1 1/2 Hours 28/6/12”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2012

Thought this would be a good way to see the sights then go around again & get off at the stops we wanted to see. Wrong - we went on the Red Line - took ages to get round got back to the train station and went to get lunch and got back on the bus again to go to the Hard Rock for soveniers, we mooched our way towards the old Post Office Building which is now a dismal shopping area and walked back up the road to get the bus back to the station. I saw the bus coming & waved to flag it down but the female driver refused to stop and the bus was jam packed. We then waited with another family who had not been allowed to get on the bus at the previous stop & had walked down to the next stop and we old sat/stood and watched trolley bus after trolley bus go by no Big Red Buses even though "they go by every 20 minutes" eventually another jam packed one came along the route, at least 1 hour and 30 minutes since the previous one. We got on, questioned the surly unhelpful driver and was told "we got problems" no apology, no reason. Was going to complain and ask for a partial refund when we got back to the concession at the station but it had closed and they had gone home for the night.
What an expensive non event this was - wouldn't recommend or use them again.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank FrequentVirgin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MartzGroup, Marketing Coordinator at Gray Line DC, responded to this review, September 19, 2012
Gray Line DC tries to meet the expectations of all our guest and I apologize that was not the case. Gray Line DC’s Open Top Tour is the bestselling tour in DC and we try very hard to keep the buses running at intervals of 15 to 20 minutes during the peak season. Most of the time, we meet or exceed that standard. We will look closely at what may have caused this problem and try to correct it in the future. Please feel free to contact Melissa Badami directly if you have any more information that could help up fix this problem; mbadami@martzgroup.com. Gray Line offers the widest variety of tours to meet the customers’ interest. We have motor coach tours that are truly climate controlled and extremely comfortable, affording you a great view of the city, monuments and memorials. A licensed tour guide takes you through the city entertaining and informing you. These tours allow you to see the most of the city with the least amount of walking and waiting, as the bus is waiting for you when you are done experiencing each location. If there is anything we can do to show you the Gray Line cares please contact us.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Walt Disney World, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“2 Hr. Taste Of DC Tour with Sheryl”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2012

We took the 2 hour tour the end of August that was called "Taste Of DC" that leaves from Union Station. The bus itself was comfy and well air conditioned. Our tour was very insightful and we saw so many statues and important buildings. The bus driver Sheryl was so knowledgeable and witty. She also stopped at different sites allowing us plenty of time to walk around and take pictures of the US Capitol, Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, White House, etc. We came away smarter and more knowledgeable about the history in DC. Would highly recommend and if you're lucky, Sheryl will be the driver.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank missdiscipline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MartzGroup, Marketing Coordinator at Gray Line DC, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
Thank you for choosing Gray Line DC. We are so glad that you enjoyed the "Taste of DC" tour. We look forward to serving you again.
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Fffffrz
1 review
“Ask for Bus 9 with Thomas!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2012

Best. Ride. Ever! Thomas was very nice, funny and knowledgeable! His voice is just great and the tour of Potamac was lots of fun! Everything you ever wanted to know about DC was covered and more! I strongly suggest that your visit during the night. It's a lot nicer and there are plenty of places the bus stops by for really nice pictures.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank FffffrzDddddd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MartzGroup, Marketing Coordinator at Gray Line DC, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Thank you for choosing Gray Line DC. We are so pleased that you enjoyed the tour. We strive to provide our customers with the best Gray Line experience and are so pleased that Thomas was able to exceed your expectations. We look forward to serving you again.
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Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level Contributor
66 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great Way To See DC”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012

My wife and a couple of friends were planning a trip to DC and happened upon this ad in a magazine with a discount. Thinking this would be a great way to see all the sites, we signed up.

Getting to the pickup point was fairly easy but it was a long walk through Union Station. Remember to print out your confirmation email and take it with you. Note that the confirmation is not your tickets. You must pick them up from the Gray Line ticket window on the bus level of the parking garage. To get here, once you arrive at Union Station follow the signs to the parking garage. They will take you confirmation email and give you tickets and direct you to the lie to wait for the bus.

Our group was divided into two groups. Unfortunately after we started we realize the air conditioner in our bus did not work and it got hotter through the course of the three hour tour. We made stops at We made stops at Iwo Jima Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King Memorial where we were able to get out and take pictures for 15-20 minutes at a time. While at the Lincoln Memorial you could also walk to the Korean Memorial and Vietnam War Memorials. We also drove by Arlington National Cemetery, the Capitol Building, the IRS building, the mint, the White House and a range of other museums and sites.

We all thought his tour was well worth the money. If we had driven to all the sites it was have taken us much longer, we would have had to try and find parking at the sites and walked far distances in some cases. Not to mention one person would not be able to take in the sites as they would have to drive.

I highly recommend this tour for the ease of touring DC. There are other tours offered by this company and other, but I recommend this one at night because the monuments and memorials look much cooler at night.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Trackrunner1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MartzGroup, Marketing Coordinator at Gray Line DC, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Thank you for choosing Gray Line DC. We are pleased that you enjoyed the tour. We sincerely apologize for the air conditioning issue that you experienced and will make sure that it does not happen again. We look forward to serving you again.
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Ogden, Utah, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Interesting? Sure. Good value? NOPE!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2012

I rode “The Big Bus” tours in the D.C. area on August 8th and 9th of 2012. It was either them, or the Trolley Town service, which would have been a little cheaper, but I succumbed to the allure of an open-top bus, so I spent the extra money on the big red bus.

I’ve read many of the previous reviews, so I think there is some basic information that needs to be updated. This service has FOUR lines: Red, Yellow, Blue and Green. Both Red and Yellow start and stop their lines at Union Station (which worked out great for me because I took the metro into town). The Red line is what I would consider their main line; the most common attractions in D.C., from Lincoln’s memorial to the capital are found on the Red line. The Yellow line has a few of the same stops as Red, but it also includes several hotels, Georgetown, and Georgetown Harbor (Harbor is a pretty grand word for what it actually is; it’s essentially a small dock on the Potomac River). The Blue line takes you to Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon (you don’t get to go in the Pentagon, just drive past it). And the Green line is a free 30 minute ride that starts and concludes at the Hilton where Reagan was shot and that line has only 2 stops, the zoo (and they drop you off a good 4 full city blocks away from the zoo entrance) and the National Cathedral (I can’t speak to where they drop you there because I walked from the zoo to the Cathedral (THAT was dumb)). Another thing that I learned the hard way was that I needed to be more intentional about the order that I chose to see the sights. Picking them randomly, AND using this company as transportation was terribly prohibitive. Because it takes 2 hours for the bus to complete one loop (the Red and Yellow line anyway), if you hop on when the stop you needed was just 3 stops prior; that’s 1.5 hours out of your day just waiting for the bus to drive you back around.

I must’ve ridden in 9 to 12 different buses and only 1 of them DIDN’T have air conditioning. So I would say that’s a noticeable upgrade from the previous posts. I only ran across 4 tour guides though, the rest of the buses relied on the bus driver to push start and stop on the recording(s), which really didn’t work out well. I don’t know what it is about those recordings; I mean they do provide information that I wouldn’t have gotten in any other way, but considering that I paid that company almost the same amount of money as an all-day pass to Disneyland, I expected more. It just felt like I was getting the short end. The longest I waited for a bus was 23 minutes (it was the Red Line near the Washington Monument). And by and large, the staff was friendly and courteous.

Here is where I am going to be critical of them. The handful of tour guides they do have seemed to have learned English as their second language. I don’t mind the occasional accent or two, but these folks were difficult to understand. I asked the guide why the flags were at half-mast around the capital, she didn’t know, one of the riders informed us it was because of the shootings in a church in Wisconsin. The open-air gets old FAST! I should have thought that one through. You’re in a major metro area, of course you’re going to be stopped more than you’re going, and when stopped, you COOK!! You sit there and baste with everyone else, some of whom haven’t seen the business end of a deodorant stick in a while.

If you pay for the 2-day tour package (which I did), you receive a free 45-minute river cruise. I noticed that nobody had posted on that yet, and so that was one of my primary reasons on going; maybe I would find the diamond in the rough. The cruise wasn’t awful, the seating is all patio furniture with tables; think floating sidewalk restaurant. I sat in the back hoping to get a better view of things to come, which was a good idea; because I could see well, but I was so near the engines I couldn’t hear the recording telling us about the attractions that we couldn’t see past the tree line. You get a really decent photo op of Georgetown University and Watergate, but then…trees. All you can see are roof-tops, steeples and pillars. The city isn’t laid out to flatter the river front.

There is a stop at the White House where 3 of the lines meet; if you want to hop off of one line and jump on the other, you get to stand on this sidewalk in front of a café. While I did this once, I saw a Trolley tour bus come up and drop off some folks; I got to see the same thing happen in front of the Washington monument. Those buses are Trolleys essentially; great big open windows (so no A/C), but there is a ROOF that keeps the sun off of you. And the driver also looks to be the tour guide. Well in both cases, I heard folks thank their driver BY NAME as they left the bus. I know, the grass is always greener right? Well, Big Bus was VERY clear that there were NO REFUNDS! Trolley Town? Money back guarantee. What U.S. based company is still doing that? I should have supported them on that basis alone. I paid almost $60 for those 2 days with Big Bus; and the same 2 days would have cost me around $53 with Trolley. In both cases that is WAY too much money for what little product you get. If I had to do it over again, I would have become a LOT more familiar with the metro train and bus schedule(s), and just Googled all of the information about the sites.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Beezer73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MartzGroup, Marketing Coordinator at Gray Line DC, responded to this review, August 13, 2012
Gray Line DC appreciates all of our customers’ reviews and feedback, as it helps us deliver an exceptional Gray Line product. We would like to thank you for the informative analysis and assure you that the mentioned issues, particularly the guide and recordings, will be looked into. Thank you again for being a valued Gray Line DC customer.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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