I read the reviews on trip advisor and saw all fives for Lonnie as the tour guide. I was apprehensive when I saw our guide would be Greg. I went on a tour of Ybor about eight years ago given by a native of Ybor and it was absolutely wonderful. So with that said, I will give my review of Greg's tour.
First Greg arrived five minutes late which is a bad first impression. He seems to have a theater background because that is what he told us and his tour seemed like he memorized a script. He was unable to answer most of the questions that arose. He couldn't even answer " how much were the cigar rollers paid?"
The first hour of his lecture was given on a back street from Seventh Avenue that had no ambience and I kept thinking to myself "why are we standing here?" The first hour I could have been standing in " anywhere USA" . Greg tended to go off on tangents, like he talked for eight minutes about the history of electricity.
After an hour and 15 minutes I wanted the tour to be over. I had an out-of-town visitor with me so I stuck it out. Towards the end of the tour Greg pointed out some historic buildings that were interesting. However we never went inside a building which we did on my other tour. My other tour we went inside the Italian club and inside the "shotgun" house where the early inhabitants of Ybor were housed.
Greg never even mentioned the historic Columbia restaurant.
To say the least I was very disappointed. We were very pressed for time that day, trying to fit in as many sites as possible, so the tour was pretty much all we saw of Ybor city. It was a sad slice of what it could have been. If I didn't know Ybor, I still would not have known it after this tour.
Greg concluded the tour by taking us to a "Museum" to watch a five minute film on Ybor city. When we got to the "Museum" there was a sign on the door saying they would return in 15 minutes. That was a fine ending to a miserable tour.
We paid our $15 each and walked away quickly. Greg was not knowledgeable of Ybor and did not have the love of Ybor as my first tour guide did. I would have been better off ordering the audio tour. I'm disappointed because I feel my guest did not get a good tour.
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