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“Good Service-Terrible Equipment”
Review of Blues City Tours

Blues City Tours
Book In Advance
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$30.00*
and up
City of Memphis Tour
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$25.00*
and up
Memphis Hop On and Hop Off Tour
Ranked #17 of 31 Tours in Memphis
Type: City Tours, Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: Blues City Tours is a locally owned business. We have been in business for 25 years and received several awards such as, 2012 Quality Excellence Award from Mid South Minority Council and 2010 Memphis City Schools Outstanding Service Award.We pick up at most hotels in Memphis, West Memphis and Tunica area. We offer VIP tours, sightseeing tours, shuttle service and corporate transportation.
Reviewed July 23, 2012

6 of us took the all day tour including the Platinum tour of Graceland. Our pickup in West Memphis was on time and the driver (Theresa) was very courteous. We went to the depot and although we had to wait for an hour, at least we got there early enough to sit inside out of the heat. We boarded the bus with Daphne as our driver. She was terrific - funny and shared lots of stories about Memphis, but the bus' air conditioning was not working.

Made it to the Peabody Hotel in time for the duck walk thanks to Daphne's insistence that we stay on time. After that it was back to Beale Street for a great lunch - the food and service were wonderful. We had plenty of time to do some site-seeing and shopping. We then boarded the bus for Graceland.

By now, the lack of air conditioning on the bus was becoming a real problem. Luckily we had plenty of opportunities to get off the bus and into a/c or we all might have been ill. Additionally, one of the seats broke, tumbling one couple to the floor. When we got to Graceland, Daphne promised they would send a different bus to take us home. The bus was a different one, but the a/c was weak (see photo showing the wiring), the side windows felt like they were going to fall out at any minute and the driver (Charles) drove like a maniac - 80 mph tailgating the cars on the highway.

Would I recommend Blues City Tours? ONLY if they spend some money to fix their buses. The unsafe condition and lack of a/c added a sour note to an otherwise great day.

Thank PirateQueen55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
6109, General Manager at Blues City Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2012

Thanks for telling us about your tour with us The driver you mention in your complaint will be monitor for his driving habits . wire from the light inside the bus drop down while you were on tour that was repair. later that day.
GM Melvin Bledsoe

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183 - 187 of 219 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2012

We called to ask questions at 9:15 AM, including how to find them. They said they could pick us up at the hotel between 9 and 9:15. I pointed out that it was past that time. They conferred for a while, then said they'd pick us up in 5 minutes, and they did. After we got to their 'terminal', we debated about whether to sign up for the riverboat tour in addition to the city tour, but I was afraid we'd not make it back in time, so we just took the city tour. During the tour, we decided we should have taken the boat tour too. No problem, the driver said, they would drop us off on Beale St. where we could grab lunch, and another bus would pick us up and take us to the riverboat. I pointed out that would mean missing the drive-by of Graceland. No problem, they said, they would give us the drive-by after the boat tour on the way to returning us to the hotel. And they did! I knew the boat ride cost us quite a bit extra versus booking directly with the riverboat, but this way I was assured of making it on time in a city I did not know my way around. We were extremely pleased with the way they went out of their way to accommodate us. The bus tour was informative, and the driver obviously enjoyed her work. We got to visit Sun Records, which is nothing more than a souvenir shop at this point. We saw some remarkable old Victorian mansions, and stopped at the visitor center for a restroom break and to see the bronze statues of Elvis and B.B. King. Beale St. was like a one-block visit to New Orleans, with more ribs. While the tour started a half hour late, later pick up times held to schedule. The drive-by of Graceland was disappointing as you only see the tourist side of the street and not the actual home and grounds. We did that on out own the next day. Still, overall worth the money. I'm sure, given Memphis's traffic, we would never have seen as much as we did had we tried to do it on our own.

Thank wamaruna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
6109, General Manager at Blues City Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2012

Thank you, for your kind words we will do all we can to improve our service in every way.
GM Melvin Bledsoe

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Reviewed July 2, 2012

We took the all day tour last Friday when the heat index in Memphis was well over 100. First let me say that an all-day tour implies all-day. First we waited at the depot to pay in a line that went out the door so this took about forty minutes. For lunch we were left off at Beale Street with over two hours to wait until the bus picked us up again. Then again in the afternoon we were left off at Graceland and waited an hour and a half plus after we finished the Graceland tour for another pick up.

The tour started off at Beale Street for about twenty minutes. In retrospect I will never understand this since we had a stop-over there of two hours later in the day. But this stop at Beale Street put us at the Peabody Hotel about three minutes before eleven when the duck ceremony had already started. We never had a chance to see the ducks come down the elevator because everybody was there before us and we were in the very back of a lot of people standing. The remainder of the morning tour was interesting and took in a lot of sights.

Then to Beale Street where we were left off for lunch. The lunch was good but there was no way we could stay and take up space in the restaurant for two hours. So had something to drink at the Hard Rock Cafe and then at another bar near the bus stop just waiting for the bus to arrive which was late because I guess two hours wasn't enough time for them to get back.

We were then dropped off at the staging point for Graceland. Graceland was a self-guided tour and was executed professionally. Then again back to the staging point. There was no problem having everybody back on time because we all had to waste time in the hot sun waiting again for the bus. We were the lucky ones because after waiting an hour and a forty minutes our bus taking us back to Tunica was only ten minutes late. The bus returning the people staying at Memphis hotels had not come yet.

And then the driver had to stop and get gas. The gas station was crowded so we waited some more for the gas-up and the driver to get a drink. I guess the two plus hours in between tours did not allow time to get fuel or the time between dropping us off at Graceland and pick-up.

Just my opinion but we could have seen a lot more sites and done a lot more things rather than spend easily more than four hours that day just waiting for the bus in the extreme heat.

I will say the drivers were interesting, nice and very cordial. But if you are looking for a tour try one of the other ones. A taxi ride to Graceland will be cheaper and you will get the same tour and the same considerations of anyone who takes the tour bus at a lot cheaper rate. Again, my opinion, but I think this tour company knows that people will sign up regardless and they do not make any effort to be extraordinary but were barely adequate.

I should also mention we were scheduled to take the tour on Thursday but the company could not tell us what time they would pick us up, not even an inkling. I found that preposterous since this is something they do on a daily basis. They said they would call at 8:00 a.m. and let us know. The call came at 8:40 a.m. saying they were coming in twenty minutes. At that point we had not eaten because we were waiting in the room for their phone call so we did change to the next day.

2  Thank jebsco1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 5, 2012

As always we do take your review to heart, when you don't know how we operate this company, that make a different looking from the outside in . your visit to Memphis was a day when we had record breaking heat , you did say agree,. That was most of what I read here , you were hot aII day waiting in the sun ,On that day, we were very busy trying to give service to a mass number of people , sometimes thing don't go as plan, there may be several things that can cause delay when you provide transportation, lot of the time people are not ready when the driver get to thier hotels, then he have to wait just one of many reason that cause delay. Thanks, we hope to get ,
Another chance to do better if travel to Memphis again.

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Reviewed July 1, 2012

While I read some negative reviews of Blues City Tours my experience was fine. The main nice thing about the tour is the hotel pick up. Mine was scheduled for 9:00 in Cordova and the bus was waiting for us when we pulled in at 9:00. It then drove to make one more pick up before heading to Memphis to get tickets and catch the tour buses. The “headquarters” was not what I would have expected and could lead many to wonder because it isn’t lavish but… it served the purpose. Once tickets were bought it was time to load the buses.
Make sure to know what tour you are taking.
The buses are a bit old. The air wasn’t working well and the PA system kept going out but the tour guide was knowledgeable, and witty.
While there wasn’t enough time at some of the stops I don’t think there are many tour companies in Memphis so….. It is what it is!

Thank gogogoin2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 5, 2012

Thanks for your review we can learn from that, yes our pick up is a free service,your hotel was forty miles round trip . The last ten days in Mephis temperture. has been extreme hot.

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Reviewed June 3, 2012

We took a tour with Blues City Tours a week ago. It was awfu. We were staying at the Residence Inn East Memphis and were suppose to be picked up at 9:00 because our tour at Graceland was at 10:00. They arrived at 9:45 because of the
trafic. We soon found out that it was our driver's first day. She even got lost trying to pick up another costumer at the Hilton, which was located a few minutes away from the Residence Inn. We finally arrived at their HQ at 11:20,. They forced us to buy tickets here, even though their prices were higher than at Graceland. When we finally arrived at Graceland, we didn't have time to buy souvenirs or eat there. We barely had the time to visit the House and the 2 planes before they came to pick us back up. On the way back, we had to wait 10 to 15 minutes in the bus in the parking lot of Graceland. They dropped all the customers that were downtown first. Since our hotel was not in the downtown area, we had to wait an hour until they drove to our hotel. Just when we finally thought they were doing to drive us back there, other clients from downtown called and were given priority over us even though we had been waiting forever to get back to our hotel. I have to mention that my dad has some heart problems and is diabetic and all that turning around in a unclimatized bus was not helping his health. Our driver begged her employer to let us drive us back first, but he insisted she give priority to the downtown clients and to come back to the HQ to get them. When we did arrive at the HQ, I told our driver to let me talk with her boss. When I asked an employee if I could speak to the boss, she answered me rudely that the boss was not there and that anyways they were all the bosses there. I had to tell them my dad was getting sick before they finally agreed to let the driver bring us back to our hotel. We arrived there 3 hours after we left Graceland. It had always been my dream to visit Graceland but the tour tarnished my experience there.

Thank nmongrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
6109, General Manager at Blues City Tours, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2012

Almost none of this happen they way this guest said, the tour started 20 minute late, this was never a eating tour. yes our price is different then going to Gracedland on your own, because we are in business to make a profit ,like all business. When you take a organize tour that mean you're not the only person on the bus , we do free pick up for everyone so we must take everyone back , not the way you may want, but the way we see it . The only person that was rude was this guest.
He was yelling and using profanity, that is not the way you get result .we don't ask our customer about their medical condition before we take them on a tour. sorry for your dis pleasure. We do aim to please. That is the other side of this story. Melvin GM.

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