If you want to see as much of Boston as possible and do not have much time, this is a great choice. An uninterrupted narrated ... More
If you want to see as much of Boston as possible and do not have much time, this is a great choice. An uninterrupted narrated tour takes two hours. For those with more than two hours to spare, there are 20 stops where passengers can get on and off the trolley to sightsee on their own. Stops include Faneuil Hall , Charlestown, the North End , the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Copley Square. The tour takes off every 20 minutes and the fare includes a transfer ticket for a harbor tour.
We have been living in Boston for 20 years and decised to take some relatives from Milwaukee on a trolley tour of the city. 1st thing search engine brought up was Beantown Trolley. Not knowing or realizing that there were several other trolley companies available, I booked the Beantown Trolley tour for 6 immediately without research. It was not until a few days later that I started looking for reviews/negatives about Beantown that so many negative reviews came up about them. In addition, after making a reservation over the internet and then seeing the 2-3 pages of rules and no canellation policy stated several times, I was almost tempted to call my credit card company and see if they could stop paymnent.
Going into our tour on Sunday, I had already apologized several times to my family that it looked like I picked the wrong trolley company and not to expect much of a good time. After finding the right trolley booth and the Aquarium, I was greeted by a friendly man who took my etickets and exchanged them for the proper trolley tickets, which you need to show the drivers each time you board the trolley.
We had reservations at 11AM and there was a trolley ready to go as we boarded 10 minutes early. Plenty of seats were available. Our 1st driver was a little robotic as he went through his pick off and drop off rules, and he continued that way until we got off at stop 3. A few jokes mixed into his history lesson, it was interesting but not entertaining. After walking to Bunker Hill and ready to get back on the trolley. We did wait about 20 minutes to get on the next one. I did see 3 of the orange trolley's pick up their customers at the same stop while we were waiting, but each trolley seemed jammed full and when we eventually got onto our trolley, we each had a seat to ourselves, which was great in the 90 degree heat in a non-air conditioned trolley.
This driver was much better. Dont remember his name (looked a little like George Carlin) Louder, more enthused, he mixed the jokes and the history together perfectly, as we laughed out load a few times. This time we got off at stop 7. Had lunch at Cheers, wlaked the public garderns, took a swan boat ride and then headed back to the pick up spot. At this point it was around 2PM. We were all getting tired from the heat and walking. Sure enough, like clockwork, the next trolley arrived a little more than 20 minutes after we got to the pick up location. We got the same driver as we had previously, so we were happy. Last pick up for the day was 4:30 so being about 1/2 way thru the tour, we just decided to stay on the trolley and see the remaining points of interest from the trolley. My group all had window seats, some of them sitting next to the bigger open air windows. We were very comfortable. By stop 10-11 the trolley started to fill up, and by the time we got to Cambridge, passengers t hat got on the trolley did not have seats, but had to stand and hang on to the railing.
By the end of the day, I was shocked that everyone had a great time and that the trolley was a definite plus to the experience. Thinkng back on some of the reviews I read, the dates on them were from 2010, so maybe the company has looked to improve on the negatives over the years. If you are the impatient type, I can see how you can get frustrated by the wait time in between trolleys especially when the other companies seem to have trolleys at the same stops more often. Bring some water or drink with you on the trolley if you are going to be on for multiple stops as it soes get "sticky".
Make sure you dont lose the paper tickets they give you to board the trolley. It would be nice if you could get your hand stamped or wrist bracelets instead.
Overall, a very enjoyable experience. Not sure if we just lucked out this day, but in my opinion I would not hesitate to use them again, specially if they are the cheapest. Beantown also gives you a ticket for a cruise, but I have not looked at that as of yet.
What a waste! We missed the opportunity to enjoy more of the sights because we were constantly waiting 40+ minutes for trollies promised every 15-20 minutes. At each and every stop, at least 2 and sometimes more of the other trolley/duck tours passed for each Beantown Trolley. One of the tour guides, whom we had the pleasure of encountering twice, had all the enthusiasm of a fly crawling up a drape. The other was so busy knocking the Yankees because of steroid abuse that it took the enjoyment out.
What a mistake and waste of our time. When you are on vacation with limited time this is definitely not the trolley company you want to use. The Beantown Trolley was part of the Go Boston Pass so that is why we used it. We should have just paid the extra and used the Old Town Trolley. We used them in D.C. and they were great. You will notice that for every 1 Beantown Trolley there will be about 3 Old Town Trolleys. We were stranded at Fenway Park for almost 1hour because there was no room for us on the trolley and in that time 3 of the other trolley companies trolleys came by. We called their office to complain the only thing they said was they were sorry. We complained to the manager, again all he said he was sorry. It was as though they are just used to saying they are sorry and not trying to rectify the problems.
We boarded the trolley at the back bay hilton, our first driver was heavy set and realy funny.We rode with him to the waterfront got of and had lunch at Fanuel Hall. Then we went on the free harbor cruise, that was great! Our next driver was so informative and you could tell he realy enjoyed his job.Thanks Beantown for a great day in Boston.
While the stop locations were a little hard to figure out at first, once your on the trolley. . . Let the fun begin! My wife and I found the tour guides to be very helpfull and informative! The guides were very accomidating to our situation, we have a baby and they gave us a hand with the carrige and extra baggage we were lugging around. They made us feel good about being apart of their tour. We were able to get the info we needed and figure out how to get to and from our favriot points of intrest so we could return on our own. ( Via the T. . . its only about two dollars to get ANYWHERE in the city!) That way we were really able to spend as much time as we wanted at our favriot spots and not really worry abou any time lines! Thanks for the tour and all the info we had a GREAT time! Might have been just a little more than we would've liked to have paid. . . but most tours costed about the same amount, this one happed to come with a Harbor Cruise thats why we chose it.
Purchased three tickets for Friday, August 28. The trolleys came only about half as often as the Old Town Trolley Company and some others as well. We wanted to go from Park Street to Old North Church, but since it was going to take an hour, we got a cab instead. It took the driver a while to actually answer the question I was asking. Fine. We didn't want to take that long at that point.
After that we did ride from the North End to Fanueil Hall - maybe ten minutes. The trolley was so squeaky that it was hard to hear what the guide was saying. He was alright, though he had one crude joke he felt compelled to share. After leaving Fanueil Hall we went back and waited at the same station for the last trolley, which was scheduled to leave stop #1 at 4:30. When it came at about 4:50, we waved and made eye contact with the driver, who looked at us and barreled past the stop and did not pick us up.
I spent almost $100. for this day and am not a happy camper. Also, the brochure does not give clear information about the location of the stops, and it is near impossible to get through on the phone. We tried that once and gave up after about eight minutes of waiting.
The guides were terrible, uninformative and had no personality. The Beantown stops are much less convenient than other companies. We waited for our Trolley while the other company's passed us by. There isn't even a stop near Fenway Park! Go with another company, there are definitely better choices.
If you're looking for transportation, use the T. If you want a tour, use another company or take a Duck tour. Our first driver mentioned his "tip bucket" five times within five minutes. It wasn't cute or funny, it was rude and presumptuous. The next driver we had almost drove right past us at the stop. I had to run after him waving my arms. They only stop at "stops" if someone on the trolley wants to get off. This man was horrible at tours; for example, the only facts he mentioned about Boston Commons were that there were tennis courts with lights so you could play at night. There was no historical significance mentioned and no new information given that wasn't obvious (such as, "Here are the parks near Comm Ave. They have trees, and flowers, and park benches."). This is NOT worth the money.
they sell complete circuit and only go half circuit. The driver (N0 5) said he had to see his son, he leave very far from boston. he was not friendly..he speak very loud and said very bad jokes, no describe the places and turn on the radio whith his music. VERY BAD EXPERIENCIE
Should have read these reviews before using this trolley! All the negatives are still true and likely even worse; no schedule is kept, not truly off and on since the stops are not planned for the sites that most Boston visitors are looking to visit, only one "real" place to buy a ticket Long Wharf Stop 1, downtown ticket seller charged us full amount for 4 tickets $120- found out later that should have only been a portion so could not continue use until I paid added $68 at Stop 1 (still in dispute with Amer Express on this one), just an overall disgusting experience. Have been here before and knew better - Old Town Trolley is the way to go. Don't go near this business even if it is "Gray Line" which may or may not even be true! Have complained to them (Brush Hill Tours) but no response as yet.
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