I booked the MIami City and Everglades tour on Sunday, Dec 12th through WIde Angle Tours and am very angry and disappointed in several things.
First of all, I do commend the ease of reserving the two tours and the communication after booking was very good. Wide Angle was able to pick us up at our airport and made clear communication that we would be dropped off downtown. The morning of, when the driver was delayed, we were kept abreast which was very appreciated.
The Driver/guide to the Everglades Holiday Park was very very good. He was professional, personable and saw to it that we got the tickets, knew where to go to best enjoy the trip and drove safely and carefully. I apologize that I don't recall his name. He also spoke to me directly about where we would be dropped off and to wait for a "big yellow bus between 1:50-2:10pm" at Bayside. He had no further information on when it would end etc.
We arrived at Bayside after the Everglades approximately 1:40pm so we had a little time to get something to eat etc.
At that point my phone rang and a man, who did not identify himself told me to come to their table near the information table to "check in" for the next tour. I found him, sitting at a non descript table, wearing no identifying clothing to even indicate that he was part of a tour company. He asked me if I had a voucher, which we did not, and put a band on our hands and said a yellow bus would be there around 2pm to begin the tour. No other information. "Big yellow bus" with Key West Express tours on it.
At 2:20pm this big yellow bus showed up but it really was a purple double decker bus with some minor yellow paint in front. The bus was a poor excuse for a bus. It was EXTREMELY LOUD to the point that even though we were on the top of it, we could hardly hear the tour guide (if you want to call him that) because of the poor quality of the sound system. It entered highways at perhaps 25 mph as it struggled to get up the on ramps into oncoming traffic. I question the safety of the bus as well.
The next 2 hours was in no way, shape or form a "Miami CIty Tour". The guide from Key West Express Tours was LEO. Absolutely the most unprofessional "tour guide" in the business. We learned absolutely NOTHING about MIami, its culture, or history. NOTHING. The only thing he pointed out was the home of the Miami Heat and a couple of the islands on the way to Miami Beach. He didn't mention the Port of Miami at all or the its purpose. Ocean Drive in Miami Beach is obviously closed to vehicular traffic (at least this is what he told us but I am not 100% confident this was true) so we never , ever saw the ocean. If it was still closed because of COVID could they not have taken us further up to at least see the Ocean? We then drove to Wynwood Walls where he didn't tell us anything except that it was where people decorated the outside of the walls.
He did however, ask him to follow him to the "best mojitos in town" and then we had 20 min to walk around. We were more interested in hearing about the area and the significance of why they decorated walls. He was more interested in the kickback he was probably getting from the owner of the mojito bar.
During each drive to a new area, no information was shared about the city. Nothing, The only thing he asked "are you having a good time?".
We next drove to Little Havana where we learned this "is where most Cubans live, though I don't live here'. NOT A DAMN THING else. When we got off the bus, he made us walk INTO a small restaraunt./ cafe where he told us to get food. NOTHING about anything else. (cigars, Bay of Pigs invasion, Domino Park) We discovered those places during the 45 minutes we had there to explore since we didn't have any interest in more mojitos. Again, which he was encouraging people to buy from the one establishment.
I worked in the tour industry for 10 years and this was by far the worse display of unprofessionalism I have ever seen. He shouted off the top of the bus at passing women, trying to get there attention in Spanish. He offered no information whatsoever about anything other then where to buy alcohol. At one point in the tour, he actually was giving out his phone number over the loud speaker, for I am not sure what reason other than to potentially express interest in some of the younger passengers. He also was not near the exit of the bus to assist people on and off who might need assistance except at the end when he stood with the driver (who was holding glass jar for tips right out front).
I booked this tour with what I believed was WIDE ANGLE TOURS because of good reviews on both trip advisor and other sites. Obviously, it was subcontracted out which I understand if we were the only ones who were on that tour and it would not have made sense to do a whole tour for just two people. But the choice of the subcontracted vendor was beyond poor. I expected an ACTUAL TOUR. We went to two places...that was it. We "saw" Miami Beach from two streets over, Wynwood Walls and Little Havana. That was it. NOTHING ELSE.
I really believe we should be reimbursed for the tour that we did not receive and the total unprofessionalism of "Leo" the tour guide. Again, I have no issues whatsoever with the morning Trip to The Everglades, that driver/escort, or communication with your office. But there is no excuse for the "Miami City tour".
I await your response.
Miami City Tour and Everglad tour
December 12, 2021