In this review I will try give as much information as possible to describe my experience on this tour to show everybody exactly what you get. Firstly, I'd like to say that overall it was an excellent tour for $159 and is why I give it all 5 stars because you can't ask for much more at such a cheap price. I will describe everything from start to finish as of my experiences.
In my group was myself and my girlfriend who are both 19 years old from Australia. We thought this was a great way to see the Grand Canyon without having to do a complete trip to Vegas because we aren't the legal drinking and gambling age.
Anyway, we chose to be picked up from Days Inn and Suites at Huntington Beach which is actually in Fountain Valley at 6:50. Our tour guide 'Mark' was there nice and early to pick us up in his car to take us to the main departure spot. He was so nice and we got to know him really well and he took care of us the whole trip. We left the main spot at about 8pm to drive to Las Vegas. The bus was very comfortable and had lots of room and was apparently a brand new bus. The bus stopped once after about an hour for snacks and a break. After about 2 more hours the bus stopped off in a tiny town before Vegas at a huge shopping outlet for everybody to get out and shop and get lunch for 2 hours. After this, Mark brought around a piece of paper with a list of all the extra prices not mentioned before the tour. So firstly what you don't know is that you must pay $18 for the tour guide and driver as $3 each per day. But you pay it all in one go. Then you have some extra options. The same night is a little Vegas tour worth $25 per person which drives you around on the bus and stops off to see the big casinos like the Bellagio, Venetian etc. we chose to do this, it was worth it because we had never been here before but unfortunately due to bad wind none of the water fountain shows were operating but we chose to come back another night to watch them. Also, you are then told you must pay for your Grand Canyon Tour. To see the West Rim it is $80 for admission, lunch and a certificate which apparently says you graduated from the Grand Canyon, and also the fee to drive you there and back. On top of that, if you choose to do the skywalk it is $34 per person and you cannot take your own photos, it costs money for them to take each photo. If you choose to take a helicopter to the bottom it is an extra $180 approx. per person. The highlight of the West Rim is that it takes 2 hours to drive, you spend 3-4 hours there and 2 hours back. Next is the West Rim Frontier which is a new park that has opened. It is $15 to get there. And you get the same time as West Rim and is an additional $160 approx. per person to take a helicopter to fly around the area. Lastly, is the South Rim which is just $10. Although it takes 5 hours to drive there, you spend 1 hour there and 5 hours drive back. We chose to do the South Rim not only because its cheap, but because we wanted to see the real iconic views of the Grand Canyon like you see on the Internet, post cards or on TV etc. and Had our mind send on this before we came. All tours include a visit to the Hoover Dam on the way there. Also, you could choose to see a show the next evening which were approx. $80 per person but we weren't interested in these after a 12 hour day to the South Rim.
After this. You arrive at the hotel 'Circus Circus' to be checked in as a group at around 3:30pm. We were all staying in the sky tower which were apparently all 4 star rooms. We found the beds pretty comfortable and were happy overall with the hotel.
At about 5:30 was the Vegas night tour which I already explained about before.
The next morning was everybody's Grand Canyon Tour. We had to be up by 4:30am and leaving by 5am at the latest to at least make it back by 5pm. Again we were on a comfortable bus. I personally liked the drive from Vegas to the South Rim even though its mostly desert, but it was different and closer to the canyon we saw snow. We got extremely lucky with the weather and didn't have a cloud in the sky. When we arrived after the long drive and many stops. You choose to see an IMax movie about the canyon for $34 or just choose to have lunch. We didn't see the movie, although it did sound pretty cool! Then we drove into the canyon. It was absolutely breath taking. We couldn't believe our eyes and it was so peaceful. We wished we got a little longer than an hour but we couldn't complain with the amount of money we spent to get there. We honestly could have sat there all day, but that's just me.
The next day you get a free day to yourself! This was nice, we slept in and spent the whole day walking the entire Vegas strip.
The last day, you must wake up at 7:30am for the 8:20am departure. As you leave, you make your way to the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory to have a look through for about 30 mins and buy anything you like. Afterwards the bus takes you to an Asian Buffet for $11 per person. Apparently it's supposed to be pretty good, but we didn't feel like that food for breakfast so we walked around and got something else. After the hour there, the bus heads back to LA. Again, stopping at another shopping outlet at about 1pm for lunch and stops for 2 hours. After that, the bus takes everybody back to LA where the main stop is.
When we arrived. Mark drove us to Chinatown in Downtown LA where we chose to be dropped. We arrived there at 6pm.
We couldn't fault one thing about the tour. Another thing to mention is that Sea Gull (the tour company) is a Chinese tour company, so 90% of the tour guide speaking on the microphone on the bus is spoken in Chinese and a few words are made out in English for just the 2 of us who spoke in English, as the other 98% of the tour were Chinese. To us, it seemed like Mark was the most helpful tour guide and was trying to hardest to do the best he could for us.
I hope this helps out all of those curious about this tour.