A Fairly Thorough Evaluation of the Wisconsin Greyhound Bus Experience: Our Greyhound Adventure Pt. 2
Here are a few things that I DON’T like:
- Greyhound costs significantly more than the local operators- I paid $50 for us (me 20, 15 each kid) to get from Green Bay to Milwaukee, and the others were under $20 for all of us.
- Greyhound charges more for a “refundable” ticket. I read a few horror stories about buses breaking down and people not getting any ride at all, then being told their tickets weren’t refundable. I do understand the concept of some sort of travel insurance for missed connections or cancellations, but this seemed shady.
- The station in Green Bay inside is dark, and though I’m sure smoking is no longer allowed inside, it had a look like it was rinsed in ashtray water. I’m sticking with that description. I went in while my parents had my kids in the car just to ask if my stroller needed to be checked, and where the bus would pull up- the agent who roused himself from some hiding spot just out of view said “either in the front or the back” and looked at me like I was stupid.
- There is a grill by the front doors. I tried to take a picture of this- wondering why there’d be a propane grill facing the parking lot. Amusing, but weird. Really weird.
- Smoke and other smells on other passengers. Definitely comes with the bus crowd. Why so much smoking, people?
Now a few things I DO:
- Outlets. YES! Because if you’re going to be stuck on a bus for 3 hours with kids, you need power. Power!!! (evil cackle) Without power, no iPads. No checking email. No escape. Let’s face it- if there was ever a time to get sucked into the world of technology, it’s while riding a bus with two kids. (Stops to plug in the boy’s iPad again…)
- WiFi. So I heard. I’m not using it, but the driver said “this bus should have WiFi.” I can always tether my phone, especially if I have an outlet, but it’s a good concept. If not reality.
- BIG windows, leather seats. Lots of legroom. Clean. So far, no bathroom smell. Kids are sitting together, reclined, and have no complaints. They point to cows now and then.
- Still not very expensive. Doable. And probably a whole lot cheaper if you book in advance.
- Website- pretty decent. I had to ask which station the bus dropped off at, and the customer service was pretty good as well.
- Driving- good. About as good as you’d expect. We’re on schedule, and I don’t feel jarred at stops.
- No smoke breaks. No getting off and getting back on- just a few people getting on, and then we’re on our way. We made stops in Appleton, Osh Kosh, and Fond Du Lac, with just a few transfers at each point. We started with 5 other passengers, and at most, the bus was half full.
Half full = more kid friendly. We could have taken the bus all the way into Chicago- but for the same cost, we can switch to the train for what’s likely to be the most crowded part of the trip. We’re starting to whine now. Fighting over one iPad, because we’re spoiled. I like the design of the cup holder- but my water bottle doesn’t fit well. It holds it so the top brushes the upholstery.
Keep in mind- at this point in our drive- about 4.5 hours in- we’d likely be in the same boat. Crabby, getting bored, and over the whole trip.
I’m daring at this point to say that the bus is still preferable over driving with both kids in the backseat and no adult companion. One more reflective post to come.