Cavalier Coach

reviewed by Philip Greenspun

Site Home : Boston-area Wedding : Bus Charter

Chartering a 55-person bus with a group of about 22 friends turns out to be a fun way to spend the day. Because half of the seats are empty it is easy for people to move back and forth and catch up in conversational groups. Folks who need to sleep can collapse towards the back.

Don't leave the bus charter to the last minute. I started calling about two months before the date (Saturday, October 4, 2008) and found that many bus companies were sold out. Foliage season is the absolute peak time of year for bus charter in New England. Colleges rent buses to show visiting parents that their $50,000 per year is being well-spent. Europeans rent buses to look at trees. Sports teams rent buses to visit rival schools.

Cavalier Coach, which was about 35 percent cheaper than Boston Coach and more responsive to inquiries. The bus that Cavalier supplied was almost new.

This was our itinerary:

8:00 am (sharp!): depart from Cambridge Hyatt Regency
9:30 am: bathroom break 
11:00 am: The Basin, Franconia Notch 
11:45 am: The Flume, Franconia Notch 
1:15 pm: pick up sandwiches in Lincoln, NH from Gypsy Cafe, (603) 745-4395 (prearranged and prepaid)
2:35 pm: halfway over the Kancamagus Highway; stop at overlook to eat sandwiches
3:00 pm: Sabbaday Falls (1 mile round-trip) 
5:00 pm: arrive Center Sandwich, NH 
5:45 pm: snack/bathroom stop on highway 
7:30 pm: arrive Cambridge Hyatt Regency 
The sandwiches from the Gypsy Cafe were a big hit. I had called the day before and given them a credit card number. I called from the bus with a final headcount. They had everything waiting in takeout containers in a big box.

Considering that Fung Wa will take you all the way to Manhattan for $10, I was shocked at what it costs to rent a reasonably new bus from a reasonably reputable company. Budget $1800 for a day.