Florence C

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Florence C

Florence C

USA

Aug272014

Tour/Activity

Luxembourg Day Trip from Brussels: Two Countries in One Day

Brussels, Belgium

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

A very nice trip. This tour is mostly scenic if anything else. There are lots of photo ops as you walk along the fortification. Atop, you get a beautiful view of the historical city.

Aug252014

Tour/Activity

Ghent and Bruges Day Trip from Brussels

Brussels, Belgium

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This is my second time visiting Bruges - that should tell you something about how wonderful this place is that we had to go back. I would recommend the boat ride on a sunny day. We've done that on the first trip and it was amazing. Beautiful scenery and lots of opportunities to take pictures along the canal. On this second trip to Bruges, we opted to spend the time shopping, which was equally exciting. I wished there was more time spent in Ghent. The main attraction there was the famous 12 panel painting "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" at the Cathedral of St. Bavo. They do charge a small fee for a viewing. Highly recommended! Had a wonderful time.

Aug232014

Tour/Activity

Amsterdam Day Trip from Brussels

Brussels, Belgium

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Nice trip. We took a boat ride on the canals, which was actually the highlight of the trip for me. It was refreshing and you got to see some more of the city this way. Amsterdam is an experience. No book or TV can ever describe it thoroughly until you've actually seen it for yourself. As long as you don't mind the smell of pot lingering in the air as you walk down the street, you're good. It's a very liberal city and you will see that once you arrive. I think this tour is a great eye-opener. However, I don't think this tour is suitable for children.

Jun122013

Tour/Activity

Romantic Road, Rothenburg and Harburg Day Tour from Munich

Munich, Germany

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Rothenburg a nice little town. Rothenburg was the highlight of this tour and I don't think 3 hours was nearly enough time to eat a good meal, walk around, go to a museum, do some shopping, eat ice cream, try the snow balls, take pictures, and really take in the atmosphere. Too much time was spent at Harburg castle.

Although, I liked the trip, I am constantly reminded of why I shouldn't use Gray Line. They really need to revise and improve their procedures. It's their job to maintain order with first come, first served. There were some people who just aggressively "rushed forward" to get onto the bus and took no note of those who were already on the line before them. It's the responsibility of Gray Line personnel to enforce fair rules and give proper instructions, but they said nothing. This was the same for all Gray Line tours that we've ever been on (and we've been on quite a few). Never had any problems with any of the other sight seeing companies. They were fair and maintained order and fairness - why can't Gray Line be like that? Next time, I'm going to avoid Gray Line where ever possible.

Jun112013

Tour/Activity

Royal Castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Day Tour from Munich

Munich, Germany

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Linderhof was impressive (much to my surprise). The guided tour inside the castle was very informative and interesting. I've seen the insides of other castles in various European countries, and you'd think that once you've seen one, they're all pretty much the same. But I actually enjoyed Linderhof. The stop in Oberammergau is a joke and should be eliminated from the itinerary. What world-famous wood-carvings?? There was nothing amazingly unique about it. It was also explained to us that nowadays, the people don't even carve wood there anymore. Most things are mass produced with machines. It was a waste of time to stop there. That time should've been better added to Neuschwanstein.

Neuschwanstein is even more beautiful and magical in person. There were 3 options to reach the top - walk, horse-drawn carriage, or shuttle bus. We chose to do the scenic (and free) route via walking. The walk takes roughly 30-40 mins. Any healthy, abled body should be able to trek up to the castle with no problem. There were gift shops along the way. But the best one (most variety) was the one at the foot of the hill. A tip - it's best to eat your meal before walking/riding up to the castle. The choices for food gets smaller and smaller as you head higher.

All in all, the trip itself was great. Gray Line, however, was terrible. I've gone with Gray Line on a handful of times in various countries, and came to the same conclusion - they need to improve their structure. For instance, they give no regard to who came first. When people see a bus coming, they all rush forward. It is the responsibility of Gray Line to instruct the people to be in an orderly, first-come, first served, there-is-a-line basis. I've never ever had any such problems with other sight-seeing companies. If there is an equal alternative with a different tour company, I would not go with Gray Line.

Jul152012

Tour/Activity

Paris to Bruges Day Trip

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Had an amazing time. Highlight of the trip was the 30-min. boat ride on the canal. It really was a unique experience. There are lots of stores to purchase chocolates, lace, souvenirs, candy, waffles, etc. The ride from Paris is about 4 hours but we stopped midway at the rest stop for restrooms and food. I definitely recommend this tour! It was a lot of fun.

Jul122012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Chateaux de Chambord, Chenonceau and Loire Valley Wine-Tasting Day Trip from Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I enjoyed this trip a lot. Tasted 3 (plus 1 during lunch) different wines at the Nitray vineyard. Lunch was a simple but delicious and filling meal of chicken, fresh potatoes, tomatoes, light salad, different cheeses, and a apple tart. The gift shop at Chambord was better than the one at Chenonceau in terms of size and overall variety. But Chenonceau was definitely more beautiful in appearance than Chambord. This was a delightful trip with a small group. Our guide was great. She gave us lots of interesting facts and histories about the castles. Had a great time!

Jul112012

Tour/Activity

Mont Saint Michel Day Trip

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I actually loved this trip! Even though, I have to mention that on our way to the Mont, our bus (which was a double decker) broke down on the highway in the middle of nowhere and all 62 of us had to wait for another bus to come and continue the trip. It was quite the adventure. It was about a two hour wait but I passed the time counting the cows. Seeing the Mont totally made up for everything. It is beautiful on the inside as well as the outside - very rustic. The shopping street is so cute! You can easily spend a whole day there. A wonderful trip and totally recommended!

May292011

Tour/Activity

Wild Wicklow Tour including Glendalough from Dublin

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

This tour was nice. It's a short trip and worth the small price to pay. It's a nice excursion for a Sunday, where most attractions in Dublin are closed or close early. The highlight of the tour for us was Glendalough. The monastic ruins are simply amazing. Needed more time at the Avoca Handweavers, but ok.

May282011

Tour/Activity

Northern Ireland including Giant's Causeway Rail Tour from Dublin

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I had an amazing time on this tour. I really enjoyed it. The Giant's Causeway is awesome and you'll never see anything quite like it anywhere in the world (except Scotland). I highly recommend this trip to anyone who has enthusiam for nature and landscapes. The coastline is beautiful. Please be sure to have Sterling Pounds on hand because NI uses the Pound and not the Euro (like the rest of Ireland). They charge about 5 pounds to cross The Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. You have a option not to do it, if heights are not your thing.

May262011

Tour/Activity

Limerick, Cliffs of Moher, Burren and Galway Bay Rail Tour from Dublin

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Of all the trips I went on, the Cliffs of Moher was my favorite. I've never seen anything like it! The scenery is absolutely gorgeous. If you like landscape and nature, I would highly recommend this tour! The cliffs are extremely windy so be sure to wear extra layer of clothing. Make sure you hang tight to things that might be blown away by the wind - because at times, it can feel like the wind can knock you off your feet. I've seen several people losing their scarves. A wonderful trip! Billy, our guide, was very informative and helpful.

May252011

Tour/Activity

Cork and Blarney Castle Rail Trip from Dublin

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

This was an amazing and smooth trip. For all you first timers thinking about doing a rail trip - don't worry about anything! The procedure is very straight forward from beginning to end. I climbed the winding staircase to the top of the castle and kissed the Blarney Stone while hanging upside down. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. I fully recommend this tour. It's great fun and you get to inherit the gift of eternal eloquence! I really enjoyed the Blarney village. I bought a beautiful wool scarf and mitts there! Our tour guide Billy was great. He's very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Had a wonderful trip!!

May252010

Tour/Activity

Independent Rail Trip to York

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
The thing I love about independent trips is that you can take your sweet time at an attraction without feeling rushed. This trip was very well organized and effortless. A Premium Tours Representative will meet you at the train station and brief you on what you need to do and where you need to go. The train stations are very straight forward in London so there is no need to worry about not finding anything or getting lost. York is beautiful and rustic. I loved it!! You MUST go to Little Betty's Restaurant for lunch. It is so cute and the food is great. I tried the traditional Yorkshire Sausage dish. Shopping is everywhere and the atmosphere pedestrian streets reminded me of Salzburg, Austria.... There is also a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus ride that is included in this trip. It's a great introduction to the area. Most places can be travelled on foot. However, a bit of advice to those going on this trip Do not be late for your train departures. The trains are so efficient only because they stick to a strict schedule. If the train leaves at 7 am - the train will leave exactly at 7 am on the dot and not a second later. So, it's a good idea to be waiting for your train early than miss it.

May232010

Tour/Activity

Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Bath, and Medieval Village of Lacock Including Traditional Pub Lunch

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Windsor Castle was fun and I enjoyed the tour of the state apartments. I also really liked the gift shop. There is something for everyone in there. My dad bought me a beautiful pearl necklace! Stonehenge was the highlight of the tour of course. The view was breathtaking. No one should leave England without seeing the mysterious Stonehenge! Bath was just alright for me. We didn't go into the Roman Baths, as admission wasn't included in the price of the tour. But instead, we walked around the area and got ice cream!!

Nov272009

Tour/Activity

Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam Day Trip from Las Vegas with Optional Skywalk

Las Vegas, Nevada

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review
The view from the West Rim was absolutely gorgeous and you'll never see anything like it in your life. I have absolutely no complaints about the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon because that in itself is a masterpiece. However, the trip getting there was tedious and unpleasant, unless you have patience for the long line waiting at the bus office to check in, which took an hour, then they direct you onto a double decker bus which you share with 77 people other peopl. You arrive at another terminal, get off and get herded onto yet other bus that takes you to another terminal at the West Rim, then you board another bus to take you to Eagle's Point and Guano Point. Then you do the same bus switching on the way back to Vegas. The thing that really infuriated me were two very irresponsible idiots from our bus who did not come back on time. They were 1 hour and 15 minutes late and the whole bus all 75 people had to wait for them. The company who run this tour really needs to revise, improve, & polish their procedures so things can go smoothly and fairly for everyone.

Nov242009

Tour/Activity

Death Valley Day Trip from Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This tour was fun and was very educational. Including us, there were only 7 people so our guide catered to where we wanted to go. We skipped Scotty's Castle and spent more time at the beautiful and mysterious Death Valley. Our guide was very knowledgable, friendly, and took care of us. We made at least 10 stops along the way for picture taking opportunities. My favorite place was the Devil's Golf Course. I would definitely recommend this tour to everyone! I'm very, very satisfied. Trust me - the smaller the group, the more enjoyable the tour.

Nov222008

Tour/Activity

Paradise Cove Luau

Oahu, Hawaii

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Our tour was actually canceled due to rain, so we had to reschedule it for the next day. Everything went smoothly and I had a great time. I've been to the islands before but this is my first luau. Paradise Cove is truly a beautiful place. The sunset is amazing - you have to see it to know what I'm talking about. The show is exactly what you would expect at a luau - Hula Dancers, Hawaiian music and singing. The buffet wasn't fantastic but it was ok. Everyone at my table agreed the fried chicken was the best dish. I think this activity is worth doing and recommend this to anyone who might be planning a trip to Honolulu. It's part of the Hawaiian culture and you won't forget it - no matter which package you choose Standard, Orchid or Deluxe. Also, Viator is the best!!!!

Aug042008

Tour/Activity

Vienna Woods and Mayerling Half Day Trip

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
First of all, I got chills learning about Prince Rudolph, only son of Emperor Franz Joseph, committing suicide with Baronesse Vetsera in 1889 at the hunting lodge. They say it was only presumed a suicide because no one knew what actually happened. The story was just so captivating and really got my attention. I love mysteries.
The boat ride in the subterranean lake was interesting. We were warned that the temperature at the lake is substantially colder being that it's way underground. You can rent blankets for .50 cents. I was wearing a sleeveless top with a knee length skirt and I didn't need a blanket. To me, it really wasn't cold at all. Well, I've always been hot-blooded. But if you're afraid of being cold, you should bring a light jacket.
As for the language barrier, well, don't worry because there was none. The guides spoke very good English. Easy to understand. If you only have a limited stay in Vienna, I recommend doing the Schonbrunn Palace Dinner Concert tour and the Danube Valley day tour first. The Vienna Woods and Maylering is a good supplement if you have an extra day or so in Vienna.

Aug032008

Tour/Activity

Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Our tour guide dropped us off at Spitz, where we boarded a boat that took us to Melk. We floated down the Danube River, which is not blue by the way. Haha. It's more like green. But the scenery was amazing and to an extent, it was truly romantic. Sunny, but romantic don't forget to bring sunscreen and a hat. I thought the boat ride would've been EVEN MORE romantic if they blasted the Blue Danube music as we floated down the river. That would've been the icing on the cake. There were so many picture taking opportunities! Beautiful landscaping, castles, endless vineyards and picturesque villages. The Benedictine Abbey was such a beautiful place. One could spend the entire day there just taking pictures.
The wiener schnitzel at The Stifts Restaurant in Melk is absolutely delicious!! You MUST try it. Your trip would've been a complete waste if you don't order this dish!! I've tried several wiener schnitzel in restaurants all over Vienna and nothing really compared to the excellence I've tasted in Melk!! Really! Portion was huge but it was so delicious that I finished it all. I would definitely recommend this tour!! But go during the summer months.

Aug022008

Tour/Activity

Schonbrunn Palace Evening: Palace Tour, Dinner and Concert

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
I had the best time ever!! This was my favorite activity during our stay in Vienna. The Schonbrunn Palace is absolutely beautiful!! We decided to spend the whole day there. The Palace self-tour was very informative and we got to see many rooms. The audio guide was easy to use. I prefer it to a tour guide because you can go at your own pace and spend as much or little time as you want in a room. My only gripe was that I wished the rooms were better ventilated. It felt rather stuffy in there after a while. Otherwise, it was a great learning experience. The dinner at the Residenz Cafe was delicious, fancy, and just the right amount of food for me. The service was excellent and prompt. Just note that the 3 course meal is included but any beverages that you may order, you will have to pay for. I loved the smoked salmon appetizer! Yum.
The concert was the best!! We sat in Category A so we were up in the 4th row. The musical selection was well balanced between Mozart and Strauss. We had 2 delightful opera singers, and a cute dance couple, who took the stage during a few of the pieces. I enjoyed the concert very much!! Oh, and I loved clapping to the Radetsky March - one of my faves. The concert would not be complete without that and the famous Blue Danube. It was so much fun!
You MUST do this tour if you're planning a trip to Vienna!! I think it is absolutely necessary!! If you're thinking about going to a concert but not sure which one, pick this one!! You will not be disappointed!!!

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