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micvii

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Mar222012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums Walking Tour including Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms and St Peter's

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

A definite must for anyone visiting Rome! We did find it a bit difficult to locate the meeting point, while the instructions list the closest metro stop they need to be clearer as to where to go when you get off at the metro stop! We wondered around aimlessly for a good 20 mins trying to find the correct direction to walk from the metro station. Also, we traveled by Metro from Termini station and it was ABSOLUTELY PACKED LIKE NOTHING YOU'VE EVER SEEN!! If you do the same, watch out for pickpockets as I had one try and steal my wallet (caught him in the act and saved it). Back to the tour though, the guide was Italian and spoke English well. He was friendly and extremely knowledgeable which was fantastic. The earphones/microphone that was used was really clear and easy to hear him talking.

Skip the Line is a MUST - we went in March 2012 which is just before the start of peak season and the line was still very long and there were a LOT of people there on this day. We were also traveling with our infant daughter (1.5 years) and pram, which was no problem.

Would definitely recommend this.

Mar212012

Tour/Activity

Ancient Rome Half-Day Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

We did this tour in March 2012 with our infant daughter (1.5 years) and pram. This is a long walking tour, took just over 3 hours to complete the whole tour. However, the tour ended in Piazza Novona and it took us a good 30-45 minutes to walk from there back to where it started (Colosseum), so be prepared to walk! It was great to see and hear about these historic places. The guide spoke reasonable English although as there were a lot of people around it could sometimes be hard to hear what she was saying through your earphone. I would say only about 50% of the people who started made it through the whole tour (we did), slowly people dropped off as it was a hot day and there aren't really any breaks. I wouldn't really recommend having a pram for this tour like we did, as the Colosseum and Roman Forum were difficult to get around with it. I would still recommend this tour overall, simply because it's nice to hear about these important places instead of just look at them! However maybe they could consider shortening the tour a bit.

Mar162012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

Venice, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

FANTASTIC!!

This was an absolute highlight and I can't recommend it enough. Our tour guide was a true local Venetian, and was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. We were traveling with our young daughter (1.5 yrs) and pram, while there obviously were stairs it was fine and definitely manageable!

There are some obvious sites to see in Venice like St Mark's Basilica and Square, but there are so many other wonderful places and stories that she was able to tell us. Once we were walking the "backstreets" of Venice, away from the crowds, it was really amazing and enjoyable to hear and learn about how Venice evolved and how the people live.

I think our guides name was Rita - this walking tour was so good it prompted us to book one for our next stop which was Florence!

11 out of 10

Mar112012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Louvre Museum Walking Tour including Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We went in March 2012 and were traveling with our infant daughter (1.5 years). We found the meeting place for the tour guide quite easily and were surprised in 2 ways! First, because there were only 2 other people in this tour! And second, because our guide was Australian (which is where we traveled from). The guide was friendly and knowledgeable.

The Louvre was packed with people as expected. We didn't know much about the paintings and sculptures, and without a tour guide I think we would have been wondering around aimlessly and wouldn't have enjoyed the museum as much. While the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo were obvious highlights, it was great to hear and learn about some of the other paintings/sculptures/etc.

A definite must for your Paris trip - skip the lines, I wouldn't like to be lined up waiting for a ticket in peak periods!!

Mar102012

Tour/Activity

Versailles Guided Tour with Optional Fountain Show

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Amazing and a definite for your Paris trip.

This palace was something else! The guide spoke good English and was really friendly, allowing for us as we were traveling with our infant daughter (1.5 yrs) and pram which is not always easy!

The pick up location is easy to find and right next to a couple of metro stations depending which was you are coming from. A short coach ride (45 mins) and we were there. This place was PACKED with people so I definitely think having a tour guide is the way to go here.

A must for any Paris trip!

Mar082012

Tour/Activity

Loire Valley Castles Day Trip: Chambord, Cheverny and Chenonceau

Paris, France

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

We really enjoyed this trip to the Loire Valley, it was a nice break from Paris and fantastic to see these historic castles and learn about their history.

The voucher said to meet at one place, and we had arrived early. However after waiting around for a good 15 mins we noticed a sign on the door saying that tours depart from a different location in the Winter months. It was only a matter of a few minutes walk, but it would have been nice if the voucher just gave this place and not the other one.

The tour guide was friendly and spoke English well. The sites were amazing and something out of a fairytale. They also included lunch in a nice French restaurant which was really nice and unexpected! Not sure if they do this all the time or just in the off peak periods.

I would definitely recommend this. We did travel with our infant daughter (1.5 yrs) and the coach ride back to Paris took a good 3 hours, which was a struggle!!

Mar072012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Eiffel Tower Tickets and Small-Group Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We went in March 2012 and the lines weren't terribly long on this day, but in my opinion this was a great purchase as they steadily built up throughout the morning and if you go in a more peak time of year I can imagine it would be packed! The tour guide was nice, I guess we were a little surprised having a Canadian tour guide for the Eiffel Tower but in saying that she was fantastic and very knowledgeable about French history and the Tower, which you wouldn't find out on your own. Also very easy to understand. It was a cold day and there were some long waits for the elevator lines to get to the summit but that's really out of their control and it does say to expect some waits of up to 30 minutes for elevators. Our tour guide allowed time for us to go to the summit as part of this which was good. This is a definite for any Paris trip in my opinion, don't risk spending 2 hours in line on the day.

Mar042012

Tour/Activity

London Pass

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

We used the 2 day London Pass with the Travelcard.

There are so many places to see - in my opinion if you do the maths I doubt that the pass would be worth it if you only take the 1 day option. Even having 2 days, there were numerous places we still would have liked to see but didn't.

My advice: pick-up the tickets in advance, GET UP EARLY and make full use of your pass.

Day 1 we spent at Hampton Court Palace in the morning and Windsor Palace in the afternoon (which was fantastic!)

Day 2 was spent at St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Tower of London. We also fit in changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace and Big Ben which were not part of the pass.

Having the travel card to be able to use the Tube was very convenient.

As you can see, there are SO many places the pass gives you access to, and yet over 2 days we really only got to 5 of them as traveling around does take time.

We really enjoyed everywhere we saw and would recommend the 2 day pass at minimum.

Mar032012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Madame Tussauds London

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We really enjoyed this and would definitely recommend going. Madame Tussauds is a real treat and the interactive ride and 4D experiences are fantastic.

It's a good idea to pick the 9am-11am session though, even with our Skip the Line entry there was still a shortish wait.
However, when we left around 11am the "Skip the Line" entry area had a massive line of people!!

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