AustinDoor

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AustinDoor

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Jul302014

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Louvre Museum Audio Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

My family of six took this tour the last week in July, 2014. While it did give us immediate entry to the Louvre and an audio guide, which we appreciated having, we were somewhat disappointed. The audio guide only included two sections of the museum, the Sculptures and Italian Painting. I realize that we could have continued to other sections of the museum but would not have had any guide information for them. Being the height of tourist season, the museum was extremely crowded so we choose only to complete the audio guide and then leave. Overall, while I am glad we purchased this tour since all the advanced purchase entry tickets were sold out from the Louvre web site when I went to book (in early June), I do wish the audio tour had given us more information about the many other exhibits at the museum. Having to pick up the tickets and the audio equipment at a site about three blocks from the museum was a minor inconvenience and we were able to return the audio equipment to a site closer to the museum than the one where we acquired them. Another note, there is a sizable deposit required for the audio equipment that I don't remember seeing mentioned when I booked this tour. They did accept the deposit on our credit card and it was immediately refunded when we returned the equipment.

Jul292014

Tour/Activity

Skip-the-Line Eiffel Tower Ticket in Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

My family of six booked this tour because all of the advance purchase tickets for the Eiffel Tower were sold out when I went to book them on the tower website in early June. We had a 5:30 pm entry and had to pick up our tickets about three blocks from the Eiffel Tower. Since we had been walking extensively before we reached the tower and three members of our party were very tired and it was raining, three of us went on to pick up the tickets while the other three remained at the North entrance to the tower. The pick up point was easy to find and even had restroom facilities available. The young man who was responsible for our group was very personable, very well informed and was even kind enough to take us to the North entrance when we told him that is where the rest of our party was waiting. We had a total group of 18 and were instructed to stay together all the way to the top of the tower. Our guide took us to the entrance and sent us on our way. It was very crowded in the elevators that took us to the top. We were first taken to the second level and then had to try to stay together to stand in line to get to the top. All of us did make it to the top and we were then permitted to go our own ways. It was raining but we did get some very nice photos. It was a good experience but not one I would choose to repeat - a once in a lifetime thing for us!

Jul292014

Tour/Activity

Seine River Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise in Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I purchased the two day passes for our family of six. We were staying near Notre Dame and I figured this boat would give us access to other parts of Paris without the hassel of taxis, land buses, or the metro and that did turn out to be correct. We used the boat about five times in the two days and each time the trip was relaxing and we got a seat each time. For us this turned out to be a very good transportation solution when we couldn't or didn't want to walk.

Jul192014

Tour/Activity

Full-Day Tour to Prague Castle and Vltava River Cruise with Lunch

Prague, Czech Republic

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was a really good tour and I am very glad I booked if for my family of six. We took the tour on Saturday and that was very fortunate because since there was little traffic on a non-business day, our guide was able to show a much more than would have been possible on a weekday. We were picked up at our hotel and transported to the central meeting place where we moved to the "English" bus while others stayed on the "German" bus that had picked us up. Our guide was a wonderful, knowledgeable young woman who was great at keeping us all together. The included lunch was in a lovely terrace restaurant with a panoramic view of the city. Because we had enough time, we even got to tour Jewish Town. Our tour ended at the cathedral where we witnessed the animated clock. All in all it was a lovely day, even though the temperatures were in the high 90's.

Mar102013

Tour/Activity

Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was a day well spent. Our guide was outstanding and the itinerary perfect and very well paced. We enjoyed the small group (7 people). We really appreciated being picked up and dropped off at our hotel. We went to the Grand Bazaar but since it was closed on Sunday, we only got to photograph Gate 1 and actually appreciated that opportunity. We returned to the Grand Bazaar on our own another day and were glad to be able to do it on our own since we didn't care to spend much time there.

Mar092013

Tour/Activity

Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

The cruise on the Bosphorus was very enjoyable but we could hardly hear the narration provided - the microphone system was very poor. We would have enjoyed the cruise without any narration. Our guide was useless. He took us to the Spice Market that was dangerously crowded on Saturday. He rushed off the bus that was parked at the far left lane of a three lane highway and left us to make our own way across that street, dodging traffic, to reach the Spice Market. Overall, we enjoyed being picked up and dropped off at our hotel and we loved the cruise but the guide might as well have been absent - he was of no use at all.

Mar082013

Tour/Activity

Istanbul Airport Private Arrival Transfer

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Excellent experience. A representative of Viator/Neon was waiting for us when we exited the terminal. He called the driver and we were promptly transferred to our hotel. I would highly recommend this private arrival transfer, especially if you are arriving late at night, as we did.

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