Key West, Florida
Definitely great value for money! I was a bit hesitant in booking hop-on-hop-off tours, since the last one we did in a major city didn't go very well (atrocious waiting times) - but the folks in Key West run this like a well-oiled machine. Glad we decided to leave the car in the hotel!
The day of our tour did not start out as great as we hoped for. First, we missed our 9am tour departure since we were given the incorrect train departure time by our hotel concierge. Great service (and save) by the tour company, saying that we can join the next tour that leaves at 10:30am. I'm not sure if it would have made any difference, since the lines outside the palace grounds were ominous. As in a very, very bad omen of the cattle-prodding inside. Our tour guide was quite the trooper and commendable with her thorough knowledge of the palace and its history. Surprisingly, not even the grandeur and history of this palace could make us stay and enjoy the tour. The HUGE amount of tourists just made it too unbearable. I would probably come back, but only on the LEANEST of days. I would recommend that as an alternative, go visit the Loire Valley castles instead - which are just as grand, minus the thousands of tourists that would snuff out the spirits of even the most patient of travellers.
Linda was quite funny and obviously knew a lot of cool stuff that's not on your typical Parisian guidebook. We got lucky with the weather, but I can see how this won't be an enjoyable tour if it's anything but dry and breezy. The tour starts at 9:30pm, and ends about two hours later, so make sure plenty of rest is taken prior to taking this tour. We had a couple of Tweens with us, and the tour is generally "PG". It's not necessarily scary but it is nice to hear the dark side of Paris - both from its past and not-so-distant past (some stories were as current as the 1970s). I just wish the part of going down along the Seine river walk would be removed: the sharp stench is nothing short of disgusting. But all in all, we enjoyed the tour and would recommend it.
Worth every penny (or Euro, in this case). Only 1 elevator was working so it was a relief having to skip the line and get the tour going. Our guide Connor was awesome. He was well-versed on France's history, and took his time in his story telling in each monument when we were up in the tower. Make sure to have a jacket with you, since it got cold and windy (not a good combination) as the sun fell. Now although you get a skip the line privilege in going up, it does not include the descent. The line to the elevator going down is not half as long as going up, but it will take a big chunk of your time. Be prepared to scale the stairs downwards, if you don't want to wait for the elevator. Nevertheless, a great value and would highly recommend it!
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