Mark H

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Mark H

Mark H

Australia

May182011

Tour/Activity

Cork and Blarney Castle Rail Trip from Dublin

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This tour was a convenient, low hassle way to get an introduction to Cork and Blarney. Now that I know what they're like I’ll probably go back independently for a longer stay on another trip.

May152011

Tour/Activity

Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Trip from Edinburgh

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This tour was a good way to see what the Scottish highlands are like. The driver/guide was very entertaining, he told good stories and jokes. The cruise on the loch (an optional extra) is a must after going all that way, though we didn’t see Nessie.

May112011

Tour/Activity

Oxford, Cotswolds, Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick Castle Day Trip from London

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

I chose this tour for the historical sites at Oxford and Stratford-o-A but the part I enjoyed most was Warwick Castle! It was a real surprise. It is run by Madam Tassauds and there are wax figures and actors to recreate different themes from the castle’s history. The stops at each of the three sites on this tour were fairly rushed, but that is what to expect with this type of tour. If you particularly like one of the places you can always go back independently.

May072011

Tour/Activity

2-Day Small Group Tour of French and Belgian WWI Battlefields from Lille

Lille, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The guide was fantastic. As well as being knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his subject he was a good host over the 2 days. Although this tour is relatively expensive the small size of the group makes the experience a lot better and avoids the time wasted when a large group is herded around. The tour covers a lot of battlefields and memorials and if you do some preparation or even grab a map beforehand it will be easier to follow. The guide was very good at explaining things but there was a lot to take in. You wouldn’t be able to identify all the sites and understand their significance if you tried to cover the same ground independently.

May042011

Tour/Activity

Private Viewing of Stonehenge including Bath and Lacock

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This tour is well worth it just to avoid the crowds at Stonehenge and walk in among the stones, it’s an incredible experience.

Jan302011

Tour/Activity

Macau Day Trip from Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This was an excellent day trip. The two big strengths were the tour guide and the city of Macau itself. Our guide (Cisco) was informative about the history and culture of Macau, funny, and professional in the way he managed the group to get the most out of the available time. The itinerary gives a good overview of Macau and if I had a spare day or two I would have gone back for some independent travel around the historical sites and a look at some of the other casinos.

Jan272011

Tour/Activity

Guangzhou (Canton) China Day Trip from Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review
This tour is a convenient way to get a quick look inside mainland China so it’s worthwhile, however there were a few irritations. It was a bit dis-organised - after getting off the ferry at the start of the day we sat in the bus for half an hour waiting for the second guide to show up. I sat in the back of the bus and couldn’t understand most of what the guides said during the trip because of engine noise. The volume was turned up when I asked but it didn’t make a lot of difference. The stop at the Shenzhen Exhibition Hall for the terracotta warriors was a waste of time –only 4 warriors are on display and for most of the stop we were held in a jade sales room. (The sales strategy seemed to be that if they hold you there long enough you will buy something to alleviate the boredom.) Apart from these issues the tour content was as promoted at the time of booking, with average service delivery.

Mar262010

Tour/Activity

Recoleta Afternoon Walking Tour

Buenos Aires, Argentina

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
There was a lot packed into this tour - fascinating stories about the mausoleums in Recoleta cemetery and an insight into Argentina's society.

Oct242009

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Ticket and Tour

Venice, Italy

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review
The guide for this tour was a dud. Although the group was small, she wasn't able to control it and she spent a lot of time in long discussions with just 2 people. This meant that the tour ran out of time and we didn't get to see all the things we were meant to. The guide could have answered their questions in a couple of words rather thangoing on and on while everyone else waited around. Another bad point is that although you are given a radio headset, the earpiece is the re-usable type that sits outside your ear. It just made a rumbling noise that I couldn't understand and I had to switch it off. I noticed a lot of people on self-guided tours and this is probably a better option.

Oct212009

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Crypts and Roman Catacombs Small Group Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This tour goes to 3 lesser known sites in Rome and is an interesting contrast with the Colosseum, Vatican Museums etc. The tour content was as advertised, and the guide was very good.

Oct192009

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
The guide for this tour was a professional art historian and she did an excellent job. We saw the major items in three hours and I doubt we would have found them all in a full day if we wandered around on our own without a guide. The guides explanations also added a lot to the experience. We chose the 8:10am upgrade and it was well worth it to avoid some of the crowds.

Oct182009

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Ancient Rome and Colosseum Half-Day Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
The guide for this tour was a professional archaeologist and she did an excellent job. Her English was good, she was a good story teller, she had a great sense of humor, and her knowledge was excellent! She was also very effective at managing the group as we walked around. We went to three separate sites and all had long entry queues which we avoided, saving a lot of time compared with going on your own. The tour uses radio headsets which were very effective despite there being over 20 people in the group, I never felt that the large size was a disadvantage. This tour was really good value, in terms of both time and cost.

May172009

Tour/Activity

Grand Canyon South Rim Bus Tour with Optional Upgrades

Las Vegas, Nevada

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
This day trip satisfied the description on the website, and there were no unpleasant surprises - this was the most important thing for me. The coach was new & comfortable and had LCD screens for movies on the long drive. The choice of movies was good. Overall, the tour operator was very professional.

May122009

Tour/Activity

Los Angeles City Tour By Night

Los Angeles, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
The tour guide did a great job. He earned his tip. I chose this tour because it was the only one that I could find that had a view of Los Angeles at night from Griffith Park Observatory. This was definitely a highlight.

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