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Garry H

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Garry H

Garry H

USA

Dec212011

Tour/Activity

Panama City Folkloric Show and Dinner

Panama City, Panama

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

We had a bit of a problem with the hotel pick-up. First, when we called from the USA to confirm, we were given one time. We called again from Panama and were given another time. Second, the driver did not speak English. Though he had our names on his sheet, he didn't seem to recognize the Viator cofirmation sheets.. Fortunately, the representative at the hotel helped resolve the problem. The dinner was very nice and the server, very friendly and helpful. We were seated in the back center of the room. The show was entertaining and lived up to the description. It would have been nice to have had more singing in the show.

Nov052011

Tour/Activity

Victor Harbor with McLaren Vale Wine Region Tour from Adelaide

Adelaide, Australia

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Saw some interesting country. Guide/driver was informative. Couldn't get to Granite Island as it is being refurbished.

Sep082010

Tour/Activity

Tarragona and Sitges Small Group Day Trip from Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
This was our second tour with this operator, so we now knew where to wait. Our guide/driver was a very personable young woman. She did an excellent job of not only driving, but providing commentary along the way. We visited everything stated in the online description. If staying in Barcelona, this particular trip allows one to venture out of the city and get a feel for coastal living. You are given time to wander, on your own, in Tarragona and Sitges. Unfortunately, we reached Sitges during "siesta" time, so many of the shops were closed. There are a number of restaurants available for lunch at Sitges, but they do tend to be a bit pricey. It's a good trip if you have extra days in Barcelona, but if your time is limited, first see everything you can in the city.

Sep072010

Tour/Activity

Montserrat and Cava Trail Small Group Day Trip from Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
This was the first of our two tours scheduled with this operator. If was confusing as to where to meet. Our guide for the day could be personable, but failed to provide sufficient commentary along the way,. She said almost nothing until we reached the monastery and the winery,. At Montserrat, she provided a little information. We were then able to wander the grounds on our own. We had time to take the funicular to the top for a great view. We did hear a little of the boy's choir. The sanctuary was packed and made it uncomfortable, with standing room only. As for the choir, the benefit of seeing them was to get a feel for the acoustics of the church. Their program was short and the hymns very solemn. As for the Cava Trail, this consisted of visiting a winery and going through a portion of their tremendous numberf of underground storage floors. You do not see anything actually produced. There is wine sampling at the end and each couple received a gift package of two small bottles of wine. If you are not into wine, it would be better to select a Montserrat tour which does not include the so-called "Cava Trail".

Sep062010

Tour/Activity

Barcelona in One Day Sightseeing Tour

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This tour required us to meet at the tour office. It is not difficult to find. Our one-day tour was actually the morning and afternoon tours combined. We were given a lunch break between tours, then returned to the tour operator's office for the afternoon tour. Our morning guide was very personable and provided commentary in both English and Spanish. We did walk through a portion of the old town and were able to go inside the cathedral. We did not do a walking tour of Port Olympic. As for seeing the Olympic stadium, that was a drive-by viewing. We did go into Poble Espanol and have a drink of the Cava, a Spanish champagne. It would have been nice to have had more time to wander the village. In the afternoon, our guide was very informative and also multi-lingual. We covered everything listed in the itinerary. You get to see the outside of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. It is an unfinished cathedral, but worth going back to see. There is an admission fee for this church to help pay for the completion of the construction, ongoing for more than 100 years. This tour was mainly a look at the work of the architect, Gaudi. We would recommend both the morning and afternnon tours as a way of seeing Barcelona more in-depth.

Sep052010

Tour/Activity

Avila and Segovia Day Trip from Madrid

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review
Of the 5 tours we scheduled through Viator, during our visit to Portugal and Spain, this was the least enjoyable, though the locations were very interesting. There was much confusion just getting on this trip. We were first told it was 11 hours, but after contacting Viator the 9 hours was confirmed. Once taken to a terminal to exchange buses, no information was given to the travelers. We all had to ask what we were to do. It seems when people do the same job over and over, they forget to inform those who do not know what is happening. Our guide for the day never introduced himself. We had to later ask for his name. He was not very personable. All of his commentary sounded more as if he was reading from a script, doing it in 3 languages. He offered no humor and "bare bones" commentary. Avila is a very neat walled city. We were rushed from one end to the other, stopping only 3 times for a little commentary. It was difficult trying to get pictures and keep up with the guide. A Renaissance fair was going on in the town, but we got to enjoy none of it. At the end of the walk, we stopped to use a restroom where there was only a religious souvenir shop. At Segovia, it was Sunday and most of the shops were closed for the day or for "siesta". We were on our own there, except for the cathedral and castle. We arrived back in Madrid 45 minutes early. This time could have been used at Avila. The sites are worth seeing and a good tour guide can make all the differnce in the world.

Aug212010

Tour/Activity

Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima and Batalha Day Trip

Lisbon, Portugal

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
This trip is advertised as 8 hours. It was 11 hours 45 minutes before we were back at our hotel. Hotel pick-up was fine. We were then taken to an area where people transferred to various buses for the different tours. Our guide was multi-lingual, rapidly changing to 3 languages to provide information. She did a very good job. It wasn't until midway in the trip that we found out this trip was going to be much longer than advertised. We were told the 11 hours was the length of the trip. This was a problem for us, as we were scheduled to be back in Lisbon for a 6:00 meeting with the tour director for our upcoming two-week trip. As a result, we missed the meeting. No one was dropped off exactly at their hotel. We were dropped off approximately 2-blocks from our hotel. It is a good thing we had explored the area the previous evening, so we knew where we were going. We did visit all of the locations listed in the itinerary. As for Nazare, we saw almost nothing there. We were taken directly to a restaurant for lunch, then afterwards, to our next location. We enjoyed the Medieval village of Obidos and would liked to have had more time there. There is a lot packed into the day, so it is understandable that the tour would be longer than 8 hours. It must, however, state that in the description.

Aug202010

Tour/Activity

Lisbon Airport Shared Arrival Transfer

Lisbon, Portugal

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review
This would have been better if the person in charge had been more responsible. When we exited baggage claim, we saw our name on a sign, hanging from the rail where people were waiting to meet travelers. We walked to the sign, but no one acknowledged us. We then continued around the walkway to the area where travelers were being greeted for pick-up. Still, no one showed up. We removed the sign from the rail and stood and held it for quite sometime. Finally, a gentleman showed up and acknowledged us. We have no idea where he had been. He motioned for us to wait to the side. Apparently he was waiting for more passengers. He was on his phone frequently. There seemed to be quite a bit of confusion. Eventually we were joined by another couple and a gentleman. When we were outside the terminal, more phone calls were made. We and the couple were directed to a small van. The other person was directed to another vehicle. Nothing was said in English, so we hoped we were going to the correct hotel. It turned out we were, as was the other couple. The actual transportation was fine, the problem was the person in charge.

Oct092009

Tour/Activity

Istanbul by Night: Turkish Dinner and Show

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
The driver arrived a few minutes late. He did not speak English, but had our names on a list. There was no discussion on board the van, as none of the other passengers spoke English. We were dropped off at the restaurant after picking up more passengers, with no direction given as to what we were to do, especially after the show. We were directed to a room on the lower level of the restaurant. The show and food were very good. It was an entertaining evening. The show consisted of two belly dancers who were excellent, a group of folk dancers, and a singer who spoke English and sang songs representing the countries present. Afterwards, we had to simply look for our van once we exited the restaurant and we were returned to the hotel.

Sep272009

Tour/Activity

Delphi Day Trip from Athens

Athens, Greece

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Guide provided extensive information. The drive into the mountains was beautiful. We were unable to walk above the ruins due to it being roped off because of rock slides, but that was okay, as we were able to see a sufficient amount to get the idea of the site. There was not sufficient time to see the ruins below the highway because we had to meet at the museum, which provided visual insight into the original appearance of the site. It would have been nice to have had a little more time in the villages to look around, but it was definitely a full day tour.

Sep252009

Tour/Activity

Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon Half-Day Trip from Athens

Athens, Greece

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
It would have been better had we not had a guide with a terrible cold. She could barely speak for coughing. She should not have led a group that particular day. As a result, her commentary was very limited. The view along the coastal highway is beautiful. The time at the temple is limited and the return drive is the same route we took on our way to the cape. Hotel pick-up and return was done in a timely manner.

Sep252009

Tour/Activity

Corinth Half-Day Trip from Athens

Athens, Greece

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Due to traffic, there was a lengthy ride out of the city. The guide could have provided much more information during the bus ride about the city, etc. The stop at the Corinth Canal consisted of a quick look at the canal as time needed to be spent in line at the restroom or grabbing a quick souvenir. Once at the site of the Corinth ruins, the guide was much more informative, taking the time to walk us around and explain, in detail. The drive to and from the sites is along the coast and quite interesting to view.

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