Paul F

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Paul F

Paul F

United Arab Emirates

Apr122010

Tour/Activity

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

Venice, Italy

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review
This tour was saved by the excellent guide who brought the history of Venice alive for us and took us on a particularly interesting walk around the city. So in that respect worth doing. However, we had become accustomed to the use of audio headsets to listen to the guide, which we had for all our other Viator tours in Rome and Florence, and were very disappointed that these were not used on the Venice tour, particularly with a large group of 25. And to skip the line into the basilica and then have so little time in there when it looked so amazing was also disappointing, including the fact that the guide couldn't speak to us in there without a 'whisper' system straight to our ears. So ultimately, worth doing, but could be improved.

Apr092010

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Small Group Florence Uffizi Gallery Walking Tour

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
We were particularly fortunate to be part of a very small group for this tour and our guide was extremely knowledgeable. After gaining excellent information from our other art tours in Italy, we still managed to hear totally new facts about the various styles of painting through the centuries, and certainly would never have been able to properly appreciate what we were looking at without her. It is also a bonus to be left in the gallery at the end of the tour so that you can spend more time on your own looking around.

Apr082010

Tour/Activity

Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This was one of the highlights of our trip to Italy. I was a little dubious as I'm not a fan of coach tours, but the day was managed superbly with an excellent balance of time in the bus and time in the towns, and a great balance of guided tours and independent time. Our guide Douglas and yes he is Italian was fantastic highly informative without talking too much, with a lovely manner and sense of humour, and always clear in his instructions so that we knew exactly what we were doing and when and where. We particularly loved Siena and the cathedral is glorious and the local guide, Rita, was very very good. Definitely fit this one in if you can. My only minor criticism would be the instructions on the voucher on where to meet were not quite correct and caused a bit of confusion with several passengers, so this could be improved.

Apr072010

Tour/Activity

Skip The Line: Best of Florence Walking Tour including Accademia Gallery and Duomo

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Excellent tour, due partly to the balanced itinerary and inclusions which brought Florence alive for us, but also to our wonderful guide who was highly informative and entertaining in her descriptions of the city, the Duomo, significant architects and artists, and the art in the gallery. It was also a bonus having the tour finish in the Accademia Gallery so that you can spend more time on your own in the gallery if you wish. Would recommend doing this tour as early as possible in your stay in Florence. And the gelato shop the guide took us to was outstanding, best we've ever had and we are avid enthusiasts. We noted its location and went back there twice during our stay!

Apr042010

Tour/Activity

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

Rome, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
We found this tour a little challenging due to the heavy rain. Wending one's way through Easter Sunday crowds with umbrellas is not a lot of fun. However, the guide did his best under the circumstances and was very skillful at moving us through and keeping us as dry as possible, and I'm confident it would be a better tour on a sunny day. However, we were disappointed that the tour didn't finish in the Colosseum so that we could spend more independent time there having a more relaxed look around. Keeping up with the group, particularly in the crowds, means you can't spend the time you would like at particular points. The tours we took in Florence both made a point of finishing in the art gallery so that you could spend more time there if you wished, which was a big bonus. I think the itinerary of this tour should be changed to finish in the Colosseum.

Apr032010

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
Booking this for Easter Saturday was probably not the smartest thing I've ever done, and we were part of an enormous crowd where even 'skip the line' visitors had a 30 minute queue. However, it is due to our fabulous guide and the amazing history and art involved that the crowds were largely forgotten as she skillfully led us through the rooms and explained the history and art with consumate skill and humour. My 13 year old thought she was fantastic and brought everything alive for us, and was obsessive about tracking down the art book on Michaelangelo and Rafael that the guide had used to describe the paintings in the Sistine Chapel. This tour is definitely a must while you are in Rome. And a big tick to the use of audio headsets, without which the tour would have been unworkable.

Apr022010

Tour/Activity

Rome to Pompeii Shuttle Bus & Independent Day Trip

Rome, Italy

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review
If I was just reviewing visiting Pompeii, then I would be putting down 5 stars unreservedly, and I do have to say this is a good alternative to taking a more expensive tour going into Naples, etc when all you want to do is visit Pompeii. However, the organisation was a bit chaotic. We turned up for our very early departure and then waited around for 45 minutes as the bus had been overbooked. The drive down was smooth enough, certainly no complaints about the driver, but the advertised reading material to be distributed on the bus consisted of three pieces for the whole bus, of which we managed to see only one and it wasn't very good. The company's representative could have provided a little more information. Why not have entry tickets to Pompeii as part of the initial price? It was irritating to have to line up in a fairly lengthy queue once we got there and waste yet more time after our late departure. And the meeting point for departure was badly handled, compounded by a group of people getting on the bus who were not part of the tour. It wasn't till I pointed out to the representative that a number of us were not seated that she even noticed and checked what had happened! This a worthwhile service to provide, but the company could review the procedures to make it better.

Apr012010

Tour/Activity

Rome Segway Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This was a wonderful start to our time in Rome and an excellent way of getting a feel for the Roman part of the city. The segways are easy to use, particularly after the orientation session and including for our 13 year old daughter, so have no concerns there. Most of all it was fun!

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