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Spanish traveller

Spanish traveller

Spain

Mar152013

Tour/Activity

Ride the Magic Bus: A 1960s-Era San Francisco Tour

San Francisco, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was our last trip and was fabulous. We saw parts of San Francisco that the other bus trips didn't show us, and the way the blinds came down showing 60s scenes and music was great. The lady tour guide was very amusing and knowledgable, and we all left the tour with a gift. If you don't do anything else, do this!

Mar152013

Tour/Activity

San Francisco Departure Transfer: from Hotels

San Francisco, California

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

The bus was 40 minutes late. Apparently the driver was stuck in traffic in Oakland, had called in to the office, but they had not thought to call us, so we were panicking, and rang the office, who took a long time to decide what they were doing. In fact, the driver, when he arrived, did a good job, and we had plenty of time, but it was somewhat disconcerting, not to have information. A van had arrived half an hour before time, but driver said she was only for drop off, and then we saw at least 3 vans going up the road, so surely one of these could have picked us up?

Mar142013

Tour/Activity

Chinatown Walking Tour and Dinner

San Francisco, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This tour was great. We started off with a proper (I think!) Chinese meal, which was very nice, after a half hour tour of San Francisco. Then we met our walking tour guide, who took us round parts of Chinatown that tourists don't usually see and told us various bits of history. It was very interesting, especially seeing how poor some of the people were. Quite an eye-opener. We then rejoined our coach, and the driver took us over the Bay bridge, to see the lights, and back to our hotels, which, unfortunately for him, were spaced over an hour apart! Very well worthwhile trip.

Mar132013

Tour/Activity

Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods and Sausalito Half-Day Trip

San Francisco, California

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Very interesting tour, we enjoyed it very much. We could perhaps have done with more time at Muir Woods, it felt a bit rushed. Sausalito was not as nice as I remembered it, it seemed a bit shabby now. The driver was very good and took us to places where we could get great photos of GG bridge.

Mar132013

Tour/Activity

Golden Gate Bay Cruise

San Francisco, California

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

This we did on our first morning, unfortunately still somewhat foggy. We still managed to see Alcatraz, and just about, the Golden Gate bridge, but a lot of the views were shrouded in fog. These tours go all day, so it's probably best to wait until you can see the fog has gone, and go immediately!

Mar112013

Tour/Activity

San Francisco Arrival Transfer: to Hotels

San Francisco, California

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

It was easy to follow the directions to the bus, which arrived within 10 minutes. I was slightly surprised to find that drop offs were done at private houses, as I had thought it was only for hotels, and this took us well out of our way. However, we reached our hotel eventually, with no problems.

Mar082013

Tour/Activity

Kona Coffee and Craters

Kona, Hawaii

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was terrific! We had originally booked a half day trip, but Donna actually phoned me in Spain from Las Vegas to tell me that the tour was now a full day, but that Viator would make up the difference in cost, if we still wanted to take it, as it wasn't on the original day, then called me back to confirm! We did take it, and the company collected us from our hotel, which we had not expected, and took us to their office, where we picked up the off-road vehicle. The driver, Danny, was Hawaiian, and told us lots of stories about Hawaii and the various lava flows. He took us through gates to where no private cars or tour buses could go and we saw ancient craters and lava tubes. We then went to a coffee plantation, where there was plenty of coffee on offer (I don't drink coffee, but never mind!) and a nice picnic lunch was provided. Again, we had not expected this. We were shown coffee trees and how they grow, and how the coffee was extracted from the beans. We also saw a beautiful chameleon living in one of the trees. The jeep we travelled in was not too uncomfortable-I had been worried about spending all day in it, but provided you held on tight to the safety straps, it was fine. Then we were taken back to our hotel when we returned to the office. Great tour, highly recommended.

My Photos

  • Kona coffee and craters
  • Chameleon on coffee tree

Mar072013

Tour/Activity

45-Minute Open-Door Volcanoes Helicopter Flight

Hilo, Hawaii

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

This trip was enjoyable, although 4 people + the pilot was a bit of a squash in a tiny helicopter! My partner and I were in the front, in a seat meant for 1. The pilot took us over the eruption site, up to about 1400 feet, unfortunately all we could see were 2 major steam plumes, and a steam vent.There was a tiny bit of fire visible in one part of the crater, but if you are expecting a major eruption as in the pictures, you will be disappointed. i think you would have to be extremely lucky to see one. The pilot gave a running commentary, but whether it was his accent or a poor sound system, we could understand very little of what he said, so in effect gave up and just looked out. Yes it was, I suppose, worth doing, as you can't see the steam plumes close up by any other method (25 years ago you could walk to the edge and see the lava flowing into the sea, but the coast has moved out 11 miles since then!), but it was very expensive. Still, I guess most people only go once (I have been lucky enough to go 4 times, but that's it now). Do it, but if an ordinary (closed door) helicopter is cheaper, then I would take that option.

My Photos

  • Steam vent
  • Steam plumes from helicopter

Mar062013

Tour/Activity

Lava Legends and Legacies Luau on the Big Island

Kona, Hawaii

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

An excellent luau. We had been to the one at the sister hotel on Maui a few days before, which was very good, but this one was even better, probably because it was smaller, only around 100 people. The imu (pig) was very fresh and all the rest of the food was lovely. Drinks flowed freely, unfortunately I was driving, so I was limited to punch, but apparently the wine was quite acceptable. The entertainment was also excellent, similar to that which we have seen before, but sufficiently different to make it interesting. I have seen the fire dance at least 6 times before, but this one was definitely the best, I think the lad was from Samoa and he was fantastic.

Mar062013

Tour/Activity

Big Island Parasailing Experience

Kona, Hawaii

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I have wanted to parasail for around 40 years, but have never had the guts! So I thought, well, if I don't do it now, I never will, so we went up, and it was brilliant! We had paid for 800 feet, but the lads sent us up 1200 feet, and charged us $20 extra when we got down! I got the impression this was quite normal! We sat on a metal bar, well strapped in, and took off-I was terrified, but it was actually very easy, and the views were amazing. We were up for about 12 minutes, you wouldn't want any longer because the bar gets a bit uncomfortable, and we landed easily on the boat (just in case you thought we landed in the sea!). Definitely a "must do".

Mar012013

Tour/Activity

Ulalena Show at Maui Theatre

Maui, Hawaii

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was a very interesting show, all about the history of the Hawaiian people from the beginning, with a simulated sea cruise from Tahiti, where they followed the birds, knowing that birds would have to stop somewhere. Then we saw how people lived before the first Europeans arrived, and afterwards, and how the volcanoes erupted. Very well done and well worth a visit. However, I found that as senior citizens, we could have got in for half price, so this worked out quite expensive. If you are 65+, then book your ticket when you arrive on Maui. (Sorry, Viator, maybe you shoud consider a senior category, as well as adult and child?)

Feb272013

Tour/Activity

Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise and Royal Lahaina Luau Combo

Maui, Hawaii

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Very enjoyable trip. We did the cruise on our second evening, and the meal was really good, as was the wine. We did see a few whales, although not close up, unfortunately. The sunset was nothing special; I must say I have only once in 4 visits to Hawaii, seen a really good sunset. Compared with those we get regularly in our part of Spain, I think in general ours are better. The luau was good, perhaps too many people as we had to queue for about 45 minutes to enter. As I have said previously, the luau on the sister hotel on Big Island, was smaller and I think, better. But the food was good and plentiful, the wine was drinkable (remember we live in the land of good wine!), and the entertainment was enjoyable. Obviously, we were able to take in both luaus, but if you can only do one, and you are visiting both islands, then do the Royal Kona. However, if you are only on Maui, then you will enjoy the Royal Lahaina.

Feb252013

Tour/Activity

Private Arrival Transfer: Maui International Airport to Maui Hotels

Maui, Hawaii

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We went straight to the shuttle desk on arrival and the lady was expecting us. She took us outside to where the driver had the car ready and took us immediately to our hotel, which took about 45 minutes. We had decided to take a private transfer because, coming from Spain via London and LA, we had been up for 24 hours, and I did not want to hire a car (with all the associated paperwork) and drive somewhere I did not know, in the dark. A very good decision, and if you have come a long way, well worth the expense.

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