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George H B

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George H B

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Sep282013

Tour/Activity

Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este Half-Day Trip from Rome

Rome, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

There were just too many people on this tour, trilingual information on the bus and an overly verbose tour guide. We skipped out from the guided tour bit at Hadrian's Villa and covered a lot more ground than the tour covered. We felt sufficiently informed to be able to work our own way around the huge site. Heavy traffic also made it a very late arrival in town and we were dropped off at a site that away from our arranged drop off and we had to orient ourselves and find our own way back to our hotel.

Sep232013

Tour/Activity

5-Day Best of Italy Trip

Rome, Italy

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Every seat on the tour bus was occupied and there were two parallel tours, one in English and one in Spanish giving overall numbers at most events and venues of 101 people! The start was chaotic with a lot of confusion resulting in people standing around without breakfast for an hour or more. The places visited were all excellent and plenty of free time was provided. We were fortunate to be placed in the Foscari Palace Hotel on the Grand Canal in Venice which was much better than the other two hotels people were placed in. The Hotel Mediterraneo in Florence looked good but the rooms were remote from the main area and minute in size. The optional tour in Venice "Venice by Night" was a disaster as the very large number of people were all crammed onto one boat which seemed to be overfilled and the boat was too big to go down the Grand Canal - result was a tour of the industrial back blocks of Venice and an hour wandering in St Mark's Square in the late evening being annoyed by illegal sellers and nothing else to do. The Tour Manager did her best but there was always an issue between the Spanish group's activities and the English-speaking group resulting in confusion. For organization we would rate this trip low but for what you see in a small time it was great. TAKE THE OPTION OF VENICE ISLAND, NOT MESTRE for hotel stays. It's well worth the extra cost.

Sep222013

Tour/Activity

Ancient Ostia Small Group Day Trip from Rome

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was a well organized tour with an expert English-speaking guide. There were 26 people which was too large for a so-called SMALL GROUP tour! However it all worked well enough in the end and we saw a large part of the old city in the 3 hours or so spent on the site.

Sep192013

Tour/Activity

Ancient Montenegro Day Trip from Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

A long day trip with many, many hotel pick ups and on a rainy day for us. The road is slow and to be honest the Roman Mosaics at Risan are not particularly spectacular. Kotor is beautiful but the time there was too short and with the complication of rain. quite disappointing. Lunch had to be fitted in to the relatively brief stop and the local guide really did spend too much time talking in what was supposed to be a brief overview. In hindsight we should probably have taken the alternative trip which takes in Budvar rather than Risan. Both tours also take in the Church of St George off Perast, well worth seeing. A long trip back dropping off yet again at lots of hotels. We felt that there were just too many people on the tour which was a full bus load coming from far and wide around Dubrovnik.

Sep182013

Tour/Activity

Elafiti Islands Cruise from Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

A very pleasant day trip around the islands on a reproduction "galleon" with a good seafood lunch provided on board. There was plenty of time to explore one of the islands and even cross to the other side for a swim at a sandy beach (rare in Croatia). We recommend taking the small golf buggy "taxis" across the island to save time and effort. At 20 kuna per person it gives you a lot more free time. A fun, relaxing day (provided you have good weather!).

Sep162013

Tour/Activity

Island of Korcula with Wine Tasting Day Trip from Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Korcula is a beautiful place and being relatively small, easy to get around in. There was plenty of time for lunch and wandering the town as well as a good guided tour to start. The local guide was excellent with a great repertoire of funny stories and comedy lines. She could have done a stint on stage! An added bonus to the tour was a stop off at Ston (with the spectacular walls!) on the way but sadly not enough time to explore the walls. The vineyard stop on the way back is also interesting. The only downside was that this was a mixed English/German tour and the repetition in 2 languages becomes tedious. Fortunately on Korcula itself the two language groups split up for local guiding.

Sep082013

Tour/Activity

8-Day Croatia Tour: Dubrovnik, Trogir, Split, Plitvice, Zagreb, Zadar and Trogir

Dubrovnik, Croatia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We were extremely luck to have a very small group on our tour - only 6 people plus a guide and a driver in a minibus. The guide and the driver were very flexible in their arrangements and very professional enabling us to make the most of the tour by occasionally moving outside the itinerary to see different aspects of Croatia. The hotels were mostly very good and the meals were also good. The one possible exception was the Hotel I in Zagreb, an old "Yugo" style place with rather indifferent staff and rather poor breakfasts. The local guides were all very good and there was plenty of free time provided. Although the hotels were not centrally located this was not a problem because the itinerary was so full. Overall a great experience and a great introduction to Croatia.

Sep072013

Tour/Activity

Small-Group Mljet National Park Day Trip from Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

There were only 6 of us with a local guide, Olga on this trip. It was a genuine small group tour. Olga was interesting and entertaining and gave us plenty of free time as well as good explanations of the islands and many other facts about Croatia and its recent past. Mljet itself is a beautiful island and the tour on the lake with lunch on the water's edge by the old monastery was a highlight, marred only by the ubiquitous wasp plague. There is an opportunity to bathe in the lake (take reef shoes or similar for the stony ground!) and then to take a 20 minute flat walk back along the lake edge. For the historians there is an old Roman villa and Byzantine Church at the harbor edge which can also be explored before getting back on the ferry. All-in-all an excellent day out.

Sep062013

Tour/Activity

Private Arrival Transfer: Dubrovnik Airport to Dubrovnik, Orebic or Korcula Hotels

Dubrovnik, Croatia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We were met as we exited the baggage area and directed to our driver who was very safe and professional and provided a commentary for us as we drove into town. Perfect service from Elite Travel, the agents on the ground.

Mar312013

Tour/Activity

Day Trip to Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur Historic Site from Hobart

Hobart, Australia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Although it was windy and a little cool for the season this was a great trip. The company is well organised and has excellent staff. The highlight was boat trip with magnificent scenery, seals, dolphins and killer whales as well as a myriad of seabirds. The boats are well equipped and passengers are given full protective suits against the weather. The crew were attentive and knowledgeable. The only downside of the trip was the fact that our small bus had a flat tyre on the way out from Hobart, disrupting the schedule. The tyre looked quite worn and the jack was inadequate for the job.

Mar292013

Tour/Activity

Full-Day Bruny Island Tour from Hobart

Hobart, Australia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Although it takes a considerable time to get down to the launching site at Bruny Island, it is definitely worth the trip. The coach was old but performed adequately. The boat trip around Bruny Island was spectacular with great rock formations and enormous numbers of seabirds. The crew were flexible in seeking out interesting sights. Besides a large variety of seabirds there were plenty of opportunities to observe seals up close. Lunch was included and very adequate. Everything was done very efficiently and with a good sense of humour. The whole excursion was exciting and different, and well worth the price.

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