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B.I.

B.I.

USA

Sep182011

Tour/Activity

Dublin Liffey River Cruise

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Good tour great for spending an hour cruising, if you have nothing else to do. The crew was informative and entertaining. Not sure there is much to see along the Liffey river banks, when compared to other river cruises I've taken around the world. The scenery and the architecture seen on the cruise is not that exciting.

Sep182011

Tour/Activity

Dublin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Great comprehensive tour, worth doing it for the learning aspect of it, as well as using it to transport yourself from sight to sight instead of taxi. It stops at each stop every ten minutes and covers all the major attractions while providing a great historical narrative during the ride. I recommend taking a full tour once (lasts about 1h 30 min) and then getting off at the points of interest on the second round. You can use the same pass for two days, and I was told that the red bus is better than the competitor's green bus, as it covers an extra part of the city, not covered by the green bus.

Sep182011

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Guinness Storehouse Entrance Ticket

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

There was no line when I got there. Not sure if it's worth prebooking. The price seemeed the same at the door as well. The tour itself is very interesting and worth visitng the site. You will learn a lot about brewery and Guiness beer.

Sep182011

Tour/Activity

Dublin Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

An absolute must-do in the city of Dublin. A great introduction to the Irish folk music history and culture, while crawling from pub to pub. The musicians are top-notch performers and are very skillful players of their instruments as well as great guides of the Irish folk music culture. I did this tour on the first night of my trip to Ireland and it was a great way to start off the trip and build up the pub crawling experience. The musicians engage the crowd and let everyone participate and sing along to the familiar and new Irish tunes. It creates an unforgettable experience and I definitely think it is more than worth every penny you spend on this tour. You cannot fully appreciate the Irish culture without experiencing the Irish folk music and the pub crawling tradition.

Sep232010

Tour/Activity

Perge, Aspendos and Manavgat Waterfalls Day Tour from Antalya

Antalya, Turkey

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review
Pros: received the fax from the tour provider at my hotel front desk the night before the tour confirming the pickup time the next day. Picked up on time. Lunch food was decent. Cons: The guide's English was hard to understand. Was picked up in a minivan that was quite dirty, not spacious for seven people and the ride was uncomfortable, nothing close to the comfort of a big coach bus. In Perge, some random tourist asked, if she can join us as she woke up late and missed any tours at her hotel. Our driver/guide decided to make extra unreported cash and let her join us. Since we were already cramped in a minivan, I really didnt care for an extra passenger. We didnt visit any Manavgat waterfalls. In Side, we were not given enough time to explore the town, as our extra passenger was in a hurry to go back to Antalya. The guide didnt give any historical excursions in Side like he did in Perge or Aspendos. It was an OK experience.

Sep212010

Tour/Activity

Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

Izmir, Turkey

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review
I emailed the main tour provider in Turkey to confirm the tours I bought. The response was prompt and positive. The pickup in Ismir was on time; however, the driver didn’t speak any English. I was picked up alone (just me) by the driver in a minivan and driven by the driver for an hour to the neighboring Ephesus. I was a bit concerned, as it looked strange there was no tour bus with other people, and for a second I was wondering, whether I was being kidnapped. Suggestion: provide a bit more explanation, as to why I was being picked up alone without any other tourists and driven for an hour in a minivan somewhere else. Then the tour guide joined our minivan closer to Ephesus and thank God she spoke English. She explained that I was the only one who booked that tour on that day, so I got a private guide and driver all to myself for a whole day, which was great. Her English was very good and overall knowledge seemed deep. However, for being young, she seemed a bit tired and disinterested in the whole guiding process. So I am not sure I got my monies worth information-wise. The lunch was great, several-course meal, quite delicious and much better than what other tours have been feeding me in Turkey. In the afternoon I was given a choice to visit the local museum vs the St Johns Basilica, which was in my itinerary that I booked. The guide said that St Johns Basilica was not worth visiting and convinced me to go the museum, the museum was not that impressive and I would suggest sticking to the itinerary without trying to sway the customers to do something else. I wish I saw the St Johns Basilica instead. Around 2.30 pm the fun began, even though, the tour description says it’s a whole-day tour, it’s not. After 2.30 they took me to the carper cooperative where two sales men tried very hard to sell me carpets. Since I was the only one in the group, I felt very pressured and besides I was not expecting any carpet shopping. From what I can assume, the guide gets a cut from selling those carpets, so she tried very hard to convince me to buy a carpet, even after we left the cooperative. Not succeeding with carpets, she offered to take me to the leather cooperative, which I agreed to. There another round of hassling began, I managed to walk out without any leather coats, which was quite a heroic effort on my behalf. I could see the guide was quite disappointed with me. Then she said I would get a bonus and be able to see the city of Kusadasi, it only turned out to be that we were dropping her off there, since she lived there. So after wasting my time for three hours, we finally made it to Ismir by 6.00 pm. Suggestion: make it a half-day tour and cut out all these cooperative sales pitches, but rather include historical sites. After all, that’s what I paid for.

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