Leslie S

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Leslie S

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Jul282014

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Guinness Storehouse Entrance Ticket

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The "skip the line" tickets that I've gotten through Viator have always been well worth the money and this was no exception. My son and I chose to do the self-guided tour and it was easy to do. We had absolutely no wait in line, could explore at our leisure, and ended with an excellent meal and free pint of Guinness. The meal in their "cafeteria" style restaurant was one of the best I experienced in all of my two weeks in Ireland! I didn't give this a 5 star because other than letting us go in the "express lane", there was really nothing else from Viator... it was just the Storehouse staff and our own exploration/self-guided tour... no Viator guide or anything. Highly recommend you always buy Viator's "skip the line" options!

Jul172013

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

This was definitely a "worth-every-penny" tour. The greeters were professional and prompt, with excellent English. The guide was a local woman, raised in Rome, also with excellent English. She was thorough, got us in at exactly the appointed time, and showed us a wide variety of things, and was very clear about all the expectations inside the Vatican and St. Peter's. Her background knowledge was vast, and she was easily able to speak advanced enough English to keep me thoroughly engaged throughout the entire tour. It was just the right speed, with opportunities to use the bathroom and to sit down and rest. The headsets worked great, and the guide was very clear about how best to sidestep some of the crowds to keep close to her. She was thorough with her explanations, and connected the various pieces and points in history seamlessly. She also was thorough in sharing the expectations for behavior (times to be silent, times when photos were okay) throughout the tour. When the tour ended, she was available for questions, and she shared clearly how to continue to enjoy the area on our own, and how best to exit. I would repeat this one anytime, and highly recommend it!

My Photos

  • The Pieta
  • St. Peter's Square
  • Vatican gardens

Jul052013

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Louvre Museum Walking Tour including Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I highly recommend this tour - particularly the evening version, which is what we took. The meeting location was easy to find, the greeter was there early, even, and efficiently and politely split the tour groups up based on language. Our tour guide was and English-speaking Frenchwoman who clearly knew her stuff. She was thorough, friendly, and ensured that our headsets were all working properly. We were an easy-to-manage group of about 20 people, including one small child. The tour guide gave the parents of the small child some tips for helping the youngster make the best of the trip and when it was too much for her, gave them a meeting point to catch up with us along the way. I DON'T at all recommend this tour for children under the age of 10, but our guide made the best of the situation for all parties concerned - the parents, the child, and the rest of us. As for the tour - the guide did a great job of taking us to the most important and relevant highlights of the Louvre, given the time we had. She showed us many other pieces of importance along the way, explaining context, history, and uniqueness in a way that kept me riveted to her every word. To be clear, I'm not a fan of museums or ancient art, but I can appreciate it when it's presented in an engaging way and that is exactly what our guide did. She made everything come alive in some way, and she connected pieces and timeframes in ways that made sense. The four hours FLEW by, and when the tour was over, she stuck around to answer questions as long as people were asking them. The tour ended just before closing time for the Louvre, so the evening sunset was directly shining on the pyramid as we exited the building. It was intensely memorable and worth every penny.

My Photos

  • Sunset
  • Sunset
  • Venus De Milo
  • Louvre pyramid

Jul042013

Tour/Activity

Paris City Tour, Seine River Cruise and Eiffel Tower

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was great for a first-time visit to Paris. We only had three days there and just wanted to hit the highlights, and this tour really helped accomplish this. It was a three part journey for the afternoon, so we liked the variety: bus, walk, and boat. The bus ride around Paris was a solid 90 minutes with excellent, even sometimes humorous, commentary in our preferred language with an earbud. The bus itself was comfortable, even more luxurious than we expected. Not crowded, but most seats full. The location for departure was easy to find and it left exactly on time with a friendly guide. The visit to the Eiffel Tower was partially-guided, with some "wander on your own" time and we really liked that. We got enough information to understand the history and importance of the structure, but had time to explore independently. The "skip-the-line" process worked perfectly and our guide was able to get our group in at exactly the appointed time. We then had as much time as we wanted up in the tower to spend doing our own thing. The River Cruise was accessed by tickets that the guide gave us and we were surprised to learn that we could take the Cruise anytime in the future, up to one year out. We loved that concept, because if we'd been too tired to continue on that afternoon, we could have come back the next day. However, we chose to use our tickets that same day and the cruise finished just about sunset. The cruise boat had excellent guides of their own on board, so our Viator guide did not go. The cruise also had a nice balance between pre-recorded information on a headset and real-time guides speaking in both French and English. It was an excellent afternoon. The only drawback to the whole afternoon is that the tour ended several miles from where we had started, so we had a bit of a puzzle to figure out how to get back to our original location. That is the only thing that wasn't made clear as we began the tour. I highly recommend this tour, anyway!

My Photos

  • View from cruise
  • Tour bus
  • The Eiffel Tower from across the River Seine.

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