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Lori L G

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Lori L G

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Sep102013

Tour/Activity

London Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

The driver was 30 minutes late and we had to call dispatch three times. As usual, the companies Viator contracts with have nice people, but not such reliable people. There is a dedicated Heathrow train that could have had us to the airport in just a few minutes had we known about it. Or, a cab would have been cheaper considering the time we lost getting up extra early, and then waiting around for no logical reason.

Sep072013

Tour/Activity

Independent Stonehenge and Bath Afternoon Tour from London

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

The attractions speak for themselves and are without a doubt worth a visit. Unfortunately, you won't have enough time to enjoy Stonehenge properly on this tour. The reason isn't because there's only so many hours in the day and the tour company does a good job of planning. It's because they don't organize well by providing proper orientation and distribution of your tickets during the bus ride. The bus pulls up to the parking lot, then the operator, Mary in this case, says we'll have an hour and a half here at Stonehenge. What she doesn't tell you is that the hour and a half has just begun, and now she's talking. Then you have to get everyone off the bus which can take 10 minutes. Then you have to gather round while she talks some more. Then you have to stand around and wait while she goes to stand in line herself and pickup the group's tickets, which she should already have had. Any extra tickets she may have ended up with could be refunded to the ticket office while we're out enjoying Stonehenge. But instead, they make a busload of people wait for one person. Then she distributes the tickets. Then we get our headsets and enter the Stonehenge attraction. Now, how much time is left? Exactly half of what she told us we would have. 45 minutes. Not enough to listen to the audio tour and take a few pictures at your own pace. We got some great pictures. We did not get to listen to the entire audio tour. We were half way around Stonehenge when I realized we had five minutes to get back to the bus. Not enough to stop at the gift shop or use the restroom. And there are no restrooms on these buses. Same story at the Roman baths in Bath, except this time she didn't have a list of everyone who had upgraded their tour to visit the baths, and when she asked those who had to come forward, everyone did. So we had to wait while she called the office to confirm names, and we were told by the manager that this tour company always does this.

Sep052013

Tour/Activity

Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle Day Trip from London

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

This is basically an expensive bus ride to the attraction. As usual, the group operator didn't have the tickets in advance. The groups all had to walk up a hill instead of getting dropped off near the castle and there were roads that would have allowed them to get us closer. We had to stand in a long line running outside the castle, then once inside, we had to stand in another 15 minutes of lines. Groups who had arrived after us got in before us. The attractions speak for themselves and are definitely worth doing. But you're better off getting your own transportation.

Sep042013

Tour/Activity

London in One Day Sightseeing Tour

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The tour operator can make or break your Viator tour experience, and this one made it great for everyone as both she and the bus driver went out of their way to throw in little extras wherever they could. The attractions speak for themselves and are not to be missed. In this case, the tour operator was great as well.

Sep012013

Tour/Activity

Giverny and Versailles Small Group Day Trip from Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The tour company did a good job. Small group tours are the way to go, as the big coach tours we did while in London left a lot to be desired. Giverny was everything I had hoped for, although they should have someone stationed at the bridge to allow people to take photos without other people in them that will last a lifetime. As it is, you may very well have to Photoshop a few tourists out of your otherwise gorgeous bridge photo. Beautiful waterways, exquisite gardens, and the artist's home make this a well-planned and well-timed excursion. Versailles? Well, they sure don't do a very good job of protecting the art. It's clear they look at it as a money making machine, which it definitely is. Hopefully they'll get some new management in some day to properly care for the artwork and sculpture and keep people from touching. They also need a queue to prevent too many people from entering at once. At times it's standing room only and its way too crowded. But if that's the only way you can see it, so be it. Definitely worth the trip, and if the palace itself gets too crowded, take a walk through the gardens. There's lots to see out there that can't be seen unless you go exploring away from the main palace. And yes, you won't have enough time. When I go back, I'll definitely spend an entire day and hope to see most of it.

Aug302013

Tour/Activity

Paris City Tour by Minivan, Seine River Cruise and Lunch at the Eiffel Tower

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Great tour, great guide. The only thing I would suggest is that the tour guide turns up his microphone, especially for those in the back of the van who are attempting to hear him over the air-conditioner fans blowing back there. All of the small van tours we took had this problem. Lunch at the Eiffel tower does not include access to the top. We came back at night on our own to get up there. The lunch is served picnic style - you tell them what you want, and they bring it all at once in containers and it was good enough. In our case we were there early enough to have a table by the window. When we left it was crowded. An overall very nice day.

Aug292013

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Paris Louvre Museum Guided Tour

Paris, France

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

My Review

The guide knew his stuff. You'll have two hours in the museum, and you'll keep moving the whole time, so be prepared to do some walking. The artwork and the museum speak for themselves. My only complaints follow: the tour guide said at the end that he was walking to the exit and if we wanted to accompany him so we knew where it was to go with him. What he didn't tell us is when we were actually walking through the exit which is not obvious, since it's a long ways into the museum from the outer doors. You think that since you paid you'd be able to go back in anyway, but they don't give you a paid ticket or a hand stamp, and the guide took off. There we were, 20 feet past the official exit, having paid for entrance, and we could not go back in and experience the things we wanted to see on our own. Watch it! They also use an audio system that uses a frequency that other guides are using at the same time. So often you lose your guide, who's not doing much to keep the group together anyway, and you can't hear him to find him again. But, you hear someone else's guide, often in another language, loud and clear.

Aug282013

Tour/Activity

Moulin Rouge Show with Transfers

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

You're packed in like sardines. Get over it and go see the show, it's great.

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