Philipsburg, St Maarten
This shore excursion was exactly what we were looking for in St. Maarten. The rep and driver were easy to find (right where the voucher said they'd be). The air conditioned bus had only 20 seats but was quite comfortable (seats as well as the vehicle). A larger bus might not have fit on the narrow roads.
The driver (Oscar) was friendly as well as informative without being boring as he explained about the difference between the French and Dutch sides of the island. He also let us know exactly what to expect for Orient Bay Beach, and later, Maho. In between, at the request of the folks on board, he stopped at a french bakery for us to buy baked goods and other lunch items. The baguette sandwich we bought was delicious but the chocolate eclair was to die for!
Maho was a "bucket list" item for us and did not disappoint. Oscar got us there on time for the large aircraft and let us stay for the largest one before we got back aboard the bus to be returned to the ship in plenty of time for sail away.
The whole day did not seem rushed at all and there was ample time for everything. We will book this tour again on our next visit to St. Maarten and can avidly recommend it for anyone visiting this island. If I could, I would give it SIX stars.
We thought this would be a simple trip from Monument to Monument seeing them as they are lit up.
IT WASN'T. Also, the Viator voucher we printed stated a departure time of 8:45pm. It was good that we arrived early because we were told they ALWAYS DEPART AT 8PM. (We got there at 7:55.)
When the bus pulled out, there were two guides ... one speaking German and one speaking
english. Hard to understand until the german guide took the two german couples away from the rest of us and spoke with them privately.
This was actually a tour of Rome, that one might take in the daytime, but at night.
The guide gave a complete narration but, of course, it was DARK. So, it was hard to
follow the sequence and keep track of what he was talking about. When we did stop for
walking it got better (Trevi Fountain etc). We did have time at the fountain for tossing
coins (and getting Gelato). I was sorry to discover that, because of local laws, the bus couldn't
take us to the Spanish Steps.
To sum up: If you have ONLY the evening to see Rome, this tour would be better than
nothing but if you can do the HOHO bus, I'd do that and look for a specific "Illuminations"
tour for Rome at night or just take a cab around the city.
This was a great way to see Rome in the limited time we had. Not only did we
get around easily, the narration was very good too. Don't be afraid to "Hop Off"
and walk the areas around the stops. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe from one and the Spanish Steps from another.
There were some problems with the earplug jacks though. They would slip out easily, obviously from over use.
The route map you see on the website may not be completely accurate as
they keep moving the on/off points to adjust for foot traffic (etc) on busy days.
But people point the way so it wasn't a huge problem.
Because of the distance travelled, this tour made for a very long day but we wouldn't have missed it. We had a good amount of time in Salzburg, both with the escort and on our own. They were also kind enough to make a stop (for taking photos) at a scenic point along the way.
The tour started very early but the rest stops allowed us to have breakfast along the way and a welcome break on the way back.
I am happy to recommend this tour.
The city part was a typical city tour with narration as we drove past many buildings and places of interest. To really see the places, it is necessary to return on foot but it was a very comfortable overview.
The palace part was fascinating. While it was quite warm weather the day we went, the tour guide made it quite enjoyable with great stories and info about the palace and royal family.
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