bschwartz1945

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Apr112015

Tour/Activity

Castelli Romani Half-Day Tour from Rome: Frascati and Castel Gandolfo

Rome, Italy

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

We did not get any close to the Castel and only saw it from a great distance. The writeups on the trip are misleading. They imply you will really see it. The drive through the countryside was beautiful and very pleasant. We did not see any wine cellar and the wine and vegetables and fettucine was mediocre. Do this tour only if you want some pretty relaxation.

Apr102015

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Borghese Gallery and Gardens Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This is a wonderful tour and Stephanie, our guide, was incredibly knowledgeable. Bernini sculptures are remarkable. The quantity and quality of the art are impressive and the history behind the gallery is very interesting. The Gardens are immense and magnificent. Save time to go back and go to the zoo. There is only one caveat: you have to walk to the top floor of the gallery to start the tour 81 steps.

Apr102015

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Ancient Rome and Colosseum Half-Day Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The crowds make this tour a challenge but it is handled well. The Colosseum part is far more interesting and impressive. The guide did a good job. The Roman Forum is interesting to look at mainly for the age and not for what it is. There just isn't that much left.

Apr092015

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums Walking Tour including Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms and St Peter's

Rome, Italy

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

Everyone wants to see the Sistine Chapel but the crowds are just awful. You really cannot see much and you are pushed and shoved throughout the tour. It is not the tour company's fault but we would never do it again. The Cathedral is a bit different, because of the size, so it is worthwhile. The square, of course, is breathtaking.

Apr092015

Tour/Activity

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

Rome, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The villa is magnificent and well preserved. The history is also quite interesting. Caveat: it is a steep hill to walk up to get to the villa. After that, it is wonderful.
Villa d'Este is a lovely place but the garden is four or five levels so the walk up after going down is a challenge. They are quite lovely.
The drive through the hills and around the lake is beautiful.

Apr032015

Tour/Activity

Szentendre Half Day Sightseeing Trip from Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

We have had many Viator tours elsewhere and most were excellent. This is the second very poor tour we have taken in Budapest. We had the good luck to have only three couples but the bad luck to require three different languages. That could not be helped. After a while, hearing three languages becomes tedious. The bus drove 1 ¾ hours stopping once to let some people off which was not part of the Viator website tour description and only stopped for us for five minutes for a photo shoot of a beautiful place on the Danube and of a castle up on a hill. Most of the drive was through populated areas so they were not attractive. The stop was in a town called Visegrad which is not mentioned on the Viator website tour description. We then went to Szentendre and had 1 ¼ hours to walk around. There was no tour of anything though a tour of Caprice Jewelry center, Serb temples and baroque buildings were on the Viator website tour description and all the guide did was point to a few churches. She did not mention art shops though that, too, was mentioned on Viator website tour description. The entire city seems to be one long walking street of souvenir shops i.e. tourist traps. Prices were higher than in Budapest. The tour guide did recommend a place for coffee and pastry. Then we took about 30 minutes to drive back to Budapest. Though the Viator website says that after April 1 you could go back by boat on the Danube the tour guide did not even mention it. We took the tour on April 3. Previous customer reviews mentioned getting passes for a river boat cruise but none were offered. We were very disappointed.

May072014

Tour/Activity

Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum Half-Day Trip from Krakow

Krakow, Poland

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The tour itself was wonderful. The guide at the museum (Marta) was excellent. It is difficult to go without lunch but I understand the reason. However, this is the second time a few French-speaking people caused difficulties. The French-speaking tour finished 30 minutes after the scheduled time of departure so people from the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking groups had to sit on the bus and wait for these inconsiderate people. We had a similar experience in Budapest. I would suggest changing the estimated time of completion so other people can plan accordingly. I almost had problems arriving at the airport in time.

Nov092013

Tour/Activity

Godollo Castle Day Trip from Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

We thought we had booked an English-only tour and found that the tour was in three languages; German, English and French. The three languages delayed the tour and meant we did not see the entire castle and/or have a chance to walk in the gardens. We also did not have a chance for a snack even though the tour went from 10:00 to 14:00. Correspondence from the tour people says that it said on the website that there might be more than one language. I do not believe that is on the VIATOR website which is where we booked the tour. We have been compensated but that does not make the behavior appropriate. What we saw was fine and the tour guide was excellent.

Nov082013

Tour/Activity

Budapest Sightseeing Tour with Parliament House Visit

Budapest, Hungary

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

My Review

We had an excellent tour of the Parliament and very pleasant and helpful tour guides. Once we left Parliament the rest of the tour was not good. First, we were questioned as to whether we belonged and asked for a receipt which, of course, we had given when we started the tour. Finally, they approved us after some phone calls but we received no apology for the treatment. There were seven people on the tour; five of us who wanted English and one couple who wanted French. We thought we were on an English-only tour. Two languages was not too bad but the guide gave us minimal information and did not seem particularly interested. When we asked him questions he gave us good answers but was not forthcoming. Again, we have been compensated but the tour company seemed to say that we were wrong but as a gesture of "goodwill" they would give us some money. We were not wrong and any of the other English-speaking individuals would agree with us.

Oct182013

Tour/Activity

Diocletian Palace Walking Tour and Optional Trip to Trogir

Split, Croatia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The palace is amazing with so much preservation for an area that is heavily used. Of course, the weather helps but still, 1,800 years - wow! The tour was good, though I wish it included the basement, but the tour guide was extraordinary. I am embarrassed to admit I do not know his name but he was one of the best we have ever had. The trip to Trogir and the cathedral with the detailed work on the door that the guide explained was a do-not-miss.

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