London, United Kingdom
We did the Eye first. It was raining, so the view and camera shots were marred a bit by the rain, but it still was special. We felt that there was no standard number of people admitted to each car. Ours was packed, with not seats enough on the bench for everyone. The car following ours had less than a dozen. Ours was not overcrowded due to groupings, as most of us seemed to be in two's or three. Better visitor management would have made things more pleasureable.
Then the cruise, also in the rain, but that was not the problem. Due to the school holiday, the boat was full of school groups -- particularly two large high school groups on their way to the Tower of London. They couldn't care less about the trip, and were so loud with their conversations that we were unable to hear the narrative, which was late to start. When I went in search of someone to quiet them, the only person "in charge" was the woman at the snack bar. She did turn up the volume, which nearly blasted us out, but at least we could hear it. Thankfully they all departed at London Bridge.
We rode on toward Greenwich with volume more to favorable to our eardrums. As we were docking at Greenwich, the boat hit the pier, and the front window shattered. I had been sitting in the seat directly under the shattered window, but my companion, who had gone back to the Loo had called to me to join him in preparation to disembark just moments before the crash. Talk about thanking your lucking stars!!
We hitched a ride back to Westminister Bridge on a boat that was just preparing to leave. On that trip we had a live commentator who was very informative.
One suggestion we would make to the cruise company is that they interject something about the new buildings you see from the Thames. No mention was made of the Shard, or that egg-shaped building which may or may not be finished, and there was a rail station under restoration.
We were glad to be back on land -- and safely!
The Paris City Tour was interesting, but I have been on better city tours that did more to get you ready to go back and seek more on your won. This one had canned narrative by language, which was just ok. It seemed to be driver triggered, and you were often beyond the attraction when it was described. There was lots of construction over which the Tour had no control, so will give them that.
We were early for the Eiffel Tower, and the Guide was a little vague about what was to happen, and
who was to go where. She seemingly couldn't wait to give our tickets, tell us how to find the cruise boats and move along. But we did escape the long line of the regular Tower goers!
The cruise on the River Seine was well done with both live and canned narrative. The information was well-presented. We purchased both the book and the DVR for future study.
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