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Nov182013

Tour/Activity

Barcelona Shore Excursion: Best of Barcelona Small-Group Tour - Skip the Line at La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

It was pouring rain for more than half of the tour. About mid-point of the tour we considered leaving the group as we were soaked despite having the proper rain gear. In my opinion, if the weather is adverse, the tour company should have cancelled the tour. Not having to wait in line to see La Sagrada Familia was the selling point of this tour (especially in the heavy rain). Walking through the Gothic Quarter was amazing and we had a great meal at a local tapas restaurant. The other outstanding sights were Park Guell and lastly, La Pedrera. Our guide Anna had an incredible knowledge base. However, she needs to manage her time better as it was 6 pm by the time we completed touring our last stop at La Pedrera. As this was a Shore Excursion, we assumed we were going to be taken back to the cruise terminal. However, this was not the case and because we didn't stipulate returning back to the terminal or being dropped off at a hotel, we had to obtain transportation from La Pedrera to the hotel we were checking into. Thus, when a customer makes this excursion reservation, they should be asked about transportation options to do at the end of the full day tour.

Nov172013

Tour/Activity

Barcelona Shore Excursion: Barcelona City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

This is not the tour I would take during Spain's rainy season. Despite the roof on the double decker bus, customers will get wet when it rains. Time wise, it theoretically would be difficult to get on and off, and see all the sites without having to buy at least a 3 or 4 day pass. If you choose this option, do your homework and pick the sites you really want to tour. Thankfully, the tour bus stops have great signage and it is easy to spot about the city.

Nov162013

Tour/Activity

Marseille Shore Excursion: Marseille Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Marseille, France

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Vieux Port is very picturesque and easy to walk. The Notre Dame De la Garde structure is amazing to include views of the city as well as the art work in the church. However, the signage for the tour stops is poor. Half of the signs are large (i.e. 12" x 12") but the other signs are about 4"x 4" and placed near or on public bus stop shelters.

Nov152013

Tour/Activity

Monaco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Monaco, Monaco

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

We started our journey to Monaco by catching a train from Villefranche, France. Unfortunately, there is no signage in the train terminal for Hop-on Hop-off AND the tourist info office was closed despite it being mid-morning Friday. We accidentally found the bus stop at the Bateau Bus ticket area. We walked through the lavish Le Casino De Monte Carlo; be aware there is a charge to walk thru the casino during non-gambling hours. Place Du Palais has beautiful views of Monaco. I suggest Hop-on Hop-off have a poster at the train station with a map of the stops.

Nov122013

Tour/Activity

Naples Shore Excursion: Naples City and Pompeii Half Day Sightseeing Tour

Naples, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Andrend, the tour guide was immensely knowledgeable and personable. The best part of the tour was Pompeii; what a vast site !

Nov092013

Tour/Activity

Kusadasi Shore Excursion: Ephesus Sightseeing Tour

Kusadasi, Turkey

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Our expert guide, Filis provided much info about this archeological site. With her description, you were able to envision life in Ephesus eons ago.

Nov072013

Tour/Activity

Istanbul Shore Excursion: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul Egyptian Bazaar

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

I would have preferred at least an 1-1.5 hours at the Egyptian Bazaar as opposed to the 45 minutes we were allowed. Once inside the Bazaar our guide took us directly to a (selected) candy/tea/spice vendor. It would have been preferable to explore the area on our own. The Bosphorus cruise was a pleasant way to spend 1.5 hours on a partially rainy day.

Nov062013

Tour/Activity

Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Many kudos to Sevilay, our tour guide with her vast knowledge of this huge city. Seeing the great sites of Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Underground Cistern (incredible !), and Blue Mosque was memorable. Lunch (included) was thoroughly enjoyed. Learning about the process of weaving silk carpets was a good experience. However, the tour spent too long at the carpet showroom we were taken too. Thus, it ran into overtime to get to the Grand Bazaar.

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