Going to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve is an amazing experience. Our bus was clean and comfortable. Our tour guide was nice and informative. He went out of his way to get us into the church. I could have done without spending up to an hour in one designated gift shop, which was overpriced.
This tour was all about getting all of us to a souvenir shop in Bethlehem that the tour guide had a deal with. They were so blatant about it they left his commission sheet right by the cash register and he repeatedly was checking it.
They had us in a restaurant and asked that we return by 12:30. When we got back, our guide was sleeping on a couch.So as one of the others on the tour put it, "We ate cafeteria food and watched the mass on TV."
The only reason I gave it 2 stars was that we were two of the fortunate ones that got to see the shrine where tradition states that the manger actually was. Most of the people on our tour didn't.
Also, the tour of Jerusalem was all about rushing through everywhere but the 'Wailing Wall'. No time to speak of in the Church of the Sepulchre.We had taken a free tour of the city the day before that was far more informative. The guide on the Viator tour was either misinformed or simply lying when talking about many of the different places in the Old City.
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