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Winter Wanderer

29 Dec 2008 Megan0870 said

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Hi Guys,

Just thought I would tell you about my trip on the Winter Wanderer. I will tell you as much as possible.

Basically it's an awesome trip. I will give you a review on everything I encounted on the trip, as well as people, optionals & tour managers/drivers.

The first week goes very slowly, everyone is getting used to everyone else, and your getting used to being in a different place. The 2nd week goes a bit faster, but you are still enjoying yourself, and the 3rd week is a blur, it goes so damn fast, from the time your tour manager tell everyone there is only a week to go, to it being over, seems only like a second.

Now being more specific.

The winter wanderer tour is very well balanced. It's basically 1 day of travel, 1 whole day in the city. Don't give yourself false hope, you will have only 1 FULL day in each city. And that will also depend on what optionals you do, as they might inpeed on your time as well. Sometimes if you get into town early enough they will take you around the city before going to the hotel. The bus time is boring as bat ****. Make sure you have something to do suring this time. I took my 80GB Ipod and put heaps on movies on it before I left. You can also stare outside the window at the beautiful scenery, or you can sleep the hours away, most people did, including me.

Optionals: I thought the optionals were not bad. I didn't do them all. Our Tour manager was honest with us, and told us which ones we good, & which ones weren't. It didn't stop her from trying to get us to go to some of the bad ones. Like in Venice for example. She told everyone the optional meal was crap, a load of crappy pasta, basically, but she also said you will find it hard to find anything cheaper in Venice (I think the optional was 29 euros). There was 4 of us that didn't go, we all went to this little resturant down a side street. It cost us 19 euros each, and we had 2 drinks each, main meal, desert. It was one of the best meals on the tour. The food was incredible. The rest of the group came back complaining how crap the food was. Don't always believe the tour manager. Yes they are there to make your time on the tour better, but they also get commission from the optionals. Make your OWN decisions on what you think you will like. These are the optionals I did:

Monaco dinner - was good. The atmosphere was good, and you were in Monaco for god sakes.

Florence dinner (La Certosa) - was the best on tour. Great atmosphere, the owner/waiters get up and make you dance. Dinner was divine, free flowing wine all night - hello.

Florence -Space electronica Disco - be prepared to get very drunk. Everyone was the most drunk they got during the tour, on this night (mind you I think this has something to do with the free flowing wine at the dinner before hand) We went in on a tuesday night, about 10 locals showed up, we were there until it closed at 3am. We might have been the only one's there but we were having the time of our lives.

Rome - Guided imperial tour. Was very good and informative. If you have never been to the roman forum, or colleseum, you need a tour guide. It's a lot better. And contrary to what everyone else thinks, you can fit a lot of rome into the day even if you do this tour. I saw the Vatican, Roman Forum, had gelato Spanish steps, had pizza, sat at St peters while the pope was reading some stuff out to the thousands of people congregated there.

Venice - Gondola Ride - Awesome, cannot praise it enough. It was lightly raining, but we were drinking champange, we were in Venice. Awesome.

Vienna - Dinner & Mozart concert - incredible, if you can get over the fact that there are some performers in cheap & old costumes either dancing or singing as the orchestra plays in the back ground, then it is incredible. The dinner was cool too. Schnitzel the size on the plate - definately worth it.

Vienna - Schnapps museum, was good from what I could tell. At least my boyfriend couldn't stop raving about it. I was fairly sick by this time in the tour, and I happened to get a blood nose when I was there. Schnapps looked awesome though. Next time I will taste them.

Prague - Lunchtime cruise - It was good. The lady who does the commentry is very good and she tells you a lot about the history of Prague. There is alwasy something to see in Prague coz everything is so beautiful.

Berlin - Walking tour - Great, I hope you get our tour guide, he was awesome, everyone was entranced by the way he told us about the history on Belin. P.S. when you get to Checkpoint charlie, there is a man what will stamp you passport with checkpoint charlie stamps for a fee - DON'T DO IT! they aren't real stamps, and depending where you come from they will cause a huge fuss about them when you try to get back in or out of a country. You can get him to stamp a peice of paper instead of your passport.

Belin - Eye spy berlin- Well what can i say about this, was pretty lame really. The first pub was like something about of a horror book, and the bar chick was a vampire (no jokes) the second bar where I had a B52 shot in a glass with something that looked like curdled milk, and the club at the end which was more like a bunch of bars in different section of the building. It was just odd really.

Amsterdam - Dinner - very good, not in the centre of town but the bus drives you there and back.

Amsterdam - Cruise - good also, not food, just drinks, but it's the last night together so everyone usually goes to this one.

Tour manager & Driver.

Ok, well I'm going to tell you the good parts first. I won't be naming my manager or driver.

Our manager was fairly good. She told us as much as she could, She was nice most of the time, even when we got contiki kicked out of two hotel's for life, she was still pretty cool. She was as helpful as much as she could be even when somebody had asked the same question she had just answered. There were a few times when she was just plain rude or she should of just taken a breath, counted to ten, and started again. There was 40 girls & only 10 guys on our tour. There was a tour that left at the same time as us that had 38 boys & 12 girls, and we were more trouble than them. I think it does matter how the whole group gets on and basically we got on like a house on fire. So we were always noisy, always running a muck.

Our driver - well basically he was a good driver. He could drive very well. The amount of times I thought "there is no way your going to get around that corner", but he did. Apart from that though, he was a very rude chauvanistic pig, who thought he knew everything and didn't even want to hear what you thought. He basically peeved everybody off.

The people on the bus, were very varied. Most of the who made more noise sat near the back of the bus, and the quieter ones sat at the front. There was probably only one person on the bus that everyone tried to avoid, but that was her own fault as she constantly told everyone how she was right & just basically belittled everyone. There were definately some people that were just there to have fun & drink the night away (my boyfriend included) and then there were some people who were there for the culture & sights. I was there for both. It's good to find a happy medium, coz there is no way you want to miss out on the European sights.

So that's my review.

If you want to ask me any questions email me on gemmi81@hotmail.com

Thanks,

Megan
  • 1 Jan 2009 AaronfromOz said

    AaronfromOz

    Thanks Megan. Very helpful info. Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 8 Jan 2010 Jen_au said

    Jen_au

    Thanks for the review Megan!! I’m planning on doing this one in October this year and your review has made me so much more excited!!! Can’t wait!!! Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

  • 31 May 2010 Tots said

    Tots

    wow thanks so much that was a huge help Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 20 Jul 2011 Robbie said

    Robbie

    Really great to hear a true account & not just brochures. Got me so excited :)

  • 23 Oct 2011 Explorer1242812 said

    Explorer1242812

    how much did you take to spend for the trip/ spend a day? I’m going in 3 weeks and trying to figure out my budget!

  • 23 Oct 2011 Megan0870 said

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    I took about $10k for a 8 week trip. The exchange rate was really bad when I was in Europe as the GFC had just hit. I think the dollar to Euro was about 0.52 cents to the dollar. So you could probably get away with less money.

  • 24 Nov 2011 Ryan Phoenix said

    Ryan Phoenix

    Yeah Im heading on the 3rd of Dec winter wanderer for 24 days and im taking a fair bit of cash just in case.
    Euro is 0.72 to the australian dollar which is awesome =P!

  • 27 Nov 2011 Lawzie said

    Lawzie

    im thinking about doing this tour next year… thanks for the review =)

  • 9 Jan 2012 Drakey_90 said

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    Thank you so much for the review! I have also emailed you.

  • 12 Jan 2012 Explorer1258210 said

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    Thanx heaps for that much appreciated and helpful!! I leave for this tour on march 3rd!! Jus wanting to clarify if you took $10k au or converted?
    cheers x

  • 12 Jan 2012 Megan0870 said

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    10K Au

  • 12 Jan 2012 Megan0870 said

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    If anyone has questions in the future could you please send them to my email above.

  • 13 Jan 2012 Gabby said

    Gabby

    This review was very informative :) I am heading on this tour on march 17th ,trying to work about a budget also. Is the food cheap over there & how is the shopping? Gabby

  • 15 Feb 2012 DylanCatterall said

    DylanCatterall

    So each night you can go off and do you own thing?

  • 15 Feb 2012 DylanCatterall said

    DylanCatterall

    your*

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