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Just Been on Encounter Oct 2007
- travel advice
- 4 responses so far
In your opinion, which optionals are worth going to and which are not?
a friend an i are weighin up between doin the european encounter or vista, only reason looking more at vista is really wanna go french riveria. wat things did u most enjoy bout ur tour? things u would suggets doin, optional etc? thanks
apolgies really wanna go to prafue which encounter doesnt do my mistake
Hey guys, I did the Encounter tour a few months ago. Here’s my take on all the optionals as shown for 2008:
Amsterdam – I didn’t do the Sea Palace restaurant. Only about 8 of the 51 people on our tour actually did. By the smell of the place as we walked by afterwards, I was glad I didn’t.
The canal cruise was pretty fun & the free booze didn’t hurt either. I would recommend this one simply because it’s a good way to get to know everyone at the start of your tour.
I didn’t see it listed as an optional for the new year, but we did a bicycle ride through the Dutch countryside. As soon as I remembered how to ride a bike again, the ride was soo relaxing and peaceful. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip.
St Goar – It’s a unique experience tasting wine in what looks like it used to be an underground bomb shelter in Germany. It doesn’t cost very much & some of the wine was pretty good.
Lucerne – The Swiss Fondue Lunch & Folklore Show unfortunately wasn’t one of our optionals. I wish I had gotten a chance to have fondue in Switzerland, but it just didn’t happen.
Austrian Tyrol – I’m glad I did the white water rafting simply because I had never been before, but it certainly wasn’t my favorite part of the trip. The water was ABSOLUTELY freezing when we were there (end of Sept.) & it’s only a grade 3. This is totally a personal call on whether or not you’re up for it.
Venice – How can you go to Venice & not take a gondola ride? That being said, my experience with it was definitely less than desirable. It rained, our gondolier guy was very rude & I was afraid the thing was going to capsize the whole time we were in it. Be forewarned, those things are not very stable.
I didn’t partake in the Venetian restaurant. My sister & I ate a local restaurant we found in Venice and ended up having the time of our lives there. I’m glad we ventured out on our own there.
Rome – We didn’t make it for the Guided Imperial Tour because we were checking out the Vatican that morning and didn’t make it in time. Do one of the group tours for the Vatican Museum – you forgo waiting in the ridiculously long line & get someone in your ear explaining all the cool stories/history behind the paintings & sculptures. Be careful about signing up for this one if you want to see the Vatican – we had 40 people signed up for the imperial tour & only 10 ended up making it. Unfortunately those of us who didn’t weren’t able to get a refund.
Florence – I think it’s worth getting a souvenir group photo. It’s the best way to remember all the new friends you’ve undoubtedly made on tour.
The dinner at La Certosa (Tuscan Evening) was one of the best meals of the trip & alot of fun too. The only thing that was slightly annoying is there is an opera singer (unless you’re into that sort of thing – it’s just not my forte). But they also have a guy that plays piano and several people get up and dance, it’s quite entertaining.
The night at Space Electronic Disco was sooo much fun (from what I can remember of it, that is). They have a huge dance area upstairs, couches to chill on, & even karaoke. We all know how much drunk people like to sing.
Monaco – The dinner at the Monaco restaurant was NOT worth it. The food wasn’t bad, but it was definitely not worth the hefty price tag on this optional. I enjoyed spending the time with my tour group, since practically everyone did this dinner & it was also my birthday, so it was nice to have everyone there. But I would suggest talking more people into skipping this one.
Paris – Do not, I repeat, DO NOT do the Nouvelle Eve dinner and show. What a ripoff that was!! The show is a complete and utter joke. I’ve seen things 10 times better in Vegas. I strongly suggest booking the real thing on your own (Moulin Rouge) if you want to go see a show in Paris. A couple from our tour group ended up doing that & they said Moulin Rouge was fantastic. But Nouvelle Eve is by far the most overrated thing that Contiki offers.
All in all, this is a great trip with an itinerary that covers so many extraordinary locations in Europe. I had the time of my life on tour & can’t wait to book another Contiki. Enjoy it while you can and appreciate your tour manager/driver for all that they do for you, including lots of behind-the-scenes work that you won’t see.
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