European Discovery » Review by Suzy
Where do I begin. This was the best trip/ experience I've ever had. It was a great way to get a taste of multiple countries in two weeks. The hotels were nice & clean (barely in them enough to have a complaint), the coach bus was always clean and comfortable, the food was a great sampling of each country, and I can say I left with several new friends from all over the world and many, many memories. I have to mention how incredible our tour manager, Danny Steenkamp was. Always working, always planning, always willing to go the extra mile to make everyone's holiday memorable, always positive...a wealth of information, great sense of humor, and made the experience seamless from country to country. This was my first trip to Europe and it definitely won't be my last. I am still blown away by the history and beauty of each country and truly had sensory overload. We were able to see pretty much everything we wanted to see at each stop (with some planning in advance and a quick walking pace) and Danny would have put us in the category of the "culture vultures" - but I was definitely in pure bliss through out the whole trip, taking it all in. We did most of the ME Time Optionals; The Tuscan Hills Feast is a must (one of the most memorable times with the group), Gondola ride was best way to see Venice away from the tourists and take it all in, white water rafting gave the most beautiful views of Austria & the Alps, wine tasting in St. Goar was a cool experience in a creepy, old cellar, Canal Cruise in Amsterdam great kickoff with group and relaxed way to take in views of Amsterdam, Swarvorski Crystal Museum is worth the 8 euro for a one time trippy museum experience, Mt. Stanserhorn was a breathtaking view of mountains in Switzerland and the Cabrio cable car was so cool, recommend the group photo since it was the only time everyone was together and there was a beautiful view of Florence in the background, & Cabaret Show in Paris was such a memorable way to end the trip. Only slightly disappointed with Vatican tour & Colosseum/ Roman Forum tours- they are back to back, with minimal time in Vatican museum, both are so crowded with tourists, it was crazy hot for the Colosseum & Forum and more than half our group left probably from hunger & dehydration and skipped the Forum (which was incredible to stand in a place over 2000 years old)- so plan ahead, bring water & snacks because it was a long morning and a little information overload but worth seeing! Otherwise some tips: keep change for bathrooms, introduce yourself to everyone day 1, bring cash bc it's just easier, glad I had a rain jacket & umbrella for different weather, bring meds ( i got a chest cold & heat rash- probably needed to drink more water consistently), do what you can to see everything you want to see- you might never be back, I loved having my Ramble & Rove travel journal (off Amazon) made journaling easier with writing prompts, glad I had video camera & regular camera, took IPhone but kept it on Airplane mode so could make text over iMessage, FaceTime instead of call, use for alarm clock, and get online (had wifi at most hotels)---overall have no regrets, I sure don't, I only wish I could have stayed longer.
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3