Stacey, our trip manager was the epitome of a professional Tour Manager, she put so much effort into her craft. From the detailed the day sheets and her clear explanations of what to do, where to go and how to get around! Stacey kept a close eye on everything and took precautions wherever we went. She had contingencies for every situation and circumstance! She was extremely organised and on the ball every single day! I read a billion reviews before I came on this trip.People complained about being forced into the inclusions, the accommodation, the tipping of Contiki staff, the ‘selling’ of the Free Time Add on’s by Tour Managers. Stacey navigated each and every of those ‘situations’ with grace and poise! Nothing was forced, everything was given with respectful advice, experience and ‘putting the traveler first’. Stacey could probably lead a tour group to the gates of Hades and people would be happy with it! Stacey made this a great experience for all the travelers!
the itinerary on this trip is quite action packed. Prepare for early morning starts and finishing around 9-10pm. Some cities are more relaxed and slow paced than others. There was a good mix of free time to explore the cities vs the trip activities. The accommodation in Italy wasn't too great (seems to be an Italy issue rather than a Contiki issue). the location of most of the hotels were great and getting into and out of the cities were easy.
Expect continental breakfasts every day and expensive lunch meals at the service stops. It is Europe after all.
Tiago our coach driver was amazing! Smooth driving, patient and always full of jokes and pranks! He was part of our Contiki fam!
I wish I could go back in time and do this trip over and over again!