Pros: good group of friendly people, great add-on opportunities, good inclusions in Rome, enjoyable demonstrations throughout trip: Murano glass, pizza making in Sorrento.
-Tour guide Hazel had double standards - we waited more than 30 minutes on the coach in Sorrento and Lake Garda for people who were buying souvenirs and for people who got lost, but when I was sick and 5 minutes late in Florence, tour guide did not wait for me at the hotel, leaving me alone at the hotel at night to find my own way to dinner thereby compromising my safety.
-Too much info was provided on the coach for too many days ahead of the tour, this meant that you were unclear about what was to be occurring on the present day, as a result I missed one of the very few swimming opportunities in Lake Garda.
-Disappointing and misleading dinner inclusions and add-ons: Set menu was chosen and therefore you were unable to choose your own food. More than often I had to order a second dinner, which was not economical. Restaurant quality also wasn't great especially in Rome and Florence.
-Eat with Milan Add-on: Not only was this an expensive add-on, but there were no chairs or tables to sit on/at, so we ended up sitting on the concrete floor outside in the courtyard in our dresses. They also provided very small portions for the main which was only a single pasta dish and did not cater to my diet for dessert (therefore I did not receive any dessert). A very poor quality and expensive add-on.
-Limited free time, free time needed to be longer in order to travel to and explore other places e.g. Florence
-More sight-seeing add-ons should have been included in the tour cost, instead of the stock standard/poor quality dinners. e.g. David in Florence, Colosseum in Rome, Capri Cruise etc.
-No opportunity to see Positano, I was informed by a Contiki rep at the travel expo that this was included in the trip. However after arriving in Sorrento, I was informed by the tour guide that this was NOT the case. Positano, is the postcard image of the Amalfi Coast, and thus should be included in the Sorrento travel.
-Trip needed to be a few days longer as it was very fast paced, ie. an extra day in Sorrento, Florence, Milan and more time in Lake Garda.
-Hotels were average-poor: Holiday Inn in Venice wasn't actually in Venice which required A LOT of travel time, up to an hour. This meant that you could not stay out at night, otherwise you'd have to get the water taxi back to the hotel at night (which took about an hour) and then a 15 minute bus ride back to the hotel from the port. Additionally our hotel room was so dirty and a cigarette smell was seeped into the carpet, that we had to change rooms. The new room we received was not much cleaner. Some hotels on trip, including this one, also did not have hot water.
-Coach did not stop as close as possible to locations, which meant long walking distances in the extreme heat.