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Peak life experience!As a first time group leader, EF and my tour director made this trip seamless! I was able to enjoy the trip knowing I had their support. Our jam packed itinerary took a lot of steps, quite literally, but each one was worth it. Some of the highlights were walking along cobblestone streets in Rome and turning a corner to what you think is another street but instead there stands a historical monument like the Pantheon or Spanish Steps! Immersing ourselves in the rich history that is Madrid, Barcelona and Rome was life changing. I really enjoyed watching my students get to practice their spanish speaking skills and asking our tour director questions about all of our activities. Overall, the trip was a an amazing experience and I am so grateful for EF for putting together and educational and fun itinerary!
Stoning ExperienceWhat a great experience to share with students. I appreciate how organized, flexible and accommodating EF is. The hotels, food, experiences were all extraordinary. There is so much history in all places like the Coliseum, Vatican and La Sagrada Familia. We went for a total of 9 days and saw so much. All the places we visited were breathtaking, it was incredible to see everything in so little time. Our tour guide was epic. She was so enjoyable, up beat and organized. What a courteous guide.
Awesome EF Tour to Spain and ItalyDear EF Tours,
I wanted to send in a written letter to let you know how much the Spain and Italy tour meant to me. I learned so much from this study tour. I do consider it a blessing, and I am grateful as it helped shape my learning of Europe and Western Civilization. This was an opportunity of a life time.
Beginning day one upon our arrival in Spain, we were off on an adventure that I will never forget. It has been only two weeks later and I have shared my story with all my friends and my family members encouraging them to go and take part next summer. Seeing the sights and the history has really made my understanding come alive. My history and social studies classes will never be the same. Also, as I enter my sophomore year in high school this year I will be much more enriched and grounded. I am enrolled in my third year of Spanish this upcoming fall semester, and I feel certain that what I experienced on the tour will prepare me to do well in class.
The tour was awesome and one I will never forget. Thanks to your staff, I am a much better person and will be a better student.
Extremely BeneficialI absolutely loved this trip and all the architecture I saw was stunning. If I had the opportunity to come back once more I would and I would take my time to fully appreciate all the history in these two countries. The food, people, language, and art have indeed broadened my views. I have no regrets on this trip except for maybe being jet lagged.
Amazing ExperienceThis tour was very educational. It gave you an abundance of knowledge, that was essential to the success of these wonderful countries. Various activities and the site seeing was beautiful. Our tour guide was awesome, would recommend this company for anyone. Awesome experience, loved every minute.
Amazing-but - DRAWBACKS-READ BEFORE BOOKI went on this trip in June/July of this year. We were able to see AMAZING places/things. I want to be clear that it was really cool to do those things and I am glad I went on this trip. However, I do have some serious drawbacks that I wish I had known before I went or paid for my child to go on this trip. I really feel you should know about them to make an educated decision. When your child goes on this trip, you need to know that breakfast and dinner are included (they pay for their own lunch). But, what you don't know is how bad the dinners are for them (breakfast is good). They only serve tap water (kids should not drink tap water in other countries) and they do not give them a choice of what to eat. When we got to the places we were eating at... the food was usually already sitting out (for how long???). One place we watched our food served out of pots on the floor, another we found bones in our food, another the salad was wilted and they said no dressing..I promise you the quality was VERY BAD...you would not have wanted your kids to eat it. Also (this is VERY IMPORTANT), EF says that they do make sure if your child has allergies to take care of that and there will be food for them to eat, but in reality this will not happen. My child had an allergy and it was not taken care of and this also went for other kids on the trip (many examples of this). EF should give kids a choice of a few things to eat and let them have something besides tap water for the money you are paying. It was really bad. I did finally ask our tour guide to start giving me menus to try to order something different for a few kids and I paid for it separately (So..if your child has allergies..send extra money because they will need it!!!!) Then for one 24 hour period we were on an overnight ferry. I though this would be great..NO it was HORRIBLE. The ferry was late (which I was told is normal) and we did not leave until 2am..we sat in the terminal for hours..which was out of food, hot, bathrooms were so bad and I'm not kidding..if any of you had been there with your kids you would have been horrified. It was like something out of a movie..and not a good one. We finally got on the ferry and most of the rooms (really bad bathrooms/rooms) did not have towels..I had to stand in front of someone on staff to insist on getting towels and I know for a fact others did not get towels until 7 hours into the ferry trip (we had been touring all day and were VERY sweaty hot needed showers). They said we get food on the ferry but we do not, they ran out of everything. We got to our destination so late no dinner and the kids just had to go to bed hungry. Also, the rooms on the ferry were disgusting. And on the ferry there were people without rooms so they slept in hallways and with animals. I watched as the animals went the bathroom and people would walk through it. THEN we had to leave our rooms 3 hours BEFORE we docked (they have to clean them before docking)with luggage and guess what? We had to sit and stand where the animals went the bathroom. I can't even tell you how bad getting off the ferry was...it was VERY BAD. Also, the kids can't use their phones for 24 hours on ferry b/c costs too much $ on charges and the teachers could not get in touch with them at all. I think there should NOT be ferry..fly them when it is needed. Lastly, they really make the first 2 days hard. We get off the plane and start touring right away...and it was the most we walked all during the trip...in the first day...kids were exhausted and crying and we still walked. I know this was partly jet lag...but it was too much. They need to stop earlier in the first day. We walked 11 miles that first day. I promise you I personally had to help a few kids that were just exhausted. AND...the whole trip it was very hot so we kept trying to tell the kids to drink water...but they could not drink like they should drink because the tour guides did not give them many bathroom stops. EF needs to have a mandatory stop every 2 to 2 1/2 hours let them go the bathroom. There were times we could not stop for hours!! We would be left by the tour if we did this!!! I was very thankful I was there with my student to make sure we got what was needed..I tried to help other kids as much as I could on that issue. There were quite a few places that were listed on the tour that we were going to see ..but it was deceiving...they would take us TO the place and we were excited but we would find out we could not actually GO in the place...so check on what they are actually going in to see on the trip. I want to leave on a positive because it is not all bad..I just want to be real with the parents. I will tell you we saw a lot and it was nice to have transportation already set up for us everywhere we went and our tour leader WAS AMAZING!!!! The kids loved him. The hotels were fine, nothing fancy, they were a bed and shower so it worked. My main issues were the dinners, allergy issues, the overnight ferry, lack of bathroom stops/water, things you thought you would see, but did not. To sum it all up...for the amount of money you will pay for your child to go, they do see and do a lot of cool things/places. Overall, I give this tour a C+ or B-. Just go into it with your eyes open, pack more snacks than you ever thought possible and send them with A LOT more money than you thought you should. Happy Traveling!
Air conditioning helpsI sent my son and my daughter on the Spain/ Italy trip. they both had a lot of fun and learned a lot. However, they did say they would not go back because of the lack of air conditioning. They also said the portion size for breakfast and dinner was very small, even for European standards. I also was surprised to find out that the college credit was additional to the cost of the trip. I thought the credit was included in the trip, it would have been nice to know that upfront. I received the email while they were there with 3 days left on the trip.
Spain/ItalyI am saying that this trip was average ONLY BECAUSE of Grimaldi Lines. We had a horrible experience on this Ferry. It was 7 hours late, filthy, and had deplorable conditions. This boat was run with little direction, unkempt quarters, and disgusting food options. Other than the Ferry, the trip to Spain and Italy was very nice.
Day lost to Grimaldi linesas an adult I went on the Spain/Italy trip with my 2 daughters and we had many bumps in the road.
we were at boat terminal sleeping on floors from 10:15 pm till about 6am as our boat was not there. by the time we got on the ferry most of us slept through breakfast and lunch as we could sleep on a hard floor and only had dinner.
WE SHOULD BE REIMBURSED A DAY!!!
we were told to leave our book bags on the bus and were not told another group would be on the bus with our items-my daughters sun glasses were broken when we got back on.
we had 5 hours of free time in spain one day and 4 the next day (while another group did a tour)we were told to meet in 4 hours at a plaza that is "35 minute walk away", none of us had data on our phone to gps it and had to ask locals along the way.
This is my oldest daughters 2nd EF tour -after this we will likely not travel /recommend it to others.
Too much funDid not want to go. Now I can't wait to go back!!