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Reviews are compiled and evaluated by an independent third party, BazaarvoiceTM, the No. 1 provider of customer reviews. Reviews are never edited or deleted unless the content does not comply with EF and Bazaarvoice's™ terms and conditions, which prohibit the use of such things as personal information and inappropriate language.
The Mediteranean TripI had a fantastic time. I really enjoyed my students, I loved meeting all the other teachers from other parts of the United States, I got to practice my Italian, inspire my students to speak more Spanish. My tour director was very loving and open to all my students. She was patient with all our craziness.
Once in a lifetime!This was truly an experience that I'll never forget and also an opportunity that came once. I spent a little over a week with my best friends and in turn also made new friends at the same time. Many people can say they've been to Europe but not many people can say they've been to Europe and made the same memories as I did. Our tour director was amazing and I hope that I can meet him again. I hope everyone can take this tour.
Italy and SpainMy students raved about the wonderful experiences that they were able to be a part of. They were amazed at all of the sites that they were able to see and learn about. We as a group had no issues and felt very safe and secure while on the trip. It was fun and exciting to hear from my students how they felt that they could travel alone now and enjoy other cultures from this experience with EFTours.
Unforgettable experienceMy students loved this trip! Our tour guide was great! He related with the students and it was really hard to say goodbye. Our EF tour coordinator was always available to make suggestions to help make this trip a great experience. The hotels in Rome, Florence and especially Barcelona were perfect. I choose the more centrally located hotels, for a small price increase, and it was definitely worth it. Be prepared for the Ferry Boat trip to Barcelona. We left Cittavecchia and it took 26 hours to reach Barcelona!! Over all, this trip was an experience of a life time for my students!!
A Tired MessOur tour leader was an amazing tour guide. She tried to stay on top of everything and did and excellent job doing so. But there is only so much one person can do. We were constantly traveling and I barely felt like I got to see the cities we visited (Rome and Florence) in Italy. Because of bad weather from our home state, our group had to split into 3 different groups which caused my group to miss 2 days in Rome, while 2 other groups got to tour more parts of Rome. Although the weather is not their fault, there should be some compensation. Overall, we were just traveling from place to place to try and cram everything in. Until we got to Barcelona, we had a full day that I very much enjoyed. We had the morning of tours and the afternoon to ourselves. I wish I would have either payed more attention or been told about how much free time we were going to have. If so, I would have researched things to do to try and make the most of the trip, but instead, I spent most of the time trying to find something to do.
Medateranian tripI am giving this review as a parent of a child who was a first time traveler going with her class from school... this started out with colorado having a bomb blizzard and virtually no way to get thru ti the Denver airport but told even though we had the travel insurance that we get her there or lose what we paid for the trip.... she was laid over in new york and Amsterdam for over 2 days losing this time in rome as ef tours didn't feel it necessary to have travel arrangements for emergency or back up, our teachers had ti arrange flights and make sure they were all taken care of. They finally make it to rome to be told "they missed out" and nothing would be done. Mind you in the travels my daughter was separated on one flight from her group to have been put between 2 grown men men... for a parent of a young female this does not sit well with me... on their travel to barcelona from Italy they were supposed to be on a ferry for travel basically for vacation, they were put on a ferry that transported trucks and their drivers... again not what we paid for.. to be dropped off in Spain and to have to walk 6 blocks @1 .in the morning because again ef tours didn't feel it necessary to have our transportation.... luckily the teachers were knowledgeable and able to help our children see and experience some beautiful things..... I feel a refund is due to all of our families
Disappointing TripSpent more time in transportation or waiting for transportation than actually experiencing new culture and exploring the Countries that we were supposed to visit.
RoughThis trip was rough. The hotels we stayed at were at best fair, the food left a lot to be desired, and the ferry we rode from Rome to Barcelona was dirty and unclean. It was full of truckers who attempted to flirt with the teenage girls in our group and it was uncomfortable. I still very much enjoyed the things we saw but the majority of our trip was just traveling from place to place. It could've gone a lot better.
AwesomeThe whole trip was an amazing experience. All the information that I was given was relevant and detailed, although when I was given free time at each location, it was too much. I had between 5 and 6 hours at each location, and I felt as though I was done exploring after about 3 hours. Although our flight out of the states was delayed, the guides and EF Tours did everything in their power to make the trip enjoyable.
Overall good, but don't do the ferryOver all a good trip.
Flights: Overall flights and times worked very well. Lufthansa did a good job to taking care of us and for “economy” class was fairly comfortable.
Tour Director: Our TD met us at the airport and overall did a really good job. Being Italian, we learned that he has a very laid back approach to things (Allora)… This usually was good, but when we needed him to take a more direct approach (when things went to crap on the ferry), he did not help much. In every other way, he met our expectations.
Tours / Guides: Most were good. In Rome, our group was too big for the crowded areas we were visiting. In the Colosseum and Vatican, we became so strung out that most students did not benefit from the expertise of the guides. The whispers were a benefit, but we were so spread out, mine had exceeded its range. I can’t imagine what it would be like in the height of their season. It would be better to split the groups into 25s with one group doing ancient Rome while the other half does the Vatican and then switching, even if it would cost more. You do that with your “training” tours in Paris for group leaders. The students deserve the same experience. In Assisi, because it was Sunday, the guide was not allowed into the churches. Instead he stood outside for 30 minutes showing us pictures of the items in the churches from a book. We can buy a book. This was a waste of time and money. You really should cancel this if the group will be there on a Sunday. We really could have cut Assisi visit short, arrived in Florence earlier and gotten tickets into the Academia to see David.
Hotels: The “upgraded” hotel in Rome was terrible. We were still over 30 minutes from our areas in Rome and it was in a horrible, dirty, trash laden neighborhood. In addition, the hotel would not allow the bus to use their driveway to load and unload. After driving around the hotel twice, it was determined the only place to unload was on the exit ramp from the major highway in front of the hotel. This meant students/chaperones were in the street with Italian drivers flashing by as we unloaded the suitcases. We then had to walk over a block on uneven torn up pavement to the hotel (an injury waiting to happen). This had to be repeated on the reloading for our tours and then again when we left. If this had been the only hotel we used to judge the benefit of the “upgrade”, we would not have ever done it again. In Florence, Barcelona and Madrid however, the hotels were terrific. Great locations, great facilities and staff. We all agreed based on the benefits, we would want the “upgrade” on our next trip. However, we do need to discuss the cost. I know we talked about it before, but $150 more per student room (even factoring in chaperones), is a lot more than those hotels cost EF. In addition, we found that because of the better location, we were using public transportation when the parallel group was using a charter bus. This has to save EF money on the cost of the trip and should be reflected in the cost to students.
Food: The restaurants overall were good and the meals served did represent the culture of the areas we were visiting. This is what I wanted most from the trip. As usual, the quality of the food and service varied by location. I will say that the attempt to give us a Tapas experience in Barcelona fell flat on its face. The restaurant used the Tapas idea to not give us a dinner. All of the travelers had to find someplace to eat after dinner. The quality was not good and even combined, the portions were not a dinner, in some cases students did not even get a sampling because there was not enough items on the plate for the number of people who were supposed to feed.
Busses: Our bus in Rome barely met our requirements. There was discussion about putting luggage in the aisles, which I would not let happen. Overall the drivers worked hard and were nice (especially right before being tipped). In Spain, we only had a bus for getting to the hotel, to the train station and bus tour. The rest of the time, we were on public transportation.
I have saved the worst for last.
THE FERRY: This almost ruined the trip. While no one can predict weather, the ship itself was horrible. The rooms were filthy with fecal matter, urine, hair and other stuff in the rooms and bathrooms. In addition the toilets in the bathrooms did not flush until about 6 hours into the trip. The staff was inattentive. The food supplied was a joke and of poor quality. There was also nothing to do on a trip that was to last 20 hours and took 22. The fact that most of the group ended up seasick and throwing up only added to the bad feelings. What made it worse was to find out that all the EF tour Directors had made EF aware of the issues repeatedly, including at the end of year conference last fall. We could have taken a plane or better yet a train to Barcelona in less time for about the same cost. In the future, you need to communicate to the group leaders that they would be better to skip the ferry and add in an alternate way to get to Barcelona.