The tour was so much fun; I loved the people, culture, group, and my tour director. Although, on the first "day" aka day 2, the buses were late picking us up at the airport so we missed all of the activities that were scheduled for this day. Also, each of our hotels were at least 45 minutes away from the city, which ended up being an hour that we'd have to drive to meaning there was nothing we could do on the days we traveled to the next city and got to the hotel- we were just there for the night. I wished I had known this and also wish I could get some money back since I paid for everything and didn't get it all.
Ebcoggins / Student traveler Concord, NC / Posted on June 27, 2017
Trip of a Lifetime!
This tour was amazing. I saw things that I have always dreamed of seeing and never imagined that i would see. The tour directors were very friendly and very detailed in their explanations about all of the sights that we saw.
/ Student traveler Sylania, Georgia / Posted on June 26, 2017
Great time overall
First off, I want to start by saying that I've never had a bad experience with EF tour guides and this time was no exception, Mirza felt like a great friend in the end. The hotels and meals EF chooses for you leaves much to be desired and I think the schedule was a little to packed, we had next to no free time at all for shopping. Regardless I would recommend EF to anybody
Hunteebuntee / Student traveler Parkland, FL / Posted on June 25, 2017
Paris, the Riviera, and Rome was, overall, an excellent trip. Our tour guide was fantastic and was very engaging, especially in his home town, Rome. While I do feel like we saw everything that was important at all destinations, I don't feel like we spent enough time at some monuments. Our group only had about 2 hours at the Louvre, which isn't enough time to people who, like me, love art. We were so rushed on several of our days that we had to make a difficult choice - go see a monument and sacrifice our lunch, or eat lunch and miss the tour at the monument. That was a bit off-putting considering we ate breakfast so early in the morning and our stomachs were empty walking in hot weather. Lastly, some of the hotels did not have air conditioning after a long, hot day of walking. I understand that many hotels in Europe don't have air conditioning, but I believe that for the price we paid for this trip, we deserve a hotel where we feel comfortable. Those are the only two reasons that I voted the value of this trip 4 stars. Overall, the trip was excellent and I couldn't ask for more from our group leaders and our tour director.
WorldTraveler1998 / Student traveler O'Fallon, Missouri / Posted on June 24, 2017
Not what I expected
On my tour, there were two skipped meals, one of them being dinner. It was very fast paced and no time to stop and take things in - our tour director at one point even asked us not to stop to take pictures because we were running behind on time, as I felt like we were the whole time! Along with skipped meals, lunches were rushed and we were suggested to grab and go. I was told dinners were prepared to be American meals, which I feel is taking away from the experience of being in a new country. Be prepared to walk alot, bring comfortable shoes. They put us in hotels far away from everything else, which wasn't ideal for me. Overall, seeing the sights was cool but I wouldn't go on another EF Tour if I actually want to enjoy my time.
GabrielleRK / Student traveler Missouri / Posted on June 24, 2017
Bucket List Trip
Our EF Tour was a once in a lifetime experience! We covered a lot of ground in 8 days to include: Paris, Cannes, Nice, Monaco, Pisa, Florence, Siena and Rome. We walked an average of 7 miles each day, but it we saw so much, you didn't even think about it. Plus, it was great exercise that provided a happy balance with all the wonderful food we ate to the point I actually lost 4 pounds :) Our trip was facilitated by our daughters high school French language teacher. My wife and I accompanied our two daughters on the trip which included 9 adults and 21 high school students. We were hesitant at first about traveling with students, but they added so much to the experience that we wouldn't have traded it for the world. It helped that they were all very well behaved.
We didn't know what to expect as far as accommodations and the included meals (usually two a day), but we were pleasantly surprised. I think we had about 4 bad food experiences with the provided meals and two of our four hotels were less than desirable. Our first hotel had no air conditioning and the windows didn't open making it unbearable to sleep in. Not to mention the rooms all smelled of smoke although they were "smoke free". EF Tours compensated the group by paying for our admission to the upper deck of the Eiffel tower - about a 17 Euro/person comp. As I mentioned we had about 4 meals that were sub par, but for the most part the included meals were satisfactory. Some were much better than others.
The tour price covered a lot for the money beyond the airfare, hotel, and meals to include: all tour bus trips, train fare, metro passes, tram passes, museum admissions (Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc D'Triumphe, Versailles, and Vatican), and a perfume factory tour.
Our tour director, Andreas, was the absolute BEST! He took care of any issues that arose, was full of all sorts of information, history and facts, and was very personable and engaging. He definitely added to the overall positive experience of the trip.
The daily activities were fast paced, but well thought out and our time was maximized at each location with adequate time to experience the local culture and food during each stop.
We had second thought sof being part of a large group, but we found it to be a distinct advantage when it came time for entering all the venues. Again, our tour director seemed to be able to get us fast-tracked into every monument, museum, etc. So, being part of the 30 person group came was an advantage. None of our group seemed to slow us down either.
Our only complaints were with the seat assignments on our flights and with some of our hotels and some meals. I had made repeated requests for aisle seats and to ensure our family sat together - IT NEVER HAPPENED. We were separated and I had a middle seat on the longest flight we had - 11 hours. Being part of a group reservation didn't allow for access to our reservation through the airline's website to make any itinerary modifications. Again, I had made our requests known to our facilitator and EF Tours to no avail. The hotels could certainly be upgraded a bit as well. I'd say the hotel rooms were, on average, three stars or high two stars. Might be worth a modest price increase for at least a solid three or four star hotels. Same thing with some of the meals, although we had more good meals than bad.
The weather was incredible and for us, was the best time to travel. The average temps were in the mid to upper 60's and even got into the 70's in Italy. We didn't have a drop of rain and saw mostly sunny or partly cloudy skies so, the weather Gods were definitely looking down on us!
All in all, it was an absolutely wonderful trip and overall amazing experience. It was great traveling with our daughters and their friends and parents as well. It was so good, we're thinking about going on a second tour next summer!
Happy in AZ ... Au Revoir and Addio!
Leprechaun / Adult traveler Chandler, Arizona / Posted on April 15, 2017
Beautiful, educational, and fun trip
This trip was such an amazing experience. It was eye-opening to experience another country and culture. I recommend this to anyone who has ever wanted to see the most popular parts of France or Italy. The food was good, and interactions with guides, local shopkeepers, and other tourists were great. In a small group of about 20 people, it was easy to go places and see popular monuments.
MSmith / Student traveler Livermore, California / Posted on April 15, 2017
trip of a lifetime
some spectacular views and moments
good bonding experience with students
too much unsupervised free time
disconnect between tour director and American students' concerns/needs
sheila17 / Group leader CA / Posted on April 11, 2017
Good overall experience. The hotel could be improved to a little nicer since some hotel we stayed the room full of smoking smell.
One of the room is fested with bedbugs. My niece got bit all over his body.
Littlest / Adult traveler San Diego, CA / Posted on March 27, 2017
Could be much better
Our tour was shortened a day by flight issues from the airline that was booked for us, and we are unsure if we will be getting a refund for what we missed. After that whole crisis, the middle of the tour was fun. Our guide was amazing and informative. We were glad to be able to skip lines at most places. However, we were promised half a day at the Louvre and were given an hour and a half, causing us to sprint through the museum. Our only next major tour issue was the last night in Rome when our hotel lost power and it never came back on, making it impossible to pack. And finally, the EF tour representative who was supposed to help us at the airport showed up and left after two minutes. No help was given and we almost missed our flight. The body of the tour was fun but EF needs some help.
alindahl16 / Student traveler Denton, Texas / Posted on March 21, 2017