There were some positives about the trip but the negatives out weigh the positives. Way too many in the group size to enjoy the experience. 30 to 35 would be the maximum group size (we had 52). How could I enjoy the walking tours when we had to run to keep up with the pace and taking into consideration the vast number of other tourists! Hotels were too far "out of town" and not convenient to metro/trains. We were late and had to walk or run for almost everything because of transportation! Now for positives: Tour guides were very good! All meals provided were good except one. Hotel rooms were clean. Very little free time with all the extra tours. Over all - Would I like to go to Europe again - YES, but not with a EF tour group.
Iamaquilter / Adult traveler Foley, AL / Posted on June 24, 2015
The hotels we stayed in were too far out from the city. We spent a great deal of our time traveling to our destination. The group was too large ( we had two other groups with us) and they had a different agenda which caused some conflict.
Tide / Adult traveler Orange Beach, Alabama / Posted on June 22, 2015
I would recommend this trip ONLY if it was guaranteed that it would be a smaller group. Our group of 16 was paired up with a group of 32 and a group of 4 making our total group 52 people. This would not have been an issue if we did all of our traveling around by a dedicated bus. However, we had to move 50 people through public transportation. We waited around A LOT while our tour director purchased tickets and she seemed to not know the systems very well even sending us on a wrong bus. Luckily the drivers were very nice and made sure we took the correct bus.
Our tour guide as a result was very testy and angry with the group. We saw a lot in the time that we had so I am grateful for that. Thanks to our group leader we were able to breakaway a bit to give our students the best experience possible given the situation. The kids had a great time, met new people and experienced different cultures. I have nothing but praise for our Group Leader.
I think that using public transportation is a good idea in major metropolitan cities BUT not with a group of 52. It is good for students to learn. Also, a guide in the Prado to explain the major pieces would have been very beneficial.
The Trip would have been AWESOME had the group been smaller.
PHSmom / Adult traveler Peotone, IL / Posted on June 19, 2015
I had an awesome time on this trip and would totally go again. I will start out with the bad things to get them out of the way. To start my luggage was lost for 3-4 days. That was the flights fault, but I had heard of other groups who had lost their luggage also so I don't know if there is something EF could do to help with this problem but whatever I got it rather quickly for where it had ended up and didn't have to worry about it because my tour director was on top of it. Another problem I found was there was too much packed into everyday so that I personally felt like I wasn't quite experiencing Europe how I had imagined. We went to so many cathedrals and while they were beautiful they were also the same basic thing every time and we saw about ten in one day. There was also the issue of timing and I think that mainly had to do with how large our group was, 54, and that was three separate groups combined to make to many teenagers trapped in a bus together who didn't really care for each other. This big group also slowed us down when going through subways since Paris and Madrid aren't made for fast paced on the run large groups. So overall I felt like there were to many of us to be able to experience Europe in the best way and there were also to many things planned with no time to do those things. Now for the good and it really was a great experience. The hotels, while Paris was bad but that's a whole other story, were great. They held us and Madrid had one of the best breakfasts ever. I also became better friends with people from my group. I learned more about my friends and enemies than I thought I would and I learned more about Europe than I expected to. The art was amazing and the sights were beautiful. I did things I never expected to and I got some pretty cool pictures that can't be replaced. One might think that the bad outweighs the good, but it doesn't. I didn't worry about my luggage until night and joked about it even then. The trains were crammed and when we had to walk many miles to find and open station I got to see more of Paris than I would have otherwise. The bus rides were only for a short time and even then sleeping could take you away from those you didn't like. This trip has changed me and if I ever got the chance I would probably take another one and make even more amazing memories. I would totally recommend going on these tours if you have the chance.
/ Student traveler Gulf Shores, Alabama / Posted on June 19, 2015
The tour guide was awful! She was rude and bossy and made the experience unpleasant - she rushed everything and everywhere we went. I did not pay her to be rude to me the whole time. We used public transportation in a very large group and it was hard keeping an eye on our kids. We walked way too much and it made it hard to appreciate what we we're seeing in the evening. We would get up and go from 6 am to 11 pm all walking. It was wonderful seeing the different countries but this was my second tour and the first one was nothing like this one.
Omg1 / Adult traveler Peotone il / Posted on June 19, 2015
Too Fast Paced
The tour itinerary was awesome. It was my first time visiting Paris and Madrid and I enjoyed the beauty, architecture, and cleanliness of both cities. However, the tour was TOO fast paced. Long days, a lot of walking, and very little sleep. Perhaps all EF Tours are not conducted in this manner, so I wouldn't say I would not recommend EF Tours at all, but if all of the tours are this fast paced with long days of walking, then it won't be enjoyable for a lot of people. I would like to have spent more time enjoying the sites and less time roaming around the city during "free time." I think my expectations of what this tour was going to be like were not met at all.
TiredAchyFeet / Adult traveler Posted on April 27, 2015
Best Trip Ever
Trip went on as scheduled, no delays no problems. It was very safe for high school students, educational and they have life long memories.
Ville / Student traveler Catonsville, MD / Posted on April 19, 2015
Life changing adventure
I thought everything was well needed lanes out and coordinated. I loved everything I learned and experienced
Matt1527 / Student traveler Chicago, Illinois / Posted on April 13, 2015
Our tours of Madrid and Paris were amazing. Every moment was spent enjoying the sights, sounds, and tastes of the regions. Our guide was so knowledgeable and so friendly, the group loved her! She always get the needs of the group in mind, while encouraging us to take advantage of everything the cities offered. I would do this again in a heartbeat.
Mamarazzi / Adult traveler Gardiner, ME / Posted on February 22, 2015
The first day was tough because I didn't sleep at all on the plane from Charlotte, NC to Madrid. We immediately started touring and it was a long hard day and I slept extremely well that night. I wasn't really jet lagged though. Spain was absolutely gorgeous. Segovia was my favorite part of the entire trip. France was decent; very rainy and cold but a good experience. Not as exciting as Spain though. Our hotel was a little sketchy in Paris but our hotel in Madrid was awesome. Definitely recommend going, I have so many stories to tell my kids because of that trip.
OakTree / Student traveler Bristol, VA / Posted on September 18, 2014