Overall, this trip was fantastic!! Everything was arranged for us to the point that we just had to show up and someone took care of us from there. Before departure, all of our vouchers were sent to us along with a detailed itinerary of each day and activity, down to the name of the person picking us up. If something changed, our travel agent thoughtfully texted us the new information. Yes, texted us, because we were provided with a phone that contained our itinerary and all of our vouchers along with a GPS program in case we got lost. We used the GPS a lot! If there were any issues I could easily call our agent or text him and he answered immediately, always!
All of our pick-ups were on time and in very comfortable cars with water provided. All of the drivers were extremely professional in their demeanor and appearance.
We also loved our guides in every city. I never imagined that this would be so intimate. I have only ever been in group tours where you get a headset and there are 25 or more people. There were 3 of us on this trip and it was the 3 of us with the guide. This allowed for questions and explanations that you could easily hear and understand.
The hotels, with the exception of Como, were superb with our favorite being in Florence at the Hotel Santa Maria Novella. Breakfast was always included and it was beautiful as well as delicious! I was sorry that we had booked Como. We had no activities planned there and I am not sure why so we were on our own. I also think it was the wrong time of year (March) to be going there as nothing was in bloom and there was a lot closed. Our guide in Milan told us that we could have done it as a day trip and she could have accompanied us. Oh well, this was the only piece that was not perfect, yet we still enjoyed it. It is a lovely little city on the lake. We took a water boat to Bellagio and walked around and then decided to take a local bus back. It was actually more scenic than the water boat.
The only other disconnect we had was the first day. We arrived at the hotel at 7am after a very long flight and our room was not ready. It took 3 hours to get something ready and it was not what we had booked but that was okay. In retrospect it might have been good to send us out on a city tour by car or bus to give us the big picture view and to kill time. Instead we sat in the warm lobby waiting and waiting.
As I said before, overall this was a fabulous trip. Being able to customize exactly where you want to go is invaluable. Working with our travel agent on getting our activities just right was so easy too. And being taking care of as we were was priceless!
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