The tour was fast-paced and filled with variety, which gives the first-time visitor to France a great deal to see and do.
I do wished we could have spent more time in several locations such as Versailles, particularly the gardens, and I felt we spent too much time on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées--we ended up there at least twice, and as I'm not as interested in looking at shops, I wasn't really excited about spending more time there than at other locations. Our day in Montmarte was disappointing because of the crowds; however, the souvenir shopping there was good. The wait time at the catacombs was quite long. Also having the self-guided tour headphones would have improved my experience in the museums and chateaux. (Our headsets didn't work in Versailles, which was disappointing because we could not hear our tour guide at all.)
NONETHELESS, I thought the variety was fantastic--this tour is perfect in its hitting high points for "touristy" things like going up Eiffel Tower or taking the river tour in Paris, but then providing different experiences such as driving through the Loire to spend time in the chateaux and cathedrals. Also driving to Brittany and Normandy's Atlantic coastline (Mont St. Michel & St Malo) along with visiting Omaha Beach and learning about the D-Day gave us a deeper understanding of US and French cooperation in WWII. Finally we returned to Paris and visited museums and saw a bit of the great art held in France. This wonderful mixture of places and events made this a tour that provided something for everyone.
Our tour guide was SO PATIENT and kind; he was helpful and long-suffering. I thought the man a saint for all his hard work and desire to make our tour meaninful. He defended our students from an angry receptionist at a small hotel in Normandy. He knew so much and could field all sorts of questions--and he was willing to hang out in a McDonalds late one night with all these goofy high school students who want to eat lousy fast food in France.
The bus drivers were also AMAZING--I sat up front and watch them drive effortlessly through the most awkward of places--they made me feel at ease and safe, which as a parent and chaperone is very important. The hotels were very good for a tour of this type--I've been on some tours and stayed in quite sketchy hotels, and I was very impressed with the quality of all the hotels
Overall, this was an excellent tour, and I am so glad I had a chance to be on it.
BigTuna / Adult traveller Fountain Hills AZ / Posted on October 15, 2019
Would not go again
I can say with honesty, I will never visit Paris again. I was looking forward to this experience with my daughter, and we were miserable. Another group joined us early in the tour, and the tour guide spoke with them more than our group. We were left behind in busy Paris streets, struggling to catch up. The communication was not good. It was a lot of walking, and during the lunch times, we had a short period to find our way through unfamiliar foreign streets, find lunch, and find our way back to our destination. Dinners & breakfasts were awful. Breakfast was very limited, and when you're traveling with teenagers, it's hard to get them to eat strange food. Dinner was one option only, and if you didn't like it, there wasn't an option to go get something on your own. Some of the places we visited were beautiful, but there were so many other tourists (The Louvre, for example), it was difficult to get through. We were able to see two wings of the museum before our time was up. Never again.
JB80 / Adult traveller Kansas City, MO / Posted on August 14, 2019
France in 90 Minutes
This trip provided a glimpse at France. Where we should have had at least half a day or a full day at places we had 2 hours but got to see a lot and do a lot. It is a trade off. Our tour guide was a amazing. She was French and proud of her culture but spoke excellent English. My 2 complaints are the tour bus....it was AWFUL....the bus did not cool until we were at least 50 miles down the road and driver did not start the bust until it was loaded despite it being an oven. Also the time spent at some of the places even though I gave it a plus, I give it a minus too.
Redkiss / Adult traveller Kansas City, MO / Posted on July 27, 2019
What a fantastic trip! The details in our transportation arrangements were perfect. The tour director was incredible. She guided us through Paris and the Chateaux region with impeccable ease. The busses that we used were clean and the drivers were very professional. Thank you to everyone at EF who helped to make this trip memorable for us and the students who we chaperoned. Well done!
/ Adult traveller Chesapeake, VA / Posted on July 19, 2019
Paris and the Chateau
My girls and I had the best time!!! I love that everything was scheduled but there was not quite enough time for souvenir shopping. We would have liked a little more time at the Normandy American Cemetery, too.
1stEFTour / Adult traveller Chester, Texas / Posted on July 19, 2019
Things I love: the tour guide was awesome! Very funny and informative. Having a driver - Didn’t have to worry about parking or how to drive in the country or directions to and from places. Was able to keep luggage on board the bus.
Things I didn’t like: a lot is crammed into one day so the visit is very fast and short lived. Didn’t get time to just slow down and really take in the beauty and history at each place that we visited. Our group was huge so we spent a lot of time just standing around waiting for people to use the restroom or to get back to the meeting place. Didn’t like the time we have for lunch and free time/shopping- it’s usually an hour which isn’t much time to do anything.
ahawj80 / Adult traveller Atlanta, GA / Posted on July 08, 2019
Great Trip. We enjoyed the experience. Our Guide "Guille" was awesome. If you go on this tour ask for him as your guide.
Blainer / Student traveller LEANDER, TX / Posted on July 05, 2019
A busy trip that took us to beautiful Paris and the gorgeous & more relaxed countryside of the aLoire Valley & then to the touching area of Normandy. The schedule was full but we were able to see & experience so many things. The hotel rooms were a bit rundown in some areas; that is something to work on. Also, there were times when you wanted a little more time in certain areas or places & you felt rushed but I know that it was due to schedule & being with a group. Our leader was AMAZING & our bus driver was safe & very personable.
COTX / Adult traveller Leander, Texas / Posted on July 02, 2019
Although it seemed we had some communication issues at the start with EF, we found our tour to be well planned and included a lot of great sites. We adored our tour director. He did an amazing job leading us from place to place. We were also very impressed with the local guides. We loved the restaurant selections as they gave us a variety of tastes from France.
What we did not enjoy was sharing a tour with two other schools whose standards were much more laxed. It was a struggle to deal with the shenanigans of the students from the other schools.
We also felt that as it is 2019 the busses should have WIFI hotspots at least with a password for teachers to access. There were times we needed to make contact with parents, admin and we had to wait until we arrived late to the hotel. AND then 3 of our hotels had very poor WIFI service. This is essential for safe travel.
Finally, the tipping situation is awkward and I feel should be included in the cost.
Maestrak243 / Adult traveller Janesville, Wisconsin / Posted on July 01, 2019
The good and the bad
Our tour guide was amazing, she knew exactly how to make our trip the best.
The overall trip experience was great.
The hotel selection was poor, B&B refused to serve us breakfast one time, however, EF fixed it by paying us breakfast that day. It turned out well.
The worse I had was the lady who managed my payments; she was really rude with me and treated me as if I was a thief. I traveled as a parent, but I’m also a teacher looking for a tour for my own students. I would not choose EF so that the parents of my traveler students won’t feel humiliated like this lady made me feel when she “helped” me.
Suwanee / Adult traveller Suwanee, GA / Posted on June 09, 2019