This was the first tour that I had signed up for and had no idea what to expect. Our tour guide, Saverio, was amazing. He explained the whole process for us as a group to get into the museum, and throughout the tour he was informative, open to questions and kept the group together with a sense of humor. Next time I return to Rome I will be signing up for more tours
I booked this tour because it was listed as a Viator tour and seeing the TripAdvisor name, gave a degree of comfort. Was I ever wrong !!
The tour had 57 Yes that is right 57 members!! 57 people and 1 tour guide, who was also not holding any form of identification flag or stick. This is in the Sistine chapel, which as you can imagine in the month of July was very very crowded. Consequently the tour guide spent most of the time just checking on where every one was, scolding those who were slowing down and asking those tin front to slow down. This is Deborah, can the members of my group please raise their hands was what we heard more than anything about the things we were viewing. This happened so often that my eleven year old has started mimicking the tour operator for a laugh during the rest of the vacation !!
Overall the tour felt like that of a class of school children being taken out by their class teacher, the concern being on their whereabouts and not on what they were seeing or learning!!
A really really disappointing experience and a total waste of money.
I now wait to see if the response of Viator can show that this was an exception rather than the norm in a poorly managed business.
Our guide was very good - having said that I will say that it is hot, crowded and long. The Vatican museums are air conditioned only in certain areas - other areas are open windows - our day was very hot and crowded - and fairly chaotic - Which seems to be the status quo for such a popular place
Victor took my last minute reservation for this tour but they probably should not have because the group was about 25 people and awkward to stay connected throughout, especially with families and strollers. The Vatican was very busy on a Monday and our guide was frustrated with the group size. He did his best to keep us all together, but it was challenging trying to see his umbrella in the sea of tour guides with umbrellas and their groups. Having said that, he obviously has a passion for history, architecture, paintings. That, and his knowledge, made the tour for me. He also gave tips about how best to see other sites in Rome, some of which I made use of and appreciated. I've already told several people not to see Vatican City on a Monday, as the crowds are just too crazy. Book mid-week for a better experience viewing the cistine chapel. The tour was meant to be 2 hrs, but ended up being 4 hrs because of the crowds and pace of the group. That was fine with me, as he gave us chances to use the bathrooms, rest, drink water and ask questions. I found it difficult to find the Viator office close to Vatican City. Might have just been the way I approached it, but I had to ask numerous times til I got there. Viator did their best for me and I do appreciate that.
The guide was very knowledgeable but spent to much time on single items. Many of the guests looked bored and where moving ahead to find seats whilst waiting. I have booked several trips through viator but this was the worst. It didn't help that the Vatican was so busy. Having reported to the company for the tour to start it took over 40 minutes to actually get into the Vatican with a headset. Not so much skip the line just move up a bit.