EF was a very large disappointment, considering the fact that it is represented as an excellent provider of world travel. My grandparents invested several thousand dollars into this defunct program to give me the opportunity to see Europe on a 23 day tour. Needless to say, the flight was NOT nonstop as advertised; but that was a small inconsistency compared to our arrival in London. The flight was overnight but it was impossible to sleep due to how noisy and cramped the (economy part of the) plane was, then upon arrival we had to wait 3 hours in line for customs. We were not allowed a free day to sleep; instead, we had to go on a lengthy walking tour and multiple trips on the Tube. I was extremely exhausted and was irritated with deprival of sleep. Then we found our hotel in western London was very disappointing; (beware: EF advertises using very upscale hotel chains but only one out of the 15 cities we visited was nice.) Not only in London but most of the other places we had to stay in 1 or 2 star hotels; NO air-conditioning, (one time we had 3 people to a 2-bedroom room!), no way to do laundry, tiny beds, loud traffic, and rarely did we have functional elevators. When we were in Venice, Italy, someone (possible the hotel manager) entered our room and took hundreds of euros (I personally lost about $200) and our passports were found laying out in the rain, ON THE BALCONY (which if you read the EF website it GUARANTEES safety and says no balconies!)
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Also, the hotels were located outside of the city, so it was impossible to venture back if needed.
There were a number of occasions where we could not find our destination on the bus; for example, our driver couldn't locate the leaning tower of Pisa, which was an additional paid part of the trip.
Our tour director could not locate a few of our restaurants at times; in Amsterdam, we had to walk for 2 hours because he couldnt locate it! He was not multi-lingual as EF guarantees, and half the time in Europe we had to eat Asian food as that is his preference. Also: the meals are small and you have to pay for drinks yourself. And once we had to pay for breakfast even though EF says that all meals are free.
Also, some of the group leaders (who were not even mine) were very domineering and acted inappropriately multiple times.
Finally, the EF website states that you only need money for snacks and souvenirs. THIS IS NOT TRUE! Your group leader ALSO requires at least 100 euros ($150) or more for tips for the tour director, etc. I was not informed of this.
Best Suited For: Friends
Tour format: Walking
Tour length: Over a Week
Tour type: Group