Pros: All inclusive vacation packages and worry free travel.
Cons: A little pricey but worth it.
My wife and I like to travel inside and, when it's possible, outside the USA. We've used Globus & Cosmos twice now for guided bus tours in France in Sept. 1999 and England in 2000. Our first was for our honeymoon in France. The basics of it was a tour for 15 days on a bus that took us and 30 other travelers in a counter-clockwise route all around France. From the day we arrived in Charles De Gaul to the day we left, we were lead by a representative from Globus to ensure that we were never lost. All meals, stays and city highlights were included in the package. You had the option of taking an optional excursion for additional fees. The bus was comfortable and quiet. The hotel rooms were no less than 3 star quality. And you had enough time in each town visited to have your own, free, excursion. The meals were all buffet. Breakfast and Dinner only. Lunch is on you. I guess their reasoning is that not tourists eat 3 square meals a day. That was not a problem b/c each town we visited always had local pastries and restaurants that varied in price and choices. The only other expense was tipping the tour guide, who was with you the entire time, and the bus driver. Typical practice is $1 per day per person. So if you are a couple on a the same 15 day tour, you should tip about $30 to the guide and $30 to the driver. The sites we saw are far too numerous to speak about each one. So I'll just talk about the definite highlights of the tour. Our first stop was of course Paris. We hit the highlights sites such as the Eifel Tower and Notre Dame. It is advantageous to be in a group when going to these sites and other that I will be describing b/c tour groups get preference over individuals when waiting in line to enter each site. So the wait is much, much shorter. Going up the Eifel tower are four elevators that only take you the second level, located in the middle of the tower. You have to pay extra yourself to go up to the very top. However, you are high enough to be able to see a great deal of Paris just on the second level. Great photo opportunities. Afterwards we headed for Notre Dame. This is one of, if not the biggest, cathedral in France. There are beautiful stained glass windows everywhere and religious artifacts from throughout the history of France. Unfortunately, here and the other million cathedrals we visited you could not take personal photos, not even without a flash. Although you may buy postcards in the shops that look like photos you would have take anyway....ingenious. After a couple of days in Paris we headed for Normandie. It was about a 2 hour trip, most all of the trips between cities average about 2 hours. In Normandie is where our boys landed it what history called D-day. We visited the cemetery where white crosses and stars of David indicated the fallen soldiers. You could have gone on the actual beach where it happened, but that would have meant walking a long way down. Our visit was only for an hour and we did not want to get left behind. So we just settled for a perch that overlooked the beach. We then headed for Mont St. Michel (Mountain of Saint Michael). It was originally a castle that was built on a mountain. It eventually grew into a town complete with shops and eateries that are still used today as they were back then. Going up the steep streets is long and time consuming. However, there are seats to give rest to the weary. Once you get to the top, you'll see, depending on the time that you go, either water surrounding the mountain. Or plains as far as the eye can see. Guides don't recommend that you walk around the base of Mt. St. Michel b/c some people have died sinking in the quicksand. After a little look around you join a tour guide that explains the history of this site. It is about half an hour long. They explain the rooms and architecture and what they mean or symbolize. Another highlight is the French Riviera located in Monaco. Here you are treated to the casinos and dazzling lights that you would see in Vegas. However, it's not quite as big. There are only two main casino parlors. If gambling is not your preference, then you may walk the streets and see if you a celebrity driving their Porches and Rolls Royces. Don't forget about the nude beach that make the South of France famous. Well that's it about our France tour. I'll write about England another time. Enjoy if you go and if you do...ask for our Globus tour guide Francoise (Pronounce an "s" at the end b/c she is female).