Pros: Tour guide very knowledgeable. George at the Zafolia Amalia in Athens BEST employee!
Cons: Horrible food and hotel service, ZERO freedom during FREE time! Guide too controlling.
We just returned from what I would categorize as 7 days on a cow-herding-LAND-Cruise around Greece using Globus! If the cruise ship mentality of being herded everywhere you go (including during your FREE time) is your idea of a perfect vacation, then book these guys as fast as you can!
The tour guide expected everyone to line up like little ducks in a row and follow her everywhere to hear the story of every pebble in Greece. During our so-called "FREE" time, we were even herded to specified restaurants where every tour bus on the tour-bus-circuit would go (EVEN WHEN there were CLEARLY other restaraunts nearby to CHOOSE!) And even in our "free" time we had assigned seating...no such thing as a table for two! We were told EXACTLY what time to eat and NEVER given an option to OPT-OUT of the mandatory group "love-in" where everyone HAD to sit at assigned tables and eat with assigned groups! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!
We were VERY lucky in that we arrived in Athens a couple of days before the LAND CRUISE began and we are staying a couple of days afterwards because the BEST meals we had were in fact BEFORE we were herded off by Globus to their absolute Greek-LIKE-feeding-trough-SLOP-pits! The REAL Greek people cook AMAZINGLY wonderful food! The REAL Greeks are warm and colorful characters if given a chance to interact with customers! BUT IF you want Greek food that has been Americaized to the taste buds of nursing home fare, then you will LOVE the "buffets" Globus has arranged for you at all the Amalia Hotels you are SURE to be booked in! And if you THINK there MIGHT be a room service menu available or a taxi you can take elsewhere when you get sick of the "slop" DREAM ON because you belong to them once they get you OUTSIDE the great food in Athens!!!! You are a HOSTAGE of Globus and Amalia for the DURATION of your "tour" as you are KEPT in absolutely ISOLATED locations where a taxi wouldn't even bother to go! WELCOME TO THE HOTEL CALIFORNIA...you can check in anytime you like but you can NEVER leave!!! I had MORE freedom and options in the bushes and jungles of AFRICA!
I have been on MANY tours around the globe and I've traveled to 50 countries but in ALL my travels, THIS was the FIRST time I ever felt like a HOSTAGE...and we've been with GREAT groups where we've driven 3500 KM around larger countries! This is the FIRST time (and probably the LAST) we will ever use Globus.
NOW, did the tour guide do her job in showing us absolutely amazing sights? YES!!!! Without a doubt, "Poupi" did her job! Did I need the story of every rock in Greece? No, BUT others did and they had a RIGHT to hear everything they wanted to know as they paid for their tickets TOO...I did not mind in the least! Was I happy with the higher end shops and merchants we were directed to? ABSOLUTELY! And we made some fantastic purchases to add to our home decor!!!
Perhaps this particular "group" NEEDED the structure of a cruise line as 99% did end their journeys in Greece via a cruise ship BUT for those who aren't "cruisers"...those who look for Greece not only in the sights that are a "given" MUST SEE, but ALSO want and NEED the experience of a CULTURE, the FOOD and most importantly, one-on-one interaction with the PEOPLE, then stay away from this tour! I totally recommend EVERONE visit Greece and see EVERYTHING we saw on our trip...I would simply suggest that customers inquire to determine how a tour is actually run. Of course after 50 countries I NEVER expected this much structure, but I've learned my lesson NOW and it won't happen again!