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General tour questions

Booked my first RS trip for next year BOE 14 day. Working on pre/post plans. I know the detailed itinerary doesn't come until much closer to the time.

What are the typical hours things run? Getting started in the morning.... how late are group dinners...

This is a tour that is listed as the possibility of shared bathrooms. Has anyone been on this tour to know where this might be? I'm thinking Venice because of historic buildings or Beaune because of small village.

Posted by
1502 posts

We did the BOE21 day tour and some of us had to share a bathroom in one hotel and it was in Stechelberg, Switzerland. I hear that hotel is no longer being used? Anyway, it wasn’t a big deal. We had a sink in the room and a balcony.
Tour days star between 7 and 8:30 with most afternoons free. Group dinners are after 6 PM. I don’t remember exactly the time. Give the office a call if there is something that you specifically must know.

Posted by
4788 posts

Congrats on booking your tour. I know you will have a great time.

The advice to contact RS tours with questions is excellent. They are happy to answer questions.

Posted by
893 posts

The Rick Steve’s tours seem to balance group activities and free time just about perfectly, we’ve been on seven tours and they’ve all been excellent. Your going to have a great experience, especially if you’ve never been to Europe before, the BOE’s (14 days & 21 days) are the best way to fire up a passion for travel!

Posted by
8421 posts

Not been on that tour but for the one's I have been on, the day's activity usually had a departure from the hotel between 8-830

Posted by
61 posts

We did the BOE 14 Day in 2019 and loved it!
I agree with previous posters that the day generally started by 8:00-8:30 am. Group dinners were after 6:00, but not super late. As you probably know, there isn’t a group dinner every night.

On our trip, the organized tours/activities were generally in the mornings, with free time in the afternoons and evenings. Good balance of organized vs independent time, in my opinion.

We didn’t have any shared baths on the tour, and we were quite happy with all of the hotels. Be aware that all hotels may not have a/c (or not the a/c most of us probably expect in the U.S.) but the windows opened and the hotels provided fans, so we happily survived:)

It’s a great tour with lots of “wow” moments. Enjoy!

Posted by
2788 posts

Barbara G hit it well. I have been on 18 RS tours and what sha posted was right on. charlie

Posted by
2058 posts

I’ve been on 7 RS tours, not this particular one, but my tours all started about 8-8:30 am and group dinners were not very late. On some of the longer tours, there will be a vacation day from the vacation inserted somewhere near the middle of the tour. You have the whole day ahead of you to do whatever you like or simply do nothing. I love Rick’s tours for the balance between group activities and free time!

Posted by
9523 posts

I agree with Diane, the possibility of a shared bath will probably only be if they stay in the hotel in Stechelberg. It is in a terrific location and it's only 2 nights out of your whole trip. There are only a couple of his tours that even have the possibility of shared baths.

Venice and Beaune both had en-suite baths. Beaune is bigger than you might think but the hotel is in the city center so easy to walk out and see things.

Posted by
6522 posts

A note about the group dinners. They are not mandatory if you want to do something else, or are too tired or not hungry. They are not "events" with forced socializing, and you can pick who you want to sit with. Might be long communal tables, or just an area of several reserved regular tables. And you dont have to stick around and leave with the group if you're ready to go or don't want dessert. Most of the people we've been with wear the same clothes they've been wearing all day. So, its a pretty informal thing.

Posted by
7480 posts

Beaune is wonderful but it is not a small village, more than 20,000 population.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks everyone. Gives me a better idea. The tour ends in Paris, and after considering many options, plan on spending at least one more day in Paris to go to Versailles. Then probably Amsterdam for 2 nights.

Posted by
3 posts

I've been on many Rick Steves tours -- shared bathrooms are now very rare. The hotel we had in Venice had only private bathrooms. The starting time in the morning can vary, depending upon whether it is a bus day or not, and how long the bus leg is. Usually there is enough time in the morning to have a decent breakfast, and then get to the bus or tour. Typically I would get up at 7:00 or 7:30, shower, go have an unhurried breakfast, then be ready to go at 8:30 or 9:00. There were a couple of times we had to leave early for long bus legs, so I had to get up at 6:00, but those were rare. Group dinners are always early in the evening. I could always get to bed by 10:00 or 11:00 if I wished.