I am curious about what people think of the perceived value in the 'My Way' tours versus the regular guided tours. On the surface, the guided tours include many things like museum passes, transportation within cities, very nice dinners and usually something extra (at least in my experience). The unguided tours offer the opportunity to wander about on one's own into parts of the city many tourists may not usually visit. Or to just hang out in a café and do nothing.
In my case I am comparing the 14 day Best of Europe Tours for me and a friend who has never been to Europe. The only difference in the itinerary is that the guided tour goes to Tuscany will the unguided tour goes to the Cinqua Terra. There is a $1000 difference in price.
I am thinking, but not sure, that the quality of the escort on the unguided tour is key to the value of these tours. If the escort can save us time, help us avoid tourist traps, and steer us towards nicer options we may not have known about that would be great.