Yesterday, my daughter and I embarked on the long-awaited Versailles tour. I already addressed the RER issues in a separate thread, but that was hardly the only bad part of the day. I had booked the private tour ahead, so that we could skip the giant line. That part worked out well. However, when I went to the tour group building and tried to check my backpack, the man yelled at me in French and threw me out. It was clearly marked, with pictures and everything, as the place to leave your backpacks. Plus there were cubbies behind him, some with backpacks and some empty. I even went around the corner and asked the woman at the information desk, and she assured me that indeed was where I should leave my backpack. However, the man yelled at me and threw me out again, so I gave up and carried a heavy backpack all day.
After the tour, which was quite nice, we went out to get in line for the little train to the Queens Hamlet. I was quite surprised that it is an extra charge on top of the passport and the private tour fees we'd already paid. In the 30 minutes that we stood in the line, out in the open baking in the sun, we could have walk taken a nice shady walk out to the Hamlet ourselves. Then the train dropped us off with another 15 minute walk left to get to our destination. Then, there were dozens of paths to choose from and no indication as to which one to take. The train ride itself was also miserable, packed in literally thigh to thigh with other very sweaty travelers.
For all the expense and hassle, if I had to make a recommendation to anyone else, I would just tell them to go to the Napoleon III apartments in the Louvre (very similar in terms of opulence and splendor) and visit the many wonderful gardens in Paris. I did not personally think VersIlles was worth it, but that's just my opinion!