Myself and some friends had a great day out on this tour.
The meeting point is very central and easy to find, with the directions provided by the company. Though we paid €49 each online in advance, we were able to recoup the €10 budget accomodation discount that day, which was very nice. To do the train/bus combination out to Neuschwanstein, with no extras included, would have cost us almost €25 each, and we would have gotten so much less out of our day!
The bus ride out was very comfortable and we really enjoyed Brad's commentary on the history of the castle, Ludwig II, etc. It was nice to know the context of what we were about to see.
Though the website told us there were no bike rides during Oktoberfest, we were indeed still able to bike ride on our own if we so chose. We took the bikes out, through the incredibly picturesque town, down to the lake, and back. This still left time to ride the alpine slides down the mountain, which was very fun and cheap at only €1.70 each!
The lunch was reasonably priced and tasted good. Nothing fancy, but nothing fancy is claimed. Brad's magic show was entertaining and an interesting addition to the trip.
The hike up to Neuschwanstein Castle was beautiful and not as difficult as we'd anticipated. The best part was viewing the castle from Mary's Bridge - it was STUNNING! Honestly, one of the best things I have ever seen in Europe. This really made the day for all of us. It was very convenient having Brad purchase our tickets advance and to show up at the castle 5 minutes before our allocated tour time. The tour inside was quite quick, which is to be expected given how few rooms in the castle were actually finished! Our biggest disappointment here was forgetting to ask the castle tour guide scandalous questions about Ludwig's personal life (the tour is run by the government and on a script, scandalous questions apparently don't go down very well!).
I had previously read criticisms on Mike's attitude, feeling rushed around, and feeling like activities were being forced upon you. In terms of Mike - I have no opinion, as he spent the first 15 minutes on the bus with us and then was gone for the remainder of our 10 hour day. Not sure how that could ruin anyone's day! Feeling rushed around - yes, we did feel rushed around at points, but ended up being grateful as we realized at the end of the day just how much we'd fit in in only one day. And yes, some activities seemed to be encouraged more than others...but that is their job, and that is how they make money. This has been the case on almost every tour I've been on and wasn't an issue for me.
Overall, we felt that the tour was fantastic value for the price, convenience factor, tour guide knowledge, and amount of activities we were able to pack into one day.
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