Sicilian Carousel Tour Anyone?

Old Oct 30th, 2006, 03:38 PM
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Sicilian Carousel Tour Anyone?

I was interested in the Sicilian Carousel Tour which apparently is being offered by numerous travel agents- Academic Tours, Pilgrim Tours,etc. Has anyone been on the tour? How were the hotels, guides, food, etc.
With whom did you book?

We were thinking of going in mid-April or late May. Any commnets on either months regarding weather. We prefer it around 70degrees F.

Thank you for any info.
manhattaner is offline  
Old Oct 30th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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Hi there Manhattaner!

Yes we did this tour in 2004. It is only 7 days and fits in quite a lot because it starts in Catania and ends in Taormina. It is not high class like an Insight Tour but has a very good guide and does take you to all the major sights. The guide has been doing the tour for years - we have been trying to remember his name without success - he spoke English with an American accent having lived in the US for quite some time. The hotels vary - the first and last were excellent - in between they were adequate - probably quite a good standard for Sicily. It was the only tour that fitted in with our schedule as part of an extended independent driving tour and as such it suited us very well. The food was ok - 3 or 4 meals were quite special the others, like the hotels, were reasonable but not outstanding - breakfasts were good. The tour was offered by a company called CIT and we booked through a travel agent here in Australia.

We went on the 15th May and the weather was perfect - warm and sunny. All the wild flowers were out and were stunning - poppies as far as the eye could see and lots of others as well. We think late April might also have been very nice - a tiny bit cooler perhaps. It is a lovely time of the year to go there - late May might be getting too hot.

All in all we can recommend the tour - we have just looked again at our photos and do remember everything with pleasure.

Hope this helps.





jofrommelbourne is offline  
Old Oct 31st, 2006, 07:14 AM
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My husband and I went on the Sicilian Carousel tour in early May,2006 and had a wonderful time. We used Pilgrim Tours because they had the best price. We found the other main provider did not return phone calls and raised the price significantly at the end.
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 07:35 AM
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My husband and I went on the Sicilian Carousel tour in early May,2006 and had a wonderful time. We used Pilgrim Tours because they had the best price. We found the other main provider did not return phone calls and raised the price significantly at the end.
I agree with the previous poster(jofrommelbourn) about the hotels - the first and last were very nice and the others were adequate. Unfortunately, our guide(Enzo, I think) left something to be desired - his descriptions were very limited and he could not really answer questions. We have found tour guides on other trips to be much more interesting, informative and entertaining. However, I think he is not a regular guide on this particular tour. That said, the itinerary was really wonderful and the local guides were always good. All dinners are included and we found them to be much better than on other first class tours -I don't know whether that is thanks to the tour company(CST) or thanks to Sicily. Another positive feature of this tour is that it is English only. We find this to be important because the guide's description doesn't get broken up. On our particular tour, most of the travelers were Australian and were very enjoyable company.

This tour is a great value. All of the other tours we looked at offered much less sightseeing for the money - as well as fewer meals. On this tour, all sightseeing was included - there were no optional tours. I wish we could find a tour in this price range for our next trip(the Italian Riviera region).

I think you will find the weather just as you want it. We arrived in Catania the end of April and the temperatures were fine although there was some rain. The tour began May 2 and the weather was almost always in the comfortable 70 range and sunny. By the middle of May, there were some days that were warmer - almost warm enough to swim.

If you email me([email protected]), I will be glad to send you a link to our pictures(thousands which are organized day by day and my trip report(very long) which is also organized day by day.
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 07:46 AM
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Be aware that CIT is not the same as CST. CIT operates throughout Italy, while CST (Compagnia Siciliana Turismo) specializes in Sicily.

The CST Jolly tour in seven days is very comprehensive; all lodging is in comfortable four-star Jolly hotels and all meals - which, with one exception, were delicious and more than ample when I took the tour - are included. Entrance fees are not included. The CST is a large-group tour; it is theoretically offered in several languages, but the one I took was exclusively in English.

I know CST accepts direct reservations; CIT may as well. If so, chances are that it would be more economical to reserve directly with the tour organizers.

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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 01:39 PM
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The Sicilian Carousel tour is a CST tour as well. Friends of ours have just returned from CST's Jolly tour and it will be fun to compare notes. Pilgrim's price was slightly lower than the price offered directly from CST.

http://www.compagniasicilianaturismo.it/home.asp

www.pilgrimtours.com
emiller444 is offline  
Old Oct 31st, 2006, 02:55 PM
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Yes - I do agree with Emiller - quite forgot to say that we thought the tour was excellent value for money and yes the commentaries were all only in English. Still trying to remember the name of our guide - it wasn't Enzo. This is going to bug me until I do remember it.
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