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“Our Vatican tour with Maya Tours” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Maya Tours Roma

Maya Tours Roma
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Skip the Line: Vatican Museum St Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel Tour
Ranked #238 of 756 Tours in Rome
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Owner description: Maya Tours is an accomplished reputable Tour agency based in Rome, close to the Vatican city. We specialize in English Guided Tours around the City of Rome and The Vatican.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Our Vatican tour with Maya Tours”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

We were approached by a "sales-rep" for Maya Tours when we got off at the St Peter's Basillica stop on the 110 Open bus tour of Rome. He convinced us that we would be able to skip the queues to enter the Basilica and Vatican Museum and since we saw the lines to the Basillica along the way and since it was quite hot, we accepted. We then had to follow him to the Maya Tours office which was very far away (about 10 min walking at a fast pace). At the office, we paid our 100 Euros and waited for the tour guide to arrive. The office was cool, had several drink vending machines and toilets that we used in preparation for the tour. We waited about 20 minutes and were greeted by Saverio, our tour guide. He was a nice older gentleman that spoke English with a hint of a charming Italian accent.

He gathered the group outside the office and gave us some very helpful pointers. He explained what would happen when we entered the Museum and told us how to go through the strict security checks and even advised us about the size of the bags we could carry inside and correctly picked out one or two of our fellow tour participant's bags that he said might cause a problem. Beware that if you have to check your bags at the entrance, then picking them up at the end requires a very long walk back to the entrance to the Museum. Saverio mentioned this already before we went in. We had a 5-8 minute walk to the entrance to the Vatican Museum and the lines themselves were not very long, but we had no waiting to do outside except to collect and test our audio receivers.

Saverio did an excellent job in providing us with an abundance of information during the Vatican Museum visit. We didn't feel like spending too long in the Museum, Chapel and Basillica so this tour was ideal. He picked out several key pieces of art and gave us a lot of information about them and was more than willing to answer our daughter's questions throughout the tour. He always had an answer to the questions we asked and was very accommodating.

Before we entered the Sistine Chapel and Basillica, he gave us an in-depth briefing on the paintings and statues which we found very useful. The reason we got the information beforehand was because the Chapel forbade anyone from speaking and had ushers continuously calling for "silence". Before we entered the St. Peter's Basillica, Saverio bid us farewell and collected our audio receivers but not before giving us more information about some of the statues inside the Basillica.

The Vatican Museum, Sistine Capel and St Peter's Basillia are stunning! You HAVE to visit them if you go to Rome. We enjoyed the tour very much and learned quite a bit from it. I recommend getting Saverio if you can since he played a large part in ensuring we had a great experience.

Visited August 2013
Thank Sheran G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Jeju Island, South Korea
Level Contributor
222 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“My attempt to make your visit easier”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2013

My family and I were recently in Rome and TA was, as usual, vital in helping with our planning. However, our visit to the Vatican City was an exception - I found a lot of conflicting advice and recommendations and, now that we've been, would suggest that TA make this a special focus (perhaps on a one day tour itinerary or a forum, not sure where - but it's needed).

To cover all bases I will post this review under :

~ St.Peter's Basillica
~ Vatican Museums
~ Sistine Chapel
~ Maya Tours

Although my ratings will be different for each.

Following research on TA, we'd decided to go to St. Peter's first and the Vatican Museums second (which I'd pre-booked on line), so as to avoid the queues in each location (as most people, apparently, do it the other way around). This was very poor advice!

When we arrived (at around 10:00am), the queues for St. Peter's were huge. I chatted with a few people and then realised that the Vatican Museum ends in St. Peter's - so I would suggest that those queuing for St. Peter's are those that did not intend to tour the Vatican Museum. I don't see why you wouldn't do either if you were here - so suggest you pre-book entry to the Vatican Museum on-line and be aware that you will end up in St. Peter's.

We now faced a frustrating situation - our Vatican Museum tour was for the afternoon and here we were, mid-morning, in St. Peter's Square.

The square is stunning and the whole area breathtaking.

We were approached by a number of Maya Tour reps who were all very personable and friendly - one chap in particular was helpful so I explained our situation. He advised that there was no way that we would be allowed in early as the queues were so long - but he had an idea for how we could enter the museum sooner and get a better experience. He explained the guided tours that Maya run and also offered to reduce the tour price by the amount we'd already paid on line. This seemed very reasonable to me and so we agreed (the main reason being our desire to get inside quicker).

The next 90 mins were really frustrating as a group of us were marched to the Maya offices to pay (strangely, we were all sent in individually to pay for the tour (despite ample seating inside) - and it wasn't long before we all realised why - we were all paying very different amounts for the tour!)

We then walked from the offices to the Vatican Museums (it was now uncomfortably hot with all of this outside walking) and when we arrived at the museum entrance my frustration grew. With all of this walking, we'd arrived at the entrance just 30 mins before our pre-booked time and there was no queue at all. Our guide seemed to take an age to obtain tickets and a communication system so I took the opportunity to ask someone on the entrance gates if I'd have been allowed in before my allocated time if arriving early ....... the answer was "on a quiet day like today, yes". Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

By the way - all bags are scanned on entry to the museum and any considered too big (back packs are too big and I had one) HAVE to be checked in to the cloakroom. I found that a bit inconvenient but no big deal - until the end of the tour when you realise that the exit is on the opposite side of the Vatican to the entry and you need to walk all the way around the building again to retrieve your bag!

The tour guide appeared very knowledgeable and spoke through some important pieces- but it was hard work to stay with a group in a busy environment. We really wanted to head off and explore on our own but I guess felt we needed to get value for money from our tour (there's a quandary!)

The Museums are hugely extensive and there are some stunning stunning areas. It's hard work with young kids as there are so many people inside (I'd hate to see it on a busy day!!!!).

The guide worked it's way to the Sistine Chapel (you can only see the Chapel by entering the Museum) which is stunning. There were plenty of guards around reminding people not to take photos, but plenty of visitors were ignoring this and snapping away.

On departing the Sistine Chapel, there is a walkway into St. Peter's which, of course, by-passes that huge queue outside. St. Peter's is amazing and we would have spent more time there if it weren't for the fact that our two little ones were struggling with the heat after a 2 hour trot and wait for the tour and another 2 hours inside.

Afterwards, we realised that we'd missed some significant works on our tour and there were whole areas of the Museum that we hadn't been taken to. Felt a little cheated at first, but actually, I think anymore would have been two much for us all (not just the little ones)

So, in summary:
- This is a MUST DO when in Rome
- Book entry to the Vatican Museums on line in advance
- I recommend you don't take the Maya Tour - but pick up a guidebook
- Don't take a backpack!
- The Sistine Chapel is at the end of the Vatican Museum
- There is a direct entry to St. Peter's Basillica at the end of the museum
- Be aware that it appears that dress restrictions to St. Peter's are strictly enforced- in my short time there I saw a number of people being turned away- one guy furious that he'd been in line for 2 1/2 hours and couldn't get in!

Visited July 2013
3 Thank Paul F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Tour of Vatican”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

The Vatican was so crowded the day we went that I don't think we would have managed without the guide. Items weren't often labelled so the guide's knowledge was very helpful. It also meant we could skip the queues into both the Vatican museum and St Peter's basilica. Our guide's name was Roberto; he was particularly good.

Visited May 2013
Thank Sue S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
“Excellent tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2013 via mobile

Not being ones for tours, we felt that one might be required for the Vatican, and how right we were! As stated below, the passion shown by the guide Roberto was unbelievable. His knowledge of the art and architecture was astounding and he described things extremely well. He took us through some of the best parts of the museum, the Sistine Chapel and finally to the Basilica. It was a good tour although we would have loved for it to be a tad longer! Thanks again Roberto! From the tre ragazzi.

Visited July 2013
Thank TracellerAdelaide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hämeenlinna, Southern Finland, Finland
1 review
“Roberto knows the Vatican”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013

Get Roberto from Maya Tours if you want a good tourguide at the Vatican. He speaks very fluent English at a fast tempo but is easy to understand. He pours out his heart, you can tell he himself is admires the museum and the history behind it. Recommended! J&U Wirtanen

Visited July 2013
Thank Ulla W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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