1) Would have been better if our guide on Jerusalem part of tour wouldn't have gotten into political back and forth with one of the participants on tour. He was trying to prove his side of argument instead of educating about issues. Also, he was walking through Old City so fast that some couldnt catch up. He started talking about the different sites before others caught up to him.2) More time was scheduled at gift shop in Bethlehem than at the Basillica of the Nativity. The tour guide on this leg of tour was better except for long time scheduled at gift shop.
Deceptive practices. The tour in Jerusalem was good. The tour in Bethlehem left something to be desired. The first thing is that the tour said it included the Shepard's Fields. Apparently what that meant was looking at them from about a 10 mile distance. Okay. Next they took us to a souvenir shop where the tour guide gets a percentage of the sales from our group. The owner of the shop is deceptive, and told me the price in Shekels, but charged me that amount in dollars. Apparently after googling, that is a common practice at that shop. I would choose a different tour group.
It was a very special place for both of my wife and I to visit since we have been looking forward to go to Jerusalem especially Bethlehem. The tour guide on the Bethlehem side was very informative but we were a bit disappointed that because of a time issue and long line, we did not go through the actual cave site of the birthplace of Jesus Christ. My wife and I were very willing to wait since we were already there and for the spiritual chance to visit. Next time we come to Bethlehem, we are taking a different tour specific for that place and does not recommend this tour. Rami was also very good and did his best to provide historical information on the Jerusalem side. Next time, we will also get a tour specific to Jerusalem only.
Small group size was great. Rami our guide was extremely informative and kept our group together and moving. Long wait in Bethlehem was worth it, crossing went smoothly. We never would have been able to experience all we did in one day without a guide.