Although you could tell the tour guide was very nice, experienced and well versed on the information and history of this tour, it was very difficult to understand him when speaking in English. This was experienced not only by us but also by others we spoke to during the tour who shared the tour with us. Perhaps, he would be better to only provide Italian speaking tours in the future.
Our tour guides name was Marcus. Now I am sure he had lots of good information to give but no one on our tour could hear or understand his accent. His microphone was attached to his shirt. When we looked around at other tour companies around here in the Vatican all of the guides had their microphones attached to a headset so the microphone was close to their mouths. We told him we couldn't hear and he said don't worry when we go into a different room it will get better. Well it didn't. The last part of the tour is St. Peter Basilica. By the time we got there more than half of the 26 people in our tour group were so fed up that we couldn't hear/understand our guide that we gave him back our headphones and walked around St. Peter's on our own. We were disappointed to say the least.
Not worth the money!!! Buy a NON-GUIDED skip the line pass if you want to truly experience the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peters Basilica. I understand that it is crowded all the time however our guide rushed us through the entire tour, never stopping to allow us to actually enjoy or take in the maginificence. In fact she didnt even take us through the entire museum, we skipped the statue hall, which is a HUGE part of the museum. The guided tour was frustrating and by the end my husband and I felt like we didnt learn or see anything that we couldnt have just googled. Definitely avoid this tour and do it your self but still buy a skip the line pass or youll be waiting forever!
This was a super awesome tour! Piece of advice - if your tour is the morning one, get to the meeting place 30 minutes before and walk to St Peter's square you should be meeting pretty close to it. Seeing the outside of St. Peter's Basilica and the square in the early hours it was 7 am for me before hordes of tourists flood this sacred place IS a magic experience.
Now to the point - the tour is extremely well organized and the tour guide is great mine was Rita - an eccentric, funny and very knowledgeable lady! I loved having the ear-piece, makes hearing the guide over hundreds of tourists' chatter very clear.
Another plus is skipping the lines. Believe me, even in January in the rain the lines are long at 7:30 am already. Having Vatican museums to yourself without crowds is amazing! We did not have to wait a minute anywhere.
My only wish would be to spend more time in Vatican museums. May be do a tour a bit longer, charge a bit more, but let people see more of this truly amazing place. Time spent in St. Peter's is sufficient.
Another piece of advice - after hearing all the interesting things the guide had to point out in St. Peter's, I was overwhelmed. This is a mind blowing cathedral. But guess what? The entrance to the cathedral is fee!!!! After the tour was over, we were left in the middle of the square. I went straight back to the line going into the cathedral. It took me about 30 minutes to get back in may take longer in high season but now I could take as much time as I wanted to look at things I loved but had to hurry by to keep up with the tour, and thanks to the tour I just took I knew what I was looking at. Do it and later do climb to the top of the cathedral. It is a long a difficult climb 532 steep steps, but the views of Rome are amazing! .....and one more thing - a free and clean bathroom is in the gift book store located on the left if your back is turned to the cathedral, right outside of the square....bathrooms in Rome are hard to come by and are never marked unless you know where to look