What a trip!
This was our 3rd holiday of this type (our 2nd with Riviera) and it was excellent. My Wife & I & another couple went on this trip. Our tour manager, Cassie, was a star, nothing was too much trouble or seemed to faze her. She has traveled extensively and it was very interesting to hear some of her travel tales! From meeting her at Heathrow to saying goodbye to her also at Heathrow 2 weeks later she was fantastic, a real credit to Riviera travel. Our driver, Rosie, deserves a special mention also. He drove us all safely, on time with a permanent smile on his face for all of the 2,200+ miles we did. His 'morning exercises' were fun and got us off for the day with a smile on our faces (you'll see what I mean if you get Rosie as the driver on your trip)
This is more of an experience rather than a holiday, (you'll need a holiday to get over it !!) It is full on with early starts, some long drives but because of that you get to see so much during the 2 week tour. The tour feels more like a 3 week trip due to the amount that is covered in the itinerary. We also booked most of the extra trips available and they were most enjoyable. As with trips of this type, there is never enough time at each destination to explore it fully but that gives a good excuse to go back in future years to see it a little more in your own time. I don't really have a highlight as it was all one big highlight for me. I can only end this review by highly recommending this tour. If you are lucky enough to get Cassie as your tour manager & Rosie as your driver I can guarantee you will have a great time !!
Review by: Ian Chamberlain on 02/10/2018
Excellent tour! Patricia was our tour manager and went the extra mile for us, including coming to find the party on the second flight home from Dallas into Atlanta to shepherd us to the Virgin gate for Manchester at the other end of the huge airport. She gave us a stack of history about the USA too. Rosie (Roosevelt) was our driver throughout the tour and was absolutely the best driver ever. If we had to change anything we would have an extra day in San Antonio at the expense of one of the New Orleans days, but that's being picky. And everyone on the tour was lovely which was a real bonus. Graceland and Dallas/JFK were highlights as was the General Jackson river boat which was well worth the extra cash. Thank you Riviera.
Review by: Stewart Pilkington and Sue Whyment on 18/09/2018
Just returned from our first touring holiday. A special thanks to Sylvia our brilliant tour manager and Rosy our amazing driver. We are already looking at our Riviera tour as we enjoyed this one so much. All the hotels were of a good/very good standard and it was great just being handed our room key each time we arrived and finding our luggage either in our room or just minutes behind us.
The itinerary kept us busy but we still had a good amount of free time and didn't feel exhausted - until the jet lag hit us when we got home. We saw so many amazing sights and had some great experiences
Everyone on the coach was very friendly and although there were 45 of us, this didn't cause any problems.
The weather was also very kind to us, with little rain and varied temperatures from cool to very hot - definitely recommend layers.
Looking forward to our next holiday with Riviera
Review by: Glenn and Kath Hodgkiss on 01/11/2017
Just back from The Deep South and Texas and well done Riviera for organising such a full and successful itinerary. Under the watchful eyes of tour director Sylvia and driver Rosie from New Orleans, this was an exciting and fulfilling tour. Don't expect to lounge around or small numbers, but if you want to check off a few things on your bucket list this could be the tour for you. Usually available from both Heathrow or Manchester, this is quite a demanding tour covering over 2000 miles and you will always find people who want more time in some towns and less in others. However, the balance is just about right and (in our case) with the use of updated coaches incl on board toilets, the miles just roll past in relative comfort. The chosen hotels have been well researched and in a few cases, our group were treated to very welcome breakfasts or receptions, not included on the formal itinerary. However, with few included meals , the need to find suitable places especially in the mornings or on the road, sometimes leads to an over reliance on fast food outlets and these are not to everyone's taste. As with other reviews. we agree that one will tick off many iconic places which do not disappoint such as New Orleans, Gracelands, Studio B, the Alamo, Johnston Space Centre and the 6th floor of the Book Depositary building in Dallas from where JFK was allegedly shot. Reaching some of these iconic places inevitably means early departures from hotels but good warning is given and, as with our brilliant driver Rosie, your suitcases are carefully stored and monitored on a daily basis. Riviera need to ensure that the earlier arriving Manchester flights are met appropriately and guests are not left somewhat in limbo. All in all, this is a very good Riviera tour with usually a lot of happy and satisfied guests.
Review by: George Brown on 01/11/2017
We have just returned from a great 2 weeks in the Deep South with Riviera. As usual, the overall organisation was excellent, from the staff in the head office to the tour manager, Sylvia, who was brilliant! Being a lovely Glaswegian with a bubbly personality and a huge sense of fun, Sylvia really helped to make our holiday one to remember. In all honesty, we think Sylvia was probably one of the most organised tour managers we have had in 19 holidays with Riviera! Our coach driver, Roosevelt, known to us as Rosey, was brilliant. He ensured we were comfortably and safely delivered to each destination and was such a laugh! Don’t expect to just be able to sit on the coach inert; there are inclusive exercises which will start the day off with a smile!
All of the organised visits were really worth seeing and interesting; whether you are interested in music and want to see Studio B or Sun Studio, or you prefer the historical attractions like the Human Rights Museum or Jackson Square in New Orleans, there is something for everyone on this holiday and much more…
The hotels were all comfortable and clean and often in walking distance to the main centres of the towns. For instance, our hotel in Memphis, was just 300 yards from Beale Street and all of the associated restaurants and bars, but not so close that you couldn’t get a good night’s sleep.
We have travelled a lot with Riviera Travel and this holiday is up there with the greats. If you were thinking of seeing the Deep South, then this is the one for you!
Review by: John Moorfield on 01/11/2017
We had a wonderful 2 weeks with many highlights, ticking so many boxes, such as the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, Graceland, a night at The Grand Ole Oprey, the guided tours of the Sun Records and RCA Victor Studios, the Country Music and Johnny Cash museums in Nashville,the Houston Space Centre, The Alamo, the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchberg...we could go on and on. The 3 days we spent in the French Quarter of New Orleans were a highlight including a steamboat ride down the Mississippi. It is a tiring tour - over 2,300 miles by coach plus a long Amtrack ride from Memphis to New Orleans and an internal flight from Fort Worth to Atlanta but worth it. Good tour manager - Debbie and a steady driver - Ivory. We would score this tour 9 out of 10. More time in Forth Worth would have been appreciated and less in San Antonio where the Riverwalk was in our view over rated. Also a small point but we were not met at the airport on our arrival and had to stand around for 45 minutes or so. We understand that there were security reasons but this should be rectified if possible. The hotel in Houston was very nice but in the middle of nowhere with no other facilities anywhere near. More breakfasts included would also have been nice but these are tiny points. Give it a try!
Review by: TREVOR & PAULINE SMITH on 31/05/2017
A great trip, so many highlights. Well paced with little time wasted as no flying.
Don't miss the Opry.
Driver Ivory superb. Manager Bee not up to usual standard but this didn't greatly affect our enjoyment.
Texas extension needs a tweak or two, extra nights in San Antonio and Fort Worth ( both lovely ) needed.
Recommended, don't expect to lose weight.
Review by: Michael French on 03/05/2017
My dearest friend Ann and myself have just returned from an amazing adventure to the Deep South and Texas, we both had a fantastic time visiting the Civil Rights Museum, Jack Daniels Distillery, Lookout Mountain, Nashville, Memphis Graceland, New Orleans, Plantations/Swamp Riverboat cruise up the Mississippi, NASA, San Antonio and finally Fort Worth/Dallas. There were times when it would have been nice to have spent a little longer in places, all the hotels we stayed in were very nice especially the Menger at San Antonio.
Our tour guide Debbie was excellent in organising each of the days activity and our coach driver Ivory was awesome nothing was too much trouble for him unloading our case and loading them back onto the coach after each stopover. There were 32 of us altogether on the coach who were all lovely folk, i think we all got on well together. i will definitely use Riveria again I could not fault them
Review by: Richard Burke on 12/04/2017
Just returned from the above tour. Saw so much and did so much. It was fantastic. Saw amazing places. My husband always wanted to see Nashville, the Grand Old Opry. Country music hall of fame. And of course Studio B and Sun studio. Well his dream came true. It was all brilliant. It was very organised by our tour guide Bob and our fantastic driver Ivory. Felt safe and secure in his experienced hands. Bob kept us well informed on the areas we were visiting. The weather was also very kind to us. Perfect travelling weather as we are not hot weather people. All we needed on a couple of occasions was a fleece or a rain jacket. Would highly recommend this trip.
Review by: Audrey and Hugh Mulholland on 25/11/2015
We have just returned from the most amazing and best holiday we have ever had. The itinerary was superb, the planning, the places we saw, the whole package was fantastic. Bob, the Tour Manager was the best ever, he was helpful, knowledgeable, very efficient and a thoroughly nice guy. Well done Riviera for putting together such a fabulous holiday. Give Bob double his salary because he certainly deserves it.
Review by: Caroline Archer on 24/11/2015
Fantastic tour enjoyed every moment. Hotels were very good.
Bob our guide was outstanding. He gave great information on the places we were visiting. Very pleasant and helpful. He handed out our keys at every hotel we were staying at. This saved time for us on arriving at the hotels. Bob made our holiday enjoyable and stress free.
The coach driver Ivory also a great guy.
We have done other tours with you and I have to say Bob has been the best guide.
Thank you so much. Please give Bob our feedback.
Review by: Kathleen Kennedy on 11/11/2015
What a great trip! We’ve enjoyed several Riviera long tours (Vietnam, Victoria Falls among them), and this was one of the best. Fascinating places and locations and the whole itinerary was well planned and paced. Slotting in the Amtrak ride from Memphis to New Orleans through the Mississippi and Louisiana swampland and rural communities was a special treat.
So many highlights in Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans: for anyone with any sort of feel for blues, jazz and early rock ‘n’ roll it was a delight.
Special mention for Bob our guide and Ivory our driver. They couldn’t have been more helpful and informative; they made a brilliant team.
Review by: Steve and Joan Farnsworth on 28/04/2016
Just returned from the Deep South USA plus Texas Tour, and would like to say how pleased we were with this great experience.
Much planning obviously went into covering so many interesting places in the time.
Particular mention must be made of the excellent services of our Tour Rep Benita and Driver Roosevelt (Rosy). Both a constant source of information and light hearted fun.
Review by: Bernard Smith on 14/10/2016