Subject: Re:European Tour
There have been a lot of good suggestions so far but, having taken two tours i think i can add something... The tour company will suggest optional activities. meaning you pay for them. Unless it's something you really don't want to miss, spend your free day in each city on your own, maybe with a guide book that has little walking tours of the city center. You'll get just as much out of it as a group tour around the city. The only advantage of the group tour is getting into an attraction without standing in line and the price would be included in the cost of the tour. With Trafalgar, some city tours may be included already without paying extra. You could go with the group until after you have entered the attraction you wanted to see i.e. the Louvre or up the Eiffel Tower or whatever, then leave the group and continue on your own.

In Venice, just walk. Wander around the islands. Take the vaporetto down the grand canal (waterbus). Gondola's are very expensive. In Rome, if your tour goes into the Vatican museums i would recommend taking it because the museums are not to be missed. Otherwise, walk around. Rome is so neat, you will turn a corner and find an old relic with a newer building erected around it in the oddest places. In Florence, again, walk. There weren't any places on the walking tour we paid for that we couldn't have gone on our own.

There are so many things to see and do in all the cities, especially London and Paris that i would add my agreement ... stay an extra day or two in both, especially London as you will be jetlagged the first day and it will give you time to get your sea legs so to speak.