First let me explain that most of my 14 OAT trip have been more of the outdoor, adventure type, where there are few, if any, other tourists around. We did this trip in early April, and there were throngs of tourists in each of the major visited cities. This was my first real trip back to central and western Europe in a long time, and there was definitely tourist shock :)
Unless you're traveling during a very warm time of year, layers of clothing is the way to go. We went from 31_ and snowy in Cesky Krumlov, to the mid and upper 70s in Budapest and Hungary, and back down again.
In Prague we stayed at the Le Palais Hotel. A definite 4+ star hotel, but unlike all the other hotels OAT uses on this trip, it was located well away from any of the prime attraction areas. I think a little less luxury, and a location closer to the many historical and cultural centers would have been favored by many of the tour members, especially those who like to 'walk' a city. The Metro, trams, and buses are pretty easy to use, and stop pretty close to the hotel. On the orientation walk on your first day there, your trip leader (TL) will probably show you where the Metro and tram station is and how to get there from the hotel.
Some of our tour members knew of this Czechoslovakia village called Lidice, where a significant event occurred in 1942 involving inhabitants of Lidice and the German occupying forces. Our TL, Vladan, arranged to take members out there to see the Lidice Memorial (http://www.lidice-memorial.cz/en/). If interested, you might want to see if your TL could arrange such a visit.
Your first stop after Prague will be Cesky Krumlov, a small picturesque town with the second largest castle (after Prague Castle) in the Czech Republic, and a lot of tourists. If you want to escape for an afternoon, check out the optional OAT horseback riding tour. It's about an hour or so of easy riding (no experience needed) in the meadows above Cesky Krumlov, followed by a little bonfire dinner cookout. The suggestion here is that you eat a very light lunch, or none at all, as the cookout 'dinner' will probably happen sometime between 3:30 - 4:00. It could qualify as a late, late lunch, or an early, early dinner :)
The last recommendation is in regards to the final afternoon of the trip in Budapest. The itinerary calls for a drive to the 'picturesque' town of Szentendre. It seemed like the sole purpose of the town is for tourist shopping. Dozens of buses dropping their passengers off to shop. If you're not interested in shopping, or watching other people shop, the afternoon is pretty much lost time. Several tour members would have much preferred free time in Budapest, to visit the many sights there that we did not have time to see previously in the limited free time available. Budapest is too interesting a city to not take full advantage of it's offerings.
Just to second what some of the other reviews mention, you should think about getting to Prague a few days early, and/or staying in Budapest a few days longer, to really get a good exposure to these two beautiful cities. There just isn't enough time on the official tour to do and see everything you'd like to.
If you're interested in visiting Vienna, and OAT isn't offering the post-trip extension on your dates, it is very easy to do your own extension. It's an easy, and inexpensive, 3-hour train ride from Budapest. I would strongly recommend booking a hotel within the Ringstrasse area. From there you are within easy walking distance of most of Vienna's main attractions. We stayed for four nights, and five nights would probably have been better.
I hope this review proves helpful to future travelers to the 'Jewels of Bohemia'.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.