Wonderful tour from start to finish!!!.
We were picked up from our hotel in the French Quarter in a nice, spacious shuttle (and maybe we were just lucky, but there were only 3 other people joining us). It was an hour or so drive from the French Quarter to the plantations and the tour guide discussed the history and sights of New Orleans and the plantations all the time we were in the shuttle. The drive was as good, if not better, then the plantation tours themselves.
We went to Oak Alley and Lara. The tour of Oak Alley was by a guide dressed in period clothes, and the plantation was simply amazing. Lara was a nice counterpoint to the tour. In addition to showing a different style of plantation, it also focused more on everyday details of plantation life (including going into the slave quarters and getting a glimpse of what that life was like). Lara is undergoing some renovations which actually made it more interesting because you could see the amazing structure of the house which is impressive on its own.
Overall, highly recommend the tour package. Although you can tour the plantations without the tour operator, they took care of all the details and added tremendous value in the narrated drives.