some nice work there, to be sure. most of us don't have time to attach lights to baloons or even take multiple exposures to stitch together, which of course requires a tripod and a certain absense of other people kicking it
. on most any guided tour, unless it is specifically for photography in which case there may be special rules or exceptions, you have to be quick, anticipate a shot by looking ahead, take many of them, use wide and UWA, IS whenever possible, high ISOs, capture the lighting that is present at the time, and expect few keepers. monopod is going with me next time, even if it just stays clipped to my belt, but based on my last experience I could have used it very effectively. I took my flash in, but only for that one shot, anticipated near the end of the tour when I wanted to show family members near the exit.
the only other thing I haven't seen mentioned is that multiple burst is your freind, not for stopping the actions of others, but for stopping yours lol