We attended as a group of three and didn't require the upgrade to the VIP pod. There was no queue at the time we went, so we were shown to our pod.
At busy times The Wheel reserves the right to expect you to share a pod if your group is small; although it's rules are no more specific than that so I guess it just gives them a degree of control.
Up to four people would be totally comfortable in a pod but more than that would be a crush as they ask you to remain seated during the ride.
The walls of the pod are glass/plastic and are kept clean so the views of the surroundings are uninterrupted.
The views are fantastic. All along the River Mersey, with the Albert Dock, Duke's Dock, Wapping Dock and the Echo Arena right beside you, you see the waterfront in a completely different way. As the wheel rotates, the river up past the Royal Liver Building, Mersey Ferries building, Museum of Liverpool and beyond comes into view. Parallel with the river both the magnificent cathedrals gradually appear on the horizon in one direction, whilst Birkenhead reveals itself in the opposite direction across the river. In all directions, landmarks can be easily identified, at a guess, up to about a mile from the wheel as the crow flies.
I did intend to count how many rotations you get for a ride, but I was so absorbed by the stunning views and getting great photo's I must admit I lost count! If I was asked to guess, I'd say we went round half a dozen times or more. It certainly didn't feel rushed and it certainly DID feel comfortable and relaxed and good value for money.
Highly recommended for all ages and abilities. The staff were very friendly and chatty; in common with everyone we encountered on our first visit to this fine city. It was our first, but it certainly won't be our last. We're hooked on the culture, the architecture, the cleanliness, the friendliness and the walkability of this great city. Thank you everyone. We WILL be back!