David W

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David W

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Jul252013

Tour/Activity

2-Day Small-Group Troy and Gallipoli Tour from Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

It was an early start and a long journey from Istanbul to Gallipoli and the tour was excellent but everyone agreed that although the guide was knowledgeable he was difficult to inderstand because of his accent. The guides were extremely helpful with luggage onto and off the ferry. Hotel Helen was adequate for one night but the walls were thin and we had to ring reception because of the noise from the next room at 11pm. In retrospect we would have booked a better hotel. The tour of Troy was just one hour (the guide was excellent) leavihg us with five hours to wait before the ferry back to the awaiting coach. Everyone complained about this particularly as the journey back to Istanbul was so long. We asked the man at the travel company why we couldn't start back earlier and he replied "You can take a local bus if you want" !!
As a result, we didn't get back to our hotel until 11.30pm and we were the first to be dropped off!

May012012

Tour/Activity

St Petersburg Airport Departure Transfer

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The hotel contacted Marie Rose to make sure that we were picked up on time since we had had such a bad experience when we arrived. The transfer car arrived at the time we asked and this time, the car was clean and the driver smartly dressed.

Apr292012

Tour/Activity

Tour of Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) and Catherine Palace

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

This was an interesting tour and the palace at Tsarcoe Seloe (Pushkin) was wonderful. However, it was past lunch time when we set off again for the remainder of the tour with not even a break for a cup of coffee. Since the tour started at 10am and finished in the middle of the afternoon, everyone agreed that we should have had time for a snack. On the way back. we enquired about the price of the tour to Yusepov Palace the next day and Marie Rose rang us to say that it was 120 Euros each for the three hour tour. We declined saying that they were far too expensive. We did however take the tour the next day with a personal guide and chaffeur arranaged by the hotel consierge which cost 70 Euros each and was excellent.

Apr282012

Tour/Activity

Grand Tour of St Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

The tour was quite good but very overpriced. The guide was a young lady who did her best to help all the people on the tour (six of us) but her knowledge was slightly limited. At the end of the tour we were going to be left at the waxworks museum near the Hermitage and 40 minutes walk from the hotel. We had no diea how we were going to get back since we couldn't read any fo the road signs. Everyone complained as we were all very tired and eve tually, it was agreed that we could get a taxi back. As regards the typical Russian meal in elegant surroundings, nothing could be further from the truth. The lunch was taken in a restaurant filled with other tourists and was more like a canteen. We started with borsch (beetroot soup) which was quite nice but the chicken kiev was processed with cold rice. Dessert was a luke-warm pancake served with some tasteless jam.

Apr272012

Tour/Activity

St Petersburg Airport Arrival Transfer

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

We waited for over an hour for transfer from the airport to our hotel and had to ask the lady at airport information to contact the office. One hour later, the car arrived and it was not clean inside with crisp packets on the floor in the back. The driver was a young man in what looked like a football shirt and he didn't knowe anything about athe voucher we were supposed to give and waved it away. His English was very limited but he did apologise for being late. We landed at 5.15pm and it was 7.30pm when we reached the hotel. After travelling from 4am that morning, we were in no mood for a lengthy wait for transfer.

Jan172011

Tour/Activity

Lantau Island and Giant Buddha Day Trip from Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Excellent trip. The guide was very good and the visit to the old fishing village was an experience not to be missed as was the Giant Buddha. Lunch at the monastery although vegetarian was a revelation and very enjoyable and the cable-car ride was amazing and brought a perfect day to an end. Our only criticism, which was not really part of the trip, was the driver who took us back to the hotel - he was probably the worst driver we had ever come across and several people complained at the time. Otherwise, the trip was one of the best that we have taken and we have travelled all over the world.

Jan162011

Tour/Activity

Hong Kong Island Half-Day Tour

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review
Overall the trip was quite good but the guide was difficult to understand at times. The ride in the tampan was excellent, as was the visit to Stanley market and the trip to Victoria Peak. Our main criticism was the visit to the jewellery factory which most people found to be a complete waste of time. The staff there were over welcoming until they discovered that nearly everyone wasn't interested in buying . You could say that visitors felt pressurised to buy. As we left, there was definate hostility! A shame, since the trip was otherwise quite good.

Dec192010

Tour/Activity

Waitomo Caves and Rotorua Day Trip from Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Excellent trip despite the weather! The visit to the Glow Worm Caves was amazing as the history of the Maori people. The Rotarua geysers ended the trip and we managed to get some photographs despite the very heavy rain..

Dec182010

Tour/Activity

Bay of Islands Day Tour from Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Very good trip and well organised but the fantastic scenery was marred by torrential rain. In better weather, it wouls have been quite magical.

Dec132010

Tour/Activity

Milford Sound Full-Day Tour from Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Excellent rip with a great guide. Milford Sound was amazing but our only crticism was the fact the a buffet was provided on board and due to the crowds of people, most of the cruise was taken up jostling for food then finding a place to sit and eat.

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