Roberth R USA
This was my first trip to Morocco and I was very pleased with the service. I was staying at a hostel near the Alameda Principal and the pickup location for this tour was easy to find as it was within walking distance of the Alameda. (A good focal point to be near for a lot in Malaga, btw.)
Immaculada was a great "pickup liason" and explained everything we would need to know before we even reached the port, including the fact that passport control for Morocco was on the ferry itself.
Karim was a most wonderful guide. I am bilingual Spanish/English so I would switch constantly between the Spanish-speaking half and English-speaking half of our group and enjoyed everything thoroughly. Karim didn't miss a beat and made sure everyone made it out of the souk OK.
Currency exchange is at the ferry terminal, all the meals were great (especially at Chez Ali) and, on long drives between cities, rest stops are taken for one to relieve oneself and refuel thoroughly.
Definitely recommend this tour!
Everything was fine except too little time in Marakesh old town. This is the main part of the tour and all we got was 30 min! Also I will NEVER attend anymore tour sales pitches. We had 4 and they were hard sells. I pay for this time and its not what I want to be doing on MY tour. If tis practice is not ended or I am given an option to not participate, I will not book another tour. This was the time that should have been devoted to Marakesh....not listening to some dude try and sell me herbs and oils or rugs...or the leather place etc
I hesitate to give 4 stars but visiting each of the cities was amazing.
The Medina in Fez was unbelievable although the guide seem to steer us
to certain stores and there was high pressure sales tactics involved.
We were not taken to the Jewish section but did find our way there with the
help of the same fellow mentioned in one of the other reviews. Had to pay a woman
to go in her house and upstairs to take photos. He also required a donation to the restoration fund.
The food was plentiful on the trip and yes the bus rides were long especially Marrakech to Fez. There were plenty of stops along the way however.
We were going to take standard room but when we realized we would be the only 2 doing so we upgraded. The hotel in Casablanca was very nice, Marrakech good also but the hotel in Fez was rundown and all I am ever going to remember about it was the huge cock roach.
The real disappointment of the trip was the guide Kareem really didn't speak English. We were the only
two English speaking travelers in our group of 30,so this was a huge issue. Some of the other travelers spoke some English and really tried to help us out especially with details like meeting times etc.
Overall well worth it just unfortunate for us that we didn't have the benefit of a tour guide,
The tour was very much as described. No one should be surprised at the lengthy bus rides since most reviews mention them but there is really no other way to see Marrakech and Fes which to me were the highlights of the tour. We were fortunate to have an excellent guide, Karem, and a very capable bus driver, Mustafa. They both contributed to a very smooth and enjoyable tour.
The standard hotels were more than adequate for us but most people chose the higher end hotels. The food at the hotels was plentiful but ordinary. We chose to go to the first dinner and show in Marrakech and it was worth it just because of it's size and grandeur. We heard that the second dinner and show were OK but on a smaller scale.
Overall, we very much enjoyed the tour and recommend it. Part of our pleasure was that we went on November 13th and it was not crowded neither in the bus nor at the various sites.
This is a great tour to get a real feel for Morocco. However as previous reviewers have mentioned, you do spend quite a bit of time on the bus so be warned as you cover a lot of miles. I read many of the reviews and these were very helpful to understand this tour. My tips are: bring food and drink for the first day because it's a very long stretch until lunchtime. I came prepared with a sandwich, water and cereal bars and that really helped. Lunch and dinner on the tour tend to be much later than I would normally eat (2pm and 9pm respectively on most days). You need to pay for the optional dinners in cash (in any currency) but we thought we could pay by card so had to re-look at our budget for other things. The dinners were worth it. The food was excellent and the shows entertaining. Both dinners were very different and reflect different aspects of Moroccan culture. Our guide Nadil was great and we also had good local guides but we were mainly listening to him in Spanish as it was stronger than his English. We paid for the Superior hotels (4 star) and this was definitely worth it. The hotel in Casablanca was great and the food excellent but the drinks were expensive and the watery orange juice not worth the 5 euro it cost, especially as we had a fresh OJ at lunch which was fabulous and much cheaper! The second hotel in Marrakech was also very nice but the food selection was nowhere near as good as the first. The third hotel in Fez was older and had lots of character but was a bit creaky and our AC didn't work. No one looked at it despite us asking. There are pools in all these hotels. Be prepared for the price bargaining you need to do everywhere in the markets. I learned by the end that if you are interested in something start your offer with less than half the price because you can often get it for half the original price quoted to you or a bit more. However be prepared to walk away as they often come running after you! Overall an amazing experience!
Great to see so much but be prepared to sit in a bus for hours after hours!!!! Never got to visit a mosque because we were always pressed for time but it all worked out just fine.
We were picked up from hotel A/C Malaga Palacios right on time and then bused to Tarifa. The journey took over 2 hrs as we picked up passengers enroute in costa del sol. The ferry left at 11:30 am and we were in Tangier in 45 min's. Morocco is an hour ahead as they follow GMT. We were met by our guide Nabil and driver Arafat. We were 19 tourists on the bus from different countries. We drove directly to Rabat with lunch at Larache. The only issue is that the day becomes very long and you might do well to bring some snacks and water with you.
Then we drove to Casablanca for the night stay. Early next morning, we got a whirlwind tour of Casablanca and then drove to Marrakech. I would suggest that Casablanca can be dropped from the tour.
Lunch was at the hotel which was very late. We did a evening tour of the city and saw the lost tombs and the medina. The visit to the spice market was a total waste. We were hurried by the local guides and would have loved to spend more time watching the snake charmers and other vendors.
That night went to the optional show (chez Ali ), it was raining and the arena was not well lit. Food was excellent and our guide ensured vegetarian options were available for those who wanted. The show with Arabian horses was good.
Next morning was back on the road to Meknes and Fez. Long day on the road with a panoramic tour of Meknes. We were glad to rest that night in Fez. Next morning was tour of the Medina at. Fez with local guides( Kamal) for English group. The guide was very knowledgeable but was steering us towards stores. It became more of a shopping expedition. This tour would have been better if we could have tasted local food at the medina instead we were bused back to the hotel for lunch. That night we attended the optional dinner and show with belly dancers. This was less crowded and there was more audience participation. Food was great and once again, our guide ensured vegetarian food was made available.
Last day was very long.
I enjoyed visiting all the towns. Fez and marrakesh were my favorites. I was not aware that the distances between towns was so huge. Each day we spent a huge proportion of time on the bus. Our guide gave the barest amount of information. He was lazy and slept on bus. The hotels in three star were fairly ordinary, the best one being in fez. Many Canadians and Americans and Australians were bitterly disappointed in the time spent on the bus. I was not as critical because i felt it was a budget tour, and it was certainly only that.
One day we went six hours without a toilet stop. We had to instruct the driver we wanted to stop at gas stations, to buy drinks and use the toilets. We did not see anything in Casablanca, tangiers, and meknes.
The ferry is good but the access with heavy suitcases is bad, many steps to reach boat. Huge queues to have passport looked at on boat, going into morocco. Not told to bring some food with us onto ferry. Other tour operators had the hotel make up picnic packages, because we left without breakfast that day.
This was a great tour, which could be significantly improved by providing Moroccian food options on the included meals, rather than very poor western style food (our first lunch in Morocco - extremely disappointing!)
Excellent tour - all the sights and sounds of Morocco. Only complaint is Hotel Sofia in Fez was really appalling, not even 1 star standard and in terrible location.
Overall, the tour was good. However, it can be improved. First off, the tour guide was lacking in his interaction with the group. He did not assist with the smooth check in and check out from the hotels and we had to do everything from filling out forms. The last two hotels were not good as they were not as luxurious as the first ones. Also there was no variety in the breakfast menu. He did not keep the group energized. He limited himself to inform about the area and the some history about as we approached the towns but there was no interaction while we were on the road which was very long sitting on the bus. However, he kind and noble. I think that we spent more time on the road than on the actual sightseeing itself.
The 5 day tours does require quite a bit of travel to cover the mileage, but there were a couple of days we went 8 hours before we had a meal break. Maybe a heads up would be good so people can prepare by bringing snacks. We didn't know there would be no meal break until 3 o'clock on the first day, and we were the first to be picked up at 7 am. The hotel's restaurant (AC Marriott) didn't open until 7:30, so we didn't eat for some time. If either of us were diabetic, this would have been problematic. We also had some difficulty understanding our guide due to the bus audio system and not knowing when our guide switched to English. Maybe if he announced the language before starting, we'd have recognized when he'd start. Despite, these mild complaints, we did enjoy the tour.
The overall experience of being in Morocco was amazing! However, i am sorry to say that the tour left a lot to be desired, primarily due to the fact that it was conducted in Spanish (when I signed up for an English tour :(. Of the 29 of us on the tour, 24 were native Spanish speakers. The 5 of us wishing to have detailed commentary, or even explanations of our agenda in English, were very much "in the dark" throughout the tour. The tour guide spoke poor English and would throw in half of a complete thought or phrase in English every several minutes after his Spanish commentary. This is an extremely critical point to review with the tour operator before signing up other English-speaking clientele for this tour.
I have traveled extensively and got the basics in Spanish, fortunately. The other really off-putting experience was in Marrakech where we spent a full 2 hours listening to a sales pitch in a pharmacy, observing our guide receiving his "kickback" following the group's purchases. Time wasted and offensive...I was also very disappointed by the transfer assistant who picked us up at the hotel, did not announce her name, nor the plan for the morning until nearly 2 hours into the trip toward the port and multiple hotel pickups later. Strange!
All that said, the local guides and the optional shows made the trip worthwhile. We all agreed that the amount of moving around was excessive, so perhaps reducing the trip to Marrakech, Fes and Casblanca would be a more manageable, pleasant flow.
Despite my constructive commentary, I would consider future bookings through Viator due to the ease of the process. I would only ask that you provide more historic knowledge to your team so that they may fully educate customers on the reality of what each tour offers, rather than simply the high-level points that can be found online.
The guide barely tolerated the customers. I did not see him smile in 5 days.
They could make this tour much better with some small changes. I felt like we spent a lot of time traveling and missed the essence. For example, we spent only about hour or so in Casablanca. We were taken to the outside of a really spectacular mosque, but there was no time to go inside. Then we had a short stroll along the beach area. In Marrakesh, we had a local guide who was useless. We were taken to the souk but he guided us to a shop selling creams, perfumes, spices etc, and we spent over an hour there. No time to see/shop for anything else. The worst was Fez. The local guide was knowledgeable. But, in addition to walking through the medieval city all we did was visit 4 overpriced stores. It would have been so nice to have some free time to shop at stores of our own choosing. It looks like the guides make money from commissions from certain stores, so that is where they ensure you spend your time. And the meals at the restaurants left a lot to be desired. Spaghetti and the same soup. No choice at all, and no Moroccan food.
Local tour operator is not doing the right thing. The bus was full to capacity and this is not good for five hr coach trips.. I preferred to sit at the back of the bus because more space, but the heat from the engines was enormous. More than ten degrees higher than the rest of the bus, and could not hear audio system. Guide spoke more in Spanish than English, because he was better at that language. The hotel in Casablanca was awful. They did get better in marrakech and fez. I paid three star and apparently the last two hotels were better than the four star ones. The evening show in Marrakech was awesome. Expensive but much better than expected. Even the food was good and wine and beer included.
Overall i had a great time, but a lot of our group were seriously disappointed. I knew i had pd budget and didnt have high expectations. Glad i did it. Noddy
Tour started very badly! We called the tour operator 2 days before to confirm passport details and check that we would be picked up from our hotel, BUT, we were left stranded, waiting outside the hotel for over an hour the first morning. After 30 mins our hotel staff dialled the emergency no. for our trip, but there was no answer and the office was closed. After calling the other hotel, he was able to contact the driver who said the group had almost arrived at the port where we were meant to catch a ferry. Later, the tour guide said that we were on the list to be picked up with the others, and as we didn't show, they left without us. This caused much stress and anxiety- a bad impression before the tour even started. I cannot believe that the details of our hotel were not correct after I specifically asked for an English speaking member of staff at the tour office, reinforcing the fact that we were staying at our hotel specifically for the tour. She assured me this was all correct. When, on the day, we were not present at the other hotel, would the staff not have made a call to check on us?? They could have called the main number, our phone number, or our hotel, but NOT EVEN ONE call was made! This gives us both a total lack of credibility in the tour office. The same happened at the end oft the trip too! Very little English commentary was made between the guides on the tour and the 4 of us, English speaking tour members. As most of the group were Spanish speaking, most of the information and commentaries were mainly in Spanish with not as much English, and we were left wondering. The tour itself involved much time on the road, and the hotels were not 3 star standard, as claimed. The food at dinner was good, but always disorganised and late at night eg 9pm. Breakfast was not good, always the same and very limited. We were left very disappointed.