Great expectations but sadly, disappointed!
7-Day Taste of Central Europe from Paris: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France | Feb 2020
The tour started off rocky with our guide Brandon.
I received a phone call around 6am local Paris time asking if I knew my tour was cancelled. I was immediately alarmed as my adult daughter and I traveled from the US to Paris the day before to begin the tour the next morning around 8:30am. I said "no, I was not aware of it being cancelled and that better not be true!" He heard my alarm and frustration and said "wait, it's not cancelled but I have you down as cancelling!" I reassured him that it was NEVER the case and I had actually spoken to two other people, only a few days prior, from GoEUgo, confirming that we would be there.
He seemed confused and apologized for alarming me. He said that we should meet at the designated meeting point to begin the tour as originally planned. Once we arrived that location Brandon found us easily and reassured us that the tour was still on and we were on the list.
Once we were on our way traveling on the tour bus away from Paris Brandon was quite attentive to everyone in the group. There were mainly Chinese speaking travelers but he translated for both English (Brandon spoke perfect English. No problems with understanding him) and Chinese. He regularly asked if me and my daughter if we were okay. (I admittedly was unsure of his motivation for this but quickly understood that we were definitely out of our element being one of only two groups of non Chinese travels)
We were surprised to hear that the tour assigns all passengers to the same seats for the duration of the tour. We were assigned the back of the tour bus and after one and a half days of driving it was difficult to not feel a bit claustrophobic and car sick. (the other people seated in the back area near us had personal food that smelled strong and made it nauseous and uncomfortable) Brandon was very understanding of the seat location and said he would try to get us toward the front of the bus for future trips. We were grateful for this. Brandon was only with us 2 days and a new guide joined the group, Cool Moon. We were moved to the front of the bus. (grateful for this) She was very, very sweet but we had a very, very difficult time understanding her English translations. We were immediately told that we needed to keep our seat back upright because "we are all friends and all nice. It is not nice to have backs down". For Longer trips this was not comfortable. Cologne was a very fast visit and we parked the bus quite far from the cathedral so the walk there took most of our time. We were advised of places to eat in most every location however these were always Chinese or Thai restaurants and local markets for shopping for food.Because we had difficulty understanding her English we did not get any information on the places we visited. Toilette stops were rushed and frantic as others wanted to also buy food and other items at each and every stop so we waited beyond our meeting time before we were able to leave. We were hoping to get the daily schedules but were unable to fully understand the information that she spoke in English. We drove to Schiphol airport to drop off people from our tour bus and were told we had 1/2 hour to go to a restaurant in the airport or market to buy food to take back to the hotel and eat. We arrived at the hotel after 7pm after a long day on the bus. I asked Cool Moon quietly and aside from the other passengers, about this airport stop and being unaware of the stop and passenger drop off. I, and the whole bus, were then "lectured on company policy and threatening that they need to follow laws or police will stop them and cause trouble." I was able to understand parts of the subject of this announcement as I realized it was directed at me and my daughter! And more importantly, this lecture was not translated into Chinese. This was done over the bus speaker referring also to the itinerary saying we would be dropping off and picking up passengers from the airport. I was "NEVER" given this information. She sharply said my agent should have told me this! I didn't have an agent unless it was Viator.
This tour should be described as primarily Chinese or Asian travelers as we were unable to communicate with most all of the others. There were a couple of others who felt the same as me and my daughter. We chose this (Red) tour because of the wonderful sights and locations visited but it was poorly planned and timed and the difference in cultures was difficult. My daughter and myself were looking forward to enjoying the trip, the people, fellow travelers, and so much more.
We appreciate meeting and getting to know travelers from all over the world. We attempted to communicate with our fellow travelers but the language was a barrier and they seemed to stick to themselves anyway. That was fine but it was definitely a trip geared around Chinese or Asian preferences. This would have been helpful when booking. My review of the places we visited: wish we could have spent more time in Luxembourg. Arrived later in day and were not able to see much of the town with limited time to return to hotel. Was getting late and we still had not had dinner. Needed to travel about 15-20 min outside of Luxembourg to hotel. Most of the locations in Germany were less than interesting. Amsterdam was enjoyable and so was Brussels. All hotels were outside the city and this was not good if you wanted to enjoy each city and get the most out of your travels. Most of the hotels were also in remote areas and restaurants were limited. Hotels were clean but clearly budget hotels. (exception was the Holiday Inn near Schiphol airport. Nice hotel, larger room with larger beds and room enough to open suitcase)
Cool Moon helped us book an evening event in Paris (Moulin Rouge) whereby we had tickets arranged for us and an Uber driver take us and drop us off. Very helpful and appreciated.
Overall this trip was truly held with great expectations but sadly was a disappointment and my daughter and I carried a great deal of anxiety and regret and even anger for the many reasons listed above. I, sadly, will not book with GoEUgo again.
I have booked several trips through Viator and will continue to with full knowledge of the company being represented but would advise that the information describing tours be more detailed, in this case about travelers and hotels (locations) and be more accurate about timing and side trips (airport pick up and drop off).