Captain Cook Cruise in Fiji
We booked our Cruise holiday in Fiji with NRMA Travel online and the service was excellent from start to finish.
We had the most amazing holiday and can only recommend both the NRMA Travel agency and Captain Cook Cruise for a fantastic holiday.
Feedback for best of Europe 23 May 2018 Petra Schwarz
Communication after payment was not present. Phone calls were not attended nor returned. Emails not answered.
Arriving at the airport in Paris I was searching for the person with the Trip-a-Deal sign. After ½ hour waiting and looking around, finally calling Australia, a person with a sign, half the size of a lid of a shoebox approached me. He had scribble five names in different colours. Not trip a deal.
The tour guide in France only introduced himself the day after arrival at breakfast. If not meeting and talking to people that formed our group, the five persons arriving the day before at 7 am in Paris would not have known any details.
The rate charged for upgrading to business class was excessive, although I have been credited with $150 Euro on board, which is a tenth of the overpayment.
Travel documents were received two days before travelling including cruise ship reference number.
The itinerary was nothing else than the initial travel offer, not an itinerary. No times on each day were specified, except for the cruise ship itinerary which was separate.
Cruise ship tours guides mainly commented in Italian and very little in English, only when the bus had passed already places of interest.
It was impossible to plan free times in advance, hence there was no information.
I could have pre-booked at least visiting the Eifel tower, and entries to significant buildings in Florence and Rome.
Going all the distance to Paris and see the Eifel tower only from a long distance defeats the purpose.
In both cases Florence and Rome the hotels were a long distance from the center. There should have been public transport options in the offer. Also, in Florence the bus brought us into the center and back, but it was not known until the evening before the free day.
The hotel in Paris was in a slump, red light district. The two elevators were out of order and the reception staff in the afternoon was rude. The staff in the morning were accommodating.
Access to the hotel in Paris was dangerous to get or leave the bus. It was parked in a narrow, very busy street, which had to be crossed.
The hotel in Nizza had no parking facilities except 500 m away. It was very inconvenient to reach it, pulling luggage over the uneven paths and street.
Staff at the restaurant of the hotel in Florence were disgracefully rude, and almost every participant of our 28-person group complained or walked out. There are not really alternative restaurants close by.
Hotel staff in Rome was rude, the bed I had in my room was totally worn, I could only lie on the edge.
Ridiculous to charge for a deck chair at the pool in this establishment.
Our tour guides and bus drivers tried to be helpful and had pleasant personalities. However, they were dressed unprofessionally and as not being English speaking guides they were sometimes hard to understand as they are originally from Greece or Turkey.
The offer was to have lunch the first day on board, however the tour guide forced us to stop at a roadhouse for lunch, so we arrived at the harbor late. Also, the location where the ship was docked was on known and we drove into the wrong direction.
The Grand Prix was on in Monaco, which eliminated the offer to drive the route as outlined in the itinerary and it was not possible to visit Monte Carlo. The date of the Grand Prix should have been known and not being offered without being able to fulfil this offer.
Summarising my feedback: The organization was poor, the communication was poor and I will not recommend neither the NRMA nor Trip-a-Deal.
We booked online and without Ana’s help I don’t think we would have got there.
A lot of the booking had to be done online and not being particularly internet savvy was horrendous.
The trip itself was fantastic and tour guides and Ana were incredibly helpful.
Taiwan is the Best
We have recently returned from a trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong which we thoroughly enjoyed, We booked with NRMA which turned out to be Trip a Deal- no matter, every thing worked perfectly in our favor. We were part of a group of 18 fellow Aussies on a large bus -so a double seat each. It was the last dates I think before the wet season. We were ready for it but only experienced 10 minutes of rain (while we were on the bus). The scenery is varied and spectacular and while you are on the bus for extended periods, there are plenty of comfort stops and ample opportunities to explore by walking .Times were given to be back at the bus and all members of our group were conscious of others comfort. Philip(our guide) was a treat, friendly and caring. He helped us with language and ordered our food when there was no English. The food is great and the choice of hotels superb. Breakfasts catered for Westerners but plenty of opportunities for the more adventurous. We had one reason to contact NRMA about a perceived time clash. This was quickly responded to and efficiently sorted.
Our previous holiday was with APT to Canada/Alaska (that is certainly the benchmark). We were very impressed with NRMA/Trip a Deal tour and will look for further opportunities with them in the future.
NRMA are not travel experts
On a whim, I booked a tour for 4 people on the Vietnam and Cambodia tour through NRMA Travel, thinking that it will be a great way to see both countries and if I would like to go back, well!, how wrong was I. NRMA and "Trip a Deal" were the WORST group of people to deal with ever!!! They were very happy and chatty on the phone taking my booking details and money for the tour up front! but as time got closer to the departure, I had not heard from them and had not received any information or bookings from them. When I called, I was told that the paperwork will arrive within 6 to 8 weeks from departure. It was already the 6 week mark! When documents were received, they were for the wrong people AND the wrong dates, so I called them and they said they would fix it. When I got the new paperwork, which was posted out to me, the envelope was not even sealed, so anyone could have got a hold of them and the information enclosed. 2 of the 4 names were missing middle names on flight details and I knew that the Airline we were flying with would not let us fly if the information was not the same as on our passports. I had supplied all the correct details when I originally booked the tour. I had also checked this detail out with a few travel agents and was told the same information, however, NRMA wanted to argue the fact that all was ok and we would be ok to fly. I was not happy to accept this, and if I had got to the airport and been unable to fly, I would not have been happy or had anyway of contacting NRMA as it was a Saturday flight and they would have been closed. This took another week to sort out, and when I received the updated flight information, I noticed that they had our flights home wrong!! Two of us were flying out of HCM City and the other 2 out of Hanoi!!! We weren't with our respective partners either!!! Every time I had to call NRMA, the consultants were either "on the phone" or "in a meeting". When I asked to speak to a Manager, I was told he was also in a "Meeting" and would call me back, which he didn't. I had to actually DEMAND to speak to him and I refused to hang up until I got through to him! I had to chase NRMA every time there was an issue and they never gave me the impression that they were sorry or really cared! I felt like they all ducked for cover when they heard it was me calling again! With only ONE WEEK to go before departure, the Manager finally got the flights sorted, I asked for some sort of compensation either a flight upgrade or some money back on my tours due to the stress and duress they had put me under, nothing came of it and it came across like they didn't really care either! The Manager was very nice and sympathised with me, but he was the ONLY one! All blame was directed at the "Trip a Deal" operators too, NRMA never took any responsibility, I mean, who was giving Trip a Deal the information?? The Manager did say that he would check with me upon my return, to check how the tour went, but of course, like the rest of NRMA Travel Team, he didn't! I would never ever ever recommend NRMA travel to anyone and will do all I can to let others know of their inefficiency and incompetencys!!! The tour ended up being ok, and we met some great people. The hotels we stayed at were only about 2.5 star, but I guess you get what you pay for! No one else on our tour had booked through NRMA, they had gone direct to "Trip a Deal" and they had no issues whatsoever, so what does that tell you??
Very disappointing service for such an expensive trip
We booked a group tour to Scandinavia, plus an additional week's accommodations and flights. Consultants were only too happy to take the initial deposit, and remind us of when the balance was due, but we had to chase them up repeatedly, as months went by, and we had no accommodations or flights booked. As the departure date got ever closer, we could see that our options were going to be limited and we'd be paying top prices for air fares. When everything was finally booked, we thought we could relax. We were WRONG !
The group tour escort turned out to be one of the consultants, and had obviously had no training in how to be a tour escort. We were misinformed, ill-informed, and group members were left out of activities and left behind.
It was a very expensive holiday that we splashed out on as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It's true that I've never before had the experience of having to help train a tour escort for two weeks!
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