Free Spirit Vacations and Events Reviews
2 TOTAL REVIEWS
1.4K PAGE VIEWS
California Coastal Tour on Princess Cruise Line, Mar. 18-25. Motorcoach was leased thru Arrow. Tour Guide was Linda who was continuing on with another tour AFTER drop off at cruise terminal. We had to make several stops along the way to pick up people taking the ADDITIONAL tour. I don't know who did the actual Arrow planning, but didn't have enough time to make cruise port in a timely manner. Ship sails at 4 pm, we arrived at 3:45 pm. There were no porters to help with luggage into the terminal or anyone to help with those cruising for the first time. I have NEVER had to carry my own bags into the terminal let alone up to my cabin and this was my sixth cruise!!! Why were cruise passengers not informed we would be 'sharing' bus with another tour(s)? We had not been told we would have to pick up other passengers, both going to LA and returning to Phoenix, not involved in our reservations. Poor, poor, poor!!! Reservation process was unprofessionally conducted by an unqualified agent/representative. During reservation process and further meetings, he couldn't answer any questions and when someone did, he had to call the office for an answer. Previous Princess cruisers sometimes had to answer questions for him. Information given to him was not conveyed and we had to contact Princess to straighten things out. The tour guide(????) could never give the cruisers a time of arrival at port. She deflected all questions re: arrival time. Finally, about 3:30 she stated we were about 15 minutes from port. She gave much attention to the OTHER continuing tour on the bus (of which there were approximately 10-12) , actually reading the entire menu from a restaurant located near the Queen Mary. OMG! Who does that???? Would I travel with you again? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Would I recommend you to my friends? NOT EVEN TO MY WORST ENEMIES!!
Reason of review
Problem with delivery
Albuquerque/Santa Fe Disaster!
The four day trip was marked by poor planning, antiquated transportation, unacceptable accomodations, and meals. I have traveled extensively and have knowledge of good tour management. From the beginning the trip was poorly managed. The provided itinerary was vague. Pre-trip,it did not provide a form to list any special accomodations, emergency contacts, etc. The group members were not given name tags to encourage comraderie and and it was difficult to distinquish group members in a large crowd.Bus seats were not assigned or rotated. Some group members got on the bus early to save the prime seats for themselves and their friends. This caused arguments and animosities. The bus was very old and did not resemble the one p in their literature. Even the tour guide commented that he was surprised that a bus that old was still being used. Although seemingly mechanically sound, the interior needed updating. The upholstery was worn and the heating/cooling system was irratic being either too cold or too hot. Most of the overhead bins did not have doors, thus making it dangerous to use them for storage for fear that a sudden stop would propel the contents. (this did happen multiple times) Many of the light fixtures were cracked or broken and some of the windows rattled. The bus made a sudden stop and a ceiling counsel popped out and hung overhead. For the first day and a half, there was no microphone. The people beyond the first few row, could not hear what the guide was saying. Many of the group memebers were affiliated with a senior group. They were often loud, sang silly songs, and were unaware that their behavior was disturbing to other passengers. (guide intervention was lacking). Without going into detail, the included restaurant choices were cheap, mediocre chains that did not offer food unique to New Mexico: Pizza, Barbeque, and Applebee's. The timing was rushed and completely unorganized. When we arrived at the hotel, they did not have the staff to take the luggage to the rooms. Many of the group did not understand that it was the hotel's responsibility(not explained by the guide) and they began taking their own luggage to their rooms, some to the second floor which had no elevator. Breakfast the first morning was a disaster! There was a toaster with nothing to toast, no promised eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy. The room could only accomodate 25 people but there were over 50 in our group in addition to other hotel guests. The guide and driver were pleasant but when asked questions about the itinerary, they gave vague answers. They seemed unaware of the the tour activities as described in the groups' itinerary. On the second day, we made an unscheduled, timewasting, side trip in Santa Fe in an attempt to get a microphone for the bus. At the end of the trip, we were not provided with an evaluation form where we could comment on the trip nor did anyone from the company phone for an ealuation. (this is standard with other companies) Tour companies provide members with a daily update with schedule changes, details of events, times, and for free time, a written list of alternative activvies, restaurans, and definited times for pickup. A map of our route would have been helpful. If this tour is representative of Free Spirit, spend your money elsewhere.
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