Morocco Tours

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Apr 16th, 2004, 10:49 PM
  #1
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Morocco Tours

We (3 of us ) were booked on a tour around Morocco (Casa/ Rabat/ Volubulis/ Fez/ Erfoud/ Ouzazate/ Marakesh/ Casa) through Cosmos Tours. It was cancelled by them with little notice after we paid our full money. This is with a May 14 start date. Not good.

So, we are now left with organising something quick to replace it. We can't alter the dates May 14 to May 25 because of other committments. There appears to be nothing in Australia that can help, so we have been on the web.

The best similar alternatives are Match Tours in Morocco and Casablanca Travel & Tours based in Washington DC. Failing that, hiring a car and doing it ourselves.

Has anybody had any experience with either of these companies? Any thoughts on car hire? We would appreciate any assistance.
kenandco is offline  
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Apr 17th, 2004, 04:41 AM
  #2
sandi
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I'm sorry to hear that Cosmos cancelled your trip. Did they by chance indicate why? Not enough participants? The political unrest?

Whatever, I've heard of Casablanca Travel, but I thought they were located in New York (though they might have relocated - it does happen; or merged with another company). But if they can guarantee your dates, that they will not cancel, then go with them. Do, however, ask for names of previouse travelers that you can contact (by email) to determine whether they provided the services contracted for. As to using an in-country operator at Match Tours - many on this board do have success with in-country operators in Egypt and Africa. Here, too I would ask for references of previous travelers to ease your mind.

As to doing it yourself, I understand that Morocco has a pretty good road system, so that shouldn't be too difficult (though check on which side of the road they drive - I'm not sure), but what you might want to consider is contacting the hotel where you were scheduled to spend the first evening - have them recommend a tour operator (or two) - they must have a Tour Desk, and contact these people/companies. If for no other reason, then to have guides waiting for you at the stops along your itinerary. They would be able to guide you at these sites and converse with locals.

So you have three options here. Hopefully you can reconstruct your trip and all will go well. Do get back to us and advise how all went and "if it goes", then a trip report when you return, please.
 
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Apr 17th, 2004, 03:24 PM
  #3
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Thanks Sandi for your response. We have asked Casablanca Travel for a reference in Australia.
In answer to you query re Cosmos. The Cosmos/Globus Tour Group have just arbitarily cancelled every second tour without explanation or apologies. I suppose that we were at least lucky to get our money back - although it is inconvenient to rearrange things at such short notice after having the original booking in place for almost a year in advance.
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Apr 18th, 2004, 03:24 AM
  #4
sandi
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Very strange what Cosmos did, but at least you got the money returned. I do hope that Casablanca can come thru for you and that you get to take this trip you've planned. If all else fails, I believe you can still do it on your own, but you'd have to do the arranging on your own,, but it is doable.

Simply contact the hotels Cosmos had you booked into, negotiate rates, pick-up guides once in-country - you can pull it off. And probably once you get to Morocco, can probably get an incountry operator to handle all the touring for you. Keep us posted on the response from Casablanca.

I've had Morocco on my list of "must sees" for a few years now, but other places seem to move to the top, so Morocco is still waiting for me.
 
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Apr 18th, 2004, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
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Kenandco:

We went on our own.
If you click on my moniker you will find my 2.5 Trip Report to Spain and More.

This segement of the trip is quite detailed and filled with information that will help you.

My report is in 8 parts...sorry. Try part 3 or 4...Enjoy!

Good Luck,
Oaktown Traveler
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Apr 18th, 2004, 12:53 PM
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Given that the cancellation is less than one month before departure you may be entitled to further compensation to make up for the inconvenience and extra costs of having to find a last-minute alternative.

Will keep eyes open for any alternatives.
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Apr 20th, 2004, 11:22 AM
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If you're still stuck, I can say we had a great experience with Heritage Tours out of NYC last fall, see http://www.heritagetoursonline.com/
Wife and I travelled by private car and a custom itinerary which was almost identical to yours anyway. They can definitely handle it. Let me know if you want any other details.
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Apr 23rd, 2004, 12:50 AM
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For a very personalized and reasonably priced trip to Morocco, try http://www.xoticdestinations.com. No one will work harder for you or pay more attention to detail to make sure you are satisfied. I used them for a recent trip to Egypt, Jordan and Israel and was very happy with the trip. Their specialty is Morocco, and I plan to travel again with this company to Morocco. Highly recommended.
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May 1st, 2004, 04:47 PM
  #9
ECS
 
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I just returned from Morocco (Fes/Sahara/Marrakech/High Atlas Mtns) I used Heritage Tours and they were top notch. I highly recommend them. They will work with you to design a tour to suit your needs. Impeccable!!!
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Jun 24th, 2004, 10:00 PM
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We just got back from Morocco and had an amazing time. We actually found a guide from this site recommended by a couple of people. He does it on the side as well for a company. We contacted him directly through email, his name is Hamid Dandane ([email protected]). We made up our own trip and he helped modify it a bit. We went to Marrakech, where Hamid was waiting for us with a sign when we got off the overnight train from Tangier. From here, he showed us all around Marrakech which was awesome. His English is excellent, he is very knowledgable, and we would have never covered as much territory without him - we would have been lost most of the time in Marrakech. He also made sure we ate good food and none of us ever got sick, thank God! Next we went through the High Atlas mountains (Hamid arranged to have a driver for 4 days in a Mercedes van). We went to Ait Benhaddou - an incredible ancient ruins - this is an absolute must!!! We spent that night with a Berber family in Skoura - absolutely fabulous. We then travelled to the Sahara desert (Erfoud). We spent the night in nomad tents in the Sahara desert and rode camels to catch the sunrise - a truly amazing experience. Next we traveled to Fes and saw monkeys on the way. Then we had a guided tour in Fes. Since there was only 4 of us traveling plus our guide and driver, it wasn't like being on a tour at all. He arranged our entire time in Morocco (except Tangier). We spent 3 weeks in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco, and definitely our favorite part was Morocco. We all wish we spent more time there. We did it in 5 days - a whirl wind trip but absolutely worth it. Hamid was a great tour guide and definitely had his act together. I couldnt recommend him more highly.
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Aug 17th, 2004, 02:10 PM
  #11
 
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I took the Cosmos tour in April/beginning of May and had a great time -- our tour guide did say that they had to cancel some tours because of lack of interest -- many Americans are afraid to go there fearing unrest or terrorist acts. Its too bad because I found Morocco to be very safe. If you can re-book with Cosmos, you should. I'm sure the company had to make a business decision to cancel the tours -- but the quality was excellent -- a superb value. Hope you found something good to replace your May trip!
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