Roy's a disapointment


Jul 8th, 2005, 12:32 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 19
Roy's a disapointment

After being on this site and doing lots of homework we deceided to go with Roys for our Tan and Zanzibar trip.
They came up with the best iteniary by far then anyone eles. Unfortunatly they could not deliver. Once we said yes to there iten. they came back with a change to almost every camp and hotel on Zanzibar. They said maybe there would be some release of rooms closer to the date (22 sept)and we are waitlisted for everything. Obviously we are not impressed and will look at other agents. How common a problem is this?????
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Jul 8th, 2005, 03:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Hi banners

This is a rather common problem and one of the perils of booking direct! We should probably talk about this more often.

The overseas tour operators (2Afrika, Sunvil, Exodus, etc) do huge block bookings of 30 or more rooms per night for their scheduled tours.

The local operators then have a tough time trying to arrange customized or private safaris as everything is blocked booked about a year ahead, causing much frustration they tell me!

Best they can do is to go on the waitlists and then check on a weekly or daily basis for cancellations.

This is a huge problem for everyone. I ran into it when I planned my 2 week safari. It was really frustrating and I got so mad with Sopa and Serena that I decided to @#$% them (excuse the language) and arrange my own camping safari - which was absolutely wonderful.

And guess what? When I eventually showed up at these lodges (to use the bathrooms) they actually had availability!

However, it was uncool of Roy's to not tell you that the lodges on the itinerary are fully booked and that you are waitlisted with secondary bookings in place.

There is a lesson here for all Tanzania safari clients - doublecheck with your local outfitter to ensure that you have confirmed bookings in the places on your itineraries! Especially if you booked a trip that was quoted much cheaper than the competition!
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Jul 8th, 2005, 04:13 AM
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banners -

As climbhigh..... mentioned, it's not unusual that the Big Guys block lots of rooms to cover their group itineraries. And then when a local/in-country outfitter goes to book your room - they're locked out, and have to waitlist the client. It's a nasty and disappointing system. But those rooms have to be released by 60 to 30-days prior arrival (when their client's have to make final payment)... that's when the waitlisted patrons hopefully get the space.

This has happened to us once or twice; once we got our space, another we had to take our second choice. This is also more prevelent during high-season, when you're visiting - it's just the nature of things.

Has Roy's offered you options (second choice) in addition to waitlising you for your first? Most of the accommodations on Zanzibar are very small, even the big guys, FYI can be blocked out.

Which accommodtions were you interested in on Zanzibar?
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Jul 8th, 2005, 05:13 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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I am glad to hear that it is a ongoing problem (doesn't help but makes you feel you haven't made a bad choice using small operators as such)
We wanted Chumbe Island in Zan. I know it is small but our main aim in Zan is snorkling. The second choice was Ras ... also fully booked.
There were offers from Roy's but not anywhere as nice as the originals.
We will try Emirates from here (Saudi Arabia) which do a lot of safaries but not sure if they use the kind of acc. we wanted. There is also the possiblility that Roy's will get something for us when the bookings are released. We are not on a tight schedule so we will see.
These guys should mention that their iteniarys might not be reach because of this problem.
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Jul 8th, 2005, 05:25 AM
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banners -

Most all resorts on Zanzibar offer snorkeling. Have you considered the properties on the Southeast or Northeast coasts? The waters are actually better on the East coast of the island.

Do you want small? With air conditioning? With all meals (FB) or just B&B or HB (Bkfst/Dinner)? Price range? What other properties did Roys offer? Maybe some of us can comment on them.
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Jul 8th, 2005, 10:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,822
Without knowing the specific details of what transpired, this sounds like more of an issue of trying to book in high season on short notice than an issue with a particular tour operator. You may not consider 2-3 months short notice, but keep in mind that others may be booking their trips a year in advance. It's very likely that even if you had chosen another operator, you'd still be in the same situation.

When a tour operator sends you an itinerary proposal, it's just that - a proposal. There's no space being held and no guarantee that your choices of accomodations will be available when you decide to book. I'm sure these tour operators are getting multiple requests daily for itinerary proposals and in the end probably only a small percentage of these requests result in actual bookings, so you do have to look at this from their point of view as well. Nothing is confirmed until you ask them to book it for you.

They should probably include a disclaimer or forewarn their clients that all options are subject to availability.

Is it just the Zanibar accomodations that are waitlisted or your safari accomodations too? Many of these accomodations are small and at times demand simply outpaces supply, so it's not surprising that they would be fully booked. Most tour operator websites advise booking as early as possible during high/peak seasons.
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Jul 12th, 2005, 03:53 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 24
Hi Banners,

Can you please tell me who is your point of contact at Roy Safaris.
I am experiencing problems with this company too. (Details in my own post earlier today.)

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