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-   -   Cuba Roads Scholar trip in December (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/cuba-roads-scholar-trip-in-december-1674259/)

Joe18 Nov 21st, 2019 08:27 PM

Cuba Roads Scholar trip in December
 
We'll be in Cuba with Roads Scholar from 12-6 to 12-15--Havana and Cienfuegos. The days are generally structured but there is free time in the afterrnoons and evenings. I'd like to hear from others who have done either Roads Schiolar or other trips--experiences, impressions, recommendations, etc. Thanks, Joe

mlgb Nov 26th, 2019 12:53 PM

It's Road Scholar. Used to be Elderhostel. Lower your expectations and you may be pleasantly surprised. That said, don't blame your guide, it isn't really their fault. I got the impression that RS was always trying to cut corners to save a nickel here and there. Depending on the company that RS contracts out to (probably though Holbrook), the guide may have some leeway to mediate some of the bad itinerary, or he may make decisions that make a poor itinerary worse. They picked sort of crummy hotels for us, with minimum times in the nicer ones. One especial disaster in Bogota (which was so bad I nearly checked out since it was the final night and I had booked another few nights alone at the end).
I noticed on an Alaska cruise that their passengers had rooms that I wouldn't have chosen for myself (a lower floor near the public meeting rooms). Solos often got worse rooms and worse floors than couples, often not even on the same floor as the rest of the group. Maybe the hotel trying to make a minimal profit on the contract. Or they are not booking upper end room categories.

They also cancelled my first attempted trip to Galapagos, with only 3 months left. But I guess since you are a month out, you're good, though.

I didn't find that their prices were any better than many other companies. The advantage is that often tours don't fill up so there is room available on short notice. Some people love them.

Joe18 Nov 30th, 2019 07:02 PM

Any Cuba experiences?

rvcroadscholar Dec 4th, 2019 08:42 AM


Originally Posted by mlgb (Post 17021825)
It's Road Scholar. Used to be Elderhostel. Lower your expectations and you may be pleasantly surprised. That said, don't blame your guide, it isn't really their fault. I got the impression that RS was always trying to cut corners to save a nickel here and there. Depending on the company that RS contracts out to (probably though Holbrook), the guide may have some leeway to mediate some of the bad itinerary, or he may make decisions that make a poor itinerary worse. They picked sort of crummy hotels for us, with minimum times in the nicer ones. One especial disaster in Bogota (which was so bad I nearly checked out since it was the final night and I had booked another few nights alone at the end).
I noticed on an Alaska cruise that their passengers had rooms that I wouldn't have chosen for myself (a lower floor near the public meeting rooms). Solos often got worse rooms and worse floors than couples, often not even on the same floor as the rest of the group. Maybe the hotel trying to make a minimal profit on the contract. Or they are not booking upper end room categories.

They also cancelled my first attempted trip to Galapagos, with only 3 months left. But I guess since you are a month out, you're good, though.

I didn't find that their prices were any better than many other companies. The advantage is that often tours don't fill up so there is room available on short notice. Some people love them.

We are sorry to read that you were disappointed with some elements of your recent learning adventure with us. We take our participantsí feedback seriously, and hope that in addition to posting your feedback on Fodorís, that you also shared your feedback via the post-program evaluation forms that we provide to all of our participants. After reading your post, we reviewed the other program reviews and discovered that this program is in fact very highly rated by our other participants. With that said, we thank you for your feedback.

Your friends at Road Scholar

mlgb Dec 4th, 2019 08:53 AM

I did fill out the survey. I also asked for a callback and didn't especially feel that my comments were taken seriously rather sort of blown off as "so your main complaint is the itinerary."? Uh, yah!

The Colombia program I took was not offered again this year. (It wasn't Cuba). I can only wonder as to why not? Maybe it was the itinerary ( which needed a major reworking or to be split into a tour plus extension). If it was so highly rated perhaps it will reappear in the future.


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