Bad Tour......

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Apr 25th, 2002, 08:18 AM
  #1
Karen
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Bad Tour......

Just heard from my sister who is on a European cruise with NCL on the Dream. She said that she spent $300 on a tour to Florence/Pisa for herself and her husband and it was awful. She is not usually a complainer at all. She said the guide didn't know anything, told them a bunch of stuff no one was interested in, and ran them through the streets in a hurry to get back. Plus, the restaurant they stopped at for their meal (part of the tour) was practically inedible. She feels like she threw her money away. Any chance the cruise line will refund her money? What should she do?
 
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Apr 25th, 2002, 09:26 AM
  #2
Peter
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She should arrange her own tour the next time. Many feel that because its a ship's excursion, that you get the top of the line. Obviously not the case with your sister.

You could try complaining to NCL but I don't think that will do any good - I've noticed that those on the NCL Star doing the Honolulu round trip early on were missing ports, having rough seas, experiencing hour delays getting dinner, etc. and they were'nt getting any satisfaction from their complaints to NCL. I'd say go after the tour operator; but read the contract that you signed with them to see if there's a clause involving the old "satisfaction gauranteed or you money back" phrase.
 
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Apr 25th, 2002, 02:40 PM
  #3
DickT
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Rather than prearrange a tour of a European city from the cruise company, get a copy of Frommer's Guide or similar before the cruise and figure out how best to see what you want to see. Chances are, you can do better on your own. I found (through 10 years of living in Europe) that Frommer's was the best because they provided tourist feedback. Example: the excellent recommendation to take the London city tour run by the local Metro.
 
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Apr 25th, 2002, 11:55 PM
  #4
Paul Therault
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If you want quality to not go with NCL. Runs about 50/50. Also you will not get any satisfaction from the company.
 
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Apr 26th, 2002, 04:54 PM
  #5
Jan
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Actually no one has answered your question..this is where a good TA comes in handy..call your TA, tell he/she what happened and if they are proffesional they will call the cruise line and get your sisters money back....
Jan
 
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Apr 26th, 2002, 08:20 PM
  #6
Theresa
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Doing Florience/Pisa on your own is not that easy because the ship doesn't dock right next to the city. It is quite the distance - you are probably better off going with the ship tour.

As far as problems - I would contact the Excursions manager while on the ship and complain.

I once wrote a comment card during the cruise about one of our tours that was poorly done. I didn't want my money back - I just wanted them to know what happened. The manager called me back and refunded my money. I think it would be easier to deal with while on the ship then once you return.
 
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Apr 27th, 2002, 03:12 AM
  #7
Paul Therault
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Whether you are a TA, on the ship or home from the cruise, NCL does not respond.

Anyone have any positive feedback here? Has their policy changed in the last three years?

Paul
 
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Apr 27th, 2002, 11:34 AM
  #8
jj
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We had the same problem with a tour to Aix-en-Provence while on the late, great Renaissance. I spoke to the excursion desk immediately upon our return, and they gave me a complaint form to fill out. Before the cruise was over, the 6 other passengers who filled out the form, including myself, received written apologies and full refunds for the tour. Renaissance was a class act. I'll miss them.
 
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Apr 29th, 2002, 07:06 AM
  #9
John
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Actually Theresa is wrong - you can do Pisa and Florence from Livorno easily in the time allowed. Trains run about every 45 minutes from Livorno towards Florence with a stop in Pisa. You can easily get off in Pisa, see the tower and get back on (no extra charge) and still have lunch and the afternoon in Florence. Everything you'd want to see in Florence is within easy walking distance of the train station - ten blocks square.
 
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Apr 29th, 2002, 08:32 PM
  #10
Sarah
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I would recommend doing Pisa/Florence on a tour. Unless you do the tour, you will have to wait in long lines at the museums (Academy) - maybe 2 hours or longer to get in during peak times.

WIth the tour, you have advance tickets and have no wait.

Strongly recommend the tour.
 
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Apr 29th, 2002, 11:25 PM
  #11
Bob
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You get what you pay for, NCL is if you look at the reviews of cruise ships,the worst of them all. I have sailed with NCL Dream once and I will never step foot on a NCL ship again.
We need to tell everyone. DO NOT BOOK A NCL CRIUSE.
 
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Apr 30th, 2002, 12:29 AM
  #12
Bob
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Since All cruise ship lines are not Registered in the US they feel they can dump anything in our precious oceans, The cruise lines don’t care about the fines, it’s the cost of doing business, so how much money do you think they save if they dump Oil, Garbage, raw sewage in the ocean instead of paying vendors to remove it. $50,000,000 or more for the fleet of 6 lines they own.
If you are ever injured on a cruise ship, GOOD LUCK, try to sue them!
Also ever wonder why you get a Cold or Flu on cruises more then 7 days, because the cabins all have recalculating air and passengers that are sick, you will be getting their cabin air and the germs spread & spread. I have been on 26 cruises and have witnessed half the ship sick at the end of a 20-day cruise.

 
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Apr 30th, 2002, 04:01 AM
  #13
Cathy
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Definitely do a tour in Florence/Pisa.

We were there last summer and the trains were sold out. We had to wait for 3 trains before there was space to get on. Once to Florence, we missed seeing "David" because of the long lines were too long and since it took a whole lot longer to get to Florence then we thought. We then were worried about making it back to the ship on time.

Those on the tour didn't have to wait for anything.

If you go in the spring you are fine but in the summer, it is a whole different ball game.
 
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Apr 30th, 2002, 08:17 AM
  #14
John
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If you have money to burn, listen to Cathy and Sarah - do the ship's excursion, its certainly a lot easier. If, however, you want to save hundreds of dollars, take a train. If you're worried about getting train tickets, buy them in advance on the internet - very easy and doable. You can also get tickets to Acadamia online in advance of your trip. Our family of four did this excursion on our own, saw the sites that we wanted to see, had a great, leisurly lunch at the time we wanted and the total cost, including lunch was under $75. The ships excursion just for the "exploring Florence" where they give you a bus ride to and from was $125 apiece!!!!
 
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May 27th, 2004, 06:13 AM
  #15
 
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Hey Thanks John for the advice on Florence. I'll be visiting from a cruise ship on June 20th and am NOT paying the exhorbitant prices. I guess I had better try and buy my train ticket on line. Any chance you remember the website?
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May 27th, 2004, 08:00 AM
  #16
 
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You will pay more for your train ticket online than if you wait and purchase it there.

Peter
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May 27th, 2004, 08:54 AM
  #17
 
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I think most people on a cruise book with the cruise line because they are afraid of not getting back to the ship on time. Ever hear of an unexpected stoppage by train crews? It happens all the time in many European countries. If that happens, try to get a taxi back to the ship! I know they charge too much but I book with them for peace of mind.
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Jun 1st, 2004, 10:57 AM
  #18
 
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One option is to contact the travel mag. Conde Nast Traveler and write to the Ombudsman section. They often intercede in such cases and with some success. Good luck. As for the tour questions we did Florence/Pisa on our own and had no regrets. It was alot cheaper, we were on our own time and as far as time is concerned we saved because we didn't have to wait for a bus full of people. I strongly agree wit John on this one.
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Jun 1st, 2004, 04:36 PM
  #19
 
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I think Florence/Pisa is one of the easiest to do on your own. The train ride is not bad at all. I see no need for a tour at that port stop.

At most of the ports in the Med we opt not to do ship excursions. We've had much better luck hiring our own guide for the day (often with another couple) and we go where we want on our schedule without waiting for people to return to the bus etc. It is much more enjoyable and a lot less $$.
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Jun 1st, 2004, 07:39 PM
  #20
MMSF
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Petlover, did you arange for the guides ahead of time, or at the port? We are doing Med next spring, and getting back to the ship on time concerns me the most, if anything happens along the way.
 
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