Rick Steves Tours

Jul 14th, 2001, 04:22 PM
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Rick Steves Tours

I would like to hear if any one took a Rick Steves tour and how they liked it.
Jul 14th, 2001, 07:38 PM
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CANDACE, This topic has been discussed in some detail before--do a search and you will find it. The consensus has been that they are good but overpriced.
Jul 15th, 2001, 07:57 AM
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My husband and I took a Rick Steve's tour to Western Turkey at the end of May. Our guide was excellent and our group was great. Our group was very diverse ranging in ages from 16-87, very fun and interesting people, most had traveled independently before. The tour was more expensive than other tours we looked into, but it was worth it. All admissions were included along with some bonus stops that weren't on our itinerary. The other tours had a lot of optional excursions, that were part of our itinerary. Our group had 24 members which was much smaller than other groups we saw, we also had a guide and an assistant guide. Some people on our tour had taken his France tour.
Jul 15th, 2001, 09:46 AM
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Bob, with all due respect, I don't recall that the recent "consensus" was that Steves' tours are overpriced. I do recall one comment to that effect and a couple of folks who jumped on the bandwagon ... though without much (or any) compelling evidence.

I think one ought to make careful comparisons of any tour. ETBD tours only put one person for every two seats on the bus, I believe? There are typically more "included" features in ETBD tours, while many (most) other tour companies offer stripped tours at below cost and make their profits from shopping expeditions and over-priced "optional" features.

To their discredit, in my mind, ETBD tours sometimes stay in off-beat, inconvenient locations, require strangers to occasionally share rooms, and use hotels without elevators while providing no porterage. Many will not mind such inconveniences, others will be a bit surprised if they haven't looked carefully at what's on offer.

Steves' tours seem to focus more appropriately on the insightful aspects of touring in strange lands. However, like almost all other escorted tours, virtually all of ETBD tours spend too little time in (or "near") major, important meccas. I've not looked for a while but I seem to recall only three nights in (or near?) Rome ... a gross misallocation of time in my mind.

Net, Steves' tours often offer more for one's money than other operators, but operate the tours in ways that may not be suitable for many ... certainly not everyone.

Even taking into account value received they're certainly not the cheapest. On the other hand, those who buy tours based on lowest cost often end up spending surprisingly (to them) large amounts of money on options that are included elsewhere. Like NASA astronauts, one should beware of awarding business strictly on the basis of low bids.

Like most else in travel, there's no "absolute" answer about "good", "bad", or "indifferent", or "cheap" or "costly".

Jul 15th, 2001, 05:22 PM
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I've posted regarding ETBD many times. I have taken 2 tours with them and have nothing but positive things to say. I would agree with Ed in that I don't think there's a cosensus that they are overpriced. The brochures spell out exactly what will and will not be included and what the accomodations are. As a single traveler I did have to room with strangers, I became friends with most, but did have a hard time with one. I simply explained the situation to the guide and we avoided any future problems. Now you can pay a single sumplement to have your own single. Regarding cost. Yes, they are expensive, especially considering that the hotels are not luxurious, but there are many inclusions and in 3 weeks I spent surprisingly little money (outside of the tour cost),some lunches, dinners, drinks and whatever souvineers I wanted.I particularly liked the guides, and the fact that most stops are not major tour meccas.

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