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Warning about INTERBUS in Costa Rica

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Jan 22nd, 2009, 08:11 AM
  #1
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Warning about INTERBUS in Costa Rica

We just returned from Costa Rica and used a combination of Interbus and Grayline to get from place to place. We had a bad experience using Interbus on a 6 hour trip across the country. We were forced to have 9 of us in a van that should only seat 8 people (at most). My wife and I had to take turns sitting in a jump seat that was only half size. It was so cramped and uncomfortable. This is in violation of their statement from their website.

According to their webpage:

Interbus generally uses either 15-passenger vans, adapted to transfer no more than 8 people for greater comfort. Smaller vans considerably reduce the time lost during pick-ups and drop-offs, leaving passengers with more time to invest in their vacation. Occasionally Interbus will use 30-passenger vehicles, but in these cases only 16 passengers are allowed onboard. In all cases, the luggage will always be placed inside the vehicle to safeguard passenger possessions.

The vans have been adapted to carry few passengers, thereby offering more convenience and space between seats, allowing a more agile operation and maximizing comfort.
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We found Grayline to be comfortable and not so tightly packed.

jet_lagged is offline  
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 08:37 AM
  #2
 
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Sorry that happened to you. I've never read a negative review of Interbus before. Usually people have very good experiences.
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 08:42 AM
  #3
 
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We usually don't recommend this company to our clients for exactly this reason. If someone really wants to travel this way, we just give them the web site.

We had a customer who booked them for a transfer from Arenal to Monteverde. She ended up jammed between two surfer dudes who insisted on sitting next to the windows. They had not showered, or apparently used any deodorant in several days.

She said it was a "very memorable" ride, for all the wrong reasons.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer any more advice.

Warm Regards,
Pat Hewitt
Travel Professional
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 10:57 AM
  #4
 
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I've always had good luck with both Interbus and Gray Line.

In fairness, Pat, I don't think it's fair of your client to blame Interbus for the fact that two fellow passengers hadn't used showered or used deodorant. But that does sound like agony, no matter what the mode of transport.
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 11:41 AM
  #5
RAC
 
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The company in a rental car is always charming.
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 02:54 PM
  #6
 
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Of course. The transfer company is not responsible for the hygiene of it's clients. My point is that you can't control who is riding with you for hours at a time.

The original posting talked about the crowded conditions, which is a situation that we have encountered as well. My example was extreme, but illustrated the problem.

That is why we don't arrange these bookings. We don't want a client annoyed with us over an unpleasant experience. We usually recommend private transfers. These are usually more expensive, but not terribly so. If you are a group of three or four, the difference is negligible. Plus you set your own schedule, and can more easily stop along the way for meals and bathroom breaks.

It is like any other decision you make when planning your trip. I realize that many of us have to stick to a budget. But even on a inexpensive trip, nothing is dirt cheap. You are already spending a pretty penny just to be there. Sometimes, it is worth spending a few bucks to enhance the experience or make yourself more comfortable.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer more advice.

Warm Regards,
Pat Hewitt
(Travel professional)
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 05:29 PM
  #7
 
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As I posted on the OP's one and only post on TA, I've used Interbus many times and they've always been prompt, friendly and comfortable. I would not hesitate using them again.
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 05:42 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Also, on your other post you noted you made this reservation last minute due to the inconvenience of your package deal with Grayline.

If the res'v was last minute it is very possible Interbus squeezed you in trying to do you a favor.
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 08:40 PM
  #9
 
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I actually ended up in the jump seat a couple of years ago and loved it. There was a large family, like 5-6, and me in the bus, so it allowed them to chit chat and me, way in the back to zone out and enjoy the scenery. I like Interbus for their 'middle of the roadness'; much less crowded than a public bus but much less money than a private transfer.
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Jan 23rd, 2009, 10:31 AM
  #10
 
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jet, this is an odd thing to pick for your very first post - are you sure you don't work for Grayline - lol?
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Jan 23rd, 2009, 10:55 AM
  #11
 
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I have used Interbus on 3 different routes. Once it was only our family of 3, another time it was us plus a couple. The third trip was 2 parts, first section in a van, then a transfer to a bus.

All of our trips went smoothly. We enjoyed interacting with the other travelers and the drivers. It was less expensive then a private driver, and significantly less expensive than renting a car.
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Jan 23rd, 2009, 01:42 PM
  #12
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I was just passing on my experience and I am sure that many visitors to Costa Rica drove from town to town in nearly empty INTERBUS Vans during slow seasons.

My complaint had to do with over packing the bus and lying on the website about using only half of the capacity of the vehicle.

We found the seats and vehicle used with Grayline better.
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Jan 23rd, 2009, 03:55 PM
  #13
 
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jet, if you get a chance, we'd love to read a trip report.
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Jan 23rd, 2009, 06:15 PM
  #14
 
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I too would be interested in an actual trip report.

No offense intended but when you only have a few, very provocative posts (and one racially tinged at that) over at the lounge, the veracity of your posts may get called into question.
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