The emergency phone numbers provided did not work or they were in French. The tour manager did not provide her number in case of emergencies.

Hotel Internet Access

Some had it and others wanted 18 Euro just to use the Internet (Hotel de Louvre). One would think that for $1700 a day Internet service would be provided at no cost at the hotels.

Planes

Tour members should be advised if options are available for planes. Connecting diving forgotten islands. My wife and I did not have a window seat going or coming. Coming home we were seated aisles apart. We had to negotiate with another traveler to sit together. Seating for couples should not be negotiated on the plane with others. One would think that the tour company should have enough clout to ensure that tour member couples are provided in the best seats possible.

Overall Evaluation

As experienced US tour travelers the trip to Europe was mediocre. $1700+ a day was excessive for the benefits received especially since the management of the trip was poorly handled. The traveler paid the company to purchase the tickets and as such from boarding to arrival the company is responsible for the well being of its customers by planning, scheduling, controlling, organizing, and communicating the status of its customers. Stranded is indicative of a failure to manage. The fact that no one seemed to care that some of the travelers were missing or made an attempt to locate them says that there was no list or no interest available to track arriving travelers. The well managed travel company has its tour leaders checking the whereabouts of the missing members. If the list was available to the tour leader, and the leader did not take action, both the company and the leader need significant training in customer care.

The failure to identify good or bad restaurants leaving the choice up to the traveler who is unfamiliar with the area detracts from the travel company and leader’s professionalism. It says that the leader and company have not done their homework. They failed at their job. Further, at $1700 a day the meals should have been a given and if the travelers wanted to go off on their own, that would be their choice.

Customers want to know that the principals of a company are actively involved in carrying out the company’s work. More importantly, they demand that the person identified to work with the customer be there if problems occur. Our tour leader, was not there at the beginning, present at times during the trip, and gone before the trip was over. In some respects the trip had no tour leader.

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