Madagascar is a hard place but the folks made it a pleasant visit.
Affordable tours did a remarkable job on our trip to Italy. The itinerary was very detailed and, although there were a couple of minor changes during the week, we were extremely satisfied with the accommodations, the level of professionalism and knowledge of the tour guides, and would not hesitate to recommend them for your next vacation.
Guides were good, especially Gin.
While the hotels were rated 3+ stars, they are group travel hotels - fair rooms and buffet breakfast and dinner. It's OK as an experience and the food was adequate.
1. We were never informed that this would be a bilingual tour! Very disappointing and annoying! We could not bond with 3/4 of the guests or understand their questions and answers. We were the only Americans on most of the trip. 2. We were totally unaware of the fact that we could have upgraded our hotels. 3. 50% of the buses provided did not have Wi-Fi available. Some didn't even have overhead lights. 4. Buffets provided in Morocco's hotels were almost inedible. Very few choices and actually hardly anything was palatable. 5. The tour guide for Morocco (Idame ?) was unenthusiastic and did nothing extra to make this more enjoyable (doing his job-"phoning it in")One problem was the optional tour on April 16, Fantasia, was 65 but he was charging US$83. By any account I could find this was not a fair and equitable exchange rate.
Three nights in Queensttown at the Rydges was more of an economy motel than a first class hotel. The intra-country transportation was on passenger buses with many stops and pickups encounter from one location to another. Also I thought transfer back to airport would be private like the meet and greet but was a shared airport shuttle with several stops.
I know that the price was right for the tour that was offered, but the accommodation were not that great. I had done several tours before. even one in the Germany- Hungary area just a few days before, and I was always in a group where we all started together with a meeting the night before at the first hotel and the whole group stayed together for the whole tour. In this occasion there was people s joining the group and leaving all the time, And we were separated in two hotels, the nicer hotel for some of them and the second grade hotel for the rest of us. That made us feel discriminated and divided into two groups. Yes, you may think that we were being able to afford this tour, but I still think that for the price we paid, we did not get the value.
I have been traveling once or twice a year and so far this is the WORSE!!! Never imagined this kind of tour can still exist with so many choices around. Kanesia who booked us was wonderful. She was very professional and courteous but the tour itself was a nightmare from start to finish!! When we arrived at the airport, when we notify the lady holding our name card she just pointed to the driver and walked away without any word of assurance and explanation not even an eye contact! WOW! Next the driver dropped us off the hotel and that is it. No receiving party nor the hotel desk knows anything. Our daughter arrived later in the evening and nobody picked her up from the airport. She has to take a taxi alone in the middle of the night, a young lady in an unknown city. Paid extra to the driver for being grateful. All these times we tried contacting the local operator many times, NO ANSWER!!! Our schedule given to us (refer to page 3/10 on the attached documents, it says we are free the next day. Day 3 (Saturday) in Rome. The next day, we were suddenly awakened by the front desk saying that somebody is picking us up for a 3 hour Rome walking tour. We panicked and dressed so fast hardly able to comb our hair. During that time, the person who picked us up gave me the paper about today's schedule please refer to Italia Gartour page A indicated attached. The hotel had a very tight shower and not even a soap dish inside the shower.The trip after Pompeii was chaotic. Transferring from one bus to another. The guide was so disorganized exchanging passengers with another bus and we looked after our own luggage and wheel them to another bus. The hotel in Sorrento was a breather to be fair. Grand Hotel Vesuvio was nice quite and great location. Good food and staff. The brochure description of the trip from Sorrento to Amalfi was that we will be passing through breathtaking views and what happened we were separated from the other parties and we were driven through the highway and into the mountains then dropped off in a hotel in Maouri. We were on our own confused thinking we were in Amalfi itself. Again no receiving party at the hotel. We towed our own luggage and checked in and not knowing what is next!!! We have to inquire from the front desk how to get to Amalfi. Good thing he was very helpful even in broken English. The worse part is going back to Rome where our service voucher and revised itinerary showed we were booked with the Building Hotel. We were dropped off by the bus near the taxi station and it was raining so hard and we dragged our luggage in those cobble stone falling in line at the taxi line. We have to beg the taxi to take us in since there are 3 of us with luggage and it cannot fit in a regular sedan. When we arrived at the hotel another surprise that our name is not in the list and they are fully booked. Refer to the attached documents. We have to take another taxi to the proper hotel. THIS IS A TOTAL NIGHTMARE instead of a dream vacation. NEVER AGAIN!!!!!! I will spread the word and I hope you better drop this tour operator. SO DISORGANIZED and INCOMPETENT!!!!
1. The guide is making us take taxis and meeting them places since others are staying at different hotels. Definitely not what I have experienced in the past, I am used to the tour bus coming for us, when it says "transportation provided" 2. So far Day 2 and 3 are not as advertised. 9/29: Had to provide own transportation. Met group at 1030 at BMW Welt, left at 11, drove to Marienplatz, watched the glockenspiel. At 1215 we were dismissed, no tour of Munich did not visit the city's main attractions. Had to provide our own transportation to Dinner. 9/30: Had to take a cab to other guests hotel, did not leave until almost 9, did not get to Berchtesgaden until 11, after Eagles Nest I had to complain, because they were going to skip the lake, we were only allowed to go for 40 minutes, no possibility to take the boat trip. Had to get own transportation back from other hotel. Dinner was supposed to be provided but was not. She said it is not included but our itinerary says dinner and breakfast 9/30 10/1 Did not leave until after 9 did not have enough time in Rothenburg Ober Taber, Itinerary says "tour" of well perserved castle-but we did not tour it, we walked up to one gate and took pictures, 10/2 Bamberg was OK, should have skipped Bayreuth and had more time in Nuremberg 10/3 Wurzburg: was very nice, could have used more time, needed to get going earlier each day. Would have been nice to have a driving tour of Frankfurt upon arrival. Tour should have advertised this was a National Holiday, most all shops were closed. The guide did not seem to know much about each stop, could have benefitted from a local guide at stops, and or side excursions should have been available.
It said it included: "Holy Land crafted to CATER to Catholic individuals. Daily Holy Mass included." The guide was not Catholic nor the other couple which made things uncomfortable. I got to go to one Mass. I considered cancelling after the first day but felt it would not be fair to my grandson who was traveling with me. I do not blame the guide, he was great considering, but I feel I was miss lead. I could not recommend this trip to any Catholics. I have made Sita World aware of my opinion.
It was an amazing expererience
We had a wonderful experience and all of the local guides were top notch. Having a personal guide allowed us to see so much more in the limited time we had. Also, we saved so much time not having to wait in line for tickets, not getting lost and having to find transportation. It made our trip so much more enjoyable and relaxed. In addition, we learned so much about the local way of life. My children benefited from this greatly. For the slight additional amount of money you pay, you gain so much more value in your travel experience.
We had local guides, drivers and even an armed guard accompany us to all the sites. The guides were very helpful and knowledgeable and wanted us to feel completely safe and happy at all times. Abeer was our guide in Cairo and she was absolutely fantastic!! She helped us to understand the local customs and was very proud of the world class tourist sites we visited. Loay was our guide on the Nile cruise and he was equally helpful to teach us the history of the Pharohs. Both were proud of their country and proud to show it to us. One downfall was the constant prodding by the locals to sell us everything and anything. Also we had to pay to use the local restrooms and some locals were not very friendly about the amount of money offered!! Another problem was that our boat did not have 'working' wifi. We needed to stay in touch with business emails and reliable wifi is to be expected. Luckily Loay let me use his personal phone as a hotspot to obtain service - very generous of him! We travelled as a family of 4 and felt safe at all times. The drivers would drop us off at the sites and were always ready when we were to depart, no waiting at all!
SITA was not the operator of the tour, it was the tour of Baltic Visions from Riga. Unfortunately, the real tour operator was not professional enough. The tour manager even left the tour half way through. From that point it was the local tour guides only. On top of that, 90% of what was promised turned out to be optional, to be paid cash only!
The itinerary was not always correct. Messages at hotels was very helpful.
There was only one guided tour on this trip that was disappointing, and that was one which was booked through Florencetown, where we visited a winery in Chianti for a tasting and dinner. It really wasn't a winery but rather was a resort and very commercial. It did not feel authentic. However, all of the rest of the tours were excellent. The guides were hardworking, informative, and personable. There was very little we would change about this trip. The employees from VIT Incoming (the Italian tour company Sita worked with) did not disappoint. I loved them all! We did have some questions before the tour about the itinerary. The itinerary on the website did not exactly match the itinerary which was mailed to us. Also, the transfers were unclear. Once I talked with the Sita agent a few times, we were able to figure out the details, but Sita needs to double/triple check their itineraries before they are mailed. We ended up getting three mailed/emailed to us before they got them right. However, the Sita agent, Hardeep, was very courteous and helpful. He did say he would follow up with me after the trip, but he has not done so yet.
The positives - the pick up and drop off services were extraordinary - on time and very courteous. This tour required much travel time - 6 hours on two of the six days. On one trip the first ferry was canceled (not the operators faulty) so we had to wait over three hours for the next one - it would have been nice if we had known this in advance and could have been picked up later. As a result we missed a tour we had booked but our contact was able to rearrange the tour for the next day. We booked the three star hotels - although they had many nice features, they were located far from most of the area attractions. We will upgrade in the future. The only real negative was that we only got the materials sent to us one week before the tour.
LAWREN was very helpful and kind setting up our tour at the last moment. The tour of Iceland was lovely and magical. The hotels were great and the service we received. from everyone was efficient and professional. We were lucky and got to see some northern lights. I thank LAWREN for being patient and resourceful at all times.
The Central America tour runs starting any day someone books it, so the chance of more than 1 couple choosing the same day is low. And the tour doesn't run as a conventional tour with fewer than 15 people. 2 of us booked and then my partner got hurt and couldn't go. There was a single supplement not only for the hotel room but because I ended up with private guides in 4 of the countries so the supplement was huge. Having a private guide added flexibility and had advantages, but if that's what I required, I wouldn't have signed up for a group tour. And when I didn't have a private guide. The tour experience was at the other end of the spectrum, a roughing it experience or piecemeal tours. In Costa Rica every day I joined a different one day tour group. I was given a paper at the airport that told me when to be ready each day. The other tourists on those tours paid nothing compared to what I paid per day. Then I was driven to the worst organized border crossing I have seen in over 60 countries and was pointed to the first place to pay fees. No one prepared me for all the steps I had to take and I had no idea if the 3 payments I had to make were bribes or legitimate fees. When I got into Nicaragua, I had no idea who was to pick me up or where to meet a guide amongst all the hustlers and roadside stands there. It was terrifying. The guide wasn't there and for 45 minutes I waited amongst throngs of locals all trying to sell me something or take me somewhere. I had to repel so many people. The company never gave me much info about how I was to be handed off between any of the guides or what to expect I the next country as far as meeting a tour guide. And if I had had a problem (medical, stolen passport etc), there was no tour director help at all. The guide in Nicaragua was terrific. Again leaving to El Salvador I was completely in the dark as to what would happen after the plane landed. The guide picked me up okay and I had a private guide again. He was informative but read emails as he drove constantly. With the Wild West driving in the country, this was super dangerous. And again when he finished the guiding in Honduras, he left me alone to catch a public bus, which was 4 hrs late and no one there spoke English. The tour company gave me no voucher for the bus and didn't explain I would have to change buses or how to get to my hotel at the end of the second ride. The previous guide happened to mention he'd received a copy of a voucher, but I had to ask for a copy. Without it, I would have been totally lost. Then last bus stopped in front of my locked hotel at 2 a.m. For the money I paid, I didn't expect to be left in this position. The sights I saw were great and pretty well planned out. If there had been 15 of us to get a tour director, I think all would have been well. Why the tour company insisted I had to take the early plane from Managua to San Salvador (necessitating getting up at 4 a.m.), I don't know. On arrival there was a 2.5 hour tour, that could easily have started after the arrival of the mid day flight. That would have been a more reasonable itinerary plan. The hotels were okay. None had an elevator and the last one didn't have any air conditioning. Some were located so that one could easily do something with the ample free time, but some hotels were in the middle of no where. If you aren't a group of 15, I wouldn't risk taking this cobbled together tour or risk a SITA tour again.
The tour guide from Iceland Travel was fabulous! Truly shared fascinating details all along the way. Everything was above expectations once the tour began and Helga was in charge. The flybus transport was just terrible. This is the only tour I have ever been on where I had to take care of putting luggage on under the bus! Transport was not direct to the hotel either. We were shuttled to a main terminal and shifted to another bus! SITA brochures seemed clear enough but were actually not. The papers we received at the hotel were different from the ones mailed to us so that early morning (after not much sleep on the plane and a huge time difference) it was very confusing! The hotel staff was very helpful and we got in our room early. The only welcoming thing to start off the trip. i have NEVER been on a tour where I was not more formally greeted to the new city.
The trip was perfect. Belize is a beautiful country and we got to experience a lot of what it has to offer -- snorkeling, Mayan ruins, jungle tour, and zoo. People are very nice and accommodating.
The trip through Greece was good. The tour guides handled the history and group very well. I would recommend the 4 star or above rather than the 3 star. The food at the restaurant in Delphi for the 3 star class was mostly inedible. Due to a lack of communication between the hotel and restaurant they did not realize 16 people were going for dinner so the second group of eight received what the restaurant could scrape together.
The safari was perfect. My guide was knowledgeable and accommodating
Spain was marvelous!!
The first night of the tour was a bit disorganized. The tour guide didn't speak to everyone at once. Instead, we had to approach him to get information, etc. but it was smooth after that. The optional excursions didn't seem worth the price. But overall, it was a very good experience and we enjoyed it.
I simply loved this tour and we were continually amazed by everything that was included. It felt as though the red carpet was being rolled out for us each day. The hotels were fantastic, meals wonderful and the itinerary perfect. I especially enjoyed the tour guide in Beijing and Xian. It just kept getting better and better. China is amazing and this itinerary was superbly planned. I would love to go with SITA tours again and will most certainly book my future travels with Affordable Tours.
Our driver was excellent, even in the narrow Alpine roads and with quite a lot of road construction. Our guide was excellent, extremely knowledgeable, extremely helpful and very personable. We are already discussing our future travel plans as well as other tours with SITA. Thanks again for all your help.
I wish the itinerary had included more guided activities. I was overwhelmed at the choices once we got there, but the guide we had on our tour was great
There was a hotel change that I was not informed about until I get to my destination.
Our consultant provided excellent service. The trip to the Puglia region of Italy was outstanding and we thoroughly enjoyed our travels.
Enjoyed the tour immensely. Thank you
Capital hotel in Beijing was not being renovated as stated by Sita tours. Guides in Shanghai and Hong Kong were more worried about their other assignments than the three of us. In Hong Kong, our original guide became ill, so we were assigned several guides. Guide in Shanghai , not on the job for very long, needs to learn you don't put a lady on the luggage rack to move her through the airport when she requested assistance. Dragon Airlines was the worst airlines. They wanted me to sit on a filthy box until the wheelchair arrived. We found someone on our own to obtain the wheelchair. United and China East were the best airlines. The location of Mercure hotel in Beijing was not centrally located and over 2 miles from the Capital Hotel, we liked the location of the Capital much better. The location of the Hong Kong hotel (Harbor Plaza 8 degrees) was not in the best area of town. Shanghai's hotel, Sunrise on the Bund was the nicest of all. Xian's hotel had a not so good breakfast. We were told that 14-16 people were to be on the tour. Upon arrival in Beijing, we were told that only another couple was also there but they chose and elected their own guide. We saw them in every place until we got to Hong Kong, and fortunately for them they stayed in the Hilton. We wondered why they had a better located hotel than we did since we were all originally part of the same tour. The Tang Dynasty dinner and show were the best entertainment of the tour. We dined at some of the best restaurants on our own. China Delight, the partner of Sita in China, who provided the guides for our tour needs to educate their young guides. We felt the price for this tour was too high for what was offered. Guides never had the tickets for us and we're ready to go. We waited several times over 20 minutes for the guides to buy our tickets due to long lines at counter. We were not told that every hotel had a wheelchair and was available with a deposit which was refunded upon the chairs return. China Delight did not know this. We taught them! If we ever went back, we would return to Beijing and Shanghai only.
I thought there is a group but disappointed to find that only 2 of us. Have the feeling that the 2 nights prestay at Antigua being overcharged. US115 vs US50. Arrival early at Antigua hotel in the morning but was allowed checkin only at 1.30pm. Overall, is OK.
Our tour in Peru was unbelievable, what a beautiful countrey. We had a great time, met great people whom were extreamly helpful. The food was great and even the weather co-operated. Also I have been telling all my friends and family about Affordable Tours.
The trip was more than expected. The main Tour guide even adjusted our time to add extra hikes for us active types.
The SITA tour was the perfect solution for us, given we had other plans for some of the days. We enjoyed our experiences (although we did tell SITA that their tour guides should just slow down when presenting their information). Many thanks for making our first week in Japan a memorable one.