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trafalgar tours

Middlebury...
Level Contributor
94 posts
27 reviews
trafalgar tours

Has anyone taken a Trafalgar tour? Am doing resear/h that my TA doesn't seem to have time for. Looking for CA coast tour where one isnot confined to a bus for 4 to 5 hrs with only 2 15 min poddy breaks.

Customer service says that their tours stop once an hour or ecery 90 min.

Can anyone input on their tours and travel style? Thanks. Mel

201 replies to this topic
Indianapolis...
Level Contributor
2 posts
1 review
11. Re: trafalgar tours

In reply to your question, my wife and I went on the "Heritage" tour of England, Wales, and Scotland. The Castle we stayed at was in Falkirk Scotland. It was the Arthe (sp) Castle, ancestral home of Robert the Bruce. Actually it was the Arthe Castle Resort and Spa. It is situated right next to the actual castle, which is open for you to visit. The accommodations were the best of the whole trip, although all accommodations were adequate or above. We went in the late Fall, and the scenery was simply beautiful, especially in Wales Wye Valley, and the Scottish Highlands. The highlight of the trip for us was a visit to a 1000 year old pub in Terpichen, Scotland for dinner and entertainment. The food was great, and the entertainment was very nice (a local group, playing Scottish songs). We were greeted at the door by a Scottish Piper. Our tour was the "Saver" version, which allowed us to opt for, or against, some optional evening visits. Our tour cost about $1,600 each, plus we ended up adding almost all of the optional visits which added another $250 each. We really got our moneys worth, it was a great tour. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about all the area's we visited, and was continually explaining about the different attractions along the way. There was no downside to this tour, but if there is something that we had to get use to was the packing each day for the next days excursion. In 3 cities we stayed two days, so that saved a little packing, but you get use to it, so it is not a real problem. In the morning you pack your bags, then a hotel employee picks them up for loading on the bus. While they do that, you get your breakfast (usually provided), and later leave for the days trip. My wife has special needs must must stop every 2-3 hours, and the bus schedule always stops in about that interval. We visited Ireland on a "Self Catered" trip, where I rented a car and drove us everywhere we went. It seemed like all I did on that trip was look for signs, and places to turn, etc. My wife got a nice visit to Ireland, but I don't remember much about the trip, except where all the right and left turns are! Ha,Ha. This was a much more pleasurable trip. We could both lean back in our seats and enjoy the scenery, and the local color. I can't say enough about how well the trip was scheduled. There was no rush, and everything was planned down to the last detail. I hope this helps you with your decision.

Somerset, New Jersey
Level Contributor
2 posts
3 reviews
12. Re: trafalgar tours

My husband and I just returned from The Splendours of Italy tour. It was the best vacation we ever had. We visited so many cities and we never had to plan what to see or how to get there. It was taken care of by the tour director. We saw major tourist attractions like the Sistine Chapel as well as lesser known treasures. Our tour director Fabrizio was a delight. He was very knowledgeable, funny, and you could tell that he really cared that everyone in the group had a great time.

A few things you should know if you are thinking about booking this tour. All of the hotels were very clean and well maintained. They were out of the main cities, but that wasn't an issue because the bus took us back and forth from any places we were going to. Euorpean hotel rooms are smaller than those in the US. Some of the showers at the hotels where we stayed were very small. I think bigger people whould have a difficult time getting in and out of them. Some of the towels were more like tablecloths and they didn't absorb water very well. But this is the way things are done in Europe so it was something we had to deal with.

The big issue that you need to be aware of with this trip is that, in order to really experience many of the sites, you must go on the optional excursions. This can add a significant amount of money to the trip. My husband and I went on all of the excursions except for 2 of them. This increased the price of the trip by more than 1,000 euros. You should probably plan to spend extra money to get the most out of this trip.

We have never been on a tour before. I don't think we would have been able to see so much of Italy in the amount of time we had if we didn't do it on a tour. Trafalgar made the trip extremely enjoyable and I would definitely recommend them. If we decide to do another tour, we will definitely book wih Trafalgar.

Moosup, Connecticut
Level Contributor
1,994 posts
149 reviews
13. Re: trafalgar tours

Re the post by DellaM....."The big issue that you need to be aware of with this trip is that, in order to really experience many of the sites, Your comment "you must go on the optional excursions. This can add a significant amount of money to the trip." is important. Were you aware of the extras and the added amt when you booked this trip? It would seem almost like a "bait and switch" sales tactic. If you did not choose to take the "extras" would your trip have been as great?

Somerset, New Jersey
Level Contributor
2 posts
3 reviews
14. Re: trafalgar tours

I did not really ask questions when we booked the trip. As I said, I had never been on a tour before so I didn't know what questions to ask. When we received the materials before the trip, it indicated what excursions were available. They also wrote down what you would actual see and do - "View of the colesseum," "view of St. Marks Basilica" "tour of St. Peter's Cathedral," "free day to explore Venice." We had an idea of what excursions we needed to take before we actually left.

I did not feel that it was a bait and switch. I know that other tour companies also offer optional excursions. The cost of The Splendours of Italy trip was considerably cheaper than other tours, even with the cost of the added excursions.

My husband and I enjoyed this trip immensely and we felt that it was a good value for what we received. I just wanted others to be aware that they might want to budget additional money in order to experience Italy to the fullest.

The Trafalgar tour was wonderful and we would definitely use them in the future.

Moosup, Connecticut
Level Contributor
1,994 posts
149 reviews
15. Re: trafalgar tours

Thanx for your reply. A Roget's Thesaurusus is needed to interpret the euphemisms used by tour /travel companies . TA should be required reading when planning a trip.

Palm Springs...
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
20,326 posts
112 reviews
16. Re: trafalgar tours

every tour operator sort of have a sop. OAT, and Cosmos tend to advertise a low price but then add a lot of options. Higher end companies such as Tauck, Collette, Globus, Insight and Brendan include almost everything. If a tour company doesn't give you a list of the options, or the names of the hotels ahead of time for you to check out that would be very rare but a red flag to avoid.

Trafalgar isn't normally a company the sells a ton of options but it totally depends on the tour.

Loch Arbour, New...
Destination Expert
for New Jersey
Level Contributor
4,318 posts
119 reviews
17. Re: trafalgar tours

If anyone is interested....RoadScholar has no extras or options...everything is included....

Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
2 posts
6 reviews
18. Re: trafalgar tours

Last winter, we signed up for a Trafalgar Tours guided trip of Greece slated for departure April 20, 2014 – but it was later cancelled. Our experience with Trafalgar was something other prospective customers may want to take into consideration if you are considering making travel arrangements with them.

I bought our own air tickets plus arranged all our travel insurance on our own, not through Trafalgar, since we were planning on tying the Greece tour in with a separate trip to visit relatives in England. We paid Trafalgar $200 as a deposit towards the Greece tour January 17 and the remainder on February 12, for a total $6992. Trafalgar accepted our money and then, on roughly March 20, Trafalgar unilaterally cancelled our tour, saying not enough people had signed up. Their fine print requires them to return all our deposits – and that’s it, nothing else - but it is worthwhile noting that had *I* cancelled the trip on that same day, their fine print would enable them to keep 25% of my payment as a penalty. Heads, they win, tails, I lose. They did return all our money (without any penalty payment to me) and eventually made an offer – through the travel agent, not to us - for us to join a later tour. But we already had our plane tickets and to delay the flights to new dates would have been awkward, plus it would have required our redeeming our flight insurance which we would then have to buy again at our own expense for the new plane tickets. To be fair, after I complained in writing, Trafalgar did offer $300 off one of their tours if we took advantage of the offer before 2018 but that is still $500 short of the insurance fees we had already paid.

We had earlier been told by Trafalgar representatives how we could have confidence in touring with the company and not worry about hotel reservations or local travel problems. And yet, they canceled and then left us scrambling to make alternate arrangements (not with Trafalgar) on our own and at our own cost. This also required our doing some fancy banking footwork, to ensure we had the funds to cover the new trip while waiting for the refund. Their CEO, Gavin Tollman states in their web page that “I always want to do better and to ensure that the vacations we are developing and delivering are nothing but excellent.” Yes, I would like that too and perhaps if the trip had gone as planned, it may have been very nice … but what we experienced from Trafalgar could best be described as indifference. My advice .. read the fine print, know what your rights are if your tour company cancels your trip, then consider whether you are prepared to accept the risks involved.

BTW, our tour of Greece, as independently arranged by our travel agent and without Trafalgar’s involvement, was wonderful!

Moosup, Connecticut
Level Contributor
1,994 posts
149 reviews
19. Re: trafalgar tours

Thanx for sharing your experience w/ Trafalgar. It would seem your travel agent was remiss in not explaining to you that many companies will cancel if there are not enough guests. A "guaranteed departure " and air travel arrangements by the company providing the tour may have been more advantageous for you.

You did receive a full refund for the cancelled trip. My opinion is you were inadequately served by the travel agent, not Trafalgar. $800 also seems a bit steep for travel insurance...altho I know it is based on age/travel

3 posts
20. Re: trafalgar tours

I did the European 16 day tour it was amazing as I had not been to Europe before. I was not that impressed with the hotels or their location. My biggest complaint would be the extras about $2000 on top of the trip so it pays to know as there are cheaper options out there

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