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"My review relates to the Travelsphere's JustYou The Classic Danube Experience holiday taken 18th -28th July 2018.
The ‘Just You’ brochure completely misrepresented the entire holiday
The brochure rated the ship as four stars This is I believe is a wildly inaccurate statement. The ship was shabby in appearance compared to others on the river with dirty and scratched windows and a general air of poor maintenance and care. The facilities described in the brochure as café, library and boutique were, in reality, a drinks machine shelf and cupboard. There was no access to the sun deck for 3 days due to low bridges, however, there was no warning prior to the booking of this holiday and the other outside space at the front of the ship was extremely limited and occupied by smokers. Consequently, I felt compelled to stay in my cabin or sit in the lounge area.
The ship always seems to moor away from the central moorings used by the likes of Viking always leaving us with a considerable walk to reach locations. In the case of the starting point in Vienna the ship moored in a location that allowed no opportunity to quote ‘step ashore to take in some of the sites etc as promised in theJustYou travel documents.
The food served aboard the ship was poor and often served tepid. Menus lacked imagination or variety. Most of the main courses were deep fried, the soup that was served with every lunch and dinner was at best packet soup standard but frequently found to be inedible. There were no attempts to reflect local dishes and as we had NO opportunity to dine ashore there was no opportunity to sample any local cuisine. The wine by the glass list was limited to the ‘house’ red, white or rose of unknown origin. In the restaurant, one could purchase full bottles of other wines, however, although any wine not consumed was returned at the next sitting you were not allowed to take this to the lounge area or your cabin. Although the dining room staff worked extremely hard and were very customer focused they lacked direction with one half of the table served promptly while the other half of the table waited for a long period for their food. Consequently, meals often took over 2 hours to complete. On one occasion due to another change in the itinerary, we were provided with a ‘packed lunch’. This consisted of, two bread rolls filled with a small amount of lettuce, a sliver of tomato and one slice of ham from the breakfast buffet, a bar of confectionary, a small piece of brownie, a small tetra juice, water and an apple. This not the standard of food I expect to consume on my ‘4-star’ holiday. I consigned mine to the bin.
JustYou promised us diverse, colourful and educational entertainment. Excepting the Crew Cruise show one evening the entertainment consisted of a keyboard player who had a limited repertoire and who made NO attempt to engage or interact with the audience. At times this and the general ambience of the lounge area made me feel as though I had been transported to a poor care home. As the lounge was the only available communal area, to ‘escape’ the only option was an early return to the cabin. There were no visits to the Captain's bridge and the promised musical quiz did not take place (the explanation being too many languages on board). Additionally, there was only one-afternoon tea( promised every day), and this was on our arrival. The advertised Captains cocktail event offered no cocktails but just one glass of what I believe was Prosecco.
The Cruise Director (in name only} had no interaction with the passengers and was completely disinterested in our problems. His principal activity was to count people on and off buses and on one occasion having satisfied himself that someone was missing, insisted that we drive off without them.
The Management of the ship were aware of the operational problems faced in advance of the start of the holiday ( low water levels on the Danube) but had made no contingency plans to remedy or mediate the impact of these issues. To those on board, it seemed that the primary purpose of the revised itinerary, which changed on a regular basis, was to arrive at Mainz on time to the detriment of our holiday experience. Excursions were rushed with little time to see or appreciate the places visited. On one occasion the returning buses were unable to locate the ship which had moved. When the ship was ‘found’ and we had left the buses it was discovered that the gangway gate was locked and that no one on board had a key. The buses by now had departed so we sweltered in the 34-degree sun for some 25 minutes until a key was located.
This was without a doubt the worst holiday experience I have ever had. What though has made the whole thing much worse is Travelspheres total failure to accept that it bore any responsibility for what was delivered or to compensate me adequately ( £200 has been offered). Their customer service is dreadful falling back on terms and conditions to defend their position and displaying arrogance and total lack of empathy for what we experienced. This was for me an expensive holiday( £1800+) and following some serious health problems in the preceding year one that I was really looking forward too. I conclude by advising strongly that this company and its holidays are avoided."
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"Wife ill in China, tour guide not interested a jot. Garbage."
"Having used Travelsphere twice there's one consistent complaint, far too regimented, lots of rushing, early (before 6:30am) starts. People are herded like cattle!"
"My experience of the multiple tours I have been on with Travelsphere is that they plan interesting tours using gererally good hotels and very professional Tour Managers. I certainly plan to travel with them again."
"Travelsphere is the worst company I have used
Tour Name: Chile, Argentina & Brazil Rio Carnival Winners' Parade with Rio Add-on
Departure Date: 05 February 2018
It took us two days, four airports to get to the start of our tour and then additional four days to get our luggage. We spent most of days shopping for essentials rather than enjoying our holiday. I had paid £8,000 for this holiday.
1) Travelshere tried to take money out my account twice. I had to contact my bank to get the transaction number to prove to them that I had paid.
2) Three weeks before departure they completely changed our flights ( presumably they got a cheaper deal)
3) Sent to us to wrong terminal for our flight, had to rush over to the right terminal
4) Madrid was snowed under, so the flights were delayed and there was no way we were going to make the connection, so they split the group. The main group was sent direct to destination from London and two couple with Indian names were sent to Madrid, knowing well that they were not going to make the connection.
5) The guide went with the main group and we were left to organise our way to the destination.
6) After four airports, endless queuing and two days we got to our destination ( so we lost two days holidays and the excursion), minus the luggage. No glutton free meals, so my wife traveled long distance without any food.
7) It took five days to get our luggage, so we spent most our spare time shopping for essentials in foreign land with limited local language skills. No help from any one.
8) When I complained, I got this terse letter while I am on holidays. Unfortunately, I can’t copy and paste this letter, which would have conveyed their attitude to whole mess.
There were so many issues that I can’t list all of them.
Needless to say I shared my experience of this company with my family, friends, work colleagues and fellow travelers."
"I went to Colombia on a tour. Two of the hotels were sub standard. One of them was on a cattle farm and the roof in the bedroom leaked. The other was described in the brochure as four star. It was not. It was in a thatched hut halfway up a mountain in the middle of the jungle. The toilet was outside, down some wooden steps with no lighting so we were given a torch. Imagine as a single person dashing down some slippery wooden steps in the middle of the night with a torch in one hand and an umbrella in the other. As the trip was so expensive it worked out to £250 per day, I complained because the brochure was wrong and the accommodation in these two hotels was awful. I complained to the company, but they did not take it seriously. Despite the fact that I have been with Travelsphere before, I will certainly never go with them again. To be so expensive the accommodation needs a minimum standard and should be as described in the brochure."
"My holiday started with travelsperes rep Jane telling me off in front of a full coach load of guests being picked up from the airport, because I hadn't done what she'd ORDERED me to do.
I had pre-booked a quiet room (for health reasons) so when I found myself in a room with constant heavy traffic passing I asked the hotel management to move me to a quieter room, which they where willing to do. That is untill they informed travelsperes rep Jane what they where doing. Jane then informed me that I could not be moved as there was nothing wrong with the room.
This is only the start of the holiday, I wonder what disappointment the rest of this travelspere holiday will bring."
"We are just back from The Great Lakes Tour, of America and Canada What a wonderful time we had, this was made even more amazing by the expertise of our tour guide Chris and our driver Jack. From the minute we got through American customs, Chris met us and led us and the other tour passengers to our coach and our driver for the next 2 weeks. Nothing was too much trouble for either of them, Chris was informative regarding everywhere we were going, pointed out the recommended restaurants /bars etc, and all of these places were responsibly priced and portions were large. The tour party were not only taken to places on the itinerary but extra places en route to the next location. Everybody on the tour were of the same opinion.... This holiday was made extra special because of the efforts of Chris and Jack. This was our first travelsphere experience, but thanks to these two guys, it will definitely not be our last."
"we have just got back from america doing the glorious west, it went from bad to very bad. it started when we arrived our tour guide julie met us at the airport and she kept us waiting for ages for more people that never turned up. we then met then coach driver who never smiled the whole two weeks. when we went out in the coach the guide never spoke to us, infact she was seen watching americas got talent by another guest and was over heard saying to the coach driver that she wasent interested when he was telling her about some things that we was passing, she did put a dvd on once about a cult because she wanted to see it, when we had rest breaks it was never anywhere very interesting but it always had to have a burger place, not everyone likes burgers. the day before we came home she became very friendly, i wonder why, by now most of us had enough of her, the day of the flight home, tobias the coach driver took us to the wrong terminal at the airport, when he was told by a guest, his reply was well i will have to go round again and if we are late we are late, as for julie she couldnt even be bothered to say good bye to some of us. This holiday has not put me of travelsphere, as last year we did the deep south and stephen from liverpool was our guide he was smashing so was the coach driver and a couple of years ago we did italy were aideen was our guide again both her and the coach driver was really good,"
"just returned from a tour to Romania - Transylvannia dn the Danube delta. excellent, travel guide, tour operator and driver all very professinal, friendly helpful. really interesting and good fun, only downside the two rude large english people on the tour who could not keep up because of their size, and moaned continually, should have been thrown off the tour!!
but the rest of us had a fab time. country is amazing, people are so friendly and scenery is stunning, add that on to the fantastic organisation and what more could you ask for."
"Just returned from Tip to Toe in Italy ,it was one of my best tours the hotels etc were excellent, the tour guide Franco was the best we have had on a coach tour and we have done tour and in USA and Britain would recommend this tour as best way to see Italy"
"Booking ref A 365941
We went on your Captivating Cuba Tour on 24th November, returning on 13th December. Our Tour Manager Leigh was excellent. it was especially helpful that she spoke fluent Spanish.
We thoroughly enjoyed the tour, everything was so interesting and the mountains were spectacular. The walk with a local guide and visit to a tobacco farm were really good. The food at the hotel there was good and our shower was fine. Our local guide Richard was charming but his English was quite hard to understand and we felt that perhaps he needed a bit more training. he often repeated what Leigh had just told us. On a positive note he came into his own in Havana. Ali our driver was excellent too.
perhaps it would be advisable to stress to people that although there are a few ATMs it is better to rely on changing cash in Cuba.
This is our second experience of using Travelsphere the first was to Vietnam when Gerry trower and Hoi were our guides and both were excellent."
"I just submitted my review of my tour of best of the west,it was purely honest why has it not been seen for the public.? to read or do you only publish ,good reviews.? I Lodged a complaint to the company when a very expensive holiday was ruined by this guide.
being sorry is not good enough."
"We had just got on the coach, after a long flight, when the tour manager said we had to pay 65 dollars to her and 40 dollars, to the driver at the end of the tour ,for their tips, there was 32 of us that's a lot of dollars , on woman had her 3 adult children ,she couldn't afford to pay this 420 dollars one retired man said the same as did several others, one young couple rang her father in uk to complain,and to say they would not be paying over 200 dollars, this guide Liz Moran on best of the west was, rude ,obnoxious,uninterested in the group, I asked how many miles to a tour her abrupt reply was I don't do miles,another day after a tour that was included but myself and a few others did not want to continue on to an optional tour , I said do we go back to the hotel ,by ourselves her reply, if your not coming on this tour,your on your own ,make your own way back, I'm not responsible for you,people were constantly being reprimanded for being, a few minutes late, one elderly man with mobility problem and a lady ,with multiple sclerosis, several people said this guide spoilt our holiday, she put our names on seats going out for trips we were not able to choose, she gave us a print off she typed up, to say use soap when you wash your hands,several people intend to complain.she spent more time on the coach playing with her phone, she had no interest in us ."
"I`ve taken several tour holidays in the past but I have to say when it comes to tour guides
Anne Murray beats them all. She and Philip the coach driver made the holiday superb. The tour was Ultimate Western Explorer our booking reference : A330782"
"We have just returned from a travelsphere holiday the top to toe of Italy from 1/6/2015 to 15/6/2015. It was a tiring but great holiday all of our group got on brilliantly, but I must praise our Tour Manager Aideen Higgins she was brilliant the best we've ever had so professional and approachable as well as being very funny, I advise anyone to seek her out if you are thinking of booking with Travelsphere, she was great."