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  • Panama Canal tour, partial review and tips

    #10 Posted : Wednesday, January 23, 2019 7:23:57 AM

     

    I am not sure why you want to delete, these are valid issues that people need to know. For instance, we spoke to people that went on the float trip and they were telling us that on their 'float trip' the local guides were deliberately splashing them to the extent that they got pretty wet. They were furious. The tour directors were telling guests before they went that they would get wet, which I thought was so odd for a float, I have never gotten wet on a float trip. I think you have hit the nail on the head. Swiss Travel is not the quality we have had certainly in Costa Rica. For instance, in two past tours, we happened to have the same local guide, we have even seen him on TV. In other words, they were very professional. The guides here are good but the operation itself, it just seems less quality. Certainly a couple we had were even hinting at tips, which we have never encountered before. Clearly we love Tauck, we have been using them for over fifteen years. In the past calendar year we took six trips with them, so I guess I have a good idea ofwhat to expect. I think it is valid to express some comments, after all, for example, if I am wanting to choose a float trip, I need to know it is not a float trip before I choose it as an option because on all float trips I have taken, I have never gotten wet. We enjoyed the quality of the ship, but we go with Tauck to see other countries, not be in a floating luxury hotel, so when a tour on land finishes at 11am and that is the extent of your visit to land for the day, it does not represent I guess, the type of experience we like. The Iceland experience was better. So few people read the forums, it's hardly going to affect anything. I have been glad of reading negative and positive comments about tours here because it often helps my expectations. I am not going to make another negative. I'll write, which maybe is the better way anyway. We will continue traveling with Tauck, but other newer customers expressed without even knowing how many tours we have taken with Tauck, that they have had equally as good experiences with other tour companies when they compared it with this particular tour. I do not hear that very often. I am not sure if you have been to Panama, but we loved it.


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  • Trip to Fatima

    #2 Posted : Wednesday, January 23, 2019 7:05:56 AM

     

    When I did this trip we stopped at Fatima.


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  • When do 2020 prices get posted?

    #5 Posted : Wednesday, January 23, 2019 12:41:49 AM

     

    As you know Tauck is always tweaking the tours. One of the main architects of the tour is still working as a TD. He was our TD in 2015 and Sealord's TD this past year. When we did K&T in 2015 we spent two nights at Ngorongoro Crater, Four Seasons Serengeti, and Amboseli, three nights at Mt. Kenya Safari Club, and two nights in the Mara. A year or two later, in response to customer feedback (desire for more game drives), Tauck cut one night from Mt. Kenya and added it to the Mara. I concurred with that change. Make no mistake, Mt Kenya Safari Club was truly wonderful and was a nice break in a heavy schedule, but I would have liked more game drives myself. Now it looks like for 2020 they swapped out one night in the Mara for an extra night at the Four Seasons Serengeti. At first, since you didn't mention and I hadn't looked at the new itinerary, I thought that they dropped Ngorongoro (that would be a big loss), but I see that the tour back tracks a bit to catch a plane to the Serengeti. (Too bad they can't find a better place for a short stop than Lake Manyara- very disappointing and the low point of the tour. Frankly, I found the drive from Ngorongoro to the Four Seasons/Serengeti a bit too long myself. The Oldupai Gorge was mildly interesting and there was an enroute game drive as we got near the Four Seasons, but other than that it was a VERY LONG, VERY DUSTY, fairly bumpy, and relatively unremarkable trip with few animals or other things to see. We had a brief lecture at Oldupai Gorge, but there really wasn't anything to see as far is diggings- what we did see was from afar. It was fairly warm in June so we had the windows open but had to shut them often to keep out the dust when we met oncoming bus and truck traffic- wearing a buff was almost mandatory. So, I'd voluntarily give up the drive, the stop at Oldupai gorge (and the box lunch we ate during a restroom and lunch break at the entrance to the Serengeti) to fly. As to trading a day at the Mara for a day in the Serengeti, hmmm probably a wash as far as game drives, however, there is no comparison between another night at the wonderful Four Seasons and one less night in the tented Fairmont Mara Safari Club.


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The tiny archipelago of volcanic islands 600 miles west of South America in the vast Pacific is unique in many ways. But it seems a most unlikely place to alter the course of history. And yet, in a very real way it did. It can really be said that these islands played an important role in shaping the destiny of humankind. 

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Another year has ended and we are at the beginning of a new one. They flip by faster and faster, it seems. 

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