The owner is a very nice person, and he tries hard to please, however compared to other Zicasso trips I have taken, the value for money was missing.
Overall we were charged about $7,000 for an 8-day trip. The last day was an early morning ride to the airport so it was closer to a 7-day trip, or about $1,000/day. Apartment rentals were approximately $220 -$280/day. No meals were included. When we priced out the tours and transportation, generously they totaled between $1,000 - $2,000.
The profit margin of $3,000 - $4,000 (close to 50%) for a $7,000 trip seems excessive, particularly when considering the services received.
I had to get multiple emails from the travel facilitator and then retype them to create an itinerary. Normally this would be something provided.
With the exception of 1 tour guide (Borghese Gallery) the other 5 tour guides (Academia in Florence, Colosseum, and Golf Carts in Rome, Pompei, and Amalfi Coast) were fairly pedestrian in their understanding and presentation of Italian history and culture.
After a long flight from San Diego to Rome, it was unsettling to find our driver wasn't there and picked me up 20 minutes late even though other passengers had their drivers there at the ready. On a different day, another local driver got lost getting us to our apartment in Sorrento. Too often we had to initiate communication with our trip coordinator or drivers to ensure they were going to pick us up. It should have been the other way around.
So in summary, for the services delivered, this particular travel company received excessive compensation. I would not recommend them to other Zicasso clients, nor to friends.
Borghese Gallery tour - guide was very good. Knew both Italian history, as well as the history of the works of art.
Colosseum at night was unique.
Italian food was wonderful.
Sorrento apartment was spacious and clean.
Not use travel coordinator recommended by Zicasso. NOT good value for money. (see above)
Apartment in Rome was wonderful location, however something inside the apartment (dust, pillows, bedding, other?) set off a bad allergic reaction for my daughter-in-law. As a result, she was uncomfortable the 3 days we stayed there.
Been more selective re: guides. Trip to Croatia (with Zicasso) had better and more knowledgeable guides.
Travel Company Comments:
Firstly, thank you for your candid feedback and I am very sorry that your trip was not up to expectations.
I apologize that the day-by-day itinerary that I sent through was not detailed enough. Based upon your experience, I am reviewing my processes and figuring out a more effective method that can include all confirmation numbers.
I am surprised that the tour guides were not up to scratch, as these companies usually hire engaging and passionate guides who are very knowledgeable. Nevertheless, I have passed your feedback on to the companies.
The issue with the drivers being late and/or lost is something that very rarely happens, and I apologize that it happened to you a few times throughout your trip. I have addressed this with the transportation companies I used, as the 20 minute delay was not acceptable from a company who is usually very reliable.
I would like to assure you though that the calculations of my pricing are correct, and my profit margin is approximately 8%, after Zicasso's commission. The tours and transport did make up the bulk of the price of the trip, and I am sorry that these were not up to standard.
If you have any further comments at all, I would be very happy to hear them. All feedback - positive and critical - is useful for me to help improve my services.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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