Wonderful trip—we left on Feb 29 & back on Mar 9. Obviously, during that time period, the coronavirus escalated dramatically. I took my son, daughter-in-law, & 3 grandchildren as my gift to them.
This was really last minute as we had talked about Sicily but for some reason, decided not to go there. Had we booked a trip there I would have cancelled as Italy was then in the mid-stages of this awful pandemic. (Initially), 2 years ago when I found Zicasso, I called your company to find out more about it. I remember saying I hate to waste someone’s time if you send me 2 or 3 people. Whoever I talked with said that I should go with the person I felt most comfortable with. With last fall’s trip to Spain, I could have gone with either person.This time I had a much higher comfort level with both of these specialists than with the other company I was connected with. I’m sure she was fine but they stuck with my budget more. Ultimately, I upgraded the hotel, ship, & added 2 nights when we were in Mashpi but they were able to get really good prices and there was no pressure to upgrade. Our specialists answered questions promptly and courteously & had suggestions based on our responses. Both specialists checked in every place we were to make certain things were ok. I had some hesitations about flying into Quito because of its altitude and my asthma, so after having the whole thing planned out for us, I asked if we could do a Plan B & I would fly into Guayaquil & meet the rest of my family in Baltra to go on to the Galápagos Islands. After speaking with my pulmonologist, I decided to stay with the original plan.)
This travel company was happy to make the changes as needed. They had someone meet us & take us through customs. For me, GOOD SERVICE trumps everything. We loved our 4-star hotel in Quito( so glad we upgraded!) and our other accommodation selections. I only wish the ship could include all gratuities as they do in other services. I know I pay more upfront, but it’s just so much easier. I tipped what was recommended. I also like small ( resorts, hotels, etc. ) Our cruise has only 48 passengers but on or trip there were only 13 of us so we did have lots of help with the naturalists. In fact, all 3 places we had excellent food and service.
Forgot to add that our private guide for Quito that the tour company arranged for us, was one of the 3 best I’ve had—the top three were all Equally outstanding.
I know this answer is long but I thought so much of them that I wanted to mention them & for you to know my background for it to all be on perspective. We ended up splitting my AX Platinum fee. I know small businesses have a large percentage to pay. But this was how much I liked them. I feel a little shallow writing this but when this nightmare is over, I hope we will all get to travel again.
Most memorable—lots -especially with my grandchildren. Hummingbird garden in Mashpi. My son taking me kayaking near the cliffs. The sea lion that was on the loading platform of our ship. The great guides and naturalists. Good food and trying some local dishes. Our hotel in Quito. All the amazing wildlife in the Galápagos Islands. Equator( unfortunately the local guide there rushed us through & we’ll probably never be back). Slide show on La Pinta. Oh and I can't forget to mention the chocolate tasting in Quito!
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