Thanks to the travel company, we had a wonderful trip that once a one-in-a-lifetime experience. Our travel specialist designed a specialized tour that had a perfect balance of private tour guides v. regular public tours. Our private tour of Berlin was amazing and full of great insights from our guide. Similarly, our private tour of Rothenburg ob der Taubre was really great and again full of great insights and recommendations from our private guide. The highlight of our trip was the drive from Munich to Krems, retracing (in reverse) the journey of our loved one who was a POW in WWII. Our driver/tour guide, was absolutely phenomenal! The travel company and our guide had researched the history and identified key locations for us to visit. This was truly special and MORE-THAN-EXCEEDED our expectations! From the planning phase through our actual trip, we had phenomenal customer service from the travel company and the tour guides they hired for us along the way! We would highly recommend the trip and travel company to anyone!
Here are things we would do differently:
1. We had a planned trip to Bratislava from Vienna (Danube River), on the second-to-last-day, but we were too tired to spend another day on a daytrip from Vienna. Instead, we spent the time in Vienna and had a wonderful trip to the Belvedere Palace Museum and other fantastic venues in Vienna. I'm sure we would have loved the trip to Bratislava, but we had a time that day in Vienna!
2. We are more accustomed to using Uber/taxis when travelling (vs. mass transit). So, we struggled with what options we had for taxis/Uber, because we just didn't know the local norms and which cities used Uber vs. local taxis, esp for short trips of a mile or so (when we were too tired to walk). In hindsight I wish we would have done a little more research on this in advance, or requested more info from the travel company. I hadn't really thought of this previously.
3. When we checked out of our hotel in Vienna, the hotel staff wanted us to pay for the hotel stay (instead of using the voucher from the travel company). This only happened at this one hotel (the other 3 hotels didn't have this issue). I found this especially troubling, since we had been there for 4 days, and they waited until the last day to request that we pay instead of the agency. In addition, this delayed us with our driver and departure to the airport. Once they contacted the travel company, the issue was resolved in a few minutes. However, the hotel staff was not at all proactive in trying to resolve this, until I pushed the issue. All-in-all it was only a slight inconvenience, but I would be reluctant to stay in that hotel chain again.
Travel Company Comments
Dear Lesa,First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to write such a wonderful review. We are very happy that you had a great time in Germany. Thanks for your feedback on the private tours and tour guides, we have forwarded your comments to them too. We are also very happy that our research and the driver taking you, helped to fulfill your dream of following the Stalag route.
We are sorry about the mishap at the Hotel in Vienna and we have talked to them and they apologized for not being helpful, although everything was booked, paid and arranged for way in advance. I know this was not a very nice experience for you and it shows that providing our Customer Emergency number for all our clients is crucial. It was an absolute pleasure working with you and we look forward to helping you again if you decide to come to Europe once more. There is plenty more to explore…
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