They provide standard travel services. I didn't feel that it was customized/ researched to fit our desires and found myself asking a lot of questions once we got to Spain. Our communication when finalizing the itinerary seemed to have broken down. I was expecting 5 star service, but got average. In hindsight, I should have been more detailed and "on it" before we left and was relying too much on the agency. Miscommunication likely started due to the non-ending reply emails with no topic listed in the heading making it difficult to see what was discussed and finally settled on (the kind of email that you can scroll down for pages and pages and is a stream of every kind of question asked). I don't find that communication efficient or professional.
I thought I had made it clear that we wanted balconies at all 3 hotels, however there was one which was very expensive so we let go of the idea of having one there (I thought it was the hotel in Barcelona... so expected balconies in the other 2 hotels). We only had one hotel with a balcony because the 3rd hotel couldn't guarantee balconies/patios. That particular hotel was nice enough to change our room after the first night though. Another mis-read was our boat tour. Our travel company should have clarified putting us on a sail boat vs yacht. I assumed a boat ride meant yacht. We wanted a private yacht trip but ended up driving 1:45 (one way!) to a port to get on an older sailboat. We found out that there was another port just 45 min from our hotel that we could have gone to for a yacht ride. I think it was poor planning to think it's ok to drive over 3.5 hours to get on a sail boat when there were closer and better options.
The San Sebastian Tapas tour. Highly recommend it!
Research on my own more.
I think I have learned that I need to plan our own trips and use a service for drivers/guides/experiences in the area.
We would still do a boat cruise. Preferably a yacht and close to where we are staying.
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
It deeply saddens us to read these comments and it is very unfortunate that the client felt that not everything was dealt with or provided in the manner she was expecting. A few comments regarding those areas where the client felt the service was not 5 star:
1. Re the rooms and balconies:
Would like to point out that the client was offered guaranteed balconies in all properties BUT reverted back to deluxe rooms when she received revised cost of itinerary with balcony rooms. The client’s e-mails were responded to promptly and courteously, answering all questions. In both the e-mails and the detailed itinerary that was confirmed by the client, there was little room for ambiguity, and the client stayed in all the categories of rooms and enjoyed all the services she had paid for.
2. Re the sailing excursion in Mallorca
We have worked with the same skipper and “boat” for the last 10 years in Mallorca with resounding success. It has always been the highlight of clients’ stays in Mallorca and we hoped/expected it was to be so for the client on this occasion. As per their confirmed itinerary, the boat IS a sailing boat, and a photograph of the sailing boat had been in the itinerary. At no point did we refer to or allude to anything other than a sailing boat. To be precise, it is a classic sailing boat, giving space, comfort and character for whole experience. It is a not a “motor yacht” which is maybe what the client had expected. I spoke to the skipper of the sailing yacht – one of life’s gentleman – and he recounted the day. Indeed, the clients commented that they had enjoyed the drive, viewing the different landscapes and types of countryside en route. The day went well but although it was fairly calm, the client experienced some seasickness. The skipper provided a pill and it soon subsided. They enjoyed light sailing around some of the prettiest parts of the island – another reason we always recommend this particular excursion – and they had lunch. The client asked the skipper to sit with them for lunch. Later, the client on feeling a return of seasickness was happy to return to the harbor a little earlier than scheduled. They thanked their skipper who provided them with refreshments for journey back, and gave him an extremely generous tip.
The driving time was clearly shown on the documentation sent to the client well in advance of the trip. In future, we will highlight this driving time before and after the trip confirmation.
3. Re e-mail correspondence -
We simply respond to the e-mail that we receive. We neither delete correspondence nor copy /paste additional information. If someone chooses to keep writing to us in the same chain of correspondence, we respect and maintain it. If the client found the long chains of correspondence inefficient or difficult, then why didn’t she just write her additional question(s) in a fresh e-mail?
We simply respond to the e-mail that we receive. We neither delete correspondence nor copy /paste additional information. If travelers choose to keep writing to us in the same chain of correspondence, we respect and maintain it that chain. If the client found the long chain of correspondence inefficient or difficult, we would have been happy to respond to a fresh e-mail but none was received.
4. Re our service before the trip was confirmed - we responded to all the client’s questions promptly. In fact, when the itinerary was confirmed, our colleague specifically wrote " As always, please let me know if you have questions.” The client did not follow up…. Having said that, our colleague who arranged the trip has been spoken to and given guarantees that no-one can ever make complaints about “average” service. Outstanding personal service is one of trademarks, and this can be seen throughout all the Zicasso feedbacks over the last few years.
5. Re our service during the trip - We understood from our guides that all was going well and the clients seemed happy. We attended a couple of the clients’ questions by e-mail speedily and there was no suggestion that they were not enjoying their trip. There were no glitches at all during the trip and all arrangements ran smoothly. Having said that, we are now putting in place a modus operandi which will hopefully ensure the travelers have fully read and understood the arrangements in place for their trips. We certainly don’t want any traveler feeling that they aren’t fully informed.
As a parting note, we encourage all those who travel with us to always contact us by e-mail or phone if they have any concerns of any nature. We all want the same thing – a trip of a lifetime to Spain!
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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