We had a very good trip to primarily Portugal and and a stopover in Spain, the first time we'd been to the former and a few decades since we visited Spain. The accommodations, personalized tours, transportation and service was first class and well thought out and planned. It was pricey but we believed the value overall was fair. When issues arose this travel agency was very responsive. I would use their services again.
The time we spent in Porto, Portugal, including the first night there when Portugal played Spain in World Cup. The resort in Porches, Portugal...I would give them 6 stars if we could. Walking the streets of Evora and touring ruins, museums, a castle and a 500-plus year university (including stumbling into a classroom lecture) all within blocks of each other. The private tours, especially the one from Porto and our final day in Lisbon, when we were guided to places less travelled. Fabulous, healthy food. Marvelous people. Getting exposed to a deep and rich history and culture up close and personal.
1) We went to too many places and spent too little time in most. It seemed like we were packing and unpacking almost as much as we were getting to know the towns we visited. We would do one or two less towns and spend an extra day or 2 in the ones we went to our simply extend the length of the trip; 2) We flew from Porto to Porches (with a connection in Lisbon) which ended up being 7-plus hours from the time we got to the airport until the time we got our rental car. We could have driven in far less time with far less hassle or at minimum, gotten a direct flight for such a short distance; 3) Our "Jeep Tour" was not a good experience: we thought we would be driving our own Jeeps but instead 4 of us were stuck in a Jeep driving over rocks for hours while my wife sat in the third row with no air flow on a very hot day; 4) Loved Seville except for the hotel: No AC in our room on a day that was 99 degrees and we hardly slept that night. We asked to be moved earlier for other reasons but they said they were full up. They repeatedly blamed us for not insisting to be moved when the AC wasn't working. Huh? 5) The trip itinerary was sometimes long on history for each place we visited and short on details of who to meet where and when. We should have been more insistent on details and had a call with this travel company before we left to go over our final trip arrangements; 6) Our car rental was either a bad choice for rental or we just plain got ripped off. Our alleged luxury rental for 9 days was a tiny BMW hatchback that we could barely fit our luggage in. For another $1,000 US with taxes we could get a bigger car, a compact Volvo SUV (but not with navigation turned on -- that cost more). It took us over an hour at the counter to get out of their office, too.
Travel Companies Comments:
Hello Mitch and Judy, Greetings from Madrid! I have just read your review. I am glad you had a nice trip and that you learned about the history in Spain and Portugal! However, I am a little bit surprised to discover that some parts of your trip didn’t go as you expected and I appreciate your comments. They are really helpful, and I always understand criticism as constructive. We will bear everything in mind to continue improving our job and our service to our travelers. During the planning stage, we discussed the possible itinerary making changes to the first suggested option and bearing in mind the appointments you had near Lisbon. Also, before your departure with plenty of time in advance, I sent you the detailed travel schedule with all the information regarding your trip. Regarding the hotel in Seville, you should have let me know the AC wasn’t working well, we would’ve talked directly with the Manager (we have very good relationship with the Managers of the hotels we work with) and solve the issue.
With the rental car, we could’ve helped you too, although bear in mind regular cars in Europe are much smaller than in US. During your trip, I followed up almost every day and if any issue happened I was available and solve it in no time. At all-time your feedback on how the trip was going was positive. Overall, we are happy that you enjoyed your trip and that you would use our services again. Of course, we would be happy to help you again with another trip!
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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