Pros: Immaculate tour bus. Skilled driver.
An opportunity to make some wonderful new friends.
Cons: What I would have expected from a 3rd class tour for much less money.
July 30, 2011
This is far different review from the one I wrote following my first Globus tour in 2005. That first tour, (“The Best of Italy”) was taken with a friend in 2005. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life, and I vowed back then that I would take my son and granddaughter there someday! I changed my lifestyle and saved for six years to make that dream come true. On June 29, 2011, the three of us departed for an even longer Globus tour (14 day “Italian Mosaic”). Sadly, the dream the three shared was badly marred by inferior hotels with bad plumbing, failed air conditioning (in 95-100 degree heat!), and very poorly planned excursions that left no time whatsoever to see or enjoy what was promised for the extra dollars.
The tour guide's lack of personality was somewhat compensated by her knowledge, but there was nothing to compensate the group for the substandard hotels and less than desirable meals. As for the hotels, the first four had plumbing problems and we wasted precious time waiting for someone to come and fix the problem(s). The carpet in the hotel in Venice was so bad, I wouldn't dare walk on it without shoes ... to say nothing of the baseboards that were falling away from the wall, exposing the mold. As for the meals, after a few days, several of our traveling companions decided to forego the included meals and paid for their own elsewhere. The complaints exchanged by our fellow travelers assured us that we were not alone in our great disappointment. Frankly, my feelings have devolved from disappointment to anger! What we experienced was not what I had planned for my family.
In an effort to say something positive, I should mention that there was ONE hotel (at Lake Maggiore) that did come up to the standards that one would expect for a “pricier” tour and from a company that, in the past, has enjoyed a good reputation.
I should add here that I was warned by someone in the "travel business" to choose a tour company other than Globus, but I based my decision on my previous experience. That proved to be a huge mistake. How could Globus go so wrong in just a few short years!!!???
With a copy of this review (and with some additional information I will provide to Globus), I am asking them for a partial refund for at least one of the "optional" excursions that fell far short of its description. As soon as I hear from them with a fair resolve, I'll let you know by posting it on this site. If you read nothing further, it can mean only one thing.
Should you be planning a trip to Italy, plan carefully, and I hope it's all you expect … and more!