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London and Paris

2 Oct 2010 Blommie said

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I just completed the London and Paris tour. I was so excited because I have never been there and really wanted to enjoy the benefits of a guided group tour. But I am so disappointed! The brochure is totally misleading with regards to the places visited - it literally means just spotting a sight whilst driving by. I had to travel and do most activities on my own. The tour manager was extremely rude and insensitive and he even left me behind during an included activity in Paris! Not knowing the metro trains, or the French language, I was 5 minutes late due to travelling in the wrong direction. I don't know the places like he does and therefore relied on his support, but he was very condescending and offended me in every way. He even got angry because my friend and I didn't want to go to the pubs and bars the group so often visited and he asked what was wrong with us and if we were sick! But to me, drinking isn't fun, and having to spend your days with drunk or hung-over people isn't either. During the whole tour the tour manager was overly excited for Amsterdam, although only a few people did that tour after Paris. He even explained exactly how to use drugs and prostitutes. That is totally inappropriate! If he doesn't like people and visiting the same places over and over again, guiding others for whom it is a first time, he shouldn't be doing this job. A tour manager must treat you with respect, regardless of your sex, age, nationality, values and preferences. I wanted to visit Europe to see and do the things that are unique to that cities/countries, not drink byself into a coma, do sex and drugs. In the end I saw and visited everything I wanted to - by myself. I could have just skipped the whole Contiki thing and saved myself all the pain and trouble. I will seriously have to reconsider joining a Contiki tour again if that's the way you're being treated. So good luck to those travelling with Contiki - I suppose it isn't all that bad, depends on your expectations and the things you want to do. Both London and Paris was worth it - but it could have been so much better!!
  • 24 Oct 2010 Sandra2580 said

    Sandra2580

    I just returned from my trip to London and Paris and had the best time of my life. I read your review before I left and was very nervous about the trip but I enjoyed every single minute of the trip. I made new friends, my tour manager was amazing she was so helpful. Don’t know why your tour manager was not kind, sorry to hear that. I didn’t go into the trip with a lot of high expectations, I didn’t mind taking the coach to see the sites, it would take me days to see the sites by walking to them. If you do decide to go to Europe do a lot of research and use a map to guide yourself, hopefully you have a better experience next time.

  • 10 Jan 2011 Traveling~Girl said

    Traveling~Girl

    I have to agree with Bloomie, although I ended up having a good time because of the people I met and because we made the best of it, I has highly dissapointed with contiki on this trip. I have travelled with contiki to egypt and loved it, the tour manager we had for this trip should not be a tour manager! He was completely insensitive and made everything seem so unimportant… about 50% of our group was dissapointed in HIM.

  • 21 Aug 2012 likeaflower said

    likeaflower

    I did this trip in 2010 as well. Didn’t completely live up to my expectations either. I was gutted with Versailles, which I was most looking forward to – we got there at 3pm, and after the guided tour we only had 30mins to walk around. Didn’t get a chance to see the gardens, hamlet, ie. the main attractions! The TM should of taken us there in the morning and allowed us the option to catch a train back into town.

  • 29 Aug 2013 Roxy said

    Roxy

    Well… Here I am almost a year later and heading of on sep 19…. Hope things have improved since your review…
    I’m nervous about travelling on my own which is why I’ve chosen contiki….
    But I have travelled before and I’ve been researching everything I’m wanting to do so I’m hoping I won’t be disappointed… So now I’ve been Creating my own ‘flexible’ itinerary for my day 1/2 in London on my own…
    I read your review because in the brochure it definitely says ‘see’ some of the sites rather than visit them so you’ve confirmed it for me… I’ve bought a London pass so I can visit the main ones I would be disappointed to miss and it won’t matter if I double up on seeing things because my main aim is to meet new people while exploring London… I might see something I missed first too….
    For Paris I just want my picture taken at the Eiffel Tower & try a French crepe… (My now ex German boyfriend and I had started and have been running a mobile crepe stall here in south west Victoria Australia so I’d love too see how my recipe compares… We’re told by a French back packing group that ours were better!! :) :)
    So I won’t mind sticking to the group then.

    I hope all my research and discussions will help me make the best of my first solo trip….
    Thank you for your review :)

  • 30 Sep 2013 Karenth said

    Karenth

    Hi Roxy, how did it go? im going on december and im super excited abt it. Which London pass did u buy? ill just be like 5 hours or so in London (since i arive till my first day meeting) and dont know where to go. Hope u are enjoinh your trip! :)

  • 30 Sep 2013 Roxy said

    Roxy

    Hi Karenth.

    I had an absolute blast!! Just back on Sunday. I had done heaps of research though so I knew what I was getting myself in to. Blommie is right when it says that they ‘show’ you around. It is a tour and this is a ‘me time’ tour so it gives you loads of free time to do what you like.
    We had an excellent tour manager and bus driver and most of the activities organise were great. We had only 2 organised ‘nights out’ and the rest was up to ourselves. He suggested places to go and things to do and see etc and we chose if we wanted to or not.

    Unless it is stated in the the actual guide, the extras aren’t paid for. And you need to pay for your own lunches and the dinners that weren’t provided. This suited me fine as dining out every day isn’t my thing so a simply jambon & fromage baguette suited me for lunch for around 4euros.

    I purchased a London Pass with travel while in London because I was staying there extra on my own also, I could use this while on Contiki too so it was great value for money.

    Definitely research into your tour and read lots of reviews so you know what you are getting. I personally think that for $1300 this tour was excellent value for money. All accommodation was taken care of, the tour bus, all breakfasts and 2 dinners plus the handy advise of the tour manager.

    That being said, if you get a dodgy tour manager it may dampen the experience.

    I will be going back next year for a Rome Contiki then back to London & Paris for a week each on my own now I know my way around, there is so much to see and do!!!! :) ;) (beware of long queues though)

    Let me know which tour you go on!! You will truly love it, just do your research :)

  • 1 Oct 2013 Karenth said

    Karenth

    Wow i can feel u had an awesome time :) im going to the european magic tour on december :)
    Yeap ill do a research abt the tour and the cities ill visit, as you say, we can always go back! Im little bit afraid of the weather, but just gotta prepare for it.
    Thanks a lot , im sure ill enjoy it, traveling is one of the best things :)

  • 23 Oct 2013 Ben said

    Ben

    i understand where the OP is coming from as I felt the itinerary was misleading for the most part of my European Vista tour but its advertising and of course going to sound all positive. The Paris night guided tour was brief and forgettable. 3 years later but i hope OP complained to Contiki about said “Tour Manager”.

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