Eastern Road » Review by Explorer1147545
This was my third Contiki Tour and was definitely an average experience. My first two tours were incredible and I didn't want them to end. Eastern Roads had a few things that I feel could have been organized a little better by Contiki such as the location of the hotels in Vienna and Berlin. They were far away from the city centers, making it difficult to get anywhere. The hotel in Vienna was a 5 star resort that was 45 minutes from the city center. Also, I would argue that those two cities are not really Eastern Europe. I would probably add Bratislava and get rid of Vienna. Vienna was cleaner than Kirk Herbstreit's hands before he touches the microphone.
The tour group was an interesting bunch. I'm probably a little biased as my New Zealand tour group was 46 girls and 14 guys and I'm a 25 year old guy. Eastern Roads was probably 55% guys and for me, partying with a bunch of 22 year old frat guys is just not as much fun. I understand that the male to female ratio or the individuals on the tour can't be controlled but I also believe in being candid. My buddy and I had 'Contiki Girlfriends' if you will and the poor girls had to put up with several of the wasted 'dudes' constantly touching them and lurking around them on multiple nights. I laughed. The girls were creeped out.
I feel that the tour manager on this tour did the bare minimum to facilitate the tour. For example, we didn't do any group-bonding activities on the bus until a girl complained on the 5th day. Then we did speed dating. We weren't given the tour manager's contact info, room number, or exact address of some of the places to where we were going. If someone got separated, they weren't able to find the group. We were also told that there was nowhere to do laundry on the tour by the guide. My buddy and I did laundry in Vienna because we thought that it was going to be only chance we would have. I was charged 79.50 Euro for 5 T shirts, 5 boxers, and 3 pairs of socks and they lost one sock. They also attached these super-sticky labels with a serial number that pulls the threads out of my clothes when I try to remove them. It's like the hotel laundry mafia interned my socks and charged me ransom. After hearing about our experience, the tour manager emphasized to the group that we could do laundry in the next city, Budapest for 10 Euro. Obviously this incident was my error but I would expect a tour guide with 8 years of experience to tell us when we asked at the beginning of the tour that we could do laundry in Budapest and how exorbitant the cost of laundry was in Vienna.
I know from my other tours that the Contiki experience can be better and I'm on the fence about doing another tour.
Review written Jun 2012event 0.3