Western Highlights » Review by Explorer1427065
Hotel Accommodations: I wasn’t really concerned with the hotel accommodations. All the places we stayed were nice, comfortable and clean which is all I need.
Transportation: The transportation on the coach was fine, because you got to sit back and look at the pretty views of the cities you are passing through. However, I would say that too much time was spent driving and not enough time was spent seeing the actual cities.
What I did: I tried to do everything I possibly could do on the tour and tried to have some sightseeing time for myself. It says on the brochure that we would have to stop at Balboa Park in San Diego and Route 66. However when we went to these places we were only allowed 20 minutes to view these places. I don’t know how our Tour Manger Ryan expected us to get the full experience after viewing a place for 20 minutes. We didn’t get to see anything, because we were too busy trying to use the restrooms before getting back on the bus. Also there was too much shopping on the tour, I booked this tour to see the country and the sights and sounds of the cities I was visiting. There are shopping malls and stores in every city, why do I need to constantly shop when I can do this at home?
Optional Activities: I have mixed feelings about the optional activities that were available to us. In San Diego, on day 2 we had to option of going to either Sea World or the San Diego Zoo. A lot of people on my tour wanted to do both and we weren’t able to. So I would suggest that the tour have Sea World on one day and the Zoo another day, so people can do both if they choose to. I also did the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon which was amazing. I also signed up for the Grand Canyon Biking, which ended up being a disaster. The bikes were too big for me and the people didn’t’ seem to understand why I was asking for a smaller bike and therefore, I couldn’t do the optional and wasted my money. I was going to ask my tour guide for help, but he was nowhere to be found. Our tour also had a Surprise Optional that our tour manager signed us up for. It turned out that it was a fake wedding in Vegas involving two people on the tour that I didn’t know or care for. A group surprise is supposed to involve everyone on the tour, not two people with everyone else as bystanders!
Crew: I had no problem with our bus driver Richard. Richard was nice guy and he got me from point A to point B without being harmed. I had a big problem with our tour manager Ryan. First of all, he didn’t do the tour introductions until day 3 and 4 of the trip, which should have been done on the first day to break the ice. Also, Ryan left several people that were a couple of minutes late to the optional activities even though he was late quite a few times himself. Also, if he had a crush on you or you were one of his favorites, he would go out of his way to help you pack and go around on the coach with everyone waiting to find you. Once we go to Vegas and Ryan got his tips, he stopped caring about doing his job.
Lastly, if you are doing your review of your tour for Ryan, he doesn’t give you time to think about what you want to want to say, he wants them back in an hour even though your tour isn’t over. Ryan also said that if you wrote something negative about him and the tour, we would have to explain to him then and there why we wrote what we did on the review.
I may do another Contiki tour in future, but I will make sure that Ryan Fockler is not my tour manager.
Review written Oct 2012event 0.3