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  #1  
Old July 16th, 2012, 09:30 AM
WeeCountyMan's Avatar
WeeCountyMan WeeCountyMan is offline
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Default Baltic Highlights - excursion issue

Just back from very enjoyable 14 days around the Baltic - one major beef with Thomsons.

We booked a full day tour online for day 1 in St.Petersburg prior to travelling, with a view to my wife booking the evening ballet trip onboard, once we'd clarified the respective timings.

I called the excursion office from our cabin and asked when the day tour would be back at the ship, to be advised by one of the female staff that it would be 4:15pm, no later than 4:30pm, and therefore there would be ample time to shower, dress and have a buffet meal in time for the 7pm assembly for the coach party.

This advice turned out to be complete baloney - we were still in the Hermitage museum at 4pm, and when asked, the guide assured us that the company (the tour firm) had told her to be back for 5:30pm.

It was 5:50pm before we were back on board and Her Ladyship had to have a quick shower, do her hair, dress and then hurry to the lido restaurant for a quick run around the buffet.

I had a "discussion" over the 'phone with the head of excursions wanting to know why I had been given completely wrong information, pointing out that I would never have booked the ballet had we known the true timings in advance - especially as the full day tour had meant a early rise.

I've come to the conclusion that the member of staff who I first spoke to is either incompetent, or being economical with the truth in order to sell an excursion.

I believe other guests were also unhappy at these timings issue.

All this after a total shambles of any organised disembarkation procedure at 7am due to no arrangements being made. I didn't need to complain on that one though - there was a big queue ahead of me !!!
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Sea Princess Oct./Nov. 2009 - Caribbean
Grand Princess Aug./Sept. 2010 - West Mediterranean
Thomson Celebration Jan./Feb. 2011 - Red Sea
Diamond Princess Nov. 2011 - Beijing to Singapore
Thomson Spirit July 2012 - Baltic
Thomson Spirit Sept./Oct.2012 - Idyllic Iberia
Thomson Spirit Oct. 2013 - Mediterranean Odyssey
Thomson Spirit July 2014 - Fjordland Splendours

Last edited by WeeCountyMan; July 16th, 2012 at 09:31 AM.
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  #2  
Old July 16th, 2012, 10:04 AM
kruzseeka kruzseeka is offline
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Sounds like chaos - so sorry you had these problems - hope it didn't spoil your holiday overall. Will be interested to hear all about it in due course. Hope you had better weather than here!!!
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  #3  
Old July 16th, 2012, 04:08 PM
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WeeCountyMan WeeCountyMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kruzseeka View Post
Sounds like chaos - so sorry you had these problems - hope it didn't spoil your holiday overall. Will be interested to hear all about it in due course. Hope you had better weather than here!!!
We had good weather mostly.

No rain during port visits, in fact the weather was ideal, not too hot.

Apart from the St.Petersburg nonsense on day one it was a fine cruise.

Mind you, the Russians are a dour bunch - must be a national trait, not to smile or appear friendly in any way.
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Sea Princess Oct./Nov. 2009 - Caribbean
Grand Princess Aug./Sept. 2010 - West Mediterranean
Thomson Celebration Jan./Feb. 2011 - Red Sea
Diamond Princess Nov. 2011 - Beijing to Singapore
Thomson Spirit July 2012 - Baltic
Thomson Spirit Sept./Oct.2012 - Idyllic Iberia
Thomson Spirit Oct. 2013 - Mediterranean Odyssey
Thomson Spirit July 2014 - Fjordland Splendours
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  #4  
Old July 16th, 2012, 04:09 PM
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WeeCountyMan WeeCountyMan is offline
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Doh !!!
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Sea Princess Oct./Nov. 2009 - Caribbean
Grand Princess Aug./Sept. 2010 - West Mediterranean
Thomson Celebration Jan./Feb. 2011 - Red Sea
Diamond Princess Nov. 2011 - Beijing to Singapore
Thomson Spirit July 2012 - Baltic
Thomson Spirit Sept./Oct.2012 - Idyllic Iberia
Thomson Spirit Oct. 2013 - Mediterranean Odyssey
Thomson Spirit July 2014 - Fjordland Splendours

Last edited by WeeCountyMan; July 16th, 2012 at 04:19 PM. Reason: Duplication
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  #5  
Old July 16th, 2012, 05:49 PM
kate52 kate52 is offline
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We had timing issues on our cruise in May. It didn't directly affect us, but people who had booked seperate morning/ afternoon times were in a bit of a pickle as the morning tours were very late back. They had to decide whether to jump straight off one coach onto the next tour, with no time to get back on the ship and freshen up or get something to eat, or to miss the afternoon tour and have a refund.
I don't think Thomson's were to blame for this- the traffic in St P was particularly bad that day, and all the tour guides and drivers were fretting about it.
However, in view of what happened, I would definitely advise anyone against seperate morning and afternoon tours. The full day tour seemed a much better bet.
kate
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  #6  
Old July 17th, 2012, 05:19 AM
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WeeCountyMan WeeCountyMan is offline
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I agree about not booking two separate back to back 1/2 day tours - that's leaving too much to chance, the full day option is a better option.

However, that reduces the choices available.

I would also recommend not booking two consecutive full day tours - unless you have a very robust constitution.

Thankfully we had only booked an afternoon tour on day 2 - otherwise my better half couldn't have contemplated the ballet after a full day excursion with another to follow.
__________________
Sea Princess Oct./Nov. 2009 - Caribbean
Grand Princess Aug./Sept. 2010 - West Mediterranean
Thomson Celebration Jan./Feb. 2011 - Red Sea
Diamond Princess Nov. 2011 - Beijing to Singapore
Thomson Spirit July 2012 - Baltic
Thomson Spirit Sept./Oct.2012 - Idyllic Iberia
Thomson Spirit Oct. 2013 - Mediterranean Odyssey
Thomson Spirit July 2014 - Fjordland Splendours

Last edited by WeeCountyMan; July 17th, 2012 at 05:20 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #7  
Old July 17th, 2012, 05:51 AM
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davecttr davecttr is offline
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I found the destinations team on Spirit less than helpful. I was discussing th Tromso map they provided with them and they were adamant that the ship docked in a totally different place than it actually did. Their location was in the opposite direction to the true location and there wasn't even a dock there!. As I had researched Tromso, thanks to Kruzseeka etc I was sure I was right but they would just not accept it. Earlier in the cruise they were telling a couple there was nothing to do in Geiranger so it was best to take an excursion. On reflection I should have commented.
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  #8  
Old July 17th, 2012, 06:43 PM
kate52 kate52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davecttr View Post
I found the destinations team on Spirit less than helpful. I was discussing th Tromso map they provided with them and they were adamant that the ship docked in a totally different place than it actually did. Their location was in the opposite direction to the true location and there wasn't even a dock there!. As I had researched Tromso, thanks to Kruzseeka etc I was sure I was right but they would just not accept it. Earlier in the cruise they were telling a couple there was nothing to do in Geiranger so it was best to take an excursion. On reflection I should have commented.
No, they weren't the best. Think they should give the job to kruzseeka!
kate
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  #9  
Old July 19th, 2012, 04:40 AM
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WeeCountyMan WeeCountyMan is offline
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Tragically one gentleman passed away overnight on the first Sunday/Monday of the cruise and a hearse discreetly removed his body at Kalendbourg after the main excursion party had departed for Copenhagen. Fortunately only a small handful of passengers saw this.

Sadly another guest had a heart attack later in the voyage and was medevaced by a Finnish helicopter.
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Sea Princess Oct./Nov. 2009 - Caribbean
Grand Princess Aug./Sept. 2010 - West Mediterranean
Thomson Celebration Jan./Feb. 2011 - Red Sea
Diamond Princess Nov. 2011 - Beijing to Singapore
Thomson Spirit July 2012 - Baltic
Thomson Spirit Sept./Oct.2012 - Idyllic Iberia
Thomson Spirit Oct. 2013 - Mediterranean Odyssey
Thomson Spirit July 2014 - Fjordland Splendours
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