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** Please post your recommendations ONLY in response to request...do not start a new thread. Thanks!
British Isles/Western EuropeAmsterdam, Brugge, Dublin, Edinburgh, London (Dover, Harwich, Southampton)
The answer is no. We do not allow private tour operators to post information about their companies on the boards. Here is the pertinent information from the Community Guidelines, a link to which appears at the top of this web page:
Professionals, tour operators, tour guides and property & business owners (and their associates, employees or designated representative) are also encouraged to participate in the discussions on the Cruise Board and establish themselves as experts on a particular topic by responding to members' inquiries with useful answers. They may not, however, list or refer members to their World Wide Web sites. They may not include their "business name" in their signatures, nor may they include their website link in their profile. No promotional material or conducting tour business, is allowed. This includes mentioning pickup locations, scheduling times of tours, confirmation of events/deposits/e-mail receipt, etc (and any other discussion determined to be of a customer service nature in the sole discretion of Cruise Critic. Only items of a general nature may be posted on the forums.
I work for one of the local bus companies in greenock, and we are offering local tours when the cruise ships come in.
Would I be allowed to post the information in here?
Hi Sammcg, a local company who offers tours from the dock is a
great idea. if you've read these boards you'll see that there is a definite need for one in the Greenock Port'o'Call. I'm originally from Greenock.
Cruisers would consider it a great convenience rather than having to
take taxis and trains within such a limited time when they want
to go and sightsee from the Greenock pier.
Here's one option: Word-of-Mouth is the best advertising. A way to get started would be to go to the docks and offer people a tour as they come off the ship. Have a postboard or placard set up. This is how it's done in so many other ports of call.Make sure your price is competitive with the ones the cruise lines might be pushing.
If people are satisfied, they will quickly tell each other on these boards and then recommend your company. That is permissable. Also, cruisers email each other with such recommendations.If you establish an email address
they will book through that avenue.
Another option is to go through the cruise lines. However, they usually have a 50% markup price and that makes it very expensive for cruisers. The cruise lines should be participating in tours as a convenience and service for their customers, but it's just not so. Instead of them just charging a small service fee they have become so greedy and want to make as much or more profit as the tour companies they use.
Thus, it has made ship tours too expensive for too many people.
I read in the local paper that a voluntary tourist group organise free tours around the area - all they ask is for a donation to pay for the coaches - worth a look. They have a stand at the terminal and give out local info.
Hi Grace - somebody beat me to it - the web site is correct although when I tried to open the link it did not work. Would suggest you typed in 'greenock telegraph' into a search engine and take it from there. The tourist group have a web site which somebody else identified. Enjoy Scotland!!!
Having just returned from our ten day British Isles/Western European Tour, I can truly say that the highlight of the trip was with Gordon Ross of Great Scot Tours www.scotland-tours-direct.com. He took six of us at the cost far below the Princess Cruise rate/pp on one of the best tours of Scotland, in our case, Loch Lomond Stirling and Trossachs, but the choice of sights visited is yours. Gordon is a walking history book, and if you'll look at his web site he's been a consultant on several movies, chosen to take Morgan Freeman on a tour and an absolute delight to be with. He is top notch in everyway. He leaves you wanting to see much more of Scotland and with a smile on your face. Truly a "class act". If you have any questions I'll be more than happy to answer.
We just returned from the British Isles cruise Aug. 2oth aboard the Golden Princess. The best tour we had on all stops was by Iain from the Doodle bus. We had a private tour from 8:30 to 5 :00 (4 of us) of the Inverary Castle area and the Highlands area. Iain came kilted and all, and took us on roads that were not available to larger buses. We saw shepards guiding their flock, shaggy cows, and many other things that were truly Scotland. The website is www.doodlebus.com
I can heartily recommend Craig McCall Flynn http://www.mini-tours.com/ who gave us the most memorable day out from Greenock. Here is a recap of our day's route, which began with pick-up at the ship: Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument, Drymen, Balmaha for lunch, Loch Lomond, Newark Castle, Lyle Hill, Greenock, drop off at ship. Craig was a wonderful driver and guide - knowledgable, entertaining, and friendly - our day in Scotland with him was a highlight of the vacation and we would love to have him show us more of Scotland someday!
Last edited by birders; September 7th, 2006 at 12:29 PM.
I also booked a private tour with GreatScot-Tours and had as wonderful time as Christine Cruisin said her group did (in fact we caught up with them at lunch that day!). Since her group was booked with Gordon, he was kind enough to arrange for us to tour with his colleague David Frood, and we had and absolutely fabulous time with him. He picked us up in true scottish fashion, kilt & all...at 8:15 and got us back to the ship just a little after 6pm. There were 4 of us, and we really enjoyed both the countryside and beauty of Scotland and also the knowledge David provided. It was reasonable priced (actually cheaper than the Princess tours) and we were able to go anywhere we wanted and didn't have to wait for a big tour. Got to see places that the tour buses couldn't get into easily and had many quick photo-op stops and even a visit to a scottish pub (my special request), though we only had time for a 1/2 pint, said David!! We did get a chance to meet up with Gordon at lunch and at the end of the tour. I would highly recommend both Gordon and David for future tours.
here's us with David at the Doune Castle (from Monty Python's Holy Grail)
and david wondering where his ladies have gone.... and all of us at the end of the tour with Gordon (on the left).