Weak Excursions

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231 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
My wife and I recently took a 7-day Mediterranean cruise on the Queen Victoria. Wonderful cruise--loved our cabin, the restaurant, virtually everything about it EXCEPT two exceptionally bad excursions. The first, in Barcelona, was for an evening flamenco show. We arrived 45 minutes late for the show. The guide gave absolutely no commentary on the bus, though managed to declare "wasn't that great?" afterwards. Such a colossal waste of time. I complained the next day at the tour office and they refunded my costs.

Next, in Corsica, we took the "Countryside Drive and Wine Tasting" tour. The countryside drive was an ever-so-brief ride to and between two downscale wineries set amid dingy-looking warehouses and industrial buildings The winery folks were nice enough, and the wine was good, but there was no countryside drive. I was expecting vineyards of a caliber at least close to the vineyards I've visited in France, Italy, or California, and perhaps a ride into the mountains or at least to one little village.

In Monaco, we arranged with an outside group for a "three museums" tour (Rothschild estate, Matisse, and Chagall, all in and around Nice). The guide was engaging, knowledgeable, talkative . . a really wonderful time. Way better than the Cunard tours.

Guess I'm just saying that Cunard has really let its excursion program slip. There were other problems and misinterpretations with both tours. The Tour Office people couldn't have been nicer. But who's researching these excursions and vetting them? The outside excursion was light-years better. Cunard should hire Viatar or some legitimate company to conduct the tours.

And yes, I know, the ship will always wait for a Cunard tour. That's not an excuse for such poor tours.
4,027 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
You handled the situation in precisely the right way, which was to complain to the Tour Office that the trip did not deliver on the advertised experience. Complaints are the only way that they will know that the shore side agents are not fulfilling their promises.
334 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
I had similar experiences this past Jan >> March ( 53 days ) on the QV from FLL >> Sydney. Several tours were just dreadful, one was a snorkeling trip + they took us to a sandy beach. !! Fish don't live / thrive @ sandy beaches ~~~~ they live, reproduce among coral, rocks. What a stupid place to take snorkelers. I complained, & the tour cost was refunded, but the day and the experience was "Lost". Other guests repeated similar disappointing scenarios with their various tours. Yes-- they too had $$$ refunded, but Again-- The Day and the opportunity for the experience was L O S T.
Queensland, Australia
40 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Our Bullet Train tour from QM2 in Shanghai turned into a 17-hour horrendous trip ... with just ONE meal during the whole time. Oh, and a few nut bars thrust at us by the guides when we complained of hunger pains as we raced from one point of interest to another!! At least Cunard reimbursed us with 50 percent of the tour cost
319 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by dennisamor
Our Bullet Train tour from QM2 in Shanghai turned into a 17-hour horrendous trip ... with just ONE meal during the whole time. Oh, and a few nut bars thrust at us by the guides when we complained of hunger pains as we raced from one point of interest to another!! At least Cunard reimbursed us with 50 percent of the tour cost
Maybe your 50 percent refund would hav e been Cunards profit from the trip?
Wigan, Lancashire
275 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
I agree with you Castlewood that you did the right thing to complain and ask for a refund. If people get a raw deal on these (normally overpriced) excursions and demand their money back then the message might start to get through to the team on board that they are not providing what they consider to be a service.

Its also essential that people complain when their so-called "guide" is useless. In our experience a knowledgeable, well spoken and pleasant guide can make so much difference to the overall experience.

We often take a trip/tour and enjoy the occasion and tell our friends who subsequently visit the same port and take the same trip only to tell us that it was not a good experience, the guide told them nothing and hardly spoke during the trip. Unless we, the passengers relate episodes of having poor performing guides on tours, in all fairness the team on board will never know.

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319 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
I also agree what Castlewood did, if people do not tell the powers that be, what we think is wrong, they will assume everything is fine and no need to change anything. The fares they charge for any trip are all well over the top.
58 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
I also was on a particularly weak excursion on june 30th, on a Queen Victoria cruise. I forgot about it, but now after reading this thread, I think I might write to cunard about it. It was a Pisa excursion from Livorno. The chatty guide told lots of stories on the bus ride about recipes, then dropped us off at the leaning tower, gave false tips about prices and admission to certain places, and that was it. She didnt do a guided tour, or anything. We figured out ourselves how to get into the cathedral and where to get tickets an so on. Everything she said about the ways to get tickets, what they cost, and when they are valid was wrong.
( the admission schemes at the leaning tower sites are a bit complicated)
She took us back to the ship and that was it.
Since we enjoyed the site itself so much i forgot to complain back then.