Jump to content
djandbj

Athens tour company

Recommended Posts

Why are all these reviews by first time posters? It is a bit of a worry.

Kind of agree-it is odd.. but dirtgirl certainly has more than one;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why are all these reviews by first time posters? It is a bit of a worry.

 

Think you need to start at the beginning of this thread - Lois R has over 30,000 posts, I have over 3,000, many others with several hundred each. Should not be "a worry". You'll read the same high praise for these two tour companies on TripAdvisor as well. They're that good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why are all these reviews by first time posters? It is a bit of a worry.

 

Zelker is correct, the entire thread is comprised mostly of comments made by multiple posters.

 

This is my first cruise in 20 years, my join date is Feb '12...I have other comments to post, haven't gotten to it, yet.

 

Just let me know, I will gladly give you anything I am able, hoping to help you in making your decisions for several med cruise ports. Our trip, including Rome and Venice, was wonderful, and we felt we hit a home run with every guide we used...how fortunate was that? I hope yours will be fantastic, as well. Have fun!

Edited by R_WeThereYet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zelker is correct, the entire thread is comprised mostly of comments made by multiple posters.

 

This is my first cruise in 20 years, my join date is Feb '12...I have other comments to post, haven't gotten to it, yet.

 

Just let me know, I will gladly give you anything I am able, hoping to help you in making your decisions for several med cruise ports. Our trip, including Rome and Venice, was wonderful, and we felt we hit a home run with every guide we used...how fortunate was that? I hope yours will be fantastic, as well. Have fun!

 

Rwethereyet.

 

Good to hear. I am just paranoid after another thread where one time posters (on here and Trip Advisor) raved on about a guy in Alaska who turned out to be a charlatan. Don't mind me. :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not my first post but we used Private Greece Tours last November and can assure you Nikos Loukas is one of the the best tour guides we ever had! There were 10 of us and did a full day Athens taxi tour, pick up and retun to port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I'm one of the ones who posted earlier raving about Private Greece Tours and Nikos, it's owner. I'm just under 4000 posts now so not a newbie. This is a great company to work with. We've hired them twice and could not have been happier with their service. Just wish I was heading back again soon!!!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I've noticed in the last year or two on this site is that "savvy" tour operators will actively solicit returning passengers to write a review of their services here on CC. Often they will even provide a link to a thread such as this one, since by CC rules no one can start a thread with an unsolicited tour review; it must be in response to a query.

 

Because of this, you'll get some folks joining CC just to post a good review of their tour. I'm not fond of this practice myself (would rather see unsolicited reviews) as it tends to give a sense of prominence to the couple of companies that use this practice, whether or not they are the best....

 

It is what it is, but it's best to be aware of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing I've noticed in the last year or two on this site is that "savvy" tour operators will actively solicit returning passengers to write a review of their services here on CC. Often they will even provide a link to a thread such as this one, since by CC rules no one can start a thread with an unsolicited tour review; it must be in response to a query.

 

Because of this, you'll get some folks joining CC just to post a good review of their tour. I'm not fond of this practice myself (would rather see unsolicited reviews) as it tends to give a sense of prominence to the couple of companies that use this practice, whether or not they are the best....

 

It is what it is, but it's best to be aware of it.

 

 

Well you're right they do that, most of these companies are small without large amounts of money to spend on advertising and the internet is one way to spread the word. I suspect that if a company were providing bad service you would find people spreading that word too. I,for one, am very glad to be able to read of other people's experiences with tours/hotels/guides both here and on Trip Advisor, being able to do that has GREATLY enhanced my experience on my trips.....I haven't picked a bad tour/hotel/guide since reading this information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing I've noticed in the last year or two on this site is that "savvy" tour operators will actively solicit returning passengers to write a review of their services here on CC. Often they will even provide a link to a thread such as this one, since by CC rules no one can start a thread with an unsolicited tour review; it must be in response to a query.

 

Because of this, you'll get some folks joining CC just to post a good review of their tour. I'm not fond of this practice myself (would rather see unsolicited reviews) as it tends to give a sense of prominence to the couple of companies that use this practice, whether or not they are the best....

 

It is what it is, but it's best to be aware of it.

 

I agree with Gracie - these are small companies who bend over backwards to make sure their clients have a wonderful time. If it helps them to post a review, I'm happy to do it. But believe me, if I had less than the experience I was expecting, I would not hesitate to post that too. I find nothing wrong with a company owner asking people to spread the word....I think most people will agree that there is nothing better than word of mouth advertising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well you're right they do that, most of these companies are small without large amounts of money to spend on advertising and the internet is one way to spread the word. I suspect that if a company were providing bad service you would find people spreading that word too. I,for one, am very glad to be able to read of other people's experiences with tours/hotels/guides both here and on Trip Advisor, being able to do that has GREATLY enhanced my experience on my trips.....I haven't picked a bad tour/hotel/guide since reading this information.

 

I agree with Gracie - these are small companies who bend over backwards to make sure their clients have a wonderful time. If it helps them to post a review, I'm happy to do it. But believe me, if I had less than the experience I was expecting, I would not hesitate to post that too. I find nothing wrong with a company owner asking people to spread the word....I think most people will agree that there is nothing better than word of mouth advertising.

 

I am not saying the practice is right or wrong -- clearly CC allows it, so it's not up to me to make a determination.

 

However, I think it's also fair that readers be aware the feedback given isn't necessarily as spontaneous as a casual reader might think. Several times people have expressed surprise when they've been contacted by a guide or agency after the fact and asked (at times a bit aggressively, and I've had that experience personally) to write a review on CC.

 

I notice you both mention the word "advertising" in your responses. To me, there is a difference between advertising and a true, spontaneous and glowing report that is unsolicited. The latter, when I can distinguish them, will point me to the guides that I'd want to hire.

 

YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am not saying the practice is right or wrong -- clearly CC allows it, so it's not up to me to make a determination.

 

However, I think it's also fair that readers be aware the feedback given isn't necessarily as spontaneous as a casual reader might think. Several times people have expressed surprise when they've been contacted by a guide or agency after the fact and asked (at times a bit aggressively, and I've had that experience personally) to write a review on CC.

 

I notice you both mention the word "advertising" in your responses. To me, there is a difference between advertising and a true, spontaneous and glowing report that is unsolicited. The latter, when I can distinguish them, will point me to the guides that I'd want to hire.

 

YMMV.

 

 

I guess since I'm IN the hospitality business and run a resort I know very well how wonderful and how terrible any internet site can be. Do I aggressively seek out reviews on Trip Advisor for my property, no, I don't but I certainly welcome them. I think you take the word "advertising" a bit too seriously in both my & Zelker's response. Are the reviews good "advertising" for a tour company? SURE they are, but whether solicited OR NOT I willingly gave my opinion, as I'm sure all the others have too...it's not like anyone is holding you hostage or charging you more if you opt NOT to post something...I guess I just don't understand your concern. Of course there are others who don't ask a client to "pass the word" if they've had a good experience, that is THEIR perogative but I see nothing wrong with a company seeing the possiblities in getting good reviews on this site and Trip Advisor by simply asking a client, "If you enjoyed my services please say so...." What in the world is the harm in that?

 

And I assure you if I have a bad experience I pass THAT word on too!!!

Edited by Gracie115

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now been home a month from magnificent 20 night Mediterranean cruise. In Athens we used Private Greece Tours for 10 of us on a full day sightseeing tour. We experienced an absolutely fantastic day in covering the many sights of such a large & busy city as Athens.

I give great credit to Nikos, & our driver Frank, for their very efficient & totally reliable service, & would not hesitate to recommend their tour operations for any future visitors to Athens:):)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will be arriving in Athens at noon on the next to last day of our Azamara cruise. The ship's excursion sounds ominous stressing how strenuous the walking and climbing are. We climbed the mountain in Kotor, Montenegro but were able to do so at our own pace. Would we be able to do the ship's tour or should we do a private one where we could take our time? Exactly how difficult is it?:confused::confused::confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During a 7 day cruise I setup a private tour for my family (wife and children ages 16 and 18) with Private Greece Tours. Working with Nikos on setting up the tour was great, he answered all of my questions in a timely, professional and complete manner. When we got off the ship Helen was there waiting for us and the driver was in the van which was cooled and ready to go. Helen's passion for her country and the knowledge she possessed was impressive. The tour was informative and educational, without being boring and mundane. She really did make it interesting and personal. The great part of private tours is that you can do as much or as little as you want and Helen was more than happy to spend more (or less) time in items that interested us. Overall a GREAT experience and I would wholeheartedly recommend Private Greece tours to anyone..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Booking a tour with Nikos and Private Greek Tours was absolutely the best thing we could have done in Athens! Everything went exactly as planned and Nikos is the ultimate guide. He is very knowledgeable and easy to understand. He knew of all the great places to take us and was willing to alter the plans to accommodate our group of six if we wanted to do something different. We took the tour along the 'Greek Riviera' and had lunch at a small local restaurant (Nikos' recommendation) that was wonderful. Don't hesitate to contact Nikos about your tour - he's great!

:):):)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used Athens Tour Company, with Nikos Loukas , it was the best tour of our trip as my husband has often said since we have been home. He was More than accomodating, giving us all the local information, and history we craved to know. We found him very knowledgable, and helpful. We were very fortunate to find Nikos Loukas, he was like being with our own personal Rick Steves!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, to those who are concerned about whether a number of these posts are, perhaps, "not kosher", I have booked Private Greece Tours for transport and a half day tour coming up this month. A FULL report will follow after our experience. This will NOT be our first trip to Athens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are considering taking a trip to Corinth on our way to the port to begin our cruise. We will have been in Athens 2 days before doing Sounion and Athens. Sounion will be with a taxi driver and Athens, Athens Walking Tours. Do we need to hire an additional guide in Corinth, or would the driver give enough info before getting there. Hoping to use Athens by Taxi---Paul Kalomiris.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our family just came back from our Splendour of the Seas cruise to the Greek isles and we used Private Greece Tours by Nikos Loukas in Athens. Our driver, Makis, was very knowledgeable about the history and culture of Greece. Friends of ours that went with us on the cruise also used Private Greece Tours for their Athens/Cape Sounion tour and raved about their tour. We thoroughly enjoyed our day and highly recommend this company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are considering taking a trip to Corinth on our way to the port to begin our cruise. We will have been in Athens 2 days before doing Sounion and Athens. Sounion will be with a taxi driver and Athens, Athens Walking Tours. Do we need to hire an additional guide in Corinth, or would the driver give enough info before getting there. Hoping to use Athens by Taxi---Paul Kalomiris.

 

Paul (and any of his drivers) will be able to give you plenty of information about Corinth and the area as they are taking you there. Couple that with some pre-trip reading about it and you'll be fine. We were just there in May and did not have a guide and none of us felt that we missed anything doing it on our own. BTW, the small museum there is fabulous. Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We also used Privategreecetours with Nikos and were very happy with the service. Highly recommend him!

 

 

What is the customary tip for the driver?

 

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul (and any of his drivers) will be able to give you plenty of information about Corinth and the area as they are taking you there. Couple that with some pre-trip reading about it and you'll be fine. We were just there in May and did not have a guide and none of us felt that we missed anything doing it on our own. BTW, the small museum there is fabulous. Enjoy!

 

I'm not disagreeing with you, but I visited Corinth a couple of years ago with a private driver and some information of my own. I was a little surprised by how much there was at the site and felt I didn't have adequate notes. Now I am going back again and have found a lot more information on Corinth this time around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is the customary tip for the driver?

 

Thank you.

 

Tipping is quite a personal thing......we had a wonderful guide

when I sailed Equinox in May. I didn't ask anyone how much they

tipped. I cruise solo and I think I gave the guide 10 Euros and

I honestly can't remember how much I gave the driver:eek:

Oh we used this same company....and it was a wonderful day:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I visited Corinth a couple of years ago with a private driver and some information of my own. I was a little surprised by how much there was at the site and felt I didn't have adequate notes. Now I am going back again and have found a lot more information on Corinth this time around.

 

Good point in that some people will want a lot more detail about what they are seeing so a guide would most definitely be beneficial. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We recently used Private Greece Tours for a tour of Athens. Our driver was Billy, he was very knowledgeable and knew exactly when to be at the relevant sights without us being lost amongst the hoards of other tourists.

 

He also recommended an excellent restaurant, where we had a delicious lunch!

 

I would be more than happy to use this company again and was very happy with their service, value for money, when you consider how much the cruise ships charge you for their excursions!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also used Private Greece Tours for our 1/2 day trip to Cape Sounion. You can see my photo review of the trip in the Cape Sounion or Corinth??? thread.

 

I highly recommend the company due to the excellent and continuous communication I had with Nikos for over 6 months while planning this trip and the excellent service we received during the tour. Nilkos was always very prompt in replying to all my emails. The other reason I recommend them is the excellent and professional service we received from our driver Dmitris. He was very informative and helpful. His taxi was clean, the air conditioner worked very well, and the car did not smell of smoke. At the end of the trip Dmitris dropped off us right at the gangway to the ship. It was very nice to not have to deal with the port shuttle service.

 

Next time I need a tour provider in Athens, I will once again use Private Greece Tours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just off our Ruby Med cruise...

 

Exchanged many great emails with Nikos Loukas before hand and then shared wonderful day with Alex our GREAT driver, my husband, and two fellow cruisers from Cruise Critic.

 

Alex told us so much about where we were, what was going on with Greece...historically and now..what a great day!

 

We saw so much and he detoured and he rearranged the day due to traffic to maximize our day. 240 Euros total....

 

So worth it to get to see so much in limited time. WOW...

 

Highly recommend this company and ALEX!!!

 

 

 

Bernadette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My family and I recently traveled to Greece and after researching tour company's on cruise critics we chose Nikos group. "Billy from the Bronx" was our tour guide and an excellent one at that. It was perfectly orchestrated so we could spend more or less time at each site depending on our wants and needs. Expense wise it worked out to be cheaper than the excursion from the ship per person. We had 7 people and rented the Mercedes Van, it was air conditioned, roomy and Billy was full of knowledge and had a great sense of humor.....We choice Nikos private tourn.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were in Athens for one day while sailing on the Navigator of the Seas. Nikos is extremely well organized, I received an email from him 2 weeks before our trip because RC swapped our days in port. He said he'd already rescheduled our tour and would see us soon. This was news to us, because we didn't receive notice from RC about the switch until we checked in, but we already knew.

 

The cost of this tour was just about the same as the cruise sponsored tour, but you don't have to ride on a bus with 40 other people. We got off the ship and met our driver Alex right at the port entrance and got into our private air conditioned Mercedes for our all day tour, which isn't offered by the ship by the way. We stayed ahead of all the buses all day long and saw everything we could cram into a few hours in Athens. It was amazing.

 

Our driver Alex was one of the best things about the trip, he was great and was very candid with all the information about Greece he had, ancient and modern both. It gave us a great glimpse into Greece past and present. Our only single regret was we managed to forget to take a group picture with him!

 

If you are sailing to Athens on a cruise you owe it to yourself to use Nikos for your tour instead of the ship excursions. They were on top of the schedule completely so we never had a single doubt that we wouldn't be back to the ship on time. If you want to maximize your time and money then this is your 100% best option!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just did a tour earlier this week with Private Greece tours; three generations (15 years to 75 years) and Frank was great. Very knowledgeable and professional and accommodated even a stop at the grocery store.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we were in Athens in June we hired a great taxi driver. Stathis Mataragkas showed us around Athens. His email is m_stan@on.gr or stathis_mat@hotmail.com. He had a traditional taxi that could seat 4 passengers. If I remember right he charged us 150 euro to take us around Athens for as long as we desired. He helped us buy tickets to the sites. Dropped us off and returned to pick us up at the time we requested. He was easy to talk to and spoke excellent English.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We went on our first ever cruise in June 2012, we were very worried about booking a taxi to take us around Athens. We found http://www.privategreecetours.com/ email nikosloukas1@gmail.com for enquiries, on this site and booked a taxi to collect us from the dock and take us on a half day tour. Our taxi driver Sakis couldn't have been kinder, or more knowledgable. He not only showed us on brochures and books where we were visiting but also had old coins to show us as well. He provided bottles of water, local snacks cooked by his wife and a souvenier map of the Parthenon. We saw so much of Athens in just one morning. I would reccommend this company ans be sure to ask for Sakis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am looking for a hotel to stay for two nights precruise next October.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We would like to recommend Private Greece Tours, which was highly recommended on Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor. Owner Nikos Loukas was wonderful in making arrangements for our tour and ship pick up, especially when our ship arrived in Athens a day early due to bad weather - one phone call to Nikos and he had a driver waiting for us! Our driver Manos was marvelous! He spoke excellent English, having lived in New Jersey for a time before returning to Greece. We had initially booked a half day tour as we were nervous about missing our ship. However, upon reconsideration, we decided to take the full day tour and make the most of our day in Athens. During our tour, we covered the entire city of Athens in a private air conditioned car. Manos took us to all of the major tourist sites and a many unknown sites. He provided interesting information about the city and culture and answered all of our questions. We even had time for lunch in Plaka. Since it is unlikely we will ever be in Athens again, we wanted to get the most out of our tour. The ship excursions were mostly shopping or a drive-by the Acropolis. We didn't travel all the way to Athens to drive by the Acropolis! We wanted to climb to the top and really experience Athens. With Private Greece Tours, we were able to do that and more. Thank you Nikos and Manos for an excellent adventure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

September 2012 - had a great all day tour with Private Greece Tours. We were on a 20 Day Med Tour on the Noordam, and we feel that our tour with Demos was one of the best. If we had more time in Athens, I think Demos would have taken us home for dinner. In comparing tours with others on the ship, no one had the indepth tour of Athens that we did. If we ever get the chance to go to Greece again, we will definitely go with Nikos' company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

We used Private Greece Tours for a trip round Athens. Alex our guide was very informative and entertaining. I would recommend this company if you stop in Athens. The company was very helpful and sent all the details by e-mail and also a phone number in case we had to get in touch. The price was reasonable also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used Private Greece Tours for our port day on October 17th. Nikos was very prompt and efficient in his replies to my email, and Elias, our driver, was wonderful! He gave us some historical background to all of the sites, and made sure we saw everything we had on our agenda for the 6 hours we had in Athens. I highly recommend them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't say enough about Private Greece Tours. As a group of 8, we were all impressed with the knowledge, humor, and professionalism of this group from booking to being dropped off for our 12 day cruise. Bravo!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can't enough good things about Nikos and his tour company, Private Greece Tours. Although our ship was a little late docking on October 18h, 2012, he was right there waiting for us! He was actually our driver and guide, how lucky can we be?? We felt very safe in Athens even though there had been rioting about their economy. Nikos was not only extremely kind, he really knew his way around the traffic and knew there was an elevator at the Acropolis for my disabled husband. In the past my husband was not able to get to the top - but this time, he stood at the top with our friends and me! What an incredible feeling. One of our friends wanted an authentic gyros (yes, turisto!) so we were off the Plaka near temples, we were able to combine the fabulous lunch stop as well as see a few temples in the mix.

 

Needless to say, Nikos and his company is exceptional. For those of you who are afraid to take a private tour, well, we always take private tours wherever we go. Never a problem, never a delay. Private Greece Tours stands above all the other companies. We are seasoned international travelers so we aren't impressed easily.

 

Thanks Nikos!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×