Treasures of Europe - First week of April 2017

★★★★☆
4.3 / 5
89% of users recommend this

ajayjmundra's review of Star Tours UK

★★★★☆

“Treasures of Europe - First week of April 2017”

Written on: 03/05/2017 by ajayjmundra (1 review written)

Star Tours - Treasures of Europe - Starting 1 April 2017

Feedback

General

Booking experience: The overall booking experience was good. The operations team was supportive and proactive in addressing my queries. The team made sure that food preference (Jain food) was correctly noted and arrangements were accordingly made. The emails were regular and provisional invoice was sent timely. However, couple of comments -
a. While I did the booking in much advance, I was not assigned seats based on the Star Tour policy of first come first seats assigned (subject to operational decisions). I was assigned seats 41-44 which were in behind half of the coach. I got to know during the tour that several families of 4 who had booked after my booking were assigned seats in the front. I had mentioned to the booking office that I have members in family who have motion sickness. Due to assigning seats at the back of the coach (bus), my daughter vomitted which could have been avoided if your team would take in consideration medical condition of passengers while assigning the seats.
b. The team committed in providing seating information a day before the start of the tour. I kept calling number of times but was never informed about the seat allocation - I was finally informed when I boarded the bus in Brussels. Since the tour had already started I did not want to create a scene in Brussels. However, I urge Star Tours to be transparent with the final seat allocation a day before the tour commences.

Tour Manager: the tour manager is the best part of our tour. She is a phenomenal guide, bursting with energy and keeping the group together in high spirits. Hats off to hear for taking such good care of the group. The group was an extended family of 'MY PEOPLE' and the Tour Manager made the trip memorable. She would provide great context, history, background about the places we would visit. She would provide excellent tips about the do's and don't's at each of the destinations. She would keep the team engaged and take care of all our needs - hotel rooms, food, time discipline, and lot of other things. She did not hesitate in giving more than 100% on several days. She is a big PLUS for Star Tours.

Tour Captain: the man we had was a great captain.His driving skills are good - he would drive steady. He showed great presence of mind the day when we were stuck in traffic jam. While the day ended very late, he demonstrated great patience and made it possible for the coach to reach hotel safely. He took good care of belongings in the coach.

Daily Feedback
Day 1: Brussels
Dinner at 7 Hotel & Fitness: The food quality was just so-so and the food was to be eaten in disposable plates. It is strange that dinner at a restaurant is not served in plates (steel or ceramic)

Day 2: Black forest
Cuckoo Clock Lunch: This was served in tent and the food quality was bad. The weather was cold and the expectation would be that food would be served warm. Specifically, the papdi chat was not of good quality. The overall food spread was weird - dry bhel, biryani, black forest cake. This does not sound like a lunch menu. I would urge the team to reconsider the food menu as well as work towards improving the food quality. I further urge Star tours to have options wherein the food can be customised to the weather requirements.
Dinner at Ox restaurant: The food at Ox restaurant was quite good. We were finally happy that the food quality improved compared to prior experience.
Hotel: H + Hotel: The hotel was a good property - the rooms were spacious and the heating was good. Generally pleased.

Day 3: Mt. Titlis
The experience at Mount Titlis was mind-blowing. The arrangement for cable car and general guidance provided was great. This was one of the most memorable part of the tour.
Lunch: The lunch at Ox restaurant was very good. The spread of idli, medu wada, sambar, chutney was great. The kids were very pleased.
Hotel: The SB Padova is the worst property during the entire tour. There are several complaints - the room key was not working properly, there was no kettle for hotel water, the shower area did not have hot water, the window would not open (Air Conditioner was not working), the lighting in the room and dining area was not sufficient. The hotel property assigned a very tight space for the group to have dinner and breakfast.


Day 4: Venice
The breakfast at SB Padova was having very limited spread. Kids were hungry that day. The visit to Venice was good. The ride in boats and gondola was good experience. The lunch at Gandhi restaurant was very good. Having the food served was great and also the spread and food quality was good. The continental dinner at Holiday Inn Rome was of bad quality. While the hotel took extra effort to serve us food even though we reached late, the food quality and spread was not good. The cuisine needs to be supplemented with India spread. My family along with other group members slept hungry that night.
Holiday Inn Rome: The hotel property is generally quite good; however, the lift is very small. This does impact the check-in and check-out process as getting luggage to/from the room is a very time consuming effort.

Day 5: Rome
Breakfast: The breakfast spread at Holiday Inn was a similar experience to that of the dinner the prior night. I certainly think the breakfast should be supplemented with Indian cuisine.
Rome sight seeing: One of the other most memorable experience. We enjoyed the day sightseeing the city (Vatican, Collosseum, Trevi Fountain). However, the 4D show is waste of time and money in the city where the time can be used for something much better. Offering the group with free Gelato ice cream was a great gesture. The night tour of Rome was memorable. Once again, very grateful to Tour Manager and Tour Captain to make this happen even though it was late.
Dinner: The dinner at Gandhi restaurant was once again quite good.
Local Guide: While the local guide was knowledgeable, she was not making the experience at Vatican interesting for the group. Her commentary was monotonous and we easily lost interest. I am surprised that for the location as interesting at Rome and Vatican - the local guide had so much to offer, but turned out to be a disappointment. I would urge you to consider someone who is better at the job.

Day 6: Florence
The city tour of Florence was good. However, the time was less. Since the only next destination was travel to Pisa, the time in Florence can be increased. The free time given at the end of city tour could be better managed - I would suggest that this should be split wherein free time is given at start near Duomo (before the local guide arrives) and then an hour at Piazza della Signoria. Separately, the radio earphones at Florence are of poor quality. The one's provided in Vatican were quite good.

Ashok restaurant: This is one of the worst restaurant during the tour. The food quality was poor and the service was poor. The waiter served Jain food to all and that meant that my wife did not get sufficient food. The owner was a sweet talker but did not really care. The experience was unpleasant.

Day 7: Pisa, Geneva

The sightseeing in Pisa was quite nice. The guidance given to shop first and then do the sightseeing and taking pictures was good. The sightseeing time given was sufficient. The train ride back from restaurant to coach bus was a nice gesture. The tour of Geneva was reasonably ok.

Bollywood Cafe: The Indian food was generally good; however, the french fries were not cooked properly. This later on resulted in my daughter having to vomit for journey back to Geneva.


Overall, the experience was memorable. I have recommended Star Tours to some of my friends in Hong Kong who are considering visiting Europe. I hope if Star Tours were to take the above feedback and improve on those areas, it will certainly enhance the customer experience.

Get Great Holidays Deals From Expedia
Report this review
Great Deals on Expedia