Written on: 27/09/2012
We booked a Leger coach trip for December 2011 and paid to upgrade to Silver Service coach. The coach trip was not as described in the brochure. Instead, at 10.15 a.m. we were met and transported from Croydon to Orpington rail station by a people carrier. We then had to wait outside at a bus stop for an hour in the freezing cold for a tatty, cramped coach to arrive to transport us to Dover stopping off at Maidstone for a 20 minute break. At Dover we had another 30 minute wait outside in the cold before we boarded our Silver Service coach. At 14.30 p.m. we endured another hour wait on the coach before we were able to board the ferry at 15.35 p.m. Our return journey was also contrary to the advertised information, whereby we drove on our Silver Service coach from Brussels via Bruges to Calais and again had to wait outside in the cold before we changed from our Silver Service coach to a coach taking us to Croydon.
On arrival at the Brussels hotel, porter services were practically non-existent as there was only one porter to take two coach loads of passengers luggage to the rooms.
The hotel was not in the centre of Brussels and therefore we had to rely on the representatives (the two drivers) to guide us. They took us on our second day to the centre of Brussels and failed to inform us of the whereabouts of the main attraction - the large Brussels Christmas market with ice rink and Ferris wheel!!!!! By chance, we stumbled upon it. We were also totally disappointed to discover that the coach returned to the hotel at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and were not informed of the Sonic Lumiere held in the Grand Square at the same time as the departure of the coaches, thereby missing yet another of the main attractions.
Overnight, I developed a severe bout of gastro enteritis which could have been the result of a chill in the stomach caused by standing in the cold for so long waiting for connecting coaches. This was reported to the representatives at breakfast and asked if they had or knew of any medication that could help. They didn't. This spoilt the remainder of the trip to Valkenburg, Bruges and the return journey, still suffering nearly a week after my return to England. I received more assistance from the Valkenburg tourist office!!
The whole trip was more like an endurance test than an enjoyable break.