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Reviews of our family adventures

Julieann Sewell
6th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Spicelands & Elephants

Our guide Tony made the trip for us. He was knowledgeable, friendly and flexible ; quite exceptional in his commitment to making our holiday a memorable one.  He was able to provide valuable insights into  Indian culture as well as  having a good understanding of the needs, concerns and hopes of British families. I believe safety is also paramount for families and our driver, Shaji was an exemplary driver, calm and friendly and both he and Tony worked well as team.

[Least enjoyed] I would suggest missing out the visit to Gureveyar to cut down on the considerable driving time throughout the trip. Although it was great to see the elephant sanctuary, our visit to the elephants later in the tour was so comprehensive that I think the trip would be no poorer. Given that non-Hindus cannot visit the temple at Gureveyar the elephants were the only reason to visit. On reflection a direct journey from Kochi to Munnar would be preferable and the extra day could be added to the beach at the end of the holiday.

Crucial to us booking the holiday was the access to swimming pools at some of the hotels. Only one of the hotels we stayed in had a pool and that was unclean with frogs etc. Tony was able to find swimming facilities at two locations otherwise this would have been very disappointing.   I think a reliable and suitable guide with an ability to communciate effectively with  children and adults is essential for the success of a family holiday. I would heartily recommend Tony for any of your family tours in India.

He was exceptional!

 

Mrs S - Travelled in August 2012

 

 

 


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Amanda Harris
6th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Spicelands & Elephants

Observing Indian life; meeting locals; staying on a houseboat; wildlife.

[Least enjoyed] Excessive travelling.

The trip to the first elephant camp could have been ommitted as it was a very long journey and elephants were seen elsewhere as part of the itenerary.  An extra night on the houseboat or beach would have been good for families.

Travelling with a child we had asked about swimming opportunities and told there would be pools at certain hotels, however different hotels were used without a pool which was disappointing for the children after long hot journeys.

our group leader Tony was exceptional, he had endless energy and humour and was great with the children.  He regularly went out of his way to find things for us e.g. local swimming opportunities and ensured everthing was well organised and ran smoothly.

 

Mrs H - Travelled in August 2012

 

 

 


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Julie Chappell
6th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Spicelands & Elephants

Our Tour Guide Tony Gomez was excellent. Words can't really do him justice - he was knowledgeable, efficient, kind to the children, and really went the extra mile, for example sourcing hotels with swimming pools for the kids to use on free afternoons and producing a personalised birthday cake for my son unprompted. Other highlights were the elephant ride/wash, walking in Periyar National Park, the houseboat and the time spent at the end of the trip on the beach at Kovalam.

[Least enjoyed] Eravikulum National Park which consisted of a bus ride then a walk along a short (2 km max) paved road rather than the anticipated trek.

We would have liked to see more of the temple(s) in Madurai as we only seemed to see one very small section of it.

[Comments on accomodation] One of the hotels (Periyar?) had a swimming pool that was completely green, clearly the water hadn't been changed for months. So much so that in the evening we saw frogs swimming in it

 

See previous comments - he really was absolutely outstanding

 

Mrs C - Travelled in August 2012

 

 

 


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Amanda Anderson
6th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Land of the Dragon - Family Holiday

The places we visited were as the brochure stated at time of booking but our local tour Guide, Anson Qui, ensured that we visited and saw more places of interest that were accessible and of interest to our group. Anson made the trip by being friendly, professional and made a point to get to know all holidaymakers in our group. Despite being ill himself whilst we were in China he continued with the itinerary and made arrangements with local guides to ensure we did not miss out on any aspect of the holiday. Ansons overall appearance, personality and commitment to The Adventure company ensured enjoyment of all whilst keeing us safe, fed, watered and making stops to western 'happy rooms' as was required.

[Least enjoyed] We had a hour delay on an internal flight. This was the only interuption to the holiday. One hotel was of extremly poor cleansiness. Anson contacted His head office and we recieved a final additional meal as compensation. This was prompt of the company and so overall I feel very satisfied by the Adventure company.

 

Anson Qui made our holiday splendid. His personal knowledge of all aspects of China from farmers, political, history and current affairs gave my children and I a real sense of the Chinese culture and their way of life. Anson was superb in all aspects and acted as a big brother to my children. Answering all their questions and encouraging them to enjoy themselves. Superb group leader.

 

Miss A - Travelled in August 2012

 

 

 


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David Lyndon
6th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Land of the Dragon - Family Holiday

Each and every day was packed with a stimulating activity, whether it was included or an optional excursion, so it is really hard to identify a notable highlight. The places I had very much wanted to visit such as the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, The Panda Breeding Centre and the beautiful Yangshuo exceeded my expectations.

There was only one aspect of the itinerary which we felt was unsuitable for our young family and that was Day 11. Where the intended activity was a rather long bike ride to Moon Hill. We felt that this was not practical for the following two reasons: - There is little to no traffic rules in China making it in our opinion dangerous for us to take our daughters who have no road riding experience in England onto the town’s roads which were very, very busy. The temperature was 37 degrees and just to hot too attempt. This was pointed out to the tour leader who admitted that previous families had felt the same and that we could do the tour by minibus instead which we did and thoroughly enjoyed.

There were a couple of optional excursions which we took and we felt were unmissable and worthy of inclusion in the 'included' tour itinerary, namely the Yangshuo Sound and Light show, The River Cruise (Yangshuo) and the Cormorant fishing (Yangshuo) -  All fantastic experiences.

Accommodation levels varied a lot on this tour, with the accommodation in the cities being of a  3-4 star quality, while the accommodation in Yangshuo being around 2 star – mainly due to the plumbing, leaking toilet bowls and sinks discharging onto the floor. We did change rooms after the first night here due to these reasons and the excessive noise experience with one of the rooms located at the front of the hotel.  The accommodation in both villages at the end of the tour exceeded our expectation and were charming, although while in Pingan we did share our rooms with a number of  rats which we saw and heard. But all in all we were happy.

 

 

Zhen Shu Feng (Jackie) our group leader and in our case, our personal guide as we were his only group members was incredibly helpful and highly efficient in his organisation of optional excursions and also for changing the mode of transport on Day 11 of the tour from bikes to minibus (See Previous comment). We could not have asked anymore from him and it was joy to share his company for the two weeks. His knowledge of the available restaurants was fantastic and meant we suffered no ill effects from eating while in China.

 

Mr L - Travelled in August 2012

 

 

 


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Sarah Kelly
5th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Borneo Family Adventure

The homestay in the Kinabatagan River area was a real experience & really memorable. Our guide Joanna, was superb. Very calm and very professional, but also with a great sense of humour!  She sorted things out very quietly but effectively - first class! The orangutans were very special, too

[Least enjoyed] All good except the standard of the last hotel - not up to much..... However, Sean your operations manager sorted out our final few nights at the Sutera Harbour, which was really superb - a much better ending than the no-beach/sheep poo option at the other place.

The trip was too short for the distance you have to travel (nearly 18 hours plus the jet lag with 7 hours time difference). It would have been better to: *. Extend the trip for 2 nights at Pula Tiga, one wasn't really enough... *. NOT finish at the sheep poo hotel, but provide an option for 4/5 days at a really nice resort where everyone would want to go.  As it was the party split up, even though quite a few people were staying on, which was a bit of an anticlimax after such a good trip.  Last year, we took the Zanzibar option after the Serengeti safari, as did all the other families, to make it up to a full 2 weeks - really nice hotel, really nice way to end

[Accommodation] The Sepilok camp was the best The final hotel was the worst - chalet backed on to a busy road, grounds not clean, couldn't swim in the sea..... A real let down

Joanna, from Intrepid was one of the highlights of the trip for us!!  We LOVED her style, manner & lovely sense of humour.

Mrs K - Travelled in July 2012

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Christopher Hammond
5th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Western Discovery

Monument valley tour & local meal, Angels landing hike

As we were the only family on the tour the guide adapted the itinerary to fit our interests and activity level so the activities could not have been better

Campsites and accomodation where of a much higher standard than on the Turkey adventure which we went n 2 years ago

The group leader was extremely knowledgeable and interesting and made a huge effort to ensure that we got the most out of the trip.

 

Mr H - Travelled in July 2012

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Shona Forsyth
5th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Spirit of the Incas

Machu Pichu, Rainforest, Galapagos cruise.  Guides and the wildlife we saw in Galapagos were absolutely excellent

[Least enjoyed] Long waits for flight connections. When we arrived in Quito the flight was slightly early and there was no guide to meet us.  We waited 10 minutes or so then phoned the number we had been provided for the hotel but could not get through.  I therefore contacted the UK customer support number (saw later there was also an Ecuador tour number to call but that also had no reply).  UK customer support were polite but had no help to offer.  They had no more information available than I had on the EMail.  When I said the number was not valid (turned out eventually to have been a typo in the number as the first 3 digits were in wrong order) - the only additional number they had as an emergency contact was my father's number which I had provided! . . . . . conclusion, customer support needs to be 24/7 and need to have information available which could be useful.  Need to be extremely careful that the local contact information you provide in EMails in completely accurate.

Wasn't enough info in advance on the rainforest part of the trip e.g. the facilities - simple things like bring your own shampoo.  By contrast as the hotel at Machu Pichu was noted as "basic" I had assumed there would not be any and maybe even shared facilities - it was MUCH better than expected.  Rainforest lodge was also great - we could just have been better prepared with more info

as in previous notes there were some hotels with more facilities than expected and others with less - they were completely fine, just not in line with expectations. In Puno we had 3 rooms - on floors 3, 4, 6.  That is not ideal with 5 children and various people suffering from jet lag and altitude sickness.  When travelling with children it's important to get rooms near each other

Group leader rating is related to Peru trip rather than the Galapagos one.  We felt we did not have enough information on the optional activities available.  The tour guide in Puno was very helpful and it was in fact her rather than the group leader who organised the food we'd have available (as vegetarians) in the rainforest . . . . though as I said in previous page, he was also good.  Galapagos we had 2 guides who also acted as groups leaders - really excellent, making an already wonderful trip into something really exceptional

Mrs F - Travelled in July 2012

 

Miss W - Travelled in July 2012

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Jacqueline Williams
5th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Nuts About Brazil - Family holiday

The flexibility of the tour guide and the quality of their information and knowledge of the country.

[Least enjoyed] The amount of travelling.  Out of the 12 day holiday 5 were spent travelling.  Also there was a miscommunication about our arrival time which meant that there was no one to meet us at the airport.

Because we ended up being the only people on the trip our trip itinerary was changed and we did not have the updated version before we left.

It was important for us to have access to the internet whilst travelling and so it was great that all the places we stayed had wifi access.

Ana Maria in Rio and Ihle Grande was excellent and I would definitely recommend using her again.  Nothing was too much trouble and she was able to really enhance our experience.

 

Miss W - Travelled in July 2012

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Paula Metcalfe
5th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
4
Croatian Coastal Adventure - Family Holiday

We all enjoyed the rafting, the instructors were a lot of fun, it was very scenic and in fact could easily have done more - made it a longer stop. It would have been even more enjoyable if it had been a bit more exciting, bigger rapids. I think the kids found it a bit tame really. I enjoyed seeing Dubrovnik but not at midday - far far too hot. I don't really like beaches and sunbathing and wasn't really keen at the thought of the day on Lopud, however in fact it was very pleasant, a lovely breeze, busy but not too crowded, decent food, and good availability of large umbrellas and sunbeds.

The kids didn't enjoy Dubrovnik - "touristy stuff is boring"! However we adults liked it.    I think having a night at Cetina river to avoid two long bus trips in one day, and do more rafting and/or other activity there would have been good. The bus trips itself was interesting as we saw other parts of the country.

I would like to commend our guide who couldn't have done more to keep everyone happy, she worked really hard and was anxious to enusre we all had a great time, which we did. She also gave us a really good insight into the history of the area, taught us a bit of croatian, sorted out various things for individuals, encouraged us to try some excurions on the "free" days, and went the extra mile bringing us home-made (by her mother) fig cakes. She deserves a big pat on theback. A really nice girl very committed to giving good service.

The bedroom rooms are a bit "tired". They were very short of cupboard/drawer space and a bit cramped. Air conditioning in kids room leaked, it was reported 4 times and "fixed" 4 times before it was actually fixed.Resulted in wet smelly carpet and wet personal belongings (left below unit due to lack of storage). Food was OK but not very exciting, not very appealingly presented. Staff very hardworking, very pleasant and helpful. Hotel is a pleasant location, liked the fact it wasn't a huge one, friendly, attractive.

 

Please refer back to earlier comments. Ana was delightful, hardworking, very committed to ensuring everyone had the best possible time. Very knowledgeable. Good fun. Tirelessly played with the kids on the beach day, very interesting and knowledgeable and enthusiastic about her country. Very much went the extra mile.

 

Mrs M - Travelled in July 2012

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