I am wanting to do the Roman Road 30th August 2012 and Gondolas Go North 23rd Sept 2012. We decided to break it up so we could spend our own time driving around italy. The roman road tour is not a guaranteed, so I just wanted to know, what are the chances of a tour cancelling? has anyone had their tour cancelled?? And will travel insurance cover the cost of flight/accomodation changes???
Unfortunately I have had a tour cancelled and the communication of this wasn’t as good as I would have hoped. It was a tour around Britain a couple of years ago and due to my plans I was unable to book a guaranteed departure for this tour so took the risk and booked a date that wasn’t guaranteed. I kept a check on it and a few days before I left NZ I noticed the dates had disappeared from the list - either meaning it was cancelled or fully booked. I tried contacting Topdeck without much success so went to see my travel agent who had not been informed of anything either. She managed to get through to them on the phone and was told it had been cancelled about a week earlier.
To be fair the tour was still a couple of months away - I was travelling for a little while before this part of the trip - but I’d still expect to be informed straight away of a cancellation. Luckily my travel agent was very good - she recommended a very similar tour on Contiki which was guaranteed departure and around the same dates and booked me onto it. It was slightly more expensive as it was hotel rather than hostel and was also a couple of days longer with extra destinations but was well worth it as it went to a specific location for a specific purpose that I was trying to work out how to do myself and fit into my dates so the fact that this sorted out the transport and accommodation and even the actual event all in one was perfect for me.
Very glad I kept an eye on the website as if I hadn’t then who knows when I or my travel agent would have been contacted, and also I may have been hard to contact once I was overseas and alternative arrangements would have been much more difficult. Not sure about how insurance or refunds would work as in my case, my travel agent arranged the transfer of what I’d paid from Topdeck to Contiki and I just paid her the little extra the new tour cost on top.
Anyway I’d recommend keeping an eye on the departure dates through the booking page. If your dates disappear from the list as mine did then contact Topdeck or your travel agent immediately to clarify what has happened. This is exactly why I booked my tours through a travel agent as I wanted someone experienced in what to do if something went wrong like this.
Thanx for the info! so when was your tour? That’s what im afraid of, cause we booked 2 topdeck tours, the london to rome which is not guaranteed, and the rome back to london via east europe which is guaranteed and spend the time in between to travel independently around italy… our initial plan was to book a different date but both arent guaranteed and i didnt want to risk 2 tours having to cancel on me…
You seemed fortunate that there was a backup tour… but ive looked around and saw that there are a few tours similar to the first, but the dates is not what we want. But yeah hopefully it wont be a problem, its still early days, i went through a travel agent, and they said because its right after the olympics, it shouldnt be a problem, but then again who knows?
But yeah thanks for your input… i’ll definitely be checking everyday!!
No worries. Hopefully you will be ok, when is your tour supposed to start?
Mine was the last week of July 2009. From what I gathered at the time I don’t think tours are cancelled that often, but these Britain and Ireland tours were brand new for that summer so had no past reviews or reputation so perhaps that’s why bookings in the first batch weren’t great. I was indeed very lucky there was a similar tour with Contiki on the same dates - from memory I think it was 2 days longer as it went to more places and may have started a day or 2 earlier. Fortunately I had nothing booked on the extra days and was staying with family in London so didn’t have to alter any accommodation aside from booking the Contiki departure hotel for the night before and luckily I hadn’t got round to booking the Topdeck one yet - I was being cautious in waiting for the tour to become guaranteed. I think that might be why I also kept a couple of days either side of the tour free aswell in case things had to change.
Worked out really well in the end as although there were 1 or 2 differences and I missed a couple of places the Topdeck one would have taken me too, I got a lot extra I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. The Topdeck one went straight from Edinburgh to Glasgow for instance whereas the Contiki one took us from Edinburgh up into the Highlands for a night, via a surprise stop (destination wasn’t revealed until we were 10 minutes away) at St Andrews which for me as a big golf fan was one of the top highlights of my 3 moths traveling, then we went to Loch Ness and had a cruise on Loch Lomond. Also the Topdeck one was to finish in Glasgow so I then had to organise my own way back to London - again luckily not yet sorted out until it was to become guaranted whereas the Contiki one took us back.
Anyway sorry for my irrelavent rambling, just getting the memories coming back! I also did the 23 day Europe Uncovered tour with Topdeck which included your London to Rome part so happy to answer any questions about that.
We had a tour to Spain few months ago, but uforturenatly it was canceled. We had to claim for a cancelled flight to our insurance company - Globelink.co.uk
. They dealt with the claim very quickly and paid out without any problems.
Alex - No worries about the rambling I’m a rambler myself, im sure i’d be doing the same after my holiday. We have already put in a deposit for the london to rome leaving 30th august 2012. What were the accomodations like?? I hear the bus rides can be long, but Im sure there were things to see on the way? Did you end up doing the optional excursions?? Anything I should avoid or must go to??
Ryan - Yeah I wish travel insurance companies in australia will do that, they have a way of avoiding claims, a cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances to them may mean a natural disaster or family death, but if topdeck cancels due to not enough passengers, then they can say thats not an unforeseen circumstance. Which is why I’m going to have to email every single one of them and see which one is the better one.
mmarlee- Your tour may be apart of another longer tour and that can increase the chances of it not getting cancelled. I have a 10day greek Island hopper booked which isn’t guaranteed before my Spirit of Europe Tour. I have a backup plan of seeing the greek islands if my tour is cancelled.