Questions about TopDeck


#1

I’m thinking about taking the TopDeck Tour that includes sailing in the Greek Islands or a Contiki Tour next summer. I’ve checked out a lot of Contiki travelogues and Contikiite websites and they have given me a good impression of their tours and I’ve found a lot of useful information. Has anyone posted a TopDeck travelogue or posted a website about their TopDeck tour? I haven’t found one yet. Most of the information I’ve seen just describes the cities visited. I’m looking for more information and personal opinions about the accommodations (specifically, non-camping accommodations). Are they clean? Convenient to the cities? What amenities do they have (i.e. laundry, bars, pools, etc.)? I’m not picky about these types of things but I’d like to know what to expect. Also, I enjoy reading the personal stories about the trips. What went on at night after sightseeing? Did the group party together? Did TopDeck organize any parties like Contiki does? [br][br]I would like to go on a tour where I can enjoy a cultural/architectural/historical experience in Europe combined with some fun partying with the other tour members. I’m hoping TopDeck can provide that.[br][br]If you know of a TopDeck travelogue or would be willing to share your personal TopDeck tour experience on the topics I listed above, I would really appreciate it. Any and all information is welcome. Thanks.


#2

[quote]Originally posted by bobr1973[br]
I’m thinking about taking the TopDeck Tour that includes sailing in the Greek Islands or a Contiki Tour next summer. I’ve checked out a lot of Contiki travelogues and Contikiite websites and they have given me a good impression of their tours and I’ve found a lot of useful information. Has anyone posted a TopDeck travelogue or posted a website about their TopDeck tour? I haven’t found one yet. Most of the information I’ve seen just describes the cities visited. I’m looking for more information and personal opinions about the accommodations (specifically, non-camping accommodations). Are they clean? Convenient to the cities? What amenities do they have (i.e. laundry, bars, pools, etc.)? I’m not picky about these types of things but I’d like to know what to expect. Also, I enjoy reading the personal stories about the trips. What went on at night after sightseeing? Did the group party together? Did TopDeck organize any parties like Contiki does? [br][br]I would like to go on a tour where I can enjoy a cultural/architectural/historical experience in Europe combined with some fun partying with the other tour members. I’m hoping TopDeck can provide that.[br][br]If you know of a TopDeck travelogue or would be willing to share your personal TopDeck tour experience on the topics I listed above, I would really appreciate it. Any and all information is welcome. Thanks.[br][/quote]


#3

Hi[br][br]I just recently did the Greek Island Hopper Tour. Our tour guide was disgraceful. He got drunk, was abusive, sleazy, and the list goes on and on. Our so called “historical walks” of the towns, were “Costas” walking us into the town, pointing out nothing of value, showing us where the bus depot was, and then asked if we knew how to get back!!! He even got us lost twice in Mykonos! Trust me, it aint that big. He never gave us any other options, he complained that he hated his job blah blah. The accomodations were nice, but dont expect 5 star. The worst was Paros. They never even had a room for me. I had to share a double bed with a girl that i didnt even know. On the last night we had a terrible storm, and numerous rooms from out tour got flooded, destroying passports and items. The hotel offered no assistance and out fearless tour leader was no where to be found.[br][br]Topdecks organisation wasnt the best. I booked the trip on my own, and i was guaranteed a double room with another single female traveller. The first stop i was in a triple, the 3rd stop with 4 others, and the last stop no room again. Everyone on the tour were angry at lack of organisation. Couples who booked together were never put in the same rooms, and groups of friends were split up.[br][br]Look i could keep going on and on, but overall Greece is great, and topdeck is alot cheaper then Contiki. I have been told by others that they had a great time, but with a different tour leader. Its up to you.


#4

Thanks for your candid feedback about your TopDeck tour in Greece. I was beginning to think no one was going to reply to my questions. Sounds like TopDeck needs to get its act together when it comes to booking accommodations. Too bad about the tour guide, too. That kind of behavior shouldn’t be tolerated for the amount of money you are paying to go on this tour. Hopefully, TopDeck will take some action and fire him.[br][br]How was the social aspect of your tour? Were there opportunities to go out and have a good time at night with the rest of your tour group? Did TopDeck plan any parties or social activities for the group?


#5

Hi[br][br]My name is Dennis Jack, General Manager of Topdeck[br]For Greece we use local professional guides so they can visit many of the historical sites in Greece whilst on the tour. (On our more usual pan European coach tours we use Topdeck trained Tour Leaders who are there to oversee the smooth running of the tour rather than mainly guiding around sites.)[br]On this departure unfortunately the Tour Guide who is one of three we normally use, had family problems and so while she did the Athens section of the tour, she could not go onto the islands with the group. Costas was a late replacement which was difficult to obtain at the last minute. Especially as it was still a very busy time in Greece. He came recommended and had worked with a number of Trafalgar groups we were told. Unfortunately his organisaional skills did not match Topdeck’s requirements and we will not be using him again. We have run this programme for around three years and it had been very successful in terms of client satisfaction. [br][br][quote]Originally posted by mango2433[br]
Hi[br][br]I just recently did the Greek Island Hopper Tour. Our tour guide was disgraceful. He got drunk, was abusive, sleazy, and the list goes on and on. Our so called “historical walks” of the towns, were “Costas” walking us into the town, pointing out nothing of value, showing us where the bus depot was, and then asked if we knew how to get back!!! He even got us lost twice in Mykonos! Trust me, it aint that big. He never gave us any other options, he complained that he hated his job blah blah. The accomodations were nice, but dont expect 5 star. The worst was Paros. They never even had a room for me. I had to share a double bed with a girl that i didnt even know. On the last night we had a terrible storm, and numerous rooms from out tour got flooded, destroying passports and items. The hotel offered no assistance and out fearless tour leader was no where to be found.[br][br]Topdecks organisation wasnt the best. I booked the trip on my own, and i was guaranteed a double room with another single female traveller. The first stop i was in a triple, the 3rd stop with 4 others, and the last stop no room again. Everyone on the tour were angry at lack of organisation. Couples who booked together were never put in the same rooms, and groups of friends were split up.[br][br]Look i could keep going on and on, but overall Greece is great, and topdeck is alot cheaper then Contiki. I have been told by others that they had a great time, but with a different tour leader. Its up to you.[br][/quote]


#6

I did the summer sailing topdeck tour this year, nothing but praise, well organised, efficient… and most importantly bloody fun![br][br]amenities were great. though still not impressed with paying to use the toilets in Europe hehe. In greece everything is cheap, especially food and grog, though food provided was excellent.we slept on the boats, which was a little squeezy, but not uncomfortable, though the gentle rocking of the ocean with a hangover can be a little hectic at times.[br][br]we had some very funny times partying together as a group. nightclubs are open all night, so you could lounge around at a resturant drinking and chatting til 1am, head to a cocktail bar for a bit and then to a nightclub, with some of the craziest partying. it was also the first nightclub i have been to barefoot and in a singlet![br]One thing with the islands however is that ATMS can run out of money. we had this happen to us on a few stops around Corfu. which put you in the embarrassing position of having to borrow money. [br][br]In terms of accomodation throughout the tour, it was basic, but clean and roomy enough. the non camping accomodation is probably of a higher standard then the camping grounds, but the camping facilities are just incredible! pools nightclubs resturants. I am used to much more unrefined camping in Australia. [br][br]ummm not really sure what else you want to know, but feel free to contact me. I had a ball


#7

Hi,[br][br]I recently did the Topedeck Spirit of Europe tour - it was fantastic.[br][br]Our guide, cook and driver were all great. When we entered each country we were given a run down on its history, told any interesting facts, given info on good things to see and were told how to get there using the maps we were given, then had a quick language lesson. The food was great, our crew worked really well together. We had games to entertain us on long drive days on random competitions at some places we stopped.[br][br]As for the places we stayed - I did a hostel tour, most places were really great - especially italy, the ones in Italy had bars/nightclubs and restuarants etc. The Hotel Lachnerhof in Austria was so good. There was only one place that wasn’t that crash hot but we were only there for 2 nights so you just dealt with it and remebered that you were moving on soon - I suppose it wasn’t all that bad but compared to some of the other places we had been it just seemed it.[br][br] If the place we were staying didn’t have a bar a good local was always recommended, most nights most of the group would go out for a few drinks and a boogie - we had a toga party organised for us (sheets supplied by the camp ground) in Venice. We were taken to a local bar in Nice called Waynes bar - wow, that was interesting, lots of dancing on tables! It was a good night! There was always something happening at the end of the day - even if it was just a few beers round the cook tent after dinner.[br][br]From memory all places had somesort of laundry facility but most of the time there was a bit of a wait for it. In Prague there was a drop in laundromat - I think nearly everyone on my tour used it, it may not seem like much but getting your laundry back clean and folded when you didn’t have to do it was heaven![br][br]If the accomodation was out of the city we would either be given passes to use on the metro or taken in in our coach and dropped off as close as possible. There was a couple of times when if you had chosen to stay out past the time when public transport ran we would have to get a taxi - but with the fare shared it wasn’t all that much.[br][br]I loved the optional extras that I did - Jungfrau in Switzerland was so worth the extra money. The optional group dinners and canal cruises were worth it too because it helped you get to know people on the tour.[br][br]I think a lot of how the tour goes is down to the group you travel with - I was really lucky and was with some really cool people. Then again everyone on there has just spent a lot of money to be there so I am sure everyone just wants to get the best out of the experience.[br][br]Topdeck rocks, my tour was great.


#8

I’m really sorry that you had a bad time with Top Deck because my trip around Europe was great. I did the budget cabin and hostels tour, and apart from the hostel in Amsterdam, everything was good. The two leaders we had, the cook and the chef were amazing and I felt like I got treated like an adult rather than a kid on a school trip. We had a sleepwear party at the hostel in Venice (the guy above got a toga party), and it was great. I’m hoping to go to Turkey next year for ANZAC Day (NZ and Australian War Memorial 25 April), and I’m planning on using Top Deck again.[br]Feel free to have a look at my blog if you want to so you can see how my trip went; http://lizasoe.blogspot.com/2005_05_01_lizasoe_archive.html


#9

Overall my opinion of Top Deck’s Spirit of Europe tour was very high. I, like you, was a bit worried about the accomodation and what to expect. Some places were very basic and even a bit grotty but when you’re only in bed a couple of hours a night, who really cares right. Top of my list for accomodation was Florence - great resort style place with great facilities and tops restaurant. Bottom was probably the Wake Up hostel in London (which wasn’t actually part of the tour). Anyway, if you don’t mind sharing a room with up to six or seven other people (and one bathroom)then you will be fine.


#10

We did the topdeck tour of the greek islands and it was awesome. It was the time of our lives. We had Anastasia as our guide and she was the most amazing guide we have ever had on a tour. [br][br]She went above and beyond her duties including walking a drunk friend to an atm so he could safely get money out and find the group again! She organised the extra trips and even made sure we made it on time! Another friend wanted to go wind surfing but she missed the bus so Anastasia got on a quad bike, picked her up and delivered her to the appropriate beach! She was amazing.[br][br]She was also extremely knowledgable on everything greek. The tour of the acropolis and the ruins was great as she was a history expert and could answer all of our questions and more! The whole tour loved her - and all the locals on the greek islands knew her too and it made for a very good time in greece. (All we had to do was mention Anastasia’s name to the locals and it was like being one of the locals yourself!)[br][br]I have been meaning to write a letter to topdeck to thank Anastasia and to say that we have a wonderful inpression of top deck now and will definitely go on a topdeck tour again! We made friends that we will have for life now and some great memories of greece. I would definitely recommend the greek island tour to everyone! (Ask for Anastasia!) [br][br]We will never forget our topdeck tour![br]Thanks![br]Mary


#11

Hello, [br]I have heard lots of good things about topdeck, from a range of people, just read through all the forums to get a general idea. The thing i have heard about contiki, is the company are getting slack on presentation of certain things like food. topdeck appears to have excellent food and most of the accomadation appears to be generally good. [br]there is also parties and socialising at night so i have heard, pretty much it is similar as contiki. so hope that helps u, lm heading on a tour in jan, and lm so excited. [br]mel[br][br]Smile[br]Keep safe[br]Mel