EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA -- My husband and I booked a tour from Your Man Tours. This tour included five days on land in Italy and then boarding the MSC ship Poesia in Venice. We let YMT book our air travel also. We live in North Alabama so we were booked from Huntsville International Airport. This is a small regional airport, so we expected to have to change planes. We were booked on American Airlines (who charged us $30.00 for our first bag and 20.00 for the second bag) so already we are down $100.00 for our bags to be flown to New York.
In NY we were booked on Alitalia to Rome. This was the most miserable overnight flight we have ever had (we have had many). The crew was rude and the cabin so hot we almost croaked. When we reached Rome, the bus to take us to the hotel was parked a long distance from the terminal and the man from Your Man Tours walked so fast that we lost track of him and just had to keep walking until we reached the correct bus.
We were booked into the Holiday Inn West in Rome for two nights. The first night Your Man Tours had a "special dinner" that we could purchase for 25 Euros each. This sounded like a good way to get to know the others on our tour, so we agreed to participate. The food was mediocre and they were quite stingy with the wine provided. There weren't any restaurants near with the exception of the one in the hotel. The next day included a tour of the Vatican in the morning and a tour of the Coliseum in the afternoon. We had already seen these so we opted out and went into Rome on the hotel shuttle.
That night we went into the hotel restaurant to eat; the maitre d' asked if we had reservations. Of course we did not, so he took us into a separate room where he took apart a setting for four people by separating two small tables about 6 inches apart. He then seated two ladies from our tour at the other table (we didn't know these ladies but were willing to go along with this arrangement). Then he said he didn't have any menus available - hello?
Finally, he brought the ladies one menu and my husband and I one menu. After a few minutes, he returned and took their order and left us sitting there. He then proceeded to serve several groups that came in after us! We finally left and went to the bar and bought premade sandwiches. My husband complained to the hotel manager and he made excuses about the hotel not being prepared for so many people. Get real -- it is a huge hotel and there aren't any other places to eat unless you went into Rome.
After Rome, we drove to Montecatini in the Tuscany district. We were supposed to go to Bologna enroute but were told there was a transportation strike so we missed Bologna. The tour guide and or the bus driver could not find our hotel so we rode an extra 30 or 45 minutes before finally going to the correct address. Once there, we asked for the hotel room that our guide assigned us -- only to find that someone else had that room! Finally, the poor desk clerk and I found our correct room on a printout at the front desk.
Then we were offered a chance to visit either a villa or a farmhouse for dinner -- both at a cost of 39 Euros each. We opted not to attend these but instead ate a local restaurant. (Several tour members were placed at a hotel that was in the industrial district with no local restaurants near.)
The rest of our tour was just more of the same. Our tour guide was the most disorganized person I have ever seen. She ended up with one of the people on the tour helping her to assign hotel rooms. In Verona, she completely lost one couple due to her speed walking. (There were several people on the tour who had problems walking and these people had to forego several trips and tours.) One of the other tour guides in our group made sure that every one was taken care of and she waited patiently for the people who could not walk at a trot.
There were about 300 people in this group -- 7 bus loads. This presented problems when we all ended up at one place -- especially rest stops. Once we were onboard the Poesia, my husband and several others talked to ** from Your Man Tours about various problems. His answer was to contact headquarters in California or to state that Your Man Tours was not responsible for whatever the issue was. Bottom line, he basically was on vacation and was there only to promote Your Man Tours.
Another thing that irked us and many other people is that the tour guides asked for their tips up front -- on the first day of the trip. The literature we received from Your Man Tours suggested 3 to 5 USD per day per person. The tour guides asked for 35 Euros for each person. This amount to about 56 USD per person -- about 10 USD per day per person! To make a long story shorter -- We can say NEVER AGAIN!
PENNSYLVANIA -- My husband and I took the 14 day YMT Hawaii 4-island tour in February. All went well in Oahu. Our second island was Kauai.The hotel was nice, but the beach not good for swimming. We found at this point that if you didn't take a tour, you were isolated and had little to do. Our third island was Maui. We stayed at the Maui Seaside. My first impression was - what a dump. The hotel was dated - probably built in the 50's or 60's, and no renovation since. The pool was visibly dirty. The room was musty and dirty, with hair in the tub.
Others on the tour had similar complaints. One couple even had a swarm of bug on the bathroom counter. I complained to the tour director who said, "there was nothing he could do." He suggested I call their consumer affairs dept. I called and initially was told I needed to put it in writing. When I pressed the issue she said she would have someone call me back that day. Needless to say, I never received a call back that day or any day. I did call YMT back and left several voice mails, that they also did not respond to.
Our next island was Hawaii. We stayed at Hilo Seaside - the hotel from hell. Couldn't believe it, but it was worse than Maui Seaside. We had a tiny, tiny room. Extremely musty and dark. From the inside you could see light all around the door to the outside. The 50's style louver windows, allowed direct view into our 1st floor room. I found a dirty, used towel on the back of the bathroom door. The tiny shower had a dirt ring around the bottom. Found out that was because it wouldn't drain and filled to this level when you showered. We had an electrical short in our digital clock.
Another guest told me her hair dryer caused their electric to go off completely. We ask for a coffee pot, which we cleaned and ran water through for an extended period of time. Black specks still were visible in the clear water. Talk about dirty. This hotel also was in the middle of nowhere. YMT provided pictures of the hotels. This hotel in no way resembled that picture. We found this stop a waste of time, as did most of the guests. Going straight to Kona would have been a better idea.
Our last stop was Kona Seaside. Please note all of the last three hotels had the same owner. Doesn't that tell you anything. Although Kona Seaside was cleaner, larger, maybe newer. This was a big improvement to us. The area was lovely, but we would have appreciated more information from our tour guide. We found out about transportation, places to eat etc. from other guests. How hard would it be for YMT to provide written information and a map. I would never recommend a YMT tour, or will we ever use their services again. Please think twice before you do. I will send a copy of this review to YMT, which they will probably ignore also.
Recently we returned from a Your Man Tours (YMT) trip to the 2009 Rose Bowl Parade. Your Man Tours is a travel agency that organizes numerous low cost tours to a variety of popular destinations each year. Because of the volume of business they do, you are likely to run across their offers if you are researching travel to almost any popular destination in North America and many elsewhere in the world. For this reason I thought it would be interest to share my experience with other travelers. Although the comments are based on the Rose Bowl Trip, I have heard similar from travelers who have used this company to other destinations.
The first thing to remember about YMT is the term "low cost" that I used to describe their tours above. In travel, as in everything else, you get what you pay for and if you pay for a bare bones trip, that is all you are going to get. The danger is that you may find the trip so minimal that you will be forced to supplement it with your own funds and if you are not careful, you may end spending more than if you had booked a more comprehensive tour to begin with.
One example of this with YMT is that they do not include any meals in the basic price. This was especially of concern with our Rose Bowl Trip because food prices were very high at our hotel ($20 breakfast buffets, dinners that can easily run over $50 a person, $16 for a pizza from their snack bar that was barely large enough for two) and there were few lower cost alternatives within walking distance. Fortunately we had brought some Pop Tarts with us since with early starts, we thought we might not have time to eat breakfast in a restaurant anyway and this helped.
Another place where you may pay extra for a YMT tour is that few activities are included in the basic price, thus you may have to spend money either on optional tours from YMT or on a rental car in order to be able to see enough to make the trip worthwhile. The YMT optional tours are definitely not low cost. We paid $60 each to visit a picturesque village, basically just for the bus ride up and back as we were left on our own in the village.
Along the same lines, if possible, arrange your own air flights. We obtained our flights at about $350 each, YMT was charging $700. Of course, their cost included transportation to and from the airport but the hotel had a free shuttle and in fact, that was what YMT was using for the people who booked flights through them.
Another aspect of YMT's tour is lack of administrative support. They rely upon contract guides and bus drivers (often both the same person) to handle the actual tour. Their own employees do minimal work. An example of this was that they were totally unable to tell us in advance which of two groups we would be within going to our first optional tour.
Thus we had to cut our pre-trip sightseeing short to be there for the early group only to sit around three hours at the hotel because we had been assigned to the later group. A pre-trip "briefing" given by the overall manager was characterized by the distribution of what proved to be an amazing number of misrepresentations and cases of incorrect information.
In summary, if you really want to take a trip to the Rose Bowl parade and you can't afford a higher priced tour, the YMT trip will be better than staying home but again remember to carry as much food with you as you can for breakfast at least and be aware the tour will be minimal unless you pay extra to YMT or to go on your own to additional sights.
HAWAII -- I was in Hilo in September, staying at a moderately priced hotel. It was very peaceful and relaxing... until a group with Your Man Tours arrived. The travelers where herded like so many sheep. They had been assigned rooms, which from the comments I heard, were not what the customers paid for. Most of the folks I observed were upset, but the tour guide just smiled and hung out by the pool. A large group went to use the pool, and many of them were smoking. Some were drinking alcohol. The pool closes at 6pm which YMT had not told its customers. No alcohol is permitted in the pool area, which again YMT didn't bother to tell their customers.
At 6pm, an employee came out and announced the pool was now closed, and that all hotels in Hawaii are non smoking. Some older men got into a heated argument with the employee of the hotel. They should have been complaining to the tour guide, a tall, thin man with white hair and a goatee. He seemed amused that his customers were upset. I saw a notice had been placed on a board in the lobby. The group was leaving early the next morning for a brief stop in Maui to have lunch in Lahina.
This unfortunate group of travelers were cheated in my opinion. They were only in Hilo for about 6 waking hours, not even enough time to drive to the volcano and see the sights. 6 Hours in Lahina including a lunch isn't very much time to see anything either.
I'm sure glad I make all my own travel arrangements. I've been to all the major Hawaiian islands, and I can say that one needs a week to see just the sights on the big island! Three days on Maui would be sufficient. Kauai should take at least 3 days and at least 3 on Oahu. I have no idea what these folks paid for this tour, but if they were from the mainland's west coast, with air and meals and hotels and side trips included, they shouldn't have paid more than $1400 each. If they did, I would complain to Your Man Tours.
After reading other reviews, I guess I can only be grateful that YMT canceled our trip! Yes, canceled but kept our money for two months prior to letting us know! Their reason? We were supposedly NINE DAYS LATE in sending in final payment!
Of course, not knowing of this cancellation, we continued our plans as usual. We purchased non refundable airline tickets to Salt Lake City, our point of departure, bought the appropriate clothing for our coach tour of the West and Alaskan cruise, made arrangements with a local kennel to board our three dogs and four cats, giving them a nonrefundable deposit to hold the space. Everything was progressing nicely until we received a message on our phone from someone from YMT telling us that our vacation had been canceled due to "non payment."
My husband immediately tried to call back, only to get an automated system directing him to "leave a message." In his panic, his next call was to the bank to find out if the check had cleared. It had not, so he placed a stop payment on it. At that point we had no idea where our $5000.00 plus check had gone or in whose hands it might have fallen.
Late the following afternoon, we finally received a return call from YMT. This time they admitted that, yes, they had received the check but it was a week late. She didn't seem particularly concerned that we were somewhat hysterical over our present demise, reassuring us that we could still go on "stand-by", or we could reschedule at a later date. We could do neither!
We sent in our $200.00 deposit, followed by our balance due ninety days prior to departure. Did it sit on someone's desk for nine days? And nine days? Come on guys, Nine days?? It took YMT two months from the time they received our check to inform us that our trip had been canceled! No courtesy call was ever received to question our payment, had there been a question. Numerous calls requesting to speak to general management have gone unanswered. Our $200.00 deposit check has also not been returned.
With less than a month left to regroup, we were able to reschedule our planned itinerary with the most grateful help of AAA and a local travel agent. They came to our rescue and booked a rental car in Salt Lake City and scheduled all hotel reservations in the cities we were to visit on our "dream" vacation with YMT. We were also successful in booking with Holland America, our 7-day cruise to Alaska.
Our near disaster turned out to be a blessing! Though we spent a bit more (not by much), we drove at our own pace, saw what we wanted to see, ate where we wanted and stayed at really nice hotels; Apparently avoiding the horror stories of broken down buses, rude drivers, poor food and cheap hotels. God truly does work in mysterious ways!
EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA -- Let me start with a general comment. We have yet to start our Cruise-tour with Your Man Tours, but already have encountered numerous problems with them. The most basic of which is an inability to talk to them or for them to return phone calls. At this point I would strongly recommend you look elsewhere for a reputable travel agent, consultant, packager, or whatever you want to call this type of operation. These people are untrustworthy and unreliable, at best. They talk a good line, but after they have your money... tough-luck.
Your Man Tours has at least 3 offices in the U.S., Detroit, Inglewood, CA, and Cincinnati, OH. So far I have tried to deal with only the first two. You can Google them, and their parent company, TUI Travel, for more information and officers, mail addresses, etc.
I believe I have left at least a half-dozen phone messages for their "Customer Services" people in California, virtually none of which were returned. Each time I call, I am assured that I will get a return call, but I don't hold out much hope. They have $8000+ of my money, but don't have the common courtesy to return phone calls. This has gone beyond trying to politely get answers to questions, to full-fledged contempt for their operations.
I will update this site with more information as I have it. I thoroughly expect to have lots of issues from my cruise tour (Port Everglades-Caribbean-Trans-Atlantic - Portugal-Spain- and Italy). I just wanted to forewarn others to beware of this company.
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA -- Don't waste your time with Your Man Tours. Their customer service, their managers are the rudest, unprofessional, arrogant, procrastinating bunch of incompetent yo-yos I have ever seen. Examples: I questioned about the national parks tours. I couldn't get a straight answer, all I got was"I don't know" to every question and I got a question with a question. I never got a direct answer. I got a runaround and put on hold for a long period of time. My time was severely inconvenienced by this company of bimbos to say the least. When asked for a manager and supervisor all I got was more wasted time and delay after delay.
That is not the way to treat people or potential customers. I know a lot of people that I could have given them business, but now no way. Their attitude is arrogant and crude. I have other people offering me great deals I don't need them. No wonder they aren't getting any business, they don't know how to treat people.
Thank you and have a nice day. I do hope all the right agencies see this and follow up to investigate just how legitimate they are. There were times they were using profanity on the phone when it wasn't called for. What kind of business allows this.
You post the positive reviews... how about a negative & what you did to resolve it? I just finished writing the BBB about my mother-in-law's experience with your company (Your Man Tours) - in the process of posting on http://www.complaints.com/ as I write this to you. I have copied this email to Frommer's Budget Travel, American Society of Travel Agents, and United States Tour Operators Association - all names I collected from your website. Then I will do an on line search posting this complaint to anyone & everyone who will publish it (I already belong to 2 national message boards, and several local ones - today am looking for more to listen).
My husband spoke *in person* via phone with YMT VP Chuck Supnick earlier today, who, believe it or not, commented "that's unfortunate" to the issue as explained to him. I am appalled & so mad I could *spit nickels* (as my dear grandmother was fond of saying)! And I am a woman spends a lot of time online!!! I WILL find a way to spread this account!! For you, YMT, This will be "UNFORTUNATE!"
My mother-in-law (60+ year old widow) has never traveled. After this experience, she will probably never travel again. She and three of her lady friends booked a tour with an agent in Mississippi through Your Man Tours... looked forward to this vacation for over six months, spent her Christmas money on the deposit. Finally the day (8 June, 2007, yesterday) comes and the ladies are whisked away by loving family and friends to the Monroe, LA airport (about an hour drive from where they live).
Who would have? Who could have? ...known that would be the day some fool programmer wrote bad code into the air traffic control computers, shutting down Atlanta, and overloading Salt Lake City? (**) Okay, things happen, flights get delayed/canceled... the airline rerouted the missed connection, and although the ladies had to travel all night, they finally made it to Boston (with all of their luggage, believe it or not).
The problems didn't end there! Last night, my husband called the hotel where the ladies were supposed to stay. He was assured someone would come to collect them in the morning when their new flight arrived and ferry them back to the hotel, no problem. This morning... no shuttle. They called the hotel and were told no one could help them and were advised to take a taxi to the cruise ship terminal at the Port of Boston. Pay for a taxi? Everything including all shuttle transportation was to have been handled through YMT! They totally missed the bus tour of Boston... Okay, never mind that - taxi to cruise terminal.
Arrive at Holland America to be told the ship wouldn't be boarding for several hours. They'd have to wait... which wouldn't have been so bad IF they hadn't been traveling all night, IF they had had a decent meal, IF they had rested... and IF they had a decent place to wait! From what I understand, they waited on a bench, outside, all morning and half the afternoon with their baggage around their feet - and with dead cell phones.
We finally got hold of Holland America who went through several channels to try to confirm these four elderly ladies eventually actually boarded the ship. They did - no thanks to YMT - who basically took their money, made reservations, and then washed their hands of the rest - saying "that's unfortunate."
In the online form for my complaint with the BBB, they ask "Desired Outcome"... I wrote - First - an apology (WRITTEN & SIGNED by Pres & VP of YMT) to *each* of these 4 ladies!! Second - minimal reimbursement for at least hotel, shuttle/cab, missed bus tour of Boston & meals incurred due to extended travel situation.
Above & beyond - these ladies will probably NEVER travel again due to this experience... the trauma of 4 seniors (who've never traveled before) may well be worth the reimbursement of the trip in full! Your Man Tours, Boston Courtyard Marriott & Holland America Cruise are all responsible for the happiness of these patrons and let them down, but especially YMT!!