Your Man Tours Complaint - Five days in Italy
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 matre 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 forgo 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 Chuck 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!