Most Inspirational Moment
Extra trip to Vinales
Thoughts on Group Leader
He was reasonably informative but we felt he did not do as much for the group as we expected.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Make sure you take your own snacks as the quality and quantity provided by the tour leader was much poorer than those provided my my leader in India.
It is with a lot of disappointment that I compose this email to you but as a returning customer of your company I am left feeling rather deflated after my trip with you to Cuba. I travelled last year to Kerala with you and had a fantastic time so I decided to book Cuba this year and persuaded some of my family to attend as a birthday treat for my brother who celebrated his 60th birthday whilst there. Firstly his birthday coincided with the second day of our trip ending at a beach resort. Only problem was you could hardly access the beach due to the debris on it and a collapsed beach hut. We made the best of it anyway but then the following night we were due to spend 2 nights in paladares. Allocation of these was a total shambles. Our guide knew we were travelling as a group but insisted that there were no paladares with 2 doubles and a single in one so we reluctantly split up. However, the one which my sister was allocated was totally unsuitable and she was relocated into one which had 2 doubles and a single! Slightly annoyed to say the least plus with the paladares in general, there is a huge variation in the offers in each location but we are all paying the same money so should expect the same I would have thought! The next day we all planned to go on the catamaran trip. When we arrived at the dock, the catamaran was broken and we were offered a boat which had no seats and standing room only for us all. This was supposed to be our transport for 3 hours-a total joke so we refused and got our money back but then meant we had to spend a day at the beach when we had all hoped to see the reef, snorkel etc. A wasted day! We then had a good cycle on the next day but ended up a hotel from the 1970's in the middle of nowhere. This meant that the following day we spent most of it transferring to Havana and having no time in Havana. If we had altered our cycle ride slightly to closer to the motorway we could have had an extra half day in Havana. To cap it all, on our last night we were relocated to our original hotel and told by you that we would be transferred to and from central Havana at night. When we asked about this the local rep was totally unaware of this and agreed reluctantly to do this despite him saying that his local company had not agreed this. During our cycling days, snacks were supposed to be provided but these were few and far between in contrast to my time in India when they were frequent and of good quality. Next fiasco. I had booked an extension with yourselves to Vinales and Cayo Leviso. I arrived in Vinales as planned and I had paid for an evening meal out of town starting restaurant with transfers. Turns out, the local company knew nothing of the transfers and wanted me to pay for a taxi to and from the restaurant-more than the cost of the meal. When I complained, they then suggested their own restaurant in town so I opted for this as second best and not what I had paid for! The next morning, I was due to be taken in a 13 km hike through the local area with a pack lunch. A hike was indeed provided but this was only for 5 km and finished at 11.30 am with pack lunch being a cheese and ham sandwich and a few bits if fruit. Not exactly my full day excursion I was laid to expect and certainly not a guide for the day as you stated. My transfer to Cayo Leviso went as planned but was informed on arrival that I would have to pay for lunch that day as I was not due to check in until 3 but lunch on Monday was included when I was not there to get it! The location is lovely but the cabins are basic and poorly maintained and food is canteen like with the same choice for lunch and dinner! Not exactly the picture of luxury you portrayed in your pre amble and I certainly don't think the extension cost of £699 for a half delivered promise is good value for money. All-in all, a total shambles from our point of view! I was looking at booking with you for your Vietnam trip and maybe Morocco but on the evidence of this one, I will be looking at other companies which offer similar trips to see if they deliver as promised.
We would like to thank Trevor for his feedback, although we are sorry that he was disappointed with certain aspects of his trip. We regret that there was debris on the beach at Playa Yaguanabo; unfortunately the area was, at the time, affected by Hurricane Irma.
All of the casas used by our groups are regularly inspected by our local team, and only casas which have been approved are allocated to our clients, so we are sorry that Trevor found there to be such variation in the standard of accommodation. Whilst we understand that Trevor was also underwhelmed with the location of the hotel on day 6; we cannot recall receiving feedback of this nature previously.
We regret the issues Trevor experienced with the optional catamaran excursion from Trinidad; following the feedback we have received, we no longer offer this excursion.
Snack food isn’t always readily available in Cuba, so we mention in our trip notes that clients may wish to bring their own energy snacks.
We are sorry that Trevor experienced issues on his extension and that was disappointed with the resort at Cayo Leviso. Exodus has been recommending beach stays here for some time as we feel it offers a better experience than the highly built-up beach resort areas in Cuba. Our customer services and Tailormade teams have written to Trevor in more detail regarding all of the issues he has mentioned.
Malcolm Parkinson – Product Manager