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Old July 1st, 2011, 10:50 AM
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MercedMike MercedMike is offline
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Originally Posted by Tony Scott View Post
Just recently returned from Med cruise with HAL.

We did five private tours in our 24 day cruise. Only one was a tour operator not reveiwed or recommended on Cruisemates message boards - that was this one.

We did Magnificents of Istanbul through Istanbul Tour Service (they also have another associated tour company). I haven't given them direct feedback yet but we were disappointed.

1. We were waiting for our guide at port- didn't see him - after a few minutes a guy showed up and seemed like he had a blank piece of paper held up - I thought that was starange - a closer inspection showed my name ( both first and surnames spelt wrong and written in yellow or light green pen - lucky to see it.

His name was 'Alp'.

Well - we went to Topkai Palace, Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosques and undergroun cisterns as well as a short look at Grand Bazaar - as it was a private tour we decided whatwe wanted to see.

All going well then we stopped at a little cafe for lunch - bought him his lunch - we had small serves, he had large. - no thank you or appreciation.
Call toPrayer occurred - he left us to go to prayer for 10-15mins.

As we had finished our sightseeing early, he said we could go for a drive around and view old fortresses - ok we said.

As we were travelling around in the mini-van - he was seated opposite us - he proceeded to fall asleep on a number of occasions with head drooping towards the seat - we were not impressed.

When we got dropped off at port the van couln't go all way to near ship so we got dropped off at a gate and walk about 400metres to ship.

What bugs me most is I gave him a tip- gullible me. I really am not sure of the etiquette re tips for guides - others we had I had no problem and no regrest on tips.

So the tour was ok but the guide poor.

If you use the tour company just be aware I had this problem
Well, it sounds to me like your guide wasn't the top of the deck. To me that means that he doesn't get a top of the deck tip.

OTOH it seems he did not try to take you to a carpet shop. Now, we enjoy that but a whole lot of people object to it.

I do have to say that perhaps you are being a bit insensitive about his religious devotions. I really respect him for following his creed. Perhaps he should have been sure to have you at that time in some interesting place where you could look around on your own for a few minutes.

When we were in Egypt, it was Ramadan. Our guide took us around the pyramids and the temples in the hot sun all day and did not eat a bit or drink a drop of water. We felt that was admirable devotion.

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