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Old May 6th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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Default Puerto Vallarta - ShoreX Tequilla Tour Ripoff report

How do I get the attention of someone at Carnival Cruise lines regarding the ripoff Tequilla Tour in Puerto Vallarta that I booked aboard the Carnival Pride - it was bascially a the HARD SELL to buy over priced Tequilla and stops at a jewerly store for the HARD SELL to buy EXPENSIVE silver jewlery so that the tour guide could get a KICK BACK from his merhcant buddies. I plan on posting this to alert others about this ripoff excursion.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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Did you fill out a questionnaire while you were on-board at the end of the cruise?

Or you probably could have asked the shore excursion personnel for a form so you could file your complaint about that particular excursion.

I'm not sure of the contacts for Carnival. Did you check their website?

Maybe someone else on this board will have more specific contact information for you.

I hope it didn't ruin your cruise!

Was this the tour you took?
Tequila Factories & Old Town Tour
This excursion captures the essence of Pacific Mexico – traditional pueblitos, lush countryside and, of course, Tequila.
On this excursion you will:
Depart from the ship to one of the finest and most modern distilleries in Mexico.
Participate in a fully guided excursion of the manufacturing process and enjoy a sample.
Move on to a traditional tequila factory where the old-fashioned methods of producing tequila will be demonstrated.
Sample some more tequila.
Visit the pueblitos of the Valle de Banderas, an area first conquered by Francisco Cortez de Buenaventura in 1525.
Take a free shuttle to downtown Puerto Vallarta.

Was there anything about the excursion that you did like?
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Old May 6th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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Old town and Tequilla factory tour - nothing like the brochure or website. Basically 2 stops - one is a bar/tequilla show for the hard sell and then to a shopping mall for the HARD SELL on Silver RINGS.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 07:58 PM
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Default Carnival Customer Service

Emailed a complaint to Carnival Customer Service in Miami regarding the above issue - complained to the Shore Excursion desk when I got back and the response "NO refunds on booked EXCURSIONS, Sorry"
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Old May 9th, 2008, 06:43 PM
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Mehere, thanks for the heads-up. We are going in november.......MD
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Old June 18th, 2008, 06:18 PM
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I agree that the PV City Tequila tour, was not great. It was nice to get to see a tour of the city, but the tequila part wasn't that much fun.

This last time that we were in PV, we went to a different tequila tour and had a blast. It was called El Tapatio in El Pittalal. It was a couple of blocks or so behind the WalMart in that area. It only cost like $20 and we were pretty much beyond drunk when we left there. We don't make a habit of the drinking, but the creme tequila was soooooo good. Hard to pass it up or stop for that matter. They fed us lots of food too. Friendly group of people that worked there. Definitely got our money's worth and then some at this place.

Will definitely be visiting it again in October
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Old June 20th, 2008, 03:19 AM
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That's a shame to hear because when we cruised years ago we did a tequila tour out of Puerto Vallarta that was pretty nice and I was looking forward to maybe taking it again when we go in October but not if it changed that much. Did you take a bus out of town to a actual tequila factory?? I was figuring that would be my closest this year aside from just going to the town of Tequila (maybe some year). I visited a tequila factory outside of Mazatlan last year while on vacation there but nothing like the PV one. Well, that just s##ks. We did a jungle tour a hand full of years back but I heard that changed locations too. Any suggestions on what to do in PV then?????
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Old June 25th, 2008, 10:47 PM
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That is such a shame, I'm sorry to hear you had that experience. It makes you wonder if the "shopping"-based excursions will always carry that sort of danger.

As for "what else to do in PV" [from post above], I enjoyed simply shopping on my own around town. The cathedral is stunning and worth a visit. I did the "swim with the dolphins" activity there at Dolphin Adventures, and truly enjoyed that.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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Call their offices in Miami and complain. I just came back from taking the same tour through Royal Caribbean, and the tour was a joke. We got a ride through wealthy Marina Vallarta, where the guide told us a mansion with a rotunda in front belonged to Monica Lewinski (10 minutes), and then through an impoverished area that likely lacked sewers and running water (10 minutes), and then the long drive out to the "marvelous" town of Ixtapa (15 minute stop), where we made a considerable donation into the Donation box at the town's church, since it looked as depressed as the town itself. Not the nice Ixtapa that Mexico used to advertise on the tube ten years ago, but a small, rural town of the same name along the road, alleged home to original United Fruit plantation, before they moved to Ecuador and became Chiquita Banana, per the guide, Alfonso, or something like that. Then off to Hcda. Dona Engracia (long stop), where we only saw two blue agave plants at the entrance, and not the plantation that we had expected (what were we thinking? Real Tequila and the town of the same name is 80 miles from Puerto Vallarta, not 6 miles away). Anyway, we proceeded to the tour of their garage sized complete operation, delivered by our knowing guide Alfonso, followed by a very long presentation and tasting of all of Dona Engracia's tequila products, delivered again by our guide, apparently an expert in Dona Engracia's product line. Every variety of their tequila was covered, including price, and then we were cut loose for another 40 minutes of tequila buying and maybe a meal at their on-site restaurant and mini folklore swap meet. Those that didn't want to buy the "3 one litre bottles" that Alfonso told us that we could each bring back without paying duty (actually just 1 litre), could go out back to see the advertised horses and Arabians. I didn't see more than one horse, and no Arabians, or even Arabs. One old ostrich, and a couple of caged minor macaws, and a slew of goats. So who didn't declare this on their return Customs document? Huh? You know - the part about being on a farm with livestock, etc.? Anyway, after much too much time at the tequila buying opportunity, we were driven back into town, just past the ship terminal, into a part of downtown where refreshments and rest rooms would be provided at the next stop (45 minutes) at three very pricey silver jewelry stores. The guide made sure to show his face at each store and see what transactions were occurring. You see, this is why he put a colored sticker with his name on it on your shirt or blouse when you got on his bus - not so that you wouldn't get mixed up with another Shore-X tour group or get onto the wrong bus, but so that the jewelry store could properly commission each guide when the time to divide the spoils comes around, well after the tour. Besides the tequila stop, this was the longest stop of the "tour". My wife and I are ex-tour guides from South America, so we know how things work (and we're admittedly a bit cynical), but in Mexico, they take things to extremes. The Tropical Tours City tour with Papantla flyers in Mazatlan was bad this way, but nowhere near as bad as this tour. In Mexico, the guides (and likely their companies) have learned from the foreign-flagged cruise lines, pretty much demanding mandatory tips (illegal in US), and orchestrating tours to recover maximum commissions. Our guide went easy on the tip subject, possibly because this tour also had a jewelry stop. Perhaps the tour guides have been hired by the tour company at $50 US a month, plus tips, just like the ship's crew, at a cruise line company job fair in Lima, Peru, or Manila, Philippines. Makes you want to leave bigger staff gratuities out of pity... Come on, why does your cruise line provide you with maps of your next port upon disembarkation? The map mostly highlights the cruise line "approved" jewelry stores selling Tanzanite or other junk that they make sound great, hoping that you'll buy some of this fabricated luxury stuff to their benefit. Having said that, perhaps your complaint might fall on deaf ears. Posting comments may be more effective. Good luck.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturner
I agree that the PV City Tequila tour, was not great. It was nice to get to see a tour of the city, but the tequila part wasn't that much fun.

This last time that we were in PV, we went to a different tequila tour and had a blast. It was called El Tapatio in El Pittalal. It was a couple of blocks or so behind the WalMart in that area. It only cost like $20 and we were pretty much beyond drunk when we left there. We don't make a habit of the drinking, but the creme tequila was soooooo good. Hard to pass it up or stop for that matter. They fed us lots of food too. Friendly group of people that worked there. Definitely got our money's worth and then some at this place.

Will definitely be visiting it again in October
Thanks, we are going in 3 weeks, definately putting this one on my excursion shopping list...
Isn't Wal-mart near the dock?? I think that's what I heard along with sams club??
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Old August 11th, 2008, 02:58 AM
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Sam's and Walmart are opossite the cruise-dcok in P. Vallarta.
Costco is about 5 minutes by car away or take one of the buses heading to center and get off at Holiday Inn. Short walk from there.
But if you are interested in a very nice special day or tou, hire a private driver. I think we arenot allowed to post a name, but google for superioir in Vallarta and you will find what I mean.
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