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