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Sensational Europe Tour with Abhishek Anand
May 01, 2019 01:24 PM 1161 Views (via Android App)
(Updated May 01, 2019 01:42 PM)

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I am a techie based in Bengaluru and had traveled to Europe with my wife and two daughters ( 8 and 4 years) during April 2019.


Very pleased to write a detailed review on my overall experience.


1) Itinerary: 9/10


Sensational Europe was structured as a value-for-money tour, covering best possible highlights from Central Europe- 9 countries in 12/13 days.


Our tour was during Spring season which meant we could have enough snow experience, a few bright sunny days, occasional showers


and stunning views of blooms/green/white landscapes. At no point, did we feel totally exhausted, much of this had to do with the structuring of the tour.


Busy days were smartly mixed with relaxed days.


2) Tour Manager: 10/10


=


Our tour manager Mr. Abhishek Anand is a passionate professional and played the most important role in making the tour experience enjoyable


and memorable. He was knowledgeable, caring, punctual, polite, proactive and well-planned. Abhishek could get the balance right between sticking


to the itinerary and making people feel satisfied/easy.


I have personally travelled across the breadth of the world and have been in many situations where plans can go for a toss.


I have also overseen groups of people of medium sizes and understand that's hard.


It's no joke when I say Abhishek is a top-notch tour planner and executor.


This was my first group tour. If the tour manager was even half as good as Abhishek, I will again opt for group tours with no afterthought.


It is totally worth my time to give a more detailed feedback.


Knowledgeable: Abhishek had narrated interesting facts about each country, city, culture, habits and made us relate very well to every place.


This needs a lot of homework and is a great attribute. His communication style was engaging without being too verbose.


Caring: The group was an interesting mix of people from all age groups 4 to 70, with different needs and expectations. Abhishek personally took interest


in seemingly small but important things like where/how to be cautious of theft, where to use the restrooms, how long we have before the next short break. Every person felt comfortable.


Punctual: No matter where and what, he was always on time. He insisted on the importance of being punctual and did not mind even personally walking and bringing back people who were occasionally late. I must also credit the group here, all families had cooperated well.


Proactive and well-planned: Abhishek proactively communicates to the group and sets the expectations on what's the plan for today and tomorrow with proper


timings. He made sure nobody forgets important belongings. Seldom did we have to ask for any additional information from him, he always gave more than enough information.


Always advised the group on what/how much to carry during each sightseeing, when/where to keep passports handy, etc.


Mr. Abhishek Anand has done an impeccable job and is a worthy role model to emulate for aspiring/budding tour managers.


3) Accommodation: 9/10


Rome, Arezzo, Vicenza: Functional rooms, above average, although rooms were slightly old, they were clean and decent enough for a night's stay.


St. Moritz and Seefeld: Victorian style properties with vast rooms with breathtaking views right outside the windows. Too good


Mierlo - Modern sport themed accommodation, with indoor sports arena attached, that gives a total fun experience to the family.


Affoltern, Frankfurt and Paris - Standard business-stay type rooms. Chain hotels like Holiday Inn and NH and they were good and new.


Disclaimer: I have spent more than 10 years with investment banks so my expectations are pretty high when it comes to travel accommodation.


4) Transport: 9/10


=


All of our transport was done over a luxury bus/coach and the coach was in good condition.


The quality of highways would obviously be good but still the coach driver from Poland did an awesome job.


His driving style suited the elderly and children - even though there were miles of mountain drive, very few people ever complained of motion sickness.


It is very important that people don't get sick. The people from our group were very disciplined and did regular cleaning of the bus interiors


to maintain a clean/safe environment.


Our flights were booked with Qatar airways and air travel was comfortable.


5) Food: 9/10


We were served with hot and tasty Indian food for all lunches and dinners. Mostly North Indian standard fare with 1 or 2 additional non-vegetarian dishes.


It's a general tendency where repetitions can get boring, so occasionally mixing a couple of South Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes may have kept it more interesting.


We did get to see some of that in the second half of the tour. But that's just my opinion. I am more of an experimental foodie and wouldn't have minded some local dishes for lunch and dinner : ) .


Breakfasts were of the regular hotel kind - breads, cheese, cereals, eggs to order, yoghurt, cold cuts, fruit and juices.


The quality of food was always good. The other noteworthy thing is most dinners were served at our hotels, not only was this convenient but it also saved time.


6) The Group: 10/10


We traveled with the youngest person in the group- a 4 year old and I always had this worry. Once we got to know the people from the group, it felt blissful.


Take this - Elderly retired from the Army/Airforce, Businessmen/women, Realtor, Doctors, Yogic Healer, Navy Merchant, Techie. Traveling with a diverse group enhances knowledge/experience.


We were so blessed that the elderly people from the group really cared for our kids just like their grandparents would do. We got worthy parenting tips from senior parents.


My daughters made friends too, some lovely elderly sisters and brothers. Our group was as best as I could imagine.


6) Booking and Visa: 9/10


Mr. Jatin and Ms. Heena from Indiranagar branch had helped me out with most of the booking and payment process. They were adequately responsive.


Mr. Meer Ali from M.G.Road branch arranged visa appointments for us and it was very smooth.


I got calls from Thomas Cook guiding us what to expect on the tour and what to pack, etc., which was good.


Only concern was I had to wait until 3-4 days before departure to get the tickets and travel documents.


I feel this could have been much earlier since final payments were settled long before.


Overall it was a wonderful trip and kudos to Thomas Cook team. Consider any service or product - Good reviews are hard to come by these days. My experience was really good and I feel happy to have taken time and posted the review.


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