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Hopeless Newmarket Holiday reps
Newmarket Holidays Coach Tours
Member Name: Knockerian
Newmarket Holidays Coach Tours
Advantages: Italian Countryside
Disadvantages: Newmarket reps
My wife and I have just returned from holidaying in Italy as participants in the organised tour arranged by your Company and entitled "Tuscan Treasures" .
Let me state quite categorically here and now that whilst the Italian countryside and hotel where we were based, (the Cristallo in Chianciano Terme), were both delightful, the organisation by Newmarket Holidays left much to be admired. In this respect if we were to mark their report card at the end of our holiday our overall conclusion would have to be "tried at times but could really do better". In effect we experienced a holiday resembling somewhat of a "curates egg" in that there were several good points but which were regrettably marred by a sloppy and at times haphazard organisation.
Perhaps the following points may help to illustrate the lack of professional care that was missing during our week long vacation.
1. Upon arrival at Pisa airport we were briefly met by a Newmarket representative but quickly handed over to a non-English speaking coach driver for the journey to our hotel.
2. The journey to our hotel took 3 hours (not 2 hours as shown in our holiday papers!) but upon arrival no Newmarket representation was present. We were simply handed over to the hotel staff who, to their credit, were able to offer us assistance and an evening meal.
3. Perusal of a clumsy hand-written information sheet on a notice board adjacent to the hotel reception revealed that the proposed itinerary for our week's activities had been changed. Not in itself a major catastrophe but this meant that instead of a day of rest on the Sunday, guests who had arrived quite late on the Saturday night (10-11 pm) after a long journey would have to rise early the next day to embark upon another 2-3 hour trip to Sienna!
4. On that Sunday morning two Newmarket representatives finally appeared but only after guests had been kept waiting long after the scheduled departure time and therefore being unable to glean any salient information as to what was happening. We were, unhappily, to encounter other late arrivals by the Newmarket representatives during our week's activities both at initial departure and return times!
5. We were eventually joined by the said Newmarket representatives - Stephen Habegger and Chiara. Stephen Harbeggar we found to be a good clear speaker and both quite interesting and informative whilst on the coach. Chiara on the other hand spoke halting and laboured English and at times seemed to be totally incomprehensible! The luck of the draw determined whether we had a representative who could be pleasant to listen to or one which quickly turned the trips into a nightmare!
6. During our daily trips we observed that no actual record was maintained of who was on the bus or more pertinently who had actually paid! At times this proved to be something of a farce in that several wrong counts were often made resulting (for example) in the purchase of un-necessary metro tickets whilst we were in Perugia! More importantly one felt that should we be late returning to the coach that it would have left without us - no-one having noticed that we were absent!
7. At both our trip to Sienna and Florence we were faced with what we can only describe as a tiresome "30 minute route march" both upon arrival and departure. Given that many in our party were quite elderly and not therefore so fleet of foot this cast a real damper upon the day. Yet conversations with other parties revealed that they had been offered access to a shuttle bus service - alas we were not so fortunate and encountered heavy rain at Sienna and high heat at Florence - neither conditions conducive to such long treks!
8. On occasions we were visited in the evening by Stephen Harbeggar, but having to spread himself too thinly in attending to 3 hotels in the vicinity such visits were somewhat sporadic and not a great deal of information communicated. In this respect it was rather late in the week that such things as hotel facilities (swimming pool, sun terrace) existed or that copies of a map of the immediate area were available. Again the lack of a professional "meet and greet" session resulted in little or no useful information being gained. In fact guests only gleaned such information by word of mouth from other guests.
9. Upon our final departure we again had no Newmarket representatives present and to compound this omission the Pisa airport was also devoid of such personnel. Given the chaos and uncertainty surrounding check-in this was perhaps simply symptomatic of the laisser-faire attitude that we had experienced from Newmarket Holidays all week!
One has to say that the above points simply illustrate the poor role taken by Newmarket Holidays. The hotel staff on the other hand were both professional and customer friendly and were a joy to meet. Perhaps they could teach Newmarket staff a thing or two!
Summary: Beware using Newmarket Holidays
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