Great Train Journeys of the World

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June, 2015

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Since retiring three years ago we have been travelling about six or seven times a year. One trip for almost a month, others one or two weeks. We have used Saga, Titan, Jules Verne, Riviera, Citalia and best of all Audley Travel. This was the first time we used Great Rail. We booked a tour of Vegas and the Golden West a year in advance. A few months before we were due to go we were told that we had to alter our dates due to insufficient take up. It was inconvenient but rather than cancel after such a long wait we changed to a June date. We were told that the en suite sleeper we had booked for our one night on the train to Los Angeles would not be available but we could go on a waiting list. One of the reasons I had originally been attracted to the tour was a night on the Queen Mary, which I saw in the Radio Times February 2014! Less than a week before departure we received a general letter with a short italicised sentence stating that those travelling on our date would not be sleeping on the Queen Mary. There was no compensation offered, despite this attraction making up part of the advertisement heading. I still have the page! The tour itself turned out to be one long rush. Amtrack was always late, one time three hours. There were no contingency plans so follow up excursions were shortened and rushed. Meals were hurried or disappeared or as happened once, the coach load of forty people were given ten minutes to whizz round an unfamiliar supermarket to buy lunch, and use the toilets. The sleeper on Amtrack would have been fine for two slim fit twenty year olds but we couldn’t believe how tiny it was, no ladder to get into the top bunk, which my fit 68 year old managed to climb into and no way he could sit up despite being five foot five. That night was after we had eaten a supermarket meal on the platform for three hours waiting. The following day we had 45 minutes free time in Hollywood. I could write more but it would just be in a similar vein. It was simply not worth the money we paid. Great Rail were sorry that we were disappointed and sent us £100 voucher to book another expensive holiday with them. No thank you!


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