Roll Call - Trip Dates 10-16-24 to 11-02-24

I've reserved for the above dates for A Portrait of India.

Right now due to flights I'll arrive about 9:30 p.m. on 10/14/24. Solo traveler as my husband isn't going. Anyone else arriving early? I see some posts that Old Delhi is not included in the tour. Thinking of trying to arrange via the hotel. Anyone else doing the same for this tour?

Does Tauck provide you with tipping guidelines/suggestions for the tour director and driver? It's been so long since I took an organized tour and the last one (a safari) the company did.


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    edited March 8

    Yes, Tauck provides guidelines for tipping. If you dig into the webpage for your tour, you will find it. Not all tours require you tip the driver because on some it is already included. It may well be on this tour because you will have different drivers because you are flying to different places. The last time I took a tour with Tauck, the TD tip was $12 a day.
    Most flights arrive late at night. You will be collected at the airport by a Tauck rep whenever you arrive, but you must tell Tauck your flights at least three weeks before the start of your trip. Most all the hoards of people you see at the airport are 90% men and as busy day or night.

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    Hi Cheesi India--one of my favorite places and Portrait of India is in the top 3 of my Tauck tours. Arriving at 9:30PM is normal. Tauck will arrange your transfer and you'll be at the hotel in no time and offered lovely tea and scones upon your arrival at the Leela Palace hotel. The hotel is great. I still can't say with 100% certainty that The Imperial, with its old British World Charm, is the better hotel. Both properties really are great. The bathroom at the Leela definitely wins hands down!

    Are you certain Tauck no longer visits Old Delhi? My Portrait of India tour was in 2018; however, I was on the December 2023 Northern India and Nepal tour and we toured Old Delhi. Now, I can say with 100% confidence that the India/Nepal didn't go to all of the places in Old Delhi as the 2018 Portrait tour, but we definitely toured Old Delhi. I do not see how any company can delete Old Delhi from the itinerary.

    That said, the hotel can certainly arrange a car and tour guide for any independent touring you may want to do outside of Tauck's itinerary. I took advantage of those services. The Tour Director may, depending on the TD, include a list of things to do not included on Tauck's list. This will be in the packet you are presented upon arrival at the hotel.

    My TD for POI was Annie and she was great...very patient. My TD for Northern India/Nepal was Sid. He is the BEST TD I have ever had. I hope you get him. He is Indian and lives in Udaipur. He brings an entirely different perspective to India and you get extra perks because he definitely speaks the language. Sid also conducts the POI, Singapore and K&T Tours.

    Have FUN ...FANTASTIC tour!

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    Thank you both for your responses.

    Yes - I'm really looking forward to the trip. My niece and her (now) husband did an around-the-world trip on their own several years ago and liked India so much they stayed 4 months. I had her look at the couple of itineraries offered that I was considering from a couple of different companies and her input was very helpful and one of the reasons I selected this particular tour.

    I managed to get a business class airline ticket with frequent flyer mileage on United Airlines out of Newark (EWR) going to DEL and then back from DEL to EWR at the end. I'm still periodically checking to see if something else will open up directly from Mumbai (BOM). If not, then right now it looks like I'll have to go back to DEL from Mumbai and stay the night at the airport (or fly up domestically the morning of the international flight back). I'm more inclined to stay the night at the airport - we'll see.

    I took a look at the webpage for the tour again and the only thing mentioned about gratuities is: "All customary gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff, local guides and drivers are included. Note: Tauck Director and driver gratuities are not included." Maybe I'll just call and ask.

    I also reviewed the itinerary again and see it talks about an "Orientation tour" of Old Delhi so I'll see at the same time I call about getting more details on what that means. I need to call them anyway about coming in on the 14th regarding an extra (now 2 extra) nights at the hotel prior to the tour starting.

    I'm hopeful others who will be on this particular tour will respond too. It would be nice to chat with some people who will be on the tour - although hearing from anyone with suggestions/comments is great!

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