Trying not to freak out right now
This trip has been booked for months and months. I learned a few months ago that Tauck had me arriving in Lima in the middle of the night. I replied immediately stating my concern and was told I had nothing to worry about, that a car and driver would be waiting for me to take me directly to my hotel. Today I got a call asking where I would be staying the night I arrive! What the $#@?!!! Tauck took care of the reservations for the air and the tour - I was told everything was booked - now they're asking where I'm going to stay between the time I arrive in the middle of the night and 3:00 when check in is allowed at the hotel?! I'm livid. This is NOT the kind of service I expect for this price.
If you called Tauck about this….and they will have records of the call…you should get them to sort it for you. If not, This is what I would do, get to the hotel and I am sure right now it will not be full, so I’m sure you will be able to get an early check in.
I have friends who tell me, not Tauck travellers I add, when they get in on an early flight, they dump themselves on the most prominent sofas in the hotel foyer, spread out and make themselves very noticeable and annoying The more upmarket the hotel the more the staff want to get rid of them, most times they get into a room early.
Of course, your flight may be delayed
Sit down, take a deep breath, relax, and give Tauck a call. I am sure they will straighten it all out. It may just be a miscommunication between Tauck Air and the reservation sales personnel. With COVID, the airlines have reduced flight schedules- they have reduced the number of flights per day and week to many destinations.
It may be that the only routing available from your home airport gets you there late the night before the start of your tour and if you take a later flight it might get you to the hotel late at night after the Welcome Dinner and the tour has officially started. You don't want to do that! Since it sounds like you didn't book a pre-stay with Tauck. A pre-stay is technically not part of the tour and they have no way of knowing if you have booked a room at another hotel or plan to stay with friends, etc.
For that reason, many of us go a day early, and use a gift of time for a free pre-stay or pay for a pre-stay with Tauck. That may be what you will need to do. Tauck, like everyone else, is at the mercy of the airlines. If the flights are limited you may not have any other option than to book a hotel pre-stay. That is what we've had to do on a number of previous tours and must do again at the start of our upcoming Jordan and Egypt trip. We book our own air, it is just the nature of the beast!
Dr. V, trust you'll get this sorted. Even pre-pandemic flights to Lima/South America typically arrived midnightish & returns to US left late as well. In a pinch there is now an Airport Express Lima with hotel drop-offs for the long slog into town; though not all night long and on hiatus per website, you may want to keep that in your back pocket.
I can’t think of anything to say to a Doctor in this circumstance. (;-)
This is quite puzzling…your tour is beginning at the Belmont Miraflores Hotel (beautiful property and location). Right on the first day itinerary, it says transportation from the airport to the hotel is provided. The question may be that as someone suggested…without an extra night booked, they’re wondering if you booked somewhere else to stay. Not sure waiting around in the lobby of the Belmont is ideal…or permitted. Tauck will transport you…that’s a given. Others are going to be in a similar situation…it’s a SoldOut tour! I’d quickly add a night so you can go right to your room!
I appreciate what a few of you have said about an extra night and I would have been happy to book it had I known it wasn't taken care of! But, when I was told there would be "a car and driver waiting for me to take me directly to my hotel", I assumed that meant I could actually check into the hotel! Finding this out four weeks before my trip has me reconsidering future travel with Tauck. The travel arrangements are pretty horrific - long layovers, etc. but I figured there was nothing they could do about that. But this hotel debacle has nothing to do with airline schedules - this is just poor planning and a lack of attention to detail. I've already booked another trip with Tauck for next year and will decide if I continue on that path based on how they handle this situation. Not the service I expect from a tour provider who supposedly specializes in higher end travel and charges top dollar.
I don’t know who you talked to at Tauck, but surely it’s obviously from your summary of purchase that you may not have a room until check in time. If you have four weeks, can’t Tauck just get you the extra room, or you book it independently
I can’t recall a time when we have arrived at a Tauck hotel in the early mornings and not gotten into our room, ok, maybe once, in Santiago.
Tauck is high end, but it is certain not the most expensive by any means.
Because of the huge number of countries that Tauck visits, even pre Covid, there are many incidences where you find there are long layovers. It often depends on where you live in the US. This is partly why Tauck offers the Gift of Time, to encourage people to arrive early.
Have you traveled with Tauck before. We have been customers, since about 2003 they do sometimes make mistakes but get,ale things right for you.
I’ve been to Galapagos with Tauck twice, but not Peru, altitude not good for my hubby. Lucky you to be able to do it.
British … you are being very kind to someone who is either a very naive traveller or simply does not do their homework. I know that Tauck takes care of the many details, but I spend many hours cross checking the travel information. This traveller apparently did not know the hotel information nor the dates and times. That is pretty strange for someone who uses ‘Dr’ in their screen name. ‘Attention to detail’ was critical in my business, and I think that is true for most people who use ‘Dr’ in their name.
Been traveling with Tauck since 2000 and they are the best. When we went, our plane landed in Lima at 5AM. By 10 AM they were giving us our room keys. It gave us time to get to the hotel , have a nice breakfast, and walk around town to stretch our legs. I doubt very much you will have to wait until 3PM for your room. Make sure you drink some cocoa tea for the Cuzco altitude. Good luck.
"Attention to detail?" On whose part? "Taken care of?" by whom? If your flight was scheduled to arrive two days early instead of the night before, would you assume Tauck would automatically reserve a room at the hotel for the additional nights? Some people actually arrive on the first day of a tour, but unless they have booked an extra night, they don't get nor expect to get, a room until normal check-in time on Day 1. Either your travel agent, if you used one, did not tell you this or you did not carefully read the summary of purchase and paperwork emailed to you which clearly state the time and date the tour begins and ends. Tauck is not at fault for your wrong assumption. In over 10 years following this forum, I have never read about this happening to anyone, else.
I can understand you were surprised and possibly embarrassed, but did you discuss this with Tauck, before posting? They might have been able to quickly take care of you and still might be able to do so now by booking an extra night. In view of the COVID travel situation, I can't imagine that the Belmond Miraflores Park hotel is fully booked.
If you do get a pre-stay room at the front of the hotel, be sure to check the view of the park and palisades. In the afternoon check out the para gliders as they float along the tops of the cliffs. If you are adventurous, try it. My wife and I did and it was fabulous!
I must say We have never been let down or disappointed with our travels withTauck.In fact the one time there was an issue Tauck “pretravel department” called us the day we were to leave for Africa tour;they wanted to know if we had an extra night reserved because our departure at the end of the tour from Capetown was one day later.However,in the many calls that I had with them which they were able to go and verify I had never requested the extra stay or delayed departure.They were able to correct and change our flights.Even though we had some anxiety on the day of departure I was happy that Tauck was checking the details and correcting .The recorded calls are again to show they are doing their best.We have a tour of Galapagos coming up;our flight arrives after midnight;we did reserve that night as extra.I guess with different time zones and days one has to check the reservations carefully so as not to be stranded without proper accommodation.
Nice pictures Alan S!
For the record, that is coca tea, not chocolate cocoa. Tauck occasionally messes up: I wanted to depart from a secondary airport in Puglia, the only nonstop to Bologna. I was told no (taxi from hotel was prohibitively expensive) so ended up stopping in Milan instead. At last minute, I noticed Tauck added the second airport as an option, never let me know; too messy to change plans at that point.
Sealord, you seem to have quite an issue with my credentials and I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but you've mentioned it repeatedly so it must be a problem for you. Your snark is less than helpful to say the least and actually does little to improve my impression of Tauck. I am a frequent traveler and trust my travel specialist to handle things for me. She booked everything through Tauck so if trusting her makes me naive then so be it. She has handled over a dozen international trips for me over the past few years and has never missed a beat but this is my first trip with Tauck. Several of you have mentioned the gift of time but it's my understanding that it only applies if you've traveled with Tauck before. I'm sure this will get straightened out, it's just another loose end I didn't need right now. To those of you who posted supportive, calming comments - thank you. That's what I needed most during this crazy time.
That makes it much more clear. You are criticizing Tauck when your real problem is with your TA. I will trust that your spelling of naive is a typo. If your TA had you arriving in the middle of the night and did not book a hotel room for you, that is not a Tauck problem. That’s a TA problem.
DrVon please continue to post about your experience there and Galapagos!Specially with Covid situation.Our trip is in December and still undecided whether to go or not.
Oh dear, DrVon, it does rather sound as if it was an error from your Travel Agent. Many of us here book directly with Tauck, because often, we read here that Travel agents neglect to get all the details from Tauck. Some are die hard travel agent fans. It is beginning to make sense that Tauck does usually mention about maybe needing an extra night when there is an early arrival flight. As I mentioned above, I can only recall the one time not being able to get into our room early. I can think of many more where even in the middle of the night, we got into our room, such as India. For Iceland, we arrived early morning snd got straight into our room. Tauck have a huge amount of clout in the Industry, thst most hotels and locations bend over backwards to get Tauck business. Anyway, before you judge Tauck, please do the tour and see how you like them. Then may I suggest that next time you book directly with Tauck. I really do think your agent failed you. this time, whatever your agent may have told you.
If you have any questions about Galápagos, I can certainly probably answer them. AlanS will be a good resource for Peru.
The Galapagos too. Just ask my swimming buddy here- ole Mr White Tip and his two dozing buddies:
Good pix Alan. I’ve actually done the Galapagos three times on the Xpedition.
They were great trips … but they were before I discovered Tauck. (;-)
It was the Xpedition that got us off of big ships and onto small ships. We had achieved the highest loyalty status with RCCL when they created a status above ours, and took away our benefits and transferred them to the ‘new’ status. We had twenty some cruises with them and have never cruised with them again. We now mostly cruise with Windstar and Ponant and Tauck of course. We only go on big boats with the grandkids, but not RCCL. (;-). Yes, I’m Irish and I do hold a grudge. (;-) We only have to do one more cruise with RCCL to get into the next higher ‘status’ … it is not going to happen.
Wow Alan - those photos are awesome! I hope to see something similar! Thanks for posting them!
DrVon, we took the Hidden Galapagos and Peru trip in April '19. My, it seems so long ago at this point!! We had a wonderful time and learned so much about the Peruvian culture and the Galapagos. Unlike others on this thread we have only been on three Tauck tours but each one was excellent and the tour directors superb!! I can appreciate how this can be unsettling especially during these difficult travel times but I'm sure your TA will get it taken care of. Best of luck and safe travels! I am looking forward to a happy trip report!!!
I may be alone here but I'm a pro vote for Travel agents...we have an excellent, experienced one who gets prompt answers from Tauck and I don't wait on the phone for extended times. Everyone has different experiences but ours has been positive and very accurate information over all these years. We are booked for 5 more Tauck trips in the next 2 years...can hardly wait to travel again.
Nancy - I agree with you. I've used a TA for all my Tuack trips and never a problem. I do book air on my own, as I like to have full control over flights, seats, etc., and the TA gets nothing for booking flights.
TA is redundant when you book thru Tauck.We did use a wonderful and trustworthy TA early on and then realized we don’t need one.We also had an issue because TA booked us in the hotel using the travel agency name; we did not get our initial info from Tauck at the beginning of the tour because hotel did not include us in the Tauck group.
AlanS love you4 swimming buddies!
And they were swimming- those are stills captured from the video. Here are the links to the videos- unfortunately, I was using a camera pole that vibrated as I swam so at times the camera has significant shake. I never got around to using post processing software that reduces the shake.
Green Sea Turtles. The visibility was poor, so despite using an U/W light, the video isn't the best and there was a fair amount of sea surge which made it hard to stay still- I and 30+ green sea turtles were just sloshing in a small cove going with the surge:
Misc. fish- blue chin parrot fish (juvenile and adult), streamer hogfish, yellowtail surgeon, damsel fish, hieroglyphic hawkfish, banded blenny, comet fish, pacific burr fish, etc., etc.
More fish (coral fish, parrot, yellowtail, etc.) and critters (sea lion gracefully swimming about, flightless cormorant, marine iguana, gull with chick, small hermit crab with even smaller shell, sea lion and juvenile out for a stroll, etc.
I can't believe some idiot flagged Alan's post!
BKMD - I second that!
Incredible footage, Alan. Thanks so much for sharing.