Please sign in to post.

7000 Tours booked in 2 days

I just received an email from Rick Steves and Company. They have booked 7000 tours so far since yesterday. Far more than expected with the 'quiet' opening. Thus they are a wee bit behind in getting the paperwork done (understatement) but they are working hard at the Confirmations and ALL Hands Are On Deck!

RS indicated they MAY have 2021 tours later in the year depending upon how things are looking, but NO promises etc.

EDIT: parts of the email are set forth below-- NOTE the early notice expires on June 1st when they will announce big time they are opening for bookings ...SO we all need to stay real quiet, this info is Hush Hush...don't tell anyone...LOL! 7000 in 2 days, yeah, this stayed quiet long. Happy Traveling!

From RS and Company: "We are humbled by the support you have shown us throughout the pandemic — and by your determination to keep on traveling with us. On behalf of our entire team in Edmonds, and our guides in Europe, we appreciate your trust. Thank you! We are so excited to be traveling together again soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few points about our tour booking process, and what our post-COVID tours will look like:

  1. With so many travelers signing up all at once, you can imagine we are quite busy confirming everyone. Please be confident that if you signed up, you are on board, and we will be in touch in the next few days with your confirmation. Our systems are working wonderfully and it is all-hands-on-deck here at Rick Steves’ Europe to ensure that each and every traveler is being taken care of.

  2. If you want to travel with us in 2022 but have yet to grab a seat — and would like the best selection of dates — you would be wise to book as soon as possible. Tours in certain popular destinations (including Greece, Italy, Switzerland, and our new Poland tour) are already filling fast. And remember: Deposits are 100 percent refundable, for any reason, until the end of 2021.

  3. If you are receiving this email, you are on our priority list. This “insider status” expires next Tuesday, June 1, when we will announce our 2022 tours to the general public. On that date, we will notify our entire mailing list, begin our general announcements...and expect to see a lot more bookings."

Posted by
4647 posts

We've been confirmed on two 2022 tours, but I'm still grasping at straws, hoping against hope that our 2021 tour will go, and that we will be able to join it.

Posted by
8397 posts

So happy! What an awesome show of support. Plus we’ll have fun!!

Posted by
166 posts

Our 14 Day Ireland was already waitlisted earlier this afternoon!

Posted by
1322 posts

I got the same email. Our second tour was confirmed before 9 this morning. Our Portugal tour your is waitlisted. Fingers crossed that 2022 goes well!

Posted by
1287 posts

The South of France tour date I wanted is wait listed. I have to rethink this….maybe Heart of France as my first solo trip and SoF in 2023?

Posted by
1150 posts

I have booked my 2022 tour also. I am so excited with a trip to look forward to again. I couldn't believe how many of the tours filled completely and are now waitlisted. There really are alot of us 'travels with Rick' folks.

Posted by
473 posts

Just curious— how many people usually book in a season? 7,000 does seem like a lot, but what’s that in terms of percentage for an average pre-covid year?

Posted by
6061 posts

Ruth, I think the noteworthy thing about the 7,000 number is that it happened in just two days, months before the usual opening of the next years schedule. They mention that they had 20,000 people signed up in total for 2020, so that is quite an impressive show of loyalty to have that many sign up right away.

Posted by
16 posts

^ Yeah that is pretty danged impressive, 7,000 people signing up so quickly (especially compared against the 20,000/year annual figure). I assumed Rick would get swamped with reservations, but this utterly exceeded my expectations.

Good for them.

Posted by
29 posts

I thought Rick said they had to cancel 30,000 for 2020. Either way, if you look at the the number of tours wait listed this morning (Friday) it is very remarkable. I'm going with a small group of friends and I told them all to sign up right away. They thought I was being a bit silly. Now that our tour is sold out, they are happy I pushed them.

Posted by
139 posts

I feel fortunate to have been able to sign up and get my confirmations for 4 tours (as a solo) for 2022 - figured I'd do some back-to-back tours as long as I was making the long trek to Europe from CA in April and Sept. Feeling pretty excited about the prospect of getting back on the road again!

Posted by
29 posts

Keep in mind that historically Rick initially releases a number of tour dates spread across the travel season. As a given itinerary fills up within a certain time period there are often some additional tour dates added in between the full or filling-fast tours on the initial schedule.

-Ben

Posted by
1 posts

I was checking the tours almost daily, waiting to see when 2022 dates would post. I ended up seeing them before Rick's email came out and booked my tour for "My Way France" on the spot. I'm confirmed but the date I chose already has a wait list! Definitely thankful I got a tour confirmed ASAP. I imagine the tours that are available won't stay that way for long.

Posted by
67 posts

I signed up for a tour (along with my sister and her husband) within one hour of getting the email Wednesday. We're both still waiting on a confirmation. Our tour is showing that it's waitlisted, but I don't know if that includes us or not. Fingers crossed!

Posted by
28 posts

I was on a cancelled 2020 tour and got the announcement email at 1:45pm on Wednesday. I got my reservation request in at 1:59pm. I don't yet have a confirmation and my tour (Best of Eastern France - May 29) shows waitlisted. I am hanging my hopes on Rick's words in #1 of his Thursday, 5/27 email: "Please be confident that if you signed up, you are on board..." Not easy to be patient, but I have faith. Hope everyone gets the trip(s) they want.

EDIT: Yes, thank you Webmaster for the comments below. I was keeping the faith, and checking my Inbox every five minutes for your confirmation! I will relax a bit now. Thanks to all at RSE for your hard work.

Posted by
665 posts

I'm happy for the people who have already signed up! But it is a bit distressing to have to make a decision so quickly on where and when to go before they sell out.

Posted by
1966 posts

I signed up on the first day and encouraged my two friends to sign up quickly because I thought there would be a rush on bookings. I was right and I’m so glad for RS and his crew that business is booming.
I’m going to Scandinavia May 22-June 4 with two friends which has never happened that I will be traveling with two companions. I’m lucky if I have one friend who is interested in a destination. The Pandemic has made my friends realize there’s no time like the present to follow your dreams! You never know when the freedom to go places might end.

I am now considering signing up for a second tour in September - St. Petersburg Tallinn Helsinki. Any thoughts or comments?

Posted by
686 posts

Hi all,

Registrations are still pouring in and we are so thrilled! For those who have registered but haven't yet received their confirmation, thank you for your patience. Giving a peak behind the curtain, there are quite a few steps to the confirmation process. Depending on the situation, some confirmations are automated and can be turned around quickly while a large share require manual review. The manual-review list will take some time as we process the unprecedented volume of registrations. So, if you see comments here about some having their confirmation already while others are still waiting, that's why. No one's jumping the line. We just have a system that helps us process some registrations faster.

As Rick said, be confident that if you signed up, you are on board, even if the tour you signed up for now indicates "waitlist."

We can't wait to take you to Europe!

Posted by
759 posts

Although the Webmaster is not saying it...I suspect if you have taken other tours and get the discounts (and indicated that on the registration form) yours becomes a manual booking as they have to look you up, confirm the prior tours, calculate your discount etc.

I'm in the same boat- as I await confirmations one of my back to back tours now lists waitlisted...for me it is both or none and I will have to look towards 2023 (sadly after all this lockdown my time in 2022 is actually now very limited as businesses are back up and running and dealing with whole new sets of issues).

Posted by
376 posts

Thank you Webmaster for clarifying that if we signed up, that we’re on board. I was feeling nervous but feel better now. I need these tours for my mental health!🤣

Posted by
2 posts

I have not received an email confirmation…but no worries. I logged onto my account and it told me i was confirmed 👍🏻 I even signed all the waivers too.

Posted by
1187 posts

Our tour reservations are still pending but our credit card has pending charges as well. So I am going to be patient and assume that we will be confirmed.

Posted by
759 posts

"Check your credit card statement. If they are processing your deposit, you are in.
Nope. The second you hit the request the tour button they automatically run your card for the deposit amount. They do not complete the purchase until tour confirmation but your bank will instantly show it as "pending". Like charging your dinner at a restaurant..they bring you the slip to sign with the tip line and final amount blank. They do not 'complete' the transaction until later (did you add the tip). Here RS runs an initial deposit 'hold' on the card but does not complete it immediately.

Posted by
624 posts

My credit card was pending the deposit on Wednesday when I hit the submit button. I just got my tour confirmation e-mail today which is within the 1-3 days as promised. (Munich, Salzburg, Vienna - 8-day tour).

Margaret

Posted by
376 posts

My first tour is confirmed. For the second tour, I got an email saying they'll get back to me in 1-2 weeks. But looking at my tour account, it's on there as pending, so I'm confident that all is well. I think their system is doing well with the enormous quantity of bookings. It feels so good to have plans for 2022!

Posted by
3523 posts

I appreciate knowing that I haven't heard anything back yet doesn't neccessarily mean that anything is wrong. After all, Sept 2022 is a ways out yet. I am looking forward to a confirmation.

Posted by
350 posts

7000 reservations in two days.

I guess giving all those refunds in 2020 without hassling the customers pays off.

Posted by
6061 posts

Just an FYI, but I called the office yesterday with a question, around 3:00 CDT, and the message said they were closed, presumably for the holiday weekend (or maybe they needed to rest). Considering they are on PDT, I inferred they were closed all to most of the day. Likely closed on Monday as well, so that may be cause for some delay.

Posted by
759 posts

"Just an FYI, but I called the office yesterday with a question, around 3:00 CDT, and the message said they were closed, presumably for the holiday weekend (or maybe they needed to rest)."

If I were a betting man I would bet on their being 'open' and working this weekend....but most of the employees are still working from home and the office buried in calls..so they just kill the phone. I realize everyone has concerns about a trip and potential questions. But even if 5% of those booking placed a call...that is 350 people calling. They are simply not set up for that...most businesses aren't. And do we want people answering phones getting hit with questions they cannot answer "why am I not confirmed:...."when will I be confirmed" etc... they have to answer, be polite and say you are in the queue and we will get to you as soon as possible or do we want those folks process the reservations?

Posted by
759 posts

"My first tour is confirmed. For the second tour, I got an email saying they'll get back to me in 1-2 weeks."

That can be scary if your doing B-B tours. As the time clock for med insurance has started to run once the 1st tour has been confirmed. Yes you can add on to your insurance....but if the 2nd doesn't get confirmed and you cancel the trip (my scenario) ... you could potentially be out the insurance premiums paid for the 1st.

I'm also GUESSING they are trying to double up some tours with a mild stagger to satisfy as many folks as they can and are scrambling for extra hotels.

Posted by
7607 posts

Our Edmonds location is temporarily closed until further notice.
Monday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wednesday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

I suspect this explains why the phone was not answered.

I have no doubt the keyboards were taking a pounding

Posted by
376 posts

I’m hoping they get at least part of the holiday weekend to relax. They’re gonna need it.

Posted by
16 posts

Yeah, I totally don’t blame the RS offices at all for shutting down right about now — they’re probably getting absolutely hammered with new business that they need to process. Which is a great problem to have.

Posted by
1187 posts

Our tour reservations were confirmed a short while ago. Yay!!! I suspect that RS office is working full tilt this weekend to keep up with the demand. And too busy to answer the phones.

Posted by
1971 posts

0 for 2. I'm understanding that neither of the person's requested tours was confirmed. So they're viewing their next shot is in 2023.

Posted by
62 posts

It appears that RS employees are working over the weekend and are working from home to process tour requests. I got an email and a call last night (Saturday, May 29) from a RS employee about switching to a new tour date for Villages of Italy. I was signed up to go with my friends, but they got an email on Saturday morning stating the tour date they picked was sold out and offering them two added tour dates. Since I signed up after they did, I thought I would get the same email, but did not. My friends told the RS employee they were dealing with about the tour date change that I wanted to be on the same tour so, hence, the email and call. It turns out I got the last seat on the tour date that was sold out. Interesting how that worked since I signed up after my friends. So long story short, there are some RS employees working on tours this weekend (or at least on Saturday).

Posted by
8397 posts

Ended up ofer two. Maybe 2023 now

You should definitely wait list. We’re still a year (or more) out and if the past year taught us anything it’s that unexpected things can happen. I suspect there will be a lot of shifting around.

Posted by
19171 posts

I imagine there will be still more tours added; the demand certainly seems to be there.

Posted by
3523 posts

Edwin. When you said “ended up zero for two” were you informed of this by the Tour Office or are you going by the “waitlisting” designation? The reason I ask is that I believe they have listed many tours as waitlisted while they deal with the tremendous backlog of tour requests they have received. I think they want new people looking at tours to know there may not be room available. One email I received early on said to be assured that people requesting tours the first day were “on board.”

Is there anyone out on the forums that requested a tour the first day that was told it was full by the tour office? I still haven’t been confirmed, but I haven’t been denied either. It is a little hard after going through tour cancellation, COVID restrictions, etc to have to wait once again, but I am hopeful that the Tour Office will soon process through the applications.

Good luck to all.

Posted by
759 posts

"Ended up ofer two. Maybe 2023 now."

0 for 2. Duh! THANK YOU CWsocial. Blind as a bat some time.....

Posted by
1966 posts

I and my friends signed up on the first day and we all were confirmed. The RS staff even brought my tour account up to date with my 7 previous tours. Impressive!

Posted by
305 posts

I am envious of all of you who knew exactly which tour(s) you wanted. Although I too was informed when RS began accepting deposits for his tours, I/we hadn't made a decision for 2022 tours; still a little apprehensive due to COVID, and hoping our physical health remains the same in 15 months. I kept checking tour date availability every day...and panicked when I saw so many already filled late last night. So made a decision this morning and booked 2 back to back tours, based on availability, not on top of our list. Now hoping they will still be available when our application is processed.

Posted by
759 posts

Confirmation timeline is getting strange. My first tour was booked on Wed a little after 1 pm and I’ve heard nothing yet. Are they still working on the first 5-6 hours of bookings on Wednesday?

The tour page on the Web Site now says it may take “a week or so” (‘so’ being longer) to process your reservation and email your seat confirmation. WOW!

Posted by
3469 posts

Guess I better get my passport application in the mail! ;-)

This was a bit of a shock, seeing the unexpected tours open up.

Posted by
67 posts

I booked on Wednesday at 3:00 Pacific Time. I've heard nothing yet. My tours page is showing the tour pending and the charge is pending on my credit card. My sister and her husband booked at the same time. While they received an RS pending confirmation email immediately as I did, their tour page does not show pending and the charge is not pending on their credit card.

We are trying to stay optimistic but are having a hard time doing so as all of our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc tour choices have filled up. We didn't sign up for backups when we booked last Wednesday. Did other people?

We were chatting today wondering if people were panic booking trips they don't plan on taking just to assure they get on a tour. We almost did but stopped ourselves.

Is anyone else stressing out over this?

Kristen

Posted by
350 posts

@ Kristen: Personally i would advise getting on a few wait lists for alternative tours. You can always say NO later on. I have been wait-listed for several tours in the past and I would guess that about 50% of the time I get an email notifying me that a space has opened up. Usually that occurred a month or two before the departure date. IIRC, they then gave a week or so for me to think about it and see if I could get the time off, arrange transportation, etc. Sometimes it worked out. Sometimes it didn't.

7000 reservations in a day or two. By now they must be well over 10,000. Good. RS treated me well in 2020. I had to cancel two tours, and both times promptly got my deposit money back. A few people i know went with another well known adventure tour company and got the run-around. I know these companies were hurting, but if you can't deliver product, you don't get to keep the money.

Posted by
114 posts

@kristen, I too feel your pain. I booked on Wednesday a back to back tour starting in Portugal then going on the Best of Turkey. I have not gotten my confirmation yet and I expect it will be Tuesday or Wednesday given how backlog they are, if I even made it on the tour. Planning on a trip with 6 friends on the Portugal tour and 2 friend on the Turkey tour. I thought about alternates dats but the two tours don't match up with any other tours that our traveling companions can make. I do take heart in the webmaster forum post saying don't worry we have your request but are a bit overwhelmed.

Hoping to Keep on Traveling!!

Posted by
29 posts

@Kristen - If you have your confirmation email, I would think you are likely just fine. My tours are both 'pending' and I booked on the first day. After reading a post by RS office on this board some of the tour requests require managing by hand so it takes a while. I have assumed that they need to properly apply by alumni credit which requires someone to verify that yes, I have taken a tour previously.

Posted by
281 posts

I talked to an individual in the tour department after the first of the two showed completely full. I asked if they send confirmation emails when you are added and if you didn't get an email confirmation at that point if the tour sold out before you signed updated for it. Both questions were confirmed as affirmative. No email confirmation with tour showing sold out means I ended up 0fer 2.

Posted by
1287 posts

I’m dealing with high anxiety waiting for my tour confirmation like everyone else.
But can you imagine being someone new to RS tours, never looked at the forum and decided to take a tour this year after watching all of Rick’s shows on PBS while cooped at home for a year? All they would see are wait listed tours.

Posted by
3555 posts

I just signed up for the Best of Ireland in 14 Days tour that runs from Sunday, July 24, 2022 to Saturday, August 6, 2022.

The paragraph below my request number says, "Please allow 3-5 business days for processing." So I won't expect anything until after June 7th.

Excited, I am.

Posted by
759 posts

Edwin: Thank you for posting but there still might be some confusion. Did you actually book tours the were listed as available when you "booked" or did you just call RS?

The basic process has 3 parts, how far along in the process did you get? This assumes that the Tour is listed as available on the website at the time you requested a booking/Reservation.

  1. Request a Reservation for a specific tour (or 2 or 3) via the Web page sign up. You provide name, address, number of people, bed type, etc and provide a credit card number for your deposit.

  2. As soon as you send in that Request for a Reservation almost instantly you will receive an email back from RS thanking you and giving you a Registration REQUEST (my emphasis) number. The email Also states it will take (x business days-1-3, now 3-5) to process your Request and provide you with a Confirmation of your Tour. They warn yo not to book a flight until your are Confirmed. At this point, if you check your bank, you sell see your credit card account show a "pending" charge for the deposit amount.

  3. After several days (much longer currently) you will receive your seat CONFIRMATION email, information about your tour, a link to documents that you need to sign in your tour account, final invoice amount and due date, and your pending credit card charge will be processed for your deposit, etc.

Thus back to the original point: how far in the process did you get? The big question is this: are those going through items #1 and 2 Later getting an email saying sorry, the tour is full, and no seat for you?

Posted by
145 posts

I couldn't believe that my preferred Best of Sicily date sold out overnight. I could see the handwriting on the wall so grabbed my credit card and booked the next best date for us. The next day...that date was wait-listed too. We were cancelled in 2020, so hope this is a GO for us!

Posted by
9 posts

Has anyone who has officially signed up for a tour and has received a tour reservation request number email been actually told that they are not or will not be confirmed?

Posted by
376 posts

Oops! My pending c/c charge for a Portugal tour has now disappeared. I’m thinking that’s a bad sign.

Posted by
6061 posts

Given that its even earlier now in June, than the normal time for offering the full schedule of tour dates, it seems likely there will be more people with changes and cancellations between now and the end of the year.

Posted by
759 posts

And don’t forget they went back to the old cancellation rules: cancel for any reason until the end of December. I would guess more then a few people booked “extra” tours or grabbed a tour to be “safe” and plans will change accordingly.

Posted by
665 posts

I'm hoping to take two tours separated by a week or so. Tours have been filling fast so I hope I get confirmed. Now I regret not dropping everything to book when I got the first email, I didn't imagine it would fill so quickly.

Posted by
3523 posts

Barbara, don't worry about pending dropping. It probably just timed out. I think that is what happened to mine as well.

Posted by
350 posts

All of this speculation on our part about what is going on at the International Headquarters of RS Europe has me thinking that when 2022 is over, RS should do a special talk on how he survived the travel crash of 2020/2021. I would love to have been a fly on the wall as he discussed various options, strategies and tactics to get past this Covid mess in one piece.

I'm also curious to know what percent of his tours will be available to those not on the 'priority list' as of June 1. Of course, if things go well in Europe, they can add more tours. IIRC, they have done this in the past.

Posted by
759 posts

Barnstormer- this is no priority list beyond that of getting an email stating tours are open. And that early sign-up advantage disappeared as soon as folks posted about the tours being up and active on the forum. From Rick's email: "You’re receiving this “sneak preview” message because you were signed up for a 2020 tour, or you asked to be notified when we started selling tours again. But our 2022 tours won’t stay a secret for long." And they didn't stay secret for long.

As for surviving 2020/21 simple: Sound Economic planning. He doesn't pre-spend his tour deposit money. He has significant savings/investments for old age that he probably had to use. I'm sure he worked with his bankers for Covid business loans (no repayment if spent on staff salaries). He previously announced he was paying staff full salary unil Julyish 2020 then dropping to 70% salary and 40% I believe on January first 2021. Now if he changed those $$ numbers because of various Covid programs we will never know (and shouldn't- really not our business).

Posted by
376 posts

Thanks, Carol. That’s what happened. I just got the confirmation!

Posted by
114 posts

Well, good news on my end my confirmation email came for both of my tours today. Taking the Heart of Portugal on 4/4 followed by the Best of Turkey on 4/18. My brother in law and his wife have also received their confirmation but one of other members has been waitlisted. Still waiting on the other members. I have contacted the hotel in Lisbon for pre tour stay and the hotel in Porto for an extra day.

Next up is to get my travel insurance confirmed as I have a credit from last year to use. Then it’s time to find airline flights. Only issue on Airline is my end date for Turkey is not in some of the systems yet so need to wait a few weeks.

Posted by
281 posts

Gobsmacked! The stars aligned and received confirmation notices for the two tours I signed up for. Yippie!

Posted by
3523 posts

I confess I have had a certain amount of envy all week as people have reported their confirmations and I had , well nothing.... I wondered, "Why them and not me?", but I decided to take Rick Steves at his word and wait (almost patiently).

I can report I received my confirmation this morning, 6 days after I had put my deposit down. I am not complaining about the amount of time, I only mention it since others may be wondering how long it might be taking for some. This tour had shown as "waitlisted" for several days. Don't give up if you haven't heard yet. That confirmation may yet be headed your way.

Posted by
914 posts

I placed our reservation within 2-4 hours of receiving the email from Rick that tours were open. I received my confirmation Monday morning 5 days later, which I was really surprised at because it was a holiday, but boy did it make my day!

Posted by
99 posts

I booked two tours on the afternoon of the 28th and a third tour a couple of hours later. I just received confirmations for all three! Funny though, I booked my third tour after those of two others who booked the same tour but they have not received their confirmations yet.

Posted by
759 posts

Both Tours confirmed (One yesterday and one today). Both booked early afternoon on Wed. Both were waitlisted early on.. But I'm in.

Posted by
54 posts

I just happened to be perusing the RS website Wednesday, May 26th and saw the 2022 tours were up. At that time, the email had not been sent announcing the tours. I ran screaming for my husband --- he came running thinking I'd seen a snake or something. "I saw the tours are up! The tours are up." Fortunately, we knew what tours we wanted and booked them immediately. Our confirmations came almost immediately and it was then the sneak peek email arrived in our mailbox.

Posted by
350 posts

I've been on several RS tour wait lists. About 50% of the time I get an email inviting me to fill a newly available seat. Most of us realize that with lead time for 2022 being very long, events will cause people to change plans made in mid-2021. Seats will open up. A friend of mine complains that his company's vacation calendar signup won't even start circulating until October of this year. He's signed up for a tour and has no idea if he will get the time off.

With a little luck we will end up sewing our 2022 RS patch right next to our 2020 and 2021 patches.

Well, maybe the 2021 patch requires just a bit too much luck.

Posted by
6 posts

I was thankfully able to get a date for best of Europe 21 that I was shooting for. It’s my first visit to Europe so obviously my first Rick Steve’s tour so wanted to go big. I signed up Thursday evening and got confirmed Saturday as a solo with private room option.

Almost waited until Friday morning and am now glad I didn’t.

Posted by
28 posts

I was scheduled for Eastern France in 2020. Got notification email on Wednesday 26 May and signed up for the 29 May 2022 tour within 15 minutes. I got reservation acknowledgment right away, but didn’t get actual confirmation til Monday 31 May after obsessively checking my inbox every 5 minutes over the weekend. Stay strong everyone. Rick won’t let us down.

Posted by
4647 posts

Sherri, go ahead and sign up. They are expecting quite a few people to drop out later, since they've extended the full refund period until 12/31. And Rick said on Monday Night Travels that they've held back 20% of the tour dates; they'll be announced later. So get on a waiting list!

Posted by
1971 posts

Maybe the generous discounts he gives for returning customers was adding up too much with the demand so high.

That would seem very unlike the Rick Steves organization. I suspect there is another explanation.

However, I am sorry to hear that you were not confirmed on your tours. I'm sure you are disappointed. We are still waiting for our confirmations, and what you have said makes me less optimistic.

ETA: Oh my gosh, less than 10 minutes after this post and both of my tours just confirmed on my tours page! The email hasn't even arrived yet. (Signed up on 5/28.)

Posted by
1287 posts

My tour was confirmed this morning. It took a week from sign-up. I’m relieved. I’m happy. I can’t wait until Sept 2022.

Posted by
1187 posts

@sherribrown56

I am sorry you didn’t get the tour you wanted to Greece. I know you are very disappointed. As an alternative, Odysseys Unlimited also has small group tours to Greece. Maybe they would have something available on the dates that you want. I am sure the itinerary won’t be the same and the tours cost a bit more but they are worth a look. We have traveled with them and they are an excellent company. Edited to add - get on the waitlist for the tour that you want.

Posted by
759 posts

sherri- I'm so sorry this has happened (there have been a few others but very few).
Please get on waitlists (if you have multiple dates that will work for you) ASAP. It costs nothing and does not commit you.

Posted by
1608 posts

We’ve been hanging on to our dream of the Sicily tour for 2 years. Those booked immediately! We’re waited listed on 2 dates but then went ahead and signed up for the My Way Italy just so we knew we had something. I suspect there will be a lot of sorting out between now and January 2022.

Maybe I need to start a new thread but are people booking their pre & post tour hotels already? Usually European hotels don’t open their bookings this early, but maybe this year it will be different.

Posted by
1971 posts

I just checked our post-tour hotel and it isn't open for reservations this far in advance.

Posted by
6061 posts

Patty & cwsocial, there have been a couple of thread on pre- and post- booking recently. I just want to point out from our experience, the tour hotels are often very familiar with dealing with RS tour groups, and expect a certain number of travelers to want extra nights. As I was told by a few managers of the hotels, they will often set aside a block of rooms for the RS tour groups before or after the tour (whichever applies), and those rooms wont necessarily be available through their normal booking site or third-party sites because of this. Many of the hotels are receiving RS groups every few days, so its a big chunk of their business.

The thing to do is to email the hotel directly and mention that you are on the RS tour (dates) and make your request that way. Yeah its a longer way out than normal but worth a try. Keep copies of any replies.

Posted by
1322 posts

What Stan said! I had the same issue until I emailed the hotel. We are all set for two days pre trip.

Posted by
1971 posts

Yes, thanks all! After seeing that their registrations weren't yet open around our tour dates, I had already emailed the hotel - one with which I had a reservation in 2020 and who had kindly refunded our non-refundable reservation. (They had lots of business bookings, so they haven't been hit as hard as some hotels.) Of course we want to book with them again for 2022!

Posted by
1608 posts

Thanks for info about trying to book now. I will proceed accordingly - our usual procedure is to email the hotel and let them know we’re on a RS Tour. I’m just not used to doing things this far out of the travel!

Posted by
1966 posts

Last night, June 7, Rick said they sold 20,000 seats in the first 4 days. Amazing! Also, they have added more available departures on the Tours search function so you can see right away which dates you might like.

Posted by
6745 posts

I would be more interested in knowing:

  • How many people he retained from 2020 who simply shifted their bookings to 2022 (i.e. retention rate)
  • How many people decided to cancel altogether and not rebook later
  • How many brand new bookings he made - broken out between prior members and brand new members
  • RS policy is on the maximum number of waitlists any person can be on at once (some of those reflect shadow bookings which won't come to pass if some people are just hedging their bets and only intend to select their favorite tour and drop from being waitlisted on others)
  • Total bookings by tour for the past 5 years (obviously breaking out brand new tours like the one to Poland for which there is no history)

I don't think it's particularly noteworthy that thousands of people rushed to secure their place for 2022, especially if annually he does 30k worth of bookings. There's a FOMO factor and also a high comfort level for most RS fans to book super in advance.

Posted by
759 posts

"How many people he retained from 2020 who simply shifted their bookings to 2022 (i.e. retention rate)"

None. All 2020 bookings were canceled and fees/deposits refunded. Being on a 2020 tour simply got you an email that bookings for 2022 were open- a slight head start on the general public. This "head start" vanished as individuals posted the open for booking information on the Web. Once RS bookings went live anyone was eligible to book.

Posted by
1966 posts

I think it is remarkable no matter how you slice and dice the numbers.

The RS email arrived after I read the post on the forum that 2022 tours were up; I had alerted my friends and we booked and were confirmed that very day.

Posted by
6745 posts

None. All 2020 bookings were canceled and fees/deposits refunded.
Being on a 2020 tour simply got you an email that bookings for 2022
were open- a slight head start on the general public. This "head
start" vanished as individuals posted the open for booking information
on the Web. Once RS bookings went live anyone was eligible to book.

I didn't know that, thanks for sharing. Very interesting. I'm not surprised that he probably lost very few people because most prior tour members are very loyal to the brand, and obviously the pandemic had nothing to do with something Rick did or didn't do, so it should have minimal effect on interest levels. He used that down time wisely to keep people engaged and forward-looking. Most of his customers are (mostly) retired, well-situated, and didn't get wiped out economically (so they can still afford his tours).

Posted by
3 posts

THANK YOU to all of you for posting your experiences with tour registration and waiting for confirmations. Your posts were very beneficial and helped set my expectations as a 1st timer in such extraordinary circumstances.

For others like me - reading all the posts daily and still waiting for confirmation - please note that I signed up on 5.29 for the BOE 14 tour and I was finally confirmed today. Of course, like others, I kept looking at the tour dates as more were added and I decided (just last night) to sign up for the same tour but with different dates. So, I cancelled the confirmation. YIKES! Let the waiting begin - again. I sure hope my new tour date is confirmed. :)