Hi everyone, and welcome to our tour forum!
We're really happy to have a place for tour members to share memories, continue friendships, and start planning their next tours. We're also excited for people who are planning a tour for the first time or just curious about the experience of a Rick Steves Tour to have a place to come and ask real questions of our tour members.
One thing I wanted to address, as I've seen this mentioned in a few different threads, both here and in the general travel forums: this forum is not intended to be a replacement for the tour evaluations you receive upon the completion of your Rick Steves Tour. Those evaluations are specific to individual tours and are used as an internal tool to make the hotels, restaurants, itineraries, and guide experiences on our tours even better. They are not, and were never meant to be, planning tools for the general public, even though a few fields are made public on our website.
A little background: we used to have different questions on our evals, and we'd make them all public. Due to changing technology and an increase in the number of tours (and, consequently, tour members over the years), we realized that our very small staff could no longer keep up with the work. We pared down the evaluations to include a few general fields, but for the most part your evaluations are now basically guide performance reviews (as well as hotel and restaurant feedback). We decided not to expose the rest of the form because we don't think it's fair to the guides to have their performance reviews made public.
Please continue to send in your tour evaluations at the end of your tours. Those evals are vital to our tour program, and it's the only way we can continue to improve our tours. The people who read over each evaluation are not looking at this forum, so to choose to post your evaluation here as opposed to sending in the form will not help us improve our tour program at all.
Does this make sense?