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What's Happened, No New Tour Reviews

I have noticed there are no new reviews posted, at least for the two upcoming tours I am taking, since May. I was hoping someone might have a clue why. I know parts of the website are being tweaked, wondering if the reviews are being revamped. I still do not like the new review format, but it's better than nothing. Maybe a RS rep could provide some information?

Posted by
1604 posts

Hi Debra, we were wondering the same thing. We took a tour in May and were waiting to see the reviews posted. The tour (Eastern France) hasn't been updated since last October.

Posted by
865 posts

Good question, Debra. I was wondering about reviews for the first two Bulgaria tours (or at least the first one; the second tour only just got back).

Posted by
31262 posts

The tour reviews haven't been much use for awhile now. I never check them anymore.

Posted by
97 posts

I have been wondering the same thing. What's the deal RS staff?

Posted by
865 posts

Ken, I agree that the reviews are nowhere near as helpful (and fun to read) as they used to be, but it's still nice to read positive comments and little tips. It's even nice (if that's the right word) to read negative comments, especially if they're consistent throughout a group (e.g., if most of the members of a particular tour write that the stop in Xburg was a waste of time, then I can at least prepare myself mentally for a dull couple of hours on day four).

Posted by
5048 posts

Maybe I am missing something....but would not the reviews be posted by people who had been on the tour? If participants do not come on post, one can hardly fault the staff. More the case that the very small population that took the tour were either unaware of the forum, or chose not to post a comment.

Posted by
6628 posts

@Paul - after every tour, everyone is asked to submit a review (they don't need to independently post here, or even be aware that the Travel Forum section of the RS site exists). I'm fairly sure I did it via a web link, which feeds directly into the RS website according to the select tour. It's very odd that so many folks across various, unrelated tours would not have submitted reviews. I'm not sure if they're vetted or scrubbed beforehand - I hope not.

Posted by
55 posts

Hi guys - woah thanks for the heads up! Our system refreshes every night with new reviews that are submitted to us from our tour members, so it's all automated. We don't update those manually. Everything a tour member submits to us and tells us they want public should be appearing on our website -- it doesn't pass through our hands first unless we spot a swear word or another tour member's name that we have to remove.

Thanks to this thread, I opened an investigation into this. Looks like we're having something a little funky going on with our system, and we're looking in to it. Hopefully our additional May and all our June reviews will appear today or tomorrow.

Posted by
1911 posts

Thanks, Kate. I will finish writing mine for Village Italy. And thanks to you, too, Debra, for bringing it to their attention.

Posted by
524 posts

Yes, thanks Kate for the quick response. Even though I do not like the new tour review format, I still read them.:)

Posted by
7404 posts

Could someone post the link; I can't find the tour review section, and I'd like to see if there are any reviews of the Basque Country tours. Thanks.

Posted by
14246 posts

To see the reviews, you must go to a specific tour (in the Our Tours section). When you scroll down the tour page, you will see "Reviews" between "Activity level" and "Weather." Click on the plus sign, and voila.

Posted by
931 posts

I too have been scanning for trip reports for the BOE. The latest ones are from early spring. I reckon that some people might not fill one out but surely a few do. The reports seem to be woefully incomplete and don't include very much except for the "wow" moment. I did see the occasional mention of a negative and would have been interested in knowing what that was, whether a town, vendor, or particular experience, so as possibly to not waste time/money doing an activity not really worth it, but it is not divulged. It would be nice to at least be able to click on the reviewers name or report and read the whole thing.
I devour the reports written in the trip reports sections and wish more people would post of their trips here.

Posted by
1047 posts

i also would like to see more meaningful information in the reviews. It does not appear that the reviews were updated last night.

Posted by
373 posts

I completed my review from our SPB trip (5-15) as soon as I received it from RS. It has not posted. The most recent tour review is from 9-14. I can tell you that my review won't be that useful because the characters allowed were very minimal. I could not be very specific. I think the reviews should be allowed to be as least as large as one of these forum posts.

Posted by
524 posts

Hummm, I thought the reviews, such as they are, were supposed to be up today? I waited patiently for the end of business day, and still no new reviews posted. Bah, hum bug. Maybe the web crew had more serious issues to deal with today? I, too, wish the reviews were like the old format. The reviews were an important component in convincing me to join my very first tour. Alas, my opinion is not shared with the folks at RS.

Posted by
6284 posts

Travelingmom, I've been through all the tour descriptions and I'm still scratching my head - what the heck is an SPB tour?

Posted by
4359 posts

Detest the new 'review' format. They're extremely short and fluffy. I agree - better than nothing...maybe. But not really meaty and useful, like the old format reviews were. If you've read one......you've read 'em all :-(

Posted by
55 posts

To be fair, I did say "hopefully." ;o)

The problem is much deeper than we thought. We're still working on it. Apologies for any inconvenience. We'll get it sorted, it will just take a little more time.

Posted by
373 posts

Nancy, sorry.:) Saint Petersburg. (SPB) It is the Estonia, Finland and Russia tour. Too lazy to type all that.

Posted by
6284 posts

Thanks, you really had me going on that one, I never would have figured out that you meant the Scandinavia, Baltic, and Russia tour.

Posted by
14246 posts

I've been on 2 RS tours, one just before they changed the review system, and one last month. The review I completed the first time asked for detailed information on all just about aspects of the tour, and a format that encouraged critical comments on how the experience could have been improved. The new form has the following boxes, each limited to 500 characters:

Tell us about your overall tour experience
What was your favorite "wow" moment from your tour?
Provide any additional comments about your escort
(I was on a My Way tour)
Provide any additional comments about your hotels (there's one line to "rate your hotel" on a 1 to 5 rating. My tour stayed at 6 hotels. How am I supposed to rate 6 hotels together?).
Provide any additional comments about your pre tour experience
Do you have any more comments about your tour?

I don't know if I'll even bother to fill it out. It sure doesn't sound like they are interested in feedback, just "snippets" for the website from the first two questions. How can you give meaningful answers in 3 sentences to a tour that lasts 1.5-3 weeks, goes to multiple cities and often multliple countries?

Posted by
55 posts

OK after working hard on this for the past few days, our tech team has gotten our tour reviews back online. I just tested and made sure that they're all there. If you're not seeing any for July yet, that's because we haven't received any yet.

Thanks again for bringing this to our attention! The system that failed was relatively significant, so I'm glad we got it fixed!

Posted by
865 posts

Thanks for taking care of it right away, Kate and IT Team. I've now enjoyed reading the Bulgaria tour reviews and am looking forward to my trip more than ever!

Posted by
672 posts

I think they're pretty useless in their current form. Such a shame to lose such a great resource. I no longer fill out the reviews.

Posted by
21 posts

Looks like only some of the new reviews are being uploaded, some tours have no updates for over 3 months.

Posted by
1047 posts

I think the Rick Steves staff needs to revisit how the reviews of their tours get posted and the content of the reviews to allow them to be more meaniful.

Posted by
4492 posts

Me too. We really found the old reviews helpful. And, we gave our honest opinions, good and bad, when we fill out our evaluations. Please, RSE, bring back the reviews.

Posted by
14246 posts

The problem isn't allowing full reviews on the website; it's with the online evaluation form itself. There's just no way to give meaningful feedback on the form because of the constraints RS puts on the form.

Posted by
341 posts

Thankfully, we have these forums to post our thoughts on the tours we take as well as look up what others think. I am surprised that they are not used more for that reason.

Posted by
6284 posts

Maybe there should be a note on the official review form saying: if you wish to submit more detailed reviews for your tour hotels, restaurants, etc. you can do so by logging into the travel forum and choosing the Rick Steves Tours forum.

Posted by
21 posts

Looks like only some of the new reviews are being uploaded, some tours have no updates for over 3 months. Just bumping to try to get some news.

Posted by
55 posts

Hi there - Can you let me know which tours, specifically, have not been updated in three months? We will look in to the missing tour reviews.

Posted by
21 posts

Hi Kate,
Tour name Last review
Best Rome 6/7
Southern Italy 6/8
Istanbul 6/21
Adriatic 6/21
Bulgaria 6/21
Berlin,Prague,Vienna 6/21
Sicily 6/22
Spain 6/22
Portugal 6/22
Turkey 6/22
Athens/Greece 6/22
My Way Spain 6/25
Prague,Budapest 6/28
Barcelona,Madrid 6/28
Loire,S.France 6/28
Eastern France 6/28
Village Italy 6/29
Belgium,Holland 7/1
Some others beginning\middle of July,Thanks for looking into this.

Posted by
16834 posts

Note that most of the destinations listed in the last post do not have any tours departing in July and August.

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks Laura, looks like that's the case for most. Never realized so many tours were not active during July or august.

Posted by
2 posts

The reviews have limited utility. Only positive comments are posted. I know, because my comments on two tours were posted, giving RS free publicity. I don't mind because the tour of Greece with Colin and tour of Eastern Europe with Peter were fantastic. The third tour I took was a nightmare and none of my comments regarding it were posted. So, buyer beware. Don't expect to hear from an RS rep because high quality customer service is not a hallmark of this company. Best advice: review the itinerary closely and see if it meets your needs and expectations. Remember that a well-reviewed tour may have been outstanding because of a guide who may not be leading your tour. Check out other companies, some of whom have more transparency regarding the pros and cons of their tours.

Posted by
255 posts

Just got on tour review site and the reviews for the trip we took are up!!! One week turn around isn't bad!!!!!!! Thanks RS staff.

Posted by
351 posts

Where are the reviews posted? I've explored a bit on this site but haven't figured out where they are yet. Can someone post a URL?

Posted by
255 posts

If you go to the tour site,pick a tour and open it. Scroll down and you should see things like weather, itinerary, reviews.