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Belgium and Holland - 09/06/23

Our tour experience was dramatically impacted by a Covid outbreak which resulted in the loss of 12 people out of 27. My wife and I became the 13th and 14th patients on our trip home. Rick Steves seems to take pride in selecting “old world charm” hotels which were a challenge due to unusually warm weather where clunky lifts and no A/C were the norm.

Our tour director, Ellen, was fantastic under trying conditions. All of the selected tour guides at each venue were first rate.

Posted by
1653 posts

Clunky lifts and no AC must have had charm at some time in the past. The same with sleeping right in the center of the city. With such excellent public transportation, unless you feel you will miss out on something in the late evening, there are so many hotels which are much nicer and accommodating just 10-20 minutes away, why even consider a guided tour anymore with these accommodations? I think the biggest negative to RS tours is the inability to change with the times.

Posted by
13869 posts

I'm so sorry Covid impacted your tour so much and I'm sorry you all started feeling ill on the way home. I hope you'll get well soon!

On the other hand, I had Ellen as my guide for this tour and agree she was excellent! She made a brilliant decision on the day we visited Keukenhof to get us out of the flower parade route and paid for an extra lunch for us. Such a smart move from an experienced guide.

Where did you all stay in Amsterdam? The hotel my tour departure used was a fairly modern, business class hotel near the Museumplein. No charm whatsoever but the AC did work as did the elevator and it was very near Vondepark.

Posted by
401 posts

Yikes! That’s quite a drop off of numbers on your tour! It must have had an effect on morale and enjoyment of the tour. My husband got Covid on day 3 of our Greece tour in May. I’m leaving in 9 days for a Prague Budapest tour and hoping lightning doesn’t strike twice.

Posted by
13869 posts

"What happens to those people?"

There have been different experiences posted by various tour members. In general the guide should work with the current hotel to make sure you have a place to stay for a few nights. Depending on where you are, you may be able to continue independent travel just wearing a mask even if testing positive. It would be up to the person to reschedule their flights if needed or work on transport arrangements to another location.

Posted by
401 posts

In our case we were able to stay 1 additional night in the hotel the group was in after they moved on. The following night they were booked for the next tour so we had to move. We took a bus back to Athens and we’re able to fly back the next day.

Posted by
3199 posts

Getting booted off a tour and crappy hotels (that are not disclosed in advance) are just two reasons we have put a pause on future RS tours. Not saying never again to an RS tour, but you can almost replicate the tour experience by going on day tours. Then you still get to pick your own hotel accommodations.