I emailed this company several months before our trip interested in three different tours. I wanted to ensure we could safely fit these tours in the time our cruise boat was docked at Phuket. I was assured this was be no problem. I then checked again just before booking to ensure we could safely fit all three tours and was assured we could so I went ahead and booked all three for my 5 year old and I.
Once docked we realised that we had docked at a different area than expected and I immediately rang Phuket tours and let them know (this was 45mins before our pickup was due) we were given a new location and told to rush there immediately. It was only a few minutes walk so we rushed there. We then waited for 1.5 hours for our pickup. This was very difficult with a five year old and a huge waste of our limited time. I understand that we had had to change the location but this was very bad communication from the company who kept telling us they would be there any minute.
Eventually our driver arrived and took us on a long drive up to the mountain for ATV and elephant rides. This was fun and the guides were nice though I felt the elephant driver constantly asking for tips not very pleasant. We them did the long drive back. The first transfer to our evening entertainment had already gone so we were told to be back at 6.45pm for the later transfer.
This gave us only a short window so I grabbed a quick massage and we went back and AGAIN waited and waited and waited. This pickup was 45min late meaning we really could not take advantage of the evening entertainment we had paid for as we arrived there more than an hour after the suggested time.
The next morning we had a Phi Phi island tour booked. Fortunately this pickup was only 15mins late. After another long drive we were dropped at the dock where we waited another hour for all the group to arrive before boarding the speedboat. I felt the boat was overcrowded making it uncomfortable especially as we got on and off about 10 times during the day. Parts of this tour were fun and certainly the scenery was beautiful. The lunch provided was not great (my son would not eat any of it) and I felt there were way too many short stops.
We started to get very worried when the boat still had not headed back at 5pm as our final tender to our cruise was at 7pm and we knew we had the hour boat trip back as well as the 45min bus ride. We did let the tour leader know but he spoke very basic English and did not appear to understand at all. In fact he seemed to find it quite funny.
There was no way to contact Phuket tours from the islands and no way to get back ourselves. I was now extremely angry as I had been assured twice that this tour was suitable for our timetable to be back at the boat by 7pm. I was also panicked as my passport and all ID was on the cruise. I was facing being stranded in Phuket with my five year old with only the swimmers we were wearing and no identification to be able to travel anywhere.
The speedboat did not dock until 7.30pm. My son and I jumped off and ran to a taxi. I paid the taxi driver a huge amount to get us back to the cruise dock as fast as possible and called the Royal Carribean main office in USA to try and see if the cruise would wait for us. The 5000 people on the cruise were all held up for 45minutes as they waited for us. We were mortified.
I was also out of pocket after paying the taxi (could not use the included transfer as it would have been far too slow) and making a very long call to the USA to try and get the cruise held. It was a horribly stressful experience.
Don't use this company. They lie to make sales - we should have been advised that we could only fit one of these tours in properly and yet we were encouraged to book all three. They are also very late with pickups wasting a lot of your holiday.
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