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“Good Knowledge - Not Great People Skills” 3 of 5 stars
Review of American D-day Tours

American D-day Tours
2 Route Des Isles, 50480 Ravenoville, France
0630715577
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Owner description: American Landing beaches guided tours in Normandy by an AmericanAir conditioned van seating 9. US sector of the beaches: Ste Mere Eglise, Utah, Point du Hoc, Omaha beach, US cemetery and off the beaten tracks...All year ! competitive prices !" You've got Allies here in Normandy !"
Florida
Top Contributor
168 reviews 168 reviews
81 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“Good Knowledge - Not Great People Skills”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

Note - the "average" rating is not for the tour's 'informational' aspect, nor ground covered -- it is the rating for our day-long 'experience'....which was not what we had expected.

The guide definitely has knowledge and enthusiasm for his work. Plenty of information was forthcoming; however, we found him extremely rigid and very inflexible regarding our wishes, or any (even minute) adjustment of, or deviation from, the tour schedule. Any request was summarily dismissed. There was no compromise to be had.... none.

This is a tour for those who love being, literally, bossed around (and not in a polite way) and driven for 9 hours in a vehicle with worn out shock absorbers and without air conditioning (oh yes, the vehicle HAS a working a/c unit, but Trevor would not turn it on, saying that the price of gas was too high!). That response, considering the price our group of 6 had paid for this tour, was entirely unacceptable, especially since the tour was a very long day and it was spent having wind blowing in our faces the whole time. He would absolutely NOT turn on the A/C.

Before going on this tour, members of our group had questions about the itinerary and they were met with very curt and reprimanding responses. We just assumed he was very busy and had no time to craft a sensible answer. That should have been our clue.

The lunch was excellent, delicious and fast, and a reprieve from the smacking wind in the wide-open van.

All in all, although the knowledge was extensive and we did cover a lot of ground, I would opt for a more accommodating guide. The attitude is not what we expected after so many good reviews of this tour, and this is a VERY LONG DAY to be 'stuck' in that van with an inflexible, cocky tour guide.

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ravenodude, Owner at American D-day Tours, responded to this review, August 9, 2014
L.R.
I think you need a few explanations

I live over 2h30m driving time each way from Le Havre where I picked you up...

- As you can imagine June this year was especially busy -70th anniversary- and I was in my 9th day in a row when I gave you a tour (which is way too much without rest for any guide)

I didn’t want to refuse, because I started to be self-employed few years ago and I need to built up my clientele (even though a lot of guides don't go there because of the distance).

- With your negative comment about my work, even though the previous ones on Trip Advisor were all favorable, you've damaged my efforts, (probably not realizing it) , and this because your vacation day was not as perfect as you expected it !

-True, I should have been a bit more flexible and less bossy but when I'm like this, it's always for the good of the group so that they can see everything which was promised on the tour and sometimes more.

Coming from Le Havre, if we don't respect the time frame, you could either miss out on the most important site : the American cemetery, a too short of a visit that would have left you frustrated.

Maybe you don't know this but I've never entered the (proper) city of Le Havre only the port facilities, which means I don't know the city, we could have gotten lost looking for a wine shop, ended up in the wrong part of town and most important of all you would have missed your ship.

Asking me on the return trip to stop at a wine shop in Le Havre before we go back to the ship wouldn't have been a problem if you had only told me about it that morning.

When I suggested stopping at a gas station along the freeway (which sells locals products of Normandy, wine not being one of them) you turned me down.

- I am glad that you admitted my knowledge, passion, and love for D-Day
- As for my Ford van, I always keep it in top condition with regular check-ups and maintenance, my shock absorbers are not worn out, it's just that small roads along the coast are not always in good condition.


- Well, I've thought about what you said and you're right, I have decided not to give tours out of Le Havre anymore in order to offer only top quality tours.
I am sorry that it took you 2 months to write about this… as for the problem with the air conditioning I'm sorry I didn't take it more into consideration as I normally put the AC on when it's really necessary, and Normandy's weather ain't Texas either…
If I didn't turn it on, I should have... even though it often provokes sores throats in the guides, as you know, we do a lot of talking in our jobs.

I hope that these explanations will have helped you understand better and I am sure that with your remark I'll be more in tune for future guests.

Best from Normandy
Trevor Standefer
American-DDay-Tours
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51 reviews from our community

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  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sacramento, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Excellent Tour - Not to Be Missed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

My family and I spent nearly a month in Europe and without a doubt, our tour with Trevor and American D-Day tours was our overall highlight. That is saying a lot! Trevor was extremely knowledgeable, professional, and kind. He has a gift for storytelling and for being able to impart information that truly helps you to feel and meaningfully understand the real impact of the D-day landings and what the brave soldiers went through that day - you could almost feel their harrowing experiences. Trevor organizes the day in a way that builds your emotion that by the time you reach Omaha beach you are welling up with so much emotion that you can't help but be moved to tears and feel that you know some of the soldiers whose names you see on the crosses at the American Cemetery. Our tour with Trevor left an indelible impression on all of us, especially our 12 year old daughter. A few other things about our tour with Trevor, he is American and French with a direct a family history and connection to Normandy and the invasion which adds a richness to his commitment to preserving and helping others to remember the significance of the D-Day landings and the soldiers who made our freedom possible. Anyone considering a tour of Normandy should book with Trevor - you will not be disappointed - you will walk away much richer and if you're lucky and have lunch with him, he will treat with you to the best apple pie in all of France. Not only was our day with Trevor the highlight of our European holiday, but we ate the best dessert of our entire trip during our tour. I can't say enough good things about our day with Trevor - go and experience the wealth of knowledge and understanding that he possesses!

Visited July 2014
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Beaverton
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A+ for American D-day Tours”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Trevor is friendly, congenial, knowledgeable, helpful, wise, witty, clever and a great tour guide.
In May his wonderfully informative tour was a highlite of the EU trip we 2 Oregonians, my partner & I, took with our SoCal friends.
I recommend Trevor! You won't regret it.
Jerry

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mission Viejo, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Outstanding Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

Trevor's tour surpassed even our lofty expectations based on these Tripadvisor comments! My husband and I and our 17 yr old daughter and 18 yr old son learned so much. We had even done our D-Day research before the tour, but Trevor knows the history and the geography and the battles like the back of his hand. We learned so much from him and now can actually picture the famous - and not so famous - locations. We walked away far more appreciative of the D-Day events than when we arrived.

We were impressed to find out that in the "off season", Trevor spends his time reading books about D-Day and the war, continuously increasing his knowledge. It really shows. We will definitely go back to Normandy and plan to take Trevor's 2-day, even more in-depth tour next time.

The tour bus was comfortable. We shared with 4 others but were not crowded. One of the best "extras" of the tour was having a great lunch pre-ordered and ready to enjoy so as not to miss valuable time in a full day's tour.

I cannot imagine there is a better tour available. You will not go wrong with Trevor!

Visited June 2014
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Saskatchewan, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“This is the D Day tour to take!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

My husband and I recently travelled to Normandy to visit the grave of my uncle who was killed landing on Juno Beach, Nan Green, June 6, 1944. This visit was especially important to me because I was very close to my grandmother and even as a small child, I understood her lifelong grief at losing her " dear boy". On her behalf, each year on November 11, I lay a wreath for my uncle; these past eight years my grandson helps me and he will do it when I am no longer able.

My husband and I arranged for a private tour because we wanted to make the most of our experience in Normandy. Trevor picked us up at our hotel and took us through the beautiful countryside to the American battle zones, Omaha Beach, the American cemetery, the Canadian battle zones and Juno Beach. We saw the fields and hedgerows, the landing beaches, the farmland that had been decimated during the fighting, and heard the stories of the people who had lived and struggled to survive in those terrible days. Finally and fittingly we visited my Uncle's grave at silent and lovely Benys sur Mer, laying flowers and pondering the sacrifice of young life cut short.

Trevor is absolutely the perfect guide...flawless French and English, interesting, funny, knowledgable, kind, and compassionate. He has an astounding grasp of history and recounts the details of the circumstances encountered by soldiers and civilians during the Normandy invasion in a way that keeps you spellbound..the hours just flew by. We are Canadian and Trevor made a point of including lots of stories and history specific to the role Canada played, as well as the broader context of the war and Normandy invasion. He even made all the arrangements for me to lay flowers at the grave of my uncle.

The last thing I want to add is that it is clear that Trevor makes a real connection with the individuals who took part. He has since been to visit my uncle's grave and has taken other people too. He truly cares about what happened, he honours the dead and those who survived, and he understands the grief of the families.

If you are going, make arrangements early to book your tour with Trevor. You will not be disappointed.

Visited May 2014
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