“Overall a good experience...except for the guide in Rabat and confusion at Ship Port”
We arranged for a one day private tour from Casa Blanca to Rabat. We were arriving by cruise ship and had one day in Port. Our driver/guide would be holding our name at the Port. Sounded easy...not so. We were waiting outside the area the ship had docked for our driver. No driver had our name. We went back to the ship to email Youssef. We found an email from Youseff two days earlier, letting us know that Lotfi would be our driver and would be meeting us a the Port Gate. It took over one hour to find Lotfi. We found out that we were not at the Port entrance, as the tour company does not have permission to enter the port. A kind local tour guide supervisor explained where we should meet Lotfi. She called Youssef and he called our driver to let him know we were on our way. She drove us to the port entrance and we found Lotfi. We offered her money and she refused, telling us she didn't mind helping tourists and this thing happened often. FYI, if you are on a cruise find out if your cruise offers a shuttle to the port entrance. Otherwise you are looking at a 10 to 15 minute walk. MSC Cruises does not offer a shuttle service.
Lotfi was very professional. He drove us to the mosque in Casa Blanca. We asked if there was anywhere to exchange money. I was unable to find anywhere in Canada to exchange to Dirhams. Lotfi didn't know of a place. We had to use Euro's. I highly recommend you bring US dollars with you. Euro exchange was equivalent to US dollars. For us the cost of the Euro was 50% more then US dollars. We received one euro to ten Dirhams. In Canada one US dollar is equivalent to ten Dirhams.
We drove to Rabat. The vehicle was very comfortable. Lofti told was informative. As part of our tour, we would be meeting our Guide in Rabat. On this day in Morocco, it was a holiday and our Guide was at the mosque and would meet with us shortly (we were late arriving in Rabat). Lofti took us to a restaurant to have lunch. We met with our Guide, his name I do not remember.
We went to the mosque, King's Palace, an older local village. Everywhere we went you could tell the Guide had a side business going (kick backs). I found the Guide to be unprofessional. He would smoke cigarettes in front of us. My Daughter was with us and I felt he shouldn't be smoking when he is working, especially when there is a minor around him.
We went to the market and this is where I got very upset with our Guide. The merchants wouldn't give me any discounts, which is not normal n a market. I knew it was because our Guide was coming back to them later for his kick back. On top of it, I was losing five durhams to every one euro. As a result, we bought very little. I was upset with the Guide. Then he wanted my euro's and told me the merchants wouldn't take euros(he wanted to exchange the funds later). This Guide was all about how he could profit from us. He even had the nerve to stop at one of the stalls when we were returning to our car, to get his kick back from the merchant so he didn't have to return later to collect his money. He thought we didn't know what he was doing. He wanted to go to the next merchant for his kick back and we took off on him towards our car. We bid our farewells, as he scurried back to the market to collect his money.
Lotfi asked how our Guide was. I was honest with him. Lotfi said this was the first time that he had been with this Guide. You could tell Lotfi was upset the Guide had been unprofessional. Hope for Morocco Expert Tours we are the last people to have him as our Guide in Rabat otherwise this Guide will hurt their reputation.
Overall, I loved the experience of Morocco. I found Youseff and Lotfi to be professional. I would recommend Morocco Expert Tours minus the Guide. Hope these tips assist you in having a more pleasant experience in Morocco.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.