We opted for the Gold Leaf, 2 week tour, round trip from Vancouver. Only after we arrived, were we told there might be a rail strike that could impact our trip, information that would have been helpful to know beforehand. Although the company had known the strike was a possibility for quite some time, it was abundantly apparent that the company did not prepare any kind of contingency plan in the event the strike did happen. When the strike happened, it was chaotic with no kind of organization. Because of the strike, one of the most scenic legs of the trip was cancelled. While this was obviously disappointing, the company added insult to injury by herding the whole group, both silver and gold leaf, onto packed buses and then herding us to two "community centers," one for breakfast and another for lunch where we stood in long lines for the food that was terrible. Knowing that the strike was a possibility, they could have had decent buses available as well as appropriate eating places for us lined up. Having spent a ridiculous amount of money for gold leaf service, then standing in line with hundreds of other passengers for sub-par scrambled eggs was outrageous.
The other issue did not have anything to do with the strike. When we arrived at our destination hotels where we would be staying overnight and going on tours the next morning, there was not a Rocky Mountaineer representative in sight! At the designated pick up spots there were other tour groups and other tour buses and people were not sure which bus to use--there were no signs on the bus dashboards-- and people were trying to determine which bus was theirs. Again, given the price tag for this tour, Rocky Mountaineer should have had one of their representatives there to direct us to our buses. One morning it was pouring rain and there was a poor woman huddled under her umbrella, totally bewildered about which bus was hers. My husband checked with the various bus drivers and was able to assist her but, shame on Rocky Mountaineer for leaving everyone to fend for themselves once we were off the train. Even a sign in the lobby would have been helpful.
The train itself was lovely with big windows for viewing the beautiful scenery and the staff was attentive. The meals were okay, but far from the amazing gourmet meals advertised.
We noticed that many of the glowing reviews here were by travelers who went on one or two legs, not the full two week trip. We would never travel with Rocky Mountaineer again, and we have already advised friends who were thinking about taking the trip against it. We further told them that should they want to do the trip to only do a leg or two--not the longer trip we took.
By the way, the company did give us some money back but, given what we paid in comparison to what we got, the amount was chump change. We were very disappointed with the lack of professionalism and customer service overall.
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