Customer: Thaddee and Suzanne Gaudette. Trip Date: March 13 Kaleidoscope with Nepal 16 days The trip was very worth while and well organized even down to the days you had free time, for extra touring or just some rest.
The trip took place at good pace and our Gate 1 guide, Kapil Deval was excellent, which makes the difference between a good trip and a poor one. Kapil is personal, well educated, humorous and patient, everything needed in guide. From a trip standpoint some hotels, Eros, JP Place and Novatel were excellent. All hotels offered good breakfast and were quick to please.
Lunch and Dinner ... all Indian is hard on American diets. The Dream Garden Restaurant was excellent and we highly recommend that you keep it in the tour. Bus Drivers should be given a medal for their abilities driving in Indian traffic and on Indian roads in general.
India is no place to rent a car and do it on your own. Sights: For us the highlights of the trip included the Red Fort and Elephant Ride, Taj Mahal, Crematorium on the Ganges, Erotic temples (but they all look alike after a while). Durbar square was good but one was enough. One attraction the intrigued me was the Mega Sundial and it accuracy.
Nepal was interesting but heavy construction really delayed traffic. Would like to have had time to go to other sections of town (walk around) as part of the tour. The grand Stuppa area was very interesting. Shopping: When American travel they enjoy seeing monuments etc.
but also want time to shop as your walking thru areas. Kapil was pretty good at stopping for a few minutes if an area of interest to the woman and he would also comment that we will be seeing a larger shopping area. This comment brings me to the local guide, Vivek. He does not have Kapil's attributes.
Although educated on the subject he does not have the polish that Kapil has. He also seemed to be always rushing us along and not looking back if folks got separated. At one point in one historical square with alleys to go thru we lost a few folks and had to send one ahead to stop Vivek. He also basically refused to slow down in shopping areas for the woman to shop.
At one point several woman just stopped to buy bracelets, one lady had been looking for a specific type since she started the trip. I commented to him at that point that woman need time to shop for souvenir's so slow down. I know Kapil spoke with him at that point. We think Vivek was trying to be a good guide trying to get in more sites.
I hate complaining about Vivek but he is young and he needs to understand what tourist look for in a trip and that's shopping for unique stuff or just T shirts. We feel he has the making of a good guide but needs a mentor like Kapil. One other disappoint was the Everest Trip, Vivek got tickets and then said "I am just going to do a lottery" and had everyone pick one ... well that does not work.
Couples need to have tickets for each side. He said, just ask the person across from you to allow you to take a picture. If you're a husband an wife across from each other that works but if the person across is a non English speaking person it doesn't and I am sure when he bought tickets he could have got rights and lefts and then hand them out that way. Out tickets were on the same side.
That was a $560 side trip that in my opinion wasn't worth it. Upon leaving New Delhi a young man picked us up at the Novatel, got us pass all terminal entry checkpoints and delivered us to our airline check in. I wish I had saved his name but; I am sure you can get it from Kapil. He was excellent!
Getting out of India is harder than getting in. All in all we enjoyed the vacation and plan to do more with Gate 1.
Good product for the money. Respectfully, Ted and Sue Gaudette
Product or Service Mentioned: Gate1travel Tour.
Reason of review: Good customer service.