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Friendly Planet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Customer testimonial’

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Tour guide puts Exotic Ecuador a cut above the rest for first-time Friendly Planeteer

I told you about a new Friendly Planet tour almost every week in June. So I thought I would take a break and let one of our customers do the talking.

Dianne Jernigan of Victoria, Texas went on the Exotic Ecuador tour in late May. I won’t step on her toes, I’ll just paste her e-mail below (verbatim) and let Dianne take it from here.

“I wanted to let you know personally how very much I enjoyed my recent tour with Friendly Planet. This is the first time I have toured with Friendly Planet and my first trip to Ecuador. The experience was everything I’d hoped for….and more! Our Tour Guide was outstanding. He was very informative, and we were able to learn much about the history of the country from him. He handled an unexpected change in plans (because of the volcano eruption) flawlessly and very professionally. I would definitely travel with Friendly Planet again….especially if Patricio is the Tour Guide!”

Dianne, I look forward to planning another trip for you soon!

A first-hand account of Friendly Planet Travel’s Best of China tour

In case you’d rather read my interview with Ron Beller about his Best of China trip, I’m posting the transcript here. Don’t forget to take a look at his photos too.

Friendly Planet review: A snapshot of the Best of China tour

It’s nice to have a friend recommend a city, a hotel, and even a restaurant when you’re deciding where to travel. I know it makes me feel more comfortable knowing that someone else has been there and liked it.

Ron with his wife Jan and trusty camera in China 

So when Ron Beller was deciding to travel to China, one of his friends recommended Friendly Planet Travel’s Best of China tour. His friend just returned from the tour and was raving about it. That was enough to sell Ron on the trip.

Ron and his wife Jan booked the tour for October 2009. They had an equally amazing time in China traveling to Shanghai, Yichang, Three Gorges, Guilin, Xi’an, and Beijing.

When he returned, Ron e-mailed us some fantastic photos he took in China. If a picture says a thousand words, these pictures said all that and more.

I had to give him a call to get the stories behind the photos. He told me he was a nature photographer, so he was practically born with a camera in his hand. He was always lagging behind the group trying to capture just a few more photos. He had taken 1,600 by the end of the trip!

We talked about what it was like traveling to China in late October, seeing the 2,200-year-old terra-cotta soliders, the Yangtze River cruise, the camera he used, and more. So if you’re considering traveling to China, listen to my podcast with Ron and then view his photos. He’ll give you a first-hand look into Friendly Planet Travel’s Best of China tour.

Friendly Planet review: If you’re going to Vietnam, go with a group

The other day I wrote about an article in Redbook that talked about making the most out of group travel. No sooner did I post it, I read this unsolicited e-mail from Bruce Partridge about his group tour experience.

Bruce and wife traveled on Friendly Planet’s Best of Vietnam tour and opted for the Angkor Wat extension. Read on to hear why they believe they’ve been missing out by not traveling with groups more often. And as always, this e-mail is verbatim. My fingers didn’t touch a word. :)

“My wife and I usually travel on our own — in all to more than 60 different countries. So, this tour was one of the few we have ever taken with a group. It was so good, we have decided that we’ve been missing something. Tour guides were knowledgeable and pleasant; accommodation and arrangements were excellent, our fellow travelers engaging — and in the long run, a lot less hassle at less cost than if we had traveled on our own. We tell our friends — Friendly Planet is the only tour company we will even consider, and is even better than travel on our own.” – Dr. Bruce Partridge, British Columbia

Bruce, I’m delighted to hear that you’re a group travel convert. Let us know what tour you plan to book next!

Friendly Planet reviewed: One traveler’s experience on the Taj Mahal Express tour

We recently relaunched our Taj Mahal Express tour with a significant discount and more features. I wanted to share with you what one of the first travelers to go on the tour just told me. You know we could send you marketing literature until the cows come home. But when I’m buying something, nothing has more value to me than what other people say. And I believe nothing has more value to you, the traveler, than what our customers say.

With that, here’s a testimonial from Nancy of Union Mills, N.C. These are her exact words. If there are any typos, my apologies, but we don’t edit these reviews.

“My husband George and I returned last Tuesday from the Taj Mahal Express (03/15/10 to 03/23/10) and we could not be more pleased with the outcome of the trip! Every aspect of the tour FAR EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS!

The itinerary went so smoothly from start to finish. The hotels were excellent, the food was great, and the sightseeing package could not have been better! Now let me sing the praises of our tour guide- Ravi Shanker Tiwari. There are not enough positive adjectives in the English language to describe the exemplary treatment our group received from Ravi, but I will try.

Ravi is extremely intelligent, knowledgeable in all aspects of his job, super organized, warm & witty, and relates well to all types of individuals. He was with us 24/7 and we felt like we were with a family member. Ravi went ABOVE AND FAR BEYOND the call of duty to ensure we had the best possible experience and he succeeded in spades.

Examples of this were extra side trips that were not included and spending every one of his own free evenings with the group so that we could experience different dining and social experiences that we would not have been able to on our own. George and I have traveled all over the world, and have never had such a great experience with a tour coordinator. I’ll also add that the bus driver and helper were also top notch.

Please make sure a copy of this email goes to the President of Friendly Planet, as well as a copy to Ravi’s supervisor. We have already recommended Friendly Planet to friends/family and will continue to do so. We will definitely be using your services for future trips (I just wish we could have Ravi as our tour coordinator everywhere in the world!)

Again, thank you for a utterly memorable adventure to India!”

Thanks Nancy! Your e-mail made me smile ear to ear. Your experience is what we’re in business for. :)

Dishing on Dazzling Dubai and Kenya Wildlife Safari

Randy and Carolyn on the desert safari tour

Every time I read new feedback from our customer surveys, the travel bug in me grows a little bigger. When I hear from our customers about what a great time they had on a Friendly Planet tour, I immediately want to know more.

What was their favorite part? What did they learn from the tour guides? What did they have for dinner? A million questions run through my mind.

Some of the latest feedback I’ve read has come from Randy Jones. He sent me an e-mail with some amazing photos from the Dazzling Dubai tour and the Kenya Wildlife Safari extension that he and his wife Carolyn took. I already wanted to hop on the next plane to Dubai!

I gave Randy a call to learn more about his trip. From the lavish hotels in Dubai to the beautiful tents in Kenya, Randy recounted the fantastic time he and Carolyn had.

If you’re considering booking this six-day tour for $1,499, I suggest listening to my podcast with Randy. He offers some unique perspectives on the country, his most memorable moments, and gives advice for those thinking about traveling to Dubai. Enjoy!

Customer testimonial: A wonderful Wildlife Safari

I opened my inbox the other day, and guess what I found? An e-mail from Barbara, one of our customers, about her Kenya Wildlife Safari.

But why should I tell you about it? I’ll let Barbara tell you herself. Here’s her e-mail, unedited.

“This was our 2nd Trip with Friendly Planet, and it was absolutely wonderful. The Safari Vehicle was clean and comfy and our guide Newton was a fountain of knowledge. The accommodations are great and we saw more animals then anyone could wish for. We hit the middle of migration and saw wildebeest as far as the eye could see. We saw all of the Africa Big 5 and have memories that will last us a lifetime. THANK YOU FRIENDLY PLANET FOR ANOTHER GREAT TRIP.” – Barbara Winbush, Harbor City, Calif.

Thanks for the kind words Barbara! I can’t wait to hear about your third trip with us. ;) If you’re interested in taking the Kenya Wildlife Safari yourself, visit our Web site for all the details or write to me and ask me what you need to know.

Customer testimonial: Peering into the Pyramids and Petra

I can tell you day in and day out about how wonderful our tours are, with our exotic destinations, superior accommodations, plentiful perks, and eye-popping low prices that I work so hard to bring you.

But I’d rather let the tours speak for themselves. To do that, you have to take one. Or you can experience the next-best thing: an actual testimonial from one of our travelers.

Last week I received the following unsolicited e-mail from Nikky Chahon, who just returned from our Pyramids and Petra tour. Here’s what Nikky wrote, in its entirety, corrected only for typos. And remember: This could be you!

“This was the BEST!!! I went on this tour in 2009 and it remains one of the highlights of my travel excursions! Not only is it affordable, our guide, Walid Ikram was so knowledgeable and approachable, I felt as though I was living in the spirit of Egyptians past! I continue to read any thing I can get my hands on and found an article that other antiquities were found in the exact places I had walked in Giza! Just inches under the sand. It was the most incredible sensation. I would/will do this travel again in the near future. It is well worth the time and the experience is unforgettable!” – Nikky Chahon, Sacramento, Calif.

Thanks for the note, Nikky.

Have a Friendly Planet travel experience to share? Send it to me. You might just see it here in a future post.

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About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

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