We just got back from our Vacations by Rail trip, “A Taste of Quebec,” and we were instructed to email after calling at the tail end of our trip to report some big issues we had along the way. It started on Day 2 when our paperwork/voucher, sent by Vacations by Rail, informed us that the bus would be picking us up at our hotel, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, at 8am. This was for the Mont Tremblant and the Laurentians. We were outside waiting 15 minutes early and no bus showed up. We called the number provided, had a hotel employee translate for us to tell us that the bus was never coming to the hotel. Now 8am, they told the hotel employee that they would wait for us s0 we ran to the location a few blocks from the hotel. This not only stressed out us, made us get hot and sweaty at the beginning of the day, but also landed us in the very back of the bus for the length of the day trip.
The trip was a complete waste of a day! We made 3 unnecessary stops along the way to the Laurentians. The 3rd one was to eat lunch, which was fine, until we all arrived to the final destination, a ski resort, where the only thing to do was eat at one of the many restaurants. After the first 30 minutes of taking in the sites, we were all walking around aimlessly for 1.5 hours. They should have saved lunch for this stop because all the guests found themselves standing around. I would NOT recommend this tour to other travelers.
Next, we arrived in Quebec, check into our hotel, and find out that they had us in a room with 2 double beds. Absolutely unacceptable for a married couple on vacation that was booked well over a year ago. We had to pull out our wallets and pay for an upgrade to get a king size bed for the last 2 nights. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a king size bed available on our first night there. We would like Vacations by Rail to reimburse us for that. Receipt is attached.
Next tour, Day 4, we went whale watching. This was a 3-hour bus ride there and back. Everything would have been fine if the bus’s air condition worked. When we first got on, we had to stop 5 minutes away to change buses because the first bus had no air. The second bus ended up not having air as well. 2 hours into the ride, the driver finally stopped and pushed open the emergency exits on the ceiling of the bus to provide the passengers with air. It didn’t help as it was a hot day. On top of that, the tour guide had terrible English and read from a book about what we were passing the entire way to the cruise. Not only could we not understand a work she spoke, but it became very annoying to listen to her monotone, broken English the entire way. The whale watching was a good excursion and I only have good things to say about that. It’s unfortunate that 6 out of the 11 hours was miserable. We would like a partial reimbursement for this tour for the 2 of us.
Finally, when we called to confirm our private transfer to get to the airport the day before we left, they had us leaving on a different flight and time. They were planning to pick us up at 2am for a 6:40am flight. After giving them the correct flight information, which never changed since we forwarded it to Vacations by Rail, they told us that they didn’t have drivers available so early on such last minute notice. If we weren’t going to go with the original booking at 2am, we had to ride share (pick up other guests at a different hotel) at 3:30am so not having much of a choice, that’s what we did. We arrived at the airport 45 minutes before we could even check our bags. This was a horrible way to start a long travel day. We would like to request a reimbursement for the transfer as well.
As you can probably understand, we were very disappointed with this trip to Quebec, our first vacation since Covid. We spent a lot of money, and it was underwhelming to say the least. We understand that things don’t always go smoothly when traveling, but there were too many hiccups along the way that didn’t need to happen.
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