After taking a Free Tour in London which I found spectacular and I tipped the guide with 10 pounds and feeling that maybe he deserved more, after doing this tour I really felt I was being cheated..
Considering this kind of tours are some kind of lottery and they depends on your guide, I give it two stars.
The guide (i took a spanish speaking guide) was nervous, probably on of her first tours. She seeemed to be losing her air, having to take breaths every four words. The stories were boring and all they did was to taking us in alleys that were one block from the main avenue (High Street). Half of the tour happens in a Mercat owned vaults that are as unsurprising as your home basement. During the whole tour we were listening to a party that was happening in the vault of a pub next door. If I have should know...
I really feel sorry for the guide. Maybe was bad luck, but if the script is the same for all tours I am really amazed about reading good critics in this site. Probably is a tour for children.
My recommendation is, find a tour that goes to some of the several cementeries that are around the city and be sure that the guide is a good storyteller. Otherwise is a waste of money.
My recommendation to Mercat Tours is to let people know if the guide is "new". And think about making this tour a Free Tour, (only paying tips based on the performance). When I think that for one hour of nothingness the company made 2000 pounds (just on my group) makes me feel... astonished and upset.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 May 2012
Many thanks for getting in touch - we are really sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your tour with us. You raise a number of very good points which we will certainly consider in our future training and product development. However, there are a few issues that we'd like to address.
Report response as inappropriate
You will appreciate that everyone starting a new job, inluding guiding, must be trained and have the opportunity to practise and improve. Your guide was a new guide during the course of their training, supported by a mentor who was in the group. We're sorry that this tour wasn't up to our usual 5star standard, however we feel strongly that our new trainees need real experience and support with a 'real audience' to learn and progress. We will consider how and when our trainee guides conduct public tours when we review our training.
All of our tours, English and Spanish, history and ghost, above ground and underground aim to bring the history of Edinburgh alive by telling the true stories of the city, in the locations they happened, with dramatic and engaging storytelling. The areas visited on your tour - the closes and wynds off the Royal Mile and Underground Vaults, are the authetic sites of Edinburgh's Old Town and we evoke the atmosphere through imagination and humour.
We're sorry your tour was disrupted by noise but we have no control over other businesses operating in the vaults adjacent to our Underground Vaults.
With regards the suggested locations visited on our tours, our Gallows to Graveyard tour does visit a cemetery and our other history and ghost tours cover various routes and sites in the Old Town. However, we will consider the route of the Spanish tour during our upcoming review.
Many thanks for your feedback and we hope you enjoyed your time in Edinburgh.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC