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Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

gold coast...
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Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

We went on a snorkelling trip to Raya island with Raya Princess Tours yesterday.

We went because the tour agency highly recommended Raya Princess Tours. Well, in 7 years of travelling to Thailand and doing various tours, this was the worst. Late pick-up by a driver who was Thailand's answer to Lewis Hamilton who dropped us off in a tiny side street with about 70 other people and left baking in the sun for 45 minutes. If we wanted to snorkel (snorkelling trip?) we had to pay extra for the flippers. After some passengers started to complain about the lenghty waiting time we were told to walk 500 m to the beach where we would be picked up. The beach was littered with broken glass and the boat looked like it had seen better days. They crammed 31 passengers with 3 crew on a boat which was licensed for 26 passengers and 2 crew. There were a few life jackets strewn about the boat. The rest was 'safely' locked way in the toilet. When we got to Raya island we were dumped on a beach at 10:30 and were told to 'relax' for an hour when we would be picked up 11:30 for the snorkelling part of the trip. At 12:05 the boat showed up with another load of people, ready to be dumped on the same beach. We got herded back onto the boat for the snorkelling part. After a short 5 minute drive to the snorkelling area everyone was told to get in the water. About a third of the passengers had to exchange their diving masks because the straps were faulty or the mask was just simply leaking. They didn't appear to be washed either. 25 minutes later everyone was ordered to get back in the boat because the time was up. Back to the beach where we were told to walk about 10 minutes down a dirt track to a 'restaurant' where we were treated to a 'boofay' consisting out of fried rice, sweet & sour something (think it was tofu), deep fried vegetables and watermelon which was way past its use-by date. After 'lunch' we were told to go back to the orignal 'relaxing' beach and be ready for pick-up at 3:00 pm. On the way back the engines broke down 3 times. The fourth time we were close to the glass littered beach so the captain jumped in the water and dragged us back to shore.

The drive back to our resort was the highlight of the day with our driver making the morning's Lewis Hamilton look rather pedestrian. Able to do 110 km/hr in a 45 km/hr zone and managing to make the van go into a drift on a windy road, we were grateful to be dropped off at our hotel. When we saw the tour agency the following day and complained they didn't look surprised. Obviously Raya Princess tours pays the best commissions and let's face it, there is a new load of tourists every day.

Sydney, Australia
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336 posts
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1. Re: Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

Thank you for your report, that is good info to have. We would really like to do the racha island trip this July, and having trouble finding a tour group, good to know to steer clear of this one!!

Phuket Thailand
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3,681 posts
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2. Re: Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

Sorry to hear that you had such a bad day in such a beautiful place. Glad you got home o/k.

Mark.

New Milton, United...
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4,416 posts
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3. Re: Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

should have gone on a trip with captain mark!( phuket sail tours)

Adelaide, Australia
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148 posts
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4. Re: Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

So glad you are ok & thank you for positing.

Phuket
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869 posts
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5. Re: Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

Sorry you had such an awful day and thank you for providing a handy link to point to whenever anybody asks why they should pay a little extra if they're going to the "same place anyway". :)

Sydney, Australia
2 posts
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6. Re: Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

I wish I had read this BEFORE we left. We had the same experience...the whole day was an absolute nightmare......NEVER go with this tour group....they are an absolute joke. Our snorkelling tour (supposedly) only provided us with a half hour of snorkelling over very dead coral.....absolutely shocking.....food shocking....guides rude (and liars) telling us that we couldnt snorkel becuase of the conditions in the afternoon but it was actually because they needed the snorkels for the second group (I am sure they wouldnt have been washed in between which was probably why my daughter and I ended up with chest infections!!).

The only nice thing was Raya Island (the other side) which was worth seeing...but see it with someone else!!

Coral island was the most disgustingly dirty place...so over tourist ridden....the least they could do would be keep it clean & remove the rubbish...they didnt even try and hide it!!! Disgusting!!!

Edited: 15 October 2012, 04:06
Sydney, Australia
2 posts
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7. Re: Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

I forgot to say that we were supposed to leave at 3.30 nd were all waiting for the boat at that time...the boat didnt arrive till 5.30 and by teh time they orginised the mini bus to get us back to our hotel it was almost 8pm....we too had a very scary drive back to our hotel!!

Tampere
1 post
2 reviews
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8. Re: Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

Thank You for your report! I wish too, that I had read this BEFORE we left. We also had the same experience (in february 2013) and the whole day was an absolute nightmare. Don't never ever go with this tour group! We had 3 different boat during the day.

We were supposed to leave at 2 p.m. from Raya beach but the boat came at 5 p.m. and they let us snorkel about 20 minutes nearby... There was no fruits and drinks at the boat. So everyone was also thirsty.

When they get us back to the harbor, there were only 5 mini-buses and about 200 people waiting. Guides just started drink beer and It was total chaos -and we were back to our hotel at 9 p.m. ( we were supposed to be there 6 p.m.)

We have been in Thailand ten times and we have used several local travel agencys - and they have been absolutely good. It's a shame that Raya Princess tours has became this greedy; they have totally spoiled their reputation.

We do not recommend Raya Princess Tours to anyone!

australia
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1,294 posts
33 reviews
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9. Re: Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

getting on an overcrowded boat wouldve stopped me from getting on it as it also looked lke a wrec k, didnt matter if i lost money, my families safety is more important.

hope you can complain to some authority and get something done about this death trap.

Sydney, Australia
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270 posts
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10. Re: Anyone had a bad experience with Raya Princess Tours?

Hi. We went with these in jan this yr. We found it abit annoying yes. But you dont need the flippers to snorkel hence why they charge more. Nobody on our boat paid to use them nor moaned. As theyre a waste of time for "dipping" your fave under the water. We had the problem with the masks too, yet ours were clean, i hope/think lol.

My god the beach to the boat was like glass im sure i cut my feet several times but i didnt, was painfully stupid ! Was even worse when we got off the boat walked through yhe water to get to the sand, and all the glass stuck to our feet were thwy was wet. This was even worse yet had to walk 3/4minutes up a stupid road to get our feet washed??

We had to go into the silly modified car that was originally a 4door car, that was anglegrinded to nothing and modified into a mini bus thing which was dangerous. Couldnt make it up the 10 minute dirt track rd. The funniest part was their wasnt enough room on the way back, so they left us their??? Even though their was the same amount of people that was going their??!!!! Ridiculous.

Overall i didnt let it bother us the raya island beach was out of this world, and surely gave me a trip on our holiday to remember.