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Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

Philippines
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Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

Travel Period: February 25-27, 2010

Places Visited: Puerto Princesa (Day 1 City Tour, Day 2 Hunda Bay, Day 3 Underground River)

We booked our package with Ellen's Travel and Tours on February 18, 2010, during the PTAA Expo in SME (MOA). We met Ellen herself and got a good deal for 12 adults. After the initial Itenerary was drafted and their confirmation with our one special request that we be brought to the airport at 4PM on the 3rd day for the 6PM flight, we made our downpayment to close our deal. When we got to Puerto Princesa City, she also visited us at our hotel (which we booked ourselves) to collect the full payment. That was the last time we saw or even spoke with Ellen.

Everyday, a different licensed tourist guide by the local Tourism Office would pick us up from the hotel and that's the time we start our tour.

Day 1: The twelve of us rode a single 14 seater van (counting the Driver and Guide) for the city tour. I believe, with our group-size, there should have been two vans alloted to us.

Day 2: Drove to the pier for the Hunda Bay Tour. Two vans were used going to the pier since the food packed for us wouldn't fit if one van was used. However, coming home, there was just one van for everyone again. This time, the tourist guide didn't join us to free-up space.

Day 3: We asked Ellen's office if it's possible for us to have two vans for our trip to Sabang's Underground River. The trip is going to be far and bumpy. What Ellen's Tours and Travel planned was to get us to ride with another van with her different sets of tourists. By the way, these other groups of tourists delayed our tour further.

We had more concerns and just wanted to speak with Ellen herself. But Ellen never took our calls and left us to speak with a person from her office who couldn't make decisions.

What made things worse was that the Tourists Guide assigned to us was NEVER briefed about our flight schedules that afternoon. If we hadn't mentioned this concern to the guide, we would never have made it to the airport. Ellen should have briefed her Tourist Guides properly.

My overall assessment for Ellen's Travels and Tours Service is a failure.

Manila, Philippines
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75 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

A tourism accredited van would normally take 6 persons to comfortably sit everyone or 8 maximum if u do not have so much luggages.

Ellen's is a rip-off!!! Have encountered a driver complaining about this agency overloading their vans for the same price as they (drivers) would for 6pax. This is how Ellen's make money... and the poor drivers had to take the load... and the poor guests overpay for chaos..

My advise: do not be lured with low-priced packages offered by agents as they tend to maximize on their profit comprising your comfort. If you are a group of 6 and more.. you better rent an exclusive van (tourism accredited - Gabay-sa-Turismo).. and the price will be just right too!

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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25,676 posts
2,085 reviews
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2. Re: Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

Please post a review so others are warned. Bottom of this page under write a review.

Tommo

alkhobar
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3,074 posts
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3. Re: Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

In your next trip, be specific on the details of your contract. Read the agreement and avoid (if you can) paying full.

Negotiate for payment in phases like retaining some amount on the final day.

Most tourists has the impression that once they pay full, all their needs will be taken cared of. They are so excited and expect reciprocation from the operators. But the tour operators are business people. They are to maximise their profit. And if you meet people like Ellen, then your holiday is soured up.

There will be more and we can gain lessons from your experience.

Philippines
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24 posts
67 reviews
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4. Re: Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

To gpkk1994 and tenchisande, I'm glad you didn't get the same service and treatment as we did from Ellen.

To clarify:

"they are giving an option to their guests if they want to use 2 vans or 1 van that fit them all." - no, Sir, she didn't give us the option before hand. She squeezed us into one van. I believe, there is a official ratio given to passengers to a certain Van size. She didn't follow this as evidenced on our first day itenerary..

"well this is just there heckies from other agents!!" - no, i'm not an agent. I have a receipt to confirm my bookings with Ellen

"they did'nt pay for the right amount" - we booked our services during the Travel and Tourism Expo 2010 at SMX (Mall of Asia). The price was her quotation, not ours. We haggled, she agreed. I personally think, we got short-changed.

The least that Ellen could have done was to personally talk to her guests and hear us out.

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Asia
Asia
World
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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25,676 posts
2,085 reviews
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5. Re: Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

Unfortunately it appears as though this agency is in repair mode as lots of 1 post wonders are suddenly appearing giving glowing reports. I would treat these reports with suspicion. Personally I would use another agency.

Tommo

Philippines
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24 posts
67 reviews
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6. Re: Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

I've been keeping tabs on my posts here in Tripadvisor. I do hope that feedback, good or bad, the entity concerned picks-up from it. And I hope, as what Tommo mentioned, the agency is in repair mode.

Maybe next year, this agency will give a better service. A feedback from a credible Tripadvisor user is encouraged.

Palawan Island...
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7. Re: Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

guests from De Lasalle University last august 2010 have different complains with this agency. they experience stomach ache after they eat the food Ellen's prepared for the island hopping. too bad, Ellen's travel blame the hotel where the guests had their breakfast. they said it was the food in the hotel. it's not possible because not all of the guests experienced the same thing.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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25,676 posts
2,085 reviews
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8. Re: Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

tiara18

You have been self promoting on this forum and had a post removed. Whilst the concerns about this agency are legitimate you are also denegrating your opposition.

Tommo

Palawan Island...
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16 posts
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9. Re: Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

i'm sorry sir. it just happened that the guests from La Salle who had bad experience with a travel agency were our guests :-( the hotel booked them to this agency and experience stomach ache (i work in a resort sir). no more self promoting, i just want to help. again i'm sorry :-(

Philippines
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24 posts
67 reviews
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10. Re: Puerto Princesa's Ellen's Travels and Tours

Ellen's Travels and Tours has a wide reach to prospect clients. My opinion, their marketing people are good at their job: can offer low price for the tour package offered (probably the cheapest). For many, it's always the price that matters that's why this company is able to harbor a lot for their business. The agency is into the volume of clients, not much on mark-up. My speculation, low mark-up could mean, less overhead cost on their part. Thus, quality suffers as evidenced by the first-hand experiences shared herein.

After almost a year, I am still reading bad feedback on this specific Agency.

I started this thread so I can warn prospect clients with my experience, but most of all, I want to give feedback to the Agency. To make them better with their services. Afterall, I am also a fellow Filipino and am wanting to see the my country prosper thru tourism. And indeed, somewhere July, my message reached the company's ears. And to my dismay, Ellen's Tours is still a disappointment today.

It scares me a lot to see how people flocked about Ellen's kiosks at the Tours and Travel expo held here in Manila. Gives me the goose bumps whenever I see them during the Trade.

To those who are reading this thread, please make-sure you demand for a document that iterates everything covered in the package : from food, to transpo, to detailed itenerary. I guarantee you that they can offer the cheapest package which guarantees equivalent low quality service as well.

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Manila
Manila
Luzon, Philippines