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.