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White Volcano Island tour options

Calgary, Canada
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57 posts
114 reviews
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White Volcano Island tour options

Hi

I just spoke to www.whiteisland.co.nz about a tour that includes the boat, guide and lunch and was put off when they told me that they do not cater to people with dietary requests like allergies, vegan or vegetarian.

We're vegan and asked if we could have vegetables and fruit subbed for any meat or cheese in the meal and they said no. I asked if there was a discount offered if they refused to provide food and they said no.

This is pretty crappy service, and I want to know if there are any other options than taking the boat with Pee Jay's to get to White Island.

The tours here seem pretty expensive $245 NZD is a lot per person to be refused lunch when it's supposed to be provided.

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New Zealand
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9,449 posts
12 reviews
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1. Re: White Volcano Island tour options

Only a helicopter ride from Rotorua which as you will be aware will be probably 3 times as expensive.

Unfortunately PeeJays have exclusive rights to landing on White Island and while you have had less than satisfactory service this company is one of the best small businesses in the area, a small personal family run business that (usually) caters very well to their customers. I suspect that they just don't have the ability to cater for the one offs due to the tight time constraint they have with their tours although personally I do think they should be looking at this aspect as there are more and more people out there that have different dietary needs.

Astoria, New York
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473 posts
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2. Re: White Volcano Island tour options

I am leaving for new zealand this saturday and we are booked to do the white island tour in a few weeks. I am also a vegetarian (borderline vegan) and have found lots of places that are very accommodating when booking, though I never even bothered to ask when booking this one. Their price actually says $185 so I am not sure where you got the $245 price. It says the price right on their website, so if someone quoted you that higher price, you can show them it's right on their website.

www.whiteisland.co.nz/white_island_tour.html

Calgary, Canada
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57 posts
114 reviews
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3. Re: White Volcano Island tour options

The $245 is for the White Volcano Island and Hells Gate package, sorry. Yes I know this.

I am just confused why the receptionist would tell me they cannot cater and do not offer a discount. So what, give us $10 off each for not eating the food or something.

But other people on trip advisor say lunch includes soup, sandwiches and fruit. Yet she did not make any mention of what they serve for lunch, just said they could not accommodate.

Usually tour companies will list what they do serve and ask if it's ok to just have fruit and bread and some dips or something like that.

I am guessing it's meat soup and meat sandwiches or something like that.

Astoria, New York
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473 posts
95 reviews
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4. Re: White Volcano Island tour options

I would just plan to eat afterwards and beforehand. When are you going to NZ? I will be there starting next monday for three weeks. I can let you know what it was when I get back, if you want.

New Zealand
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5. Re: White Volcano Island tour options

Tropicaltravels I think you're going to have to adjust your expectations of travelling in NZ otherwise you are going to find many things that annoy the heck out of you(going on your other post this is already happening) Don't get me wrong, I know where you are coming from but I can see it from the tour's point of view also.

This is a small boat tour with the same number of passengers for every tour- the one small launch goes out, the same boat comes back. They probably have the lunches(set amount every day as they know the numbers they can carry) made up by a cafe/catering company that then deliver them to the wharf all packaged & ready to eat on the boat. They would also have to wait each morning to see if they can depart( the tour is weather dependant) before placing the order. They obviously find it difficult to advise a change to the set lunch menu especially if there were 2 or 3 different dietary needs. No excuse I know but a possible reason. I will see if I can find out some more information for you.

New Zealand
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12 reviews
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6. Re: White Volcano Island tour options

PS- and you just may not want to eat anything at all anyway, going by the amount of people that feed the fish on this particular tour. It's over an hour each way through open ocean that is not known for it's smooth waters. I would advise taking a sea-sickness remedy of some sort.

Calgary, Canada
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57 posts
114 reviews
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7. Re: White Volcano Island tour options

Thanks. We're going at the end of Feb and mid March next year.

We're traveling around the world right now, so just trying to plan stuff out in advance as we've kinda got burned before when not booking hotels and flights 2-3 months in advance during peak seasons.

Calgary, Canada
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57 posts
114 reviews
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8. Re: White Volcano Island tour options

You know since we've gone vegan and just eat fruit for breakfast we've noticed that motion sickness goes down to almost nil when traveling by boat or plane.

I used to be the kid that got so ill in cars that I couldn't even read a book or look down, always had to look at the window to avoid hurling. The I stopped eating fried foods, meat, salty snacks and candy and I don't get sick anymore traveling.

I think we should be ok for the boat ride, we've been on a lot of boats and ferries this year, we may bring something just in case. Thanks for letting me know.

As someone who worked in customer service for over 10 years I just find it hard to believe some people can be so nonchalant about treating customers like they're not important and they don't really need your money anyways! haha.

I hope that New Zealanders get a chance to travel the world too and see that everything is less expensive elsewhere and you can get a lot of service for your dollar. :)

New Zealand
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12 reviews
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9. Re: White Volcano Island tour options

Oh we travel alright, "Kiwis" are well known for NOT being flightless and are found in great numbers all over the world. But we always return home, you just can't beat Paradise sometimes, no matter the cost. If we were too cheap we'd be overun with people ;)

And I agree there are companies out there that have no idea of customer service, alot of them don't survive in the long run but were there's not much or no competition then they can do what they like without consequences. Luckily they are few and far between. I think once you have been in NZ for a few days you'll find out what NZ is really about & very well known for; extremely friendly and helpful people- money can't buy that.

Edited: 09 November 2010, 06:56
New Zealand
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9,449 posts
12 reviews
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10. Re: White Volcano Island tour options

I'll let you know in due course if I find out anything further on the White Island tour.

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