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“Be Wary”

Eastern Bays Scenic Mail Run
Ranked #10 of 23 Tours in Akaroa
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Potomac, MD
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Be Wary”
Reviewed 11 June 2014

I have planned many excursions over the years and have never had an experience as we did with this group. I had read all of the wonderful reviews of this tour on Tripadvisor and other places and thought this would be a wonderful excursion for us when we go to Akaroa next February. I am an early planner and saw that it was recommended to write to this group early to ensure booking as it does fill up. I wrote earlier this year (January 2014) and got almost an immediate response (difference in hours notwithstanding) indicating that we were “penciled in” for the tour but to contact them in the fall as their costs may change. Therefore, I did not think I needed to do more until the fall. In mid-April, more than 3 months after receiving notice that we are on the tour, I got an email advising me that the tour was no longer available as the tour was booked for 8 people (the maximum allowed). Honestly, I was shocked and wrote back trying to understand what happened. Sandra, through the Akaroa Visitor Center, said and I quote: “I can only put this down to human error on my part and can understand your position” but in the end did absolutely nothing to rectify it. I was not only shocked but appalled that they admitted the error of their ways but we were left with no tour for that date. Yes, I can book others (which they provided me a listing of), but I was most upset because this was probably the excursion our group of 4 had so looked forward to do on our New Zealand tour. Also, I found their response unbelievable, mostly that she did not go back to the others that were booked after us to explain the “human error” of her ways. From what I understand and read about this tour on Tripadvisor and the Akaroa Visitor Center site, there is nothing that indicates one must book with a group of 8 or that a group of 8 that books together trumps others who were advised they were on the tour, nor did the person who indicated we were on the tour include anything of the sort. I did write back a few times asking what they would do, including advising the other group or some other way to assuage the situation and have received no response.

I am a frequent user of Tripadvisor and have posted many reviews (mostly positive) of where we have traveled, and we have traveled many places around the world. I find Tripadvisor is a great resource and I would want to know if there were any issues and have found the reviews on Tripadvisor very helpful. Again, people need to do their own research and due diligence on excursions, lodging, etc. However, I have NEVER had this experience (nor do I wish it for any other group) that when you assume you have booked with something that you are then not for reasons that make no sense. I still do not understand why they could not go back to the other group, make an accommodation for us as they admitted it was their fault, nor was there any reply to that effect. Therefore, I would recommend that one be very careful when booking with them as email confirmations apparently don’t have any impact on this group. At the least, it is very poor customer service and perhaps staff who needs to be better trained or counseled. In the end, there is no excuse and I caution anyone using them. It is a shame as this tour does get great reviews but be wary in case the same situation occurs to anyone booking with them.

Visited April 2014
11 Thank jvb1128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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111 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent morning!”
Reviewed 4 May 2014

I picked this tour at the last minute as a rainy day activity, and it was a great decision. The drive up and down and along the bays is spectacular, and the views were beautiful even with a few clouds. Robin was a great tour guide who gave an interesting history of the area and provided a delicious morning tea. I felt like I was getting a lot of insider views on the Banks Peninsula that the average tourist would miss. I definitely recommend.

Visited February 2014
2 Thank Courtney M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
midlands England
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Wonderful Day”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Having read previous reviews of The Mail Run with Robin, we decided to book six months before sailing on our Aukland to Sidney cruise,to be sure of securing a place on this tour.
We are so glad we did !!!
My Husband & myself along with 5 other passengers on the Solstice had a truly memorable day.
Robin drove us along his famous Mail Run showing us fantastic beaches, villages & scenery on the way.
Robin is a very pleasant, easy going man, who we felt very comfortable with.We enjoyed his wife's famous Blueberry Muffins, cheese & biscuits, jams, tea & coffee on a picnic table beside a deserted beach.
We were rather apprehensive about getting off the boat early enough, but after an early breakfast in our cabin & being one of the 1st in the queue to disembark, we managed to get on one of the 1st tenders leaving & were really pleased to see Robin waiting on the key side in Akaroa.
We bumped into the other five passengers who did the tour later on in the cruise and we all agreed we had enjoyed all our tours, but The Mail Run was the most unique and took The Star .

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Annabelle20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Merimbula, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Mail run like no other”
Reviewed 14 April 2014

If you want to see the Banks Peninsular and the stunning scenery around Akaroa simply do the Mail Run with Robin. We booked beforehand and found the visitors centre handled it efficiently. Robin is a delight, informative and amusing he will take you to places you would not attempt in a hire car and in absolute safety ! 5 hours of enjoyment at exceptional value and a lovely morning tea thrown in .
This was definitely the pick of our shore excursions.

Visited March 2014
Thank lanemoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Port Ewen, New York
Level 6 Contributor
223 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
“Highlight of our trip”
Reviewed 5 April 2014

We booked this ahead of time via the Akaroa central booking web site. Since they aren't the actual provider, it takes time with back and forth emails. A little frustrating at times, but finally got it booked and it was well worth it. In fact, my wife and I agree, this was probably the highlight of our cruise through New Zealand.

Instructions were to try to be first ones off ship, and since we tender, this can be tricky. It turned out all 8 folks, 6 cruisers and 2 land based tourists, were on time. We met Robin and off we went. He took us over about 125 km of roads that are part of his normal route. So many breathtaking vistas and plenty time stop and out. Got to spend a bit of time at some the better vistas. Robin would stop anywhere you asked if it was safe.

Stopped about 2.5 hours into trip for a little picnic brunch of tea/coffee, all instant. A bunch of crackers with 2 excellent home made jams, and some home made muffins. The cruise line could use some pointers from Robin's wife. And she should consider selling some of it ;-)

Kept delivering mail and finally stopped at a nice beach, with a surprise waiting. Unknown to Robin, there was a fairly young yellow eyed penguin just walking along beach, not a care in the world. We got within 5 feet and he could care less. Amazing experience that rarely happens. Finished the mail run and he dropped us in town, where we strolled back through the shops, about 10 minutes to tenders. If you didn't want to be dropped, he'd take you right to where the tenders depart. Great day. Excellent tour Robin!

Visited March 2014
Thank donutking1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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