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“The tour was tourture”
Review of MariaRose Tours

MariaRose Tours
Book In Advance
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US$89.73*
and up
Tour of Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) and Catherine Palace
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US$95.71*
and up
Peterhof Grand Palace and Gardens Tour with Neva Boat Ride
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US$33.50*
and up
Grand Tour of St Petersburg
Ranked #116 of 376 Tours in St. Petersburg
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Admire Saint-Petersburg, a real Mecca for lovers of beauty, taking MariaRose tours. Book your city tour online! You will find a great choice of sightseeing tours, tours to the famous suburbs of St. Petersburg (Peterhof, Pushkin, Pavlovsk) and to the world famous Hermitage and Russian Museum. Boat trips, walking tours, folk show - everything you may wish! Shore excursions for cruise passengers. Best price guarantee!
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The tour was tourture”
Reviewed 31 October 2013

Marierose tours was contracted to do a one daytour from St Petersburg to Novgorod. The tour was described as a "small Group" tour. However, we where put on a 20 person bus for the three hour trip. We had our own guide, but the 17 others were Russian speaking and their guide did all the talking. Worse than that, she was extremly loud and we could not here our guide who was sitting with us and when we tried to speak we where told to shut up. This unfriendly behavior persisted the whole day, includin the the three hour return trip. When the quide was explaining sites, she just started reading poetry- we had no chance to decide specfic things we wanted to do. This was the situation the whole day- we had no input as tp what we wanted to do. Dinner was supposed to be included- it never happened. The end result is Marierose refused to make any price adjustment or even admit there was a problem. Toursbylocals is a much better world wide tour company for personal tours.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank tgusdorff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“The only way to do a shore excursion...”
Reviewed 26 July 2013

Tours in Russia seem to be priced so that the more people there are going on the excursion, the better the price. As a family of four (two teenagers) we wanted to have the advantage travelling independently. I compared prices on the internet a few months before we were due to travel and Maria Rose tours came out with the best price for a smaller group. We were met at the dock by Leda and Dmitri, whisked off without complication. Even better that we did not need to arrange a visa for Russia as this is included in the package. We had a full day as per the program advertised on the Maria Rose website. The advantage of doing a private tour became quite evident when we managed to avoid the vast queues in the different sites we visited. Leda enhanced this with her wit and insight - her English is excellent and we had a most enlightening time. We were unfortunately in Saint Petersburg for only one day, we would have had less of a rush to see everything if we had had two days. We did see a lot. In hindsight, I would have spent more time at the Hermitage and less time at the Catherine Palace and Peter and Paul Fortress. Thank you Leda, the memories of this day will last my lifetime... I would not hesitate to recommend...

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank gwen68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Had serious problems with co-ordination and communication”
Reviewed 21 July 2013

Maria Rose Tours in St. Petersburg does not, of itself, take people on guided tours. It firstly sells the tours then finds freelance guides/drivers to service them. As a result, rating any particular tour guide or tour is of limited use for rating the Maria Rose Tours.

We booked a five-day block of tours with Maria Rose Tours in March for July 2013 as much for planning convenience as for savings. We took all but one of the outings included and the guides and drivers we had were courteous, eager-to-please, and generally had a reasonable knowledge and patter for the tours even if it was all a bit superficial at times. In short, I believe that we got what we paid for in respect of the conduct of the tours.

However, the organisation by, and the communication with, Maria Rose Tours was somewhat slack. The five-day block was advertised with specific activities for each day in turn. We did recognise at the time of ordering that some adjustment would need to be made because the day 2 tour could not be done on the second day of our five days because the specific attraction was closed on that day.
It should have been simple for the firm to make an adjustment, say swap days 2 and 3, 2 and 4, or 2 and 5, (all were possible) and let us know. It seems that they could not be bothered to do this and they initially adopted an approach where they would let the guide know at the end of the day what we would be doing the next day and when we would be picked up. This worked for days one and two although we were give a different timing later by telephone.
At the end of day three, we had no advice so we rang Maria Rose tours and spoke to an English speaking support person. I gave our names; advised that we were on the five-day block, and requested information as to the next day's activity. No matter what I said, the support person, was adamant that we had not tours booked for that day. When I protested, I was told that I had to send them an email "setting out what my question was" coupled with a sudden lapse in the person's English skills! I spent over an hour on the email which is a great way to spoil a holiday.

Eventually, we received an apology stating that she had mixed us up with another customer and advising us when we would be picked up the next day and what the tour would be. For some reason, an evening activity was brought forward from the remaining day making for a very long day. For that activity our only information was that we were to meet a guide at a particular venue at 8:30pm. At 7:45pm, hotel reception staff handed me a totally unexpected envelope from Maria Rose Tours which included a voucher for two to see the first show at the venue and it had started at 7pm. The Hotel staff were brilliant, they rang the theatre and obtained and assurance that hey would accept the voucher for the later show.
I immediately rang Maria Rose Tours who then informed me that I was supposed to have gone to theatre for the 7pm show and then meet the guide afterwards for other tour activities at 8:30pm. I informed them that I would be attending the second theatre performance and I would forgo the evening tour. At that stage, the support person, declared that the line was very bad and she could no longer hear me so I was to submit an email. I declined to do so on the grounds that there was no time for that. Shortly afterwards, I received a return phone call advising me that they had contacted the theatre and no seats were available for the later performance so we were to proceed to meet the guide for the tour and we could go to the theatre on another night. I declined again advising that seats had been easily arranged and eventually gave up arguing with the person. Shortly after that, I got another phone call; this time from the person we had trouble with the previous day, reiterating the no-seats-available nonsense and telling me I had to take the 8:30pm tour because I had already paid for it! I eventually had to hang up on this person.

We attended the theatre. Ticket staff were expecting us and readily gave us tickets for the second show. It was a great show. Incidentally the 7pm show did not finish until about 8:55pm. Further, there were several vacant seats in the theatre which raises other questions about Maria Rose Tours.

I did lodge a complaint with the firm but have received no acknowledgement as yet. I'll be surprised if I every get any response.

We were also very disappointed that we had a different guide for each tour. There was no discernible reason for this.

The lesson - I think they can relied upon with the simplicity of one-off tours. Planning, coordination, communication and customer relations do not appear to be part of their skill sets.

Again, let me stress that the individual tours and their freelance tour guides were acceptable.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank WalkaboutAussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Knowledgeable Tour Guide”
Reviewed 25 June 2013

My wife son and I booked the half-day tour of St Petersburg via an agency. There were only 6 of us on the tour (I think the max is 12) and we were very glad not to be one of the large groups at the hermitage etc. Our guide Lita was excellent - not too fast and not too slow. She personalised the tour and was very happy to answer questions. We extended the tour to a full day based on our experiences with her, which she arranged on the spot. We were not sorry we did this, and we certainly got our money's worth. The genuine Russian lunch was very nice too, and good to experience some of the local specialities. At the end Lita went out of her way to help us buy tickets and get on the metro to return to our hotel. An excellent and very full tour. Thank you Lita!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank AussieAndrew10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walsall, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
363 reviews
244 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Excellent tour of Catherine Palace and Pavlosk Palace”
Reviewed 31 December 2012

Booked this tour through expedia (much cheaper than direct). Company contacted me before travel to confirm pick up from our hotel. Pick up went well, drive was good, commentary on the history of St Petersburg, chance to see some sights on the way. Tour guide Leeda was excellent, knew her information and made it humorous as well. Timing was good, as was the information throughout the tour. Both locations beautiful, but that is the locations rather than the tour. However, the guide brought the locations to life and helped us to understand the historical sequence of events very well.

Would recommend very highly. But check Expedia first.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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