Escorted tours; hidden costs and issues

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by HymerB544, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. HymerB544

    HymerB544 Funster

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    They say experience is hard-won, but worth it. Here is my latest!

    We are not new to motorhoming [6+ years] nor to continental travel, but we have never travelled outside Europe and when the chance to join the escorted C & CC Moroccan Tour [October 2012] came up, we signed up straight away. I figured there would be some costs beyond the basic tour price, for example, outbound and return ferry crossings, and probably extensions to our existing vehicle insurance, breakdown cover, and personal health cover, but assumed that as we are insured through the C & CC's own Club Care for both vehicle and breakdown at home and in Europe, it would be straightforward....................hmmmm.......

    I should stress that what follows is no criticism of the staff at either Carefree or Club Care - they were all courteous and patient, but at the end of the day, I still feel miffed, or perhaps poorly informed upfront.

    Although the Tour itself is from 1st to 24th October, we planned to allow 2-3 weeks extra on the outward journey and 2 weeks on the return. My first surprise was that whilst Club Care would cover the driving and vehicle insurance in Morocco [though only 3rd party and for a hefty £85 additional premium] they do not provide breakdown cover for Morocco. I'm not happy to take a £40K van on 3rd party cover only, but more of that later.

    I then rang Carefree and got my second surprise. They do provide Moroccan breakdown cover, but it has to be purchased in multiples of one month [and the cost starts at £120 for one month, with some discounts for additional months], and they insist on linking the cover period to the dates of leaving and returning to home! So my assumption that as we were already covered by Club Care Breakdown for Europe, I would only need Moroccan breakdown cover for the duration of that part of the trip proved to be off-beam too.

    Surprise number three was that Carefree would not even quote for that cover until I had a confirmed, booked, return crossing date. This was not what we intended; we had of course already booked the outbound crossing, but had planned on taking our time on the way back and maybe extending our stay either in Spain or France. So I duly booked a return crossing [on the understanding that I could ring in and amend it to a later crossing..........on payment of an admin "change" charge of course!].

    So in the end, I have a 2-month breakdown cover when in fact I only need 24 days, and have paid for that privilege, and it had to be handled by two separate arms of what seems to me to be one entity [C & C Club].

    I have to wonder why the C & CC cannot arrange their insurance and breakdown cover so that it automatically meets the needs of their own customers.

    But I have learned several valuable lessons, and will not make the same mistake again.

    I said I would return to the 3rd party cover issue. Club Care helpfully said that they do in fact use two underwriters and that the other [not the one I'm with!] does offer fully comp cover for Morocco and that as my policy is due for renewal before we go, they will quote both on my renewal invitation. Which is good, but no doubt that will be dearer too!

    I hope this helps someone else,

    best regards from a wiser, though poorer, Gary.:Angry :Sad:
     
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  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    maybe you should have booked a tour with Desert Detours

    members both here and on RVOC have been on Rays tours or Morocco and the backup appears far superior to what you have booked...including two escort vehicles, one of which is a mobile workshop for breakdowns and repair.

    all paperwork is included in the price such as permits, visa's and ferry tickets to and from Morocco so you only need your insurance and medical cover.
     
  3. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi if you are over 50 try saga .they cover morocco usually for free and they used to cover their breakdown where ever your green card took you. have heard they have changed that but havent checked as i dont insure the truck with them now. safe guard also used to cover maroc free as well.
    basically there areno permits or visa,s needed for maroc .get entry visa at the border free for 3 months. ferry is about 200 quid could be less very often is .
    snowy -dave will tell you what it was last winter i should think.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  4. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Comfort Insurance also cover Morocco in with there normal european insurance. and as stated Desert Detours is excellent.
     
  5. peter marshall

    peter marshall

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    Hi Gary
    I took a joint health cover with CC & C , for a Spanish two site rallies, around £400 or so l, the following year £ 1,015 no change in past health probs for either of us, I tried the C C red penant £268 to also cover the MH as well for breakdown and recovery etc , same price this year , still can't understand the £1,015 quote. Peter
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    from desert detours web page Alan.

    Vehicle, personal documents and ferry tickets are issued, we catch the first available fast ferry to…..MOROCCO…Well Ceuta actually, but we are on our way!
     
  7. 1948

    1948 Read Only Funster

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  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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  9. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi, well dont knock d-d at all you pay your money and i hope you enjoy it.i know several that have had more than one trip with them .the ferry varies fast or slow not really a price differance .we take the slow one as its easier with the trucks . there are several companies doing trips all over africa etc . i go alone or with friends . if you are nervous then a group trip may help you with confidance. i do know that during the winter months the maroc tourist board .reckon at least 26,000 campers hit maroc .this was a few years ago. so could be more i,m sure it is.
    as for trouble yes you can .i have bneen broken into twice in all the time i,ve been going . some never . mind i have been broken in in spain and frasnce in my lifetime so cant just blame maroc.
    i do know that there are heavy costs in being an organizer of trips . the marocs dont miss a trick.
    personaly if you cant spend three months in maroc i think its too much of a rush. if it was easier to have say 4 months that would be better. you either like it or hate it . i like all the arab countries find all of them great and friendly . maybe some are a bit awkward now but hopefully they will settle soon . be them in africa or middle east .
     
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  10. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    ADAC cover health and breakdown cover in Morocco. I personally don't worry out there regarding breakdowns. The Moroccans are excellent mechanics and will fix anything cheaply. I even save jobs up for when am out there so as to get a good cheap job done.
    Am sure you will have a great time and once you have them smell of Africa you will return, hopefully with the confidence to do it alone next time for a tenth of the price your paying now. October is a bit early for us but we hope to be out there this winter.
     
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  11. HymerB544

    HymerB544 Funster

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    Morocco

    Thanks Snowbird, and you've hit the nail right on the head; once we have been and got the feel of the place I am sure we will go back and on our own, for much longer.

    On a slightly different subject, we've just come back from a three week stay at a friend's villa in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote. We go there regularly and on our previous visit [Feb/March 2011] saw loads of motorhomes on a site by the sea shore at Papagayo beach. The site was empty this time, but I guess that simply means the winter is over and they have moved on. So I did some research to find out how and how much to get a van over there, thinking that maybe we might even be able to suprise our villa-owning friends and catch a ferry over from Morocco. As far as I can see you have to go from mainland Spain, which is a long, long way and presumably very expensive. can't see your average MH-er lobbing out huge sums of dosh to get to a relatively small island! Don't suppose you know anything different?

    regards

    Gary:Smile:
     
  12. dercher

    dercher Funster

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    We were in Marroco in April,free green card with safeguard,160 euro open return ferry to ceuta,went by ourselves.Truely wonderfull trip,cant wait to go again.No security issues,nice people.All so,so,different.:Eeek:
     
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  13. BobT

    BobT Trader - Tour Operator

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    Morocco

    You should be aware that the C & CC Morocco tour is operated by Desert Detours.
     
  14. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    nice one.. you saved about €1800 :thumb:
     
  15. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi there used to be ferry from maroc but not for a long time.
    cadiz is the ferry to canary isles it was about 800-1000quid last i knew . quite alot do go in winter . and island hop. personaly i find it too windy. luckily in weinter the canary isles cause a kind of funnel effect and that can leave the agadir area in maroc with less wind . thats part of the apeal to agadir. go south or north its windy.
    there as been mention of a ferry starting again possibly .but havent heard its definate yet.
    you can get ferries from gibralter to maroc .tickets from turners travel in irish town on gib.
    end of october and november can be rainy season in morocco. specialy in the north. dec to march is the ideal time .april can get very windy even inland as the trade winds come up. but anyway by then spain is already warm.
    eternal summer is the only way.
     
  16. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    The world is now becoming a much smaller place and people are becoming more and more adventurous. In the not too distant past,certainly in my lifetime people who drove to the South of France were thought of as being brave or crazy. Maybe I was the exception but I never thought of it that way. Having spent a lifetime driving to far distant places to make ends meet it was only natural for me to take up long haul motorhoming when I retired. I can understand the trepidations of the first time motorhomer as they set off on there first journey to France but once you get the travel bug and once you have overcome your unfounded fears the world is your oyster. There has always been the exception with some travelling to the East,but now its so much easier and nowhere near as bad as you think. So get out there and travel before the oil runs out. Dont put it off till next year, do it now and you will never regret it. Happy travels to all adventurers.:thumb:
     
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