Retirement trip with “The Palace on Wheels”
My wife and I had long since decided that a trip on “The Palace on Wheels” would be a great way to mark our retirement and to take us to one of the places we wanted to see and so we recently took the trip, in February 2018.
There is no need for me to repeat the itinerary and add my own experiences and opinions, as these are covered so eloquently by others. I would like to share the experience from the point of view of a holiday maker investing not a small sum on a special holiday. It does entail a leap of faith to part with such a sum.
Whilst our decision was based upon recommendation from a friend who had made the trip some years ago, it was interesting to note that there are two features to take into account when searching the internet. The Palace on Wheels could do so much more to promote itself in a more detailed way and they rely heavily upon “agents”, some of whom are considerably more dignified than others in the way they represent this wonderful journey.
I chose “Travelogy” as my agent, having written to three and selected based upon the manner and detail of the responses. It was a most wise choice, as “Travology”, especially “Sandeep”, were so particular about every detail of our planning. They never tired of numerous questions and, even once they had our deposit, were so helpful.
As to the trip, first of all the “bad bits”. I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever, although we heard that some guests felt that the standard of their cabins fell short of their expectations.
I elected to pay the extra to have a “Super Deluxe” cabin and, for reasons unknown but I will put down to the promotional material, did not appreciate that our entire journey would include virtually personalised guides and transport, from the train stops to all of the main places visited. This made a fantastic surprise, ensuring that our special trip became even more “special”.
We did meet up with the other guests at meal times and on certain excursions and, by-and-large, they were as impressed as we were that the standards of the excursions were so high.
It is worth pointing out that The Palace on Wheels is not only a highly desirable way to see this part of India, it also enjoys a very high status within the tourism industry, assuring that the attention that “Palace guests” receive is of the highest standard. From the special greetings at destinations along the way, to the smooth operation at all places of interest, it is clear that all of the planning and reservations, together with the standing of The Palace reputation acts in the interest of guests.