We returned from the a coach tour on 10th July. What a nightmare!
We met the coach at Bracknell it was 20minutes late arriving at 09.45. During the course of the pick ups, we lost 1 1/2 hours. We had to wait at one pick up (Epsom)for 45minutes as the coach driver was not allowed to drive any more without this statutory rest. He did direct us to a couple of cafes and the shopping centre, even so some people elected to remain on the coach. The driver could not therefore leave the coach. By the time we got to the Cambridge Services it was 4.15, we were allowed a break for toilets and a drink. The coach did have a toilet, but thee was no water for hand washing or flushing the toilet, no hand soap, no toilet paper or hand drying facilities. There was no water or anything to drink either. We had not had any announcements up to that time, either health and safety or just updates or apologies/ explanation.
At Cambridge Services, we were told that we had now not got time to go into Norwich, we arrived at the Hotel Victoria in Great Yarmouth at 7.25pm and were told dinner was at 6, so we had to go straight to the dining room for our meal. The food was very small portions of soup, and cottage pie with vegetables, and lemon meringue pie with ice cream, cheese and biscuits, or fruit salad. We almost went to the local chippie to get some chips to fill up. The hotel room was very basic and you could feel the springs through the mattress. But the hotel staff were very willing and friendly, trying to please.
On Saturday morning we were told breakfast would be served at 8.15 and leave at 9. This is rather tight time to eat breakfast and go back to the room to use the toilet and clean the teeth for two people. We departed for our "Steam railway" trip in the pouring rain arriving 10 minutes late, and were told to just get on the train don't look around at the shop, or railway engines. On arrival our coach was there to greet us. We went off to Wroxham Barns, where we could get a snack lunch and look around. Then on to the Norfolk Broads paddle steamer trip. This was excellent, the pilot and his accompanying commentary were really good, all too soon that was over and we were back on the coach heading for our hotel and dinner at 6pm. Again the meal was not very wonderful, we opted for chicken curry, but I think they must have run out of curry powder!
Next morning we had breakfast at 8.15 and had to be ready to board the coach by 9.15, cases had to be outside our rooms by 7.15. We were given the choice of going to Norwich which we should have dome on Friday or Cromer as it should have been on Sunday. We opted for Cromer, and had a very enjoyable 1 1/2 hours in Cromer.
The return journey to Cambridge was speedy and we arrived early at 2.15, had time for a wander, lunch and drink before continuing on our way. We left at 3.40pm and arrived at Bracknell early at 7.30pm.
What an exhausting weekend. We spent all our time rushing rushing, not a relaxing break at all.
The coaches lack of facilities and drinking water is absolutely disgraceful, and both the coaches we used were the same. The first coach had the heating full blast on the window side, in fact I accidentally touched the side with my bare leg and it really made me jump, but fortunately did not mark my leg. When I asked if we could have the heating off, of course someone objected that they were cold, the drive then seemed to alternate between the two.
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