The tour itself I thought was very good, combining both the food stops and the history of the city.
The only reason I did not give it a higher rating was I felt the guide on the tour was a bit rude on two occasions. When we were at the restaurant where we were served sausages, I asked her if I could substitute a slice of cheesecake for the sausage or if I would need to purchase the cheesecake at the counter. Her response was “What do you think”. I was not asking her what I thought. I knew what I thought. I then went ahead and purchase a slice of cheesecake and took it Togo.
Then at the last stop, I asked her which drinks were included and she said the coffees and teas. I then told her that I don’t drink coffee or tea and would like to substitute what I saw on the drink menu were smoothies. They were the same cost as the coffees. She responded by saying she would not allow any substitutions and was rather indignant.
I have been in the travel business for 25 years as a travel agent who takes passengers on various tours and the golden rule is always “There are no stupid questions just stupid answers”. I always try to accommodate customer requests and substitutions where they are the same cost and are available and do not require difficult logistics. Certainly subbing a cold smoothie for a hot coffee when both are available to be made on the spot at the same cost would not have been a logistical problem nor a cost issue but she simply did not want to bother. Worse yet, I had told her at the start of the tour that I am in the travel business and she seemed to take the attitude that someone in the travel business should “know better” than to ask for a substitution. I guess that my concept of customer service to my travelers is a few notches above hers.
Lastly, at the first stop while we were eating Thai Food, she made a special point of announcing to everyone that the only thing not included on the tour today would be Tips to Her. I have never seen a tour guide so blatantly ask the passengers for tips.
This information could have been conveyed in your tour confirmation email, just as it was in the Viator confirmation email, but should never be spelled out so blatantly by the guide herself. I had six passengers in my group and that made some of them feel uncomfortable and led some of them to ask me how much they are expected to tip her. Passengers should not be put in a position to worry about tipping the guide after 10 minutes of a three hour tour, but it was clear that the guide was concerned about it at such an early stage of the tour.