Review of "Tour #1" by Cloud 9 Tours
- Review by: John Wright
- Tour Operator: Cloud 9 Tours
- Tour: Tour #1
- Year: 2009
- Rating: 2 of 5
- Validated: This review has NOT been validated.
I was on Tour 1 2009 . Collection upon arrival and return to OKC airport from the Guest Inn was good.
It was a poor start to the season and never really livened up until June but every effort was made to get us to any potential tornadic storms that there were. We covered hundreds of miles and even went as far north to get within 238 miles of Chicago,many storms just mushed when we got there. On May 13 we arrived at Kirksville MO just too late to see two tornadoes, one an EF-3 and the other an EF-1 but we did get to drive through a severe storm that evening with torrential rain and a lot of intense lightning- a great experience which will stay with me as a great memory. I also felt safe,there was no risk taking.
Because of the lack of storms we got to see places we wouldn't have otherwise seen, Palo Duro canyon, downtown St. Louis,downtown Dallas and George K. was good enough to take a few of us photographers into Dallas late evening to photograph the city lights and that was much appreciated. Our driver was Mike Theiss, a very personable and friendly guy as well as being a well respected chaser and he would always be ready to answer any questions or get an answer (like where we were heading because sometimes it was a case of following the lead van)
So,10/10 for effort and getting us to the few potentially tornadic storms there were but only 3 out of 10 for communication in all areas of the trip including the communications by e-mail and one telephone call left unanswered prior to flying from the UK. In reality this should be zero,that was my experience. The unanswered mails/telephone call was about booking my return flight. In the event there wasn't a problem so the the lack of response caused unnecessary stress. Stuart W.(above review) has also highlighted this lack of communication with regards to information, the most obvious being no morning briefings.
Both Tempest and SLT have comprehensive morning briefings and updates throughout the day. Each morning we got in the van my first question was,' Where are we heading today ?' otherwise it would have been akin to a Magical Mystery Tour. I mentioned this lack of a briefing to Mike who told Charles but to no avail. The nearest we got was a pre-Tour briefing about the do's and don'ts with regard to safety.
Rachel C (review below) mentioned that they had 'fun' but the kind of fun they had was not really something I personally enjoyed but each to their own.
Overall it's a 5 out of 10 from me. As I say,it would have been so much better to have had a morning briefing before we set off and be updated throughout the day. This lack of communication was the biggest let down for me.