We had a truly wonderful day with Sebastian , our guide, and Martin our driver! They were there to meet us us as soon as we left the ship and had a lovely Toyota 4x4 with super air conditioning and very comfortable seats. Seb chatted to us throughout our journey to the houseboats .....this for me was definitely better than being on a coach, as I am very deaf! At the houseboats we watched as the coach loads of our cruise companions were herded onto a houseboat, while we were taken to another houseboat. What a lovely surprise to find we had the whole houseboat to ourselves!!! A lounging area at the front, a dining table, armchairs, a bedroom and bathroom, and a chef in the kitchen preparing our lunch!!!! I am very difficult with food as I don't like spicy food, but the lovely cheerful chef said that was no problem, and he made us a superb lunch of fish and chicken, rice, lentils, chickpeas etc, all without spice!! Followed by dessert then banana fritters then fruits ...it went on and on!! Seb travelled with us and answered all our questions. Afterwards we drove through areas past beautiful Catholic Churches etc and then to the sea where we saw the Chinese fishing nets. As he could see we were intrigued by these, he took us onto one of the Nets and after a chat with the fisherman, we were allocated ropes to pull to bring in the next catch!! Seb took my phone and took photos and a video of us pulling the ropes until the job was done! What a wonderful experience! I was concerned because I had no rupees as you can't get them on the ship or take them into India, and I wanted a few to be able to give tips and buy souvenirs, so Seb and Martin went out of their way to drive around Kochi to find an ATM...the first one didn't work, so they drove around some more until we found one that did work. Seb helped me to understand all the instructions. Our day with Seb and Martin actually lasted about 2 hours longer than advertised and I was worried we were making them late, but they were charming and said they just wanted to be sure we were having a good time.
I cannot rate them highly enough, they were superb.
- Gabrielle Mason
- Azamara Journy April 24
Great private tour of Kochi. We had a great guide, Kumar, who was very helpful and informative. Started with a walking tour of the local shopping area in the newer part of town. Thoroughly enjoyed the Harbor Cruise. Saw many small islands where fishing villages were. Better than I expected! Old Kochi and Chinese fish nets were fun to see, too. Overall, a very nice tour. Also, stopped at a wonderful cafe, Kashi Art Cafe I think for lunch. Lovely place and the food was delicious. He added a stop at a Dhobi Ghat laundry that was very interesting, too. The weather was extremely hot...that was the only detriment.
On April 25th a group of us from The Azamara Journey enjoyed a five hour day tour of Kochi with Carnival. Our guide was excellent and driver got us to all the places of interest without mishap. Service was outstanding, guide was very knowledgeable of the local history, small bus was clean, and the price was right. $90.00 per person for a backwater tour the day before and half day tour on the 25th. The cruise line charged $249..00 for the back water cruise alone.
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