The Agony Of Being On A Disastrous Tour Bus

by Sheri

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Malta – The Trip Was Fantastic! The Tour Bus – A Disaster!

We went on holiday to the beautiful island of Malta. Stayed in a lovely hotel and wanted to see as much of the capital city of Valletta and its surroundings. So we decided to book a tour bus. It turned out to be a tour bus disaster!

Excited for our first holiday with our son (then six months old), we figured we would make use of the hop on hop off tour bus we had seen offered in the brochures.

In the hotel reception, we asked what the procedure was for getting ticket for the tour bus.The concierge was kind enough to explain the two routes offered by the tour bus company, as well as the areas the tour bus would cover.

Lucky for us, one of the stops on the tour bus route was approximately 200 meters away from the hotel.

Perfect right?

Let’s Begin The Day – Tour Bus Into The City

We had a wonderful buffet breakfast and headed outside to wait on the tour bus.

At the station, we were met by two people. The lady, the tour bus company representative, the man, the bus driver. There were not a lot of people getting onto the bus at the time which was perfect as we had an easy choice for seats plus space for a baby buggy.

The day has started off pretty well. This was about to change

The tour bus set off and headed into town from St Julian’s Bay to Valetta.

We had to wait for 30 minutes in Valetta before the driver started with the actual bus route. Should have seen this as early warning signs of what was to come, but we were optimistic!

Malta Valetta Waiting on Tour Bus

Beautiful Malta Valetta

The tour bus finally moved 50 minutes later! We were finally headed in the direction of Mdina.

The first place we wanted to visit.
Our plan was to spend about 2 hours in the town Mdina, then on the bus ride back, hop off at three or four stops before heading back to the hotel. Big mistake.


Our Tour Bus Finally Arrives In Mdina!

We arrived in Mdina and were able to see a lot of the city. It was absolutely stunning and we took lots of pictures in the city a well as in the churches. A will share the experience with you in a different post.

Mdina The Silent City

Mdina The Silent City


Yup Another Selfie....From The Walls Of Mdina Overlooking Malta

Yup Another Selfie….From The Walls Of Mdina Overlooking Malta


 The Disastrous Journey Heading Back

Everything pretty much went south from here. The bus did not arrive at its scheduled time. The line of people waiting for the bus to pick them up was getting longer by the minute.

After about a 45-minute wait, the bus had still not arrived. It was hot – and getting hotter.

Three times, the other sightseeing bus from the island passed by to see if there were any of its passengers waiting to be picked up.
Of course, if you did not have a ticket for that bus line/company – it was tough luck you could not get on.

Understandable yet annoying nonetheless, as those buses were not even half way full!

FINALLY – After 1 hour and 25 minutes a tour bus approached the car park with a sign in the front with the name of the bus company?

This was the bus???? What happened to the nice one we took in the morning?

The pictures that the bus tour company uses are of nice new buses. These are only for the morning, to suck you in.

In the afternoon you get the buses from 1985 – so basically the same age as me!

Morning Malta Nightmare Tour Bus

Morning Malta Tour Bus

 The Rush And The Madness On The Tour Bus

People started pushing in other in the line, cutting to the front, fighting their way because they so desperately wanted to get on the bus.

They were like mice who had finally found some cheese after days of searching. Merciless!

I was stunned! What about us? We had been waiting here longer, we had a tiny baby in our hands. A baby bag and buggy to carry. Does anyone care? Nope!

Not a chance! In fact, we were going to have to fight our way to get on this bus as well. Which we did – successfully!

It Only Got Worse……

We made it on the bus and were trying to find a place to sit. Meanwhile, people are pushing each other to move further down in the bus so they can find seats too. Some people were using this time to be choosy about their seats!

Good grief! You clearly must have only been waiting for no more than 5 minutes out there, otherwise, you would have more sense than this!

Found seats but where in the world do we put the baby buggy? People had tossed their bags and rucksacks on the spaces made available for travel bags.

A lovely gracious older gentleman saw that we were not going to get anywhere with these wildebeests fighting for space so he carried our buggy to the front and folded it away right on top of all the other crap and baggage that was there.

One kind soul. Thank goodness.


The Tour Bus Ride Was Never-ending!

Where was the tour bus driver while all this is happening? Happily sitting in his seat drinking water, waiting for everyone to settle down. He had not a care in the world. We figured he must be used to this, since he did not react for even a second. He was immune!

Did I mention to you that this particular tour bus was old? Seats were torn, some with no backs? Sharp metal edges sticking out?

Malta Tour Bus Old

Afternoon Malta Nightmare Tour Bus

Of course, the audio commentary did not work. The bus was filthy.

The maximum capacity of the bus was roughly 45 people.

On this bus, there were about 40 sitting, plus another 35 standing! It was packed full.

We were like tuna in a can. God forbid we expected any air conditioning!

From start to finish, if you don’t Hop On or Off the tour is meant to take 2 hours. Notice I said meant to?

We drove for over 3,5 hours with the bus driver not once announcing any of the stops!
Of course, with people standing on the bus and not being able to see the front of the bus, you could only look out the windows in the hope of seeing a place you recognized.

For those who wanted to get off this illegal tour bus after two hours of this disastrous bus ride, all they could do was yell, “PLEASE STOP HERE”.

The driver would then park…. (more like slow down the bus) to let them jump out. YES, I said it it…jump out!

At times the tour bus would go uphill, a struggle for the outdated bus carrying the weight of three times the maximum capacity! Other times, we would see a place we had passed by 30 minutes before.


Now We Could Only Pray That We Would Be Let Off Soon

Were we lost? Did this guy even know where he was going? Was he driving around aimlessly?

Would this disaster that is called Malta Sightseeing ever end?

There were no more sights! And quite frankly I wasn’t seeing anything!

We were sweating like pigs. My hubby’s hands were hurting from carrying the baby who had managed to fall asleep – quite the miracle on a ride like this. Must have been the heat.

Forget about family or friendliness or care for people with disabilities!

'Look for the blessing in all situations!'Click To Tweet


 The Blessing Of The day – Getting Off The  Tour bus!

A real highlight!

I was so excited to see the town of St. Julian and to make it off this horror ride.

We had missed out on seeing so many sites, but getting off the tour bus was so freeing.

So exhilarating! I was so delighted! We made it, we made it! Alive and FREE!!!!!!!!!!!

I should have read these reviews before booking this tour bus. My mistake.

The Hop On – Hop Off bus tour service is one we have used in many cities in Europe on past vacations, and until Malta, it has been a good way to orientate ourselves to the various sights.

This, however, was the ride from hell! A huge waste of the 34 Euros. It was like taking that money and just flushing it down the toilet. Even that would have been less stressful and painful.

My advice to you? Save your money. Travel by the normal city buses. They cost €1.50, are fairly new, air-conditioned and frequent. Learned this at the Airport when heading home.

If I had to rate this service from 1 to 5? With 1 being the worst? In my honest opinion, I would rate it a great fat ZERO!

Do not make the mistake we did. Five hours of your precious life you will NOT get back!


Rant Over, Moving Along! Malta Is A Beautiful Place To Visit

This was the one and only negative part about being in Malta. This tour bus experience is not meant to ruin your perception about Malta or the Maltese people.

Malta is a beautiful place and a fantastic place for history and architecture. The ports are lovely with boats to be seen everywhere. I will be writing my post on the rest of the trip soon – to give you the other side of this wonderful place!

Want to save this and read or share later? Pin this post.

Have you had a bad experience with a tour bus? Share your stories with me in the comments section below.

I would love to hear them!



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EG III October 28, 2017 - 10:53

Shame to hear the false advertisement and conditioning of the buses and even the entire bus trip itself. On the bright side, at least the entire trip to Malt wasn’t bad and you got to explore a beautiful country!

Jeena October 27, 2017 - 11:57

I could imagine how stressful your bus trip was with your baby, I have an 8 month old and traveling with her is hard – but then to add all the factors you wrote regarding the heat and waiting for the bus it is just ridiculous. I’m happy that you were able to visit Saint Julian and at least have a memorable day. I think when your baby gets older this will be a story to tell and laugh about!

DrKLeeBanks October 27, 2017 - 02:47

Wow, what an awful experience! Sounds like it was definitely one of those “bait and switch” deceptions. What a difference between the morning and afternoon buses! I’m glad you and your family made it safely back. And that you actually did get to see some beautiful architecture.

eliza October 25, 2017 - 01:28

Oh good thing I did not have any terrible tour bus experience yet, but I can’t imagine how inconvenient and unpleasant the situation is. Especially for a family trip and you have a baby. This i sad, hopefully someone from that company have read this and do something about their service.

Ana De-Jesus October 25, 2017 - 00:20

Oh goodness πŸ™ I have been on a tour before but never on a tour bus before. I am sorry to hear that it ended up being a disaster! I do hope that you had a good time on holiday after the transportation horror though? x

Tiina Arminen (@tibstips) October 24, 2017 - 17:48

Oh no what an unpleasant experience! I’ve been to Malta a couple of times but never took a tour bus – a local bus yes and rent a car. Anyway it’s quite an unique island with that mixed culture.

Sreekar Harinatha October 24, 2017 - 14:27

Oh. Another proof that even a place like Malta can be remembered for the wrong reasona if the tour guys decide to mess it up. Thanks for the honest post. Will keep that in mind!

arra odeza (@acodeza) October 24, 2017 - 14:10

Aw! that sounds a horrible experience! I don’t know what will I do if ever I am in your position. Thank Goodness you still enjoyed your vacation. The tour bus is supposed to be comfy and your ride should be safe.

Mike October 24, 2017 - 01:50

Wow what a crazy story, my own bad bus story is why I tend to avoid public transportation in most places. I have yet to go to Malta but I will keep this in mind when I do.

Zulema October 16, 2017 - 18:19

oh wow, so sorry to hear about your bad experience but I’m grateful that in the end you had fun

Familyearthtrek September 12, 2017 - 21:43

Haha this made me laught because I have been there and done that so so so many times before but not in Malta. It might not have been fun at the time especially having a baby with thats must have been nerve wracking but afterward you felt happy to be alive getting off that bus! Like a reborn!

bruceschinkel19 March 4, 2017 - 20:19

So sorry you had to go through this, but thank you so much for sharing your experience so we can all learn from it!

Mike Clegg - March 4, 2017 - 04:29

Woww what a horrible experience. What could have been a nice day was ruined by something that should have been the easy part! Thanks for sharing this. I will be sure to avoid this company when I visit Malta!

PackYourBaguios March 2, 2017 - 21:01

Oh my! Being a teacher, I’ve been on some very hot school buses, but there’s no way I’d want to pay to ride on an overcrowded old bus, especially on vacation, and with a baby. But, you made a memory!

Bhushavali March 1, 2017 - 11:59

Oh My God! This is so sad and so depressing!!! The afternoon bus looks like its out of a vintage shop!!! Hope you enjoyed Malta otherwise! Its there on my wishlist. So thanks for this heads up!

wheninmyjourneys March 1, 2017 - 07:41

Too bad that you have to experience all that on your tour. Worst, with your baby. Taking the public transpo would have really worked out well for you.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life March 1, 2017 - 14:02

Yes, we definitely learned that lesson and come to think of it, we should have just gotten a taxi back but we thought we would see more using the tour us as we had in other cities. But it was an adventure πŸ™‚

souravagg1207 February 27, 2017 - 12:11

The bus really had a bad day. But good to see your enjoyment

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life February 28, 2017 - 08:33

hahahahahaha! the BUS had a bad day! that is hilarious! LOOOOOOOL

Claire February 27, 2017 - 09:26

What a nightmare! Glad you were able to get some enjoyment from the trip and it didn’t ruin your perception of Malta. At least you got one hell of a story from the trip πŸ˜‰

ellisveen February 27, 2017 - 03:46

Wow. I am never a big fan of tours, but this sounds absolutely horrible. Thanks for your honest review on this company. It’s sad when companies don’t invest in costumer service.

beforemymamdies February 26, 2017 - 15:58

Ughh that sounds like a complete disaster. Especially all the waiting around and the fact that ye were trying to look after your baby! I think I would’ve been pretty pissed off. Thank you though for being so honest about the experience. These things need to be highlighted!

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life February 27, 2017 - 03:56

Yes, I loved Malta, but I felt like telling this story would help other avoid this mistake when they travel there.

lhelmbre February 26, 2017 - 13:33

Good information. I would have died! It sounds like maybe it will be something to laugh about later or at least a good adventure story to tell friends. I hope the trip was good other than the transportation act

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life February 27, 2017 - 03:57

Yes it was, we had a great time and I need to write a post about all the great and positive things about Malta. I had to separate the bus tour part in order not to “taint” the upcoming post. LOL

Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. October 8, 2016 - 06:38

Yuck! That sounds horrible.
We haven’t taken a tour bus in years. Lately, we’ve been just trying other ways to get around new places we visit. Honestly, if you travel with the local public transportation, you get more of a feel of what it’s like to live there anyway!

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy October 8, 2016 - 04:45

Oh no! Sorry that the bus was such a bad experience. Malta sounds amazing though, and it’s high on our list of places to go.

Pria Amor Bote October 8, 2016 - 01:16

Omy! I hope your baby is fine after that disaster happened. I hate false advertisement. But still, you had a great vacation in spite of what happened.

Christina October 8, 2016 - 00:13

If I can avoid it I prefer not to catch buses while travelling. I’d rather catch local transport (like tuk tuks in Asia) or just walk.

Welile S Vilane October 7, 2016 - 23:05

beautiful article, enjoyed reading your story, I also love the photography!


Janine Good October 7, 2016 - 15:21

That’s horrible. No trip on a bus etc. should be that terrible when people on vacation. Glad to read that you were able to muster some enjoyment through you photographs after this ordeal.

Valerie Ratliff October 7, 2016 - 14:42

You two are so cute. It stinks about the bus. I’d love to learn more about Malta.

Amy Shellman October 7, 2016 - 14:32

OMG girl!! That seriously sounds like a horrible day. lol. I am glad to hear your trip improved later on.

RāyÀ October 7, 2016 - 14:29

Oh my…this should be classified as non-holiday! Wow I can’t believe this all happened to you. I guess this prove that old saying “when it rains it pours” and this time it was a hurricane! I hope at least you’re relaxing at home now!

MyYellowApron October 7, 2016 - 13:10

Loved that first rustic, weathered down bus pic. Loved the few shots of Malta. Must be an amazing place, no? Sorry about your bad experience. Lesson learned I guess.

Julie From Superficial Gallery October 7, 2016 - 12:46

That sounded awful! How rude people can be, and when you have a baby?! Insane! Sorry it worked out so poorly, now I know to read all the reviews before my upcoming trip to the turks and Caicos islands before I go!

Nellwyn October 7, 2016 - 12:24

I’ve always been curious to visit Malta but those buses sound horrific! Curious to read your next post about the other parts of the trip

Amber October 7, 2016 - 08:18

Eek, what an experience! People are so rude these days. I hate when people begin pushing and cutting and basically acting like animals. I’ll be sure to stick to the normal city busses like you suggested!

livelaughhlovee5 September 26, 2016 - 16:33

Wow, what a mess that tour bus was in that first picture kinda rusty lol. Nice tour places though. Looks fun and adventurous.

Izabela September 26, 2016 - 16:11

I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience with a tour bus company. I can only imagine how frustrating it must have been for you, especially since you travelled with a baby. I hope the rest of your trip was amazing.

Leigh Anne August 18, 2016 - 20:54

You are defintely more patient than I would have been. Oh my! What an experience!

Damask Suitcase August 18, 2016 - 12:51

Wow sounds awful! Glad you enjoyed the country overall though, it’s on my list!

Fan R @ TeddyOutReady August 16, 2016 - 16:02

I am so glad you shared your experience, good to know what happens with bus tours. Luckily no one had an emergency on your route, as hot and stuffy buses are not for people with heart problems.

crystal August 15, 2016 - 20:00

wow, that is such terrible luck! I feel bad for saying it though but reading this did have funny moments.

Tamz August 15, 2016 - 14:23

That was so unfortunate with the bus experience. These hop on off tour buses usually are supposed to have a good service. Good that was the only bad experience of Malta for you

Sarah Bailey August 15, 2016 - 13:40

I am so sorry that you had this sort of experience. I am hoping that you never have an experience like this again.

Aurora August 15, 2016 - 12:17

That’s such an awesome picture! By the way, is that your husband in the other picture?

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 15, 2016 - 13:31

Yes Aurora, that’s my husband – think he’s cute? LOL πŸ™‚

Jessica Jones August 15, 2016 - 11:39

this is funny and terrible all at the same time! Love Malta, I’ve been there once but once was enough haha! I couldn’t imagine being stuck waiting for tour buses…

arin August 15, 2016 - 09:18

OH NO! I would have been freaking out! Luckily, things can only go up from here, hang in there & have a blast! Looks so beautiful!

Emily August 15, 2016 - 09:00

That sounds awful! especially with a baby! I hope other than the bad bus experience you had a good time.

Carol Cassara (@ccassara) August 15, 2016 - 08:56

That is so unfortunate–nothing like a snafu with your ride to cast a pall on your trip. Looks like you made the best of it, though. And I’ave always wanted to go there!

sparkofsouthernmoms August 15, 2016 - 08:18

I love your photos in this post! I am sorry about your hellish bus tour though. I hope you had a good rest of your trip though!!

star lengas August 15, 2016 - 08:11

Oh wow, that’s so shocking European hop on/off buses are usually so much more efficient. That really sucks that happened (especially with a baby!), I would have definitely demanded my money back! But I’m glad you didn’t let it ruin the rest of your trip, the pictures you posted are beautiful.

acadianasthriftymom August 15, 2016 - 07:42

This is such a beautiful place. It stinks that they did such a sneaky thing and put you on a terrible tour bus πŸ™

Alina Popescu August 15, 2016 - 03:41

Oh, wow, this sounds like pure hell! And dangerous, especially with a bus packed with people standing up. I am sorry you had to go through it, but maybe you’ll go back to Malta and actually enjoy the sightseeing, now that you know what not to do.

Anamika Ojha August 14, 2016 - 21:39

Sorry to hear about your bad bus experience but sometimes these things are not in our hands. My friend went to Malta last year and had an amazing time out there. She used hop-on and hop-off buses. Thanks for sharing your experience. Hope you enjoy rest of your trip!

Stella the Travelerette August 14, 2016 - 21:20

That’s so awful! I can’t believe that they changed the buses and made people jump off the bus! I’ve had some pretty bad experiences with low-cost buses for transportation in the US, but never with a sightseeing bus! Usually the bad ones can’t stay in business. At least you had a great experience in Malta otherwise.

CourtneyLynne August 14, 2016 - 18:09

Ughhh so sorry your tour didn’t go as planned. Hate when that happens. Thankfully it hasn’t happened that often for me

Jennifer Sikora August 14, 2016 - 17:20

I definitely would have probably found another way back after about an hour of that! LOL — You are much more patient that I am. Your pictures of Malta are beautiful though πŸ™‚

Ana De Jesus August 14, 2016 - 12:19

Oh no sorry to hear about the bus experience but I do hope the rest of the stay goes well. Good luck.

The Mad Mommy August 14, 2016 - 10:54

Oh man, I would have been a hot mess. I tend to get angry when I get hot, hungry and things don’t go my way. It probably wouldn’t have been pretty for anyone.

Ami August 14, 2016 - 09:25

How pathetic… Must have taken off half the fun of exploring. Thanks for the rant. Am sure a lot of us are going to benefit from it…

Vyjay Rao August 13, 2016 - 22:46

It looks like you had a mixed experience, the good and the bad. But as long as you have the good memories dominating that is fine.

Chelsea from Live Wanderfully August 13, 2016 - 21:53

Oh no, that’s awful! I personally haven’t had any bad experiences with hop on hop off buses before. But at least the rest of Malta was good πŸ™‚

Tom August 13, 2016 - 21:27

And so the name of the bus ride we are supposed to avoid is…Malta Sightseeing, as I see in the first photo? Or something else? I was there six years ago and just rode regular intercity buses, and yes, no problems, as you suggest at the end.

Inka August 13, 2016 - 18:08

Gosh what a Horror, with a Baby, but just image how strong you have come because of this. If you can manage that what else can you do, be strong. And besides the southern countries have a little different time schedule as we are used more up north, and that is what makes travelling worth in the end.

wanderingwagarschristina August 13, 2016 - 17:15

Oh my Sheri, what a nightmare! Honestly, I think I would have cried. Good for you for looking at the bright side. Definitely glad you were able to get off the bus. We have done hop on hop off in several places so I can see why you thought it would be a good idea. Good to know to avoid this when in Malta.

Rashmi and Chalukya August 13, 2016 - 15:44

We had been to Malta only recently and were to decide between renting a car and riding a hop on hop off as we did for other European cities. And we chose to rent a car which made our trip a bigger success and thank god we did not opt for the tour bus. Really you had a disastrous experience we couldn’t even imagine and that too with a baby. Thank god for your safety!

teotwbrand August 13, 2016 - 13:59

Omg…and with the baby… I would have lost my mind… my husband would have found a way back to the hotel… that experience is insane but beautiful pictures

Azlin Bloor August 13, 2016 - 13:26

Oh boy, what a nightmare indeed! I’m glad you still managed to have a lovely time at Malta. I don’t remember ever using a tour bus, so no experience there.

Jenny August 13, 2016 - 12:56

What an ordeal to have to go through!! Glad you guys made it back to the hotel okay I am surprised the hotel didn’t warn you.

milenabarrett August 13, 2016 - 09:54

OMG- that was awful! You’ll always have that story to tell and someday even get a good laugh about it.

Mary B August 13, 2016 - 09:12

Oh My! This was quite the adventure! At least you got to see the beautiful buildings and landscape.


Subhadrika Sen August 13, 2016 - 08:25

Im so sorry. I mean i can completely understand how you must have felt. I had a similar problem with flights once back in India.

Judson L Moore August 13, 2016 - 06:00

Oh what an adventure you had! In the moment it is always better for plans to go smoothly, but hey, it is experiences like this that make for great stories later on! Thank you for sharing this story! πŸ™‚

Momina Arif August 13, 2016 - 04:59

Tour bus sounds like a nightmare. Malta looks amazing though

Shounak August 13, 2016 - 02:28

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed reading every bit of your post. I know you are venting but its hilarious the way you wrote it. Its was a horror story indeed and I can perfectly understand what it would have been like travelling with a 6 month old

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 13, 2016 - 04:17

Thank you Shounak! Now it is funny, yes. In hindsight it is better that our little one was still only 6 months old. Imagine a toddler who does not want to sit down and is hot and restless! Now then, I would have had to give the bus driver a piece of my mind. πŸ™‚

Elizabeth O. August 13, 2016 - 02:05

How disastrous! I hate tours that just rip you off your money and doesn’t deliver. It’s really disappointing plus it gives the country that you’re in a bad light when it comes to their tourism.

angie August 13, 2016 - 00:29

thank you for sharing your review as you experienced it truth is always best

chantae August 12, 2016 - 23:17

OMG this is actually my nightmare – where was the hop on hop off part!?! Sounds like you hopped on and were trapped forever :O imaging jumping out of the moving bus with your baby and buggy, haha. That is just crazy! This is why I love travel blogs – to warn us of things like this πŸ˜›

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 23:42

I tell you Chantae it was a crazy ride! It started off good in the morning and gradually got worse. Unbelievable. Just glad we were able to get off when we did and that I never have to take the tour bus in Malta ever again. Aside from that, Malta is lovely!

Rachel Catherine August 12, 2016 - 22:37

I kind of want your life. All this traveling is insane and every where you visit is gorgeous.

Dawn McAlexander August 12, 2016 - 21:24

Oh, no! That is horrible! And on a trip like that you would want to make the most of your time to see as much as you can. I feel sorry for you.

Dawn McAlexander August 12, 2016 - 21:22

Oh, geesh! That’s horrible! And on an adventure like this you would like to make the most of your time to see as much as you can. Yet, here you were, stuck on this bus. That is really bad. I feel sorry for you.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:34

Yes Dawn, we wanted ot make the trip end in a lovely and fun time with visiting places and taking lots of pictures. But what can you do? We still love Malta and were able to make some fun memories there, and will send the bad memories to the back of our heads. Malta is a lovely place which I still would encourage people to visit. Will be posting about the trip with pictures soon. Have a great weekend.

leahcherring August 12, 2016 - 21:07

Oh my goodness, what a horrible experience. Definitely not what you want to happen when you’re exploring a new place!

Amy Jones August 12, 2016 - 19:41

Loved all the pictures. The island of Malta sounds like such a romantic and dreamy place! looking forward to go there in the near future

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:35

It is a lovely place Amy! Just don’t ride the Hop On Hop Off bus.

lesleycarter August 12, 2016 - 19:23

The bus does sound super frustrating but I like how you found the positive side and still made the most of the day.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:35

Hi Lesley! Yes we can laugh about it now. We still had a lovely trip πŸ™‚

Veronica August 12, 2016 - 16:56

Sheri, I am si shocked! This might have been a real nightmare for you. You know, when I started reading that you had to wait for 30 minutes, I thought … well, this is common for Southern countries.
But! 50 minutes! 1 hour 45 minutes?!!!! They changed the bus? This is a nightmare and it is absolutely unacceptable. You are brave parents, what can I say!
Did you consider sending this information to the Maltese Tourism Board or Ministry of Tourism? They should react somehow. And if they don’t, it is worth writing a separate post about them as well.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 19:51

You know what Veronica, I just might do that! I should let them know that I am one of many people who have gone through this and for them to maintain their reputation, they need to make changes. ASAP. I can then update this post with their response either positive or negative. πŸ™‚

Carol Cassara (@ccassara) August 12, 2016 - 15:48

Oh dear, that does sound unfortunate. I hope the rest of your trip goes a lot better!

Melanie Smith August 12, 2016 - 15:22

I’m sorry you had that bad experience! Malta is a wonderful place.

Dash the Map August 12, 2016 - 14:58

First of all, I love your first photo of the abandoned and broken down bus! I think it’s rude when people are making themselves comfy and not everyone has a seat. Reminds me of seating for Southwest Airline flights.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:37

Hey! They oly could try to make themselves comfy hahahahaha. This bus was no place to relax. They wasted too much time. Is Southwest that bad? LOL.

Kimberly August 12, 2016 - 14:37

Oh no! We have been on a trip that didn’t go as planned too. It’s rough.

laura londergan August 12, 2016 - 12:52

uggggh I am so sorry you had this happen to you. When things like this happen that are out of my control I just have to remember WHO is in charge and know that it will all work out the way it’s supposed to. πŸ˜‰

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:38

You are right Laura. Why worry about the things you cannot control. In the moment it was a disaster and horrible, but now we laugh about the crazy bus ride! πŸ™‚ Happy Weekend!

Kiwi August 12, 2016 - 12:29

That is horrible!! I am so sorry you went through that but yeah you sometimes have to write reviews like this to warn others. Companies need to learn the power of a bad review and social media…fix their issues. Glad you did get to do the tour I wish it was better for you!

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:38

There are so many terrible reviews about this that I am shocked that nothing has been done to improve this service. I only wish I had read the reviews prior to experiencing it myself.

momknowsbest15 August 12, 2016 - 11:54

That is just wrong to provide this bad service to people. Hope your trip gets better.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:39

Hi momknowsbest, the trip ended very well πŸ™‚

Wendy Black Polisi August 12, 2016 - 11:21

Such beautiful photos. So sorry you experienced that. It definitely sounds like a nightmare.

Amanda Love August 12, 2016 - 10:54

There will really be experiences like this. I’m sorry you had to go through it the entire day! The trip would have been perfect if the tour company delivered well. I’m glad you still had a great time though, at least after this disaster.

Martin August 12, 2016 - 10:02

I’m sorry that you had such a terrible journey. I hate buses at the best of times. If they cleaned that bus up, it could be awesome. What a classic.

Liz Mays August 12, 2016 - 09:37

That was sneaky that they changed buses on you like that. I’m glad you were able to see wonderful things beforehand! But what a disappointment.

Jill Conyers (@jillconyers) August 12, 2016 - 09:31

I love that you included look for the blessings in all situations. I just wish it wasn’t sometimes so hard to find them.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:40

I agree with you 100% Jill. Have a great weekend!

Blair Villanueva August 12, 2016 - 07:58

oh that was very saddening experience, and very honest review. But it was a good news that you went home safe.

Joanna August 12, 2016 - 07:29

Oh, thank you for this post! I am actually going to Malta very soon and it’s good to know what to avoid. Every time I travel I pretty much rely on public transport and so far I haven’t been disappointed. I plan on visit a lot of places in Malta, so transport will have to be essential. πŸ™‚

markandkate August 12, 2016 - 00:00

Oh my! What a horrendous journey for you to be on with a baby at that! I’ve been on quite a few bus tour rides, but nothing compared to the condition of the one you took. I imagine complaining would’ve been a waste of time, too?

Debra August 11, 2016 - 23:27

Holy hannah! That sounds like all sorts of awful! That sounds like my husband’s version of the worst vacation ever.

tiarasandtantrums August 11, 2016 - 15:55

Traveling in other countries is always an experience. Loads of patience is always needed. Just take the positive and good experiences for your memeories

tp keane August 11, 2016 - 15:53

wow, what a disastrous journey you had. I’m so glad you got through it, but yeah def check reviews first

The Solivagant Soul (@Thesolivsoul) August 11, 2016 - 14:59

Since I travel alone I understand that my experience is quite different than yours every time I go somewhere new. I have never taken a hop on off bus, but after seeing how much things a baby needs, I can understand why you took it. The one thing you can think about is that in 10 years, you will explain to your son about that disastrous tour you took and how it all end up well!

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:41

You are so right! And we will all laugh about it and I can tell him how he slept through this disaster. We also have pictures. It will be a great story to re-tell. πŸ™‚

Robin Rue (@massholemommy) August 11, 2016 - 14:15

Wow, what a shame, but at least you guys made it to your destination safely. At least you have quite a story to tell.

Evanne August 11, 2016 - 12:30

Oh my gosh! This sounds miserable. Glad you at least got back safely, though. Ugh!

Sona Sethi August 10, 2016 - 11:17

Oh God! That would have ruined your trip. Totally understand it. I took the hop on and hop off bus once in Paris and never again I dared to do it. I didn’t feel any warmth and felt as if the drivers were forced to do it.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:43

Hi Sona, this is the first country in Europe where we have been disappointed with the Hop On Hop Off. We did it in Barcelona, Amsterdam, Copehagen, and other places and it worked out so well. We would have never thought that Malta would have been the disaster. πŸ™‚

polly674 August 10, 2016 - 10:17

I started mumbling as soon as I started reading your post. Even before the 2nd paragraph I understood it was a “dΓ©jΓ  vu” since we had almost the same experience when visiting Malta in march. So painful! Next time I will rent a car!

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:44

OMG Polly! The same happened to you? This is really horrible! Their Tourism Board needs to make changes.

Indrani August 10, 2016 - 06:33

Oh! That was a bad experience. The buses can be so old!!! The experience could have been wonderful but for the HOHO buses. The church facade looks simple and majestic!

Alberto C. August 9, 2016 - 16:22

I went to Malta a few years ago and I loved it there! Great weather, beaches and so much to visit for such a small country. I remember I found a great deal and paid €5 for return flights, crazy stuff! πŸ™‚

We travelled all over the island using public transport and the connections were really good, except for Gozo where there were almost no buses and had to use a hop-on hop-off bus, but we definitely had a better experience than your tour bus! πŸ˜›

A Busy Bees Life August 14, 2016 - 06:41

Where did you get a return flight for 5 Euros?

pierettadawn August 9, 2016 - 15:14

Thanks for sharing this experience! Really enjoyed reading an honest experience from a travel blogger, who sees the positive in such situations πŸ™‚ P.S. – you have a GORGEOUS blog!

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life August 12, 2016 - 21:46

Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback and positive words Pier. Have a lovely day and weekend xoxox S.

Samantha C. August 9, 2016 - 12:48

Too bad you had a negative experience with the bus. Malta must’ve been beautiful, and it’s unfortunate you have to endure technical glitches. Hope your tour fixes it because it’s not always that you’re there! Anyway I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay.

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