Caravan Tours’ ‘icing on the cake’

By Victor Block
This item appears on page 28 of the March 2019 issue.

Dismay and disappointment were what my wife, Fyllis, and I experienced when the call came that our Jan. 20-27, 2019, tour to Panama had been canceled. "Panama Canal Cruise, Rainforests & Beaches" was to be our first tour with Caravan Tours (Chicago, IL; 800/227-2826,

What we were told next, however, turned what could have been a doomsday dispatch into a delight.

First, we learned that another departure of the same tour would be leaving a day earlier and that, if our schedule allowed us to take it, there was room.

We explained that we had purchased nonrefundable tickets for the Copa Airlines round-trip flight.

"No problem," came the surprising and welcome reply. Caravan would take care of our new flight arrangements with Copa, even if the new tickets cost more than what we had first paid, so, though we would lose the money we'd paid for our original tickets, it would be a wash for us.

Then came the proverbial icing on the cake. The schedule change required us to stay an extra night in Panama, but Caravan's customer service manager would take care of it for us.

The cherry on top of the icing followed: we'd be receiving a "courtesy discount" for the inconvenience we'd been put through.

Not only did Caravan come through for us, the people with whom we dealt were very pleasant, accommodating and apologetic.

With all of those perks, Fyllis and I wouldn't mind being inconvenienced in a similar way in the future.


Washington, DC