Monograms vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Recent Reviews

Bad service, during and post-vacation! And lack of respect for travellers

1.0 October 2017
S
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I have a complaint against Monograms. My husband and I arrived in Paris on October 1, excited to celebrate our honeymoon, and arrived on the morning of my 30th birthday.

We ended up staying at CDG airport for TWO HOURS waiting for our scheduled monograms transfer. Our next step was to contact Monograms, but their offices were closed on Sunday. We decided to call our hotel and we used our phones to internationally call our hotel at 7 AM (which was our arrival time), and they mentioned that Monograms host was not there and to call back in a couple hours. The "local host" was not even at the hotel at 9 AM after our call! What a waste of our time, even just trying to get a hold of Monogram during our arrival. As an aside, even our local host did not even apologize for any lack of service or for their mistake of not picking us up at the airport, when clearly we paid for that service. She made it seem like it was our fault for this!

My husband PAID Monograms for the airport-to-hotel transfer prior to arriving in Paris, and in addition, we also PAID for our taxi to the hotel. Which meant we paid $70 to Monograms and $55 toward our taxi. We were only reimbursed for a taxi payment of $55. We paid $70 for a service never given to us (arrival transfer cost of $70 for the two of us), and after emailing customer service, we are now offered only $15 as a reimbursement for this $70 that we never used (on top of waiting 2 hours AND using our phone to internationally get a hold of our hotel host who was not available on time!)

Although the city of Paris was beautiful, this service from Monograms is unacceptable, and I will not refer Monograms to anyone and will let people know about the horrible service even post-vacation.
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Fun in Japan

5.0 November 2018
JCO
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We really enjoyed our Discover Corps tour and can't wait to return to Japan. My wife and I took the Discover Corps cultural trip to Japan (Started in Tokyo-then a bullet train to Kyoto & more local trains to Osaka). The transportation system works well and no cars were ever needed. We were completely taken care of from booking and then thru the process. Adrienne did a great job of informing us of all the details-no planning required. Our guides in Japan, Aki and Miwa, were very knowledgeable local people & made sure we were having a unforgettable time! The cultural experience in Japan was terrific. Great mix of excitement; watching Sumo and participating in Kendo. The food was wonderful plus we were able to participate in sushi making!
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Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews

Excellent

5.0 July 2018
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We lived in the African bush for 10 days. Accommodations were wonderful - tents with nice furniture and attached bathrooms. Plenty of hot water! Food was delicious and quite sophisticated. But the best were the wildlife experiences led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. All the staff were kind and professional.
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Really superb trip--highly recommended!

5.0 July 2017
TT
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This trip was really superb, starting with the folks like Alex in the San Diego office to our tour guide in Havana, Orelvis (a perfect gentleman if there ever was one--and he seemed to know absolutely EVERYTHING about Havana), and our driver, Boris (who was an extremely safe driver, and the SUV that was our transportation was a practically new Honda), and our friendly hostess at the casa particular (B&B).

But at breakfast at the casa particular, keep in mind the CDC guidelines for healthy travel: cook it, boil it, peel it (yourself) or FORGET IT. So the bowl of fruit and the fruit juices? Pass them up in favor of coffee and toast. I know that sounds boring, but after I got home, I ended up in the hospital emergency room for dehydration due to e-coli--my fault for not following the CDC guidelines.

Also, to get up to my room at the casa particular, I had to climb a narrow, curved marble staircase--I took extra care not to fall either on the way up or on the way down.

The activities and attractions were first rate (but you must keep in mind that you're on "Cuban time," and not everything runs like a Swiss train). From the Hemingway house to the canon ceremony (which I loved even though it was a substitution for another event that was unexpectedly closed) to the jazz club (again, we went to one jazz club that for some reason didn't work out, but no problem--Orelvis took us to another jazz club recommended by his supervisor in Havana) to the art museum to the Malecon to the outdoor terrace at the Hotel Nacional and more, it was amazing how much we saw of Havana in about 72 hours.

There were only four people on the trip, and that was both a good thing and a bad thing--good because each of us received a great deal of attention from Orelvis and bad because two of the four didn't want to follow the itinerary and often went off on their own and then kept the rest of us waiting for them to return (highly frustrating--finally Boris said, "the schedule is the schedule," and we stopped catering to them). One of them spoke fluent Spanish--good for her--but I did wish that Orelvis had curtailed the lengthy conversations that she initiated with him, which the rest of us could not understand.

Two of my favorite activities were ones that I arranged myself: attending the world-class ballet at the gorgeously restored el Gran Teatro and then taking a yellow 1950 Chevrolet convertible with an Italian driver, who was an absolute hoot, back to the casa particular.

And the food at the private restaurants known as paladars was first rate. We even had lunch at one that Anthony Bourdain recently featured on his CNN travel show "Parts Unknown."

Just a small word of caution: sometimes there wasn't enough bottled water in the SUV in which we were riding, especially when we were dropped off at the casa particular at night. Make sure that you have plenty of bottled water with you at all times. (The CDC even recommends that you brush your teeth with bottled water.)

I also wish I had brought another pair of shoes with me because with all of the walking in the heat of the Cuban sun, my feet swelled. Fortunately, I had brought some Band-Aids with me, which helped cushion the sore spots.

I highly recommend this trip--to my way of thinking, it's much better than taking a cruise ship that only docks in Havana for one or two nights--and the "Havana Weekend Getaway" is the most popular trip to Cuba that is offered by Discover Corps, as I learned from Orelvis.
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Tours 727 Trips 28 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 213 $ 399
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Volunteering
Headquarters Littleton, Colorado, United States San Diego, California
Year Established N/A 2004
Solo Friendly N/A No single supplement
Tour Languages N/A English
Top Trips
Similar Companies
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About Monograms

Monograms, one of the Globus family of brands, offers classic vacation packages to many of the world’s most popular destinations. The company has many years of experience creating packaged tours and is based in Colorado, USA.

What Makes Monograms Stand Out?

London classic sights on Monograms tours

It can be difficult to find a company that successfully marries two seemingly disparate ways of travel: independant or self guided and classic group travel. But at Monograms this is exactly the task they have set for themselves, and their positive reviews and large variety of products would seem to say they do a solid job.

With Monograms there is no need to choose between self guided or group travel. You can personalize your experience as well - an important element for many of today’s travelers. Themes include Family travel, Food & Wine, Cruises, and Active.

Monograms prides themselves on the all-inclusive nature of travel planning, pre-organizing everything from your airport transfer to your activities and meals. They also provide a Local Hosts program, which is basically like an in-destination concierge.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Monograms?

Monograms is ideal for travelers who don’t love group travel but also highly dislike the stress of arriving in a destination and having to plan everything themselves. It’s for the traveler who wants the freedom of a private couple or family getaway and the comfort of a local guide who can assist with everything from restaurant recommendations to skipping the line at major attractions.

Traveler enjoying view of the Vatican in Italy

Monograms is Globus’ mid-tier brand in terms of pricing and thus travelers span across many different age groups. Many couples choose Monograms for a romantic trip to places like Italy and France, although they also offer specialized packages for families.

Monograms travel video

Most Monograms packages are a mix of group sightseeing tours and independent exploration. This can result in some very large touring groups when visiting popular tourist attractions like the Louvre in Paris, for example. However, most of their trips still afford some level of flexibility to explore a destination on your own terms.

Top Destinations

You can travel with Monograms to many different locations in Europe, Australia, Asia, South/Central America, and Africa. Perhaps their most well-known destination is Italy, and they also offer some unique trips to Australia, specifically to areas other similar tour companies don’t operate.

Local Paris street with guide on Monograms tour

Monograms Travel Style

At Monograms, their travel style is about providing you with a no hassle private vacation, catered to your interests. Everything from honeymoon vacations to family vacations are available through Monograms.

When you use Monograms, you can elect to have the help of a travel agent, or book a pre-planned package.

Why Choose a Monograms Tour?

Brightly colored buildings in Venice, Monograms travel

For a well rounded trip, designed for you, and with an attentive local host there to make your journey as seamless and stress free as possible, Monograms is the perfect company.

These tips are mostly private, so ideal for families, couples, and honeymooners - though during some days on the itinerary you will join up with a larger group for guided day tours

Monograms is all about providing personal touches, and arranging a trip for you that matches your travel style. Providing some personal input and likes / dislikes / must sees is going to take your Monograms tour from “ordinary” to extraordinary, so these trips are best suited to travelers who like to be involved with planning the itinerary.

About Discover Corps

San Diego based tour company Discover Corps is a leader in the rapidly growing field of volunteer vacations. Operating since 2004, Discovery Corps trips average one to two weeks and focus on volunteering either with children and schools or with animals and wildlife conservation.

What Makes Discover Corps Stand Out?

They are focused on providing travel experiences with a wider humanitarian purpose - and help you put your tourism dollars to good use on the ground. The world of “voluntourism” is a sticky area, and has been met with some criticism over the years, so traveling with a reputable and transparent company has become super important.

With Discover Corps, volunteering, responsible tourism, and giving back to local communities is their entire brand - not just a buzzword on the “about us” page. So for those travelers who truly want to make their vacation about volunteering first and tourism second, Discover Corps is a great choice.

Discover Corps trips are all inclusive, and while volunteering is the primary focus, sightseeing and cultural activities are also included. Their trips are very popular among families, friend groups, and solo travelers.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Discover Corps?

These tours are best suited to travelers who want to have a humanitarian focus on their next trip. And if this idea is new to you, but you are interested in getting involved, Discover Corp is a great way to start.

The average age on a Discover Corps trip is 45-65 except in summer, when families with children as young as 10 are welcome on “family friendly” trips.

Wildlife lovers as well will love the opportunities available on Discover Corps Nature & Wildlife conservation tours. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some amazing species, learn about their habitats, and get to participate in various initiatives designed to protect these habitats.

Top Destinations

Discover Corp travels around the world, in rural villages, beach locations, and rainforests. Popular destinations are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Discover Corps Travel Style

Their all-inclusive trips combine light volunteer projects with sightseeing and cultural immersion. They also offer support while you’re on site – from building classrooms to improving water systems to creating eco-friendly homes. The ideas come from the local communities themselves, and local staff plan everything in advance.

Why Choose a Tour With Discover Corps?

If you’re the kind of person who likes being actionable and getting involved with protecting threatened cultures, wildlife, and contributing to growing communities in need of schools and homes, then Discover Corps would be a great choice.

Volunteer vacations are one of the best ways to get to know the local people on a different level than many tour companies provide. Rather than simply enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, you’re out in the neighborhoods meeting everyday people.

“Traveling with a purpose” might seem like a thrown around phrase these days, but it is the entire philosophy around every Discovery Corps trips. So when you join one of their tours, you’ll be surrounded by guides and other travelers for whom this isn’t a buzzword - it’s an important and meaningful mission.

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