So, I paid 5,000 US Dollars for the romance tour to Nikolaev and 1,600 US Dollars for roundtrip airline tickets Chicago – Warsaw – Odessa by LOT Airlines.
I nearly made it for the connecting flight from Warsaw to Odessa as my first flight from Chicago to Warsaw was 2 hours delayed. Even though group transfer was guaranteed and prepaid from the beginning, I was notified several days before flying to Odessa that main group of men will be arriving from Boryspil Airport on the next day, so I was offered for extra 150 US Dollars an individual transfer from Odessa Airport to Nikolaev (as I found out later – usual price of such individual transfer in 2016 was 69 US Dollars, so I was charged almost triple price since group transfer was prepaid in the package and nothing was reimbursed for that after all).
Upon arrival to Odessa Airport I could not see anyone meeting me as was scheduled, but I had a WhatsApp contact of the agency and after figuring out how to connect to a WiFi in the airport texted them. I had to wait for about 20 minutes and finally driver picked me up from a meeting point in Odessa Airport. He drove me by an old Opel Vectra to Continent hotel in Nikolaev, which was a former Soviet style hotel. I was provided with the cheapest economy room with no hot water in the shower. When I complained about room to reception, they could offer an upgrade to a better room with one exception – I had to pay full price for that upgraded room. Since it was my first visit to Ukraine where nobody speaks any English… I had to pay additional 750 US Dollars for 11 nights in so called comfort suite, which can be compared to a regular motel room on most highways in the US.
On the next day main group of men arrived to the same hotel in Nikolaev. Finally dating romance quest has started! On that first day we were invited to a nearby Ukrainian restaurant just 10 minutes walk from our hotel around the corner. There we had to pay additional 30 US Dollars each for drinks since drinks somehow were not included in the package. I met same men as myself who came to seek Ukrainian wives. We were a group of 21 men with age range from 37 years old up to 78 years old. Yes! Correct! The oldest man was 78 years old!
Next day was like a coaching session by representative of dating agency and at the end of that seminar each of us was assigned with personal translator for these days of my tour. Translators then took us to show the main street of Nikolaev and gave detailed guidance where to eat, shop, entertain ourselves, etc… Nothing extra was to be paid at that day except my lunch in a local restaurant where I invited translator after a small tour around that central Soviet street of Nikolaev.
During next 2 days we were meeting ladies. During the first day there was a group of 30 ladies and a group of 26 ladies during the second day. Idea was to talk with each girl for about 10 minutes and to pick at least 5 ladies with whom I would want to connect. That was pretty easy to do as I liked 14 ladies from those 56. My translator noted that information and passed it along to organizers of the event. Now ladies had to inform with whom they would want to communicate and if both of us match – we would meet one on one personally to go to a restaurant and find out more about each other.