Everything was beautiful right down to the weather!!!! My room was lovely, the food was great, actually no complaints. What I really liked there was no a la cartes, it was a first come first served basis and it worked beautifully. Thanks for your help
- NOW JADE RIVIERA CANCUN - MEXICO - APRIL 2012
Hi, this was our first trip with Sunwing and we have no complaints concerning the airline (except for the fact that they changed the flight times after we booked with a stop in Saint John) They had free hot meals which you don't get any more.
The resort is very large, but since we upgraded to Royal Section, we were very pleased with our accommodations, private pool, bar (2) and restaurant and private check-in, where they also exchanged our Cnd $ into Cuban pesos. They also book 3 a la carts for you, but you can eat every night in the international restaurant if you are in the Royal Section. Being Cuba, towels are at a premium and toilet paper as well. The food in the buffet style restaurants was mediocre, again you're in Cuba. You don't go to Cuba for the food! The beach was narrow but lots of palapas for shade, the water was beautiful, clean and clear.
We went to the Michael Jackson show on Friday night and it was fabulous. There is not a lot of activities like we are used to at the Sandals resorts (theme nights etc.) We did a day trip into Havana - would highly recommend it. We also went into Varadero for the day - shopping at the market and sightseeing. The price is right so if you want sun, beach, and to relax for a week, that is the place to go for sure. There were a lot of families there as well, so a lot of young children, even in the Royal Section.
- RIU VARADERO, CUBA - MARCH 2012
We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar Apr. 18-25, 2012 with a group of 11 friends/couples over age 49-55 and had a great vacation. We found the Ambar section relatively small but the whole Bahia Principe resort is very large. You can access other areas of the GBP by getting on the tram by the lobby. The Ambar is for adults only. The Ambar section had 3 a la carte restaurants, main buffet, two smaller buffets by the beach, lobby bar, beach bar, and bar service delivery on the beach. You can eat at the other a la carte restaurants located in other sections of the GBP. The entertainment area- theatre, karoke bar, Japanese restaurant and shops are located in the Pueblo Principe section- get on the tram by the lobby as its a bit of a walk. Check the schedule they give you at check- in for entertainment.
ROOMS - good size rooms, bed was comfortable compared to other resorts in the DR and Cuba - good pillows but the mattress was a bit hard, clean, tile floors and bathroom, large walk-in shower, tub, double sinks, balcony, beach towels in room (exchange was down by the pool), coffee maker, umbrella, mini bar with water, pop, 3 mini bottles of liquor, 2 beer, also 2 large bottles of water in room but the maid has more if you need it or leave a tip in the mini bar with a note.. aqua (water) etc. and you should get what you want.
POOL - swim up pool bar, large, clean looking, several loungers, small shop with sunscreen, hats, etc
Beach food buffet - not too bad for the DR but no BBQ, buffet only :(
BEACH - excellent for swimming, 40 min. walk down to a market on the beach or you can take a water taxi,
lots of shaded areas, the Ambar section was not as crowded as the rest of the resort sections - we didnt go to the beach til after lunch but we always got a lounger. Don't forget to take a large insulated mug for your beach drinks, they also had a water and juice stand right on the beach, bar was by the pool but not too far away from beach and they have servers on the beach!
LOBBY BAR - premium liquor available, if you want an expensive liquor - ask the bar tender as they may not show it on the shelf, they had good scotch, DR rum, bailys, absolute vodka but we could not get any rye whiskey- or Captain Morgan rum so you may want to bring your own in your luggage, they also have good cappacino coffee available after 10 am. - enjoyed this with some bailys, the main food buffet is located close to the lobby bar - in the lobby and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
KAROKE BAR - fun time! take the tram as its a bit of a walk, I think it opens at 10 pm.
DISCO - quite big - located close to the Karoke bar in the Pueblo Principe area - take the tram
A LA CARTES - we emailed the resort a month before we went and made our a la carte reservations. Don Pueblo Gourmet - excellent fillet mignon and chateau briand (recommend this- 5*) , food was good but service was terribly slow... 2.5 hrs. to eat but we did have a group of 11.
Mediterranean - located beside the beach buffet- good food and good service! chicken supreme and the beef tenderloin with sauce were excellent! they also had an large appetizer buffet with good calamari etc.
Steak House in the Esmeralda section - good food and good service - beef fillet and rib eye's were good, ceasar salad, take the tram from the Ambar lobby
#1 - Japanese Tepanaki- excellent food and service ! you must go to this one ! It is located in the Bavaro section, take the tram from the Ambar lobby
Italian in the Esmeralda section - food wasnt that good and the service was very slow... over 2hrs! I had the seafood lasagna and didnt care for it, not sure what the others had but on one raved about the food here. We didn't try the Italian restaurant at the Ambar.
MAIN LOBBY BUFFET - only ate here one night but food was good- roast of pork, grilled seafood-shrimp etc, pasta bar - but I didn't see any meat or seafood to put in the pasta, only saw the vegetables to put in it. Good made to order omelets in the morning.
LATE NIGHT FOOD - located down by the beach to the right, they only had hot dogs, chips, small salad bar, small bar.... this could be improved! However, our friends called room service and got a club sandwich and fries delivered to their room as our flight arrived late at night.
INTERNET - free wifi in the lobby area if you want to take your IPad ,laptop, smart phone, free internet computers available in the lobby, $10.US charge for 3 days of wifi in your room (thinks this includes 24hrs of time used over 3 days)
STAFF- overall very friendly and spoke fairly good english,
special mention to the beach servers - Yunior and Kelvin and the front desk staff !
I rated the Ambar a four out of five mainly due to the slow service in two of the a la cartes, no blender drinks, and the food could be better for a 5 star resort but it is the DR. I found the food better at the bahia principe resort in the Mayan Riveria and at other 4, 5 lstar resorts in Mexico.
Hope this review helps and I highly recommend staying in the Ambar or Esmeralda sections of the GBP and don't forget to tip the staff as they work for low wages, they also appreciate small gifts, cloths etc.
- GRAN BAHIA PRINCIPE AMBAR - APRIL 2012
Sorry Marilyn. Been quite busy since I got back to work and only now
getting the opportunity to send you a note.
We just got back mid-afternoon on Tuesday (6th). Flight was delayed 2
hrs in Jamaica (unfortunately we didn't know until we arrived at the
airport so we didn't get any extra time on that end - lol). This then
caused us to get back into Hfx at 9:30 and it was snowing a bit (we were
told heavier in Truro) so we decided to bunk up for the night there and
leave the next day.
Everything went smoothly with regards to getting there and back. We
checked in online on both ends and it made it so much easier as we
didn't have to wait in the lineups (will be doing that from now on if
possible for sure). The Guest Services office was helpful in printing
our boarding passes for the way back - not something that they advertise
cause they don't want everyone doing that but we tried and asked and it
Loved the fact that the resort was only 20 mins away.
The people (except Customs when we got off the plane -lol) were very
The wx was amazing - all sun - no rain (well I think it rained in the
morning on the day we arrived but it stopped before we arrived).
The beach was the shortest we've been on - all 3 resorts had the same
beach (Iberostar Beach, Iberostar Suites and the Grand). More sand
farther down but less shade so I think we chose the best one. We did
have access to the Suites for the Casino and Disco if we wanted. We did
go to the Disco on our last night but there were way too many young ones
for sure - start of the March break. Dates we picked to go before were
We didn't get our king sized bed but we did have a great view of the
pool and ocean and we were on the top floor.
The fitness centre was really good - we both work out before we start
our day and it was pretty good - one of the better ones except Mexico
that we have been at so far.
The food choices were great - had to book the day we got there for the a
la cartes - lots of choices but filled up quickly. You would never go
hungry there. Glad we had that Monday to figure everything out and then
start our full day on Tues. Arriving there mid-afternoon is perfect.
Jamaica is so relaxed and the people are awesome. This is the first
time that the hotel we were at did not have the vendors come in for a
night with their merchandise. However, just past the beach line, the
locals had their huts set up so we went and crossed the line and made
our purchases. They try to scare you away from going down there but
they were harmless - some of them were a bit bossy but at no time did we
ever feel threatened by them.
We went on the Dunn's Fall River tour - did the snorkeling, catamaran
and the Falls. It was great. Got to see a lot of the resorts along the
way and it was in Ochios Rios (not sure of the spelling) - that place
looked very busy and I think that's where you may be harassed by the
locals more from what we saw (or so "they" say - lol).
If/when we ever get the opportunity to go back that way, we would go to
Negril and try out their beaches - heard they were the best there.
Anyway, just wanted to respond back to you. Again, sorry for the delay.
Have a great day/week.
- IBEROSTAR ROSE HALL BEACH RESORT - MONTEGO BAY JAMAICA - FEB, 2012
We had a great trip to Cuba. We would recommend this resort to anyone. It
was extremely clean, the staff were very helpful and friendly and we did not
find it too large. We stayed in the first building closest to the lobby and
big buffet which we found very convenient. We were overlooking the quiet
pool which was great. We were only a 3 minute walk to the restaurants and
nightly show , about 6 minutes to the party pool and only 10 minutes to the
beach which was absolutely beautiful. We went to Veredaro twice on the
double decker bus and enjoyed the markets for shopping. It was nice that the
vendors never hastled you and it seemed no matter what vendor you stopped at
the prices were set and the same. They would come down a peso or two if you
bought more than one but usually the prices were pretty firm but everything
was really cheap.My wooden carvings I bought ranged only from 3
pesos(dollars) to 7 pesos.The most expensive thing I bought was a bracelet
made out of a sterling silver fork for 10 pesos.We also did a horse and
carriage ride for 15 pesos which was a really nice .The buses to Veredaro
were 5 pesos each for all day...on and off as many times as you want. The
weather was 28 degrees every day except the last day which was 19....a good
shopping day. We also did the all day jeep safari tour which was awesome and
I would recommend to everyone who goes.A couple recommendations would
be....if you like to snorkel do it early in the week...the kayaks and
catamarans are free to use every day and they will take you on a catamaran
off shore to a coral reef for 20 pesos for 2 hours (water is only 3 meters
deep) . I only found this out on Friday and did use the kayak and was taken
for a ride on the catamaran but booked the snorkeling for Saturday and both
Saturday and Sunday were too rough for anyone to use the boats so missed out
on the snorkeling there. So just plan to do one of your first days there.
Another recommendation would be when you take things for the maid remember
she is getting things every day from every room she cleans. Remember the
people who work and cook in the buffets etc. They all appreciate a peso or a
material gift. The last day I took a bag full of stuff we were going to
leave and took it to the woman who made our smoothies every morning. She was
so appreciative...I had heard she had asked someone if they had any
children;s clothes as her children really needed clothes. We took only carry
on luggage because of a short layover in Toronto but next time and there
will be a next time we will check 2 bags with things to leave. Also on the
jeep safari you will have opportunity to pass things out to children on the
side of the road after you go through the town of Matanza. We were able to
do just that and they were so appreciative even if it was only a pencil.
Remember school supplies are hard to get and they appreciate
medicines,pantyhose,eye makeup,nail polish,underwear.shoes etc.Also we met
people who stayed at the Rio a 5 star which was 2 resorts down the beach
from us and the guests were mostly from Europe and Quebec and were very
unfriendly, the place had garbage everywhere and they were covered in bug
bites.No problems like this at La Salina.. Remember to take ant traps in
case of sand fleas, bug spray and afterbite... we took everything we read on
trip advisor and if we didn't need it we left it for someone there when we
left. Another good thing to take are hard candies individually wrapped and
suckers especially for the kids if you go on the jeep safari.Also remember
your own first aid kit...you can leave that after too.
We had a fantastic trip and would recommend Cuba and La Salina to anyone
wanting warm weather,a relaxing vacation and an eye-opening experience when
you get out into the country.
were also carts on the resort you could catch if you didn't always want to
walk but we found we needed to walk after eating at buffets. The last 3 days
we skipped the buffet at noon as we found we were eating just because there
was a buffet not because we were hungry. We enjoyed the quiet pool the most
as there was always loud Cuban music at the party pool and sometimes peace &
quiet is what you really want. We only did the Japanese restaurant and it
was the first choice by all and really good. There were a lot of Canadians
at this resort and a lot from Ontario. Our price from Fredericton was not
any more than their direct flight from Toronto.
- SIRENAS LA SALINA - VARADERO CUBA - FEBRUARY 2012
The resort was a $800 resort. The food wasn’t good matter of fact I lost 8 lbs from the trip. The staff was friendly, the rooms were good for the $800 spent. The buffet was small with very little choice of food. The beach was swept by a tractor every hours or so to clear the sea weeds from the beach. Couldn’t snorkel because of the seaweeds. Not a lot of food to choice from but the price wasn’t bad. The weather was great 30 or above.
I know the others loved the swim up bar because they were there all day and didn’t leave. I know now why the pool was warm. Would I go again? Not sure because I haven’t gone back to any resort that we have gone to before.
I don’t think I would go back but for the money and weight lose which I did need it wasn’t really that bad.
At nights they had only one bar opened and everyone gathered at that area. The buffet should be called a buff because it wasn’t close to a buffet. At the BBQ dinner which was a reservation I had one piece of rib on the plate.
I guess the local disco was opened to not only to the resort but also to the locals, which was known as a pick up spot.
If you’re looking for a cheap vacation and not a lot of glitter then this spot could be a good spot.
I know two of the others loved this spot but this was the first time south in the winter. I have gone south now for seven or so times and I know for a few hundred dollars you could go to a much better place.
- BE LIVE BRISAS - SANTA LUCIA CUBA - MARCH 2011
Hi Marilyn, just thought that I would touch base with you concerning our trip to Bahamas. We had a really great experience at Sandals, the food was excellent, lots of activities day and night. The island that is available to people is a dreamland and really makes the resort what it is. The rooms are not 5 star, they are a little worn, however, we did get our ground floor patio that we wanted. The people there are very friendly and accommodating.
We booked an excursion to the Atlantis for the day – glad I got to see it, but would not be a place that I would want to stay. We also took the bus downtown to the strawmarket and did some shopping there. Overall, it was a great, relaxing vacation – perhaps too much money but, you only live once right!
Now, the only problem that we had was coming home. In the Nassau airport, they did not have a seat for me on the airplane coming home! I do not know how that could happen but you could imagine my expression when they told me there were no seats left. Long story short – they found me a seat by asking somebody to give theirs up ( I don’t know what they had to offer that other person to do this, but I am sure it was something to their advantage). Charlie and I did not get to sit together but we were just thankful that everything worked out OK. I have heard from several people after telling them my story that Air Canada is famous for overbooking flights – but I still cannot understand how they could give away my seat? It almost sounds like first come first served.
- SANDALS ROYAL BAHAMIAN - NASSAU BAHAMAS
We had a great time in Jamaica! The weather was perfect really. We had rain one night for about 15 minutes. The rest of the week was sunny and high 20's!
The driving is a little crazy!
We loved the resort. It was a beautiful setting. We've found we prefer the smaller resorts. It had everything we needed though. The food was really good. We had our own section of beach which was never crowded since the resort was small. There were lots of larger resorts down the beach and their beaches were much more crowded. The rooms were nice. The staff were amazing. They were so accomodating. They were professional yet relaxed and friendly. They all seemed to love their job and it really showed in the way they treated the guests and the way they got along with each other. They always had some event or entertainment at night.
There were very few children and I think it's because there are not a lot of activities for kids. It's more of a place to go and relax and enjoy the ocean and the surroundings.
We went on two trips. One was horse back riding though the countryside. The other one was a boat ride down the Black River and then a trip to the YS Falls. Both were good.
We would definitely go back, although there are other places to visit first :)
- SUNSET AT THE PALMS - NEGRIL JAMAICA - FEB 2011
Sad to say I am back from Santa Clara...our trip was awesome! The weather was great, no rain...resort was very nice and spotless...beach was amazing...the best beach I have been to yet...the only complaint about the beach would be that there were jellyfish...a couple of days were pretty bad but the other days there didn't seem to be that many. The food was good for Cuba although I tend to stick to the basics. The bus ride from the airport was about 1 hr 45 mins...some people thought it was long, glad it was daylight going to and from as there is a lot to see and the tour guide did a good job so it really didn't seem that bad...there is a small market there, not as much variety as the one in Varadero but good enough...The Barcelo Cayo was probably the nicest I have been to in Cuba, I went to Barcelo Marina Palace in Veradero and doesn't even come close to the one in Santa Maria.
Anyway I just wanted to let you know how things went...funny I am not even back a week and thinking ahead to maybe getting a great deal in Apr...LOL
- FEB 2011 - SANTA CLARA - CUBA - Barcelo Cayo Santa Maria
We were at Temptations from Dec 6-13 2010. We were there for the 1st time last January, & we loved it so decided to try it out again. You really can’t get a better value on an all inclusive trip south. The place is great!
Room check in was smooth, our room wasn’t ready until 3 pm, not a big deal. Room was very clean, the safe worked, comfortable bed, mini fridge stocked, hot water, etc. Not a super fancy hotel, but very comfortable.
The staff was amazing, very attentive, all of the service staff seemed to love their jobs; we definitely tipped a lot, because all of the service we got was over the top great. We have been to quite a few all inclusive & we found this place to be top notch. Service around the bar & on the beach in the day, lots of bartenders, waiters etc. Restaurant service at the A La Carte restaurants & the buffets was always excellent.
Food quality was excellent. We ate at the Asian, Italian, Seafood, Tex Mex & Buffet & not a complaint. Always lots of food, selection, etc. It is a nice choice to be able to have A La Carte for lunch or Buffet. The reservations for the Asian & Italian are kind of a pain, but totally worth it. You have to get there by 10 am to get a reservation, & if you can’t get one you can usually get on a wait list & they will give you a pager & call you when they have your table. We found them to be very accommodating.
The entertainment staffs are hilarious. We laughed our heads off around the pool everyday. A few favorites were; on Friday’s they have a contest called “the perfect couple” (or something like that) it is like the newly wed game & they ask the couple questions about each other while the partner can’t hear, then ask for the answers from the spouse. They do all this in front of everyone around the pool on a mic & the main entertainment guy mc’s the whole thing & he is a riot. Quite vulgar so if you don’t like swearing you might not find it funny, lol. All afternoon Saturday they had a Dj’s outdoor patio party, it was excellent. Pretty loud music, you would more enjoy the quiet pool if you aren’t a music fan. We really enjoyed it. Lots of people dancing, having a few cocktails, etc. Also, a lot of topless & thongs, if you are prudish, you probably wouldn’t like it, lol.
Night life at the hotel was a bit lacking. The disco was hardly open, & when it was they weren’t really talking about it so no one was there, but we made our own fun anyway. They use it some evenings for entertainment shows, but they aren’t usually all night, & most nights they were closed after. A few times they were playing music & we went in, but it was dead. We hung out a lot at the Pati O Lounge. It was quite fun. They had a video/DJ party one night it was excellent. The other nights they usually had bands. They usually shut the music off around 1 am, but people could stay later, some nights very late.
While we were there my husband had a severe asthma attack. He was having a hard time breathing. We were very scared & not sure how things would go if we needed medical attention & were in Mexico. It was amazing care! I went to the front desk & informed them what was happening & they put me in touch with the concierge right away & he said they could call a doctor & have him visit the hotel for $100US. My husband felt ill enough that he wanted to call the doctor, he was starting to really struggle to breath.
I spoke to the doctor on the phone within 5 minutes & explained what was happening; he said he would be there in 20 mins. He was at our door in 15. Right away, I knew he was going to help us. He came in the room with a black medical bag fully equipped, gloves, medications & new sterile equipment. He listened to my husbands breathing & said he had to give him 2 shots. One to help him breathe (steroids) & one for pain etc. Within 30 seconds of injecting the 1st shot, my husband could tell he was starting to be able to breathe again. The doctor stayed with my husband for 20-30 minutes to make sure he was ok, checked him all over again & told him that he was going to be ok. I got a receipt from him; the shots were $50, so total $150. He gave me 4 prescriptions & told me I could fill them at the 24 hr pharmacy across the street. It was literally right across the street. I got everything we needed (except for one thing a treatment inhaler, that I almost had to go to another pharmacy for, but a friend had brought one with him by chance & didn’t need it, & gave it to us, thanks Gary! G1) The drugs were $100. All of which will be covered.
Anyway, in the end a horrible experience worked out amazing. He actually got better care than if he was home. The hotel handled everything amazing, & the doctor was outstanding. His name was Dr Tores, & he was amazing.
My only complaint was when I came up to my room in the afternoon my maid had left the door wide open & was nowhere to be found. About 5 mins later she came up & said she did not speak English. The left open door really upset me, anyone could have cleaned out our belongings with ease.
But, all in all, my review = you gotta try this resort! We took 2 friends with us this time & they are already thinking of going back in the spring. Loved it!
- CANCUN - MEXICO, DECEMBER 2010 - TEMPTATIONS RESORT
Just a note to let you know our trip went well. Sunwing did a good job. Flight was a little rough going down but much smoother flying home. The resort was beautiful. We would recommend to anyone. Beach was great. We did lots of walking on the beach and thought ours was one of the nicest spots. Food was fine and drinks were great. We had a really relaxing time and not one bit of rain.
We did a day trip to Havana. That was very interesting. Guide was very good.
We will probably go to Cuba again. Next time I would take more for “tips”. It’s a really big thing there.
Thanks for organizing everything. It makes things easy.
- IBEROSTAR LAGUNA AZUL - VARADERO CUBA - MARCH 2010
Got back last night and thought i would let you know how the trip was.
Resort was nice although the front desk staff were not very friendly. alot of the staff could not speak english very well.
It was a nice place, beach was excellent . Food kind of sucked as not mcuh of a vareity at all. Probably wouldn't go back to that resort, seemed like alot of older people.
Liked Cuba and felt very safe there.
thanks for your help
- CLUB ARENAS BLANCAS - VARADERO, CUBA - MARCH 2010
Hi Marilyn, we just arrived back from Playa Pesquero and wanted to let you know that we had a great time.the weather was bad, but that didn't stop us much. It rained for 2 days, and cloudy most days, but we managed to come back with fairly good tans. The resort is huge, but the lay out is great. The flight down with Air Transat was good. it was nice that they have increased the leg room, we had a comfortable flight, the return with Can jet was a different story. we felt like sardines in a can, but we are home safe, and sound, and have made wonderful new memories. Thank you for making our reservations.
- PLAYA PESQUERO - HOLGUIN, CUBA, FEB. 2010
We had a great time in Costa Rica. I'll give you a run down on the good and bad since you asked!
The flights were all very good. Most were on schedule or even a bit early. The Fairfield Inn in Toronto was nice and worked out very well.
The weather was amazing. It was sunny most of the time and at least 30 during the day and down to about 25 at night. We had a few clouds one day.
The resort was nice although I wouldn't call it a 4.5 star anymore. They don't seem to be maintaining it and the rooms are not that clean. The walls need a good cleaning and painting. There was some mold around. The staff were great though and nobody seemed to mind really. The food was fine - typical resort food. We ate at the restaurants two nights and that was nice.
The beach was great. The water was very warm and very salty! The size of the beach depended on whether it was low tide or high tide :)
We did have a great view of the ocean from our room and we got the morning sun which was what we really wanted. The birds were amazing. It was noisy in a good way! There were howler monkeys on the resort and we heard them a few times in the morning and evening. We got up early a few times to watch the sun come up and listen to all of the wildlife.
The resort itself was quite lush but as soon as you left the resort it was quite brown since it is the dry season. A lot of the trees had lost most of their leaves. Once you got closer to the Arenal Volcano area though it totally changed and was very lush.
We took two day trips. The first one was a day trip to Nicaragua. That was a real eye opener. I was glad we went for the experience. It is a very poor country and parts of it were quite dirty. We saw Grenada which was an interesting city and we also saw a couple of volcanoes. We took a boat ride to see some of the islands on Great Nicaragua Lake which are owned by "rich people". There are some pretty spectacular homes on some of the islands. One of the islands is for sale for $5 million!
We also took a day trip to Arenal Volcano and the rain forest. There was some nice scenery along the way. The road is very hilly and windy. It is slow moving! There are some hot spring pools near the volcano which were quite nice. There are 8 or 10 of them in a building all at different temperatures. The water comes from the ground and is cooled. There are two swim up bars. We also had a buffet supper there before we headed back to the resort.
My only real disappointment was the rain forest walk. The rain forest was my main reason for going to Costa Rica. When we got there it was actually more of what they call a transitional forest - a lot of sugar cane. When we got back we did talk to the AC rep and he admitted it isn't really a rain forest. There is a day trip to a real rain forest but it was too late for us to take another trip. I guess I should have asked more questions.
The resort was fairly small so it was easier to meet people. At night a lot of peole sat in the open air lobby and listened to the live music. Warm - no wind and no bugs! Everyone I asked said they preferred Costa Rica over Mexico. It's not a perfect place but people seem to fall in love with it. We would go back if there weren't so many other countries we want to see!
Let me know if you have any other questions or if you would like to see some pictures.
Thanks again for helping us, Marilyn. We will definitely use your services again and recommend you.
- OCCIDENTAL GRAND PAPAGAYO - COSTA RICA - FEB 2010
Hi Marilyn, we just got back from Playa Pesquero in Holgiun, and you were right - awesome place. I think this is the first resort (out of the 10 we've been to) that we will go back to. Great pool, great beach, great weather, good food - lots of choices, all staff that we spoke to could speak english, great drinks, the only downside of this place is the pressure to tip for everything (drinks, food, beach chairs, etc)
Thanks again for recommending this resort!
- PLAYA PESQUERO - HOLGUIN, CUBA - JAN 2010
We are a 34 & 36 yr old married couple. We stayed for 5 nights, upgrade to Jacuzzi room, $50 extra per night. Loved this place. We have been to several 4 & 5 star resorts in Jamaica & Mexico & this is our favorite yet. If you want to have some sexy fun, go to this resort! Food in the Italian & Asian restaurants was 5 star quality. The service all around was top notch. Everyone kept saying "my pleasure" & it really seemed like it was! We tipped a dollar or two for drinks & 5-10 for meals, the staff deserved it more than most of the restaurants where we live. We layed by the party pool but room was by the quiet pool, perfect set up. Everything is very close also, so you don't have to walk far to get to the lobby, bar, restaurants, rooms etc. The sexy pool was so much fun, we laughed our heads off. This was the 1st all inclusive resort we have been to where the drink service around the pool was soo great. Staff do not pressure to be in activities, & put on some highly entertaining stuff. The beach is very nice, the water not quite as blue as the other side of the island, but still very nice. pools awesome. Everything very clean & grounds impeccable. I have read that buffet is the only choice for breakfast & lunch. This is NOT true, we never ate buffet for breakfast or lunch. Margarita's breakfast snack bar & grill is open from 6am-10 & 12-6pm daily, it was AWESOME. Waffles, omelettes for breakfast & burgers, pizza, wings, sandwiches for lunch. The staff arrange a club outing each night, optional & not free. We paid $70 to go to "SWEET" & it was totally worth it. All drinks included & we had bottles of Smirnoff & Bacardi brought to the table all night, ice, mix, it was SWEET! The club was amazing, very classy, & we would go back for sure. We have been to Breezes Runaway Bay, Grand Lido Braco, Couples Sans Souci, Ritz Carlton Cancun, Mayan Palace, Occidental Cozumel, & we liked this better than all of them. All in all AMAZING vacation cannot wait to go back. If you are square or super conservative you probably won't like it, go someplace else, but if you are open minded & like to have a great time, good food & entertainment go for sure.
- TEMPTATIONS RESORT, CANCUN MEXICO - JANUARY 2010
El Tukan, Playa del Carmen
"Hotel is right on 5th Avenue, only 2 blocks to the beach. Their beach club was about 10 minute walk away, we did not use it because of too loud music , whole beach is public and for 8-10 dollars per day you can rent loungers from numerous beach bars and clubs, service everywhere was great, everyone very friendly and helpful. The hotel is older, quaint, very clean and staff nice. Small buffet but very tastey and lovely a la carte restaurant on site, food was very excellent. My premium room was large and with a balcony overlooking the pool which is in the middle of three hotel buildings. My only complaints are...bed was very hard and uncomfortable, pool was too cold to swim in and no phones in rooms...none of these spoiled my time there . I enjoyed every day even tho it was unseasonally cool 60's - 70's, spent my time reading , eating, walking and at the beach daily....just what the doctor ordered. Flights were on time and travel without incident."
- EL TUKAN, PLAYA DEL CARMEN
We loved Punta Cana and the Ocean Blue. Everything was just right, good food, accommodations were excellent, people were great, facilities clean and well cared for. We really enjoyed it and thank you for your help.
Lorrie and Carol
- OCEAN BLUE RESORT - PUNTA CANA - APRIL 2009
We had a wonderful vacation & all worked out well. The only thing I would have to change next time is that the hour between flights in Toronto to Fredericton is not enough. Going to claim our luggage, customs & check points had us running to our flight with 10 minutes to spare.
Other that that all was perfect. Weather was beautiful!!
- AIR CANADA VACATIONS - DISNEY - APRIL 2009
We are back from our wonderful cruise to the Panama Canal. We were on the Island Princess. It is an absolutely beautiful ship. The crew was excellent, friendly and always smiling. We met the captain many times. He mingles quite a bit, very nice guy. It was unusual to see that.
They had many activities. We participated in a cruise long scavenger hunt. This was interesting. It gave us a chance to meet people.
The food was average for a buffet, maybe a little disappointing. We don’t eat much at the buffet anyway. We usually have breakfast in our cabin, lunch in the dining room or the poolside grill and of course dinner in the dining room. The Bayou Café (specialty restaurant) was a nice change and only $15 extra, less than other ships. We did not go to the other specialty restaurant as Bill does not like Italian food.
Our balcony cabin was spacious and comfortable. Our cabin steward was very friendly and helpful. Always kept the ice topped up. PS, mini fridge is empty (not full of stuff you never use). This made it easier to put our own drinks in there and leftover birthday cake. YUMMY!
We got very lucky at the art auction and I won a lithograph by a Canadian Inuit painter. Was not so lucky at the casino. L
We enjoyed ourselves so much and either kept busy with trivia games etc or just relaxed. We didn’t even make it to any of the evening show as we were always doing other things.
We were on the Baja deck (11) right by the elevators. We thought that this might be a problem but when the door of our cabin was closed we never heard a thing. There is a ship wide deck aft of the ship on our deck. We spent quite a bit of time there when the sun was on our balcony and too hot to sit there. Another favorite spot was the quiet pool, covered area. It had nicer chairs and very nicely decorated.
Hint - if you do this cruise next year, you have to set the alarm to get up at 5:30 at the latest if you want a good view of the locks. Don’t go to the top decks where most people are, you have to stand behind glass. Go to the 11th, 10th or 9th decks at the front and there is nothing blocking your view. We had the best spot as you can see by the picture. Half way through we went to our cabin for a side view. This is worth it as well, you can watch the little locomotives doing their thing hauling the ship. Also, the photographers take many pictures for the video. PS, this is the first time that we bought a cruise video as we were on it quite a bit. We decided we would participate in a few of the activities and found ourselves being taped a few times.
Before the cruise we spent two days in Fort Lauderdale and after the cruise, two days in Miami Beach. This was nice and we felt less rushed.
Thanks to Marilyn for being very helpful again. Our wine was very nice on the balcony with the stars overhead. She also managed to get us our first upgrade. I had my doubts but sure enough it came through, thanks Marilyn and TPI.
Bill & Mel
- ISLAND PRINCESS - PANAMA CANAL CRUISE - APRIL 2009
Hi Marilyn, We had a great vacation. Sunwing really caters to their customers - good service, friendly staff and good meals. The Blau offered a speedy check in with no problems. Our safe would not function properly and as soon as our Sunwing rep. contacted the front desk, it was fixed immediately on Tuesday. The food was wonderful and the resort was small enough so that we were able to get to know the staff and other travellers. Can't say enough good things about the Blau. The entertainment was top notch and we went most nights which we have never done before on our other trips to Cuba. The beach offers a beautiful view and a great morning walk. Some people wore beach shoes because of the coral but we didn't have any problems. The beds were firm but we didn't find them uncomfortable as some people noted. A person could do as much or as little as they wanted to do. Lots of activities. Next time we would perhaps take a trip to see life away from the resort. Anyway would we go back to the Blau? Most definitely. The best yet.
Thanks for your help
David & Loraine
- BLAU COSTA VERDE - HOLGUIN - CUBA - APRIL 2009
Cruising into the Caribbean sun
A ship for the 21st century
Celebrity Cruise Lines launched the MV Solstice in November of last year with some very definite objectives in mind -- the ship must be designed with the four elements of nature in mind, the designers were told. Combining those elements – earth, air, light and water – was a daunting task. That they succeeded is obvious as you get acquainted with the ship, but nowhere does it impress more than the upper deck Lawn Club where actual growing grass is mowed regularly and where passengers can go to improve or perfect their golf swing. The elements are there … the earth under the open blue sky (air)…surrounded by the sea (water) …. and the Caribbean sunlight.
The vision for the new ship brought together a skilled team from a number of disciplines and a number of countries. Their search for a designer led to them to London and Martin Francis, a man who has designed some of the world’s most modern yachts, The yacht influence can be seen in the rakish lines of the Solstice from the sharp flaring bow to the low flat stern.
The Lawn Club is not the only part of the ship where the builders decided to “go green.” There are 216 solar panels installed on the ship – for the first time ever on a cruise vessel. They produce over 200 kilowatt hours of energy a day. The ship is powered by common-rail diesel engines, a quantum leap in diesel technology, employing the marine equivalent of electronic fuel injection. It’s a system that cuts down on waste, improves fuel efficiency and cuts down on emissions from the ship’s four engines. The shape of the hull, because of the yachting design, enables the ship to slice more easily through the water to further save fuel and reduce emissions.
All of this information is, of course, only of passing interest to the 2800 passengers on board a typical Solstice cruise. In the people department the staterooms and suites are designed for comfort, the service in the restaurants and the dining rooms is unsurpassed and the management and staffs of the various ship’s services and activities are easy to reach and eager to please.
Our journey began at Port Everglades, the port at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, then south to San Juan, Puerto Rico, the second oldest city in the Americas. From the Canadian winter with temperatures hovering around zero to an average temperature of 27 degrees was a comfortable change that made an afternoon of shopping in the narrow crowded streets of Old San Juan a memorable adventure.
St. Maarten, the next port on the cruise, was a different experience. A Dutch possession with prices quoted in guilders and US dollars, the specialty in the island’s many jewellery stores is diamonds. Not surprising, since Amsterdam in Holland is considered the world’s diamond capital. The Solstice was the second of three cruise ships to visit the island the day we were there. Visitors are treated well by island businesses. A sudden influx of 10,000 visitors from time to time provides a huge stimulus to the island economy. The island’s tourism directorate proudly boasts that people from some 120 nationalities make their homes on the island.
All through the Caribbean, it seems, the price posted on the various items you see is not final. Haggling over the price seems to be expected and can result in some definite bargains once you acquire some skill in the art.
The scenery on the islands is breathtaking especially in the British Virgin Island where the Solstice put into Tortola. The laid-back friendliness of the people here impressed us. Instead of pushing to sell their wares, as vendors in some parts of the world are infamous for, you made an offer on the item you were interested in, the vendor would state his or her price and you’d meet somewhere between.
Probably the most interesting of all the stops on the journey was Labadee in Haiti. It’s a lush corner of what for the most part is one of the world’s poorest nations. The cruise companies have developed this part of island with it’s long white sand beaches and coconut palms and provided a market for Haitian specialities and handicrafts that would not otherwise exist. There’s no port at Labadee, so ships drop anchor in the bay and passengers are ferried to the island on what are known as tenders.
To get acquainted with San Juan’s long history, the verdant scenery of St. Maarten, the British elegance of Tortola and the idyllic ambience of Labadee while travelling with carefree comfort in a ship on the cutting edge of cruising technology made for a superb vacation indeed.
Ross & Gloria Ingram
- CRUISING ON THE CELEBRITY SOLSTICE - APRIL 2009
I am not sure if I sent you off an e-mail or not to tell you what a
great vacation we had. The Iberostar was excellent. I have absolutely
no complaints and would love to go back there. The staff was excellent,
even the front counter staff ( many complaints on tripadvisor). The
rooms were clean and if there should be something missing ( ie: towels),
within a half hour or less of calling the client service desk they would
be to your room. We had nightly turn down service...nice touch and an
ocean front room. The entertainment staff was really good, food was
excellent with lots of variety . Now, the spa at the Suites part was
amazing. We paid 400 $ for the most amazing spa experience ever. We
were treated like a King and Queen for the entire day. ( so worth it).
We had recommended to a couple of other couples that we met there and
they went for massages.....they to were extremely pleased. We also
loved the Martha Brae. I don't know what else I can say other then it
was "awesome". We will no doubt be looking for something next year or
even later this fall. If you have any great deals for the fall....let
- IBEROSTAR ROSE HALL - MONTEGO BAY JAMAICA - APRIL 2009
Marilyn, thanks for the welcome home.
Wayne and I had a great vacation, all went very smooth until we were on our way home, due to air traffic control we were late leaving Tampa which made us miss our connecting flight to Bangor, so we stayed in NYC on Sunday night. We attempted to do the Amazing Race through JFK airport but unfortunately it had left on time.
The Carnival Legend was a nice ship, the food and entertainment was awesome, for our first cruise it was great as we learned what we really liked and what we really didn't like and what we would change for next time. Yes !!!! there will be a next time !!!
As for the ports of call, the one we liked best was Roatan, it is absolutely beautiful there, very un-commercialized and unaffected by hurricanes and such therefore it is very lush and green. We had gone thru Victor Bodden tours and booked a private tour guide for the island and I have to say she was AWESOME, took us everywhere we wanted to go and because she was born and raised there she knew everything about the island!!! Highly recommend this for anyone that is travelling to that area. We enjoyed Grand Cayman as well, Cozumel not as much and in Belize they told us to not roam outside the gates unless we were on a tour and this made Wayne nervous enough to go to the shopping pier only.
All in all we had a wonderful vacation and I am already planning where I want to go next so please keep me in the loop with any sales or offers you come up against.
Marilyn thanks so much for all of your help and your professionalism, I have to say you made the planning worry free for me and as well we were confident that everything was looked after that all we had to do was "show up". Thank you for that. It is hard to believe it is all over!!!
Thanks once again
Heather & Wayne
- CARNIVAL LEGEND - APRIL 2009
Good afternoon Marilyn:
I wanted to share with you some comments about our recent trip to Punta Cana and in particular, our resort the Barcelo Caribe Bavaro Beach. In terms of weather, we were lucky and had sunshine and in the low 30s except for half a day of rain. We were told the previous weeks were rainy and colder so thank God for that!
Overall the resort was good although food selection was somewhat limited on that particular resort. This was not a problem since we could take advantage of the other restaurants on the sister resorts. The Mexican restaurant and Steakhouse were pretty good. My favourite feature was the noon hour buffet right on the beach where they served grilled shrimps in the shell daily – this was wonderful!
My biggest disappointment was our room…It was in desperate need of upgrading and I was told that renovations were due to begin in May. Our bathroom was moldy all over and foul odours appeared after we took our showers every day (kind of a sewer smell). This was incredibly unpleasant to say the least. Further, the bed skirts were also moldy. We could have diffused some of the odour (maybe) if there would have been a screen on the patio doors to the balcony but there wasn’t. Of course, with fear of malaria, we did not want to leave the patio door open without the protection of a screen.
Another incident with the room was our safe. It stopped working and we wasted about 3 hours between the confusion at the front desk until they came in to replace the front of it. The plugs in the room were also in very bad shape which made it very difficult to use electric appliances (couldn’t use appliances in bathroom as the adaptor seemed to be built in/ attached to the existing hair dryer).
All in all, it was good, not sure it rates as a 4 star (perhaps when you include the sister resorts but not stand alone). We heard a lot of complaints about the rooms during our stay. There were 2 ladies from Fredericton whose room was so bad that they had to be moved…
You know that I don’t usually like to complain but thought you would want to know.
- BARCELO BAVARO CARIBE - PUNTA CANA - MARCH 2009
Just a note to let you know that we had a wonderful trip to the Dominican.
We had twelve days of sunshine and warm breezes, and thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Riu Bachata----the best of the three. We were especially impressed with the cleanliness of the facilities and the friendliness of the staff.
While the beaches did not match those at the Riu Yucatan on the Mayan Riviera, the ocean was warm and salty, and had the added advantage of a coral reef close to shore, with an abundance of fish. The pools, with lush surroundings, were very clean and well maintained. We were fortunate to have ground floor accommodation, very centrally located , with easy access to all amenities. It was also a bonus to have the adjacent Riu resorts at our disposal....Just a hundred yards up the shore , the beach was much wider and totally sand.
There was a good variety of food, well presented, and always fresh. We especially loved the fruit and the many varieties of breads and rolls.
The nightly shows were ok, but there was not much variety, and a bit loud for "older" ears, but when we had enough, we retreated to the Casino,
where we had lots of fun and pretty well broke even.
The Activities Staff were young, vigorous and enthusiastic ...providing lots of opportunites for various endeavors, regardless of skill
We want to thank you for your very courteous,
prompt, and efficient service. We had a great vacation!!
Regards, Donna and Bill
- RIU BACHATA - PUERTO PLATA - MARCH 2009
Overall the resort was incredible and I would recommend it without hesitation. In fact I would encourage anyone to go there.
We researched the hotel a lot in advance on Trip Advisor so we were prepared for some of the things that we may not have been prepared for otherwise. The entire Bahia Principe property is HUGE!!! The Ambar itself is not large. With the Ambar you are fortunate to get an adults only resort with the option to hang out on and use the two other Bahia Principe Resorts on the property: the Bahia Principe Bavaro and that Bahia Principe Punta Cana. You are able to use the gym on those properties, the Spa, the Shopping, entertainment, restaurants, pools, bars etc.
First I’ll start from the beginning. Our travel company was Air Transat but we flew with a West Jet Charter out of Halifax. I would highly suggest being at the airport 3 hours in advance. We were there about 2 and ½ hours in advance and we were almost the last in the huge line up. Once you get your boarding passes and get through security there are lots of coffee shops to sit at and relax. The West Jet staff on the airplane were amazing. “Matt” who did the speaking was hilarious and very nice. The only thing that I found a little strange was that you had to pay $5.99 to watch a movie or $1.99 to watch a TV show. There were some free channels if you didn’t want to pay. Other than that there was lots of leg room and the seats were comfortable. When we arrived at the Punta Cana Airport I was blown away. It is a very cool airport with thatched roof and all. Once you get off the plane you walk outside for a bit before entering the open air airport. It’s beautiful. Customs wasn’t any problem. As we read on Trip Advisor there are a lot of “baggage boys” who come up and “take” your luggage and start heading out of the airport with it. We were warned in advance and so we were stern and just kept saying “no gracias” over and over. If they do manage to take your luggage out to your bus you have to pay them. It’s not a long way to go either. Our bus was easy to find as it had an “Air Transat” sign in the window. If you have a problem there is a service desk just before you go outside and they will tell you what bus to go to. The bus ride was not long at all and you get to see a lot of Punta Cana along the way. Once was arrived at the Bahia Principe property the first guest were dropped off at the Bahia Principe Punta Cana. We were then taken to the lobby of the Bahia Principe Bavaro were we got off the bus and retrieved out luggage. We were told that we would take a trolley/cart to the Bahia Principe Ambar. We didn’t have to wait at all. We were immediately taken (with our luggage) to the lobby of the Ambar. There were two other couples with us from our plane. Once we arrived we were immediately given a cold, damp towel and a welcome drink. A porter took our bags and placed them beside his desk. We were then greeted by the manager who asked us to fill out some paper work. We completed ours first and he took it back right away. We had to wait until the others were done before the manager, Aldo, came back with our info packages and our room keys. He explained the map and layout of the hotel. We had requested a specific block of rooms via email and had also booked or a la carte restaurant reservations via email so we were eager to see if the requests were met. We did this about a month before leaving. We spoke with the two other couples. One couple requested a certain room block and restaurants about 2 weeks in advance and the other couple made no requests. We were pleased to find out that our a la carte restaurant reservations had been met. We were disappointed to find that our room request was not met especially since the couple who requested the same room block as we did only 2 weeks before arriving got there room and the couple who made no room request got the room block we requested. We did not say anything and just decided to accept what we had as we were eager to get onto the beach. We then found out from Aldo the manager that our room was the only room that was not ready. We waited for about an hour and a half in the lobby before we were taken to our room. Our room was room # 65208 and was a corner room on the second floor. The corner rooms are quite a bit bigger with a bigger balcony. There are blocks of buildings with building 60 and 67 being closest to the ocean and with 64 being right in front of the pool. Our building #65 was behind #64. We could see a bit of the pool but not the ocean. Our room was beautiful and extremely clean. The rooms are all the same with the exception of the corner rooms being bigger. They have a living area with a couch, a table and chairs and a lounge type chair. There is a flat screen TV on top of a beautiful and large armoire. The bed is a very large 4 poster king and is very comfortable. There is also a large closet with a safe and lots of shelves to put your stuff on. The safe is large enough to fit a laptop. We put our laptop, passports, money and jewellery inside and still had room to spare. The bathroom is very large and all marble. The vanity is big. There is a separate toilet area with a frosted glass door. The shower is huge with two shower heads. There is also a jet tub with really strong jets. We did use it but it does take a really long time to fill up. You do have the option to call the butler and have him fill you bath at a certain time and you can also request different oils and scents to be added to the bath for a small fee. The maid always cleaned our room very well. You can even request a time when they are to come. You just fill out a card and leave it on your bed. The only small problem I would say about the housekeeping was that sometimes the maid forgot to leave facecloths and sometimes she forgot to leave bath mats. There is a separate guy who fills your complementary mini bar everyday. He was a really nice guy. We left a tip for him everyday and he often left extra alcohol. Two of the days he did forget to replenish the Pringles but other than that he was awesome!! We took advantage of the free pillow menu every night. There is a menu in the book in your room. We would just call every morning and order a different pillow and it would be there after the nightly maid service before we went to bed. That was the other thing that I forgot to mention. The maids came back at night and turned down your bed, left chocolates and emptied out the garbage cans. I will also mention that we never saw any flies or bugs at all. The place was so clean. The staff was constantly cleaning. We even noticed a guy with a razor blade on his hands and knees in the walkway scraping stuff from between the stones. We always went to breakfast at the Ambar buffet. The food was amazing there. You had so many choices and everything we tried was excellent. There was an omelette bar, bread bar, smoothy bar and a scrambled egg station. What I really loved was that there was a diet corner where they had egg whites done up with tomatoes and peppers along with other low fat options. They also had low fat milk (chocolate too) and yogurt. Some other people we talked to ate at the restaurant close to the beach for breakfast and loved it. You can also order breakfast in your room if you want it. There is a menu of what is available in the room. I went to the gym every morning. It wasn’t a great gym for a 5 star but it wasn’t bad. The guy who worked there was awesome. After a breakfast and a workout we would head to the towel exchange located at the main entrance to the pool and got fresh towels. You can exchange your beach/pool towels as many time as you like which is nice. We would then get to the beach around 11:30 and always found some beach chairs. Sometimes it took some hunting but we always managed to get some. Most people did get up at the crack of dawn and put towels on the chairs. The beach is very large and very beautiful. You can walk for miles. The beach was quite crowded towards the Bahia Principe Bavaro and Punta Cana section but the Ambar section was never crowded at all. If you wanted to do aerobics or play volleyball you just had to walk a few meters down to the Bahia Principe Bavaro/Punta Cana section. There were vendors that walked the beach with different things to buy like jewellery, paintings, artwork, statues, and cigars, knock off designer sunglasses etc. They did not hassle you. You simply had to say “no gracias” and they would keep walking. If you did get them to stop you are in for a bargaining session. I picked out 2 pendants and a ring from one vendor and he wanted $425.00. I eventually talked him down to $20. So just be willing to have them walk away. I talked to one couple who said they got a painting from a vendor for $40 when he originally wanted $160 so the next day I decided to have a look at the paintings. The guy came over to my beach chair and showed me lots of beautiful paintings. He was very nice and gave us some free cigars. I picked out 5 painting and a package of cigars. He originally wanted $400 but quickly went down to $185. He looked hot and so I offered him some pop that I had brought from the room. He was very touched by the gesture so I gave him a few bottles to take with him and also gave him some mickies of liquor. He absolutely loved it. We settled on $110 for 5 paintings and a package of cigars. I thought this was great seeing that the couple we had talked to paid $40 for one painting. I went to the room to get some money and when I was there I grabbed some more drinks for him and a necklace I had brought for the vendors wife. When I gave him the extra stuff and the necklace he was overwhelmed. I ended up walking away with 8 paintings and the cigars for the $110. He was so touched that he wanted me to pick out extra paintings and didn’t charge me anymore money. There were always activities/games going on at the pool down there as well. The Ambar section of the beach has an adult’s only area which was strictly enforced by security. The other Bahia Principe guests were not even allowed on that section of the beach. The beach bar was awesome and the bartender that worked at it made the best Rum Punches and Mai Tai around. The pool was also very nice with lots of chairs. It was harder to find a chair here unless you were willing to get up very early and put a towel on a chair. Often a photo company would come around the pool with different animals and would take you picture with them. You could then go and buy the picture for $10 at the Peublo Principe photo shop. The Peublo Principe is a shopping, market and entertainment complex at the beginning of the Bahia Principe property. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the Ambar or again you could take the trolley. It had shops, a market where you could barter with the vendors, a stage with entertainment nightly, lots of outdoor seating, a internet café, a bank, a Casino, bars, a Karaoke bar, a disco etc. We found out after that you could offer the guys taking the picture a couple of dollars to take a photo with your own camera and they would let you. That way you didn’t have to go pay the $10. It is worth the $10 for the professional picture though. They are beautiful. The pool bar also had good drinks and the waiters and waitresses were very nice, especially Nicole. We ate lunch at the beach buffet restaurant. We did not try anything else for lunch. This restaurant was very close to the beach and right beside the pool so it was very convenient. It had a lot of selection. There were things like a salad bar, pasta bar, dessert bar and also hamburgers, hotdogs, nachos (which were amazing), fries, and chicken (which is famous and very good). We did not find that we ever had to wait in line for a drink or something to eat. There were many other options for lunch such as a beach café and the buffet but we enjoyed the convenient location of the restaurant by the beach/pool. We had pre booked reservations for 3 different a la cartes but we only ended up going to 2 of them and we loved them both. We went to the Garden Grill which was amazing. It was a buffet to start with a salad bar, bread, chilli, potato skins, cheese sticks, onion rings, soup, stew etc and then you ordered your main dish from a menu of about 8 choices. I ordered chicken which was very tender and full of flavour and my boyfriend had rib eye steak which I had a bite of. It was amazing!! The desserts were also good. The service here was excellent and you could have any drink you wanted including unlimited wine or champagne. I had the red wine which I really enjoyed. We also ate at “Maiko” the Japanese a la carte. It was our favourite. They bring you in to this room where there is a large grill. The room seats about 10 around the grill and you have your own waiter and cook. You start the meal with Sushi and Tempura shrimp and veggies. You are then served your choice of two soups. The cook then starts the show and does some fancy knife and spatula work while he prepares your meal in front of you. You can have chicken, beef, fish and shrimp or any combination of those. I had the beef and chicken which were unbelievable. My boyfriend tried all of the meat selections and loved them all. You also get rice and veggies. After dinner you are escorted to the main section of the restaurant which is in all candlelight where you are served coffee/tea/alcohol and a dessert. We chose Ginger Cake and Deep Fried Ice Cream. We ended up cancelling our last reservation because we did not hear great things about it. It was an Italian Restaurant but I can’t remember the name of it and we really loved the Ambar buffet. The theatre where the entertainment takes place nightly at 9pm and then the same show again at 10pm is located close to the Bahia Principe Bavaro so you must either walk about a 5 to 10 minute walk or grab a trolley/cart that will take you right there. These trolleys/ carts are going constantly and you never have to wait for very long. We often chose to walk as the grounds are beautiful and you are allowed to take your drinks so it was often a nice night walk with a great drink. The entertainment was hit or miss. The Michael Jackson show was cheesy. The impersonator really looked and moved like Michael Jackson but his lip sinking was awful. The Circus show was amazing and so were the dance shows. The Lion King was a little cheesy as well but wasn’t bad. We also really enjoyed the Mr. Bahia Principe show. It was comical. They take male members of the audience up on stage and the do a sort of “male pageant” with them. We also went to the Karaoke bar which was a lot of fun and really busy. We did not even step foot in the Disco but we heard it was a lot of fun and played good music. The other thing I forgot to mention is that we did go to the meeting with our Air Transat rep Fernando. He was from Montreal and was really nice and funny. It was helpful to go to the meeting as he explained more about the resort than the manager did and also talked about bartering with the vendors and different excursions. He was VERY helpful. We ended up booking the Dolphin Island excursion with him. It was pricey at $120 each but it was well worth it. You get on a bus at the resort which takes you to the Dolphin Island park. You get on a boat which takes you out to a huge dock in the ocean. You are able to swim with sharks and giant sting rays and then you swim with the dolphins. It was incredible. You can’t take your own pictures unless you want to stand behind a rope which is a little ways away from the dolphins. We bought the CD/DVD which included professional pictures of us with the dolphins, a dolphin island video, pictures of the Dominican and a video of the Dominican. It was $20. Now for the checkout. We were told that we could pay $15 an hour by our rep Fernando to keep our room if it was available. We decided to do this as we did not have to be at our bus to go to the airport until 5:25pm. Unfortunately our room was not available. This incredible couple that we met from Saskatoon offered for us to keep our bags and shower up in their room and we did this. If we didn’t do this we had the option to put our bags in a locked room and then shower in the gym. The gym had large, beautiful, clean washroom and fresh towels but it was easier to be able to access our luggage when we needed to. When we were ready to go we checked out at the front desk. Make sure you do this because they give you a ticket that you have to give to the bell boys in ordered to be taken to the Bavaro Lobby to meet the bus. We were then taken to the Bavaro lobby along with our luggage to meet our bus. The Air Transat Rep met us there and informed us that our flight had been cancelled due to a snow storm in Moncton and that our hotel was completely booked. She informed us that we would be bussed to another resort to stay for the night free of charge with all the drinks, entertainment, food etc. included. She also told us that all the other 137 passengers on our plane would be staying there. We were taken to the Barcelo Premium. DO NOT STAY here. It was awful. The rooms were very small and very dirty. The beds were uncomfortable and the air conditioner was not cold at all. The food was awful at the buffet and it was very dirty. There were lots of mosquitoes. We talked to a lot of people from our plane and all of the people we talked to said the same thing. They were all unhappy with the resort. We even went to the entertainment. The theatre and theatre bar was beautiful but the entertainment was awful. It looked like the dancers didn’t even want to be there.
Overall we LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Ambar!!!!! We also loved Marilyn’s service. She worked so hard to get us a resort we would love at a great price. Air Transat was great and we would not hesitate to book with that carrier again!! Thanks Marilyn!!
- BAHIA PRINCIPE AMBAR - PUNTA CANA - MARCH 2009
We wanted to say hi and let you know that everything is going great in Florida. We loved the Port Orleans French as the service was perfect, rooms were nice, roomy and clean, and the food was okay. It was food court style and a bit high priced but overall good.
Epcot was hot (83 degrees), Blizzard Beach was even hotter (87 degrees) and the NHL game we took in was FABULOUS! Sidney Crosby scored 2 goals which was exciting to watch.
Today we explored Animal Kingdom, swam in the pool and plan to do a bit of outlet shopping tonight. The next few days will be in the high 80's so we're not sure where to go next!!!
Thanks for everything :)
- DISNEY PORT ORLEANS - FRENCH QUARTER - APRIL 2009
Thanks for the welcome home.
The flight there was terrible. It was very cramped and uncomfortable. At times, I almost felt claustrophobic.
We were met by a representative and led to our buses. The bus actually stopped on the ride to the hotel to show us a drunk who had passed out on the side of the road. I found that to be a strange thing to promote. On the trip we were asked by the representative to leave a tip for the driver which I did not feel appropriate.
We were signed in and then driven to our rooms. The rooms were quite nice; spacious, clean and quiet. Although we were split up into three different buildings, it worked out well.
After a good night's sleep, we awoke to a beautiful day and roamed around the resort discovering what it had to offer. The brochure was right. It is NOT for the physically challenged. There are a lot of stairways and very few handrails
The food was OK; nothing great but certainly not bad and it was always available. We used the a la carte dining 5 nights. Again, nothing spectacular but again nothing bad and you could always find something you liked.
Drinks of course were plentiful and readily available. Not being too much of a drinker, I didn't get my monies worth in this area but that was my choice.
We all went in to Guardalavaca one day on the bus (5 pesos each return) and visited the market. We had such a good time another couple and I shared a cab and went in another day(12 pesos each way). Another day we all rented scooters (27 pesos each) and rode into Holguin where we encountered a hustler who guided us around the city and showed us parts of the city that you wouldn't see on the tour bus. Another great day.
There was entertainment every night in the theatre on the resort. Although not everybody enjoyed all the shows, I and my wife found every night to be fun and entertaining. Besides, it was free and so were the drinks.
Tipping or presents are expected everywhere; maids, gardeners, maintenance staff, waiters and waitresses, bartenders and servers and every other Cuban who you come into contact with. When you go into town, you are accosted everywhere by hustlers who are trying to sell you something but when you already have a hustler looking after you like we did, he keeps the others at bay.
Except for the fact that they separated my wife and I, the flight home was much better. We had a larger aircraft and we had more room. I found out later there was actually empty seats so I find it hard to understand why we kept apart.
The weather was terrific. It was in the low to mid thirties every day with only some cloud on one day.
All in all, My wife and I enjoyed it very much. Would we go back again? Probably not. Would we recommend it to someone else? Definitely.
I think I covered everything. If I missed something you would like a comment on, please give me a call or email.
- OCCIDENTAL GRAND PLAYA TURQUESA - HOLGUIN, CUBA
This is my feedback on Playa Pesquero Resort
The first sight of the interior of the resort is the lobby, massive & beautiful, with wonderful comfy slouchy chairs
An indication of things to come
Check-in & out was swift & easy. If you make telephone calls be sure to check a day prior to leaving & get some convertible pesos to cover the cost as the bank on site is not open until 8 am Our check-out was at 6 am
Due to my surname being French, all information provided to me was in French. There was no problem a day later getting an English version and new beach towel coupons, especially since I had discard the French receipts necessary to get a towel.
The lobby coffee bar was fabulous: the lattes, the croissant and sugar cookies; available 24-7
The L-shaped lobby bar is certainly the center of the evening entertainment. Chocolate martinis are fabulous!!
Even if the line-up is a few people deep, the service was fast & pleasant
Many restaurants to choose from. No way that anyone would starve! The beer garden is open 24 hours. The spring rolls & stuffed red peppers were so tasty.
The pool is massive & great for families with small children. Lots of shallow spots for the tots
The ice cream bar on the way to and back from the beach is a joy! A daily stop.
The beach was long, beautiful & clean. Great for walking! The water was warm, no under tow or drop-offs
The hotel rooms were excellent! Just make sure that if you want your bedding changed & fresh towels put everything in a heap on the floor.
The staff was friendly & polite. Certainly didn’t feel the need to tip, although we did until the pesos ran out on the last day.
I can honestly say nothing negative about Playa Pesquero Resort & will definitely return!!!
- PLAYA PESQUERO RESORT - HOLGUIN, CUBA - MARCH 2009
Back from Tulum, Mexico. All went well. Thanks for the welcome home. Sorry we are slow to get this note to you, but as we return to our normal life a week has slipped away.We thoroughly enjoyed Dreams Tulum resort. Their facility and staff were absolutely wonderful. We were so impressed with the attitude and efficiency of the staff. They just couldn't have been more polite or helpful. The facility was clean, clean, clean.
The food was very good! Almost anything you could ask for, just not the assortment of exotic fresh fruit and coconut we remember from a previous trip. But no complaints really. Most mornings we ate breakfast at the seaside grill, with a view to the ocean. One day we took a day trip to go snorkelling, and had to get away for 7:30 am, so ate from the buffet at the World Cafe. It's the only restaurant open that early. Our very favourite spot for lunch was the Veranda - just loved their clubhouse pannini, and the casual open-air elegance. For a quick snack the cabaña at the beach served our needs. The Italian restaurant was our favourite, but the French cuisine was equally as good. No reservations were required and they were able to accommodate us in a very timely manner. It was pleasant to be able to linger over dinner, as we did most evenings, without having to rush out the door to do other things.
The weather was great while we were there, around 30C every day. We would definitely recommend this resort. It's true to their advertisement, that it's a resort for families and couples alike. It feels safe and there is lots of space. We really enjoyed walking the beach. This resort is not real close to other resorts so there is plenty of uncrowded beach to walk in relative solitude. The spa was heavenly. We were reluctant to leave and think another time maybe we'll go for two weeks instead of one.
Thanks so much for your patience and your expert help in booking this vacation.
- DREAMS TULUM - RIVIERA MAYA - MEXICO - MARCH 2009
Our trip was a HUGH success. We were suppose to have arrived in Cuba mid to late Tues afternoon but did not arrive til mid-night due to Monday's storm the day before which caused problems for everyone; however, I must say...Sunwing & their staff were EXCELLENT & made us feel as comfortable as possible. From then on the trip was PERFECT!!!!!!!! The girls & I had an extremely FUN time. The location, beach, etc was GREAT. Only complaint would have been the comfort of the bed & the food but that's CUBA & we would get the same at any resort. However, most of the staff were very friendly & I didn't think I seen not one bug (no bugs in hotel, around hotel, pool, beach or in the air...no bugs anywhere). Highly recommend this resort + the boat tour that includes swimming with the dolphins, snorkeling & lunch on a nice secluded beach.
Thanks for hooking us up!!!!!
- VARADERO - CUBA - CLUB ARENAS BLANCAS - MARCH 2009
Just wanted to thank you for your efficient service in re-arranging our flight – on Sat. Feb 28 (we wound up on first class and my boys figure that is the only way to travel now!) but even our flight back from Tampa to Portland was on a great plane with individual entertainment systems – kept the boys occupied) anyway thank you sooooooo much
- ORLANDO - MARCH 2009
Hi Ms. Charters,
Vacation and trip was wonderful thank you. Very nice place, very kind people and staff. I would recommend to everyone.
- BAHIA PRINCIPE TULUM - MEXICO - MARCH 2009
thanks!!!!! We had an AMAZING trip... all of us....... thanks again for everything.... all was great... even with the delay leaving Saint John, not being able to land in Charlottetown and back to Saint John again... that was still ok.... we got there safe and sound.......
The resort was clean... staff friendly.... we read the reviews and it said they were not... but they were so nice to us that we don't know what the reviews are talking about.... food was ok ( cuba and all ) and the beach amazing... we could not have asked for better weather........;)
We did the VIP at the airport leaving Cuba..... I can't say enough good about that... I will always do the VIP at the airport... it just made the end of the trip that much more enjoyable........
thanks again Marilyn!
- CLUB ARENAS BLANCAS - VARADERO,CUBA - MARCH 2009
Marilyn - our trip was awesome!!! Thanks so much for everything. We will definetly book w/you again. The Hotel was beautiful - it was an older hotel but for Cuba it was awesome - very friendly staff! Beach was the best ever. We really enjoyed it all...
- CLUB ARENAS BLANCAS - MARCH 2009
We're back and had an awesome trip. A little shaky getting off as the weather wasn't co-operating so didn't get there until almost midnight. From then on everything was great. We really enjoyed the resort and the beach was amazing. Weather awesome, a little cooler the first two days but that was a good thing to pace us in the sun. Or gang had a blast and definitely want to go again next year. On the way back we arrived an hour early and took advantage of booking VIP service in Cuba through Sunwing. Highly recommend that. Pay 25 pesos and when we arrived at the airport the 20 of us were personnally taken to a new checkout just for us ( the other 1000 people in the airport in line gave us a dirty look) then they paid our departure tax for us (avoiding another line up) then we got preference to go through customs first then into the VIP lounge. The lounge offered beautifull big leather couches, complimentary snacks, international liquer. Awesome!
We'd go back to that resort. It was a little tired but very clean and the staff excellent! You done good girl
- CLUB ARENAS BLANCAS - VARADERO - MARCH 2009
We were at SRH from Feb. 19-26. We booked with Transat and had no issues.
We have previously travelled to the Bahamas and Barbados. After reading the reviews on TripAdvisor, I had low expectations and I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
I think negative reviews come from people who go expecting this resort to be comparable to other Sandals which it probably isn’t. If you go with a good sense of humour and the attitude of making the most of your vacation, you will enjoy this resort. In the end, you get what you pay for and the other Sandals destinations are far more pricey than this one.
Resort: The grounds are well kept. Rooms were clean and service was great throughout especially Hermes and Dania at the buffet restaurant. We found that sitting in the same area at the buffet was a good idea as we got to know the wait staff and they remembered us. Our cups were never empty and they couldn’t do enough to please. Same at the bar: if you got a drink you didn’t like the bartender made you something else. We found all staff to be professional and friendly. The only exception to this was most of the front desk staff we encountered during our stay. It wasn’t that they were rude but they seemed indifferent I guess, like guests were a bit of an inconvenience.
We did smell the sulpher smell a few times but it wasn’t overpowering on the resort. We found it quite strong out on the street, walking towards Iberostar and Paradiscus.
Food: We really enjoyed the food at the buffet, so much so that we didn’t bother to book any a-la-cartes. Breakfast was eggs, bacon, omelets, fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, toast, pastries etc. Lunch was rice, fries (they had Heinz ketchupJ), steak, chicken, fresh fish, soup, bread, etc. There was a variety of choices for the evening meal but I normally stuck to the pasta or pizza which they made fresh for you. I always tipped Yoel at the pasta station because he works so hard and always serves your pasta with a smile. I found the deserts quite bland but really enjoyed the ice cream (they had 3-4 flavours every day at lunch and supper). Overall, anyone who couldn’t find something to eat here has got to be extremely picky. We loved it. A note for pop drinkers: we saw no Pepsi the whole trip but they do have Coke and Sprite in Varadero at some of the cafés. They do have their versions of Coke and Sprite at the resort and the Sprite wasn’t too bad.
Beach: I had very high expectations for the beach and was actually somewhat disappointed. In terms of quantity, you could walk for miles. The sea was a beautiful turquoise color and staff on the beach was great and were always there to get you a lounge chair which were plentiful. Palapas were also plentiful. My main complaint about the beach was the sea weed and shells that would wash up that never seemed to get cleaned up. You have to be careful where you walk because you could step on sharp shells or other sea debris which seemed to be everywhere.. Also, there were a ton of jellyfish while we were there. Portuguese Man O’ Wars were also a big problem during our stay. There were very few days when we didn’t walk the beach and count at least 10-15 washed up on the shore. It was very windy during our stay so I’m sure this was the source of the problem. The beach right in Varadero (downtown) is very nice and much cleaner.
Pool: The pool was great. Very clean and lots of sun loungers however, during our stay if we wanted to get a lounger at the pool we put our stuff out early because if you wait until afternoon there are usually none.
Entertainment: We enjoyed the live music in the lobby bar each night but it did get repetitive after a while because it was the same group every night. The night shows were ok. Apparently there is a great magic show (we missed it) and one night we heard Charlie A’Court (from Nova Scotia) who put on a great show but other than that the entertainment was just ok. Most nights we made our own fun in the bars with people we had met.
Varadero: We went into Varadero twice to do some exploring. We caught the double decker bus ($5 pesos round trip) the first time which was an experience! We opted for the trolley train the second time ($4 pesos round trip) as it was slower moving and we could take pictures and see more of the sights. Varardero is very safe and clean. We were not hassled and felt totally comfortable walking around. The market is nice (much less congested than Havana).
Dolphin Show: We walked up to the Dolphinario (I think that’s what it’s called) about a 20 min. walk from our resort and watched a 30 min. dolphin show. It was very cool and well worth the money.
Havana: We paid $190 Cdn. to do the Havana tour and it was excellent. It’s a two hour bus ride there and back but the bus is comfortable and our tour guide was informative. You will stop at a Pina Colada stand to break up the trip. The Pina Coladas here are awesome!! You will visit Hemingway’s bar/hotel where he spent his time while in Cuba, museums, a huge cemetery, Revolution Square etc. They also provide a very nice lunch (4 course). Be prepared for people to approach you when you are getting on and off the bus however. They will ask for money, etc. We found a lot of this in Havana at the regular tourist spots but once away from this area it was fine. Another thing about this trip is that at several spots we were told we had to pay to take pictures (1-2 pesos) which I thought was ridiculous. All in all, a great trip.
Tipping: We tipped at every meal and every couple rounds of drinks and it was much appreciated. A little goes a long way in Cuba. Staff at the resort never asked for tips and I think the service would still be good if you didn’t tip. Off the resort, if you go an excursion you will be asked to tip the bus driver and tour guide. In Havana, it seemed that everyone had their hand out for a tip even if they didn’t do anything for you. I have no problem with tipping but I don’t like being asked to tip or tipping someone who has not provided any type of service to me. This, we found annoying.
We left gifts (toiletries, etc.) for our maid everyday but she seemed more interested in my clothes and shoes. She left me a note saying they were “very nice” and she “likes and needs.” I ended up leaving half my wardrobe for her. I wish I would have brought more clothes, shoes etc. to leave. My husband gave a pair of sunglasses to a gardener and his Bubba Keg to Yoel on the beach and they appreciated it so much. Their reactions were priceless.
This is a great resort for normal, working folks who are looking for a break. If you go there expecting to live in the lap of luxury you will be disappointed. The staff does their best to make your holiday memorable and the Cubans are among the nicest people you will find anywhere. A smile goes a long way too and I find you get what you give here.
I would recommend this resort to anyone going to Varadero for sure. We will probably not return to Cuba next year but it is a great place for a cheaper
- SANDALS ROYAL HICACOS - VARADERO - FEB 2009
What a great break this vacation was…….the Playa Costa Verde was tons of fun…..Cuban bartenders, etc
fantastic – met loads of party people from all over – Winnipeg, Ontario, England, Germany, Finland.
It will take a few days to work the alcohol out of our systems.
The pool bar ended up being our place of choice – just one continuous party - beach was good too – water was gorgeous
and warm. Our rooms were fine – depended on the day if we got more than 1 towel -- Cuban coffee sucks tho!
Kevin and I got caught in the snow bomb of Sunday night/Monday morning Feb 23 - took us
3 ½ hrs to drive from Saint John to Fredericton; then, we were informed that our plane was
stuck in St Johns, NL – and there would be a couple hrs delay – well that couple hr delay
ended up being a 14/15 hr delay – needless to say the Freddy Beach Airport isn’t the most
comfortable place to send hrs on end.
But ended up getting our time back on the other end – our flight out of Cuba was stuck
here in the Maritimes so we got an extra night at the resort – yeh, more drinkin in the lobby bar!!!
Anyway, had a really great time at this resort; loved Cuba and the people – would recommend it
to all- the food wasn’t the best, but who goes to Cuba for the food.
Hope you survived all the storms in the last week and a half.
- PLAYA COSTA VERDE - HOLGUIN CUBA - MARCH 2009
Here it is in point form.
Flight there was great, Air Canada, Each seat had it own monitor and numerous choices of recent shows, movies to watch. Flight left on time and arrive on time.
Once there the process of getting to the hotel was also great. Hosts met us and got us on the bus to the resort in a very short time. The resort was about 20 mins from airport.
At the resort the "in" process was very smooth. I was in my room less than 10 mins but I was the first. Some people had to wait a few hrs as the check in time was 1500 hrs and we arrived about 1300 hrs. If your room wasn't ready you had to occupy yourself until check in time. My friend that I met there had to go to another room as the one assigned to him was already occupied.
I book the three restaurants at 1600 hrs the same day. I go my choices no problem and I put my name on "Standby List" for three other nights. In total I had 6 nights of fine dining. The Steak restaurant was the best by far with the other two being very good. I recommend the tenderloin. I also recommend you take your own bottle of water from your room to the Steak Restaurant as the water tasted a bit stale. I mentioned it to the server and she suggested as others have done previously to bring your own water. The buffet restaurant had good choices and I enjoyed the meals. At times the service was not of the highest standard expected of a five star. At times you were escorted to the table but mostly told to sit anywhere, drinks were slow to arrive at the table to a point we had to get our own. Refills on drinks especially wine were very slow. The servers were very friendly but appeared to be somewhat disorganized as they were working all over the place doing everything.
The pool area was nice but not many people in the water as the weather was cloudy. I was in everyday and thought the pool was great. I noticed some dirt was lingering on the third cloudy day as I think the pool Maintenance was not a high priority as not many were in the pool. Entertainment around the pool was good, the employees were always doing something to entertainment especially when the weather was not the greatest. Drinks were good throughout the trip, be sure to ask for the drink and to say "with Rum" etc.
The gym was small but very good. I went everyday. They had two treadmills, spin bikes, a few free weights and some machines. Very good.
Rooms were OK. The rest of the hotel compared to the rooms. Not of a five star standard.
Myself and Joan compared this resort with the "Bahia Principi" in both DR and Mexico with both the Bahia Principi being far more better. We paid comparable prices for all and the "better bang for the buck" is definitely the Bahia Principi.
In summary we had a great time. We enjoyed each other and relaxed as was the main goal. We met some good friends and enjoyed their company. The resort was good but not exactly what we expected.
Next year we will most likely go to the Bahia Principi in Cuba.
- IBEROSTAR ROSE HALL - MONTEGO BAY,JAMAICA - JANUARY 2009
Hi Marilyn, the trip was great. The schedule kept us busy which was good but at the same time allow us to relax a little in between. It was everything we thought it would be and more. We met some nice people and did not have to concern ourselves with driving, planning or any of the other headaches. Things went really smooth and we did not run into any problems in the arrangements. So it was very good. We were glad to get home afterwards but happy we made the trip. Thanks for the help!
- TRAFALGAR TOURS - BRITAIN & IRELAND HIGHLIGHTS
Thanks for the welcom home! Our trip was fantastic!! Europe is amazing to say the least. We had a wonderful time and nothing went wrong. All our bookings and tours were great. We were really happy with the hotels as they were in excellent locations and very clean! All the trains and air flights were on time and really good. We walked alot, ate alot and took lots of pictures.
Thanks again for all your help in planning this trip! It was great being away but it is always good to come back home!
Have a great rest of the summer!
- EUROPE - SUMMER 2008
Sincere thanks for your "Welcome Home" message!! Hope you enjoyed your vacation too!!
We had a fabulous two weeks at the Riu Yucatan! We were on the beach by 2:30 P.M. on Friday after-noon and had great flights. Our room was in Building 5 on the ground floor---adequate and clean--- so we were well pleased, as we were only steps from the pool, beach and the theater. We found the staff very friendly and accommodating and had no complaints with the amenities offered.....(first time we had a liquor dispenser in our room, but we only used it a couple of times) There were plenty of food options and it was good to have the choice of three restaurants. We especially enjoyed the food at the "Shanghai" and ate there three times!! We were happy just to relax at the resort, swim and walk the beach. Saw at least a dozen "beach weddings", and went shopping only a couple of times.....Had already visited the Mayan ruins, so didn't repeat. Enjoyed participating in some of the many activities organized on site.
During one of our walks on the beach we looked in on the Riu Palace (relatively new I imagine) and were really impressed with the layout and the grandeur. No doubt it is a pricier resort, but a couple of the guests told us that they were able to get decent deals.
We want to say sincere thanks again to you for your efficient and courteous service. If and when we get the yen to travel, we'll definitely be in touch.
Bill and Donna
- RIU Yucatan - Mayan Riviera, Mexico
Marilyn,, it was fabulous. I think it was the best resort we've been to, so far. The only real problem was that for two days, we had a problem keeping our towel quota up, and had to notify the rep. The drinks were watered at times. The food was absolutely wonderful. I ate smoked salmon and lobster until it was coming out my ears. And the lobster wasn't half bad. The fried fish was so tasty I had two orders at a time, instead of desert.
Weather was great and staff very friendly and helpful. I'd go back in a minute, so let me know if the deal next year is to Playa Pesquero. The beach was amazing!!!!
Can't say enough. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
- PLAYA PESQUERO - HOLGUIN, CUBA
Just wanted to tell you that our first Riverboat Cruise through Holland and
part of Belgium was a wonderful experience. Went in mid-April and had beautiful weather.
The crew on the Riverboat were always so friendly, especially the Dining Room Staff.
With 134 passengers, one feels especially catered to.
Our Cruise of 9 days was far too short, but in that time visited many Ports and
Towns along the way. Sometimes we walked into the Towns and if it was too far, buses
were there to take us. I believe Riverboat cruising is the greatest and can't wait to go
on another one, hopefully, get to do that someday soon and for at least a couple of weeks.
Laurie & Audrey
- RIVER CRUISE
Oh my gosh, we all had a great time. Never stopped for the whole time. We took in most of the 4 theme parks. We also layed by the pools. The resort was awesome. I would recommend it.
The kids were amazed. Got awesome pics. I will send you a couple. Give me some time to recoup, hehe
Did ALL the rides, Jaiden even did all the big rides including the Rockin Roller Coaster. He was quite the adventurer . Did not want to miss anything.
PS, as always no complaints about WESTJET.
Bill & Armelle
- CARIBBEAN BEACH RESORT / DISNEY
Hi Marilyn. The trip was amazing! We loved it all and meet lots of wonderful people.Thanks for all your help. Dave and Connie
- TRAFALGAR TOURS - EUROPEAN IMPRESSIONS