Testimonials from our clients

Testimonial: East Coast Tour and Cruise with Hanover Holidays was lovely

Bob and Gerry, London, ON - (trip to Montreal QC Canada)

We had a lovely time on our East Coast tour with Hanover Holidays.  Everything went very well, and Hanover Holidays were efficient and our guide was very helpful when it came to Bob getting from place to place with his walker. 

We enjoyed our tours of Montreal and Boston. The ship was nice, and we really liked that size - not too big. The staff were good and helpful, and the food was generally very good.  Our Hanover guide had suggested that anyone in our group of 49, who wanted to eat together, show up at 5:15 for dinner and she made reservations for us. This was especially good for anyone travelling alone, although we always had a group of about 30 for dinner at that time.  I guess our only complaint was the choice of dinners.  They tended to be rather exotic/non traditional with many ingredients of which we'd never heard. 

 The location of our room was mid ship, so it was an ideal location to all activities. Thanks again, Heather, for helping us set up the trip. 

Cheers, Bob and Gerry 

Our client's review who sailed on RCCL Adventure of the Seas from San Juan

Linda, London, ON - (trip to San Juan San Juan Puerto Rico)

We had a GREAT trip. Everything went smoothly and we enjoyed ourselves very much. Here are some thoughts that might help future clients.

Pre-cruise stay in Old San Juan:

Sheraton Old San Juan in a good location. Walking distance to anything that you want to do in the old city. There are two FREE trollies that transport both tourists and locals around either the perimeter of the old city (green trolley) or traverse the narrow old streets (white trolley). We used them several times. Stops are well marked and very convenient to the Sheraton. Lots of shops and services to choose from in Old San Juan. Room was an ample size. We had a partial view of the harbour. Regretfully the rather small window didn't open so we could not enjoy the Caribbean breezes. This would have been a nice touch. I would definitely request a room on floor 8 or 9 which are still standard rooms but have the Juliet balcony. There a relatively few of these rooms that front the harbour so I suspect that they are at a premium. I tried to get one in the week preceding the cruise. They noted my request but wouldn't guarantee. I even tried the 30th anniversary "card". I think that you pay a fair amount for location for this hotel.

Apparently RCCL built their own pier hence the reason that they don't use the one across from the hotel. It was about a 10min cab ride and cost around $10 for the two of us plus $1 for each bag. Looks like you could walk it from the hotel but it would be a long, hot walk with bags in tow.

If people want beach and old San Juan experience you could stay in what I believe they call the "Condado" area where the hotels on the beach are located. I suspect that it would be about a 10min cab ride into old San Juan. Opinion only but the UNESCO world heritage site designation for the colonial city must have been given in better days. While not devoid of charm, particularly in some areas, old San Juan has elements that appear a bit "tired". Most planters on the street are full of weeds or some plant that has seen better days. Several homeless folks sleeping in nooks and crannies, benches on the street. At times only there was definitely a urine smell as we walked through the streets. (It wasn't either of us:-) They seemed to somehow clean up the town and it definitely has more exuberance when the ship is in port. However, all being said, lots of restaurants, good shopping and some colonial charm. The El Morro fort is well worth the trip located at the outer edge of the old town. Quebec City has way more charm in my opinion!

Cruise:

No hitches on embarkation or disembarkation. I think that getting on the ship went more quickly than any of our other times. GREATLY appreciated the free spa treatment, specialty dining experience and the gratuities being paid! First hot stone massage... I died and went to heaven for an hour!

Ship itself is lovely. I felt that it was fresh and rejuvenated. Hardworking mostly very friendly staff. Some of the bartenders can be a bit devoid of personality. Stateroom was typical. Good closet space. Relatively comfortable bed. It is nice that they will allow you to bring on up to two bottles of wine for the room. For the men, would be nice if they could bring a 12 pack of beer for the room too. Don't really get the difference.

Food:

Good. Not as good as Celebrity or Princess but better than Norwegian and equal to or slightly better than MCS. In the main dining room if you stick with the chicken, fish, pasta dishes they seem to be better quality than the beef dishes. Paul enjoyed a steak similar to the Keg at the speciality restaurant. Otherwise steak choice looked a bit like the old Ponderosa quality of beef. Lots of fresh choice on the breakfast/lunch buffet. You could also choose to order off the menu in the main dining room for brkfst and maybe lunch. The "My Time" dining needs to be booked early if you want your preferred time. We would have preferred a 7pm but could never get that despite booking shortly after initial embarkation.

Drinks: If you do not get a drink package expect to pay a minimum of $8 and up for a glass of wine. A rum punch or margarita was $14 by the time you paid the mandatory gratuity. I thought that this was ridiculous. As well, they are stingy with the drink packages in that they do not include any bottled water, juices, etc..  Tell clients to really think about what they will drink in a day not just including alcohol when determining whether they want a drink package or not. A couple of bottles of water in the room each day or offered for FREE as you get off the ship for excursions would be a nice touch on their part.

Entertainment:

Pool area came alive on the SEA day. Would have been nice if some of this extra effort on RCCL's part was offered on port days too. Evening entertainment was okay. Somewhat limited. Shows were okay.

Ports:

Typical bombardment of "port shopping" in every port except San Juan. Barbados and Castries had the most choice outside the port area. Unique little market in Castries that was definitely local. Bridgetown had the most shopping outside of San Juan with a proper downtown and upscale stores. Given that I perceived these Islands to be more upscale than Mexico, Cuba and DR, I was shocked at the poverty in St Kitts and Antigua once you were outside the port. We did island tours on both of these locales and St Lucia, Barbados. The housing was very poor. There was garbage everywhere around the houses and the roadside. The people had very little. I guess that the collapse or significant scaling back of the sugar industry has really impacted these poor folks. I felt grateful and indulged for what I have. The taxi driver in St Kitts pointed out areas of the downtown to stay away from b/c you will be robbed. This was not far from the port.

I would recommend RCCL to other folks. I do find that they try to scale back in some areas or charge too much or charge at all for some items on the ship (bottled water, cocktails, fitness classes, yoga). They showed the same Celine Dion concert video four days around the pool in the PM. They showed the same three movies in the evening. It is little changes as I have mentioned that would make guests feel like their $ and entertainment experience was valued more.

A great trip and so glad that we took time celebrate our 30th anniversary and figure out that we still like one another. There is nothing like a Caribbean breeze as you sip an indulgent drink waiting to go and enjoy your dinner! Thank you for your help. I always feel like we are in good hands with you. Thinking about the next trip...what southern destinations can I fly to out of London this winter that would leave on a Sat or Sun or late on a Friday for the March Break week?

Thanks Jennifer! 
Linda

 

Client review of the Eurostars Resort, Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba, exceeds expectations

Brooke and Charlie, Strathroy - (trip to Cayo Santa Maria Cuba)

The Eurostar resort Monica booked for us was fabulous. It definitely exceeded both of our expectations. We were shocked that it wasn't 5 star. The beach and pools were out of this world.

Our room was exactly what we asked for, king bed with a ocean view in building 11 which was closest to the lobby and buffet. The room was beautifully furnished with modern designs, we found the bed firm but quite comfortable. The maids were so friendly and did an excellent job every time. The tipping probably helped that!

The lobby was gorgeous! We loved the high ceilings with cool light fixtures. There was usually someone playing piano or a band every night. The shows were okay, the Michael Jackson show was amazing. The night club was great! It was more of a kids club lol but it was air conditioned and had pool tables and ping pong. 

As for the food, it was Cuban! Our expectations were very low and it was surprisingly delicious. We were satisfied every meal. The omelette buffet in the morning was excellent, and we loved the pasta and meat bar at night. They would customize our food for us. The buffet had lots of good stuff too. If you're creative you could make some awesome dishes. We sat near the windows and had an amazing server who was so friendly, always trying to help us out and so we tipped every meal. The only negative was the a la cartes, the food wasn't good but we met some nice people.

One negative was that there was a language barrier most of the time, but we would never complain about that because we are in their country and it is a Spanish resort. However I know that would be an issue for some. Also, the service at the snack bar was always insanely slow, the waitresses would braid their hair and take a half hour to serve you, but again this is Cuban service that was expected. 

Overall we loved the resort!  Thank you for all of your help, we wouldn't hesitate to ask you for help on our next trip.

Couple loved their Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas cruise to Tahiti

Bryan and Chris, Kincardine, ON - (trip to French Polynesia)

Michelle Toth did an outstanding job for us, just like every time she works on our behalf!

Couple and their family had a "perfect trip" at Melia Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

Tim and Karen, London ON - (trip to Cayo Santa María Cuba)

Michelle, we had a perfect trip! The hotel was clean and beautiful - the staff were very friendly - food was excellent. We would go back. One of the nicest beaches we have ever been to. We did the Santa Clara day trip as well as the market - all very professional and eye opening. Thanks for all your hard work!

Couple enjoyed stay at Paradisus Princesa del Mar in Varadeo, Cuba

Tony and Mary, Kerwood, ON - (trip to Varadero Cuba)

Ola Monica! We enjoyed our stay in Varadero,Cuba.  The resort (Paradisus Princesa del Mar) was beautiful and we had no complaints about the food. The beach is also great and you can walk on it for miles which we enjoy.

The only excursion we did was the Havana tour. It was an all day tour which was a fun interesting day. Our first day was cloudy and drizzly so we took the double decker bus to Varadero. It is only 5 pesos and that allows you to use it all day. That was fun too. They do expect a lot of tipping. 

Tony did come home with a quite a few  sand flea bites on his legs. They were extremely itchy so he was not able to sleep much the first couple of nights back. (I was lucky they didn’t like my blood – lol) Would definitely recommend bug spray if people are spending time at the beach. All in all we really enjoyed our stay. Warm weather, friendly people and safe country.

Flying out of London is awesome! Hop back in your car and your back home in no time. Hopefully some day they will fly to some more winter destinations from there. We were very happy flying with Sunwing.  This was the first time that we’ve flown where we actually received food on the flight. The champagne was also a real treat on the way there.

 

Our Celebrity Cruise trip out of Hamilton was terrific!

Ralph and Fran, Strathroy, ON - (trip to Miami FL USA)

Hi Monica! Thanks for the welcome home and even two weeks later the tan is still here and the great memories will last a long time.

From the time we arrived at the Hamilton airport, the Celebrity service was evident on the plane (service, meals, hospitality), greeting at the Miami airport (the process was a bit tricky but everyone made it through) and transfer to the ship.  Same on return. The inclusive of the beverage package, gratuities, transportation , transfers etc is really our preferred way to go and will be our choice. It was also the talk on the ship from many guests that came in from Montreal, Halifax, Toronto etc. Those that had the book and go were all positive about the experience .

Weather, sea conditions, shore excursions were all tremendous... Mayan ruins and beaches in Cozumel, swam with the sea rays in Grand Cayman (highlight) and walked the Dunn River Falls in Jamacia.

For our second time on Celebrity Reflection it remains our preferred ship for the outstanding service.

We were fortunate to see your television ad last August for the book-and-go and you arranged quickly for us. We hope if they extend this program, we can be kept informed when they are being offered.

Look forward to many more cruises!

We can’t thank you enough, Heather, for all of the help you provided in making this such a pleasurable experience and a memorable holiday.

Trudy and Bob, London, ON - (trip to Vienna Austria)

We are just back from our trip to Israel, Vienna and Prague by Monograms tours. We had an amazing time. Our time in Israel with our family was wonderful.  The trip from Tel Aviv through Istanbul and on to Vienna with Turkish Air was great. The planes were very nice, the service was great and the food wasn’t bad for airplane food.  The first flight left 20 minutes early and the second was right on time.  I’d fly Turkish air again.

The Monogram tour of Vienna and Prague was really good.  Both of the hosts in each city were very knowledgeable, helpful and fun. We had great planned tours of the city but the best part was that the hosts were able to give us ideas of great places to eat, things we should try, optional things to see and do and the best way to get about the cities.  They were at the hotel for specific hours each day to help us plan our days to our advantage but could be reached by phone at any time if needed. They were not just trying to promote the optional trips that Monogram advertised but suggested other interesting and perhaps more economical options.  We really felt we were their priority not just the promotion of the tour company.

Because it was so early in the season there were just 4 of us on the tours (the other couple was from Michigan) so instead of the hosts doing the tours we were sent on a tour with another company but in both cases we were very happy with what we saw and did.

The Am Konzerthaus Hotel in Vienna was very nice, well situated so you could walk most places or go one block to the closest subway stop and have access to the whole city. The restaurant and included breakfast was very, very, nice.  The hotel had a kind of old world charm.

The Andel’s Hotel in Prague was also nice but very modern with lots of white, chrome and glass.  The room was lovely but just a different style.  We were in a non-smoking room but the lobby was often smokey, something that we forget about here in North America. The breakfast buffet was very extensive and in both places open from 6:30 am to 10:30 am. The location was a little out of the centre and across the river from the "old town”. It was walkable but also a half block from both subway and street car connections. It was 4 subway stops right to the centre of town.

The first class travel by train between the 2 cities was very easy and comfortable.  It was about 4 1/2 hours on the train but lots of landscape to see along the way.

Because we were there just before Easter there were big Easter Markets in both cities that afforded us the opportunity to sample local crafts, foods and music.  That certainly was a bonus. We also went to a Folklore evening in Prague that included transportation there and back, dinner, drinks and entertainment in the form of folk dance, music and song. This was all for 39 Euros per person which we thought was very reasonable.

We would recommend this Monogram tour to others and would take a Monogram tour again.

We can’t thank you enough, Heather, for all of the help you provided in making this such a pleasurable experience and a memorable holiday.

 

Two couples in their 60s loved their vacation at the Riu Palace, Costa Rica

Carol, Stratford - (trip to Costa Rica)

I would highly recommend this resort. I would stay here again over the Hilton Papagayo where we stayed last year! 

We had a great time! Food was fabulous! Shows were good, sun was very hot, Sunwing representative was excellent! I would highly recommend this resort.

 We went white water rafting had a great time. We did spend one day at the pool at the Riu Guanacaste, next door, yes you were right, there is more shade, vegetation more grown, and busier, and also you have to go up to bar and get your own drinks but next door at the Palace they have a lot of servers who bring you whatever you need! We were glad we spent the extra $’s to stay at the Palace!

Thanks so much!

Tim and Allison highly recommend the Dreams resort in Punta Cana, DR

Tim, Allison and Cameron, London ON - (trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)

Just sitting at the airport and sad to leave paradise!

We got our connecting rooms plus 3rd floor close to the beach with an amazing view of the most beautiful and largest pool I've ever seen. Beach was great!  A little windy and rough as we were on Atlantic but beautiful with no close resorts. You could walk for miles. Food was excellent. No reservations or waits with unlimited a la carts. Hospitality was second to none. They went above and beyond to make our trip great complete with a St Pats parade yesterday and entertainment at night was better than most. Core zone had rifle shooting, batting cages and archery! 

Each afternoon, an ice cream cart came poolside with cookies as well. There was also an amazing fruit stand set up each pm. Drinks were great and served in highball plastic but glass looking glasses with excellent service on both beach and pool. Resort grounds were lush and green w flamingos peacocks and parots.   Allie did spa which covered 40 of the 115 dollars but best she ever had complete with European hydro shower, eucalyptus room etc etc.

Thanks again for all your help. I would highly recommend this resort!

 

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