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Enjoyed our Backroads bus tour through Ireland! Thanks Karen!

Carol, London (trip to Ireland)
Travel consultant: Karen McKenzie, karen@blowestravel.com

Overall, we really enjoyed ourselves.  I am not an outdoorsy person, and there was a lot of walking and climbing outside, but I found it very stimulating, and it helped me not to gain weight eating all those potatoes and scones.  Paul, the photographer of the group, took thousands of beautiful pictures.  We had a great group of people to travel with; 14 Australians and 2 Canadians from Toronto and we got along very well.

The tour bus was brand new, so that was nice; some said they needed a little more leg room, but I was fine.  The first night we arrived at our hotel with no rooms available for us; apparently, the reservation had changed and no one told our driver or guide.  The replacement hotel was nice.  In fact, the accommodations were lovely, with a mix of modern and old; Kilronan castle was “posh” as our guide described, Benner’s Dingle was extremely charming and felt right at home, Park House had the best scones, Beech Hill Country house was beautiful.  We found Blarney Castle to be very out of date and many of us had noise complaints, whether it was exhaust fans running or people outside our room until the early hours of the morning (we were above the pub and people would come and go, singing, shouting.  Since they don’t have air conditioning (as many don’t), windows have to stay open or it’s too hot).  Blarney was our least favourite area as there is nothing to do there except see Blarney Castle, which we didn’t want to see and did not go to.  We did like the fact that we stayed at most hotels for two nights.

The excursions were very interesting; we could have used more time at the amazing Titanic Museum; the Ulster-American Folk Park was awesome; and of course the scenery was gorgeous.  They definitely took us back roads where larger coaches couldn’t drive and saw some out-of-the way interesting sights like a very tiny and extremely old cemetery and took some very windy roads up the cliffs.  The visitor centres were a lot more interesting than anticipated.

Our day would start with breakfast by 8:00 and back to a hotel by 6:00, with dinners that were included by 7:30 (could use more of those), with a very full itinerary.  The bus would stop every hour or two, or when requested, and there would be washrooms available.  The tour guide was great; what he couldn’t tell us, our guides at certain stops would fill in.  The driver was also great.

We would definitely consider travelling like this again.  We had so much fun.  Thanks for your help, Karen

We absolutely loved our trip to Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

Eileen and Rob, Stratford (trip to Cuba)
Travel consultant: Agnes Segeren-Pethick, agnes@blowestravel.com

We absolutely loved our trip. It takes about 2 hours to get to resort from the airport which is a little long. 

Weather was perfect.  Mostly cloudy and 24 the first day and then kept getting sunnier and 25 thru 28 the rest of the week.  No rain and a nice breeze.

Beach was nicest we have been to and the hobbie cat catamaran was free and they had staff take you out on it.  We also took out large paddle boat on our own.  There were 3 accesses to beach and each one had a beach bar & food which was perfect.

There were 2 identical pools, one on west side and one on east side.  Beautiful lay-out and swim up bar and very clean.

We took a car taxi to a market 5 minutes down the road for $10 for 2 hours.

Rooms were average with a very good shower.   The Hotel did appear to be older than 2 years, but opened in 2016. Our Building #12 was in a good location with pool right out of our building and beach access 3-minute walk and buffet and theatre area 3 minute walk.

Food was not good, but not terrible, just no fruit and coffee and juices were blah.  Lived on chicken, rice, fries and potatoes and ice cream.   Drinks at bars were good.  Omelettes were good if made for you. Italian a la carte was good and we went 3 times for supper.

Entertainment shows were basic except for the Michael Jackson show which was fabulous as they travel from resort to resort.

Flight home was smooth. Overall, for the price I would recommend it as long as people are not looking for fine dining. 

Our trip to Mexico was wonderful. The trip went smoothly from beginning to end.

Ann and Claire, London (trip to Cancun, Mexico)
Travel consultant: Jennifer Chedore, jennifer@blowestravel.com

Our trip to Mexico was wonderful. The trip went smoothly from beginning to end. The Royalton is a beautiful resort. The food is delicious with a huge selection!

We went on an excursion to a cenote and to Akumal. Our other excursion was by catamaran to Isla Mujeres with snorkeling along the way. We toured around the island on a golf cart and then went shopping. It was the platinum package so there were only with about a dozen people, not hundreds.

We rented a cabana for Claire’s Birthday. It was wonderful.   When we got to our room there was a birthday banner on the door. Inside there were balloons, birthday cake and champagne!!

We had a room that faced the mangrove. Claire was unhappy because of the smell but we didn’t have time to sit out there anyway. The view from the second level with the full moon shining on the ocean was spectacular.

There was a variety of entertainment. a market on Monday night, a Chocolate party on Sunday night and everything in between. 

It was hard to come home. Thanks for everything, Jennifer.