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Fantastic Trip!

Moe & Wayne, (trip to Germany)
Travel consultant: Heather Hines, heather@blowestravel.com

Heather, we had a fantastic trip!  So many interesting people and places to see.  Although we were the only Canadians!  Most from Britain and the U.S. Great sunny weather with temperatures ranging betwee4n 24 and 32 and no rain. The ship was only 3 years old and had been made for the Douro River.  Our every need was met with friendly professional care.  Included excursions were interesting yet varied. Whether it was one of the 3 guides on the Osfrid or a local one they knew their stuff and not too much detail unless someone asked a specific question.  We found out later that the extra excursions were not well attended with sometimes only 6 in attendance.  We and others that we talked to felt that their included ones were sufficient.

Flights were uneventful however those leaving from Europe were all delayed due to computer issues but the plane leaving from Munich waited for those with connecting flights.  Our delay was 40 min. which worked out as we had only 15 after we landed from Porto to for our connector to Toronto. They discovered us and rushed us through.  Baggage was there at every last stop!  Hurray! 

Viking Douro was a wonderful experience!  Thanks again for taking such great care of us.  We appreciate all that you do for us!! 

Hugs, Moe and Wayne

Our Trip was Simply Spectacular!

John & Pat, (trip to London to Paris)
Travel consultant: Karen McKenzie, karen@blowestravel.com

Our trip to London and Paris in September was simply spectacular!

Beginning with the timing and weather, with the summer season over and the weather - perfect. We were met in London by two Monograms reps who could not be more helpful.  They ensured that our scheduled tours were confirmed and made several excellent suggestions to help us enjoy and maximize our time. The suggestion to use the London “Tube”, or subway, was an excellent means to traverse the city.  The Tube is easy to manoeuvre and when we were unsure, staff were most helpful. Visiting the obvious London landmarks as well as a tour to Stonehenge and Bath provided so much perspective to our British history.  From the theatre to the local pubs, London is a great city to visit which will definitely require a return visit. I

In Paris, staying at a hotel in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower provided a perfect location to learn about the city.  Pairs is another city where the subway is the quickest and most efficient means of travel across the city.  The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coure, Palace of Versailles and Giverny were all stunning sites. We quickly realized that a week in each city was just too short. The activities, cafés and restaurants located along the Seine River make Paris a great tourist destination. Again, our Monograms hosts were most helpful locating destinations, restaurants etc. They certainly removed any anxiety of a non-French speaking tourist. Also, our hotels in London (Millennium Gloucester) and Paris (Pullman Tour Eiffel) were excellent from service to cleanliness. 

Finally, we would be remiss to not comment on the EuroStar.  Travelling from London to Paris via the EuroStar rivals air travel.  Roominess, service, speed and scenery combine to make travelling through two countries a delight.  The EuroStar exceeded our expectations. 

To our Monograms hosts and Karen at Blowes Travel… thank you! John and Pat 

Everything About Scenic is First Class!

Ron & Cheryl, (trip to Danube & Prague)
Travel consultant: Karen McKenzie, karen@blowestravel.com

This was our first river cruise and Scenic was recommended to us by several friends and you Karen. The big advantage was that everything was included and that was certainly the case.  We took this cruise with 2 other couples as we all celebrated our 50th anniversary.  We were definitely not disappointed. Everything about Scenic is first class, especially the dining, service, the cruise director's attention to detail, punctuality, accessibility and he sure was fun!

We were required to change ships in Germany because of low water and the transition to the Jasper was seamless.

All the excursions were thorough but never rushed. Always on time, local guides were excellent. One thing we would recommend changing is the length of free time in Nuremberg.  If this was shortened the coach ride to Prague would be reduced. We understood it would be a 3.5-hour drive and turned out to be 5 hours in rush hour. Leaving Nuremberg earlier would reduce this drive and get to Prague earlier would be a good thing!

The Pearl was extremely well outfitted; we were very pleasantly surprised with the bathroom size, closet space and the cleanliness was second to none. It was nice to have a balcony suite where the upper portion could be lowered for fresh air.

We cannot say enough about the Pearl staff; they were attentive without being intrusive; always polite, friendly and above all so much fun! Many employees in the service industry in North America could take a lesson from them!

We loved the whole river cruise experience as we did not have to pack each day; just enjoy the excursions then return to a wonderful balcony suite and prepare for dinner.  We experienced 26 C temps so enjoyed the upper deck for relaxing as we sailed and for before dinner drinks.

We would highly recommend Scenic for river cruise travel. In addition, all the info we received from Scenic prior to our departure was first class and very informative. We called Scenic directly with some questions prior to departure and they were always answered immediately and courteously.

The 3-day extension is Prague was wonderful. We would definitely recommend that Scenic continue to use the Marriott Hotel. It was a 5 star and the central location could not have been better.

We used Grandeur Limo to transport us to and from Pearson from London and cannot recommend them enough.  Peter was our driver for both trips and he could not have been more friendly, accommodating and professional.

Thank you, Karen and Blowes for a wonderful holiday.

Ron and Chery