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Had a great trip with the help of Blowes Travel & Cruise Centres Inc.?
Thanks so much for all your help, Jennifer. We wouldn't have been able to do it all without you!
Laureen and James, London ON (trip to Riviera Maya Quintana Roo Mexico)
Travel consultant: Jennifer Chedore, firstname.lastname@example.org
We had an amazing time at Now Sapphire in Mexico. I would go back there or any of the Now resorts for that matter.
Room: Awesome. We were not able to open the doors to the balcony as it was too buggy. I would do ocean view for that reason but the room was clean, bed was super comfy and the linens were very nice. They topped up the drinks/snacks each day and that was a nice touch. It was fun to have chips and M&M's in the room.
Food: Excellent. The buffet: if it was supposed to be hot, it was and if it was supposed to be cold, it was. Everything was fresh and I'm a picky eater. They usually had 2 hot "cook to order" stations in the buffet. One would be beef, chicken, fish and the other was a pasta or fajita. Both excellent. The restaurants were amazing. We did the Asian, Mediterranean and they had one that was open and over looking the ocean. That one also did an al a carte breakfast for platinum guests. Very nice. We did the dinner on the beach - also very nice. I know some people have the "no salad, no fruit unless you peel it" rule but the salad and fruit was so fresh and amazing, I couldn't get enough of it.
Pool: Swim up bar area was just as you'd expect. Busy and social and huge. The Platinum one was a bit quieter and they had 14 bali beds you can reserve. They place a card with your name on it the next day so you have it for that day. Very nice to read, fall asleep and just relax all day. The drinks on that side were made very well - better than the swim up.
Lounge/Social area: This I loved the most. There was a huge lobby/social area near the front of the resort where people gathered in the afternoon/after dinner/evening. There was live music some nights, a magic show that was really cool and just a lot of people socializing. The couches were very comfortable (I even fell asleep once) and plenty. This is a very large area that we ended up at each night.
Entertainment: The staff work really hard during the day and then do shows at night. The "theatre" was nice but usually short lived. They did Karaoke for 1 hour, a comedy show for 1 hour, casino night for 1 hour. I found that once you started to enjoy it, it was over. But oh well....didn't really matter.
Sports Bar/nightclub: The sports bar was a huge hit for my husband. He loved it and got to watch the games he wanted which he loved. At night, this turns into the nightclub. They did an 80's night which went over very well with the crowd. Not sure I want to admit how many times we ended up there!
All in all, we had a very lovely, fun, wonderful trip. Thanks so much for all your help, Jennifer. We wouldn't have been able to do it all without you!
Thanks Beth for recommending upgrading to the oceanfront suite, and upgraded seats on Air Canada Rouge. It was well worth it!!
Paul, London, ON (trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica)
Travel consultant: Beth Baskey, email@example.com
We had incredible weather for our week at the Iberostar Rose Hall in Jamaica and there were a lot of Canadians there too. I'm so glad we went with the oceanfront suite, and upgraded the seats on Rouge. It was well worth the extra!
The resort had our request in for high level with a crib, and on arrival, the room wasn't available because of a mechanical issue. So we only spent one night on the ground level then they sent some apology amenities (sparkling wine and fruits) and put us in on the 4th floor.
The staff were all so friendly and got to know Emma as she ran around the resort saying Hi! They really worked hard to make sure everyone was more than satisfied with every part of our stay.
Food was very well done; so much to choose from at the buffet, and they had daily lunches at the beach including Jerk chicken of course.
Just to be picky, out of the 3 restaurants my favourite was the outdoor steakhouse and I ordered a really tasty tenderloin. The Japanese was a great concept and had decent tasting choices also. The Jambalaya food was my least favourite, and the wait there was about an hr and a half before we ate.
I made use of the non-powered watersports and sailed their catamaran boats as much as the weather allowed (too windy 2 of the days and rainy weather the other). To be allowed to sail it you have to have experience, otherwise they charge 45 USD for a course before you are allowed on your own. I have previous sailing experience but it had been a while so talking to the right person, I got them to take me out for 15 USD then they gave me a quick refresher.
They have professional photographers that take photos throughout the week and you can purchase best 10 at the end of the trip, so we had about 80 to choose from to get 10 good ones put on a cd.
The only real negative of the entire trip - Apparently the "planning staff" who book your 3 meals for the week get points for trying to get you out to a presentation, so they were really pushing for us to go for breakfast at the Rosehall Suites next door and have a presentation for 90 min. But from what we heard from others it was more like 3 hours of sales pitch and touring. We didn't have time for this with Emma's nap schedule and they did try calling at like 8am every morning until I unplugged the phone.....haha.
The resort is showing its age in certain areas but the rooms were clean and resort well maintained. The ocean temperature was like a hot tub, and it was a really nice beach. I saw the staff raking daily in spots.
Thanks again Beth for helping make this an enjoyable vacay for the family. We really needed that and I can honestly say it is the "best overall" all inclusive experience I have stayed at so far.
We had a wonderful vacation at the Iberostar Punta Mita in Puerto Vallarta
Marg and Lee, London, ON (trip to Puerto Vallarta Jalisco Mexico)
Travel consultant: Michelle Toth, firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a wonderful vacation! Hotel Punta Minta was nice and the staff were very attentive and pleasant. Enjoyed our rounds of golf and thought it was well priced through the resort. Plenty of pool activities if you cared to join in and lots of lounge chairs. Long stretch of clean beach to walk and very clean. Water is somewhat rough but that is to be expected on the Pacific coast. We did not do any tours. Food was satisfactory with the exception of the Pacific Express restaurant (which is their high end restaurant )it was excellent. We would return. Thank you Michelle!