Based in Keyingham

Su Dillon

Looking for help with your business travel? Find out how I can help here

It's Nice To Meet You

Thank you for visiting my page Su Dillon your very own personal TC
Please allow me to tell you about my USP

I value your custom to make sure my business succeeds
I’d like to get to know you more and hear your travel desires and needs

Working from my home office I’m available at a time to suit you best
Give me a call with all your details and leave me to do the rest

Using Travel Counsellors technology I can research flights hotels and more
Cruises City breaks and touring trips whatever you’re looking for

I offer an efficient personal service, a quick response time which you will find stress free
You can rest knowing that check-ins, requests and documents will all be left to me

I’ve been in travel most of my adult life and have a passion for what I do
I love nothing more than researching and finding the best deal for you

So where do I like to travel, it's really hard to choose
But probably top of the list is any type of cruise

I’ve sailed with lots of different cruise lines and visited dozens off ports
Caribbean, Europe and Asia I can tell you about all sorts

Still a few places on my bucket list, although I’ve had some with many wows
A fabulous tour of South Africa and going back to Vegas to renew vows

I also love a city break, Paris, Prague and Rome to name a few
Be that flying rail or ferry I can put Special trip together for you

Just tell me the dates and budget and I can co the rest
Popular ones also being Vienna, Krakow and Budapest

Thinking of a major sports match or tickets for a show
I can also plan these for you, perhaps you didn’t know

If you need to travel in your line of work, be that overseas or in UK
I can provide the same personal service, and set up business accounts to pay

Do you attend any group events, awards ceremonies or incentive trips
I can organise these too be it UK overseas hotels or on cruise ships

MyTC accounts will always be to hand at home work or when you travel
Myself and our duty office here if any plans do in ravel

The most important thing, financial security is a must
Everything you book with me is backed 100% by Travel Counsellors trust

Hope this has given you a good insight to all I can help you do
Look forward to speaking to you soon, your personal Travel Counsellor Su

signature

Contact Me

Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact details on and I can get things started for you:

Find me on social

My Videos

Galapagos Cruising with Celebrity

3/18/2021

A real Bucket list trip

Our Regent Seven Seas Explorer

3/12/2021

Fabulous memories

Stella Island Crete

3/10/2021

Fabulous property in Crete - available for 2021 and 22

5 reasons to book your holiday with me

2/20/2021

5 reasons to trust me with your travel plans

Corporate travel

2/20/2021

5 reasons to choose me for your business travel

Fancy a Cruise

2/4/2021

Thinking of a cruise maybe for 2022 or even 2023 Now's the perfect time to get in touch with me

My Blog

I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.

Tenerife Eventually!

15 December 2021

Since December 2020 we've had 4 attempts to get over to our loved Tenerife Others may have given up but we had the belief... That when it's was meant to be we'd make it and it would all be worth while. We've just enjoyed 10 fabulous days in the sun in true Canaries winter style So there's a few forms to complete and need to be jabbed or take a test. But we all want to stay safe don't we so it really is for the best They can be time consuming but I'm more than happy to lend a hand Once you've been away once they're quite easy to understand Airports are less crowded and much more of an organised flow But If flying from a busier airport I'd add on fast track at security just so you know Flights were not fillled up so there's more space once on board On both journeys we had 3 seats for 2 of us so we really scored Masks need to be worn on board but they keep the air flow cool The small inconvenience is all worth it when you're sat by the pool. We took our own pack up it's not as mad as you think When the trolley comes you only need pay for a drink! So whilst you're eating and drinking it's ok to remove the mask It breaks up the journey so it's not such a task... Take your headphones or a book ... pass the time in the air Or have a little snooze you'll forget that the mask is even there Rules on testing changed twice for our trip it can be a nuisance But did we think of cancelling... no not a chance... Passenger locator forms needed back into the UK Showing test results and vax proof it really is OK I can help with this too . A free service when you book with me I'll upload all required documents on our app MYTC This works without WiFi when even offline no need to worry it'll all be just fine But if there's anything that concerns you or don't understand Just give me a call and I'll be there to lend a hand So the question may be , is it really worth if you're worried or stressed I can hand on heart tell you ..100% ...absolutely ... yes Please give me a call let's start planning your next trip Be that UK or overseas a train , plane or a ship

North Coast 500

09 September 2021

I must admit this is something I'd not heard of up to Summer of 2020 As we all know the Covid situation brought with it a demand for UK trip , so I've now booked it several times and finding some fabulous properties I can book anything from B&B , hotels or cottages along the route and car hire too if required Depending on where you live in the UK can add some stops en-route up to Bonny Scotland ... Just to give you an idea I've done one for May2022 : 1 night Inverness B&B 1 night Tain B&B 2 nights Thurso , to be able to also visit John O'Groats B&B 4 nights Cairdow in a Cottage 1 night Pitlochery B&B 1 night Ullapool Call me for more if you'd like more info

NCL Epic - Barcelona

12 September 2021

Anyone who knows me, know I love a cruise. It’s been so upsetting seeing all the cruise ships laid up over the last 12months. Even on my recent visit to the South coast saw three ships anchored in Torbay So, imagine how excited I was when invited on a “test-cruise” for Norwegian Cruise Line. A 4-night trip for travel trade and NCL staff. To trial all new systems and protocols, before the first commercial sailing. The ships have been out of service commercially for over 500days Not only was I excited to be getting on-board a ship but also to be flying again. I'm now able to give some first-hand feed back to my clients who are keen to get away Being double vaccinated was a rule to travel, but on top of which were tested before we left home. We used Randox service, delivered to our home and then a local drop off box in Hull mid afternoon I received an email shortly before midnight to acknowledge receipt of the test at the lab. By 06:30 the following morning – negative test result came back. So – we we’re off! Flying from East Midlands,. The airport was very quiet- and considering that it was August and still the school holidays. The flight was not full and so we were quire lucky to have a row of 3 to the 2 of us. We wouldn't usually buy food and drink on a flight to be honest. Having the option to remove face coverings to do so was a welcome break for half an hour or so. On arrival we were taken to the ship by short coach journey. We were then greeted by NCL staff and guided through their testing facility. It was exceptionally well organized. Less than 30 mins we were both tested, results back and free to get on board. We have done a ship visit before on Norwegian Getaway and loved the vibe on board the ship. We were thrilled to feel the same once we got on board EPIC . It's one of total relaxation, space , modern decor and friendly staff First stop of course the cabin with a Balcony. Personally, I don’t like Inside cabins. Yet, I have lots of clients who are happy with them - as simply want the best price. It depends how long you think you’ll spend in there. I love the outdoor space. Albeit not that big it’s great the fresh air and spend some time watching the world go by out on your own deck. I’ll not detail exactly how the next few days were spent, but in outline we were blown away. All the crew were attentive, couldn’t do enough for you – and so glad to be back to work after so long. Understandably. there were not as many people on-board as would be. None the less, we could tell the public areas are so well spaced out you have lots of your own room. We were asked to wear masks when moving around the ship. We could take them off in the bars/restaurants once seated or in the outdoor areas. As the sun was out in Barcelona it seemed like the best place to see the sail-away of the ship. The choice of dining options on board was fabulous. Sadly, we didn’t have time to sample them all. We experienced Moderna the Brazilian resultant – a must of any meat lover. A spectacular dinner show – Zambuka. This took place inside the “Big-top and” features acts from the World of "Got talent" shows. We also enjoyed a 3 course dinner in Taste one of two main dining rooms. Possibly our favourite was “O’Sheehans “. Open around the clock for food on demand and we enjoyed a couple of LATE breakfasts in here too. O Sheehans was also our favourite spot to enjoy a drink as it was centrally located. Spacious and could see around the main atrium from here. Our other favourite for an evening was Shakers. Here we enjoyed had live-entertainment in the evenings. Also close to the Ice-Bar where you can book to go in for an ICE cold Vodka Frozen chamber (warm clothes provided) As well as "Zambooka" I mentioned there are other theatre shows which feature on all ships. On this one was Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Our favourite bar was the Headliners. One evening featured a Tina Turner tribute who was amazing . But the best fun was "Howl at the moon" - 2 guys playing pianos taking requests. They were on stage non-stop for about 4 hours. They had the place rocking! it was an absolute tonic to enjoy live music, dancing and people generally having a really good time! Like most ships you can do as much or as little as you want with sports , games , quizzes etc going on around the ship all day . We managed to come joint 1st in a quiz on world-wide land marks. The ship was full of travel agents if we didn’t get them right there’s something wrong?? A cruise isn’t a cruise without a shop sale?! Lots of bargains to be had from sunglasses and bags, to perfume and gifts. We saw most people walking through the bars with plastic bags it was hard to resist! I don’t think I need any more handbags but like I say too hard to resist at $16 right and a bit of Xmas shopping to boot! Being an American ship the casino was larger than you might see on some ships. Lots of slot machines and gaming tables. Not so many passengers on board meant this was quite empty most evenings. Again great cleanliness was being adhered to – social distance etc and we felt safe. We love a game of Craps even though we haven’t got a clue what we’re doing but it’s good fun! The ship only docked in one port on this cruise - so we saw Sardinia from afar. We opted not to get off as there was so much to see and do onboard we wanted to see as much as possible. A few my colleagues and I were invited to take a look around the “Haven” section on board. With it’s larger suites and extra facilities , we could sure see the value in the upsell to this category . Also on board they have an area for solo traveller. Single passengers can stay in the purpose- built studios. They are not paying the double premium for single occupancy. They can also get together with like-minded travellers if they wish too Dress code on board is relaxed, nothing formal. Although shorts and swimwear are not allowed at dinner. This is pretty norm and most cruisers will tell you they love dressing up for dinner anyway One final things on board was the arrangement of testing for coming back to the UK. We were given a time and a venue to attend, again very slick operation and results delivered to the cabin I thoroughly enjoyed my first time back to sea since December 19 – and loved NCL. I am now looking to book a group cruise in July 2022. If anyone would like to know more and perhaps join the party – please get in touch

North Yorkshire Cottage with friends

05 September 2021

UK Cottage and Lodge breaks have been so popular I thought best sample one for myself We can offer them in all areas of the UK and for all size of families or groups Lots of clients have been booking them to get together having not seen one another for so long I booked a break in a little village called Glaisdale in North Yorkshire just outside Whitby. Fabulous walking area , so great when properties are dog friendly, so we took our little family friend Waffle with us and he loved it. Always be careful though if your pet is likely to run off as Waffle managed to find an escape route out the garden!! Our cottage was 2 bedroomed so slept up to 4 so our friends came out to join us too and had the "must have" fish and chips in Whitby. The cottage although quite small was very quaint , tastefully decorated, and wanted for nothing with its amenities ... the owner Rosie was an exceptional host and recommended a local pub where we enjoyed a fabulous Sunday lunch at the Witching Post in Egton. If you ever watched the TV show Heartbeat then you will definitely recognise the area Here's a few snaps I have from the weekend Thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be back and trying other properties around the UK when possible

Life during lockdown Part II

04 May 2021

Almost 1 year on – WOW Who would have thought when we were in the early throws of this Pandemic, that we’d still be battling it now? What a year it’s been, and like millions of others my life has been turn up-side down like never imaginable. I took the difficult decision over 13 years ago, to leave a well-paid job and follow my passion. To run my own travel business. Whilst there has been many things to deal with during this time , Ash clouds, Civil Unrest, and the collapse of Thomas Cook to name a few) I never looked back or regretted the decision. From day one of this pandemic, we have been guided by our CEO, Directors and team at Manchester head office. I have never once doubted that the company would survive or indeed my own business. Being on a commission-based salary and travel cancelled for 12+ months now ,it of course hit my pocket hard. Much more than the financial aspects, it’s being such an emotional roller-coaster. To see the business I’ve worked long and hard to build up then disappear before my eyes through no-fault of my own. There have been some very dark days I’ll admit and felt not sure how much more I could take thrown my way. I am very thankful. I have a very supportive husband, close friends, as well as an Army of fellow Travel Counsellors. We never feel in competition with but support one another wherever and whenever we can. Like many of my colleagues I’ve sought alternative work in the last year. From running a Facebook group selling Body shop & fund-raising for Reuben’s Retreat. Working part-time in a friend’s Jewellers shop last year when retail was still open. As well as delivering Amazon parcels with my husband at the weekend and a short stint on the 119 calls. Many customers have called or emailed to check how I’ve been. To know that customers have become more that that , and are now considered friends has been very touching. Many have thought that as no-one has been travelling that I’d not be busy . It has been quite the contrary. Having to unpick travel plans, and chase rebooks and refunds daily. Often in the office until very late answering emails etc. I have also enhanced my business. I know work with 100's of UK hoteliers and suppliers supporting popular Staycations. Travel Counsellors once more came out with glowing reviews on customer service. Voted top by a poll from Martin Lewis, on the way we have taken care of our clients during the pandemic – was never in any doubt. I’ve also kept busy by joining a new networking group. I enjoy meeting up (albeit via Zoom) on a fortnightly basis with like-minded business owners. We collectively look to getting back on our feet following this dreadful time. I am positive and confident for the future. I know it’s not going to be a quick-fix. Many clients are still sceptical about overseas travel. Perhaps continuing to holiday here in the UK – but either way I’m here to stay. Happy to help and support you-whenever and wherever you want to travel . I can finally feel like there is some Sunshine breaking through these dark clouds.

Getting back to business

16 March 2021

My first experience of Covid was quite a while before it arrived in the UK as I had clients on a Far East Cruise which was curtailed so it’s been affecting my work-life for well over a year now. Thankfully there is some light at the end of the tunnel with the introduction of the vaccine as some countries are opening their borders for travel as well as clients reverting to booking Staycations for the summer in the UK too. I have been able to promote my business via Social media marketing and the introduction of the Su’s Travel videos to highlight various areas of my business including those travel for business as well as for pleasure both UK and overseas. This has been with the help of Deb from Optimise Social Media and Andy of AMSN and wouldn’t have been possible without the support from the European Commission and their project with the Humber Business Growth hub- SME Restart & Recovery / Kickstarting tourism. You can follow my social networks - Linkedin , Facebook and Instagram with the links shown and take a look at some of the video's with Su'travels

Life as a TC during Lockdown

13 May 2020

Life as a Travel Counsellor during Lockdown It seems like a lifetime ago, I spent a couple of weeks in Tenerife earlier this year, just as Covid19 had been found in a hotel there, from an Italian guest. I would never have dreamt then, what the next weeks and months were to become – like nothing experienced in my lifetime let alone my Travel Counsellors career. I returned to the UK on 7th March shortly before the country was put into “Lockdown” and all-but essential overseas travel was cancelled. Many clients have assumed because no-one is travelling right now, and as they have seen in the news that all high-street and online operators have closed staff being Furloughed, that I would not be busy -well quite the contrary. At Travel Counsellors we are proud to say now more than ever we are here 24-7 for our clients. I had some customers overseas at the time- and made swift arrangements to curtail their trips and bring them home safely. All but one client who opted to stay overseas with family, but whom I’ve kept in constant contact with and assisted with plans for getting home when ready. I’m then working through all client’s bookings in date order to either re-book for later this year or into 2021 or apply for a refund. As many people now finding working from home quite challenging and something new, I have ran my business over 12 years from my home office. I’m never Alone – as I have the support of a fabulous head office based in Manchester and other globally offices which means we are available to support you our clients around the clock whenever the need may arise. I also have many TC buddies around the globe I work with and chat to via various forms as we work and support one another through these difficult times. We’ve had new chat groups formed on social media – where we’re comparing the meals we cook – sharing motivational quotes and stories and weekly events such as a quiz to keep spirits high We cannot escape the media stories on this pandemic, and I appreciate it’s a very worrying time for everyone to remain safe and healthy and in employment in many cases. Holidays and short breaks are what keep many of us going and having something to look forward to. Whilst it seems like travel for the best in 2020 may-be unlikely at the moment , it’s not too early to plan for 2021 with many options available on a low deposit and you can then pay the balance off in smaller amounts should you so wish, via the MYTC app You may not be aware that I work purely on a commission basis and only once travel has taken place. Please may I ask a massive favour if you can re-book your trip rather than cancelling it and pass my details onto friends and family. Ask them to think twice before pressing book on an online company who will likely not be there to support them should the need arise again! Thank you for reading – hope to speak to you soon – in the meantime, stay safe

Colours of the Far East Cruise

01 January 2020

So we set off from Hull by first class train All Ken knew was we were to be cruising again I’d done an itinerary of what was in store Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and more A night over in London staying in Cricklewood A few hours at bingo I thought would be good Starting at the airport in the lounge like a VIP A bite to eat and a few drinks are included free The flight was a long one, some food and drinks A couple of films and forty winks Short trip from the airport, we boarded Marella Discovery Shown to our lovely cabin where the next 2 weeks would be Bad news on board there has a been a technical hitch Itinerary was changed and couple of ports ditched Still, we decided to crack on, enjoy and have some fun We'd still be celebrating Christmas in the Far East sun Never much to see around where the ship is in dock We booked on a trip to see the sights of Bangkok Few drinks on board and going over the days joys Then treated to a show by the Bangkok Ladyboys Next port of call Vietnam’s Hoh Chi Minh City We didn’t see it last time, which was a pity Book a different excursion, a local cookery school First shopping in the market which was rather cool Cutting flowers and some slow roast pork Our own spring rolls, eating with chopsticks, no fork Few days at sea, sun and entertainment galore An extra stop over in a pretty wet Singapore Exploring the local transport jumped in the MRT Headed to spend a little time over at Clarke's Quay Days at sea are relaxing it has to be said If not in the pool or Jacuzzi it’s on a sunbed A few activities like dancing or archery are the biz Or chill at the bar with a cocktail or fizz Next port of call the beautiful port of Langkawi We opted for a catamaran sunset cruise by sea Penang was our next stop and this trip was grand A hop over to see the beautiful Orangutan Island Kuala Lumpur was next a trip up Petronas Towers Sights and shopping avoiding the showers Final port of the trip was back to Singapore A special treat today was in store Marina Bay Sands on the roof with the stunning infinity pool We had lunch at Wolfgang Puck which was pretty cool A beautiful meal and not something every day you would do Fabulous meal and surrounding with amazing view Sail away party on deck, Chinese dragon and laser show All good things come to an end as we had to now go Two last days to follow: Christmas eve and day at sea This sure is the life, how much more relaxed can we be Xmas day was a fun day a lazy start with breakfast in bed Then a drink or two before dinner or should we say lunch instead Crew put on a pantomime, oh yes they did A last go on the bingo and casino and lost a few more quid Entertained by Leon on guitar, sax guy and boys for beat Then a version of strictly watching other passengers' dancing feet Ken won't get away with this next time, that will be us having a go A Christmas complete with carols, mince pies and laughter and even some snow Met some lovely people on board as you usually do on a cruise holiday And served by lovely crew, and had a fabulous stay Now its come to an end, ready for home to see in 2020 Planning next years trips I hope there is plenty!

River Cruise Conference

01 January 2020

Having been sailing and selling ocean cruises for over 20 years I thought it was time we experienced the vastly growing market of river cruising. My husband Ken and I attended the CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) river cruise conference in Amsterdam Nov 19, on which we heard from industry experts about the vast array of destinations of rivers around the world which are now available to sail. Many may think only of the Rhine or Danube but there are rivers across almost every continent I can help you with. Like ocean cruise lines there are various options of both size and style to choose to suit, but most are inclusive of all meals on board. Some include shore excursions and either drinks with meals or are fully inclusive of all drinks. Whatever your interest there will be a cruise for you, be it visiting cities, soaking up scenery, exploring new places and local culture, food and drink or health and fitness. Before the conference we were offered the opportunity of a 4 night trip with Shearings holidays on ARosa. Like many I had a few misconceptions about river cruising which were soon squashed. Firstly the cabin was extremely spacious, as big if not bigger than ocean cabins we’d stayed in. Floor to ceiling windows which can be opened in the summer (didn’t try this in November) but did let in lots of light, comfortable bed, spacious bathroom and storage. Its been suggested to me that river cruising may only suit older clients but this is certainly not the case even lots of cruises are focused on health and fitness and for example organise cycling ashore or golf. Likewise there is an appeal for families too who perhaps enjoy city breaks. Whilst there are no specific child entertainment on board they often travel much cheaper or free with A Rosa so a great way to experience this kind of holiday. Some river cruises dock overnight in port so you have the chance to go ashore and experience the cities/destinations after dark too. A Rosa put on a fabulous evening of entertainment on board for us with their MD welcoming us on board, working with their partnership with Shearings we can book their sailings with flight coach or rail connections. Whilst in Amsterdam at the conference I had chance to visit other cruise lines and compare their styles and what they offer.

Bucket List trip

24 May 2019

A true bucket list trip for me was going to South Africa – the problem is now I've been I want to go again! Unsure about doing the trip on our own, we took our first escorted tour. You may be put off (as I was to be honest) about being on the go all the time and the packing and unpacking along the way, but it was absolutely fabulous. The organization is brilliant, from being met at the airport and shown to the coach, every day all you have to do is identify your luggage to ensure it's on/off the coach and porters take it up to your room. There is a trick to packing for such a trip which I'd be happy to share. We started off in Johannesburg, where we had two nights in a traditional cultural village, meeting the tribe who live there who put on a fabulous meal and show. We had a trip to the Apartheid Museum, and to Lilliesleaf farm where Nelson Mandela was captured - it's a very humbling trip to see just what he did for this wonderful country, and why he has so much respect and will never be forgotten. We then had a drive up to Kruger National Park where we experienced the joy that is a game drive, both the first night seeing the sun set, and then a full day from very early morning the next day. We saw all the Big Five albeit some only from a distance - but it was an amazing experience which will live with me forever. We made a trip over the border then into Swaziland, where again we were welcomed into the homes of the locals, shown how live and then treated to another music and dance extravaganza. Anyone interested in the history of the Zulu wars, would love the next day exploring the actual battlefields and hearing the stories re-lived by a very passionate historian. We then flew onto Port Elizabeth on the beautiful coast of South Africa for an overnight stay before setting off on what's known as the Garden Route. The scenery as you drive along is simply breath-taking and, in the evening, we were treated to a cruise with a meal on board over to Knysna. Then onto Oudsthoorn, the home of the ostrich – a fascinating creature you watch in their natural habitat. Like it or not this is then what's presented as your lunch! We experienced a few new meats out in South Africa including ostrich and crocodile! A further trip along the coast brought us to Hermanus, where if you're there in right season, which we were, you will see the Humpback whales clearly from the shoreline. Carrying on this same day to our overnight stop was in the Stellenbosch mountains. The setting here is amazing. Accommodation is suitable for royalty and you have your own apartment for the night. What else would you do here but enjoy a wine tasting session!? Our final trip was over the fabulous city that is Cape Town. Once here there was a bit of free time to enjoy this place of such diversity. It included a full day tour to Boulders Beach to see the penguins, Cape Point and Kirstenbosch Gardens - another varied tour. The we had a free day to roam Cape Town on our own, and the next morning before our flight back to the UK. The hotel is centrally located close to Victoria and Albert Waterfront, a modern and vibrant area full of bars and restaurants whilst viewing some magnificent boats and yachts. We booked to have lunch up the Silo Hotel, which was once a grain silo. We enjoyed views on the top of the fabulous Table Mountain.

Anniversary Day and Spa treat in Manchester

11 April 2019

Working from an office at home - can be very challenging, but as a Travel Counsellor we have not only the support 24/7 cover at Head office in Manchester, but 1500+ colleagues around the globe. It's a very unique ethos - we are not in competition with one another but work as a team. I'm very fortunate to have many colleagues who help and support my business every day - and never feel like I'm working alone. One particular group of friends have our own little chat group - supporting one another in whatever way we can -practical work advice as well as personal chat, there's not a day goes by we don't keep in touch. We love a get-together and other than the Travel Counsellors Annual Conference held in November every year, we don't get together too often as we're not all local to one another. We all celebrate our work anniversary in different months of the year, but this year we decided to all get together in Manchester and go for the same one. Anniversary Day at Venus Head office is a celebration of our business, we get together with other TC's, as well as head office staff and Directors. We are in the audience of our weekly show TCTV, as well as hearing all the latest developments in the company to help grow our business from IT to Marketing, Sales and Commercial classes. Before we headed into Venus, we met up at the McDonald hotel in Manchester City Centre, at one of their spa breaks. I can seriously recommend this for a girly gathering. The hotel didn't have a pool - but having a 25 min treatment of a facial or a massage - then total relaxation followed by a 2 course meal and overnight stay, was a wonderful way for us all to spend a few hours together away from the office for a special treat and you can see here the lovely team you might speak to one day when I'm away from the office.

What's on your Bucket List?

26 March 2019

What's on your bucket list? Until very recently I didn't actually know where the phrase came from. I heard about bucket list but didn't know the literal meaning. Well here's what I'd love to see and do before I kick the bucket Number one for me is Canada. The reason I've not done it yet, is that I believe I'd need 2-3 weeks to see it all and obviously with the cost involved I'd want to start in Toronto, go up the CN Tower and take it over to Niagara Falls and sail on the maid of the mist. From here travelling by rail as I believe it's the only way to see this sprawling countryside and ultimately travelling through the Rockies and seeing Lake Louise by the Rocky Mountaineer, ending in Vancouver and Victoria to take in the city sights and whales watching. Then (oh yes I’ve not finished yet) taking a cruise up the coast of Alaska. The wildlife and scenery I'm led to believe is amazing. Number two is the long one....and maybe the lottery win! Being honest, Australia never appeared on my radar but having sold it and doing lots of training over the last 10+ years it's a firm favourite now. To fly this far I would need to go business class, so at the moment this one is a dream... Having a couple of stops en route, maybe Hong Kong and Singapore, both of which I've visited but only for one day so not long enough. Once over in Oz I'd like to take in the sights of Sydney, watch the sunrise and sunset at Ayers Rock, look up long last family in Perth, snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef and have a cuddle with a Koala! Number three…Northern Lights. This one was on my husband’s bucket list and already visiting Iceland and not being successful I'd like to go further north. Maybe into northern Norway or Sweden, go dog sledging and ride snow mobiles in search of the lights. Not quite convinced I'm up to sleeping in the Ice Hotel but it would be a sight to see I'm sure. So these are my dreams, what's yours?

Costa Blanca winter sun and catch up with friends

26 March 2019

I've been visiting Benidorm for holidays since I was a teenager with my parents. It's image has changed over the years and appeals to both young and old. Sometimes media coverage doesn't give it the best image and I'm sure it is a love or hate place but personally I'm on the love side. I've stayed in many types of accommodation, both apartment and hotel and will continue to try different ones to give clients my personal feedback. One we've just been back to in March is Sandos Monaco. It's an adults-only hotel close to the old town yet walking distance to the beach and nightlife of Levante. The food is plentiful and of good quality and choice as are the inclusive drinks. All staff, from the bar to the restaurant, reception and cleaners friendly are professional. They have a lovely spa on site which you must pay separately for but a lovely experience. We have a few friends who live out in Spain, and this time experienced how quick and easy it is to escape the pace of Benidorm and see other lovely resorts along the Costa Blanca. We met some friends in Albir where we enjoyed a Chinese meal with drinks for under 13 euros a head, and can recommended completely. Also, we met other friends in Creueta enjoying traditional Tapas along the beautiful coast. It was only a short visit to Spain this time around but it’s now on the list to visit again and take the train along this beautiful coast.

What's your travel wows

26 March 2019

I've seen a lot of coverage on social media about wow moments on your travels so thought I'd share mine with you best I could narrow them down to is the following four: Regent Seven Seas Explorer. Named the most luxurious ship ever built. I've been very lucky to win a sailing on this ship and also a visit during CLIA conference: read both on my other journals The ship sure has the wow factor from the jaw dropping chandelier in the atrium to the cutlery and crockery I the restaurant every inch of the ship you turn a corner and say wow. Renewal of vows in Las Vegas. As you will have maybe read, Las Vegas is a personal favourite of ours and we’ve been on many occasions. The first time will always be the best when we were blown away at the sheer size of the hotels. There are plenty of things to see and do there and of course taking a trip into the Grand Canyon, but the last trip had the wow factor as we renewed our wedding vows 20 years on in true Vegas style at a drive thru counter being serenaded by the one and only Elvis. In 2015 we sailed with Azamara around Vietnam, from Hong Kong to Singapore with lots of fabulous moments, including a stay at the Shangri La in Singapore and having a Singapore Sling at Raffles. We ended the trip in Dubai with a 7-course afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab, a truly one-off life experience. Finally, one of my bucket list trips was in 2018 to South Africa, from Johannesburg to Cape Town on an escorted tour. A fabulous way to see so many corners of this stunning country and pinnacle for me on safari in Kruger National Park. To be so up close to these magnificent animals in their natural habitat was just sensational. What does it leave you, might ask, to give me the wow factor? Well read on to my next blog on the list. I'd love to know your wow moments - please do drop me a line.

Going for GOLD

16 February 2019

Since joining Travel Counsellors in December 2007, I've grown my business year-on-year and currently boast just over 350 clients. Travel Counsellors set a target every year to become a Gold Travel Counsellor, and out of more than 1,700 TCs worldwide, these forms the top 10%. Over the last two days, I've been on a course at our Head Office in Venus Manchester along with other TCs who are ultimately aiming for this golden goal. We had various sessions on how we can look to grow our business one step further in various ways and business practices along with supporting each other in this goal. My biggest ask of clients is if you have been happy with the service I provide, share my details with anyone you know looking to travel - be it business or leisure, UK or overseas. When we attend our various conferences and events, the gold TCs are distinguishable by their gold lanyards , and we were given a taste of this over the last two days - by wearing the coveted gold - and here's a lovely picture of the class of Feb 2019 (I'm second from left on the back row).

CLIA conference in Copenhagen

02 July 2018

As you'll know if you've read my other blogs, I do love a cruise. I think from last count I’ve been on just over 20, as well as numerous ship visits around the UK. When CLIA announced they were hosting an event in Copenhagen featuring ships rarely seen in the UK, I jumped at the opportunity. I'm very fortunate enough to have sailed on Regent Seven Seas Explorer so I was thrilled that day one started on this stunning ship. After a brilliant presentation from Kelly of Regent we were treated to a fabulous lunch and tour of the ship, including the private dining room which is exclusive for the guests in the Regent suite. I love Kelly's advice on booking Regent - it's not what it costs to get on the ship it's what it costs to get off! With Regent everything is included from luxurious fine dining and branded drinks to the shore excursions. Day two was onboard Royal Princess, a beautiful ship. We were treated on here to a sample of one of their shows in the atrium as well as another scrumptious lunch. The weather wasn't very kind to us over the weekend, but it didn't dampen our spirits and we enjoyed a canal cruise including the Little Mermaid and tour of the world famous Carlsberg factory, with of course one or two samples. The final day was onboard the Norwegian Getaway, which I was very intrigued to see. I loved the feel of the ship. A very relaxed vibe on board and I certainly now have this one on my bucket list! We had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Tivioli Gardens, but unfortunately the weather did put a halt to seeing much, but that's a great reason to go back! As part of the weekend we also enjoyed great presentations from cruise industry experts, helping us in our business in various areas such as selling world cruise and expedition cruises which are becoming very popular. The whole weekend was brilliantly organised by CLIA and like many such events I made a lot of new contacts and friends in the trade. As you'll see from my pictures, TC Ted enjoyed his times too #TCExperience

Cookery school with Oceania

29 June 2018

Another cruise line I've yet to experience is Oceania, part of the group with NCL and Regent. They have fabulous ships, with all the features of the larger vessels yet small enough to get into many ports without tender and under 1000 passengers on board. One of their many focus’ is on cuisine and they highlight that many of the speciality dining on board is included on board with no supplement. Many times, throughout the year they will also feature offers to include drinks and gratuities. On board Oceania they feature a cookery school where you go ashore with chefs and purchase fresh produce in resort then come back on board and learn how to cook it. On our training day at Swinton Cookery school, we didn't shop for the produce but we were split into two teams and given a range of products to make into a two course meal in 90 minutes. With two professionals on site our team pulled together two dishes we named “no plaice like home” and “rustic rosemary”. Anyone who knows me, realising I do very little cooking at home, as my husband likes to cook, knows this was more than an average challenge to me! From making pasta from scratch, a cauliflower and coriander purée, filleting the plaice and making a fondant we did a pretty good job. We came together with the other team to sample all the dishes all declared as winners.] Thank you, Oceania and Swinton School, for a brilliant day. Our journey home was quite eventful with two breakdowns, two RAC trucks, and getting home around six hours after leaving the school. But that's a whole new story!

Benidorm Fiestas

29 June 2018

We've been to Benidorm many times before, quite often visiting friends living nearby in Spain or taking a long weekend break. I sell it a lot and so each time like to sample different hotels. Following on from our Travel Counsellors conference in 2017 we jetted straight off to the Costa Blanca and met up with friends. We stayed this time at the Belroy hotel in a good central location in Levante. Friendly staff, clean and adequate rooms with English breakfast included. Throughout the week know as Fiesta week there are various themed events, which end with Thursday being English day. As you'll see from my pictures, the roads are closed off as its one big party. It's known as fancy dress day and trust me if you don't dress up you will stand out more! There is a float parade late in the afternoon sponsored by local bars and they collect donations for charities. Finished off with a firework display, what's not to love?

Harwich to Hull Marco Polo

29 June 2018

Cruise and Maritime include Hull in their yearly itineraries usually around the UK, Iceland, Norwegian Fjords and Baltic capitals including St Petersburg to name a few. Having one sailing leaving Harwich then calling at Hull before a UK 12-night trip, they had numerous cabins to fill for the one night and pushed out a promotion to sail for the night from £39. I got a group of friends together to go on the trip which was a great way to experience the lovely Marco Polo. We coached down from Hull early morning and we were on board shortly after 12 to enjoy lunch. Blessed with great weather we spent the afternoon out on the sun deck, entertained by the on board team and waiters mixing up cocktails in their own unique style. The trip included a beautiful five course dinner in their restaurants over two sittings. Then you could either watch a show or karaoke in the lounge. What a great way to sample a ship and I'd have no hesitation at recommending this ship to anyone who isn't after a large liner but wants a smaller more intimate experience for good price. My only recommendation would be to consider the drinks packages available as they are a little pricey on board.

Fabulous Prize in Antigua

29 August 2017

After last year's Travel Counsellors conference, I entered into a marketing competition - and won a fabulous trip for 2 to St James Club in Antigua, flying with Virgin Atlantic. Put together in verse day by day the posts I made to Facebook which sums up the trip: Set off this morning, the journey not too quick, But finally arrived at hotel in Gatwick. I don't often put travel onto my timeline; So I'll endeavour to keep it all done in rhyme. - Hopes on an upgrade - don't be absurd; Still all checked in to the "Big red bird". Off to Antigua, it's sure to be fun; Sit back and relax as we head to the sun. - Arrived in Antigua, it's going to be grand; Welcomed at the airport with traditional steel band. Pass the famous cricket ground where Viv Richards played, Now welcomed into the hotel with rum and pink lemonade. - Up with the lark today, lost for words; Not really keen sharing my breakfast with birds! Put stuff on the table, but don't leave it loose; Came back to find a sparrow drinking my juice! - Mixology class, it's alright for some; Tried about 8 different rums. Midday drinking, what a disgrace; My "Jammin' St. James" was in 2nd place! - Lovely suite, but a few trees spoiling the view; Upgrade room - oh yes, that'll do! Down on the beach, rum punch in hand; Sun beating down, have a stroll through the sand. - Sailing lesson booked to go out at one; The heavens then open, and the sun has gone! Dash under cover, best make it snappy; Pour me another, don't worry be happy! - The sun's back out, aerobics in the pool; I'm on my jollies, I'm no fool! Sun bed will do nicely for me, With an ice cold strawberry daiquiri. - Lazy days and reggae nights; Lovely sunset at Shirley Heights. - Up at Shirley Heights, in middle of Caribbean sea; How funny to bump into two other TCs! Beating drums, lots of rum and many faces; Obviously spot a Travel Counsellor at 100 paces (Nice to meet you Andy and Gillian). - Well who'd have thought it; what do you know? Only gone and won a game of beach bingo! - Down on the beach for a little bit of this; Out in a kayak for a little bit of that. Sailing lesson later, gentle breeze; And we're out in a hobby cat. - Far too much activity for Ken and me; So it's off to the bar for a mango daiquiri. - Last couple days of this view, with cocktails thrown into the mix; I have left the sunbed today though - joined "Mojo" and his Caribbean aqua aerobics. - Last night in Antigua, some karaoke fun; Think today we've both caught a bit too much sun! Looking chilled, taxi on way - best make that daiquiri your last; Thank you Elite Resorts Antigua, it sure has been a blast!

Visit Orlando Roadshow

10 March 2017

The Visit Orlando Roadshow came to Leeds so a group of Travel Counsellors went along to find out all about what's new in Orlando and their amazing Theme parks Each presenter only had 20 minutes, but first up Visit Orlando gave us an overview of all that's new there - and not just the Theme parks, all the stunning new hotels/ villas - fabulous shopping malls and simply stunning world renowned golf courses SeaWorld Parks, includes not only Sea World, but Aquatica, Discovery Cove and Busch Gardens. SeaWorld this year released the FASTEST/TALLEST/LONGEST rollercoaster -called Mako, named after one of the Oceans' fastest sharks as well as a penguin show coming soon where you'll get a COOL experience Discovery cove is where you can swim with Dolphins if you're over 6 years old and Busch gardens out at Tampa home Cobras curse which has a 70' vertical lift! New to Universal this year is their stunning waterpark - Volcano Bay, where you have an interactive wristband which allocates you times for the rides and no need for queuing. They have lots of multiple rider experiences the whole family can enjoy together including their water coaster - Krakatau Universal and Islands of Adventure re-invents itself every 2/3 years so repeat guests can always see something new - possibly the popular being the famous Harry Potter - Hogwarts Express Universal has 5 on-site hotels for all budgets with different inclusions, but all allowing prior access to the parks Last but not least Disneyworld Orlando. A whole new experience now in the parks with their Magic Bands, which you can pre-book before your go with all the rides and experiences you want to do during your stay ensuring you don't miss a thing Disney also has over 30 places to stay onsite and offer a dining package too which can help with budgeting for such a trip They too have lots new attractions including Star Wars Launch Bay for all Star wars fans a must. Meet the characters, and battle the villains Disney Springs is the new name for Downtown Disney, filled with unique boutiques and places to eat as well as live entertainment and after 20+ years the nightly show is getting a completely new look I've not been to Orlando since 2004, so an awful lot is new since then, and made me so tempted that we're long overdue a visit

Sunsets and Cocktails

16 March 2017

With the introduction of the Flybe service from one of my local airports - Robin Hood Doncaster - what better excuse to squeeze in a few cheeky days away in Spain. With an early departure from Doncaster, and a 10 minute transfer from Malaga to Torremolinos, we left at 7am and were on the beach just after lunch We stayed at the Sol Principe which is a lovely hotel, but just a little bit far out, but that was a good excuse for lots of long walks along the prom, with of course a few liquid refreshment stops along the way to test the cocktails Considering this was the end of February the weather was lovely - no coat required. There were shorter days with the sun setting earlier in the winter months, but stunning sunsets along the beach. On one of our walks we discovered a town in between Benalmadena and Fuengirola called Carihuela. I've never come across the name before but would definitely look it up in the future to stay. Very quaint and traditional with lots of tapas bars. We had a great day tax free shopping, with a bite to eat sat in the sun. We didn't take the trip up to see our 'Ancestors' of the Gibraltarian apes as we've seen them several times before - but are worth a visit if you ever go. Another fabulous way to get around the Costa Del Sol is by train, there's several stops in each town so we took this coastal trip and stopped off in both Benalmadena and Fuengirola. There was a great chilled atmosphere about the towns at this time of year and not too busy - a mixture of European visitors, and a fabulous few days enjoying inexpensive relaxation.

Travel Counsellors Conference 2016

20 December 2016

Travel Counsellors from around the globe look forward with anticipation every-year to the annual conference, usually held in November. This year was no exception - held at the Conference Centre in Manchester over the weekend 18-20th. During the day we hear from the Directors and staff from our head office at Venus in Manchester about the new and innovative ways they are working with operators and suppliers to better our business. There were exciting changes in store from our IT director and details of the trips and incentives we can earn throughout the year. We enjoyed motivational speeches from Dame Kelly Holmes and Nadia Clarke, a young lady who has been disabled from birth but didn’t let that stand in her way in her quest to see the world with the help of her own Travel Counsellor. There were videos and presentations from our supplier partners, as well as what's known as POW WOW, which is a vast exhibition of over 250 suppliers. We can meet and chat about their products as well as pick up brochures, and lots of other lovely promotional goodies they have for us. It becomes a bit of a supermarket sweep challenge to get back what you can carry. This year I was fortunate to win a massive teddy bear, which would not have felt at home with me, or on the train back so was donated to the wonderful charity we supported this year: Rueben’s Retreat. The conference team work tirelessly all year to pull the event together and we were not disappointed this year with headline acts of Jack Whitehall and Ronan Keating. We danced into the wee small hours. On the Sunday one TC is awarded a brand new BMW car for having the most 10/10 scores back in the year to date. We have a great countdown of the top 20 TC's and I was thrilled to be named in this year's top 20 and who knows, in 2017 I may just get that car! One of the things we all love about conference is the camaraderie and getting together with our fellow TC's and their partners. We have a very special bond at TC - we may work on our own in an office at home, but we are never alone. We have a fabulous network of colleagues who have actually become good friends and amazing support from Travel Counsellors head office.

The most luxurious ship ever built

20 December 2016

At Travel Counsellors annual conference I was the lucky winner of a place on board the most luxurious ship ever built along with my husband Ken. We feel so privileged to have had this experience and having recently watched back the Channel 5 documentary of the making of the ship, I actually shed a tear. I've wrote this poem which hopefully sums it up and have taken a few snaps around the ship. I've been fortunate to sail on many cruise lines but this far surpassed all our expectations. The most luxurious ship ever built, that much we knew But still took our breath away as she came into view Over to Civitavecchia as we flew into Rome Regent Seven Seas Explorer, for the next six nights would be home You could not be wowed as you were welcomed on board As her sheer magnificence could not be ignored The decor simply awesome it takes your breath away Much more then we could have imagined I really must say The opulence of Explorer, both inside and out Is complete unrivalled of that I've no doubt Once shown to our suite, the amazement didn't ease, Welcome on the bed and champagne if you please Spacious surroundings and magnificent decor An enormous comfy bed, who could possibly need more? A stunning marble bathroom, walk in wardrobe I could settle here nicely to sail around the globe Dining options were astounding, no matter which you chose From Pacific Rim, prime 7, or the fabulous Compass Rose Opening the doors where a grand dining room awaits With sterling silver cutlery and Versace plates The food was outstanding, the choices were vast As the food was placed in front of you, we were always aghast Whole experience sensational and the service divine Not to mention the sommelier bringing fine wine Then relax in the lounges or pop to see a show Singers to entertain you wherever you go Friendly crew to serve you, as you set off to sail And bring from the bar your favourite cocktail The service by all staff was second to none The memories of this trip will never be gone A million “thank you’s” for allowing us this very special trip On Regent Seven Seas Explorer the world’s most luxurious ship

CLIA Cruise Promotion Award

20 December 2016

Back in February this year, I entered a competition to CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) where I had to write a proposal about how I'd promote cruises to "yet to cruise" clients. In May I found out I'd been shortlisted and would be attending the Agent Achievement Awards as guests of CLIA in London along with the other nominees. It was a fabulous evening with entertainment from Boogie Storm and Tony Hadley, and hosted by Stephen Mulhern. I was absolutely thrilled to be named the winner of the award and have a few pictures here from the night. One of the proposals I put forward was to host an evening, for invited clients both who have cruised before but maybe only with one line and those who have never cruised at all. On arrival they had a picture taken, just as you would to welcome on board a ship and a Bucks Fizz reception. The host for the evening was Kevin Hutchinson, a local entertainer who entertained the audience with his tales of his cruise ship days and got the party started with some lively music. There were eight cruise lines in attendance; Celebrity, Cruise and Maritime, Carnival, P&O, Riviera, AMA, Princess and Saga, all who met with the clients and discussed their lines and gave a short presentation. In true cruise ship style we also had a game of bingo and a quiz to get costs of the cruises mentioned and there were several prizes awarded, as well as being served refreshments in the form of afternoon tea. The evening was a great success, and since the event, I have sent out the photos to clients with the details of all the exhibitors from the evening. I love cruising and have a passion for booking clients on a cruise too - so I’m look forward to helping book more in 2017.

Azamazing trip

19 December 2016

I've been very fortunate to have some wonderful holidays but in November 15, to date is one of the most amazing trips. It was planned and saved for over 18 months, first the cruise element (which the free upgrade to a Balcony cabin was on) and then added to with flights/hotels and excursions. We flew out to Hong Kong for one night. We did an open-top bus tour including up the Peak Tram where the view overlooking the city is simply breathtaking. We only scratched the surface in 24 hours here and would love to go back on day. Azamara Quest is a beautiful ship with exquisite décor, stunning cabins and we enjoyed having a balcony suite, where we enjoyed breakfast served most mornings! Before we sailed from Hong Kong we were out on deck to experience the light and laser show. We had several days at sea in between ports on this trip. It was extremely relaxing lazing by the pool and being served drinks or taking part in the odd deck game - what's not to love? The weather wasn't too kind to us however and we had lots of rain so our macs and brollies unfortunately came in very handy! One port we were really looking forward to was Halong Bay where we took a boat trip out to see the famous rocks which have all been given nicknames. Unfortunately the weather was too bad to be able to enjoy them fully - and walking through the rocks in such wet conditions was quite dangerous. The sailing ended in Singapore where we had another overnight stop over. After doing some training in the UK with Shangri-La Hotels I'd booked us at their hotel, in the Valley wing. This stay was out of this world! Service like I've never experienced before. We were welcomed to the hotel with a massive boxed lily. We were escorted to our suite and served hot tea whilst we were checked in and shown the facilities and then invited down for afternoon tea in the lobby whilst accompanied by a beautiful harpist. In the evening we'd pre-booked a trip to see Singapore by night and visit the world famous Raffles for a Singapore Sling. Then back at the hotel we enjoyed a couple of night caps in the hotel lounge. Our next stop was Dubai were we had one night at the Atlantis and spent the day chilling in the lazy river to get our breath back from all the travelling. The following day we were picked up at 2pm and taken to the Burj Al Arab for High Tea. Oh my - what a treat - a seven course afternoon tea. It was not rushed, we were in there for around three hours, chatting to other guests and served tea/drinks and so many treats as you'll see from the photos. Next we were whisked off to the Burj Khalifa and a trip to the very top floor and the stunning views over Dubai. Back down to the ground to see the waterfall display after dusk to round off what was a simply amazing trip and one never to be forgotten.

Iceland

15 January 2013

One of Ken (my husband's) dream holidays was to see the Northern Lights, so after consideration and advice from fellow colleagues we booked a short break to Reykjavik for the first weekend in January. We travelled out from Manchester. This was just a two hour flight and a well-organized shuttle service into the centre of Reykjavik. We'd opted for a little hotel in the suburbs of the city which was very quaint and traditional. It was basic but clean. Whilst on our whistle stop tour of Iceland we had a few trips organized so this wasn't a restful break as such. None the less, it was invigorating and thoroughly enjoyable and I'd certainly recommend it to anyone. Our first night trip of the infamous Northern Lights was cancelled as the weather forecast was not a good one so we were re-booked for night two. We were taken out to the country where there is very little lighting from the city, where it is apparently easier to have sightings. Despite the complete black of night unfortunately nothing was to appear, it was still a fun experience with a league of different nationalities walking around with torches in search of the elusive lights! A bright and early start on our first morning, we were out about 9am when it was still dark, a very strange feeling. We were taken to the local horse stables. After meeting your horse whilst it was enjoying breakfast, we were kitted out with overalls and hat. Once given the basic instructions, we trekked through the beautiful countryside of Iceland as the daylight finally started to break. We rode up hills and through streams at a fairly steady pace. The only problem for me being that at one point when my horse "Ember" was running to get out of the stream, I lost my footing in the stirrup and fell off (the reason for the overalls)! Thankfully there were no broken bones, just a few bumps and bruises. I managed to climb back on board to finish the ride and get back to camp where were welcomed with hot coffee and cake and later, a pan of home-made soup. The afternoon was a little more restful as we were taken by coach to visit some of the natural phenomenon of the area; the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall. We also viewed a Geysir – a hot spring erupting from below the Earth’s crust. Day two was not much more restful as we took off on an adventure in an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle). Once again we were kitted out with helmet and overalls and we took to the rough terrain off road and over the hills. It was very exhilarating but perhaps not the best activity for the day after you have fallen off a horse! However all my pain was eased when, in the afternoon, we were taken to the Blue Lagoon. Set amongst lava fields, this is a geothermal spa. It was very relaxing and even had natural products around the spa to use. I felt fully refreshed. A trip to Iceland would not have been complete without sampling the fish and chips. However, be warned; two meals and two drinks will cost you in the region of £30! It was well worth it. I would go again, perhaps in summer or a warmer month but would then also love to go again in hunt of the lights!

New York New York & Viva Las Vegas

25 May 2011

New York, New York so good they named it twice had for a long time been on my 'wish list' of places to go so when I was fortunate enough to win some flights there was no stopping us, and we coupled this with a another visit to Las Vegas. As you'll see from my other journals, we absolutely love it. Talk about the 'City that never sleeps' - was an understatement the pace of life was way faster than I'd imagined in Manhattan -everyone seemed to be running everywhere. As we only had 3 days we really had a 'whistle stop' tour of all the major sights. We bought a 72-hr open top bus ticket which was a good investment and crammed in as much as we could. Queuing was a bit of an issue purely down to the time of year and volume of people in NY, however it didn't dampen our spirits and we saw plenty. We took the 'Staten island' ferry which goes passed the most famous sight in NY _ the lady herself Liberty which is one of those moments you've seen on TV and then feel quite humble to see first hand. We were recommended to go out to the Meat Packers district for a bite to eat and drink, and were not disappointed. The pace here is a lot more sedate and lots of choice for bars and restaurants which are good value. We actually found one bar (quite similar in style the old 'Cheers' programme) ran by a guy from Essex which we soon felt right at home in...... Onwards then for a few days in Viva Las Vegas, stayed here at the Planet Hollywood which has a great location on the strip and has a mile (yes that's right ladies) a mile of shops. When we eventually found our way out we were staggered by how much had changed since our last trip. Hotels had 'sprang up from no-where' or so it seemed such the stunning new city centre of Aria and Vdara which were not there on our previous visit. Other than of course the slots/tables and in our case Bingo there is SO much to do in Las Vegas and anyone who thinks it's all about gambling is not so. One treat we had on this trip was to see 'Phantom of the Opera' at the Venetian. Having not seen Phantom or even been aware of the story it was a truly magical experience. I'd read about the massive chandelier which leaps off the stage and hovers precariously over the audience but when it actually happens in the show it still takes you by surprise. The performance was fantastic -and all the special effects were done in real Las Vegas style. I'm sure we could go back to Las Vegas time and again and still be amazed by the sheer size of the place and effort that's put into everything they do - it's like no where on earth. how many other places would you walk passed Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Bart Simpson,Mickey Mouse, Terminators, and not so much as blink????

A touch of luxury

24 May 2011

As you will see by my other travel journals I have visited Tenerife on numerous occasions but always stayed Los Christianos, Playa De Las Americas or Costa Del Silencio. I took the opportunity whilst short break in the sun to visit some new places and spent 3 days at the Gran Bahia Del Duque in Costa Adeje. From the second you arrive, when the buggy whisks you from the main gate down to reception to when you are waved goodbye like new friends by the concierge it is First class treatment all the way! Our room was actually classed as a standard double but this is bigger and much more exquisite than many suites of other properties. A very large room with extremely comfortable beds, beautiful and stylish furniture and a luxurious bathroom, and secluded balcony. The small attention to detail was second to none with such treats as chocolate dipped strawberries in your room on arrival. The service was outstanding, and to emphasis the extent of this on the first evening we couldn't find the switch to operate the very bright 'spot lights' which were over the desk area. I called reception to enquire and they offered to send someone up to turn them off for us! Although the weather wasn't particularly hot it was dry and sunny so i spent the afternoon of total relaxation at the wonderful outdoor spa which has Thalasso Spa, Sauna, Turkish steam as well as an array of optional other treatments. Complete with fluffy robe and slippers, refreshing lemon chilled water and piped music gently playing i spent an afternoon of sheer bliss. Bahia Del Duque is quite remote but is self contained with several restaurant choices of which we ate at the Mexican, Hacienda. This enjoys a stunning ocean view location and the food and service again was excellent. We took the pleasant stroll along the coast which took about an hour one day to Puerto Colon/Fanabe where we ate a stunning Sunday lunch at the 'Irish Rose' Breakfast was an whole new experience with a choice of food to choose from beyond compare. Again the service and presentation were 1st class. The actual setting of Bahia del Duque is one of great beauty, it's an array of colours bright and cheerful and around the grounds runs a stream where you will see lots of fabulous fish and wildlife. We may have only had 3 nights here but it was truly a great experience and i would recommend it to anyone wanting a touch of class!

Winter Sunshine in Benidorm

04 March 2009

With almost year-round sunshine, Benidorm is certainly the place if you want to brighten up a miserable winter! Having got fed up of the terrible snow and cold weather we were enduring during early February, husband Ken and I booked ourselves over to Benidorm for 4 nights! Being only a 2 1/2 hour flight from Doncaster, it is so easy to take a short break and shows it doesn't always have to be one or two weeks. Our other reason for going was to surprise my Dad who'd gone over there for two weeks on his own, and needless to say he was delighted to see us. We stayed at the Ambassador Playa which has a superb location in the midst of Benidorm's "night-life" - although for some this may not be an ideal location in the height of summer. Although the hotel is a little old-fashioned it is exceptionally clean, very friendly staff and the food was excellent. It is a buffet-style restaurant but the staff ensure the dishes are well replenished and there was always a good selection and choice. Whilst over in Benidorm I decided to do some "work" and looked up some hotels which clients have either asked about or indeed stayed in. All were in the same area of Benidorm known as Levante being La Perla, Rosamar, Nereo and Presidente. Benidorm is most famous for some of its nightlife - particularly after now having a sitcom named after it starring Johnny Vegas. The night club where most of this is filmed is called "Morgans". This is a large club, lots of comfortable seating and entertainment going on from around 9pm into the wee small hours. Here we saw great acts like Chrissy Rock (who actually appears on "BENIDORM"), a Take That tribute band, and the Soul Family. Another well located hotel with its own nightclub is the Presidente - which has the UK cabaret bar on-site where we saw a fabulous comedian called Ricky Stevens - he has a puppet called Fred and although he is not the best ventriloquist in the world he was extremely funny. The one thing to be aware of when going into the nightclubs is that although you won't pay for entry you will pay well over the odds for a drink. For an example two bottles of Magners was €12! Having said this there are still many choices of places to eat and drink inexpensively in Benidorm. A very popular bar during the day, as it's on the "sunny side of the street" is Jumping Jacks - where a pint of beer still costs just €1. If you're looking for just a relaxing drink in comfortable surroundings and with some excellent music without having to pay "megabucks" for a drink then pop into the Pig and Whistle in the old town. One of the best restaurants we've found on our many visits to Benidorm is “Michael’s” which is in the old town. Michael used to own a restaurant called Two Palms but has now moved to bigger premises. You can eat a three course meal in here for as little as €6 during the day and around €10 at night. The staff have been with Michael for years and are all very attentive. The food is cooked to order and is all home made - absolutely superb! So if you're looking for a break from routine and can't afford to take a week off work - then why not consider a few days in Benidorm? With a little bit of sunshine, fabulous entertainment, good food and drink, I can recommend it.

Fun and Friendly Silencio

16 July 2008

Everyone's heard of Playa De las Americas, Los Christianos or Puerto De La Cruz in Tenerife - but not so many have heard of Costa Del Silencio. The secret is in the name - it means Silent coast in Spanish. If it's bright lights, wild night life and sandy beaches your after then this isn't the place for you - but if you want a relaxing inexpensive break in the Canarian sunshine then Silencio is just the ticket. You fly into South Tenerife airport and jump a taxi which takes you no more than 15/20 minutes to reach Silencio. Ken and I have been going to Silencio for over 10 years and have usually stayed in private apartments - rented locally. However, along with our 4 very good friends last year, we discovered the Hotel Marino. I believe it is an ex-time share property and the standard has been well maintained. The rooms are very spacious and have all the usual "equipment" in a small kitchen area, and all overlook the pool. Perfect for us! We stayed on a self-catering basis and having sampled only a cup of coffee at the hotel and speaking to other guests - perhaps wouldn't recommend you stay here half-board or full-board. This isn't a necessity either really as we found plenty of places to eat around the clock. We had our breakfast at Morgans for around 4 Euros and evening meals at the harvester from about 6 Euros. We even had a "Sunday Lunch" type meal here which was superb - well recommended! With regular flights to Tenerife now available from most major airports you can visit Tenerife for anything from 3 days to 3 months ! My photos don't show Silencio or the Hotel Marino - but hopefully show that in Silencio - everyone SMILES.... It's one of the most friendliest places we've ever been. Once you've been in a bar or a restaurant they remember you the next day, week, or even 2 and 3 years later! One picture shows our friend Lorraine with "Abdul", one of the guys who visits the bars every night trying to persuade you to buy their latest bargains! Ken bought a watch from Abdul in 2006 - he went swimming in it and discovered it wasn't waterproof! He took it back to Abdul and joked with him that it had a 12 month guarantee. Abdul then sat and took the watch to pieces - cleaned it and replaced the battery - now working good as new! They are such likeable people that we found ourselves buying things most days whether we wanted them or not! If looking at my photos makes you smile too then think what a week in Silencio could do for you, it certainly made us smile and want to return time and again!!

Celebrating the BIG 4-0 on the ISLAND ESCAPE

17 July 2008

Well what a way to celebrate turning the BIG 40? My husband Ken and I have travelled on Island Escape before and thoroughly enjoyed it so we decided what better way to celebrate my big birthday. To make it even better for me - some very good friends decided to join us and also my dad came along too. He had never cruised before and loved it so much he's booked again for 2009...! Our other friends Pat and Shay we met on a cruise back in 2000. We have taken holidays with them since on many occasions - most of which have been cruises. Shay is in a wheelchair but finds access around the Island Escape very easy and all the crew are very accommodating to help him. Island Cruises are a very relaxed and informal cruise line - but this doesn't mean the standards and quality on board are any less than that of a formal cruise. There are different grades of cabin, and we always opt for an outside just to have a brief view of the outside world. We've never "splashed" out for a balcony cabin as there is only one sea-day on these cruises so don't feel it necessary. The cabins are adequately sized and kept exceptionally clean by a twice daily check from your personal cabin steward who takes care of everting you need whilst on-board. We found the food on-board to be excellent - there are 2 buffet restaurants and one a la carte which you will pay a small surcharge for. The entertainment is also very good with shows and musicals performed in the theatre and game shows and dancing in the lounges. We love cruising as you wake up in a different location every morning, and if you don't want to go-ashore you can just sit back and relax and enjoy all the other on-board facilities. On this cruise we visited Sicily, Livorno (where you can go to Florence or Pisa) Naples, Toulon and Barcelona. One other bonus on-board Island Escape in particular when you book in advance is you receive an ALL INCLUSIVE upgrade. This includes all your drinks once on-board. Of all the All Inclusive holidays we have taken this is one of the very best. It serves premium branded beers and spirits and includes cocktails and wine too. My 40th birthday was spent in Naples. This is one place I would suggest you take an organised tour or the hydrofoil over to Capri. The traffic in Naples was so hectic it took over an hour to cross the lanes in the centre. After such an effort we found the nearest harbour side bar and spent most of the afternoon there! A perfect way to spend my birthday! Once back on board we all enjoyed a meal in the A la Carte restaurant which was superb. As you can see by the photographs - Ken had organised a few surprises on the big day - one of which was that everyone was wearing branded t-shirts, made specifically to let everyone know who's birthday it was and how old I was! One thing is for sure.. we all had a fabulous time - and so much so we've all booked again for 2009.

Amsterdam Mini Cruise - back to the 70's

09 April 2013

Having always been a bit of an organiser I planned a trip on P&O Ferrries with a group of friends as a pre-40th Birthday celebration! I had done many trips on P&O so I knew the return crossing was usually a little reserved as everyone is tired and catching up from the early mornings. So… I decided to make it fancy dress - a 1970's night... After a late night on-board and a 06:30 wake up call, everyone was a little tired once we had checked into the hotel so we decided to "do our own thing" and meet up for dinner. We stayed in Hotel Victoria which is in a fabulous location only 5 minutes walk from the Central station. It has amazing architecture, a truly stunning 5* hotel. The service here was second-to-none, to the extent of such rare personal attention to detail that when we asked the door man for a recommendation of a restaurant in the area for our party of 18 - he took us. We followed him through a few streets to a little bar where we were given a free drink whilst we perused the menu and then once the meal was almost ready shown to our table. The majority of the party ordered steak and with varying orders from 'blue' to 'well done' everyones was cooked to perfection. The evening was rounded off with visit to the famous 'Red-light district' of Amsterdam. The following day we had at leisure, taking in a barge trip to see the sights and a lot of shopping in places like C&A which are no longer in the UK Once on back on board the ferry we had our evening meal, before heading back to the cabin and then stepping back into the 70's. As you will see from the photos the final outcome was quite stunning and we created some great amusement to fellow passengers. We had a fantastic night, and great fun was had by all. Everytime we look at these photos now we smile!

Crete Surprise

28 March 2010

One Saturday evening, we received a phone call from a friend who was in Crete for his regular two-week holiday- gloating about the weather and the chilled atmosphere... Being impulsive as we often have been known to be, we decided to see if we could get a late holiday and go out to join them! We had visited Crete several years previously and stayed at Aghios Nickolias so we wanted to find a new resort. We picked up a great All inclusive deal to a hotel called Athena Palace. Although the standard of the accommodation and food was excellent it was a little isolated for us and up a very steep hill. We hired a jeep for a couple of days and map in hand tracked down the quite resort of Kalives. We found a hotel and checked in for 3 nights and not knowing where to find our friends we just sat in the 'square' as we heard so much about - in wait. Needless to say before the evening was out they arrived. You can imagine the sheer amazement on their faces when they saw us, couldn't believe their eyes Kalives is a very small village near to Chania and where our friends were on first name terms with all the locals after spending the last 20 years on holiday here. Very traditional place and a feeling of "true Greece" not commercialised at all. It has a stunning beach. We enjoyed a few great meals in the local tavernas Definitely a place to get away from it all....

World Cup 2006 Germany

19 December 2010

A visit to Germany in 2006 had a dual purpose. We decided to go on a 'memory lane' trip for Ken having served in the army in Duisburg and also to be in the country when the World Cup was being played. We flew into Dusseldorf and caught a train over to Duisburg. Still speaking a little bit of German, Ken spoke to several people on the train en-route asking about the area as nothing appeared familiar but then not surprising as it had been several years.... We stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast accommodation where, as with most German guest houses, we were treated like the owners personal guests and nothing was too much trouble. We had tried to get flights and accommodation to be in Germany actually when 'England' were playing but having left it too late and/or not willing to pay as much as the mortgage to do so we actually left the day before England's game in Dusseldorf. Nevertheless the atmosphere was electric. I had bought several t-shirts of different countries to wear and remained totally neutral when the matches were being shown and it didn't matter who you were supporting there was an amazing 'buzz' about the place! I know there is a lot of bad publicity for football supporters but in my experience here I wouldn't hesitate to go again. We actually saw most of England's game in the airport lounge just before we left and again it was like everyone there were long lost friends it was such great fun. I watched this year more the surroundings and places the games were being played in South Africa as I'm sure it was again fantastic. Already planning ahead I would love to be in Brazil in 2014!

Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Royal Caribbean Cruise

18 July 2008

Well the titles says it all..... First a 5 night stay in Las Vegas followed by 3 nights in LA where we picked up a cruise Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas and sailed to Mexico. Ken and I absolutely LOVE - Las Vegas and if you've never been then I'd say it's somewhere that you need to see to believe it! The famous strip is I believe 4 miles long. We stayed at the Imperial Palace hotel. It is not on one of the most extravagant hotels but it has an excellent location on the strip and if you are simply using it as a base I would recommend it. Sure Las Vegas is all about gambling - and that's where it originated from and where it gains it's income from - but the hotels themselves are like resorts and all have a different theme. To name just a few of my favourites - would be Ceasers Palace (home to all the famous boxing matches).... here statues of Roman gods - come to "life" every hour. The Venetian is stunning - and has gondolas sailing through the hotel, and the art work and decor is simply breathtaking. Paris - has of course a copy of the Eiffel tower and the hotel is lined with French cafes and designer shops. What else would be in front of the New York hotel but a copy of the Statue of Liberty, and then there's Luxor which is a Pyramid shaped hotel. I could go on - as the list is endless. If you do like to have a gamble then of course here you are spoilt for choice. Ken and I are big bingo fans here in the UK- so in Vegas we were in our element..... The prize money is staggering and yes we were very lucky! We also tried our hands in a Poker tournament just for the experience, and the most exhilarating game has to be craps. Not seen much in the UK, so we went along for lessons. The Craps table usually attracts a big crowd and there are at least 3 dealers per table, who actually help you and advise where to 'place your bets'. Again here we were very lucky as we followed of the "high-rollers" who just couldn't' seem to go wrong. After an exhausting 5 nights in Las Vegas we had a 2 night stop in Los Angeles. Never having been before we spent the 2 days doing the whole "tourist" thing took in a guided tour and saw the famous HOLLYWOOD sign on the hill, the homes of the stars, and of course the hands and foot prints of celebrities. Looked on longingly when we went down Rodeo drive at all the very exclusive fashion shops (if you've ever seen Pretty Woman you'll know what I mean!) Unfortuantely a lot of it was closed off however as we'd timed it with Oscar week so the preparations for the big night took over. The last leg of our trip was a 7 night cruise on Vision of the Seas. This was our first experience of a Royal Caribbean ship and we were very impressed. The standard on board was excellent, the cabin, food and service. The only comment is that the cruises are aimed mostly at the US market and the entertainment accordingly. We still enjoyed it immensely but it is very different to the UK sense of humour etc. Although there were some formal nights on-board the majority of guests did not dress accordingly and unfortunately it made us feel very out of place in our evening dress. The ports we visited were great - Puerto Vallerta, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan. Having done cruises before we opted for exploring on our own as opposed to organised tours and get to see and meet the locals and their way of life. We did however go on a organised horse ride in Cabo San Lucas which was amazing. We rode through the country like "real" cowboys - through streams, up mountains and along dusty roads. Ken and I are real novice horse riders but we always give it a go .... it will always stick in my mind that when I asked ken what his horse was called he said "Wwwooooooo" which I thought was a bit strange but i think he was just trying to get his horse to stop!! If you ever get the chance - I would recommend all the above!

Ocean Village - 2004

19 December 2016

Back in 2004, times were changing in the cruise market with the demand for less formal cruising. P&O took the old Arcadia and changed it into the Ocean Village. No dress code, no set dining times and a bigger appeal to a wider market. Personally we found it all a bit of a strange experience, but probably as we were comparing it to when we'd sailed on her as Arcadia. We couldn't fault the food, service and atmosphere. What was not our cup of tea was the rather bizarre entertainment, which was held in the Big Top and featured a lot of circus acts and very random things going on. On this occasion we did a 'cruise and stay' and spent our second week in Santa Ponsa, Majorca. This type of holiday has now become very popular all over the world. We had a week after the cruise, but nowadays we have the facility with scheduled and low-cost flights to have as many days’ pre and post cruise as you wish and to tailor make exactly the right holiday for you. An example of a couple I've done recently: New York/Las Vegas/Miami, cruise the Caribbean and Las Vegas/Los Angeles/San Francisco and Hawaii cruise. Read my other blogs to see what other ones I've done. After a couple of seasons the Ocean Village was sent over to sail in the Australian market but I believe it's the same ship returning to the UK this year under Cruise and Maritime Voyages.

P&O Arcadia - Caribbean dream!

19 December 2016

I worked for North Sea Ferries in Hull and once they were taken over by P&O, we were able to enjoy concessions not only on the ferry but also on P&O Cruises too. It was on a standby basis and often with very little notice to travel, but a great opportunity to experience cruising for a fraction of the brochure price! 2000 was our first trip, flying out to Barbados, cruising around the Caribbean Islands such as St Lucia, St Kitts and Dominica, before sailing back to the UK. Jetlag is not an issue when you're travelling back this way as the clocks were turned forward an hour each night so you didn't feel it so much as doing five to six hours back from the Caribbean. However this is a long-time at sea, and despite the fact there is a lots to do on board and it’s extremely relaxing, whenever I'm recommending cruises to a first-time cruiser I'd ensure that the sailing doesn't have too many days at sea until they are sure. P&O introduced us to various ship games such as Deck Quoits and Shuffleboard as we took part most days and it’s a great way to meet fellow passengers. Dining times were set in two sittings to which we always prefer late, in-case you are spending the full day ashore, but there were also many other flexible options to choose from too. However P&O do have a formal dress code, and expect to have a black-tie evening on three nights in a 14 night cruise. One evening, we were both feeling a little tired and called room service expecting a sandwich or snack and was blown away when the full dinner menu was served to our cabin on silver platters! Being on this stand-by basis meant we had an inside cabin. I do sell many cruises to clients happy with this - wanting just the best priced way to travel, but personally we now prefer an ocean view at minimum if not a balcony cabin as the lack of natural sunlight for the duration is quite a funny feeling. Not being beach goers we loved sailing around the Caribbean and seeing so many different islands in a short space of time - so much so we're long overdue a visit to the Caribbean I'd say! We've made lots of friends on this sailing, and to this date still send Xmas cards and keep in touch, and have actually taken further cruises with some!

P&O Oriana - 2001

19 December 2016

Like most people, you will remember where you were 9/11. I was being offered a cruise to depart the following day from Southampton, on the P&O staff stand-by offers. It's hard to put into words how different this was from Arcadia, but personally I found it a lot more formal (not as relaxed) which goes to confirm not every ship will suit everyone but there is a ship out there which will suit you! That being said we still had a fabulous time and enjoyed the ports of call we visited. On our first cruise we didn't look at this too much but this now plays a major role when picking a cruise for myself and of course recommending ones for clients too. On this sailing we had our first visit to Gibraltar, which we loved and have visited many times since, always from a cruise. A taste of Britain in the sun, what a quirky place. Renowned for the Barbary apes who reside here, we were fascinated. We took a tour with another couple from the Oriana and had a driver show us all around before dropping us back in the centre for a bit of shopping in M&S and C&A! One other port we should have visited on this trip was Guernsey but the weather was considered too dangerous to send the tenders ashore so it was missed out. Another one for the bucket list still!

Why I LOVE cruising...

28 June 2016

Why do I love cruising? My first ‘cruise’ experience was not a particularly great one I have to say. Our honeymoon on board the Thomson Topaz, back in 1998. A very old, reconditioned ship, which was in much need of more than a bit of TLC, but none the less from this trip on – we had the ‘bug’. We spent a week in Florida and then sailed from Port Canaveral to the Florida Keys, Mexico, and the Bahamas. The destinations were stunning and I instantly loved waking up each morning in a new and exciting place - and only having to unpack once! Fortunately, working for P&O up to 2003 meant that I had the opportunity to get some good ‘staff’ deals on their sailings and sailed twice on the ‘old’ Arcadia (which went on to become the Ocean Village) where we flew to Barbados and sailed back. First time I loved it, but the 2nd time I did get a little “cabin” fever. So whenever a client is thinking of their first cruise, I check how many sea days it has first and may suggest you try a shorter cruise first and see if you like it! By getting to know my clients, I can help them decide on the right choices for them. One client was ready to book a "World Cruise" with me a few years , having never sailed before. I suggested they take a smaller trip first before such a commitment of time and money. Rather than just make a "sale" I want my clients to have the right experience - and they were very appreciative of this on their return. They love cruising now too - and taken many since but are not quite ready for the World Cruise just yet... Since our first trip, we’ve sailed with Thomson, Island Cruises, Fred Olsen, P&O, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Ocean Village, Azamara and later this year I am thrilled to be sailing on the brand new Regent Seven Seas Explorer, as well as doing various in port ship visits too. Doing both fly-cruises and ex-UK sailings, I’ve visited the East and West Mediterranean, the Canaries, North Africa, the Caribbean , the Far-East and Vietnam, Mexico and the USA , Dubai and the Middle East. So although a lot ticked off – there’s still plenty more to go at on the bucket list. Next, I’m hoping for Canada , Alaska, and Northern Europe, Baltics, and if lucky enough, to see the Northern Lights. Cruises offer such great value for money, as everything is included – all meals and entertainment – including daytime activities from sports to arts and crafts, and usually lots of fun and games out on the deck. You can take part in competitions, or if you want to just sit on a sun bed and watch the world go by – Some of the larger ships now how screens out on deck so you can catch a movie under the stars. The service on every ship I’ve sailed on has been superb. The ship’s crew always seem to love what they do – constantly smiling, and happy to make your trip a memorable one. Your cabin steward never seems to be ‘off-duty’ as they clean the cabins twice a day. On one of the first cruises we went on, a comedian made a joke that if you get up to use the bathroom during the night, when you return to bed it’s been turned down and another chocolate appears on your pillow! The crew may see 1000’s of customers every week but somehow they learn your name and remember you and usually "your drink" too! We’ve actually sailed on a couple of ships more than once , and the crew has remembered us by name on our return. Dining on a ship is a massive part of the whole experience, and there are so many different options to choose from. Plus, celebrity chefs such as James Martin and Marco Pierre White are regulars on cruise ships now - and you can even learn how to cook in their cookery schools. But one of the best for me, and I’ll detail more in my blogs, was on a Celebrity Cruise. Their buffet restaurant was so vast that you were never stuck for choice, and the experience of dining at Quisine was one I struggle to describe. Orders are taken on an i-pad and you get a sampler of what everyone on the table ordered, so it was a great opportunity to try new foods which ordinarily you would not have wanted to order, and maybe waste – a really unique culinary journey. Many cruise lines will offer a ‘drinks’ package if you book early, or can pre-pay this on board – so again offers exceptional value for money. My personal favourites are the cocktails – and every ship I’ve been on do their own ‘Cocktail of the Day’ – so great fun to see the waiters doing their “Tom Cruise” impression and serving up some tasty treats. I think there are two main misconceptions of cruising first being that it’s too formal. I feel this has been eradicated now. Yes, there are cruise lines which still have traditional dining set times, and have a formal dress code, which lots of people still love to do, but if this not your thing, the majority have moved to a more freestyle approach to dining – still expecting a smart casual dress code but not Black Tie. Secondly – a regular comment I get is, “I’ll cruise when I’m older”. Many cruise ships now cater 100% for younger families and couples, so you’re never too young or old for a cruise holiday. I have customers who take their toddlers on a cruise, and a couple of ladies I book in their 80’s The ships are ultra modern with amazing facilities on board – including water parks , golf course, rock climbing walls and full-size arcades. Even without these, children on board are very well catered for. I recall the first trip we did, on the last day the children were brought in for a fancy dress competition, as they flooded into the room we could not believe how many children there were on board, as we hadn’t seen them all week! Another major benefit for an ex-UK cruise sailing is there is no limit on the luggage you take, but, remember there is limited storage space in your cabin and no long airport queues to endure. You will sail away to a brass band playing and rarely is there any delays departing! As you can see from what I’ve mentioned with cruising, the world really is your oyster and there really is a cruise to suit everyone. They offer value for money, you can visit thousands of new destinations, learn a new skill, soak up the culture of a country, or simply relax and watch the world go by - if you’ve never tried it – give it a go !

My customer stories

Sent by Deborah Goode

Great Service from Su! Sorts everything out as regards to your Holiday for you so no worries about forgetting anything. Peace of mind & always available if have any problems/queries when Travel Shops & other online sites are Closed! Fully Recommend ??

Sent by Lesley Raywood

Su at Travel Counsellors is efficient, thorough and very knowledgeable, she can custom any trip to your requirements and has done for us on numerous occasions, do not hesitate to use her, we always do.

Sent by John Hussey

I've known Su for some years after she was recommended to me by a fellow passenger on a cruise. We have since booked many holidays and trips with her and have always been more than happy with the results. One advantage of using someone with Su's experience is that, quite often, Su has first hand experience of places that you're looking at and can give you the 'insider's tips'. If Su hasn't been there herself, invariably she has booked a client there and has great feedback to share. Coming out of 'lockdown' and eager for a holiday, Su was always going to be our first port of call and she was able to finalise everything we wanted quickly, efficiently and in such a friendly manner. I would have no hesitation in recommending Su for your future trips and holidays.

Sent by Ann Briggs

Su offers a fantastic service and is always available to help out at any time, it’s been a nightmare 18 months for the travel industry and for families like ourselves Su has made the cancellations of holidays seem so easy when I’m sure it hasn’t been at all, I would highly recommend Su for any travel arrangements, she is second to none.

Sent by Andrew Gilbey

We have been dealing with Su for a number of years now and wouldn't think of going anywhere else..... Su is always professional and willing to find the best deal possible she is always willing to go the extra mile whether that be day or night.

Sent by Helen Harrison

Su Dillon is amazing, We would highly recommend her to look after any of your travel needs. We have used Su's services for over 10 years and she has always been excellent. We have peace of mind that she is backed by an award winning firm in Travel Counsellors. During the recent pandemic Su's service has been invaluable - she really has gone above and beyond, rebooking and obtaining refunds as well as keeping us fully informed of the many travel changes and requirements that have been imposed due to the pandemic. We wouldn't book through anyone else. Highly Recommended.

Sent by Denise Cox

I've used Su's services many times and she always goes the extra mile to help whatever I want to do - from a two month trip to New Zealand with stopovers in Dubai to a simple weekend trip to the Lakes - she knows what she is doing and I have no hesitation in recommending her services.

Sent by Brian Pellow

Thanks so much Su for your help and professional approach in what can only be described as a year to forget. Looking forward to dealing with you again real soon.

Sent by John Hussey

I have known Su for a number of years and have been using her services for that period. Su was recommended to me by a couple on a cruise and everything they claimed Su had done for them, she has done for me. Su has organised a number of holidays and add-on services and have yet to experience any problems. When we’ve been travelling, I’ve contacted Su when issues have cropped up, such as not being able to check in online for a flight when we were on a motorway without a secure signal. Su not only got us booked in but also managed to get complimentary access to that airline’s first-class lounge as an apology by the airline. Finally, we were in Australia when Covid 19 broke out in February 2020 and cancelled existing return arrangements involving a flight to a ‘hot-spot’ and a cruise back to the UK from there. The cruise line went bust and ABTA rejected our claim, Su managed to get 90% of our monies returned. I cannot thank her enough for all she has done for us and have complete confidence in her and have no hesitation in recommending her to future clients.

Sent by Colin Henery

I cannot thank Su enough for arranging holidays for us over many years. Not only holidays, which are important, but also helped arrange my daughters wedding in Las Vegas. Nothing has ever been a problem to Su who is very experienced, knowledgeable and professional. I would not hesitate to reccomend Su and Travel Counsellors to advise and arrange your holiday or travel arrangements. I would add using a professional travel company gives me reassurance of backup in the UK to help should something go wrong.

Sent by Shirley Briggs

Su has been organising my holidays for many years now and has always been very helpful and is always at the end of the phone, should I need to contact her. Su always goes above and beyond to make sure everything is organised to ensure a perfect holiday.

Sent by Lesley Raywood

It’s been a stressful year for the travel industry. Our major holiday and one that was very complicated has had to be cancelled twice. I thank heavens Su was in charge of it. She always books our holidays and this was no exception. It took her weeks to sort it out and rebook it. She is professional, trustworthy and I cannot recommend her enough. We go back to her time and time again.

Sent by Denise Wilkinson

We do book our holidays with Su and throughout the Covid-19 Su has kept in touch with updates on our re-arranged cruise that Su has books for us , but Su does go one step further and will help with other enquiries, I have flights booked for Teneriffe in September and I know I can always ask Su general questions even though Su did not book my flights

Sent by Peter Frewer

My wife and I always use Su Dillon for planning visits to Australia to see my children and grandchildren. Quite often we ask for stopovers to break up the long flights. Su has been such a help when choosing accomodation. With her experience we know that things will go smoothly. Our latest trip to Australia was in March this year, and we all know what happened then! We were in Australia when things started shutting down, so we decided to leave earlier than planned. Su did all the hard work, sorting out flights, cancelling hotel bookings in Vancouver on our original return flight. I dread to imagine how difficult it would have been if we had organised things ourselves. Su is a star, and one of the best in the business.

Sent by Lesley Raywood

Su has booked numerous holidays for us, sometimes the itinerary has been very complicated! We have never had any problems, Su is efficient and very thorough, this makes all our trips easy. We would never book with anyone else.

Sent by Helen Harrison

We have been using Su's services for many years now and have always found her service to be friendly, tailored to suit us and professional. Her services have never been so important as they have been over the last few months with arranging and then rearranging our travel plans including securing refunds etc during the current pandemic. She has done so without hesitation, with a smile and always delivered. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her and we will continue to use her as we feel secure and covered by her travel advice and recommendations, backed up with the service and proposition Travel Counsellors offer. thanks you Helen & Paul

Sent by A & S Balcam

During the pandemic period our planned holiday has been cancelled twice but Su Dillon has informed us immediately of our options and started to re-plan for an alternative. She is thorough and this gives usconfidence and peace of mind. Highly recommended.

Sent by Ann Briggs

Always excellent service and Su is always at the end of the phone for any advice needed. I totally trust Su when booking my holidays.

Sent by Donna Storry

Where to start .... I honestly do not know where I would have been without su Dillon arranging our holidays for this year. Changed 3 times, numerous issues due to COVID-19 and still never felt like anything was too much trouble for Su. I’ve booked through su for many years and can’t imagine using anyone else. I can’t thank her enough and I will continue to share her details with friends and anyone I meet. I’ve met people on holiday who booked direct and may now think twice and use su

Sent by Helen Harrison

We have been using Su for our holiday requirements for many years now and she always delivers a personal, tailored and friendly service that is second to none. I would highly recommend her services and this has also played out even more so during the last few months where she has supported, changed and rearranged many of our trips during the current pandemic. She has done so professionally, without hesitation and with a smile despite everything. It is a times like these that you need the expertise and personal service that Su offers. thank you Helen & Paul

Sent by Brian Pellow

Thanks Su for dealing with our cancellation and re-booking of our cruise due to Corona. At a time when your income stream was virtually non existent you done it in a professional manner which we fully appreciate. Thank you!

Sent by Doug Oliver

Su always manages to deliver, the amount of effort she puts in to find that special Holiday is phenomenal. Value for money with this company is on par with other travel companies however there is a personal touch booking with Su Dillon. If you’re looking for a weekend away or a cheeky week away or a holiday of a lifetime then you’re definitely in safe hands and I highly recommend..

Sent by Trevor Maplethorpe

Recently finalised the itinerary for our trip to Asia in 2020, flights hotels and cruise now all booked, lots of patience and effort as always from Su, can always depend on her and TC. Thanks Su

Sent by Chris Carter

Su always give an efficient service helping with the planning of your holiday. More importantly you can also be assured of great customer care while you are away and even a welcome home! Thanks Su

Sent by Carole Farmer

Thank you Su, you have taken the stress out of booking our trip to Lisbon and relieved that we shall have not only our plane seats booked but transfers as well. We can always rely on your punctuality in dealing with our requests and have no hesitation in recommending you.

Sent by Shirl Houghton

Su always sorts everything out and delivers all documents which is a bonus

Sent by Janet Robinson

Sue has booked our holidays and flights to Australia for many years. Sue always manages to get us a good deal wherever we want to go. Another really good thing about using Sue is if there is anything you need to know e.g. Rules that have changed visas you need Medes you can't take to certain place.Thing you wouldn't always think about yourself. Great service why would you want the hassle of doing it yourself? Thank you Sue

Sent by Linda Moskal Yaya

Many thanks Su for a wonderful service, just come back from a Cruise to the Arabian Gulf, you arranged the whole holiday which was wonderful. We will be coming back to arrange another perfect holiday. I feel happy and confident when I book through you, happily recommend you to all my friends and family.

Sent by Linda Turner

Su was very efficient and friendly but most importantly she did what she said she would do and followed things through and rang at the times she said she would - we think we have booked a super cruise thanks to her and will certainly recommend her

Sent by Emma Pearson Kendall

Su is knowledgable, helpful and endlessly patient when I am booking a trip with her. She does everything she can to help, offers a great personal service and I would absolutely reccommend her - and do!

Sent by Carl Briggs

Everything has been great, was really surprised to see that we had our plane seats already allocated and that we nothing left to do but pay thank you

Sent by David Morris

IN MY HONEST OPINION......I rate you 10 out of 10. I would pass you on to family and friends for anything Travel Related. The service you gave us for our MUNICH TRIP that we have booked with you is 2nd to none. Getting 4 friends meeting up in MUNICH.....2 from Spain and 2 from England.....meeting up in the same Hotel in Munich as made 4 clients travel arrangements as simple and easy as possible....HASSLE FREE

Sent by Lucy Bond

Su has been absolutely fantastic from the moment we spoke to her, we have booked to get married in San Francisco and there were a lot of different elements to organise as after our stay in San Francisco we are driving and staying on the Big Sur then onto Santa Monica. Su sorted the flights and made this happen so easily, not only did it end up being £3000 less than the quote we had with Virgin holidays but the personal service cannot be faulted, Su has contacted me or replied to my texts and emails whether it be 6 in the morning or 10 at night where else would you get service like that?! We recently extended the trip to add on Vegas to the end of our trip, Su organised all of the flight changes and fees which wasn't made too easy due to the airlines policy but Su dealt with this no problem and organised our plans perfectly! We like to travel as much as possible and would always contact Su to book a holiday in the future, will definatley be recommending her to our friends and family! Thanks Again, Su x

Sent by Denise Wilkinson

Thankyou Su for spending the time to get us the holidays we have asked you to find, always good value and the correct destinations we want. Always had great holidays and all have been within the budget we have given you. Many thanks for the great service and the great personal delivery of our tickets and paper work makes all the difference to me.

Sent by Alan Goode

Thanks again for your help with our holiday booking. Emirates caused us some problems which you were able to sort out for us and your choice of hotel in Bangkok was spot on.

Sent by Mandy Henery

Sue is a fabulous Travel Counsellor and a friend - I would highly recommend her. Nothing is ever too much trouble for her, she's an amazing person and a credit to your business.

Sent by Tim Hussey

I have used Su to book our holidays for many years now and have always found the service to be excellent with alternatives given if the original destination was fully booked. Also sometimes Su has booked the holiday as separate items when originally it was being sold as a package which has worked out better for us. Have recommended her services on numerous occasions and will continue to use myself into the future as it removes all the hassle.

Sent by Les Fisher

Sue has booked all our holidays over the years, from cruises to city breaks and beach holidays. Sue takes care of everything from visas if needed to taxis. Once we have booked we can relax knowing everything is taken care of and we can enjoy a great holiday, stress free.

Sent by Emma Pearson-Kendall

We use Su for many of our holiday bookings and she is always fantatsic to deal with. I know I am a demanding client and like to look at lots of options before deciding and Su is always patient, helpful and professional. I have recommended her to many friends and family and they have all been thrilled with the service whether she is booking multi destination honeymoons or a family holiday. I would recommend her without hesitation and thank her for all the help she continues to give.

Sent by Josh Richardson

We heard about Su's excellent work from some of her existing, extremely happy, clients. She has planned our dream honeymoon and has guided us through every step of the way. We truly cannot wait for our trip next August! I would recommend Su's expertise and services to anyone!

Sent by john tongrack

Nothing's to much for Su, even when you get her to do loads of work then say sorry but its not us, she still smiles and says keeps in touch. Remember there will come a time when before or on holiday you need to talk to a rep, well Su is always a text away and nothing is too small, whereas reps in a hotel may only be there for one hour a day. So keep up the great work Su and I will book a holiday soon with you.

Sent by Marc Essex

Myself and my partner have used Sue twice for our holidays - both times to New York. We decided to use a holiday planner as it takes away the stress and hassle of spending hours on the internet ourselves looking for places. From start to finish we were both very impressed by Sue's service. The hotels she had picked for us were great and both times just in the right location. Recommended 100%.

Sent by Linda Moskal Yaya

Su Dillon has arranged many holidays for me and nothing is too much trouble for her, throw any question at any time and she will also come back to you with an answer, I receive the best customer service you could wish for when booking any kind of holiday. Su is so professional I never have to worry about all the messy details when booking our get away. I also highly recommend Su to my friends and family.

Sent by Donna Storry

I cannot recommend Su Dillon highly enough. Nothing is too much trouble and she is so helpful in choosing the right holiday and everything that goes with it, airport parking etc. I wouldn't book a holiday with anyone else.

Sent by Jo Fleming

We asked Su to help us with our recent honeymoon. Su looked after us from start to end and managed to find us a great Island escape too! We found the service to be personal and professional and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Su to our family and friends. We used the wedding gift registry too which we found useful! Thanks Su!

Sent by Helen Harrison

We have had the pleasure of working with Sue for a number of years now to help us organise our perfect holidays. She has always demonstrated a keen eye for detail and always matches our requirements exactly. I would highly recommend Su as she delivers a great personal service.

Sent by Ian Goode

Always friendly, informative and willing to help, regardless of how many times you contact her both before and after payment. This shows dedication and a great customer satisfaction approach.

Sent by Ann Briggs

Excellent service, all questions and queries answered very quickly, nothing is too much trouble and our holidays have been excellently organised, without any problems at all.

Sent by Janet Millington

I have been going on holidays booked by Su for a few years now although it has always been booked by friends. This year I have booked my holiday personally and she has been nothing but helpful. The personal service you get cant be beaten and I can highly recomend her. I for one will be using her again.

Sent by Ken Wilkinson

My wife and I went on a trip to drive down the Pacific coast highway in California, from San Francisco to San Diego. Su arranged all the flights (out to San Francisco and back from San Diego, with a few days visit to Houston on the way), the car hire and 7 different hotels The hotels Su arranged were excellent in that we asked for reasonably priced but well located stops. Our trip was fabulous and went off without a hitch thanks to Su arranging everything. I think it would be rather worrying and difficult to arrange such a trip yourself and with Su's help all that worry was removed, it was such an easy and stress free way to arrange what was quite a complicated trip. Being rather cost conscious I did start out looking at making my own arrangements, but soon found that with Su's help it was far better ordered and actually far cheaper than I could manage directly. I would recommend anyone who is thinking of arranging a tailor made holiday to contact Su for a great service. She seemed to easily cope with our particular somewhat complicated demands and was certainly the facilitator of a seamless holiday experience for us.

Sent by Tony Wedgner

Excellent service as normal. Thank you

Sent by Katherine Beal

Thank you Su for helping us book our dream family holiday to Lapland! As a busy working mum, you made booking our trip so much easier as you did all the hard work for us and arranged everything that we wanted for our very special holiday. Thank you so much!

Sent by John Hussey

I'd like to make special mention of your services, Su, which we were very impressed with. This, as you know, was our first time with Travel Counsellors and the comprehensive service provided from speed of response in answering queries to the excellent advice offered was very impressive. Our problems in booking on-line prior to our first flight and your attempts to resolve that, together with the VIP lounge pass you provided meant that we started our holiday in a relaxed frame of mind rather than in a state of anxiety hoping to get aboard without too many issues. For that we thank you sincerely and would have no hesitation in recommending your company and you as an individual to family and friends. Once again, Su, thanks.

Sent by Jayne Oliver

Doug and I just wanted to thank you for arranging our recent holiday to Gran Canaria when we stayed in the Morgan Princess Hotel, Puerto Taurito . We had a really lovely holiday and was pleasantly surprised to be told that we were premium all inclusive which meant we could have any drink from the bar and not just the local ones. We knew we were all inclusive but hadn’t expected that so thank you for arranging that, we were over the moon. We are always happy with the service you provide and we will continue to use you in the future when we are booking holidays and we will continue to recommend your services to our friends.

Sent by Keith Jenkinson

Thank you Sue for organising and booking our trip to Australia you made the process easy for us with little hassle and we are delighted with itinerary.

Sent by Lesley Raywood

We always book with Su, she is professional, efficient and pays attention to detail. We would have no hesitation in recommending her to our friends.

Sent by Patricia Fisher

Recently booked two holidays with Sue. Sue is most obliging and will take care of the smallest detail for you. You can then relax knowing everything is safely booked.

Sent by Linda Ainsworth

Su's service is always second to none. She provides a service that includes booking/ reserving everything you need, answering any queries that arise, checking things out and checking you in! Su comes up with ideas we might like to think about, especially since she knows our tastes in holidays. Wherever we want to go, we check with Su first to see what she can do and she usually comes up with what we want.

Sent by David Williamson

I asked Su to help book a suprise holiday and a show in London for my wife's birthday. She booked everything which saved me trying to do it without my wife knowing. I would recommend Su as she also books holiday cruises for my parents. Excellent work Su, and many thanks.

Sent by Campbell Laird

I friend of mine has had some great holidays booked through Su, so I thought I would give it a go. Absolutely fantastic, everything was carefully planned, no hassle, no stress. So we have booked again and Su has tailormade a holiday which I expect will be the same as the first one - perfect :)

Sent by Leanne Tsui

I contacted Travel Counsellors following a recommendation from a friend. We wanted to book a special trip to New York for my niece's 18th birthday. We had a lot of requests but wanted everything at an affordable price. Su was great and really took the time to plan our trip to our exact requirements. I would definitely recommend Travel Counsellors to my friends and family. Thanks to Su we had an absolutely amazing time with the personal touch.

Sent by Dave Williamson

Excellent communication and got me a great deal, always kept me in touch with what would happen and as the booking was for a surprise this was fantastic.

Sent by Jonathan Oxley

Su found us a great holiday for all the family at a great price! The appartment was just what we needed, in a small and friendly complex. Little things like our own mini-bus transfers to and from the airport make the holiday experience feel so personal and stress-free! We are eagerly looking forward to our third holiday booking with Su already...and a few more to come, no doubt!

Sent by Tracy Faulkner

Su's name had been given to me by a friend and she came highly recommended. I'd been trying to arrange a family trip to New York and, having never visited before, it was daunting having to choose where best to stay, and we had a limited window in which to travel. I sent a quick email to Su and she came back to me immediately, even though it was a bank holiday weekend - service above and beyond the call of duty. She offered a variety of flight and hotel options to suit our budget and was also able to source city sightseeing packages and car parking at the airport. In fact, everything was taken care of and we just had to turn up at the airport and enjoy our trip, which was memorable for all the right reasons. Would definitely recommend Su and would use her services again.

Sent by julie cowley

I have been a customer of Su's for a number of years and would highly recommend her service. Su always finds the right holiday to suit our needs, at a competitive price. We also get peace of mind with the ATOL protection provided.

Sent by Lesley Raywood

We ALWAYS book with Su, she is thorough, efficient and totally trustworthy. We only have to give her an idea of what we require and she will custom fit it to our requirements. We have had some fabulous holidays, all trouble free and we know if we had any problems while we are away they will be sorted without delay.

Sent by Irene Lear

If only I had called Su Dillon earlier. I could have saved myself hours of searching for deals online. Within 30 minutes Su found me a great deal, great price, good flight times and sorted all the little things, like transfers and parking. Brilliant. Will definitely be using her services again. Thanks Su.

Sent by Helen Harrison

We have always found Su very helpful and knowledgeable and the personal service she provides is second to none and not what you would receive from the high street or online. The ability to also contact her outside of normal business hours is also helpful. We would definitely recommend her services.

Sent by Trevor Maplethorpe

Having booked many holiday with Su, and indeed recommended to friends I have no hesitation in saying that Su offers a very efficient and reliable personal service. Very simply Su takes away the stress and is always there to help with any of our requirements or questions.

Sent by Pat and Les Fisher

We would like to thank Sue for arranging our latest holiday to Rhodes. Everything was perfect even the weather. All we had to do was contact Sue tell her where we wanted to go and details of hotels we preferred. Sue organised everything for us even private transfers to and from the airport. All we had to do was to get to Manchester airport. Sue arranges all necessary documents and delivers them personally. We have booked cruises, weekend breaks and long haul holidays with Sue. We have enjoyed them all thanks to Sue’s organisation. I would recommended Sue if you want hassle free holidays. Thanks Sue.

Sent by Nicola Gladston

We have used Su a few times in the past three years. I can honestly say that from start to finish the whole process is such an easy and pleasant experience. Everything from booking the flights, the hotel, transfers, VIP lounge and car parking is all taken care off. No stress at all, Su always confirms everything fully with me, and all documentation is followed up. I like the fact that should I have a query or a problem that Su is on hand to discuss and resolve. I like the fact that wherever you book whether it be a weekend break in the UK or you booked a trip of a lifetime, the same attention to detail is always given by Su.

Sent by Peter Shilton

We booked our holiday through Sue. Everything was just what we wanted - no fuss and excellent service. Pleasure doing business with her, we will definitely recommend to friends.

Sent by Natalie Hall

Just a quick message to say thanks to Su, absolutely first class personal service. I couldn't have asked for anything better and will be sure to use Su again. Just can't wait for my holiday now!!

Sent by Mark Green

We have booked several times through Travel Counsellors, nothing is too much trouble for Sue and I would recommend anyone too book through Travel Counsellors. Our bookings have been for multiple families and large group short break holidays, all handled professionally at a great price with no fuss. We have just booked two holidays for 2014 through Sue, can't give you any better recommendation than that.

Sent by Sally Buck

Thanks to Su, my husband and I have just returned from a wonderful short trip to Iceland (in fact the same itinerary as the trip Su took herself - see her travel diaries). All arrangements were made through Su and everything went without a hitch. This was the first time I had used Travel Counsellors to book a holiday and would not hesitate to use her again or recommend to my family and friends. Thanks again.

Sent by Elizabeth Harrison

I can recommend the services of Su for anyone wanting to book a holiday. I have been on a few holidays arranged by her and each one has been good. She is very helpful when advice is needed and once the booking has been made she deals with all the necessary arrangements to make the holiday run smoothly.

Sent by peter jaram

I find Su very helpful. She has always given me the best advice, and everything has been spot on. She is never intrusive ringing me up every day but I know that when I need her expertise I can count on it. I have tried travel agents, and going on line myself, but I know I can leave it to Su and with her professional attitude I get a satisfying care free holiday. I am glad that I was recommended to Su.

Sent by Tracy Smith

If I could give Su a higher score I would. She was exellent. I wasn't an easy customer as I couldnt make up my mind which hotel I wanted to stay in. She went above and beyond any other travel agent I have been with, keeping me updated via email and text even outside office hours. Su was recomended to me through a family member and I wouldnt hesitate to recommend her to any of my friends and family. I am very happy with the recomendations she gave me to help me come to my decision and I am very much looking forward to the holiday that she planned. Thank You.

Sent by Clair Williamson

Su was a great help to me whilst I was dithering about wondering what to do about a flight booking. I spoke to Sue, and she quickly and efficiently took over my worries and booked it all for me! I would recommend, she knows her stuff!

Sent by Ann Blunden

Su has helped us find our holidays for the last couple of years. I find it very stressful searching the internet to find the perfect holiday to suit us and our children but Su takes all the stress away and is always happy to help and very quick to respond. I think we may be asking for help from Su for quite a while yet and have recommended her to family and friends too.

Sent by Ian Porter

We have used the services of Su twice to book our holiday. Every time we rang to see if she could price match or beat a deal she tried her best to do so. If we called and she was unavailable Su would always call back with an answer to our answer phone messages. I would and do recomend Su to deliver a quality service.

Sent by Shirley Briggs

I have booked a holiday through Su and Su has been very helpful and found us a good price. She also booked our transfers and bus tours without any problem. Nothing is too much trouble and I will certainly book further holidays with Su.

Sent by Balcam Alan

I have always found Su to be very efficient, leaving no stone unturned, when organizing holiday details. Her friendly, personal style is so reassuring when dealing with holiday planning whether it be a group booking, family or just two people.

Sent by Janet Robinson

If you are thinking of going on holiday but you hate sitting in the travel agents for hours, then give Su a ring, tell her what you are thinking of doing and she will like magic come up with a holiday for you and you havent even left your house. This year she has sorted us an amazing all inclusive in Tenerife and a Mediterranean cruise for next summer including all transfers, car parking and a brilliant hotel to add on in Barcelona. Nothing is ever to much trouble. Thanks again Su.

Sent by LARRAINE JOHNSTONE

We have used Su for two holidays for myself and my husband, and have also been with friends on holidays arranged by Su. We have always found her very friendly, efficient and willing to keep on searching to ensure that our exact holiday requirements are fulfilled. I have already recommended her to friends and family and will continue to do so.

Sent by Sandra Patrick

We were very happy with the service Su gave. She sorted out our holiday and everything went to plan. Very pleased.

Sent by John Tongrack

As usual nothing is too small, Sue always goes above and beyond. So ring, book, fly and enjoy because you will be back to Sue. We have for the last 5 years.

Sent by Oliver Hudson

Whenever I need travel assistance for business or family trips, Su is always extremely helpful and gets the job done. Sometimes I give Su very little notice but she always comes up trumps. Thank you so much and keep up the good work!

Sent by Sylvia Powell

Su has always given excellent service,not only in finding the perfect holiday but help and advice with hoiday insurance.Plus,she takes particular care to ensure transfers are always in place. Su is tops!

Sent by Denise Morgan

Whatever we have asked Su to do from a three week fly drive around the USA and a Valentine's weekend in Amsterdam, Helsinki and Stockholm to a simple train ticket from Hull to London, she has allways provided us with a professional,friendly service. Her attention to detail and personal support are exceptional. I would have no hesitation in recommending Su to friends, familiy or business colleagues.

Sent by Linda Moskal Yaya

I have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Las Vegas, Toronto and New York - all arranged by one of your agents, Su Dillon. This is my third holiday arranged by Su and I just want to say that the whole experience was just perfect, absolutley perfect, even down to the small details of transfer from airport to hotel. The hotels she chose for us were first class and situated within walking distance to all the main areas we wanted to visit. This was just such a wonderful holiday and Su did us proud. I of course will recommend Su to all of my friends and my husbands friends and will be going back to Su for my next holiday adventure. Thank you so much Su for a perfect holiday.

Sent by Gareth Lewis

I have used Su for a few years and will contine to do so, myself and my partner have travelled the far east with Su's help and every trip has been awsome. Couldnt have done it without her, communication is great, she takes the worries of booking on your own away, first class service.

Sent by Denise Morgan

My recent London trip was my first experience of Su's personal service. It was fantastic to just pick up the phone or send an email and have everything done for me. These days people think that to do it all themselves will save them money. Su found me a cheaper rail fare and hotel than I had been able to sort out myself so apart from saving me money, she also saved me time and all of this with a smile. Since booking this short weekend trip we have relied on Su to organise a four week fly/drive to the USA and will definitely be using her services again.

Sent by Karl and steph Clark

Absolutely fantastic. Perfect holiday and a perfect service. Went above and beyond the call of duty, to ensure everything was and ran perfect. Made us feel at ease that all the plans were sorted and the result was a great holiday. Thank you very much

Sent by Darren & Sandra Ackroyd

Thanks Su for organising a fantastic holiday to Mexico, we all had a brilliant time. Travel plans all came together to make the experience one to remember. So would use and recommend your Travel Counsellor service again. Thanks again Su Darren & Sandra.

Sent by Maureen Friend

Su provides an excellent and very helpful service and I would recommend her to any one looking for a holiday to suit their needs.

Sent by David Walters

Very helpful in arranging flights and ensuring everything went smoothly. I will certainly be using again.Thanks.

Sent by Oliver Hudson

I recently contacted Su Dillon to assist me with flights at very short notice and was amazed at how quickly and seamlessly Su had everything booked and in place, from flights to parking, and even with a special valet parking extra, which was a bonus. I will certainly contact Su again for help with travel, and will be recommending her to contacts, family and friends without a doubt!

Sent by Caroline Barker

Excellent service and advice, I would not go anywhere else for my travel arrangements.

Sent by Jillian Wells

Whenever I have asked Su to either provide me with information or to book a holiday she has always given me excellent service. I have recommended her to many of my friends and shall continue to do so. Nothing is too much trouble for her and even if we have experienced a problem on our holiday she has dealt with it in an efficient manner on our return. Shortly she will be helping us plan our round the world trip and am looking forward to consulting her on all the necessary travel arrangements we will need to make.

Sent by Angus Fielder

Just back from my holidays booked by Su and had a fantastic time, everything was perfect. We experienced really good service as I’m too busy to organise things! Again thanks Su you’re a star!!

Sent by david brocklebank

Booking with Su has saved us hours of shopping around looking for the best deals. We told her exactly what we wanted 24 hours later it was booked with the clients happy! I will give you further feedback when we have had the holiday!

Sent by Valerie Groombridge

We received a very fast, friendly and efficient service from Su when booking our holiday. Every query was quickly dealt with and we will ask for her help again in the future.

Sent by Trevor Maplethorpe

Su has as always, done a fantastic job of organising all of our holiday requirements, lots of patience and dedication. Thank you

Sent by Gaynor Mackman

Su has been very helpful in setting up the gift register. We found her very approachable with no request being too much trouble. I would strongly advise anyone to use this service. Just one of the numerous wedding tasks taken out of your hands and dealt with efficiently!

Sent by Lee Waites

Su Dillon was amazing; she got us an amazing deal and made sure we were happy, keeping us up to date on all details about our holiday. Su sorted everything out no matter how big or small. We came across a few problems on the way to the airport with a major traffic jam. Su sorted everything contacting the airport rebooking some tickets and sorted all the insurance details out so we could just enjoy our holiday. I would Su to everyone I know. Why book with a travel agent when you could have your own personal Travel Counsellor, who is there all the time to answer any questions. Thank you very much Su, we had a great experience and will use you again in the near future.

Sent by R Bristow

Thanks for your voicemail (and the card!!) We had a fantastic honeymoon thanks, it really couldn't have been better. Kuredu was awesome and you should definitely recommend it to others. Thanks for your help and efforts organising it all for us. I'm sure I'll be in touch to use your services again!!! The arrangements from TC were all very slick!

Sent by Bryan & Kay Harrington

Su offers a very friendly, professional and personal service. She always calls back when she says she will and nothing is too much trouble for her. I have no qualms in recommending Su to my family and friends.

Sent by Helen Harrison

Su really excelled herself - we were quite specific with dates/ hotel and location. The hotel chain were unable to accommodate us when we tried directly. Su however pulled out the stops and managed to arrange our perfect holiday on the dates we wanted and in the hotel we so wished to stay at. Su was very efficient and kept us informed throughout - even at weekends!

Sent by Sian Bowe

I have recently returned from a fantastic holiday in Thailand and I have to say it exceeded my expecations! Su Dillon was great and organised this at very short notice, with very tight date limitations and requirements. She provided excellent customer service and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending her to friends and family. I will certainly be using her again!

Sent by Nicki Rowland

Su goes out of her way to assist with all our enquiries and bookings. She has never failed to deliver and has organised some wonderful holidays and trips for our family. Su is a pleasure to work with. Thank you!

Sent by John Williams

Su was a great help in finding us the holiday we were looking for in Tenerife and at such short notice. Sorry about that Su!!!! Nothing seemed too much trouble for her despite our constant demands. She also sorted out our insurance which was a weight of our minds as I needed extra cover. So a big thank you from Sharon and myself.

Sent by DENISE WILKINSON

I gave Su dates for our holiday to Krakow said it could be 8 or more people. Wiithin two hours Su came up with a choice of four hotels. We made our choice and Su sent us some very useful information about the tourist points and the local area of the hotel. I then went on to request prices for 14 people which Su sorted quickly. I then changed it to 16, but nothing was any trouble for Su. Will use her again.

Sent by Geoffrey Ranin

When my wife and I decided to have one last family holiday together with our two grown up girls, a friend of mine suggested speaking to Sue. Now although we are going on somewhat of a complicated holiday (21 days in California) Sue couldn't have been more helpful advising me where were the best places to go and booking quite a lot of the trips so i didn't have to. I can't wait.

Sent by Nick+ Lea James

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Su for what can only be described as a perfect honeymoon in Kuredu, Maldives. From leaving our door to getting home everything went perfectly; from parking, flights, accommodation, destination, even the weather (but I'm sure I cant give you credit for that one). Seriously couldnt ask for better service. Thank you so much to Su and the Travel Counsellors team.

Sent by Sylvia Powell

Thank you so much for the holiday in Majorca you organised, for seven of us in the summer holidays. Everything was well planned for us including pre booked seats on the plane. A bonus indeed. I think you even ordered the weather it was so brilliant. We will certainly come to you for all our future travel plans.

Sent by Gary Rowland

I'm very busy at home and work and I find it hard to get the time to search, organise and book holidays and business trips abroad. Su takes care of all this for me as well as getting a good deal. I always have every confidence things will run smoothly without any hiccups from door to destination !

Sent by Lee George

Excellent, punctual and friendly service. We specified that we would like to go to three separate destinations, and not only did this come in on budget, but the hotels Su picked for us were magnificent. This was our honeymoon, so it is certainly the most significant and in that case potentially critical, but I cannot fault the service. Great stuff.

Sent by Jo Roberts

I have booked 2 holidays now with Su. The first a girls weekend away to Tenerife and the second a family holiday to Egypt. Both holidays were fantastic, especially the one to Egypt. Su kept me well informed and even hand delivered my tickets, how's that for service!! She also sorted out the cancelled flight coming home from Tenerife and we will recieve a full refund within weeks! A huge big thank you!!!

Sent by Emma Pearson-Kendall

I book several holidays a year and Su's been a great help not only in booking trips but also being there to help with travel issues. In one instance, even though it was in no way connected to Su she was there at the end of the phone at an unsociable hour and did everything she could to help us, which was fantastic. I have already recommended her to friends and family and would do so to anyone!

Sent by Peter Lindstrom

Thanks Su for a great holiday, we were all impressed with the service you provided and the value for money, particularly the airport transfer and your recommendation of the Hotel Flamingo Benidorm. Another nice touch was the wallets and pre-allocated seat tickets. I will definitely be contacting you for any future holidays and will be recommending Travel Counsellors. Regards Pete

Sent by Tim Hussey

Su dealt with everything for our trip to Florida in an excellent manner and the whole trip went to plan. We liaised on a regular basis re the flights and hotel and all tickets arrived on time. Having Su arrange your hol this way is so much better than sitting for 3 hrs in a travel agency and if plans had to change then this can be done much more easily. We shall be using Su for all our future trips.

Sent by michelle GRIFFITHS (nee CASSIDY)

Sue organised my holiday and our wedding in Vegas. We booked for 7 people and two other friends booked the same holiday. It ran very smoothly, with perfectly timed flights and great hotel. The wedding day itself was totally stress free as everything had been done for us. I would have no hesitation in recommending her to our friends, and have already started doing so!!!

Sent by graham bradshaw

Su recently arranged a holiday for us to the United States, her service was first class and we would recommend her to anyone thinking of booking a holiday. Her response to our requests was immediate, and even though we had disruption due to volcanic ash clouds closing airports, Su was on the ball, with advice and updates you would not get from high street travel agents, thanks again Su.

Sent by K Thompson

Su has taken the stress out of organising our family holiday to New Zealand. Not only did Su find some 'awkward' flights for us, she found them for much cheaper than what we'd been able to. Her personal approach and very friendly nature has been very much appreciated and we will continue to use Su from now on for our holiday bookings as well as recommending her to friends and family. Thank you.

Sent by Malcolm Raywood

I would like to thank Sue Dillon for the arrangements she has made for me on the trip to Tenerife, and my proposed trip to Sri Lanka and India. The part to India had to be scrapped due to the Mumbai bombings. I would not hesitate to use Sue Dillon again or recommended her to other people. Many thanks. Yours Malcolm Raywood.

Sent by Shirl Houghton

I would like to thank Su for her help when my son went to Australia. Nothing was too much trouble and she got him a great deal plus arranged him special backpackers insurance. Since then I have asked her advice on many occasions and told my friends and family about the service she offers. I am hoping to book a holiday with her this year and as I am single this is quite a challenge. Thanks Su.

Sent by david robertson

Sue Dillon is a very helpful and knowledgeable person who will cross the T’s and dot the I’s to make sure you have the best possible chance of having a wonderful holiday, she takes all the stress out of researching the holiday and if you’re like me time is something I do not have a lot of! It’s brilliant your dream holiday is just one phone call away, wish I’d found Sue twenty years ago!!!!

Sent by Debbie Lamplough

Very pleased with the service and help we have received from Su in the past. I have no hesitation in recommending her to my friends and clients. A special thanks for all your help when Joe went to Australia last year.

Sent by John Butler

Booked holiday with Su. She is very professional and knowledgeable about all aspects of travel especially for us having two young children. Price quoted was very competitive and also included Hotel at airport pre flight, car parking and a private transfer to resort (these are very welcome as often the added extras cost more than the main holiday!) Already recommending Sue to all I know

Sent by Chris & Sarah Morland

We had wanted to go to Italy for years but due to budget, we had not been able to. After speaking to Su regarding this she gave us some idea of price, hotels and different locations. We were surprised at the great rates on offer and booked 7 nights, half board in Sirmione (Lake Garda), at Hotel du Parc. Su was great - sorted everything for us and the holiday was amazing - we would go there again!

Sent by Zoe Silver

Su was the most helpful travel advisor I have ever encountered. From the word go she was full of ideas and she helped us narrow down what we wanted from our honeymoon. She went above and beyond the call of duty to help us get the perfect trip. Su was recommended to us and we will be recommending her in turn to all our friends and family.

Sent by MIKE DILLON

A great travel agent with a very personal touch. She keeps us informed of everything thats available and is very quick to give details on holidays. Prices are always favourable. Great point is she always remembers the little extra things that need to be done when arranging a break, no matter if it is a couple of days or two weeks, her attention to detail is second to none.

Sent by Linda Moskal Yaya

My husband and I have just returned from a 19 day Panama Canal Cruise holiday all arranged by Su Dillion. I have to say everything was organised by Su which left me only the task of packing our suitcases. I found Su so helpful and nothing is too much trouble, she is always happy and willing to help anwser my questions, a true profesional lady. Looking forward to my next holiday arranged by Su

Sent by Jon Buckland

We asked Su, along with a number of other similar agencies, to investigate options for our honeymoon. She has been amazing - providing service from a seemingly mystical bygone era: informed, efficient and exceptionally friendly. I would recommend her to everyone without reservation and am already working with her on our next holiday!

Sent by Neil Wells

I used Su's services to book the most expensive holiday my family have ever been on, it is a trip for my brothers 21st and parents 30th wedding anniversary. Su went out of her way to find us the best possible deal, she called us when it was convenient for us and kept us updated every step of the way. Amazing personal service, even got a bday card!

Sent by Kylie Branagan

Su offered fantastic service when helping us to choose our dream honeymoon, finding the perfect luxury package at a reasonable price. Having a personal advisor to source our honeymoon made it much easier and the Honeymoon Gift Registry service offered by Travel Counsellors was ideal for us to provide a more contemporary and suitable gift request to our guests. Thanks Su!

Sent by Brian Nickson

I used Travel Counsellors for the first time, recently, to help me find a good deal on a Mediterranean cruise for me, my wife and two friends. Su discussed the group’s requirements in detail and was soon on the case. In no time at all, she was back to us with what turned out to be a dream 10-night holiday aboard the 5 Star cruise ship, Celebrity Summit, including all transfers and a stay at a near-London hotel, at a price we could not refuse. Nothing was too much trouble for Su. Whilst we had a number of queries along the way, she dealt with each of them quickly, efficiently and very professionally, sometimes using the network of Travel Counsellors to resolve an issue. I would thoroughly recommend Su Dillon to anyone thinking of booking a holiday and I have already done so to a number of my friends and family members. The whole booking experience was slick and trouble free and saved hours sitting in a travel agent’s office or surfing through endless web sites, with all the stress that entails. Will I book through Su at Travel Counsellors again? Already have! Thanks Su.

Sent by Julie Cowley

I would not hesitate in recommending Su. She adds that personal touch. Nothing was too much trouble. She organised our holiday from start to finish including car hire and airport parking. We had a fantastic holiday.