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Our holiday went swimmingly
Member Name: pencoedcharlie
Advantages: Relaxing family holiday
Disadvantages: More umbrellas please!
I chose Thomsons because they are such a large holiday company, I thought they would be unlikely to run into financial difficulties, and our holiday arrangements should be as safe and secure as possible.
Not having had the pleasure of actually going abroad on holiday for over 10 years, I had never booked online before, and was a bit nervous incase it went wrong in some way, but the booking went well, and I would do the same again. One thing I'm really glad I thought of doing was reading some customer reviews of various hotels, and I chose one which overall had a really good write up. This was the Playa Mar in Puerto Pollensa, Majorca.
So I took the plunge, booked,and was more or less guided through the process, by Thomsons who give you a sort of personalised mini website of your own,known as "My Thomson" Through this system I was able to specify where I'd like to sit on the aircraft,as we were travelling with my 7 year old grandchild it was obviously essential to sit together,me nobly giving up any chance of sitting by the window! We were able to book an inflight meal, ofcourse though you have to pay for other drinks, alcoholic for me, definitely.
The "My Thomson" site also reminded me to get my free European Health Insurance cards, which arrived promptly, and suggested reasonably priced Travel Insurance.It also gave info on local weather,excursions, and car hire.
At Cardiff Airport there were long queues, and a bit of delay. Due to my online booking, I had arranged a holiday with flights around the sort of times which suited us,we were supposed to arrive at the Airport at 5am, got there about quarter past which made us more or less last at the back of a VERY long queue next time I will try to be 5 minutes early, in the hope I'll have to queue less.Incidentally, and I mention this incase it happens to you, my daughter drove us to the Airport, but none of us had a £1 coin on us for the short stay car park, they let us in, but my daughter apparently spent 20 minutes rather unconventionally clad in PJ's and boots wandering around with a £20 note,trying to get change,so that she could be allowed out! At 23 she doesn't mind all that much though. Otherwise the Thomson flight was fine, no problem with the coach at the other end either.
I have detailed the travel details a bit, as I have read other reviews where people have been very disappointed, but I have to say that this wasn't my experience, or I would say so.
We duly arrived, and the hotel was great. It is an "aparthotel" we were self catering, but there is a buffet, and snack bar if needed. We didn't use the buffet or cafe much, but the food was varied, and absolutely superb. One thing we found was that although we were very careful with money,it just disappeared very quickly. I had a pre-loaded Thomas Cook visa card which was great, but I also had to visit ATM's with my Barclaycard. There were a couple of drawbacks to the hotel,one is that it is a 20 minute walk into Puerto Pollensa.As it was August this is a very long hot walk for a 7 year old, taxis are available if needed. Also as we had our evening meals around the seafront I guess we were charged a bit more for the view, but what a stunning view it is.
The second drawback at the hotel was that although there were plenty of sunloungers around the wonderful pools there were just not enough umbrellas. So either you bake in the sun, or like my husband, you beat the opposition, and get up very early (despite a notice saying the sunloungers are available only after 9am.) I am a bit ashamed to admit he got up as early as 3.30am. I felt that our neighbours on the sunloungers who missed their established spot must have realised this, but it wasn't me!I only admit this after our return home ofcourse, but he is quite proud of himself.
The hotel also had other delights a cold, cold indoor pool, and a jacuzzi, also a sauna, didn't see anyone using that though and a bookcase, free to all with plenty of paperbacks for holiday reading.
We went on one excursion, a trip to the ancient St. Luc Monastery, over the mountains,to Soller, and part of the way back though the Orange Groves, by the train, the Tramalata Trail.I love Majorca,the fact that it isn't just hotels and tourists but an island of beauty, and history.However due to the hot weather in August, also our limited funds we spent most of our week enjoying the facilities of the hotel.
Now, as I said we were with our 7 year old granddaughter, and this is a family holiday.If our circumstances were different, I would never consider this type of holiday,we were last in Majorca 20 years ago when our girls were very young, nothing could equal that particular holiday, when we were relatively young parents ourselves ,just having a lovely break, but having said that Thomsons provided us with a brilliant holiday which exceeded our expectations.There is a good Kids Club, my granddaughter was a bit apprehensive, but enjoyed all the activities, and started to get to know some new friends.Also the Kids club takes place between 1pm, and 3pm, so that the young ones are well entertained within an air conditioned room while the sun is at its hottest. We all enjoyed the pools,at 3pm everyday there is a grown ups game of water polo and at 4pm a quiz.
At some of the quieter times in the pool I managed a little leisurely swimming,I found I was swimming and smiling, but then noticed others exactly the same.
After our evening meal by the sea, we came back each night for the evening Entertainment, the kids entertainment, followed by some grown-up family friendly entertainment,and a kids disco, till about 11.15pm.At this point we had a couple of drinks, and a few laughs.The childrens entertainers are very hardworking,so are the other Thomson reps. They are brilliant, and a credit to Thomsons. also I didn't see anyone( I mean other holidaymakers) drunk or behaving badly.
So overall my experience of this holiday is very positive.I am a summer holiday person, I just like being allowed to be lazy.When I came back I felt a lot better, and realised that before I went, I was actually pretty tired.Even after a week I feel re-energised. Sorry if this review has been a bit long, but hope its helpful if you are planning a well earned family break. Unfortunately its pretty expensive, I didn't see any single parents out there, but if you can go its lovely.
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