Travel Professionals International
Hear what people have been saying about our TPI Agents.
“I had the pleasure of using Rose-Anne’s services for planning my last trip. It was a mother-daughter trip to San Francisco, and Rose-Anne was always ready to answer questions and get details I needed organized. All went smoothly…I just wish she had booked the flights One-Way…it was sooo nice out there J”
- Angela-Arnprior, Ontario
“Hi Wendy, Arrived home safe & sound - a bit of jet lag, as usual. We had a wonderful time - enjoyed every minute of it. We had never been on a cruise before & I think we much prefer the river cruise idea rather than the big ships. although, as I said we really have nothing to compare it to. John loves History & it certainly was an ideal way to explore these cities. Thanks for all your help. Irene”
- Irene Goddard
“Hi Sam, Just to let you know, we LOVED the Royalton- Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba and all of its services. We had no issues with the room, the food, nor the service. We loved the à la carte menus, from the calamari, smoked salmon appetizers to filet mignon, lobster and desserts, rice pudding, banana flambé, etc. We would love to go again as long as the price doesn't jump too high! Kind regards, Christiane”
- Christiane Kennedy
“Hi Patrick To say we LOVED our cruise would be an understatement!! We thought the entire experience was amazing. The kids had a ball, we had time to relax without the craziness of the parks.... Lisa had independence, Myles loved the kids club!! The entertainment was phenomenal!! My parents were so impressed as well. We spent the morning in Cozumel and enjoyed an interesting but perhaps a never again visit to Señor Frogs for lunch! Very loud, expensive but an experience for sure. Shopped a little but enjoyed an afternoon on the ship where it was quiet!! Castaway Cay was fantastic!!! Spent the whole day on the beach and in the water! Avoided the water slide area... Too busy. Loved the strolling around, the food and of course the amazing sunshine!! ”
- Lesley and family April 2013
“Thanks Lois everything was sooo amazing! Everything we dreamed! Thank you sooooo much!”
- Ashley - Hard Rock PUJ April 2013
“Hey Loretta Just home from a fantastic vacation. Everything was excellent. Don't think I can find anything about it that needed improvement Complex was huge and places we never saw. Having said that it never seemed crowded or lacking in personal space. Lots of room to roam, variety of restaurants and pools and bars. We were amazed at the courtesy and helpfulness of the staff everywhere. Very hard working and friendly. Never was staff not helpfully or not happy to talk. We saw a few shows, all good. We got great accommodations and yes adjoining rooms without asking. Thank you for your suggestions and help. Good work. We will definitely be calling you again. Just next time fix weather here for return. Lol. Sincerely Paul and Gaya”
- Gran Bahia Principe Akumal April 2013
“Everything went great and we all had a great time. The Polynesian is a beautiful resort much like going to Mexico the only thing I can equate it to, since I've never been is to Hawaii. The location was fabulous and the weather crazy hot. Direct flight awesome! Staying at a Disney resort is recommended but I recognize it is a splurge. The direct transportation from the airport, proximity to Magic Kingdom and other Disney transportation was great for our first time in Disneyworld. Our next visit we may be more inclined to try an off-resort hotel. If I was to do an on-resort hotel I would definitely go back to Polynesian. The pool is beautiful, beach area, activities, facilities, all very, very good. And watching the fireworks from the beach is stunning. You do have to do a lot of walking from building to building so an older person or someone with limited mobility wouldn't like it so much. For us, no problem. Quick Service Meal plan I'm not sorry I did it but I wouldn't choose it again. We did use all our allocations but we probably ended up choosing different items than we would have otherwise and it gets confusing at times. Watching other families I definitely would not do a full service meal plan. They did not look happy! Seaworld was a great day! The meal plan was only good at the restaurants and not the snack kiosks which was hard for the kid (long waits). We had a lot of fun and it is an amazing place. ”
- Disneyworld Package by...Tracey Wright
“My travel buddy and I stayed at the Ocean Blue & Sand for a week in mid-March. Having travelled to a couple of places in the Carribean already, I'm always prepared to make exceptions/have minor disappointments...simply because you really never know for sure what you're going to get when it comes to all inclusives and the star ratings are different than North America. Usually it's the food that disappoints...not this time! Everything from the food, to the drinks, to the service was awesome! I loved the fact that they have 6 a la cartes and you don't need reservations for any of them (unless you want to try the seafood one, which we didn't do).We took advantage of 4 of the a la cartes for dinner and we were never disappointed. The only thing that ruined it was the hoard of american spring breakers that took over the resort on the third day of our trip. Had we remembered about the U.S. spring break, we would've booked for another time. Not that we minded the extra entertainment, but they gorged themselves on the booze and food and made demands of the staff without ever being witnessed was disgusting! This impacted the a la cartes in that you needed to be in line by 6:00 (even though they didn't open until 6:30) if you wanted to eat there. Because they don't take reservations, you couldn't even leave your name/room number and come back for a different seating time - if you weren't in line and within the first 20 people, you risked being turned away once you reached the front of the line. It would've been nice if they temporarily allowed for reservations when it's "busy season" such as spring break...or at least let people who are standing in line that there is only availability for a certain number of seatings so that perhaps they would want to try another a la carte or suck it up and go to the buffet (which was o.k., but did not compare). The layout of the resort was perfect. If you're like me, when you're on vacation in this type of locale, the last thing you want is to stay in one of those ginormous cement monstrosity resorts that look like something you'd find in Vegas (you expect it in Vegas, and it's all good there). I love the colorful little condo option where you can easily walk to the beach during the day and check out the amenities of the hotel at night. Ocean Blue has modified golf carts that regularly circulate around the resort at various times of the day and evening - which we used and appreciated, especially when you've got sunburn and it hurts to walk! Oh, on that yourself a favour and listen to the locals when they tell you about the Dominican sun. We were using 60 + sunscreen on a regular basis and still burned...and don't forget to cover the areas you wouldn't normally think of. I burned my ears and my bottom lip...pretty sexy (not)! The beach was fabulous! Super soft sand and plenty of loungers - could've done without the topless Quebecquois though...yuck! Put it back on honey, no one wants to see those! That and the ancient European men who would walk down the beach every day showing off their tans in banana hammock thongs....(shiver!) will take a while to recover from seeing that every day. If you're interested, consider taking some cash down to the beach with you - there's guys with parrots, iguanas, monkeys, and snakes (I didn't see the snake, but my friend did), if you want an original picture/memory of your trip. The monkey was super cute...a tiny little guy. Also, the beach market is a 2 minute walk down the beach if you want to barter for trinkets, cover-ups, beach bags, larimar (more on larimar later), etc. Some of the guys are open to bartering, some are not...although I went more than once over our week there and eventually managed to pay what I wanted for a beach bag. Keep in mind that you'll see the same stuff in various places so, it's better to shop around and barter for the best price...they know this, so they will try and get you to buy from them right away, rather than risk you buying from the guy a couple tables over. Stand your ground and you'll be fine. Larimar is the semi-precious gem of the DR, the first time I saw it's gorgeous ocean blue/white color, I was hooked. It can also be called "dolphin stone" and "ocean stone". You'll find it everywhere in the DR, it's just not always genuine or set in real silver/gold so beware. Like the test for black coral (which you'll also find in abundance), you should be able to take a lighter to larimar and it won't burn/melt. My parents actually had an experience where they asked a seller at one of the markets to test a piece of "genuine black coral" this way and the piece actually melted in the guy's hand....ooooppppsssiee! Oh, and they also like to fill in imperfections in their "black coral" pieces with black marker - of course resulting in the marker coming off on your skin....another red flag to look for. Amber is another thing you'll see - I've never bought amber in the carribean, but apparently real amber will float while plastic will sink. You'll see alot of "real amber" pieces with "real bugs" in them...beware of this too - consider how difficult it is to find these pieces anywhere else. Why would the DR have access to this kind of quality? I would comment on the excersions, but unfortunately, we didn't try any this go round. It was one of those, "I just need to lie out on the beach and relax" vacations. That said, I did see a lot of water/beach sport options like: windsurfing, parasailing, kyaking, speed boats, etc. - all of which looked extremely fun! We would've done a snorkelling excersion, but the ocean was on the rough side that week and we didn't want to chance it. The only other tip I have to offer is to seriously be cautious of upgrading to "prestige/club class". Ocean Blue and Sand is an H10 owned resort and while they say they "don't believe in selling time shares" they have their own version of this - it's the "welcome breakfast" they tell you they're hosting for you on the 2-3rd day. It's essentially the whole time share blah blah blah, only they smooze you with breakfast in the VIP section, chat you up and tell you you're "5 star travellers - I can tell". The truth of the matter is, the breakfast is the same breakfast buffet you would be having anyway - with the only difference being you're allowed to sit with the other sucker "VIPs" in a segregated area of the buffet. While it's nice to be asked about yourself, your interests and your travel preferences and then have a bunch of smoke blown (you know where) - you're sitting there thinking "I'm losing serious beach time listening to this crap". When the H10 host (who are suspiciously mainly caucasion) takes you around the resort to "tour" the VIP areas, you realize that it's really not much better than the regular option. Actually, in some cases- it's in point, the VIP roped off beach area. Yes, there are some nice white cotton sheeted cabanas, but they're perched on top of a small cliff-like area where you have to cautiously step down sand bags to get to the water....romantic, huh? The sand bags are necessary at this part of the beach to keep the tides from further erroding the beach away. Also, this "VIP" area is located right next door to the bathrooms and the beach restaurant (which was not so good) so; there's people walking through on a regular basis. Thanks, but I'd rather lay out on the ocean's edge where I don't have to look/stumble over sandbags, smell the cold fries cooking in the kitchen or have the half naked European/Quebecquois people walking past me every 20 minutes. After all was said and done, the H10 host finally gets to the point - in order to be the true 5 star VIP traveller you know that you need to join in that exact minute & slap down a measley $2 Gs deposit on the $8 Gs cost of the package. Well there it is....after a morning of "VIP" treatment, compliments and a free hat - all you need to enter the golden door (remember that Frasier episode with the silver, gold and platinum doors?) is $8 Gs with a $2ooo deposit. Yeah, let me just dig that out of my wallet right's not like I paid $2000 for this trip in the first place. Whatever dude! You can keep your hat. Anyway, I don't want to end this review on a negative note, because the trip, the resort and the staff was truly fab! We just could've done without the b.s. mentioned above, but places where they don't do this selling stuff are few and far between. The rooms are clean, and fairly well maintained, but keep in mind that running water and electricity are luxuries so; there will be a few power outtages that occur from time to time (who cares what time it is anyway?). The in room fridge was always stocked with beer, water, and Pepsi products (love that the resort is not into Coke products) and there is a coffee maker and coffee. The only thing that was missing was snacks like chips, pretzels, etc. The room service was only offered until 11 pm so; if you came back to your room after a night of dancing and wanted something to snack on, you were out of luck. We finally clued into this and started buying chips at the resort store to keep in our room. This was fine, but next time I'll bring some out in my checked bag - too expensive to buy ($5 for a small bag of chips). The drinks were also fab! I love slushie drinks and there was a menu with about 7 options for these (and another 7-8 options for mixed drinks). Every one we tried became our favourite...the Ocean Blue, the Strawberry Daiquiri, the Blue Hawaiian, and the Banana Mama - awesome! I was tipping the waitresses regularly (unlike the spring breakers) so most times, there wasn't much of a wait and the drinks always were garnished nicely and were in glass. I mention this because I noticed some people's drinks were in plastic, didn't have garnishes and/or were supposed to be slushy but had a couple ice cubes instead (which were reportedly not nearly as good). One last tip- be cautious about the ingredients in your drink. Drinks made with DR dark rum may be dangerous because the DR dark rum is made with molasses. You can ask for domestic dark i.e. Bacardi instead or risk running to the bathroom all night. Also be cautious about the milk/cream based drinks...this is just a general rule when travelling...common sense - the milk/cream is not refrigerated, it's on ice. This means that only the bottom of the carton gets chilled while the top part is out in the open humid air. Final verdict - I love this resort, the food, the entertainment and the staff! I will return and I will refer anyone I know heading out to Punta Cana to this resort. Tip the staff well - they more than deserve it and are extremely appreciative when you do tip. Consider tipping those who are not front and centre all the time, like the guys who are constantly raking up the seaweed off the beach, the security staff and the maids who take care of the lobby areas/washrooms. They are often forgotten about despite their jobs being more important and wayyy less glamourous than the reception/customer relations/service reps. If you don't believe me, try cleaning the bathrooms after a bunch of spring breakers were partying/puking all night. Happy travels! Punta Canadian #104, 000 - not "cheapy-cheapy"”
- Ocean Blue and Ocean Sand Kerissa Cymbaluk
“Dear Corry, WOW what an amazing time we had. Everything just flowed so smoothly. The Disney cruise was amazing and Nishka wanted to go to kids club to play all the computer games. The room was awesome with the extra large balcony. We enjoyed having breakfast 2 mornings out on the balcony and went out every time we were in the room to enjoy the view or sounds of the ocean. The shows were much more professional than any other ship we have been on. I felt we got an extra bonus as the ship was decorated for Christmas with Christmas music being played which I didn’t expect. Thanks again for all your recommendations and work at putting it all together I can’t wait to go back and talk some of my family into joining us next time. Janet”

“Hey Shelly What a week. It's the first vacation I had and nothing went wrong. The flight was good. The resort and room were great. I would recommend it to anyone. The room upgrade was worth the cost. Quality inn was good. They let us check out late Kelli and I thank you for all your help and making it a beautiful vacation. We will be in touch soon to plan next year. Thinking of a cruise next march break Thanks again Dave ”
- Dave & Kelli, Lady Hamilton resort Jamaica April 2013

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