As I mentioned before, my family and I were invited to test out Transat Holidays for ourselves and write about our experiences. On occasion we have booked our travel through a full service travel provider but never through Transat Holidays and usually we book directly. I was looking forward to experiencing this one-stop-shop from start to finish to see what we discovered. We do a lot of travel. A LOT. So I knew that we were a good fit for the assignment.
Now let’s be honest, a trip to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico could hardly be a bomb. That wasn’t the point. The point was to go through the process and write about what we thought. So, that is what I prepared myself for. Throughout our trip I took notice of when I felt Transat Holidays made a difference. I was prepared for it to be both good and bad. And I was prepared to be honest.
Here is what I found:
1. The Air Transat Kids Club: Sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference and this program did just that! We received the Kids Club package in the mail in advance of our trip. Inside we found information, bag tags, free snack vouchers and more.
What the kids found of greatest value? The snack vouchers and the package with games, earphones and a few extras when they got on the flight. A little VIP treatment never hurt anyone.
What the parents found of greatest value? Two really, REALLY fabulous things that every parent will value – the Kids Club priority check in at the airport (see pic to the left) and the Priority baggage. We were treated like Option Plus flyers and had our own check in line at the airport and when our flight arrived in Toronto at 2am and our baggage was first off thanks to Kids Club priority baggage? I could not have been more grateful for this program!
2. Air Transat: As I said, we travel a lot and I have experienced so many airlines I can’t even count. These days I find them all pretty similar, basic offerings and decent service. However, my husband and I both commented on the great service we received on Air Transat. The flight attendants actually seemed eager to meet the needs of the passengers with a genuine smile. Plus, everyone on the flight got a hot meal and a glass of wine.
3. Excursions: We usually do an excursion or two when we are away. I like to get out of the resort and experience the local area. Planning this on one’s own can be tough. Vetting out the reputable firms and ensuring that the experience is what you want can be challenging. I really appreciated the fact that Transat Holidays had done this work for us. Instead of a needle in the haystack approach we had a few great options to choose from.
Check it out:
Getting ready for snorkeling at Xel-Ha.
Cliff Jumping at Xel-Ha.
Climbing to the top of the Mayan ruins in Coba.
Rappelling into the depths of the earth into a cenote!
4. Azul Fives Resort: Again the one-stop-shop really helps when you have a sense of where you want to go but don’t know exactly where you want to stay. Transat Hollidays had done all the work for us. You can check out the different resorts and their amenities and compare them right on the site. Our priorities? Roomy accommodation, a small to mid-sized resort, a variety of restaurants, at least 4 star and, most importantly, a kids club. We ended up staying at the new and beautiful Azul Fives Resort and it met all of our needs.
Kids Club? Check:
The Kids Club was a hit with my 8 year-old!
Our 2 bedroom suite was a) gorgeous! and b) bigger than my whole house.
The living/dining/kitchen room in our suite. Fabulous!
The best part? The new friends we met at the resort all the way from Calgary 😉
5. Airport Transfer: I am of two minds on this, our transfer from the Cancun airport to our hotel was a total milk run. It was late, we were tired and the ride seemed endless. We stopped at 3 hotels before ours and it more than doubled the journey. However, on the way back we were the only ones on board. The value of the transfer is that we didn’t have to worry about a thing. We were told where to go and when. That part I like.
I have included some more photos in the album below because I took hundreds!
What about you? What do you need for your dream vacation?
Portions of this trip have been provided by Transat Holidays. The experiences and opinions are all mine.