A postcard from Fuerteventura

Travel

Hello from sunny Fuerteventura, I’m currently half way through my holiday and thought I would get a blogpost up featuring some of my photos from my beach walk to other day.

I am actually obsessed with all the photos I have taken whilst being here, the scenery is just amazing, and around the hotel there is loads of instagramable hot spots perfect for capturing some outfit shots.

I am staying at the TUI Sensimar Royal Palm & Spa hotel, the hotel it’s self is beautiful like I said, the perfect Instagram hotel, palm trees everywhere, grey and white walls and amazing food!

The wind how ever is a little bit too strong, this means that even though it is really sunny it doesn’t feel hot. For me me this is the perfect weather because it means I never get too hot that I have to go inside, instead I can sit outside all day and work on my tan.

If you want to see more pics be sure to head over to Instagram and follow me @toriiitoriii and @toriiitravels

See you soon xx

My Thomson Holiday Disaster

Travel

Today’s blog post is dedicated to the first 3 days of my supposedly relaxing summer holiday.

Background
So, myself and my mum had booked a week away on the Portuguese island of Madeira as soon as we had both broke up from work for summer. A couple of weeks prior to our departure we received an email saying there was building work going on next door to the hotel and it would not be the peaceful environment you normally expect on your holiday. They gave us two options, one was to cancel the holiday and the other was to transfer to a different hotel free of charge. Now bearing in mind we chose a Adults only Sensimar hotel so we were not just going to transfer to a normal hotel off free will. The ladies down at our local Thomson branch did some research and found a hotel which was apparently better than ours, but it wasn’t adults only so that wasn’t an option. We then decided to just put up with the noise, how bad could it be? Later that night I looked to see if the hotel booking said anything about the noise on the Thomson website, and to our shock the hotel had a discount on. So we rang the local branch and said can we have the discount, the discount was obviously because of the noise. They said no they cant give the discount out. So, we decided to cancel the holiday and re-book with the discount saving another £200 so this holiday ended up being very cheap for a 4 star adults only Sensimar!

Flash Forward to the morning of departure

It was a normal morning at the airport, the typical queue to drop your bags, the waiting in the departure lounge, buying a meal deal from Boots and waiting for our flight to be called. We found our seats on the place, and to my dismay, I was sat in front of Devil Child, who proceeded to kick my chair, play with his tray and just annoy me whole way. Now this wouldn’t of bee so bad you see, if we were on the flight for 3 hours and 15 minutes like the captain had said. However when we got ready to start the descent into Madeira airport is when unforeseeable happened, we couldn’t land! The captain informed us that there were high winds in the Madeira airport and that meant he could not land the plane safely, so we kept circling and circling! It then go to the point where we had circled for so long we needed fuel, and in order to get that we had to fly to Tenerife and refuel and then go back up. At this point we had been on the plane for over 5 hours already. We headed back to Madeira, and circled a few more times, we even came close to landing! But as we got beneath the clouds we pulled back up again due to the high winds. After researching the airport and the flights on this current day we found out that at one point there were 5 planes circling above one another!

We eventually landed back in Tenerife after spending 10 hours on an air plane, we were offered nothing but a tiny cup of water! We later found out from two other passengers who had worked in the industry that they had caught the Thomson cabin crew eating sandwiches while we all sat there with no food. On arrival in Tenerife the captain told us that they are going to put us up in a 5 star hotel with breakfast and dinner provided. We had already paid for all this so it was no favour to us at all!

We arrived at the Palm Beach which instantly did not look 5 star, it was 3 star. We were extremely lucky to be third off the coach and able to check in to the hotel at a reasonable time. You would not believe the queue from the check in desk right out into the road! The hotel had 2 people checking in 193 passengers. My mum and I went up to our sub standard room and got ready to go down for dinner, when we went down the queue to get rooms was still ridiculously long (they queued till midnight).

Second attempt at flying to Madeira 

For the second day in the row we got up at silly o’clock, we went down for breakfast which was of course rushed as the hotel didn’t put it on earlier enough for everyone. We were picked up from the hotel late, which is always a bad start and headed to the airport. When we arrived to the airport we were kept waiting to check in our bags, eventually we got through. On this day we even got as far as there was one group of passengers on the bus ready to head to the plane, while we were in the holding area before we were told the flight was cancelled. We were then hoarded back up to the gate where we sat waiting for updates, the announcement said there would be an update at 12. Well, do you know what that update was! It was, there will be an update at 1! Like what the actual hell! We were kept waiting again and again only so Thomson could try and sort out a plan. Eventually we were all told to go and get our bags from baggage claim and we would be sent back to the same hotel. At this point it all started kicking off, tempers were a blaze, angry passengers were infuriated at the prospect of going back that hotel. The ground staff were not equipt for dealing with this situation at all, also the Thomson reps within the airport were the rudest bunch of people who were of no help and just threatened their customers. The attitudes of the Thomson staff at the airport really needs looking at this was not appropriate, they customers who have spent hundreds of pounds on their goods and they are being sent to a inadequate hotel. That being said there was one Thomson rep who went above and beyond and really understood where everyone was coming from and was lovely. We did not have a problem with the fact the airport was closed and we could not fly, we understood that is was not safe. What we had a problem with is the hotel, we should be getting what we have paid for not less!

Third attempt at flying to Madeira

By the third day we were all at the point of, we want to go home, we were all fed up getting ferried to and from the airport. We had an early pick up again and were told that the check in desk would open shortly. After an hour or so standing in the queue, the desk opened, oh look more wonderful Thomson customer service. Eventually after nearly two hours in the queue we dropped out bags. Of course everyone was very sceptical, we had been told that no matter what we were taking off, but where would end up would be a surprise, Madeira or home. With any flight you get on these days, it was late but we took off! Everyone was in suspense after we circled a few times and then eventually the captain said he was going to make an attempt. If you haven’t heard about Madeira airport, the please YouTube it! It is one of the top 10 hardest to land airports, had we know this we probably wouldn’t of chosen it. So its in the top 10 hardest to land, now add on the wind! It actually turns out that we landed on the run way the opposite direction due to the wind. It was the scariest landing I have ever experienced! The angle we came in at, you just need to go and watch some videos to understand.

When our wheels eventually touched the runway of  Madeira there was a round of applause! 49 hours later and we made it to our destination!

So if your thinking about booking a holiday with Thomson, really consider it, when your out of the UK they dont really want anything to do with you.

First Impression: Kefalonia

First Impressions, Travel

Greece has been on my list to go for ages! But it always seems when you really look forward going somewhere it’s not as good as you had imagined. Ofcourse the views are gorgeous so here are a few photos from my first night in Kefalonia. 

  

  

To start with the flight was really good (a little bumpy) but a lot quicker than we had been told. When we arrived at airport we departed the plane with 5 minutes of landing, and walked straight to security which was one man. And that again took around 2 minutes. Our bags arriving at luggage claim took the longest part of arrival but as soon as we got them we were directed straight to our coach. 

So, our holiday was booked through Thomsons (TUI Travel) and this has been my third year booking through them and I have to say each year has not lived up to the standards that we were told my the rep in the shop when we booked. In my opinion their not really bothered about what they are selling as long as they sell it. When we went to Tenerife 3 years ago we were told it had golden sands and the brochure shows golden sands, however the it was actually black sand. 

To continue with this holiday, we normally book a adults only holiday to avoid having children in the hotel as we work with them the rest of the year and the Thomsons reps assured us that even thought this was not an adults only holiday, it would have no children there because of its location and the fact they wouldn’t sell it as a family holiday. So far after a few hours of exploring the hotel I have seen 5 families, which fair enough the children might be better behaved than some of the adults, but the fact that we were told there would be none is not on. 

We were also told that there were a lot of shops nearby, the shops from our hotel room take about half an hour to walk. And there is not even a path for some of it so you end up walking on a dark bendy road. 

Our room is the main issue, as you may be aware islands are pretty hilly and hotels seem to be spread out. And of course our room has to be one of the furthest away from the main centre. We were told we would have a pool or sea view, and we can see the sea but there a dirt track and loads of bushes directly inform of us. So hopefully tomorrow we shall we packing up everything and moving closer to the main hotel and enjoying the holiday a bit more. 

Tonight we managed to make it in time for dinner after arriving, and we were really disappointed with the food aswell. There wasn’t a huge variety and not much quantity. Compared to other hotels we have stayed in the dinner was poor, and I will have to wait and see what breakfast is like tomorrow. 

I feel like I should be enjoying myself on holiday and relaxing but so far it hasn’t lived up to my expectations. And it’s not the hotels fault they only have what is provided, companies shouldn’t be selling false information which isn’t correct which then causes a lot of any customers. 

 I just feel I’ve payed so much money for this and have been working a lot to afford an expensive holiday and I don’t feel like it’s worth it yet. So hopefully tomorrow we will have a great day and my rant will be over!