Advantages Lots of Choice, lots to do
Disadvantages Not many free child places.
|Where did you book|
|How often have you booked through them|
|Value for Money|
|How good were the guides?||Good|
|How satisfied were you with the Hotel/Appartement||Very satisfied|
|Quality of the tour in general||Excellent|
We decided that we wanted a summer holiday abroad this year and picked up a Thomson Brochure. Thomson are a well known holiday operator and have been operating for as long as I can remember. Since they opened a Lunn Poly near us we have been picking up their brochures instead of the usual JMC ones.Thomson offer a variety of holidays such as Superfamily, Gold, Platinum, summer sun, a la carte, small and friendly, faraway shores, Greece, turkey, cruise, alfresco, Florida, freestyle, weddings in paradise, beach club. The Superfamily one interested me as it was all geared at a family holiday. They choose so many hotels with families being in mind and often these hotels or apartments are where families only can go or for couples only. They also own Skytours so when you get to your destination you will find the Thomson staff grouped together holding the banners for both companies. We decided after a lot of thought and looking up reviews that the Golden Avenida Park in Salou was the one we wanted to visit. You can go to various places such as Greece, Cyrpus, Mainland spain and Mallorca.
Thomson usually have you tickets to you about 2 weeks before you are due to leave for your holiday. Your tickets come in a nice wee handy booklet which reminded me of a council tax book. All details of your flights times, check in, and lots of info for before you get on holiday and while you are on holiday are in there. Your accommodation information are in here. They also have luggage tags in there which easily fitted on to you luggage, but I was concerned that they would tear but they were fine on our suitcases.We flew with Britannia Airlines on a Thomson.co.uk Plane. I'm presuming that they are the same company too. I wasn't too impressed on the outward flight at the lack of professionalism of the staff. But we got to our destination in one piece. Reus airport is very small and once we had retrieved our suitcases (which happened to be last) there were about 6 Thomson Reps outside the door who asked where we had come from. They looked at their list and we were then told which bus to board and where to go. We got on the bus and it was full. They had been waiting on us. But the rep called Stuart was great and gave us a few pointers of what to expect, all about the weather and on our way we passed Universal and he pointed out the rollercoasters. He also told us what to expect when we arrived at the hotel and about our welcome meetings. There were 2 hotels on the bus and we were the first drop off.
Inside the hotel was a Thomson desk where most of the day we saw a rep there to help. The welcome meeting was very informative with lots of info concerning the local towns round about Salou and safety as well as any help for the kids clubs etc. There was the usual sales pitch for the excursions but no pressure to go on them and I had read that the reps would ignore you if you didn't buy any but I never had that problem. They were always really friendly and helpful when we asked a question.Being a Superfamily holiday, this meant that there were kids clubs. Each age group 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12 had their own specific session time when they could go and participate in prepared activities. Each member of staff was a qualified nursery nurse which being one myself gave me a lot more confidence. Eilidh went to 2 clubs which one day was about cowboys and cow girls with little waistcoats and horses made for them. She also played games and had fun. Another day was deep sea adventures where they made fish etc. There were at least 5 days when the activities were on as 2 days seemed to be reps days off. I did feel that they could have worked a rota system so that the clubs could be offered everyday instead. There was also a drop in session twice a day for any child between 3 and 12 years. You could drop your child in for as long as you wanted and you just had to provide them with a drink and a snack. My only complaint with this was there were 2 children to 8 members of staff one day and that is why a rota system for shifts would have worked better in my opinion. The drop in had a soft play which was for under 3's which I still don't understand. Quite often in the afternoon Thomson the Dog would come out too and walk round the pool. There was also a crèche for which a small charge was made. There was also an evening club which cost 2€ and was on either 7-9pm or 8-10pm. Eilidh went one night and it was a Party in your Pj's theme. They did lots of games and stories and had a "midnight snack!" I personally didn't like the idea of her going but one of her new friends told her about it and she wanted to go. She had a ball.
IN all there were 11 reps and I only had a problem with one. The one who ran the disco in the evenings. There was a disco with a talent spot. One night our daughter went up and said her name and he started being quite nasty towards her as he couldn't understand her. No one else in the room had a problem understanding her and finally one woman shouted at him. She was quite upset and regularly he wasn't very nice towards children who went up and said the same joke night after night. I know of quite a few parents who were not happy with him over the treatment of their children. The other male Rep was lovely and worked well with the children. All the female reps were lovely and regularly in the street or dining room stopped to say hi to us all and took time to talk to the children. They were the reps who helped us enjoy our holiday. They also did some entertainment during the day like aqua gym and playing sports in the water such as water rugby etc. The hotel provided the entertainment later on.On the day before we left Thomson left a note under the door to tell us what time our bus would be leaving, the next morning. The bus was a few minutes late due to leaving the previous hotel late. But we still arrived in plenty time. The Rep on the bus gave us lots of info and even ran into the airport to check which check in desks we had to use. She then stayed with us while we checked in making sure that we had the correct passports and tickets. She also helped a party who had a wheelchair traveller with them and took the time to ensure that they were ok and checked in quickly. She then said goodbye to us and headed off to take care of the new arrivals.
Thomson then gave us a questionnaire to fill out on the plane and it was then collected as they use the results when printing the new brochures and to improve service. On the flight home the Cabin Crew were very helpful and it was a good flight home. It was just so horrible to be home to horrible weather compared to a lovely warm climate.I would recommend a Thomson Superfamily holiday to anyone with children under 12. There is so much available to them and I have spoken to people who have stayed in other resorts and they have been impressed as well with those ones. It is excellent to give the children a couple of hours to play in an environment away from mum and dad as well as making new friends. The staff made a big effort to make each child feel special and over all we loved it. Can't wait to go back and do the Thomson the Dog dance. We have the CD to make us feel as though we are back there until we next go. One complaint already is the fact that Thomson advertise free child places. But these are only available from certain ENGLISH airports. To me that is discrimination against us Scots.
©Groovee CiaoUK 2004
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