Ian Newton. Excellent as always.
Your help and support were second to none. I would highly recommend you and I have already suggested to friends to contact you
Craig was so helpful - really excellent service!
Hotel very tired - needs a complete revamp - staff lovely
Excellent service from Sean who made booking this holiday so easy and pleasant. The holiday was perfect - everything was beautiful and the complimentary upgrade of our hotel room was superb.
Fantastic service and support, thank you
The hotel was of a high standard and within our price bracket
Thank you Sadie. Another gold star!
Sean yet again recommended a fab hotel in Santorini. Had the best time on this beautiful island
Howard just knows what we like and delivers everything time!
Kylie found us the perfect holiday which had everything that we asked for. Will definitely book with Kylie again.
Kylie never disappoints. Hotel was fantastic. Everything went smoothly.
Dennis Hollands always goes over and above to assist. I won’t use anyone else now!
Hotel lovely, went out for food a lot as same every night. Flights was delayed 1 and a half hours going out and 4 hours on return which was frustrating
Jamal Sylvester was outstanding and more than delivered my expectations. I’ve worked in customer service for decades and his approach, kindness and eager to assist is such a credit to the company. Will definitely be working with him in future. Amazing job.
Prompt reply to queries, even when staff are out of the office, emails are still picked up and replied to promptly
Des Wing did a great job again and thanks to Philippa for checking up on us the day before we flew!
Another great trip, thanks guys.
Just returned from Ikos Dassia with all our family and Orlando delivered so a big thank you for making our family holiday amazing
Everything went smoothly and within promised timelines. The private transfers were excellent. We had an added bonus of a history lesson on Crete during WW2 from the driver on the return trip, which we found fascinating.
Thanks again to Gary Patel, who went out of his way to help when our plans had to be adapted.
Thanks again to Gary Patel, who went out of his way to help us when our plans had to change.
Worth noting that for the accommodation we stayed in ( 'Dessiterra Resorts' Santorini), there is no way to access the town (or anywhere nearby) without using the resort transport which is a minimum of £25 Euros each way (to the nearest town Thira). This was more if you went further.
As always my experience using DialAFlight has been excellent with no hiccups. I have used Robbie for a number of years and he delivered every time, however other members of the team are always happy to assist as did Zac when I needed assistance whilst away. Flights and hotels booked via DialAFlight make life so easy and the price is not reflected of the service they provide. Why go through the hassle of trying to find flights and hotels when these guys do it all just as cheap.
Will be in contact soon to book next year’s holiday.
This was not my most challenging trip but, as always, you made all the arrangements, and it worked perfectly without any hitch.
Cameron Bleasdale is fantastic, a perfect travel agent, thorough and meticulous. I have recommended him to multiple friends.
Graham is always brilliant
There I was, sailing around the Aegean on a super-yacht... and there wasn't an oligarch in sight.
Crystal Cruises' new Esprit is one of the new generation of smaller cruise ships, and it was the perfect home for a tour of the beautiful Greek islands, the Holy Land and the Jordanian port city of Aqaba.
The Esprit was recently christened in the Seychelles with a bottle of champagne (Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut 2004 since you ask), and its 31 suites are spread over two floors.
There are no balconies - it's a yacht, remember - but each suite comes with lovely picture windows.
It felt like I had been invited to a house party - albeit one held at sea - rather than a cruise, and there was a sense of immediacy and familiarity that is not readily apparent on larger ships. It really does feel like you've checked into a fabulous floating boutique hotel.
Boarding in the Greek port of Piraeus, I walked up the gangplank to a champagne reception.
Crystal really does know how to make guests feel welcome. My butler Clarke showed me to my stateroom, unpacked for me, and before long we were sailing towards the party island of Mykonos.
That evening Esprit's director Harry Ter Horst arranged for the yacht's small crew to meet the guests. It broke the ice and friendships were made over some truly shipshape cocktails. Dinner was also superb. Fine dining at sea is a wonderful experience and the wines were carefully matched. Best of all, it was all included in the price.
Most sommeliers can't wait to show off their knowledge and end up boring you towards a wine you didn't really want, but Ramon made choosing one a pleasure. Still, I decided the time wasn't right to order a £4,300 bottle of Chateau le Pin.
The first night at sea always takes some getting used to: the hum of the engines and the slight rolling of a smaller ship. The stabilisers aren't quite as good as those on bigger vessels but the stateroom technology is certainly better. There were iPads to make in-room dining and communications more passenger-friendly.
As an experienced cruiser, the most important elements for me during a trip are the quality of the food and choice of excursions.
Louisa Kierman was in charge of the tours and she chose the destinations wisely. 'I prefer working on a yacht because everything is far more personal,' she said. 'You get to know people and they aren't just buddies on boats - we feel as though we are welcoming guests into our family.'
One of her excursions during our tour of the Aegean was to Santorini - perhaps my favourite destination. The skies were blue and the whitewashed houses in towns such as Oia sparkled in the sunshine. And if you visit out of the peak summer season, as we did, the crowds have gone and you feel as though you have the island to yourself.
THE HOLY LAND
All of our guides were good but in the Holy Land they were outstanding. One, Barak, was a major in the Israeli army and he helped bring familiar stories from the Bible to life. As for the food, after a week I didn't think the chef, Rainer Buss, could prepare a better dinner, but he did - a sublime lobster with hot butter sauce, and sea bass with asparagus risotto. Everything was Michelin standard.
Crystal Esprit is sleek and nimble, with a shallow draught of less than 15ft. And because of her relatively small size it means a new array of harbours can be accessed, allowing visits to exclusive marinas, hidden coves, and secluded islands where the docking infrastructure - so critical for big ships - doesn't exist.
Crystal Esprit sails the Adriatic through the summer, with seven-night cruises between Athens and Dubrovnik, and Dubrovnik and Venice. Included are all meals and drinks, butler service, marina and water-sports activities, a choice of complimentary shore excursions and gratuities.
The only problem is that spending a week on board the elegant and luxurious Esprit spoils you for life.
First published in the Mail on Sunday - April 2017
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