Everything worked exactly as planned.
Maybe heads up on British Airways provision of food and snacks on flights. We were not aware of the pre ordering system on our return flights.
Staff always courteous and helpful on phone
Excellent work by Roy and the team - I must mention Wayne who kept us updated while we were away, a very polite chap.
Matt Power is a legend
Perfect service as always
Excellent service again by Ian. Wonderful holiday
I have been using DialAFlight for a number of years after a disastrous experience with a high street travel agent and there is no comparison. My agent is Ashley and he provides me with extra information that wouldn't be available if I booked online, so DialAFlight is my place to go even if it's just to ask a question before making up my mind about a destination. I have recommended them to several friends
Thanks to everyone involved - very helpful and good quality service
DialAFlight is my go to for all travel now and not just business travel - they are just that good!
Fab service as always. You can book a holiday with confidence knowing there is always someone to help or advise you. Thanks Keely I had a lovely trip to Santorini
Maria is always excellent .. she is very accommodating, friendly and efficient. She is a credit to DialAFlight.
Jim was exceptional at communicating and making sure we had everything we needed
Libby McGarry was always helpful and happy to answer any questions or worries. Kept in contact with me all the way through. Excellent service
Kennedy was top notch, very helpful, informative and chatty throughout the whole booking!
Kennedy is absolutely fantastic. She answers enquiries quickly and efficiently. She takes the time to understand what it is you want and then goes above and beyond to make sure that she fulfils those wishes. Superb!
Another amazing holiday. Thanks to Adam and Troy for their help.
As always, Tristan delivered
Thanks to Nicole our holidays are always the best.
Once again, Eve found exactly what we were looking for. We cannot rate her highly enough, hence why we have been using her for years. 10/10
First class service from Marcus for a very last minute trip to Santorini. Thank you so much.
First time I have used DialAFlight and very impressed with the service. Will definitely use you again
Excellent service, super easy arrangements, great choice of hotel.
Another great holiday and everything went as planned
Fantastic trip, smooth and easy, would 100% use DialAFlight again. Robbie is brilliant and always does an excellent job
A fantastic trip and hotel perfect. Tailor - made holiday at its best.
Thank you Frank. Excellent recommendations on the hotels in Santorini. They were both beautiful.
Would definitely recommend DialAFlight. Ready to book my next trip now.
Beautiful location, awesome hotel, definitely recommend
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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