Recent posts by lovecuba | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

Update: I called yesterday since I hadn’t received the usual confirmation email. Rep said it is sent 24-48hrs but since it had been 2 days she would request it and it would be sent within a few hours to 24 hrs. Today, no email, so I call again. This rep said because of the way it was booked no email was generated and it would be after the points are dealt with. So once again, misinformation from the previous rep.

l’ll have to remember that spunky. The 5% is a great bonus, which is why I only use the minimum 5000 points ($50) and pay the rest in full on the scotiavisa since as I understood, by using points you get the 5% back on the full package price, but if you don’t use points you only get the 5% on the air only component. First rep tried convincing me to not use points but I said why I do the $50. They ‘said’ to use my visa for the whole amount and they will deduct the 5000 points later so I get the 5% on full amount, since my credit card works, and their’s doesn’t! heh heh.I had to follow up again today because I didn’t receive the standard confirmation email for the booking w the trip locator info and today’s rep said it can take up to 48hrs (it has been) and this request will take up to 24 hrs. We’ll see. Seems all someone needs to really do is hit ‘send’.

I also comment every booking, that it would be nice if they could just pull up our profile with names etc from last booking but they say no everytime. Would be easier than going thru the spelling of each name in full several times in the booking. D as in delta, a as in apple, lol. Spouse’s name is always cut off on booking info anyway because we have our middle name on passports and the ‘system’ can’t do that many letters.

Thanx Terry. At least we are booked…or hopefully booked, because I’ve not received the usual email with the travel itinerary that has always arrived within a day of booking so who knows! I only posted this because I wanted to show the ridiculousness of how a bank can make things difficult these days. Their switch to automated answering systems (phone jail mail), disconnected calls, booking systems that don’t work, multiple transfers to the wrong person, booking errors in an attempt to be more profitable. (I am a shareholder as well). It should not take over 8 scotia staff, and ~ a couple hours in one day to do a booking. (I did email this all to Scotia online banking as well as Travel dept so hopefully they improve their systems).Thanx Moncton guy. They would definitely lose business if this is where the service and banking is going to end up. I’ve gone as high as the office of the president for previous issues because aside from the annoyance, if they don’t know about a problem it is hard to fix it. Booking using the scotiagold passport in combination with points gives you 5% cashback on the entire purchase price. I’ve got a heck of alot of points right now and the card has many other positive features: 90 day theft/loss/breakage protection, 1yr extended manufacturer warranty, travel/lostbaggage/insurance etc.

I used to really enjoy the face to face interaction with specific staff, including at ScotiaItrade where I could call up and they knew me…now you get someone who doesn’t.

Well in 15 years of booking I gotta say trying to do it thru Scotiabank scotiarewards was a PIA. First I tried booking online myself, entered everything and click submit…message saying there was a problem or product was now unavailable. So I tried it a second time, same thing. So I call the 1-800 it says to call on the error page, get a rep, go thru the whole customer verification, date, destination…gotta transfer me…transferred, go thru whole customer verification, date, destination…sorry sir, I only do flights…gotta transfer you…so I hold again, get third rep, explain online booking issue and I ask if she can check with HolaSun before we go thru the whole process again…nope, she has to try booking it herself before she is allowed to call HolaSun. Go thru everything, including entering passenger names, birthdates etc…submit….boom, gee sorry sir it won’t work for me either (this part alone took 42minutes on the phone). Checks with supervisor, and I later learned that apparently when you use rewards points Scotia uses THEIR credit card account to book with HolaSun…and it isn’t any good. (Probably explains why my online attempts were also getting rejected. They also recently changed their expiry date). So on hold for a bit, then says she’ll have supervisor contact HolaSun to look into it and get back to me. So I wait 4 hours, figured if it was going to work I’d get a text on my credit card (I’m setup for text alerts for my visa due to previous fraud). Then I realized I hadn’t been getting text alerts when using my visa or the daily bank balance text alerts I normally get had also stopped since Friday. So while waiting for the trip issue to get sorted out I log into Scotiabank and see all my text alerts have been disabled. Call Scotiabank, …customer verification….rep says she will check, checks, and isn’t aware of issue, puts me on hold after I ask her to check higher up, comes back, nope, they didn’t do any system updates over weekend…I ask to speak to supervisor because I want to make issue formal since I’ve been a target of credit card fraud and Scotia has issued me at least a half dozen cards sometimes less than 2 months apart! The text alerts come within minutes of using the visa so if there is fraud I can notify them quickly so not having them because they reset things is a big issue! Explain everything to Supervisor and she says right off she is aware of a few customers with this problem, so I ask how it is that the previous rep just checked with someone else (assume tech dept) and told me no problems reported! I mention my spouses wasn’t sending either but rep said it is isolated to only a few customers. So after getting off the phone I log into spouses account and we see those text alerts are also turned off now. I did mention to the supervisor that the affected customers should be notified since we all setup the alerts for a reason. She told me they can’t just be turned back on the the same select ones that were previously on.Going back to the booking of the trip, since I hadn’t received a text showing my visa had been charged after 4 hours (now we know why that separate problem occurred) I call back. The original rep is busy but this rep pulls up file, checks w supervisor, makes suggestion that instead of paying partly with points, use my visa for the full amount and deal with the points later. So we have to go thru the entire names,birthdate,spelling checks again …about a half hour on the phone and boom she books it and reverifies names etc…except she said middle name first, then first name and I immediately corrected her, and she is oh, I remember this being a problem before with HolaSun….so now she has to call HolaSun back to get names corrected…. So I can just see the names being wrong when we go to board or something!!!

Not impressed with Scotia’s problems in light of how smoothly the bookings have been for many many years.

"and due to slow holiday package sales."

Low demand hopefully equals better deals? Removing aircraft may artificially try to create a lower supply to match the lower demand BUT they really can’t afford to just park planes.

CanJet staff await news of airline’s fateScheduling bulletin suggests Air Transat will no longer operate Canjet’s charter flights, but neither company will confirm.Share on Facebook Reddit this!By: Michael Lewis Business Reporter, Published on Fri Aug 28 2015CanJet Airlines’ flight and cabin crew are awaiting word on their fate after a scheduling bulletin Thursday suggested tour provider Air Transat will no longer operate the charter’s vacation flights starting next month.“We have no plane,” said a source, who asked not to be named. “They are not planning to operate aircraft using our crew.”She said the bulletin likely means the CanJet Boeing 737 aircraft is being “dry leased” to Air Transat, without CanJet personnel, which means the plane is available to be rented to another company.Air Transat would not confirm or comment on low-cost carrier CanJet’s “actions or intentions.” CanJet president Stephen Rowe did not respond to a request for comment.Audrey Tam, president of the CUPE local that represents CanJet flight attendants, said Rowe in an email to the union said the membership will be updated next week.A spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association Canada representing the carrier’s 13 remaining pilots said the union is unclear on the airline’s plans, adding that he hopes Rowe “can find a way to reinvent.”In 2009, CanJet began offering charter flights on behalf of Transat Tours Canada from Toronto and other Canadian cities to vacation destinations but the contract was not renewed in April 2014.The subsidiary of Halifax-based IMP Group said it would park five of its six aircraft as a result of the lost business and due to slow holiday package sales.Last year CanJet laid off 67 pilots and 68 permanent and seasonal flight attendants according to a report and eliminated its planned European operations.

The carrier is now operating only one aircraft for Air Transat year round employing 13 flight crew and 35 attendants based in Toronto, CUPE said. CanJet in 2007 had more than 570 employees.

So I get an email from sell off saying book now to avoid the currency surcharge. WTF. These operators didn’t remove the fuel surcharge despite the huge drop in fuel prices, instead choosing to pocket the money. And now they want to introduce a currency surcharge.

How about they introduce a passenger credit for the equivalent amount for having to put up with this b.s.

Brisas Sierra Mar, the sister hotel to Los Galeones. Been going there 11yrs and always enjoy the location, especially now that the road is fixed (a decade long job) to Sierra Mar/Galeones. Staff sometimes work between the two sites.

No toilet seats are quite a common issue as EVERY excurison I have done in Cuba have run into this problem as well as some resort washrooms as well.(as well as bring your own tp) Usually seems to be the women’s washrooms more then the mens which makes no sense.

Actually I think that makes alot of sense. Men don’t need them, women do (and want them), so which ones would go first …. lol.

It will also be interesting to see if there is a trend away from all inclusives because I don’t think this is as big a thing for Americans. Also, if the prices rise, then we and others will look at other Countries if there becomes much less of a differential. The Cubans will have to step it up, in terms of accomodations/service/food quality because a 3.5* in Cuba isn’t the same as a 3.5* on other islands. If your gonna price yourself like the competition you better be prepared to be as good if not better.Interesting read in the Globe the other day on the Canadian banks being impacted by Carribean loan losses etc. They mentioned how basically there is only so many tourists, so one island cannibalizes the supply of tourists at the expense of another island.

www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/perils-of-the-caribbean/article23199267/

My fav last trip. We had to stop in Manzanillo on the way to Santiago. So first they deplane the folks staying in Manz, then tell us we have to get off, go thru a loop, past a camera, to the lounge while waiting with our little boarding card customs gave us. So we are ready to replane. Stewardess does a head count and finds there are two extra passengers. They start calling out names. This couple get up sheepishly and deplane. Apparently they didn’t know they were to stay in Manzanillo!!!!

Really, KNOW where you are booked to go to and where you are staying. At least they didn’t have to remove their lugggage since it would have been taken off as scheduled for Manz.

Cubamiga > Santiago.Spunky > personal use…especially after November, the humidity heat combo killed me, especially having to work pushing around in the wheelchairbigjohn > he didn’t really have a clue what he was looking at which was funny cuz he looked at is so long. PS left one wheelchair there to use next visit but if it ‘disappears’ l’ll have a second one on this trip down and leaving both w dr off resort. Had dr note too saying I was using crutches/wheelchair, in case the airline gave me any issues. I read the airline info and using their terminology will help avoid them potential denying boarding if it says ‘fit to travel’ and ‘self reliant’ is probably a good idea after reading about the lady who had a little blood coming from her ear (popped eardrum concern) and sunwing denied her return until cleared by dr down south and all the headaches and extra cost associated.

neverflysunwingagain.weebly.com/ read about that one here.

bicyleman > defeats the purpose of taking one from here to give away.

Going back soon and wanted to take a used oscillating electric fan weighing about 5lbs, to cuba. Can’t find anything specific saying it is allowed. I know ac units etc are now allowed. Not sure if they will try to hit me with some sort of tax or duty. The customs form is stupid because the one part says something like electronics besides miscellanea. I just considered all mine as ‘non’ miscellanae since I don’t know what the heck they are asking.Just got back and had a bit of a run-in at the carry on baggage xray scanning part, they kept asking me about a ‘flash drive’ but I only had a hard drive which was clearly in a tray, and I pointed to that and they said no, then I took out my camera with the sd card and they said no, not that. They then proceeded to write down my passport number so I wasn’t sure if I’d have issues upon departure. Had a laptop packed in the checked bag as well, and I later saw they had written ‘laptop’ on the baggage tag…which explains why the girl at the exit asked us about a laptop, and I just said they checked everthing at the carry-on baggage area (thinking she was referring to the ‘flash drive’ issue). She just let us pass.Ironically I always check off yes to ‘drugs/narcotics’ etc, and the ‘plants/animals’ box and they never stop us. (legal prescription drugs, and things like pringles/snacks). They don’t specify legal or illegal lol.

I also took a xray photocopy and some medical info cuz I was on crutches and the guy spent a least a minute looking at all that stuff, not having a clue what is was all about.

This is the most scrutiny we’ve ever experienced.

1. just back from santiago area, rogers paygo phones didn’t work2. had to VOICE call canada. was initially told to dial 119 + 1 + area code + number but that didn’t work from hotel, then they said dial 88 + 119 + 1 + area code + number. That worked. I think the 88 got an outside line from hotel so the 119 should work. As far as texting, we’ll see in December with the Telus phone, what is required to text.

3. FYI, to call Cuba we added 011 + 1 + area code + number.

we’re always surprised by the things people end up taking. He didn’t ask for this, it will be a surprise and hopefully help.

We just got 2 1.5l bottles for 5 cuc each.

Taking a ‘new’ beekeeper by Brisas Sierra Mar, a mosquito net hat, and homedepot tyvek type white breathable coverall (paint dept or insulation dept) that has a hood, and elastic sleeves at the wrist and leg, so he can handle his bees better.

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