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An Interview With Barb MacAskill
How many years have you been selling travel?
I have been selling travel for over 25 years.
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are reading, skating, cooking, travelling.
What type of resort activities do you favor? ie water sports, lounging by the pool, etc?
I am mostly a beach person and enjoy resorts that favor both sports and lounging by the pool.
What are your favorite destinations?
My favorite destinations so far are Barbados, Mexico, Jamaica and Florida. The Now Jade in Mexico is my top All Inclusive Resort to date.
What languages do you speak?
I speak English and have a working knowledge of French.
Alberta, Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Central, Eastern, Ski, Western, Yukon
Carnival Cruise, Florida
Sun (Mexico, Caribbean, Florida, Hawaii)
All Inclusives, Barbados, Cuba, Disney, Dominican Republic, Florida, Jamaica, Mexico, Sandals
Climbed the Empire State building, Times Square, NHL game at Madison Square Gardens, fabulous dining
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – MARITIME TRAVEL FAM APRIL 30 – MAY 05, 2019 Tour Leaders were Judy Makara BDM Atlantic Canada & Quebec Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Lorena Barragan Inside Sales & Marketing Administration Manager: Email: email@example.com The Barcelo Hotel Group consists of 240 Hotels in 22 Countries. There are 4 levels: (1) Allegro-entry level lowest price point (renovating $9 million dollars) (2) Occidentals- Mid-Range (3) Barceló-higher end (4) Hideaway-Luxury OCCIDENTAL PUNTA CANA 2 nts ***Barceló Hotel Group owns the Occidental PUJ now and most recently put $50 million dollars into this property. Transfer from airport was comfortable and only 30 minutes away which was very convenient. Rooms were standard but resort is well groomed and very well laid out . We had a welcome cocktail on terrace of the Mexican restaurant La Hacienda where we watched a wedding take place it was a beautiful area and then dinner at the Seafood Restaurant overlooking the beach was very good. Food was good, not fancy. Breakfast at leisure was held in a beautiful updated restaurant and the omelets were delicious, Judy (Canada BDM) gave us a great presentation and a slideshow on the properties in the conference room and we also had a Wedding & General Presentation by OCC PUJ Staff, the site Inspection was short and sweet we spent the afternoon on a beautiful white sand beach with very little seaweed then off to the OCCIDENTAL CARIBE for a site inspection and dinner on the beach, this was set up as a wedding party and the setting was gorgeous and all for Maritime Travel Agents. In the morning bagged breakfast was prepared for group which consisted of water and three fruit, there was no coffee station available but we were able to jump into the buffet breakfast to grab a coffee then off to a Panoramic City Tour of Santo Domingo “The City Tour” - unfortunately it was busiest day of the whole year in the old town so it took longer than expected but the tour guide knew a lot of history and talked to us about the history and culture the whole time we were on the bus. We walked around Santa Domingo and he showed us a lot of interesting structures and ruins. Seems like lots to do in Santo Domingo however the Sales Director said not to go out at night for safety reasons. BARCELO SANTO DOMINGO After a lengthy site we were hosted for lunch at the beautiful Japanese restaurant Restaurant Kyoto where the food was amazing, this was my favorite Resort of the 5 Barceló properties we saw on the FAM EL EMBAJADOR – ROYAL HIDEAWAY 1nt We arrived just in time for a site inspection and this resort was geared towards Corporate clientele. The pool was nice in an enclosed tropical area which would be beautiful for a wedding, however drinks were not included at this Hotel. These 2 resorts in Santa Domingo were not all inclusive a glass of wine would cost 410 pesos thus 28 percent tax so approximately $14 cad we did have had access to the Premium lounge which provided free water and sodas and snacks however alcohol was an additional charge and the fridge was always locked. They hosted us to a group breakfast hosted by El Embajador Royal Hideaway. I found the language barrier was an issue and it was obvious at a lot of the Resorts with the staff. BARCELO BAVARO GRAND RESORT 2nts Situated on a 4 km stretch of beach this 1962 room resort for travelers who love walking. After a site inspection + Weddings & General Presentation we began our stay by having a group lunch at the Barceló Bavaro Beach restaurant This is adults only so you won't see any kids wondering around, there are shops to browse through and a patio restaurant overlooking gorgeous beach. The wine at dinner is not great however the A La Carte dinners offer a better selection of wine. At checkout before 7am the premium lounge was closed and coffee machine broke at Strikers 24 hour bar, had to go to casino for a coffee. The hosted Welcome Dinner at Santa Fe Steakhouse where we had lobster was very good, the steak is also very good in Punta Cana. The rooms on the Palace side where we stayed were a bit outdated and not what I expected however it was a suite, very large and had 2 double beds and 2 sofas. I didn't find the showers overly clean, I actually was moved from the ground floor because my room was musty to a 3rd floor Ocean view but only being there two days this used up my valuable time. Also I found way over in building 6 we were too far away from the Main building and it was very dark walking back at night. At the Barceló Grand Resort they also have honeymoon packages one is free and the other is $169.00 to qualify need to stay at least 3 nights and present wedding certificate with no more than 4 months old. We were offered 50% off at the SPA but of course they were totally booked up as had a few weddings on the go. We did the Blackbeard’s Revenge Escape Room which was fun and very competitive and they also have a bowling alley, actually there were so many shops and a Casino in the Main building that it actually reminded me of a cruise ship not a Resort. We had time to enjoy the beach in the afternoon which was fun and then a hosted Farewell Dinner at El Coral Seafood Restaurant where the food was delicious and the wine was great. I opted for the Options Plus package so when we arrived at the airport I was in the line of 2 people instead of 40 or fifty people and had lunch and a drink option on the plane. Barb MacAskill Truro Online Help/ETC
Orlando Fam May 14-20, 2018 Our trip began with arrival at the Orlando airport on Monday. The trip was seamless as we arrived shuttled by train to the baggage area and collected my bags, then travelled to the Marriott’s Harbour Lake condo. It is a tropical retreat that is colorful and fun, and great for kids as there are two children pools with play areas. The first night we ate dinner in the Universal Citywalk area, at the NBC Sports Lounge. This area is outside the parks so you are able to access it without having passes into the parks. The food was great and reasonably priced. Following dinner we walked the Citywalk area and went to the Chocolate factory and other surrounding shops. On Tuesday, I spent the day at Universal Studios starting with Islands of Adventure. The detail of the park was beautiful. The Harry Potter exhibits were amazing and seemed to be a favorite for the visitors. They included virtual glasses so while you were on the ride, it felt like you were in the middle of the movie. I made sure to stop at each shop throughout the different areas and was impressed. The Dr. Suess ride was fun as it took us above the park where we were able to see people and good views of the park. Then we took the express train from Islands of Adventure to Universal studios. The train was disguised as a ride from Harry Potter, the Hogwarts Express which made it enjoyable. Upon arrival to Universal Studios, there was a parade on Main Street. The girls were able to do other rides such as The Mummy, Hollywood Rock It, Fast & Furious, the Hulk, and Ride Through New York with Jimmy Fallon. These rides usually had long lines, but if you spend the night at the hotel located at Universal, you receive early entry into the park and your hotel key serves as a “fast pass” which allows you to skip most lines. We also ate at the dinner theatre at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, which is a campground that has buses to each park. This was called the Hoop De Doo Revue, which included all you can eat chicken and ribs, along with alcohol for $65 per person. Although the wine wasn't great the girls enjoyed the beer. Following this, we took a boat to Disney Polynesian resort and watched the fireworks from the 8th floor which happens every night from Disney. Following these adventurous days, we spent a day by the pool at the Resort. The next day I had a spa massage a Mother's day gift from my Children which was amazing, we then went shopping at the Orlando Premium Outlets. There were lots of great deals if you try not to think of the exchange rate. On Friday we went to Disney Magic Kingdom where we took the ferry over to the park and the monorail back. There was a parade, and we rode the Buzz Lightyear ride along with the Pirates of the Caribbean and Monsters Inc. At lunch, we went to the Disney theme park Character lunch, which was a $47 buffet with Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger. Of course alcohol is extra. On the way home, we had a flight to Toronto and stayed at the Sheraton Hotel which was beautiful, the shuttle was easy but sometimes a bit of a wait, breakfast was $21 a person so we opted to grab luch at the airport.Overall it was a great trip but I find Orlando very commercialized and prefer a more laid back vacation. At times it was tough to keep up with 5 College Hockey players. It also rained all week but when it was sunny its was really hot sometimes over 30 degrees celcius.
JAMAICA FAMILIARIZATION TRIP OCTOBER 11TH – 18TH, 2018 Our flight was very early in the morning from Halifax 525am. Check In ran smoothly and we arrived at Sangster International Airport via Toronto at around 245 in the afternoon . SANDALS SOUTH COAST-The Sandals South Coast Resort is approximately 90 minutes from Montego Bay, this resort has over 372 rooms and is a 50-acre seaside retreat set within a 500 acre nature reserve. I found it a bit isolated but great for travelers who just want to get away and do nothing, This Resort is known for it's over the water bungalows which were absolutely beautiful as well as a beautiful beach and rooms offering concierge service. CSS WORKSHOP - TRAINER: CJ SMITH This was a great presentation by CJ and he covered a lot of material on selling Sandals. We also presented school supplies to a rep from the Sandals foundation. GRAND PINEAPPLE BEACH NEGRIL - I found this the most entry level Resort but the staff was the friendliest and the 250 ft. beach is gorgeous. There is an additional charge for a stocked minifridge of $60 USD which includes 1 bottle of Appleton and 1 bottle of wine. Wi-Fi is also additional at $14.99 us per day or $42.99 per week. There was one gentleman named Tony who had been there 36 times so there are certainly guests that frequent this Resort. He liked the fact that he could stay at this Resort and play at the other Sandals Resorts nearby. The Bungalows were worn and the grounds were tired. The Beach and garden is across the street so we had to be escorted through busy traffic. BEACHES NEGRIL RESORT & SPA-This was my favorite Resort on for families, there are 186 rooms 18 room categories. Negril’s Seven Mile Beach is one of the top-rated beaches in the world and Beaches Negril is situated on one of its nicest stretches. The resort has an exclusive partnership with Sesame Street, which is a hit with the children They had Yoyo's ice cream, a fun games room and a great babysitting service available. For adults going without children I would request the Tropical side away from the children's area this is where the weddings are held. We also had lunch at this Resort which offered Caribbean cuisine and was very good. SANDALS NEGRIL BEACH RESORT & SPA- 206 rooms 16 room categories 8 ding options room service. Fabulous food, top-notch service, an absolutely beautiful beach and the Red Lane Spa make for the most romantic getaway. You’ll love the ambiance and the mix of activities on offer. And for wildlife buffs, daily stingray sightings in the crystal-clear waters are not uncommon — especially if you have a beachfront room.” SANDALS INN Montego Bay This Inn is across from the beach and where the locals swim on a very small beach. There are 226 rooms and 26 room categories. Eight dining options and room service is available. It is close to Margaritaville and local attractions but is also an older Resort and is a bit worn however there are 64 % repeat guests. 3 Floors no elevators, no wheelchair ramps, all bathrooms have tubs. The ability to visit and dine at the other nearby Sandals resorts would be a big selling point. SANDALS ROYAL CARIBBEAN RESORT & PRIVATE ISLAND This is a nice property but the beach is small. we had a tour of the over the water bungalows on the private Island which were absolutely beautiful. They featured outdoor showers and glass bottom floors. Jamaica's only Resort with private offshore Island.8 Restaurants227 rooms , 24 room categories on 15 acres. SANDALS MONTEGO BAY- We stayed this Resort two nights and this is one of my favorites. The rooms were beautiful and very new. The entertainment was fun and entertaining and the Latitudes bar on the water was fun. DOLPHIN COVE - Swim with Dolphins at Dolphin Cove the buffet was not great French fries hotdogs burgers and spaghetti but the swim was fun and the guide was very knowledgeable. The pictures were $40 USD each so we found that very expensive. SANDALS OCHI BEACH RESORT This Resort is very large, situated over 100 acres but a top choice for gophers and couples, there are 17 dining choices and only 4 require reservations. There are 2 spas, 5 beaches and over 100 main pools, 7 Main pools. There are plunge pools and butler service in the All-Butler village however this is further away from the resort. This Resort also features the Rabbit Hole and one of the largest rock climbing Walls in the area. SANDALS ROYAL PLANTATION This was my favorite Resort on the outside however the beach is small and this Hotel is dated back to the 1950's I found all the rooms and hallways were indicative of this. This Resort is Nestled within a beautiful coral bluff on Jamaica’s lush north coast, so the view is spectacular, a small with just 74 ocean view suites it is renowned for its great and boasts the C-Bar, Jamaica's only champagne and caviar bar (for an added cost). SANDALS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB We had a great tour of the Golf Course in Golf carts. This is an 18 Hole Golf course only 15 minutes from Ochi Rios. Golf Digest magazine granted it a 4 Star rating for courses to play on while on vacation. BEACHES OCHO RIOS SPA, GOLF & WATERPARK RESORT -2 nets I found this resort was a bit tired, the rooms are not all refurbished. There were also a lot of steps which I don’t mind but I found getting around was confusing due to the size and layout of this Resort. This was the only resort where we encountered flies and I found they were visible even at the pool bar. Also a lot of children around day and night. The Sesame Street character breakfast was great for the children and they even allowed you to take your own photos. We also did the slides at the waterpark and the rode on the banana boat. Lots of things for kids to do at this Resort including a games room and nanny service. The resort hosted a farewell cocktail dinner which was beautiful with steak and lobster and even arranged for crème Brule for the group even though it was not on the menu. The service is great at this Resort. Families can even rent a Cabana for $165 USD per day which includes a mini butler. Transfer to and from the airport ran smoothly and we even had a tour of Club Mobay which cost $50 or $80 return this includes features such as food drinks and showers a great way to unwind and cool off before your flight but given the time constraints it may not be useful to everyone.
The Now Jade Hotel was amazing from the time we checked in and the staff was one of the main reasons. We were greeted by resort staff with a warm towel and a glass of champagne. We had upgraded our room to the preferred and this was amazing. Our room was large and had an outdoor Jacuzzi and a tropical partial ocean view. The room was cleaned daily and towels were refreshed in the evenings with nightly turndown service. The resort grounds & staff was top notch every day. The food was great with 6 A La Carte s to chose from, we couldn't decide our favorite on the last night so we tossed a coin, they were all so good.The entertainment was great however we spent most nights watching NHL playoffs or Blue Jays baseball on the 40ft by 40ft flat screen TV outdoors. There were 3 weddings while we were there and they were all beautiful.The spa was great we all had a massage which was simply to die for. I would definitely frequent this resort again!.
Receive the latest and greatest deals and some great
Receive the latest and greatest deals and some great