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since 29/04/2003


Norbreck Castle Hotel, Blackpool 29/09/2005

Fawlty towers deserves 5 * after this

Norbreck Castle Hotel, Blackpool We went to blackpool to meet the father in law and brother in law for the weekend with the kids one 7 months and 1 3 years old. My wife had booked the hotel because it looked really decent on checking in. Well let me guide you throught the experience: Checking in at reception: This was actually ok, the staff were very friendly and the main reception looked really clean and organised. We checked in and booked the dinner sitting for £12.50 per head and got our room keys. The Room: The Elevator up to the room was one of those posh types that you get in five star hotels so was quite curious as to the room but the we got to the 5th floor. it was like one of those science fiction horror movies when you step out of an elevator into one of those caves filled with flesh eating alliens. It was dark and dingy with the paint coming off the wall. All I noticed as we went along the corridor was when people opened their doors to come out of their room was the frames coming away from the wall with cracks. Our room which was meant to be a family non smoking room stunk of smoke and the first thing I noticed was a sink in the bedroom and everything else in the en suite bathroom. Now to me personal hygiene would imply that you would have the wash basin near the toilet so that you could wash your hands instead of having to get germs on the door to open it. The bathroom was grotty with stained tiles and I actually got stuck in there at one point. The door handle kept turning round and ...

Iberia - IBE 21/09/2005

I thought I could Spell BA. I B E R I A

Iberia - IBE I was booked by my company to fly to Barcelona and requested BA both ways to get some extra miles on my card. I flew over with BA and it was fantastic but was in for a bit of a shock when I got to Barcelona check in for the way back. I went to check in at the new self service web station at the airport for BA and when it did not work the lady checked my ticket and ushered my off to the Iberia check in with no explaination. It was Iberian check in that informed me that I was in fact flying with them and checked me in. They were very helpful and gave me my requested seat and gate so so far so good. After we had done some shopping we went to the gate and give them full credit both the flight and boarding was on time, then it went belly up. On board the flight my wife noticed a menu card with prices on before we had taken off but I thought no more of it because being Spain I thought the plane had been previously used for a charter flight and the menu had been left but no!!!!! We had my daughter with us and luckily had bought some drink at the airport. The trolly did not get to us until we had started the decent to London Heathrow and you couldn`t even get a glass of water without paying for it. I was really annoyed because like I said to them if I wanted to pay for a seat only I would have flown easy jet. Even BA with the catering strike had given us meal vouchers because that is one of the perks that you pay for to go scheduled. When we were on the ground I was ...

Taste 26/06/2005

If only they did what they said they would do

Taste Like a lot of Book companies (which generally are all the same company) introductory offers of 25p - £1.00 for a good quality new release cookery book is a fantastic bargain which I decided to take up on, can`t know them for that however: I applied for the introductory offer in October and thought nothing more about it, bear in mind I had also ordered 2 christmas cookery books. In January of all times only half my introductory order turned up which to be honest Christmas books were no good at this time as I was sick of turkey by then. When I rang up to complain they were very nice about it and said that they would despatch the rest of my introductory order and a £15.00 compensation voucher which I thought was fair enough. Come February nothing had arrived so I rang and complained again and they were unable to tell me what had happened and offered no compensation at all. I told them that I wanted to cancel the whole bad affair and they said that I had not forfilled my commitments. Being a fully trained chef I then bought four books to clear this and waited for the bill. They then lost my payment and this week of all times I had a letter through from them after assuming that this was paid saying that they had charged a late administration fee and that unless I paid the amount immediately then it would go to debt recovery and a £91.98 charge would go onto the account for unforfilled commitments. When i questioned this through their "customer Service" and checked my ... 11/06/2005

A good family get away This may we wanted to get a family holiday away for a week but having a new baby we couldn`t go abroad so we looked around and opted for Haven Holiday park in Maplethorpe. As long as you go with an open mind and are prepared to be organised then you can have a very good time as I will explain: What we first did was to have a good look on the internet and decide which was the nearest haven for us to go to. Bear in mind when doing this work it out your selves as the distances that they give you are as the crow flies and it never quite works that way. We came up with a price of £84 for a week at Maplethorpe in Silver class accomodation caravan which was a bargain and I decided to book it over the phone. The man was very helpful but one bit of advise would be to ignore what they are babbling on at first as they spout all sorts of prices to you at first but then suprise suprise they come up with the internet price after some fantastic over the phone discount. What the internet doesn`t say is that you linen hire is not included so you have to pay an extra £20 of which £10 you get back at the end. Print your own map - Haven tend probably for enviromental uses just to direct you along the motorways and main highways which can add miles on to your journey. Go onto AA Autoroute on line and put in your postcode along with the Haven postcode and it will give the shortest distance there along with the exact milage and even for the worst map readers you can`t go wrong. When you ...

Las Vegas 03/06/2005

A Gamblers Paradise

Las Vegas Hi, this is my guide to making the most of Las Vegas if you are a gambler. When you arrive at Las Vegas Airport there are a couple of options that you can take. For around 60$ you can take a stretch limo to your hotel or just hop in a cab but be very careful. Make sure the yellow cab shows the tarrif quite clearly because from the airport to the hotel we got stung for $24 when the yellow cab who took us back to the airport said that the journey should only cost $8. When you arrive at the hotel take time to absorb the grandure of it as all of the Las Vegas stip hotels are excellent in their own individual rights. My advise is stay up until around 10-11pm on the first night no matter how tired or awake you feel and then go to bed, that way you will not feel the jet lag as much. The first day you are there take time to enrol into your hotel/ casino loyalty club which will be advertised. The benefits of this is if like everyone else you are going to use the slot machnes then get rewarded for them. You will get free meals which will free up some gambling money and you can use the points to redeem on quality merchandise like jackets. If you are a small to medium gambler like me the best way to play the slots is on the 25c and 5 c slots put in 100x the slot denomintation and cash in when you get your deposit balance. This way 90% of the time you will cash in even which is the slot odds, at the same time you will stand a good change of hitting a big win. As long as you have 5c ...

Air Canada - ACA 02/06/2005

What nice people!

Air Canada - ACA i must say that I have flown on 3 Air Canada Flights and every time they were fantastic. The first time I was flying from London Heathrow to Halifax and the flight was very good indeed. it was the first time I had ever flown by myself and experienced no problems at all. we had to walk through executive 1st to get to economy and thought I had walked into a 5 star hotel. The seats were very spacious and there were excellent meals on the main part of the journey with entertainment all the way. After we had landed at New Foundland a cream tea was served once we had taken off. a totally relaxing flight was had. My next flight was from Halifax to Toronto at 6am. They went above and beyond for customer service. i was having trouble sorting out a ticket to get back to the UK and they actually held the flight for me while I got sorted which I have never known anybody go to that much customer service, they even let me use the phone at check in. There was a very nice hot breakfast servced on the way down and everything ran on time. The third flight was from Toronto back to London Heathrow. this one ran a little late purely for the reason that the flight had just arrived in from Israel in a bit of a messy state and rather than give it a quick clean and send it out like some airlines they would not let the passengers on until the plane was spotless. There was good inflight service again on the way back. Air canada are in a league of their own and as far as I am concerned are the ...

Virgin Atlantic Airways - VIR 02/06/2005

Virgin Atlantic or virgin on loosing control ?

Virgin Atlantic Airways - VIR We have had two experience of Virgin Atlantic all in the space of two months and they both ended in bad experiences. The first was when we flew over to New York in Economy class. On board on the way over everything was absolutely fine with plenty to do. The seats are spacious and a hint is to get the back seats on a 747 because on the sides they go from being a 3 configuration down to a 2 so there is a little space to spread out your legs. The inflight meal was fine although the wine could be improved with a drop of malt vinegar and there were even choc ices later on in the flight. There are good in flight entertainment movies and also video games so all in all a good flight over. On the way back was not so good. Although the night flight was not so busy there was water leaking from the galley and soaking the aisle. Not only did you squish your way to the toilet but also I felt sorry for the people with babies in the bulk head seats behind as the floor was totally wet. Was that safe because i thought there were loads of wires on a plan and water and electric don`t mix and also that was not really fair on the parents with babies let alone anyone else. The next month we flew over to Las Vegas and Virgin was the only direct flight that we could find. This time we thought that we would not take any chances and go over Upper Class. Oh dear, why do they call it upper class. Bear in mind you pay £1500 upgrade per person if you can get it. The on board manicurist was just not ...

Binatone E3300 02/06/2005

One excellent phone

Binatone E3300 Of all the home phones i have had this has been the most reliable one that i hve had. The main handset boday comes in silver with a black screen surround and the second handset is the complete reverse so that you do not get confused. There are various ring tones on there which are different from the norm so quite audible if away from the phone. The range is good as I have had a conversation not only in the garage but also down the end of the garden with no interference. The only downside of the phone which is not major is that all the functions of intercom and address book etc I find extremely hard to work but perhaps that is just me. If you are going to replace your main phone then I would suggest this and the good thing is that all the second handset requires is a power socket and no BT line. Features Intercom Call transfer Range - 300 m Talktime - 7 hrs Stand-by time - 72 hrs Secrecy button Last number redial - 5 numbers Adjustable ringer volume Memory check facility Ringer melody - 8 melodies 1base can register up to 6 handsets 1 handset can register up to 4 base stations GAP compatible Network services compatible

Yes Car Credit 02/06/2005

Yes Car Credit, No Good Company

Yes Car Credit We went to Yes Car Credit last year because after seeing them advertised on the Television they came over as a good honest company to deal with. The first stage was to ring up the telephone no which was given on line and it was advertised on the web site that if you followed the lead from the web site then you either got free tax or cash back. When I rang up the chap on the other end of the phone took some details and was very polite and said that we had been accepted and needed to go along to the nearest showroom to choose a vehicle and sort all the paperwork out which seemed at the time very efficient. The first thing I remember thinking when I turned up for the first time is "what a dump" and also it was filled with old cars. When we went in we went to reception and then was guided into a room where a sales consultant came through. He went through the paperwork with us and told us of the services which seemed well and good We then agreed on a payment and he came back with a list of cars which seemed to me to be heaps of junk. Now to pay £168 per month for 4 years I did not expect heaps like an overmiled R reg Rover 400 with bits missing. After I looked totally unconvinced he then said we could have up to £212 per month which I then learned is their price they allow everyone and gave us the list of cars for this which were just as bad. After 3 hours and a lot of grumbling from me they agreed to sell me an S Reg Peugeot 406 which seemed like a reasonable buy for £174 ...

Renault Megane 1.6 16v VVT Hatchback 02/06/2005

Ref: Megane 1.6 Classic Saloon

Renault Megane 1.6 16v VVT Hatchback I have had loads of cars in my time but this car is absolutely fantastic. It handles brilliantly and is very fast of the mark. If you can get the Alize 1.6 16v Classic saloon then it comes fully equiped and also has AC as well as a sun roof which is something that you don`t always see. The 1.6 16v engine which is on my model is extremely quick. One of my other cars was a Rover 400 with also a 1.6 16v engine but the Renault Megane left it standing. There have been some reviews in the Autotrader which stated that there had been problems with Headgaskets going but to be honest I have 66k on mine and so far not one problem. One small thing that is a bit of a pain is that the front airbag can`t be turned off to put a baby seat in but this aside with front airbags and also side airbags this leads to be one safe car. Only downside is that once I have the baby in the back, a child seat as well there is not a lot of room for the mother in law. (Did I say downside?) 10 out of 10 for this car They are very few and far between to get one in the old shape but even so seen the new shape and they look just as good. I have written down just about everything that I can say about the car but if anyone is ever thinking of buying one and wants to know anything then please just drop me an e mail and I`ll do my best to answer.
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