Win with 12 Days of Christmas

Previous Winners

7 Night All Inclusive Holiday for 2 at Waves Hotel & Spa by Elegant Hotels

Janine Hewitt

One of the biggest pleasures of working in the travel industry is being able to send people to dream destinations on a daily basis. Our competitions make this even more possible although Janine didn’t quite believe her luck when she found out she was the latest winner of an epic week in Barbados. Here she runs us through the story of how winning her prize unfolded:
Janine Hewitt
Who was the first person you told when you found out you’d won?

When I received the first email advising that I had won the competition I was absolutely astounded, I never win anything! My husband was the first person I told when he came in from work and being as sceptical as I am we did nothing. I did mention it to my friend and thought that if it was true, we might have a girlie week in the sun, with some shopping at Lime Grove and lots of cocktails, but again did nothing. When I received the second email I started to think it might be true and the excitement started to kick in, it was a real whoop whoop moment. Again I told my husband as soon as he came in from work and he suggested that we add another week to the prize and make it our main holiday.

How did you celebrate?

We opened a bottle of wine and made our plans. Once I had seen the official announcement on Facebook, I knew it was really happening and that was really exciting. My friends were making comments and asking if it was really true, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, it’s an amazing prize.

Who are you taking with you and why?

My husband, it’s our Silver Wedding anniversary next year and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than sipping champagne on the beach in Barbados.

7 Night All Inclusive Holiday for 2 at Buccament Bay Resort, St. Vincent

Philippa Golightly

Phillipa Golightly recently won one of our competitions, bagging herself a 7 night stay at Buccament Bay Resort in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She kindly shared a taste of her winning experience with us, and you can read about her holiday fun-times in this here blog.
Philippa Golightly

7 Night All Inclusive Holiday for 2 at Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort, Mexico

Clare Bolton

We have all been there, as your holiday draws to a close you start to think about all the things you are going to miss and begin planning the next opportunity for you to escape to sunnier skies again. Clare couldn't believe her luck when she received an email from us telling her she had won a holiday to Playa Mujeres, when she was sitting on the beach in that very place! Never thinking she would be lucky enough to visit the Mexican paradise again so soon, we caught up with Clare to see how she reacted to the news:
Clare Bolton
Who was the first person you told when you found out you’d won?

The first person I told was my husband. We were on holiday when I got the email telling me I had won and I had to get him to read the message to make sure I was reading it correctly

How did you celebrate?

We celebrated with a glass of champagne on the beach looking towards the hotel I had won the holiday at!

Who are you taking with you and why?

I am taking my daughter as it is her birthday on Christmas Day so this will be an early birthday present

7 Night All Inclusive Holiday for 2 at Almond Beach Resort, Barbados

Natalie Stead

Natalie has always had a long running love affair with the glorious island of Barbados and couldn't believe her luck when she learned that she had won a trip of a lifetime to Almond Beach Resort along with a whole host of extras including a lush spa package for 2. Having travelled to Barbados many times Natalie can't wait to try somewhere new on the island and tells us a little about how she reacted when she found out she was our lucky winner:
Natalie Stead
Who was the first person you told when you found out you’d won?

My mum was the first person I told...when I could breathe again after squeeling!

How did you celebrate?

We celebrated by a nice brunch with a tot of champagne, we were pretending we were classy ladies who lunch, perfect preparation for the lovely posh hotel we will be staying at in Barbados

Who are you taking with you and why?

I’m taking my mum who’s also my best friend, I’m so lucky to have her and as she shares the same Bajan addiction...I couldn’t take anyone else!

7 Night All Inclusive Holiday for 2 at Buccament Bay Resort, St. Vincent

Philippa Golightly

Philippa got the Christmas present of her dreams when she found out on Christmas Eve that she had won an all inclusive holiday for 2 to St. Vincent. Once she had calmed down and celebrated over the festive period we caught up with Philippa to find out more about what it was like to win such a cracking prize:
Philippa Golightly
Who was the first person you told when you found out you’d won?

It was my last day at work before Christmas when I found out. Literally just a minute before I got the email I hadd warned my co workers that I never win anything as we were doing a quiz that afternoon. Then within 5 minutes I was running round the office, slightly hysterical, trying to get my head round the fact I had won such an amazing prize. I did have to read the email about 10 times before I could believe it! Then I phoned my husband to tell him and he was equally as amazed and shocked! My team didn't win the quiz, but I'm sure this prize will be better.

How did you celebrate?

We celebrated over Christmas with family but will be saving the main celebrations for when we can have a rum punch at the hotel.

Who are you taking with you and why?

My husband Lee, the trip is a few weeks off our 5th wedding anniversary so we will be celebrating that a little early in amazing surroundings. I'm lucky enough to have a Bayley bear of my own, so I'm sure he will stowaway in our bags somewhere.

7 Night All Inclusive Stay for 2 at Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya

Bernadette Jacobs

Bernadette couldn't believe her luck when she returned from the Dominican Republic only to find out that we would soon be jetting off again to Mexico as one of our many lucky holiday winners. We caught up with Bernadette following the winning announcement and here's what she had to say:
Alan Bailey
Who was the first person you told when you found out you’d won?

The first person I told was my husband Steve. We both thought this was a joke as we had just returned from Dominican Republic the day before I received the email from Blue Bay

How did you celebrate?

We celebrated by jumping up and down whooping. Searching for the tequila that we hadn't seen for sometime as we had won a holiday to Mexico, we couldn't think of a better drink to celebrate.

Who are you taking with you and why?

I'm taking my husband as he wouldn't be very happy being left at home!

7 Night All Inclusive Stay for 2 at Mango Bay, Barbados

Martin Howard

Martin was elated to find out he was the lucky winner of an All Inclusive 7 Night Stay for 2 at Mango Bay in Barbados. With the trip booked and ready to go for the lucky winner to be in Barbados this November in time for their Food, Wine & Rum Festival, Martin had an unexpected Winter getaway to look forward to in a matter of days. We asked him a few questions following the winning announcement and here's what he had to say:
Alan Bailey
Who was the first person you told when you found out you’d won?

The first person I told was my wife. As you recall we were a bit surprised. I then rang my mum who told me to get lost as she thought I was joking! Haha

How did you celebrate?

We didn't really celebrate at first, we were too worried that my wife wouldn't get the time off work. I rang my boss on Friday morning and he confirmed that I was ok to change my holidays. I then rang lots of friends and relatives to see if anybody else had free days (surprisingly few didn't have any days to use!). We got the news that Janette could have her days at 4pm on Friday so we swiftly head to the pub on and got well oiled to celebrate!

Who are you taking with you and why?

I am taking Janette my wife. We've been married 26 years (together for over 30). She was 50 in September and I am 50 in January. This has been the best present we could of wished for.

7 Night All Inclusive Stay for 2 at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Janice McNally

Janice was thrilled to find out she would be heading off an All Inclusive 7 Night Stay for 2 at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. A longtime lover of Mexico, Janice and her husband have enjoyed many holiday there before but have never tried out what Hard Rock can offer. We asked Janice a few questions following the winning announcement and here's what she had to say:
Alan Bailey
Who was the first person you told when you found out you’d won?

The first person I told when I found out I had won was my husband Dave, I got him to check the email for me, I thought I was seeing things, I never win anything!. When it finally sunk in, and I got confirmation, we went out to celebrate at our favourite Italian restaurant the next evening.

Who are you taking with you and why?

Of course I will be taking my lovely husband (we have been married for 35 years this year), and because I couldn’t think of anyone I would want to share this fabulous holiday with other than him. We both absolutely love Mexico, the people, the culture, the cuisine and of course Tequila!

7 Night All Inclusive Stay for 2 at The Club Barbados Resort & Spa

Julie Davis

Julie is the lucky spud who won a 7 Night Stay for 2 at The Club Barbados Resort & Spa. After missing a holiday for personal reasons previously, the win couldn’t have come at a better time. We asked Julie a few questions following the winning announcement and here's what she had to say:
Alan Bailey
Who was the first person you called when you found out you’d won?

Martyn from Blue Bay called me one evening as I hadn't responded to his email so I was completely shocked when he told me I had won the holiday to Barbados. My husband Peter was out when Martyn phoned so I had to wait for him to come home before I could share the great news with him. He was completely surprised as he didn't even know I had entered the competition. We have never won anything like this before so we are over the moon.

How did you celebrate?

We celebrated by dancing round the room singing "Woah we're going to Barbados"! But we are waiting to toast Blue Bay with a cocktail or three on our first night in Barbados!

Who are you taking with you and why?

I am taking my lovely husband Peter. We had to cancel a previous holiday as Peter was diagnosed with cancer and had to have an operation two days before we were due to fly so this is just brilliant and we can't wait to go

7 Night Unlimited-Luxury® All Inclusive Stay for 2 at Now Jade Riviera Cancun

Alan Bailey

Alan is our lucky winner of a 7 Night Stay for 2 at Now Jade Riviera Cancun. We visited the luxury resort as part of our InFocus Video series and were so enamoured by how amazing it was that we thought it would only be fair to share it with one of our lucky followers. We asked Alan a few questions following the winning announcement and here's what he had to say:
Alan Bailey
Who was the first person you called when you found out you’d won?

The first person I told was my wife. I waited until she got home and told her to read the the email..."but please don't drop the ipad when you do!" She started shouting "No way and screamed!"

How did you celebrate?

We celebrated with a nice meal and began looking at things to do in Mexico when we go.

Who are you taking with you and why?

I'm taking my wife Caz as we didn't think we'd be able to afford a holiday next year and we really wanted to go to Mexico so we are really pleased to have won.

12 Night Triple Centre Mexico-Caribbean Fly, Cruise & Stay

Elaine and John Hennessey

Elaine works with our good friends over at Midcounties Travel. She was super excited to be lucky enough to bag two places on our maiden voyage of the 12 Night Triple Centre Mexico-Caribbean Fly, Cruise & Stay and brought her equally thrilled husband John along with her. We had a wonderful time with the Hennessey's, here is a glimpse into what they loved most.
Elaine and John Hennessey
What were your first impressions of the cruise?

I personally love big ships and Carnival Breeze was beautiful. The atrium, lobby and even the lifts were lovely. I thought the Lido Deck was amazing with loads of sunbeds and a fantastic water park. We watch Guy Fieri on the Food Channel so we were thrilled to be able to eat at his burger bar on board 'Guy's Burger Joint'. John said his burgers were by far the best he'd tasted. The taco bar was massively popular too in fact the food was amazing everywhere including the fabulous main restaurants.

Your visited Miami, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel/Mexico – Tell us a little about them, did you have a favourite?

We Loved Miami.I haven't been to South Beach before and it was very glamorous. We loved the Harrison Hotel there, it was a little three star Art Deco hotel that was in a PERFECT position to everything. We had been to Ochos Rios, Jamaica many years ago, so staying in Falmouth this time was a welcome change. The port side shops were excellent, with great value jewellery and spirits. Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville bar was gorgeous too - definitely worth a visit. Secrets Aura in Cozumel was fantastic. The staff, beach and food in particular were wonderful. Our room was on two levels with our own plunge pool too which was a real treat.

Moving onto Mexico we stayed at Occidental Xcaret which I think was excellent for families. The atmosphere was excellent at night with a lively theatre, with a Michael Jackson tribute for the kids then a Mariachi band. It had a fantastic beach club too. The best bit though, as we're nature fanatics, was the amount of free roaming indigenous animals like coti mundis, capybaras, deer and more, it was very unique. My absolute favourite hotel of the trip though was Excellence Playa Mujeres, right from the word go when we were met with towels and cold bubbly it was brilliant. The hotel is stunning! The restaurants and bars were amazing too. My favourite was the Chez Isabelle, a French restaurant we visited on the last night. I have to say our room there was the best I have ever stayed in too, with a Jacuzzi, a bed on the patio and a four poster inside AND a fully stocked all inclusive mini bar. I really liked that most people dressed up in the evening too.

Favourite holiday tipple?

My favourite cocktail was Yellow Bird which was Jamaican - you have to look out for it.

What is your favourite memory from your stay?

My best memory of the holiday was having a lunchtime drink on the beautiful Playa Mujeres Beach listening to a live Mariachi band.

Overall thoughts on the whole Cruise & Stay experience?

I would definitely recommend the whole Cruise and Stay format, as instead of seeing just each port for a day, we got to see more of Mexico, it is also a nice change of pace after being on the cruise, the hotels really give us a chance to chill out.

12 Night Triple Centre Mexico-Caribbean Fly, Cruise & Stay


Emily, our super lucky winner of our exclusive 12 night triple centre cruise & stay that you won't find anywhere else, tells us all about how she reacted when she found out she had won this mega prize!
Who was the first person you called when you found out you had won?

To be honest I didn’t tell anyone at first! It had taken my breath away and I couldn’t believe it was truly happening and wanted to find out more before I shared the news! A three centre trip sounded utterly incredible...and a trip of a lifetime, all I really wanted to do was hear from Blue Bay to see what it involved.

How did you celebrate?

I'm saving that for the trip! I shall enjoy a Mojito on arrival in Miami, a Rum Punch in the Caribbean, and try and be brave with Tequila in Mexico!

Who are you taking with you and why?

My best friend who needs a pick me up right now.

Ferrari Fun Day

Heather & Mark Reading

Heather Reading, our lucky winner of a Ferrari Driving Experience at Silverstone Race Course, has just returned from an exhilarating day on the race track with her husband Mark! Here is Heather's account of their action packed day.
Steve Benson

How was your's and Mark's rip-roaring day at the race track?

It was a brilliant day out for all of us and Mark thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of driving at 140mph around the track, although I feel he enjoyed it more due to having a woman instructor telling him to floor it by his side! Feeling nervous at first he soon got into it and says it was the awesome noise of the car that he'll remember most. It certainly looked impressive as we tried to take pictures before he zoomed past us.

An Excellent Adventure

Steve Benson

Steve Benson, the lucky winner of a 7 night all inclusive stay at Excellence Riviera Cancun, has just returned home from the holiday of a lifetime! Here are his reflections on his amazing time in Mexico.
How did you prepare for your time in Excellence Riviera Cancun?

Our holiday started when we arrived at the Crown Plaza in Manchester for an overnight stay ahead of our early morning flight to Mexico, and we took one final trip to the Trafford Centre for the missus to get some last minute essentials.

How did you feel when you first saw the resort?

The sun was shining, and the arrival greeting of “welcome home” made us feel special and valued. The hotel is immaculate and extremely well presented, and the statues and opulent surroundings certainly set the scene and got the holiday off to a great start. The first thing we did after checking out our amazing room, which spoilt us with a huge bed and a Jacuzzi for two, was hit the bar!

What did a typical day involve?

Waking up early and going for an amazing breakfast. We also found the time to fit a number of visits into our week, including Tulum, Xcaret, Puerto Morelos, and Plaza Del Carmen. It’s hard to pin down one outstanding part from our holiday: the hotel was immaculate, the service second to none, and the food amazing. The steak house was definitely our favourite, the meat was like nothing we have tasted before.

Favourite holiday tipple?

Strawberry Daiquiri for sure.

Overall thoughts on Excellence Riviera Cancun?

A great resort, great location, and not too big. Excellence Riviera Cancun felt like an exclusive boutique resort that catered for affluent couples, something we aspire to be!

Sandals LaSource, Grenada

Terry Bogg

Thanks to our compatriots at Sandals Resorts, Mr Terry Bogg will soon find himself in the beautiful environs of the Spice Island of Grenada. As the lucky winner of seven nights Luxury Included for two at Sandals LaSource, Terry is understandably a bit chuffed.
Terry Bogg
What was it like winning?

It was an amazing feeling! Funny thing was, I was on your website looking at my booked holiday details when the news came through. I never win anything, so saying I was delighted would be an understatement. Best of all, Sandals LaSource Grenada seems to be a “what you want, when you want it” type of hotel. From a holiday, that’s just what I want. My backpacker days of beach sleeping in Asia, although fondly remembered, are long gone!

How will you live the island lifestyle?

Apart from being completely pampered I like deep sea fishing, and Daisy, my wife, is a spa junkie so I guess we’ll find plenty to keep us occupied. We’ve never been to Grenada, but from what I have read the all‐around vibe is what makes it really special.

What’s your Blue Bay Travel story?

Blue Bay Travel have taken us to St Lucia, Mexico (a couple of times), Thailand, and most recently Malaysia. Apart from amazing customer service, our favourite memory has to be the sunset on Langkawi. The whole island is just a paradise!

Thanks Blue Bay!

Sandals Barbados

Emma Brooksbank

Emma Brooksbank has just found out she is the lucky winner of a fabulous holiday to the new and exciting Sandals Barbados! Here's the scoop on how she feels.
Emma Brooksbank
How did you feel when you won?

I thought someone was pulling my leg initially, then deeply overjoyed!

How did you celebrate?

Bubbly, and more bubbly!

Who was the first person you told?

My partner Dave, he is as delighted as I am!

What do you like the sound of about Sandals Barbados?

Luxury included, what could be better? The wonderful setting and the Sandals ethos will combine to make an incredible holiday.

Have you been to Barbados before?

I have been three times, and I love the diversity of the island, and especially how easy it is to navigate the island. It is so easy to jump on a reggae bus and explore off the beaten track.

What are you looking forward to most?

The Bajan sunshine and the island’s famed hospitality. Barbados is so special, and the best place I’ve ever been!

What's Your History with Barbados?

One of the things I love the most about Barbados is the fact that there is really only one main road that runs around the island, making navigation very straight-forward. We have spent many a day hopping on and off reggae buses and visiting all the wonderful locales, and I can recommend Bridgetown for its department stores which are deliciously cool and brimming with marvellous merchandise. My top shopping tip is to take your passport, as it is essential if you want to take advantage of the duty free shopping!

On one occasion we had a lovely day doing a land and sea safari, which takes you off the beaten track into the heart of the island. You will pass through villages, rough terrain, and the rugged East Coast, learning a lot of history and facts along the way. In the afternoon, we boarded a catamaran and enjoyed a relaxing cruise with lunch and drinks.

Another time we took a full day on a catamaran and enjoyed snorkelling with the turtles immensely! An underwater camera is a must, as swimming with turtles is an amazing experience! Our snorkelling guides taught us to respect the turtles, giving them the space to express their curiosity. They seemed as curious of us as we were of them, and the water was so clear we got some fantastic pictures!

A trip to the fishing village of Oistins on a Friday or Saturday evening is another must, as it echoes the diversity of the island, with people of all ages mingling, drinking, dancing, and eating together, generally having a great time.

I have been lucky in my travels. I have visited some amazing places, but Barbados for me definitely has the X-factor. It isn’t just one thing, it’s a combination of little things that build into something truly special. I love the way the cars actually stop to let pedestrians across the road, and I love how they call rain "liquid sunshine". I love how proud the Bajans are of their Island, and their charming attitude is fabulously contagious. I find their mentality a real tonic, and each time I’ve visited Barbados I have felt relaxed and settled instantly, with no need to find my feet!

Heritage Awali

Jacquie Scharschmidt

As part of our epic 10 Day Giveaway in celebration of our 10th Anniversary, Jacquie Scharschmidt won herself a 7 night all inclusive stay at Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort, Mauritius! Just look how happy she is! Here is what Jacquie has to say about winning this amazing prize.
Jacquie Scharschmidt

At first I thought somebody was playing a joke on me when I saw my name on Facebook. I called my son and showed him and he said "It must be you Mum, it's definitely your name!" but I still couldn't believe it! I quickly checked my email, and yes, there it was: "Congratulations! You are the Winner of our 10th Anniversary Competition". I opened up the email and still couldn't believe it, so I telephoned Blue Bay Travel who confirmed it. I was so excited, my stomach was going over and over. I rang my husband who was at work at the time and he couldn't believe it either! He thought I was winding him up! Once he got home and I showed him the confirmation email, and he realised it was for real.

I have read so many good reviews about Heritage Awali, and the pictures look amazing. The fact that they have many returning guests means that there must be something very special about the resort.

Regardless, the landscapes of Mauritius look amazing. It has some beautiful beaches and it simply looks so unspoilt. You could say that it has an air of past and present blended together. We are really looking forward to meeting the people of Mauritius and seeing their beautiful island, and I am, of course, looking forward to spending some time with my wonderful husband, Cliffe.

The one thing I really want to do is to walk the Lions Encounter in Cascavelle! We also want to visit the Black River Gorges National park, and the underwater walk at Grand Baie looks interesting, so we might have a go at that too. We also plan to chill out and enjoy the facilities of the Heritage Awali, seeing as their reputation for comfort and luxury is second to none.

Jacquie Scharschmidt

My husband and I have a long, loving history with Blue Bay Travel, who have taken us to the beautiful islands of Antigua and St Lucia, the amazing Maldives, Grenada (which is one of my favourite islands in the Caribbean!) and the stunning Dominican Republic.

We have many wonderful memories, from the fun and laughter of Antigua, to meeting some real characters in Grenada and the Dominican Republic, all the while visiting some truly stunning locations. Horse riding in the rain in St Lucia was unforgettable! Riding bareback as the horses took us into the ocean was something else!

Celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary in the Maldives was also very special. We travelled over to Kuredu by sea plane, and it was such an amazing sight flying over the islands of the Maldives. Photographs just don't do it justice.

We were very lucky to have an upgrade to a Jacuzzi beach villa, thanks to Chris, our wonderful Blue Bay Travel adviser, and seeing dolphins swim by every day while we were swimming in the beautiful Indian Ocean was incredible beyond words. Every day we were there represents a wonderful memory for us.

Thank you Blue Bay, for everything.

Some Excellent News

Steve Benson

Steve Benson recently found out that he is the lucky winner of a 7 night all inclusive stay at Excellence Riviera Cancun, a firm favourite here at Blue Bay Travel! Here is how he reacted to the good news.
Steve Benson
How did you feel when you found out that you’d won?

Ecstatic! I’ve never won anything before so it was great news when I got your email.

Who was the first person you told?

The missus, who was just as thrilled as me.

What are your thoughts on Excellence Riviera Cancun?

Never been before but can't wait to go. We really liked the miniclip welcoming us to the resort. Write‐ups on TripAdvisor also indicate that it's an excellent place to stay.

What are you looking forward to most?

Relaxing without the kids! Can't wait to go!

Photo of the Month June 2013

Stella Sparkes

Thanks to her simply stunning photo of The Beloved Playa Mujeres, Mexico, Stella Sparkes is now the proud owner of a Bayley bear! They look like they were made for each other — thanks for the picture Stella! For your chance to win your own cuddly Bayley enter our Photo of the Month competition here.
Stella and her Bayley

Wedding Secrets

Rosa and Daniel

Rosa and Daniel were the lucky winners of a 7 night all inclusive holiday to Secrets the Vine in Mexico, and have decided to make the most of their prize by putting together an unforgettable wedding.
Rosa and Daniel
How did you feel when you found out you had won?

It really hadn’t sunk in. I actually thought it was a joke at first. I rarely win anything. I then let out a scream and couldn’t stop smiling in amazement and shock. To be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t faint. I needed to sit down, let’s just put it that way.

Who was the first person you told?

My fiancé Dan. I knew he would share in my happiness straight away. I think I just screamed a bunch of words at him and he told me to calm down. Secretly I think he wanted to scream too. His grin was just as wide and we really couldn’t believe how lucky we were.

Will this be your first taste of Mexico?

I’ve never been to Mexico, but it’s always seemed like one of those faraway places that I wasn’t sure I’d ever reach. Now I’m going there and getting married there. It’s been a whirlwind, and I love every second. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Cancun. I can’t wait to walk barefoot along the beach hand in hand with the man I’m about to marry. I am looking forward to spending time under the Mexican heat. I may even try a Tequila worm – it’d be rude not too! I am really just hoping for an amazing time, in a perfect location.

How do you imagine Secrets The Vine having seen all the photos?

We once went to a hotel in Phuket and thought it was just stunning, but after seeing what The Vine has to offer, I feel we may be stunned once more, and over and over again! I love luxury and cannot wait to sample the delights of The Vine. I want to try spa treatments and eat just about everything that looks delicious in the amazing restaurants (after the wedding of course, otherwise I won’t get into my dress!). I cannot wait to indulge and relax in paradise.

What was it about Secrets The Vine that made you want to hold your special day there?

Do you know, it was a ‘caught in the moment’ thing. Dan and I were looking at the photos and were blown away by the elegance and luxury and we just knew that we would be so happy there in that moment and it seemed crazy not to do something so special, when it made us so very happy. I now couldn’t picture my wedding day anywhere else. I think it’s close to perfection and what more could you ask for?

Which wedding package have you chosen?

We have gone for the Secrets Ultimate Wedding Package. It just felt the best fit for who we are and what we want from our day. We are very laid back but we do want an unforgettable day, and this package offers us exactly that.

Apart from your wedding, what are you looking forward to the most?

Getting in that crystal clear water, eating gorgeous cuisine, watching amazing sunsets, swimming with dolphins, and drinking a cocktail with an umbrella in… Could you want anything more?

Photo of the Month April 2013

Shaun Roster

Shaun Roster earned himself a cuddly Bayley with his stunning picture of the sunrise over Excellence Riviera Cancun during his Honeymoon. To celebrate, he took his new companion on a helicopter ride! Thanks Shaun! For your chance to win your own cuddly Bayley enter our Photo of the Month competition here.
Bayley on a Helicopter

Grand Makadi

Terry and Colleen

In 2012 we offered one lucky couple the chance to enjoy 7 nights at the Grand Makadi, Egypt! Here is their reaction to winning this amazing prize.
Buccament Bay
Dear Blue Bay Travel,

It is fantastic that we have won the holiday to Egypt. We were in the hotel ready to leave for a trip the Dominican Republic when we received the call. What a result, as we have never won anything like this before!

My first call was to my son who suggested that a kind heart might gift him and his fiancée this holiday. Sorry, no chance of that happening!

We have been to Egypt before with Blue Bay and stayed at the Baron Palms hotel which was again beyond expectations, as have all of your holidays in the 10 or more years that we have been booking with Blue Bay.

The Grand Makadi is a hotel that we were considering for a visit in 2013, so even better that we won it in the prize draw. The thing that we are most looking forward to is complete relaxation in the warm sun. I will be taking a fully charged iPod and my headphones!

Kind regards,

Terry and Colleen

Sandals Grande Riviera

Caryl and Mark

Caryl and Mark were the lucky recipients of a 7 night all inclusive stay at Sandals Grande Riviera, Jamaica, and it sounds like they had the holiday of a lifetime!
Sandals Grande Riviera Sandals Grande Riviera Sandals Grande Riviera
What were your first impressions of the resort?

WOW! It was beautiful winding streams full of fish and terrapins, beautiful flowers, and the architecture blends in around it. The beach was beautiful, exceptionally clean, and provided a safe shallow ideal for snorkelling.

What made the accommodation and services special?

The room was amazing! Our balcony overlooked the gardens to the front, and our bed was enormous! I think it was as wide as ours at home is long, and they were cleaned spotlessly twice a day. No need for beach towels as they were provided at the beach, and twice a day in the rooms if needed. There was a telly if you wanted to watch it and ample storage for clothes, with loads of coat hangers. The amenities were also brilliant, featuring snorkelling, swimming, sailing, and windsurfing to name just a few. The service was out of this world, and nothing was too much trouble.

How did you make the most of your time in Jamaica?

We snorkelled in the shallow bay and saw an incredible array of sea life, even better than out on the reef! We saw angel fish, blue tang, hogfish, red band parrot fish, sergeant major fish, stoplight parrot fish, trumpet fish, puffer fish, yellowtail snappers, an amazing black and blue lion fish, midnight parrot fish, needle fish, a lime green shrimp, and others that we couldn’t even name. We also tried wind surfing, but we spent more time in the water than on the board!

Did you have any adventures?

We went on the catamaran trip to Dunn’s River Falls. I have a walking stick so was a bit nervous, but I was determined to do it. The catamaran stopped halfway to the falls on a reef, and we snorkelled along the reef before journeying the rest of the way to Dunn’s River Falls. You are divided into groups and put in a boy-girl chain to help each other up the falls, and an official 'photographer' takes photos of you as you climb. It was an amazing experience to do the climb and feel the bracingly cool water, before enjoying food and drink on the return cruise with the sail up, skimming along the dancing waves accompanied by flying fish — amazing.

What is your favourite memory from your stay?

So many amazing memories! First and foremost the snorkelling. We couldn't borrow the dive camera to take snorkelling, so I hit on an "idea". I have a waterproof case for my kindle to protect it on the beach or by the pool so had the “brainwave” of putting my little camera in it to get photos of all the fish on the artificial reef. Maybe I should have tried with my sunglasses first, but I was so confident in my waterproof case I went straight ahead with it… unfortunately it wasn't as waterproof as I thought! Still, many fond memories and fun tales to be told.

Buccament Bay Resort

David Hampshire

How would you feel if you had just won a 7 night all Inclusive escape to Buccament Bay Resort? That’s exactly what happened to David Hampshire, and here’s how he took the news.
Buccament Bay
What tempted you to enter this Competition?

I’ve never really entered any competitions, but I was talking to a friend who told me he’d won a holiday to Scotland ‐ so I thought let’s do it!

How did you feel when you found out you had won?

I honestly didn’t believe it, I never win anything!

Who was the first person you told about your win?

I rang my girlfriend who said "Dave, don't give them your account details again…"

She didn’t believe me and still doesn’t! She says she’ll believe it when we’re on the plane!

Which aspect of your holiday are you looking forward to the most?

I can’t wait to snorkel in those incredible waters and to see the mesmerising views! I want to meet some fascinating people and genuinely relax on a beach I would never dream of being able to visit.

What desert island item will you be taking with you?

I will be taking my camera, to take away a bit of St Vincent with me. That, and to prove to people I actually went there!

The Wedding of a Lifetime at Dreams La Romana

Adriana Ramirez

After winning our latest competition and enjoying 7 nights at the award winning La Amada, Adriana seized the opportunity to create a truly special wedding at Dreams La Romana. Here’s what she had to say about her fabulous, life‐changing experiences.

Rosa and Daniel
What was your wedding day like?

We had our ceremony in a nearby church, and Blue Bay arranged for transport for all 60 of our guests. This was followed by a wedding reception at the seaside grill, where we enjoyed a very nice dinner, a band, a DJ, lovely decoration, and a cotillon (which is like a crazy hour). We closed our reception by throwing wishing lamps at the port, the perfect end to the perfect day.

What are your cherished memories?

One night our friends organised a combined stag‐hen do at the lobby where a live band was playing. All our 60 guests had arrived and everyone was there! We had the most fantastic time, and built some amazing relationships with the hotel staff. This was certainly a night to remember!

What are your Top 5 Features?

□ Amazing infinity pool

□ Really friendly people

□ Gorgeous beach

□ Champagne and flowers on my wedding night

□ Dedicated wedding department

How was your Blue Bay experience?

Thank you so much four your genuine interest and continuous support! You really made a difference to our special day and this is something we really appreciate. We felt that it was very easy and cheerful dealing with you as you were always striving to do your best! We will definitely continue to work with you when we’re planning another special occasion or another fabulous holiday.

Noel’s HQ, Sky One

Mr and Mrs Veevers

In 2009 we teamed up with Sky 1 and Noel’s HQ to provide a prize of a 7 night all inclusive luxury honeymoon to Mexico at Secrets Maroma Beach Resort.
Dear Blue Bay Travel,

Words can’t express how thankful we are for you generosity in not only paying for our flights but organising a complimentary “Dream come true Honeymoon” 7 night stay at the Secrets Maroma Beach Resort in Mexico as part of our surprise wedding on Sky 1′s “Noels HQ”. We were really surprised and shocked when live on TV Noel Edmonds Surprised us with the luxury Honeymoon donated by Blue Bay Travel.

As for the honeymoon itself it was by far the best hotel we have been too. The room with the sea views was superb; the food to die for and the beach was out of this world.

Having booked four previous holidays with Blue Bay Travel we know the level of care and professionalism you take in picking and advising destinations to customers and this showed as you picked a hotel that made our dreams come true.

You made our honeymoon something we will never forget and for this we will be forever thankful to all the Blue Bay Travel team and especially management.

We really look forward to booking our next trip to paradise with you.

Yours Gratefully,

Mr and Mrs Veevers

Four Weddings, Living TV

Lynsey and Daniel Weston

When Lynsey and Daniel Weston tied the knot, they decided to share their wedding with viewers of Living TV’s popular reality show Four Weddings in the hope of winning a dream honeymoon. Their gamble paid off and the lucky couple won the show and a romantic honeymoon in the Dominican Republic!

Each week The Living TV series Four Weddings gives away amazing honeymoons to one of out of tenthe four couples participating. On the show, the four brides and grooms attend each other’s weddings, giving them marks for presentation, entertainment, food and overall enjoyment. The couple with the highest score are whisked off for a dream, all expenses paid honeymoon. Happily Lynsey and Daniel Weston were one of the winning couples!

Congratulations Lynsey and Daniel on winning that dream honeymoon in the Dominican Republic on Four Weddings! Whose idea was it to enter?

It was all Daniel’s idea. At first he had to talk me round, as I just wasn’t sure that I wanted our wedding being criticised by others and the TV viewers.

What was it about appearing on Four Weddings that appealed to you most?

For me it was the experience of going to three very different weddings, for Daniel it was the honeymoon.

What was it about your wedding that you think was most appealing over the other contestants?

I think at weddings guests tend to get bored with waiting around a lot. We tried to keep our guests entertained throughout the whole day as the wedding didn’t start until 4 pm. We had a singer in church while signing the register, canapés on arrival at the reception, a magician during the wedding breakfast, great speeches and a surprise First Dance from Daniel and me.

Did you wish you had included any of the other contestant’s ideas into your own wedding, or do you think you had your perfect day?

I think weddings are, and should be, very individual for the couple that are getting married. Everything at our wedding was tailored to how Daniel and I wanted it; therefore I would not have done anything different. It was by far the most perfect day!

Did you all get on well with the other contestants or did things get nasty during the run up to your weddings?

There was no nastiness between myself and the other brides however, you could tell which brides were desperate to win and who was there for the experience.

When your husband appeared, and you knew you had won the competition, how did you feel?

The competition was initially a draw and both Daniel and Marc (Anna, the German bride’s husband), both appeared at the same time. I didn’t really understand what was happening, at first I thought that both of us had won, and then we were told only one couple could win and the other two brides then had to choose the winner. It was nerve racking waiting to open the envelope handed to us, knowing that one said congratulations and the other saying sorry you have lost, when we opened it and realised we had won it was such a great feeling!

Did you go straight off on honeymoon, or did you have a chance to get over your surprise at winning?

We booked the first available time to go after we found out we won, this was three weeks later.

Your honeymoon hotel was the Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana resort in the Dominican Republic, supplied by Secrets Brides ( What were your first impressions of the resort?

Wow! Wow! Wow!

What was the first thing you did, after you had checked into your hotel?

We took a dip in the private pool on our balcony to cool down.

What did you like best about the resort?

The grounds in the resort were just stunning; everywhere we went just felt so romantic, just how you dream a honeymoon should be.

Was your room gorgeous?

Our room was spacious, well decorated and we had our own private pool on our balcony, which was just amazing.

What special treatments did you receive at the hotel as part of your honeymoon package?

We had a honeymoon banner across the door to the room, a letter from management wishing us to have a great honeymoon and a bottle of champagne on ice waiting for us; we also received breakfast in bed.

Would you have chosen this hotel, and Dominican Republic if it hadn’t been your honeymoon prize?

If we had have heard about this hotel prior to visiting it, then yes we would have definitely wanted to choose this for our honeymoon.

Did people recognise you at the resort as winners of Four Weddings, or did you keep yourselves to yourselves?

As we went on our honeymoon three weeks after the show had finished, it had not aired on TV, so no.

What did you enjoy doing most during your honeymoon?

We enjoyed everything! The food was outstanding, the grounds stunning and we also met some great new friends. For us a holiday is just that! A time to relax and enjoy each other’s company, our holidays are all about relaxation.

What is your favourite memory of your honeymoon?

The property is so big that we were surprised to find something/somewhere new each day to explore. We have so many happy memories, snorkelling and seeing all the tropical fish was just beautiful.

What was the funniest memory?

The resort has an inflatable trampoline in the sea on the private beach, which was next to our rooms in the castle; the funniest moment by far was watching Daniel trying to climb up it!

The most romantic moment?

There were by far too many to pick out! Every meal we had, the walks along the beach, the cinema on the beach watching Pretty Woman was very romantic.

Would you go back to the same resort for a romantic anniversary?

We are in the process of working out dates with three other couples to return on our first anniversary this year, we can’t wait!

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