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 Hi Ken,

Ken, the trip has been amazing, all the travel arrangements have been going to clockwork, thank you.  Our accommodation has been excellent, different of course in the different areas.  It has been very busy and I have only written two e-mails home in almost two months, this is unprecendented for us.  The cruise left little time to write, our one day at sea each week was spent doing laundry, more eating and sleeping.  Our best intentions of retiring early each evening seemed to go awry, and so there seems to be something wrong with the idea of setting an early alarm every day to be up, fed and watered and off the ship by 8.15am for the next excursion - not quite the holiday psyche one would imagine the older one gets.

By the same token,  the cruise was really good, the Silver Spirit is a beautiful ship and meets all expectations.  The itinerary of each week was excellent and the first two weeks fantastic and exactly what we wanted to see and do. Silversea does have good excursions with excellent guides and it makes a difference.  The Black Sea was interesting, although there is nothing at Constantia in Romania.  Odessa, Yalta and Sevastopol were good to see, but we would certainly have no need to go back.  In this area they don't have loads to show, but it was interesting.  It also gets very windy on the Black Sea and one interesting fact is that there are hardly any fish left.  We were told it was years and years of fresh water coming straight down the mountains (lots of rain and snow) and has diluted the salt from the sea.  I'm not too sure about that one.

Ken, the tour into Central Greece, to Meteora and Delphi was an absolute highlight.  It was fantastic, absolutely amazing and we will tell you about it.  We don't know what you said to Siva but boy oh boy, they certainly looked after us. In fact, they wanted to know just who we were (what could we say!) because they (the guide and the bus driver) were told we were our travel agent's best customer in ten years!!!!  We're certain they gave us their best guide and their best driver.  This driver has driven, sheikhs, bishops & their entourage etc etc etc.  He also drove one of the buses for the heads of the olympics in Athens. Our guide, Rouli, has the most incredible repetoire of the history of Greece and is so passionate about it.
She has been doing it for 40 years.  I think she could be a history professor.  They couldn't do enough for us.  It was such a pity we couldn't have invented a new country to be the king and queen of.....they would have loved it!!!

So Ken, we will be drafting a separate e-mail for you to send through to Siva to thank them and let them know what a good job Rouli and Aris did and how happy we were.  We heard from Annette re the owner of VLT being in Greece and I'm sorry I just couldn't e-mail you at the time.

The Bauer in Venice was excellent, our suite was enormous and the location perfect.  Inncasa at S.Giorgio was in a beautiful setting and looking up to the skyline of Orvieto, rooms more contemporary but very nicely done and a good size, fabulous gastronomy & excellent wine list.  After walking all over the ruins of Greece and Ephesus, Inncasa didn't want us to get out of shape, there are many many steps!  The Adler at Bagno Vignoni is a beautiful hotel in an incredible setting, extremely peaceful and so well located to the hill towns of southern Tuscany. The grounds with the pool and thermal pool are stunning and also house a great little osteria for lunch.  The Assisi week was wonderful for us and another highlight in different way.
The Dal Moro Gallery hotel was exceptionally located for us and we just jumped on the bus to go up to Assisi.  They did look after us there Ken and the people were lovely.  We had a nightcap most nights and we didn't realize until we paid the bill that they didn't even charge us for them.  Not a lot of English spoken In Umbria as it is not as touristy as Tuscany.

So in a nutshell! it has been a wonderful holiday.  I had the fullest intentions of writing immediately after Greece so as not to forget a thing and you would have had the e-mail to send off to Siva in the week after.
 

Will be in touch as soon as we wake up on our return, Ken.  It has been an amazing trip.

Kindest regards

Helen & David

 

Dear Nic,

It is a pleasure to write and thank you for the amazing service that you and your team have provided to Varsity College in the last few years.  As a school with a growing International focus, we have relied on the support and advice of your team as we have planned trips to China, Asia, Phuket, South Africa, USA, United Kingdom and Singapore.  In each of these trips, your staff have provided unparalleled service, and most importantly helpful tips to ensure that the students led adventures have been hassle free and that our staff exchanges have been quality experiences.  This has been appreciated by everyone that has travelled on the trips that you have organised.  A clear example of this advice was when I took 60 students to Singapore last year as part of our International Chinese program.  Your team advised us of the opportunity to have breakfast with the Orangatangs at the Singapore zoo.  Not even our local contacts in Singapore knew of this event and it was clearly the highlight of our trip, and for many of the students it will  have created lifelong memories.  This type of service is rare today.  

I have often believed that it is impossible to achieve high quality service, a great price and outstanding quality, all at the same time.  However your team seem to thrive on the opportunity to do just this and I must congratulate you all on this achievement.  It is always a pleasure to deal with all members of your staff and the help that they have provided Varsity College in the last few years is greatly appreciated.  I think that all schools should use your service to ensure that their trips are effectively  planned, wonderfully managed and then supported by the outstanding knowledge of your amazingly competent and informative team members.  They have certainly made our travel experiences a pleasure to run, and far easier to manage.
Please pass my thanks and congratulations to all of your team, and I look forward to building a strong relationship with your business in the future.

Jeff Davis - Executive Principal Varsity Lakes College  

“My husband and I asked Nic and his team to put together our dream trip to Paris. We gave the team our wish list and budget and they made it all happen. The trip was an absolute dream come true and we were highly organised so had no dramas whatsoever. A pleasure doing business with Nic Rone at Varsity Lakes Travel” March 22, 2011

Jane Amadee

“I have used Nic too many times to remember. Last year alone he sent organised my travel & that of my son to 11 countries without a single challenge. We have also worked together to raise awareness & funds for charity organisations & it has consistently been a pleasure. I would recommend Nic & his team to all. ” March 22, 2011

James Cooper

THANK YOU so very much Rachel, I really appreciate the effort you have gone to to supply me with this information. I am very excited about planning my holiday and will discuss the options with a few of my friends and will be in contact in relation to making a booking.  Thanks again for your time, and I would like to compliment you on your prompt service. Varsity travel was recommended to me from another colleague from Council who said what a great job you guys do, and I have to say it is indeed very true because I'm very impressed :) I'll be in touch! Thanks, Lara

Lara Bennett - Infrastructure Delivery Group - Engineering Services - Varsity Lakes / Gold Coast City Council  

Dear Nic, Sincere thanks to you and your team for assisting us with the organising of this year's Queensland Community bank conference at Conrad Jupiters on the Gold Coast.We had a record number of attendees this year and the feedback from our delegates regarding the venue, organisation and activities was extremely positive.From our vewopoint the 2 day conference ran smoothly and everyone thoroughly enjoyed their time.  I would happily recommend VLTravel to any organisation requiring a professional and well managed travel firm to assist with their conference or travel needs.

Steve Simpson, State Community Enterprise Manager - Bendigo Bank

 

Nic and the Varsity Lakes Travel Team, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Rachel and yourself for the commitment, enthusiasm and extraordinary effort invested in the development and management of the Qld Community Bank Conference held 9,10,11 March at Conrad Jupiters. Your wealth of experience, and efficiency in conference coordination was a major factor in making it such a success. All aspects of the conference were conducted with the highest degree of professionalism – resulting in a comprehensive three day programme of presentations, discussions and networking opportunities for the delegates.I commend you and your team on the seamless coordination which took place behind the scenes – ensuring that all matters associated with the conference were dealt with meticulously. I would recommend Varsity Lakes Travel to any company or organisation to ensure the smooth running of a fabulous conference.

Carl Bruhn, Chairman - Varsity Lakes Financial Services Ltd, (Bendigo - Varsity Lakes Community Bank)

 

Thanks Ken, We love having you as our Travel Agent!! - You are Joy to deal with,

Roger Davey  - Managing Director - Vavachi Entertainment - www.vavachi.com.au

 

Ken,  Just a short email which I have been meaning to write to say thank you for organizing everything so quickly for me. It all went very smoothly!  

Sarah Cobb
Managing Director
Cariblue Pty Ltd
 

 

"Nic is a pleasure to deal with he and his team have amassed an amazing amount of industry knowlege from personal experiences in travel to all parts of the globe.
Nic is passionate about providing the best possible service and having your dealings with his company become a lasting memory for you, well done Nic and team keep up the great work."

Stephen Pike  

Alan from Varsity Lakes Travel is a very knowledgeable, highly likable person who can provide excellent information on a broad range of holiday destinations. He provides prompt service and I would recommend him highly..

Janette W

 

“Nic Rone is a born leader. Naturally charismatic and confident, he manages to instill loyalty in those around him. I've associated with Nic in a number of capacities over the year - as a web developer for his company, as a customer of VLTravel and as a sponsor of a business network where Nic served as president. In all capacities, Nic encouraged and achieved impressive results.” February 10, 2010  - Top qualities: Personable , Expert , High Integrity

Joshua Smith - Ionline 

I have heard nothing but words of praise about Nicholas over the last 18 years I have known him and the various colleagues and companies he has been involved with, a true professional in his field with incredible drive, determination, motovational skills and flair for creative lateral thinking, a genuine expert in the industry.

Craig Hill  Director at Travelgroupie, Austria 

Hello Rachel, Just letting you know that everything went according to plan for the Toners. It just got a lot cheaper after leaving Phuket. We traveled a lot and did not have one complaint from anywhere. Thank you and we wold use VLT again.

 

Francis Toner

“Nic is always very professional and an expert in his field. He knows Travel and I have already recommend many people to him as I know they will always get great service.” February 10, 2010 -  Top qualities: Great Results , Personable , Expert

Danielle Butler - Sass Designs

“I have known Nic for a number of years now at both a business leader level and also him as a leader of various charity/community based organisations. I have always found Nic to extremely professional and well versed at dealing with people at all levels of business, community and government. Nic delivers on his promises and expects the same from the people that he deals with. Quite simply, when Nic says it will be done. It is. Nic is a great business leader and an awseome communicator.” February 10, 2010

Chris Bindley , QLD Sales Manager , LTSEO

Hi Ken, We have received the money on our travel card.  Thank you very much for that.  We will send you an email to let you know how everything is going. Thank you very much for all your help. And we will definately be booking our next holiday through you.  Best Regards

Sonya 

“As a colleague of Nic for the past 17 plus years, I have witnessed his professional attitude and passionate approach to supplying travel services in both Europe and Australia. Nic is a highly respected Business member of the local community, as well as within the Travel Industry as a whole. He deals daily with internal and external clients from around the World, and networks exceptionally well. As a small business owner, he does not allow an opportunity to pass and is well known by locals on a personal level as well as professionally. His success levels of repeat business through the Agency is testament in itself to his drive and enthusiasm.” February 11, 2010

Nicky Ross

 “I have used Varsity Lakes Travel a number of times with my holidays been a great success every time. Nick and his team gave great service and great deals. Can't wait until the next holiday.” February 17, 2010 - Top qualities: Great Results , Personable , Good Value -

Ruben Alker - Hip Communications

  “Working with Nicholas is a lot of fun and I am impressed by his depth of knowledge.” 

Marshall Hall , Managing Director , Consulting Hall  
 

Hi there Ken, We just wanted to thank you for your expertise and time to make us feel so confident with what we are planning.  Looking forward to the next step.  Thanks again,

Leesa

Hi Michael, 
I just wanted to send you a quick email telling you what a fantastic time we had on our trip.  Everything ran relatively smoothly. The kids had a fantastic time and we are all much richer from the experiences.
Thanks again for your assistance.

Natalie Clarke - ABC Events and Balloons 

 Michael, Thanks for your first class assistance, I will pay as per original booking and we will see what happens during the Year - many thanks, Jamie

Jaime Wardley 

Hi Michael,
You are too kind and most professional. 
Your Company is correct; YOU have made this nerve-wracking travel booking for me flawless and endless surprise "packages" for my daughter Steph's 21st pale into significance when you have done this for me. I will always remember it and how I wish Laird and I could have had you with us last night at this Gold Coast Tourism function spreading the word about your most efficient services. ...........
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Georgie Marshall

Just back from my great adventure and a note of appreciation is in order.
For someone who has had very little, prior travel experience until this year and has listened to many stories of the pit-falls of travel, I have reflected on my two wonderful experiences this year.
I was made aware of Varsity Lakes Travel when I met Nic Rone through a business networking breakfast group and he always emphasized that whilst anyone can book travel on the internet. Only a professional travel agent can give you the benefit of experience and that almost always leads to lower costs...........
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Tom Bourke                                    

In my personal capacity I have found their profound knowledge of the travel industry and attention to detail of the highest standard. Their services were delivered with both excellence and professionalism... I would not hesitate to recommend the services and capability of this award winning local business and encourage those seeking travel advice / services to contact Nicholas Rone and the team at Varsity lakes Travel..........click here for more

Carl Bruhn - Senior Project Director / Delfin Lend Lease

It is a pleasure to provide this testimony on my experiences in dealing with Varsity Lakes Travel.

As a personal user of Varsity Lakes Travel I have been impressed by the quality of the service and the friendly way in which it is delivered. I am aware of a number of other people within our firm who have used Varsity Lakes Travel for their private travel services, and I know from their comments that they also agree with my sentiments............click here for more

Graham Teys - Chief Executive Officer / Minter Ellison Lawyers

It gives me great pleasure to write a letter of support for VARSITY LAKES TRAVEL.

I have traveled frequently over a number of years, for various governments, Griffith University and privately. For my last holiday I chose your company as it close to where I live and I had heard good reports.

1. the knowledge of travel destinations
2. the ability to quickly access information and advise about availability of flights and accommodation,
3. your ability to listen to client needs and respond appropriately - without wasting time on promotion of irrelevant information,
4. the excellent communication of details - and the professional presentation of these,
5. the friendly, efficient professionalism of ALL staff in the office,
6. the proven ability to prepare an itinerary that actually works and leaves nothing to chance.............
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Eda Y Beck - Griffith University

We at Signxtreme have known Nic professionally and personally since his business opened on the Gold Coast.
Nic Rone and the Varsity Lakes team are an outstanding business in the area. Nic is an incredibly active contributor to the local community via the Chamber of Commerce and BNI.
We have worked alongside Nic on a recent venture, and found him to be incredibly thorough and diligent. He works tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for all involved. He leaves no stone unturned and does it all with a smile.

The whole Varsity Lakes Travel team area a pleasure to deal with and hold a vast array of knowledge and languages between them, Therefore you can be guaranteed excellent service and value for money.............click here for more

Greg Nettle - Owner / SIGNXTREME

I wanted to take the time to thank you and your wonderful staff for their assistance with our recent cruise. Dean and I had a wonderful time and everything was perfect. All our travel plans were organised by Laura, leaving no questions unanswered and nothing for us to do except enjoy the cruise!I love receiving your weekly hot deals as it gives me information for our next trip maybe Las Vegas in 2009.I can't recommend you enough to my friends and family as you truly make the planning of our "free" time enjoyable.............click here for more

Natalie Alaimo - Marketing Manager - Mac Copy Design and Print

Dear Alan,
 
Just a note to say we thoroughly enjoyed our recent tour of Egypt and Italy as arranged by you at Varsity Lakes Travel.  The request was for you to get us to Egypt and into all of the major Pharaonic exhibitions, such as the pyramids, Tutankhamon, and all the temples along the Nile.  The challenge being, all of the above exhibitions are many hundreds of kilometres apart.  The boat trip up the Nile, cruising, swimming, partying and tripping off to the temples was relaxing as well as really entertaining. 
This was to be followed by time in Italy to see Rome and the Amalfi coast especially Pompeii.  To say that you chose the perfect tour and arranged a magic itinerary during the off tour periods would not be an exaggeration.  The days wandering in Rome looking at the major locations and the information enabling us to travel independently to Naples and then Sorrento gave us maximum scope to sightsee at our own pace.  The tours organised around Amalfi were brilliant and the day at Pompeii was exhausting but again fabulous..............
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Russ & Sandy S.

During the past 4 months since moving to Varsity Lakes I have dealt with Laura on a number of occasions in regards to travel arrangements both personal and for work related purposes.
I have always found her to be most helpful, she often suggests alternatives where appropriate and a pleasure to deal with. It is great to be able o have a travel agent who is professional.

Rob Hoogendorn 

I would like to give a testimonial for Varsity Lakes Travel...
Thanks VLT and especially Laura for having the experience and expertise to book exactly the type of holiday experience l was after and for making it all so easy. It was a relaxing experience, right from the start. Now if only they can do something about my fiancé!

 

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