Azores & Madeira: Portugal's Unspoiled Archipelagos
Henrique da Camara
What trip leader did well:
Henrique kept us on the go all the time, his suggestions for optional activities were relevant to the trip and for the most part everyone went on the extra walk or activity. He also gave us permission to go back to the hotel if we needed to call time out for the day.
At meal time, he gave great suggestions if we were on our own and again, most of the 15 travelers went along. The camaraderie within the group was due to his keeping us all together and agreeable.
Because Henrique knew so many people on the islands, we felt like our tour was very personal and special.
What trip leader can do to improve:
Continue to be as intuitive and helpful as he was.
If you did not rate the quality of included features as excellent, please tell us why:
Because this was only the second time OAT offered this trip there were a few issues. The invoice was accurate, but the handbook and the final documents were certainly not the descriptions of the activities on the actual trip. We know this is a new trip and there were adjustments to the schedule, but we have never had such variations in the itinerary.
Please share your comments on your pacing, including opportunities for improvement:
The pacing was excellent. Henrique made sure that we were busy all the time and we certainly got our money's worth for his attention and efforts.
There were several times that we got back late from an activity and had to go right on to the next. Because we didn't want to miss anything on this trip we kept going and enjoyed every minute.
Please tell us about your Learning and Discovery experience, including any opportunities for improvement as well as exceptional experiences you may wish to share:
All of our experiences were interesting, but many were very different from the ones described in the pre-trip materials.
Our discussion of the adoptions of the Azorean children during the time of the US airbase in the island was very poignant and revealing. As many in our group discussed, this is a similar topic to many families that had to give up their children for safety or for fear of famine.
The Day in the Life was an afternoon visit to a family run dairy farm. Although this was very informative, it was not of the quality or experience of a Day in the Life as we have previously experienced.
Please share your comments about your Home-Hosted experience, including opportunities for improvement:
Our group of 15 was divided into three and five of us arrived at the home Geraldo and Maria about 7:00. We had a delicious home cooked meal and a delightful evening of conversation. The time went by so quickly discussing families, health care, travel and much more. Our bus came back to get us at 9:00, much too early as we could have talked for longer. This was one of the best home hosted experiences we have had in our 31 trips with OAT.
Please share your comments about your Accommodation experience(s), including opportunities for improvement:
The only hotel not rated excellent was the Azoris Angra Garden. Our room did not have AC or screens so we had to open the windows. The room overlooked the city gardens and pigeons kept coming into our room.
Please share your comments on your optional tour experience, including opportunities for improvement:
The optional tour of Madeira was scheduled for a full day at $95 per person. It was charged as a half a day at $125 per person. The trip was very interesting as Carlos gave us a view of the island from top to bottom. The itinerary was very different from that in the handbook. For the cost to be so much more for half of the time, was not welcomed by the group.
There were not many opportunities for shopping and that is fine with us. Henrique helped us find our way to use the ATM.
Advice to others taking this trip...
The trip to the Azores and Madeira was excellent. We would recommend the adventure to all. Our experiences since the end of the Covid Pandemic in traveling have been limited, but we would encourage anyone to begin visiting the world again.
Day 13 - Saturday, April 22, 2022 - Depart for U.S.
The hotel prepared a box breakfast for us as we had to be in the lobby way before the breakfast room was open.
Last night we found out that our departure flight back to...