Rene McRogers review 17 Dec 2005
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
The beauty of the country and the people. Some of the most warm and friendly people I have ever come across. Very safe in the areas we travelled and absolutely amazing art for very little money. Loved it!!
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
The only really extremely negative aspect of the trip was the experience with American Airlines, flying through Miami. Avoid this if humanly possible. People traveling to Nicaragua are either locals or family of locals bringing much desired American goods. Travelers pay for many large pieces of excess baggage. American does absolutely nothing to manage this and the result is many, many, many bags don't arrive with the flight. We were without our bags for one full week of our two week vacation and the "customer service" we received from American was dismal. We spent too many hours of our trip dealing with trying to recover our bags and failing that, shopping for things to hold us over.
I am told that the other airline, Continental, deals with this in a much more efficient and friendly way with much fewer lost bags and quicker recovery. None of the three of us traveling together received our bags, were treated rudely, given incorrect information, and ignored. If you must fly AA, bring everything you need on board with you and don't expect to get your checked bags! Also, the Customs at Managua airport leaves much to be desired, closing on Sundays and Vacations for persons claiming baggage arriving after they have.
The Ministry of Tourism should be given feedback that if Nicaragua is to become the next Costa Rica, Customs should increase their level of customer service. We BEGGED customs to let us get our bags on a day that they were closed for a vacation (six days after we arrived) because I had desperately needed medication in my bags. The begging fell on deaf ears, even though I, the customs agent and my bags were within 50 feet of one another. I spent serious money trying to get the medication I needed, and was not able to get the most critical things, as they simply were not available (insulin pump supplies).
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
Read the operator's response here:
I would like to point out that the flights don't form a part of this package - the clients themselves chose to fly with American.