59 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Half the fun at twice the price!!!!!!!!!

Reviewed Wed 12th of December 2012

"We decided to take a weeks break with the kids during the easter holidays and found this 7 night holiday cheap direct with with Haven Holidays onliine we looked at the brouchure and was impressed with the range of entertainment, the excellent kids clubs and the "no hidden extras" promised, we paid £311 for a superior plus caravan and £15 extra for early check in. We had a great journey up to Great Yarmouth and it all went downhill from there. We checked in at reception at about 1.30pm to find that the early checkin charge was pointless as everyone was checking in at this time. The caravan we were first allocated was terrible, dirty, bare, grubby and basic. We complained and were moved to another caravan which was to our surprise, fantastic.
The park is in a good location, right on the beach and just a 25 minute walk in to Yarmouth.
The main problems with this park, we found is that it is entirely based around taking as much money as possible from you and your kids.
The only thing that is actually, fully included in the price, other than the acommodation is the swimming pool, which we found to be grubby (watch where you walk) and the two slides (when open) had dangerous, slipppery, unsupervised steps. The pool is only open for free for a few hours a day as the rest of the day, they use it for activities which cost £6 a time per child.
There was nothing for our two children to do on the park during the day ( they are 12 and 8) as there were no kids clubs or activities for anyone over the age of 5 as promised in the brouchure. We spoke to the entertainment staff and were informed that they had not been told to lay any activities on for the older kids. So the children found this very dissapointing.
Even the entertainment in the evening was based on taking your money, the whole place is filled with fruit machines for them to gamble on and a few arcade machines that dont work. The shows are based around what they can sell your children and even the family shows, you have to buy raffle tickets to even have a chance of taking part in. There are two showbars and the bulk of the entertainment in both was a tongue twister routine that went on an hour too long every night.
There are three places to eat on the park, Burger king, Papa Johns and the Mash and Barrell pub and restaurant which looks good on the menu but is overpriced for poor quality food. The one morning we ordered breakfast, were served our drinks and paid with our debit card as there is no cash machine in the mash and barrell. We stood there for 25 minutes and then they finally decided they could not work the machine, so cash only. We then all had to give back our drinks and go on a trek to the cash machine. All in all this park has put us off haven, even just for a short break.
The entertainment is a joke,
The service is disgusting,
Unless you book the prestige, the accomodation is terrible,
The pool is dirty, as is the restaurant especially as the only way in and out of the pool is to walk through everyone eating their dinner, dripping wet! (lovely)
It seems as though all the staff on the park are not interested in making you or your kids happy but trying to hard sell you anything and everything (including the caravans) instead.
We spent over £1000 in a week trying hard to join in with the "Haven experience" and would not do it again.
Despite the good location, this park does not offer what it promises in the brouchure and expect to be fleeced at every oppotunity.
We have been to more basic holiday parks than this one that have provided an all round better experience in every area and we have never felt ripped off this badly before.
Avoid at all costs unless money is no object and you enjoy being taken for a ride!
Sorry Haven but never again."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 10th of April 2009

We like it here

Reviewed Tue 4th of December 2012

"We are about to return here (Easter 2009) for the third year running in a group of 3 mums and 5 children. We always 'splash' out and stay in prestige accomodation and have always found it to be OK - certainly clean (though we always wash the cutlery, cups, plates before us - but we would do that anywhere) and no complaints on the linen etc. The tiny blow heaters in the rooms need to be left on permanently to be warm, though.

The evening entertainment is focused on how much money they can get you and your children to spend on useless lanyards and badges and in the souvenier shops. If you can ignore this (or better still, get your children to) then the entertainment is good. Remember, this is not Butlins, so no big names and stage and costumes can be tatty around the edges. The 'stars' that they do get in now and again are good for a laugh (though they are not comedians).

They do make an effort with the children, though, who always have a good time with the characters, fancy dress, talent show etc. They also have some activities during the day. There is also a indoor play area in the family fun bar which can get busy, but which the children enjoy.

We've always found the staff to be OK, any problems are usually dealt with quickly and the park is clean.

There's a good adventure play area. The pool is a bit boring and the slide is hardly open at all, but the pool is large and there is a seperate small childrens pool which is great for my two (aged 7 and 5) and plenty of seating for those in the group who just want to watch. There is an outdoor splash zone which looks fun, but we've never been there when the weather's been hot enough for it to be open. There are optional extra swimming activites like aqua jets which the teenagers in our group enjoy. It's right on the beach, which is lovely for a walk and making sand castles (look out for the rubbish, though).

As for Mash and Barrel bar/restaurant; it's expensive, has no atmosphere, is always cold and dark in there (you have to walk through it to get to the pool, which is rubbish planning), and on the two occassions we've eaten in there, it's taken ages to place our order (hardly any staff) and the food has been less than average - think frozen stuff and you're not far off. Also, it's huge, so you feel as though you're sitting in a warehouse. We won't eat there again. As for Burger KIng - just stay away from it. It's staffed by children and the food is never hot. Also, it just feels depressing in there. The fish and chips are great - really tasty and fresh (though the staff are miserable - especially the man in there).

The shop is expensive, as you would expect, but it does stock all the essentials and there are large supermarkets a short drive away.

Having read this review, I'm not sure why we are going there again this year! Still, it is OK there and as a group of mum's and mixed age children, there is enough there for everyone. Most importantly, we have always found the accomodation to be very good, but then we do always go for the most expensive caravan as we can split the cost between the 3 adults. We phoned to make our booking this year and they gave us an extra discount for being a returning customer! Not bad.

Will we go back next year? No. But that's only because it's time for a change of scenery for us and we may well go back the year after as I'm sure there are a lot worse out there (like Kessingland beach, but don't even get me started on that awful place!...)"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 26th of March 2009

Good Stay Overall - Views from a Couple, With No Kids

Reviewed Thu 25th of October 2012

"Stayed here this past weekend, which was also the park's opening weekend. Check-in was prompt, and there seemed to be plenty of staff. We had a problem with our 1st caravan, location wise and the fact it was a 3 bed one - we had booked a 2 bed one, as in a 2 bed, the master bedroom is larger! But they quickly changed us over to a 2 bed and we were also happier with the location too - in Drifter - before we had been in Clipper and right by the main entrance!
Just the 2 of us, no kids, staying in a Prestige caravan, which we had paid a fair bit extra for, but were disappointed that it wasn't anywhere near as luxurious as the brochure led us to believe! Also, it states Prestige vans are among their newer models - ours was a Jan 2006 model so not exactly new and was showing signs of wear - particularly around the windows! I was told the spec depended on the manufacturer!
Funworks passes are in with the price, (giving you access to the pool, entertainment etc), but they should perhaps consider an 'opt out' option, as not all of us want the 'entertainment'
Standard of linen was very poor. The white sheets and pillowcases, looked reasonably clean, but the quality of the pillows, duvet and covers, was poor / old and shabby looking. Mix of feather and foam pillows - again had seen better days! The mattress of the small double bed also appeared to be quite worn out with springs clearly seen and felt!!
Open plan kitchen area only had 1 drawer, so EVERYTHING was crammed in it - poor design feature! Loads of cupboard space though - good design feature! Most utensils, glass dishes, pots, pans etc, but no baking sheets! No scissors. Small fridge, (not full size as the brochure states!!), which had sections in the door missing - reducing storage a fair bit - so don't go and do too bigger shop! Tiny freezer section. Small 14" TV, with no remote control - is standard apparently!! Only 4 channels though. Small DVD player worked OK.
The 'heating' was a small blow heater under one of the wardrobes, in the 2 bedrooms. (Luckily we only had 1 very cold night, but had to keep them on, day and night to get any sort of warmth and even then is was still cold). The heating in the bathroom, was a small electric radiator, that didn't exactly warm it up! There's a gas fire in the lounge, that chucks out a reasonable amount of heat!
Arrived to 3 blown bulbs, but these were replaced promptly. Water pressure from taps was very low!
We used the onsite Pizza restaurant one night which was OK. Also hired one of their karts, which was £4 for 30 mins. You have to leave a £10 deposit. Can't comment on daytime or evening entertainment or the pool as didn't use them! Neither did we used their Mash 'n Barrel restaurant.
Overall an enjoyable stay, partly due to the good weather, but expected more value, despite the discount we got for booking early.
However, families may have quite differencing views!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 24th of March 2009

gorgeous camp, moved here ater leaving p...

Reviewed Mon 29th of September 2008

"gorgeous camp, moved here ater leaving pontins due to how filthy it was, great reception, good prices, we were given a caravan with a sea view that was out o this world, it was more like a mobile home, loads to do on the site, a ew minute walk to the beach, staff friendly and helpul, excellent entertainment all day and night or both adults and kids would thoroughly recommend to any family."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 29th of September 2008


Reviewed Fri 26th of October 2012

"Stayed here for 3 nights with my boyfriend on a "sun holiday". We were allocated a caravan in "foreshore" which was ideal for us as it was nearest the showbar, and the on site shop - yet we were far enough back not to be disturbed by the noise. The caravan itself was ok - although most items in the kitchen were dirty when we arrived and I therefore had to wash everything before I used it (which I prob would have done anyway!!) The kitchen had most items you would expect, although we didnt have a single oven tray so had to use the tray provided for the grill - another thing is the grill is tiny!!

The main double bedroom had a VERY unpleasant smell, and a very dirty matress, and the quilt and pillows that were provided were also VERY dirty and VERY used!! We were pleased that we had taken our own pillows and quilts as well as linen, because as soon as we put the quilts and pillows provided in the wardrobe the smell in the bedroom disappeared!! The shower in the bathroom was tiny, and the shower head did not go in the holder as it was broke it therefore just kind of dangled!! It was also rusty!! When we arrived back to the caravan after a night out at the bar, the lights tripped and we rang the 24hr help number provided to be told we should fix the problem ourselves and the box was in the wardrobe, i explained this would be difficult with no light!! And security arrived with us within 5mins and promptly fixed the problem! Another thing was when we arrived there was a pair of curtains folded up on the chair, not sure why as we were not missing any round the windows?!?!

The site itself is nice, there seems to be lots for children to do, and are a number of different bars/entertainment venues on the night including an adults only pub. In the showbar the entertainment was good and the entertainer AJ was fab. The bar prices were also quite reasonable.

The location is ok... It is approx a 5/10 min drive to the centre of great yarmouth, and i wouldn't advise walking as it seemed a long way! Parking in great yarmouth is good, there is street parking all along the sea front which between 8-6pm is £2.50 for 4 hours or £4 all day and after 6pm is free! The beach is right opposite the site which is lovely.

Would not return to this site again, but would definately visit great yarmouth again!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 11th of September 2008

I have been to Seashore many times throu...

Reviewed Thu 11th of September 2008

"I have been to Seashore many times through the Sun Newspaper offer. I have just arrived back from my second visit this year. I found most of the staff helpfull but one particular female member of staff on the disco was rude. My three year old asked for a particular song and when she played it she talked the whole way through it so a couple of nights later he asked her for the same song and she replied bluntly to him "I played that for you the other night" To a three year old!!! Everything was so expensive and they go on and on at your children to buy tickets and lights for the dark disco etc. they situate their amusements so you have to walk through them to get to the clubhouse and you have to walk through Mash and Barrell to swim which i find utterly ridiculous. Then during the week (perhaps because it is late) they shut one clubhouse so everyone piles into one and there are no seats! People are standing everywhere with buggys etc i dread to think what would happen if there was a fire. I also thought having to pay for swimming activities and trampolines and bouncy castle on top of what you have already paid is unfair as well! When we left i stupidly walked out and left three fridge magnets of my little boy with characters. I called as soon as i got home and they told me they were not there! I definately put them there, i suspect the ruthless cleaners just binned them and at £5 each i was well and truly cross! Not sure if I would ever go to Seashore again now i may try another park next year"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 11th of September 2008

Me and my family have just returned from...

Reviewed Mon 25th of August 2008

"Me and my family have just returned from seashore we had a 4 day break there 4-7th july it was fantastic. We love it there. The staff are so friendly, the evening entertainment is great and our caravan was awesome, we stayed right near to the swimming pool which was great. The swimming pool is fun even the splash pool and the kids loved it too. It was so fun that we are going back next year, and probably the year after it's amazing."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 25th of August 2008

Just spent three nights at Seashore. Nev...

Reviewed Sat 23rd of August 2008

"Just spent three nights at Seashore.
Never again.
Bad points:
Every bar was full of kids even "Malarkys" which was for adults only.
Mash and Barrel - overpriced and lacking in taste. The mound of coleslaw stated on the menu was approx two teaspooons worth and I've had more chips on my shoulders.
Six television screens - one showing the Olympics(volume off), the others all tuned in to the football(volume on full). Olympics every four years, Arsenal every week.
Need I say more.
Not enough tables and chairs in the Showbar.
Compare and Cabaret act left a lot to be desired.
Bar staff never asked for any i.d and many teenagers were having their drinks confiscated by security.
Burger King staff were not up to date with their hygiene proceedures, but not many teenagers are.
Good points:
Caravan was clean...ish, apart from the chicken nuggets and quorn mince that we found in the freezer compartment of the fridge.

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 23rd of August 2008

Good Fun but could be hit or miss

Reviewed Sat 17th of November 2012

"Good Family Fun, would recommend a 12ft caravan for more space especially useful for the bad weather that we had. The facilities are good and the Bar not too expensive - there's 3 or 4 Supermarkets near buy so don't buy on site.

Would ask for a van nowhere near the entertainment as it is a bit loud if you've got kids. Havens a business thats geared up to take every last pound out of your wallet so you're either surrounded by unhappy kids who aren't getting their way or unhappy parents who are destitute but at least their kids have got a hat that lights up.

All in all a good holiday but you need to specify where you want to be on the site or it could turn into a bit of a mare"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 20th of August 2008

My family and I have just returned from...

Reviewed Tue 22nd of July 2008

"My family and I have just returned from a 4 night break at Seashore and I can honestly say it was awesome!!!!
We stayed in a privately owned standard caravan which was clean and very well situated away from the club and next to the race track (very quiet). the staff were very helpful and our door was fixed within the half hour when there was an accident with a golf ball (the perks of being next to the golf course) but it did not take away the enjoyment at all.
The park is ideally situated and close to yarmouth.
My daughter is 5 and she loved the evening entertainment and the funstars, characters etc.

Ideal for families, am going back next year!!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 22nd of July 2008

we have just returned from haven seashor...

Reviewed Sat 19th of July 2008

"we have just returned from haven seashore in great yarmouth. we booked what was to be a superior caravan (superior it wasnt!) i looked at the pictures and chose which caravan i wanted when we got there it was exactly the same as a standard caravan and even though i complained the very unhelpful and miserable check in staff at the desk said it was superior and that all the caravans were different so i got no where. the caravan was full of ants and the robotic manager who wouldnt let you get a word in edgeways said there was nothing they could do as ants are a product of nature!! and she had been in touch with environmental health and this was fine!! you may live in squallor love but i dont want ants on my worktops!! burger king was crawling in flies and was filthy as was the chipshop. i own a butchers and have they never heard of a blue fly device?? im sure environmental health will be very interested in why you havent got one! the entertainment was crap and the staff were very unhelpful once they have your money they dont give a damn!!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 19th of July 2008

just got back from seashore in great yar...

Reviewed Sat 28th of June 2008

"just got back from seashore in great yarmouth.

here is my input.

the site was a very nice site as a previous reviewer said the swimming pool was very boring there was none of those little bits of fun in there apart from 2 big water slides that only worked for around 1 hour a day the rest of the time there closed.

the barrel and mash bar very nice inside and you can sit out side there too and watch the kids in the splash zone which also is very good. again though the prices for food is very expensive. the big breakfast was £5 which was not to bad and the meals are around £8 + each.

it cost £15 to wah my clothing the washer tokens are £3.50 each and the dryer was £1.50 it took me 3 tokens to get the dryer get the clothes dry and i had to use 2 washers but be careful there is no powder deispensers there so you have to goto the shop and buy a small box of powder for £4.

the night entertainment was quite good and they do love kids there - there is plenty to do for the kids. adventure play ground, football, basket ball, fencing, swimming etc.. and the sea is less than 5 min walk.

another point on leaving the site you have to be out of the van for 10:00am just thought i should throw that in too.

never had problems with ants or flea`s but the pillows they supplied are very flat so i would recommend you taking your own.

if you go i am sure you will have a great time but be warned everything in yarmouth seems to be £20 unless you goto the sea life centre which if £35 for a family ticket. but you can buy them off the site for £20 discounted rate.

have fun !!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 28th of June 2008

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