Trip Report Jan 7-14, 2017
We were a group of 5,,,we flew out of Toronto on Air Transat, direct. WE had a slight delay (2 hours) leaving Toronto. Apparently the caterers were late or there was some hold up. Then when we got on plane, they told us there was no water in the washrooms? They never did fix. oh well, the plane got us there and that's all that matters.
Of course,,Mike from Unity Car REntal was there still and waiting with our Sante Fe rental. He never lets us down. When we got the car we stopped for a cold beer,,then off to Royal Palm. Was a little disappointed at check in. I had a confirmation for room 8214 (3 bedroom) only to find out that that room was taken?? I showed him the confirmation email...but he said no worries,,,we have 8128 avail for you,,it will be quieter and very nice. It was the opposite end of the waterways,,,so closer to parking lot between Toppers and RP. The room was lovely,,,ground level,,3 bedrooms,,3 full washrooms. One large patio area,,and one smaller one....steps from the beach. The unit was clean and spacious . The staff were very friendly and accommodating. What a deal when exchanging my one bedroom vacation membership through RCI,,,rather than renting directly. We only had to pay 650 canadian (my maintenance fee) plus 199.00 exchange fee. Split 5 ways,,was just awesome.
AFter we got the room, we had a couple of drinks and just enjoyed the warmth! Next on the agenda was to hit the grande marche for some supplies, and of course the liquor store. Then back to the RP to enjoy our digs and have a few more drinks. WE were tired from the trip so just walked across the street Carribean Flavours....I had fish and chips and they were awesome...the only not so great meal there was the jerk chicken with pasta.
Each morning we would enjoy mimosas and Bloody ceasars on our patio,,,hit the beach or pool,,,and decide where we were heading that day. We made several trips around the island, stopping here and there to take in the scenery. I didn't find the traffic too bad,,maybe cause we were a bit earlier than other years. The weather was windy and more periodic rain than ever before, but nothing that ever hindered what we were doing.
We had a newbie with us, so of course took her to see the planes at Sunset bar. Wow, what a lot of changes over there. Now you pay for parking in the Alegria lot,,,but can get your tix stamped if you buy a drink or food. It is quite nice looking and more tables,chairs, etc. but somehow has lost the local island flavour. I will say the pizza there was totally awesome! I ordered the KLM which was to die for. I got washed out by a wave trying to video a plane landing and totally filled my purse with sand and water,,but somehow managed to keep my phone above water!! LOL.....
Wifi was very sketchy at RP in the unit or on the balcony.....We had planned on going to Harmony nights, but I had forgotten it didn't start till Jan 17th...next time for sure.
We made several "touring trips",,,stopped at various beaches, etc. Went to meet Jay at Ultimate Jewellers on Monday (only one cruise ship in) Our friends purchased a beautiful tanzanite ring set in white gold and diamonds,,,I just bought some white gold hoops...Jay never disappoints either. Then had lunch at the Blue Bitch Bar,,,and enjoyed watching people and the guy who was singing on the boardwalk,,had a lot of laughs. We were walking along the beach on boardwalk and a friend of mine from my hometown yelled at me. I looked up at the Sea Palace balcony,,,and there she was. That was kinda neat, she recognized us walking along, so we visited with them for a while. Also did a bit of shopping for the kids and grandkids. Was a great day.
We ate at SkipJacks that night....I wanted lobster. Again, end of day, close to RP,,no more driving...I was a little disappointed as all the lobsters were huge! I had to split a 7.2 lb lobster with another person, and actually 3 of us had some. I find the larger lobsters not to be as tasty. Everyone else enjoyed their meal.
We decided to do a day at Orient Beach. We found out another couple we knew were also at the Great Bay resort,,,so we met them at Orient Beach, spent the day with them and then I drove them back to their resort (7 seats in the Sante Fe worked great). We had drinks and ate at Pedros,,and just enjoyed the sun and waves.
Oh,,on Monday night we ate at Bon Appetite,,,WOW,,,,it was amazing. The French onion soup is to die for. Also, I had chicken cordon bleu and it was very very good. Will def go back there. After dinner we walked over to The Red Piano for the church house band. Wow,,,,probably not for everyone, but it was packed,,,loud,,,but the guitar playing was awesome. We were there very late, but had a great time.
We booked a Billy Bones Boat tour,,,start 9:30am,,they pick up at Royal Palm,,,and drop off. We were off to Creole Rock to snorkel. That never happened as the waters were way to rough to see anything. Then we went to Tintamar to swim with turtles...saw a few, but again,,the turtles were heading out as the water was so rough. I could not believe how windy this time of year is on island. So next off to Pinel where we just got out,,,walked ashore the water was so shallow,,,took bottles of rum punch with us and just soaked up the sun. It was a beautiful beach as well. Then,,,we were supposed to stop at Grand Case for lunch,,,but there was no way we could get into shore. I tell ya,,,the water was really rough....Huge swells,,,which had me a bit uncomfortable. Everyone was laughing at me for being nervous. Sean our captain was very skilled at his job,,,but I was still a bit worried. It all ended up just fine, and I worried for nothing. It was a 36 ft power boat and we did have a lot of fun. We had to go to La Galeon in Marigot for lunch instead, and my chicken was awesome. WE walked around there for a while before boarding boat and heading out around by sunset beach to see planes land and take off from water. Then back to the lagoon and they drove us to RP. Ended up being a fun day,,would probs do it again. Sean and Chris were awesome and provided a lot of info re island, etc. cost was 119.00 per person.
We tried Lee"s roadside grill for dinner one evening and I must say I will not go back. Wow, I remember having great meals there before, but my ribs were tasteless and my chicken burned. Hubby had fish and chips and they were little pieces of hard breading...must say,,,none of us were happy with food. That was the only place on island that we were disappointed. But, it was one of those nights where I was putting the keys away and it was so close...so we went for it.
We really missed seeing Marty at his bar at Alegria...maybe it is closed for good, but it was all boarded up. I realize he just had baby and is not back yet to the island. We also looked forward to one of his gyros at his place besides Toppers,,,but no action there yet either. Guess we came to early. Next time!
I finally made it to Mullet Beach.....don't ask me why I had not made it there before. What a beautiful stretch of beach. Wow,,,the waves were at least 12 ft high. A person had to be very careful there, that is for sure, but it was a lot of fun. We spent out last day there and had a blast.
We met up with friends staying at the Great Bay Sonesto and they ended up coming to our condo and spending time with us. We went to the Yacht Club to watch the yachts (always great food and drinks). There were more yachts in the lagoon than I have ever seen on my 5 visits. We were told that was because of the weather forecast. All I could think of was we were out in that in a 36 ft power boat. (my companions say I worry too much!! lol)
We also had breakfast at the Yacht Club on our last day before heading to airport.
All in all,,,we had an awesome trip. I would definitely stay at the Royal Palm again, not only for location, but the 3 bedroom was awesome. I just wish there were screens on patio doors. They were awfully hard to open and close,,,you needed muscles and for me two hands,,,(that's pretty hard when you have a drink in your hand!lol) There was no leaving them open, as the bugs were a bit bad,,,we all got several bites even with bug spray. I think a floor up higher it would not have been as bad for bugs. But,,on the other hand, having a few steps to water and sun,,was very awesome as well. Can't have it all,,,but screens would have made a big difference. It was so breezy, that we could have had the doors open.
The way I look at it is,,,SXM is great no matter what. Yes we are all gonna have a couple minor complaints. I feel very very lucky to have got an exchange thru RCI. All I own is a vacation membership for a one bedroom condo. My maint fee is 650 canadian and I had to pay 199 exchange fee. To end up with a match for a 3 bedroom at RP was amazing. I would def stay there again. I never had one complaint with staff. They cleaned the room once during the week and that was fine with us.
Everything so close, we have so many options while staying at RP. We do like to drive around to other beaches, eateries, etc. but once I want to have more than a couple of drinks (as I drove the entire time) I like to have the option to kick back and walk wherever we go.
We all love the Buccaneer Beach Bar burgers....nothing fancy but so darn juicy....greenhouse is right there, and Oh, I finally had Lobster Thermador at Pineapple Petes....to die for. My friend had the surf and turf and he said the filet mignon was awesome. It is a great place as well.
I am sure I missed some of our adventures,,,,but you will get the drift. Awesome vacation with friends, lots of laughs (some at my expense),,lol....great accommodations and good food, great drinks and good weather.
Thanks to all of you that answered so many questions prior to my trip,,,it all helps. I always like to be as informative as I can when taking friends with me.
Our flight home was not delayed, and it all went well.
Just trying to wrap my head around this snow,,,it takes a few days....but we need a wee bit more before we can get out snowmobiling....lol......Cheers