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John Cuttino

St Barts Trip Report
      #78223 - 02/12/02 09:45 AM (

St Barts Feb 2-9, 2002

Left from Boston. Did the GWV Charter. They used Icelandair. Great flight. (I would love to see the people at SSBB seeing Icelandair landing at SXM). Check in uneventful for 8.15 departure. Security lines long but moved. Arrived at SXM at 1.15pm and connected to Air Caraibe to St Barts. Were there at 2pm.
Stayed at Hotel Le Toiny. It was wonderful as usual. Great service, privacy (you have your own plunge pool.). Staff very attentive.
St Barts was very green and lovely. Great weather all week (the typical 30 sec Caribbean showers everyday).
Restaurants: Le Gaiac (at Le Toiny) the best. Ate dinner as well as Sunday Brunch there. Other great meals at L'Espirit de Saline, La Gloriette, Mayas, Ti St Barth (best beef on island), La Mandalas.
Lunches at Le Saladerie, Do Brazil on Shell Beach (great view), Pelican, and Le Tamarin (new management--the staff from the Lafeyette Club whic his closed).
Beaches: Gouverneur our favorite, largely because of the new car park makes for easy access. Saline also good as usual. St Jean great too.
The Island: lots of construction. Villas, roadworks. they are repairing the road from Gustavia to St Jean and shifting the part on the hill where planes come thru. Moving it over. There was even a stop light (temporary).
Shopping: we did our usual shopping for French shoes, cosmetics at Le Ligne St Barth, jewelry, and restocked our vanny rhum at Match (Ma DouDou). We are good to go for another year.
Super Bowl: Go PATS. We missed the game (several bars had it going) since we did not want to sacrifice a dinner and I (wrongly) figured the Patriots were due for "normalcy". Fortunately, game was taped for us.
We had an idyllic week, as usual (we have been 7 times) with beach time, pool time, shopping, and meals.
The island did not seem "uncrowded" due to post 911. The merchants said the cruise ship traffic was way down. (this we all loved).
Return trip: Sad to leave. The worst part was the Princess Juliana Airport. It can best be described as awful. Long lines to check in cause they search your checked luggage. A tip: DO NOT PACK Batteries in anything to be checked (carryon fine). They will rip apart and confiscate batteries. The departure tax lines not so bad but security line extended all the way out to the street. It did move however. Not sure they looked at the scanned stuff. I swa no ones carry on searched. The worst thing was the departure lounge. At 1pm, standing room only. Large flights to Toronto, Newark, JFK, Miami, Charlotte all leaving about the same time.
The airline line for check in at US Air was horrendous. Americqan not so bad. My advice, like others, check in early then go have a Carib at SSBB. The whole process of check in to the gate took 1.5 hrs.
the return charter stops at Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic to discharge/pick up. So an extra hour to return flight. Got in early at 6.45pm.
Icelandair service was great. Served breafast on way down and meal on way back (chicken cordon bleu). Movies both ways (nominal charge).
All in all a great trip. Can't wiat to get back.
Any questions?

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