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Reality Check #146558
10/17/2017 04:50 PM
10/17/2017 04:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 4
T
Tropez62 Offline OP
Member
Tropez62  Offline OP
Member
T
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 4
Hi. My wife and I have enjoyed Spring Break on the French side each of the past 19 years, and were/are heartbroken by the devastation that the island has endured. Here is my reality check question:

We want to do everything we can to support the rebuilding process. We have made numerous donations to different funding pages and people and businesses. We want to return to the island as soon as we can to support it, its people, and its businesses. But looking ahead to March 2018 - is this just too early for French St. Martin to receive visitors?

What do people in St. Martin think? I read the board every day - and see a list of businesses opening - but don't want to "be in the way" when we ultimately return.

Appreciate everyone's thoughts; Thank you very much for the guidance.

Tropez

SXM Sponsors
Re: Reality Check [Re: Tropez62] #146559
10/17/2017 05:08 PM
10/17/2017 05:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 247
Beverly MA (Boston's North Sho...
timnboston Offline
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timnboston  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 247
Beverly MA (Boston's North Sho...
This is a tough call. I own 2 weeks at the Royal Islander in January. Structurally it appears to have weathered the hurricane fairly well. But as for their re-opening i'm wondering about priorities. If they reopen on time I will certainly visit. But I'm wondering should landscaping and pool maintenance be priorities for the island right now? I wish someone in the government of SXM would provide some guidance.

Re: Reality Check [Re: Tropez62] #146560
10/17/2017 07:38 PM
10/17/2017 07:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,429
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 12,429
Brookfield, CT.
Tropez and all,

I read your post and I truly appreciate and Ďgetí what youíre saying.

Iíve been in direct contact with several islanders, some of them transplanted ex-pats, and some who were born and raised and stayed there and their different perspectives were interesting and helpful to me in making my decision of whether or not to go this year. Beyond the horrors of riding out the storm on Island, theyíve spoken of spotty electricity and water services even now that itís returned to much of the island; and the big question of functioning waste removal not to mention debris everywhere; questions of visitors safety, and the inability of the island to take care of its own in so many cases, let alone the addition of thousands of visitors. Iíve thought about arriving at and departing from an airport that is far from what weíve come to expect, even as we complained at the long lines in the air-conditioned arrival and departure lounges; and visiting beaches that in many cases will no longer have the bars and services weíve come to expect. And reading of the thievery and break-ins as late as this week cause me to wonder about personal safety, too.

Weíve been visiting the Island at least once a year every year since 1973 and for about the last twenty-five years weíve been going twice a year. This was to have been our first year making three trips but Mother Nature has caused us to change those plans. We thought long and hard about still going in November and we ultimately decided, at our ages, and after listening and paying attention to a lot of people more in the know than we and who had no reason to try to dissuade us, this was a trip we didnít need to make. Remembering our much loved island seven months after Luis also factored into our decision. It was so sad to see.

Another deciding factor was realistically looking at the comments of some who have already returned, I couldnít help but notice many advocating for rapid returns have vested interests in promoting the same rapid return of yearly visitors, be those interests their own private homes, rental villas, realtors and property rental agencies, restaurants and other tourism related services.

As a multiple week timeshare owner myself and one who also rents at various locations around the island, my island investment doesnít come near to equaling that of so many others, but I still stand to lose all those accumulated AMFs that Iíll have to pay to remain in good standing, but Iíd rather lose the monies than go back and have a vacation that is far less than I expect it to be. There are so many ways to still support the Island and itís many causes, be they through international charities such as Samaritans Purse or the Red Cross, or individual Go-Fund-Me accounts. (I have taken a personal liking to the ShopnDrop grocery voucher program since itís inception.) I encourage people who are able to do that immediately and as generously as your situations allow. And not just now, but down the road, too, since it goes to those who really need the help with no government interference.

We all know the island depends on tourism, which was one of the main reasons timesharing was such a big hit on this island over so many others. After a lot of debating the pros and cons of should we go or should we cancel, we opted for the latter and we will greatly miss our trip this year. Iím not suggesting others should follow our lead and I certainly would never cast aspersions at anyone else for their personal decisions either way.

Iím not wringing my hands and I donít think of myself as a nay-sayer. I do consider myself to be a fairly reasonable person, but one who has a limited amount of vacation dollars to spend every year and I had to seriously question the logic of spending anywhere from $5 to $10000.00 on a trip (depending on your style of vacationing and the length of your stay) and have the vacation be less than I want it to be. Call that being selfish if you will, but in the long run, it wonít help the Island at all to have first-timers drop that kind of money and walk away with a less than positive attitude as so many did for years after hurricane Luis.

I offer my personal kudos to those who will return immediately, or already have, and my good wishes to those who will soon return to view the status of their Island properties along with my hopes you will find them in even better condition than you anticipate. And to my family members and good friends, good luck to all of you as you make your early returns. I honestly and sincerely hope you are all correct and Iím dead wrong in my reasoning. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Reality Check [Re: pat] #146561
10/17/2017 07:46 PM
10/17/2017 07:46 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,539
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Posts: 10,539
Auburn, WA
How do you get by on a $5 vacation to St Maarten? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />

Re: Reality Check [Re: pat] #146562
10/18/2017 12:22 AM
10/18/2017 12:22 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 273
North of Boston
Ted_n_Jan Offline
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Ted_n_Jan  Offline
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Posts: 273
North of Boston
Well said Pat.

Thank you.

Ted and Jan

Re: Reality Check [Re: Ted_n_Jan] #146563
10/18/2017 05:45 AM
10/18/2017 05:45 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
mprevo Offline
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mprevo  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
I agree with Pat. We have postponed our February 2018 trip. We are in no means giving up on St Martin and I have every intention of going back in February of 2019.

I have spoken with the Owner of our condo in Mont Vernon and the entire complex has sustained a lot of damage. My gut feeling is that it will not be ready for us in February to return. Nobody has said that this is fact, the correct answer, or that it won't be ready for us. It is just my gut feeling. Maybe I am wrong and things will move forward faster than I expect.

Although I had to make a choice. I did not want to miss out on my winter vacation to a "warm spot" so I cancelled St Martin and scheduled Belize.

Time will tell if my decision was correct or not but I had to decided something, so I went with my gut and scheduled the guaranteed time in Belize. I wish well upon all those who have been affected by Irma. I truly feel horrible for all those affected. I even hope I am wrong and that things get repaired faster than I expect.

In the meantime I will continue to donate to help out the locals as much as possible. After all they are the ones who have opened up their island to my wife and I and made it feel like a second home to us. I have not or will not forget St Martin. I just feel it is in my best interest to wait.


***********************************************

Next vacation is scheduled for February 7th through February 19th in Grand Cayman.

A totally new Adventure is awaiting us!!
Re: Reality Check [Re: mprevo] #146564
10/18/2017 06:36 AM
10/18/2017 06:36 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 80
S
Susieville Offline
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Susieville  Offline
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S
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 80
Wonderful post Pat.

Re: Reality Check [Re: Susieville] #146565
10/18/2017 06:53 AM
10/18/2017 06:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 410
Toronto, CANADA
Ritchard Offline
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Ritchard  Offline
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Posts: 410
Toronto, CANADA
I am going in February like usual. I do not expect it to be the same as usual, and I don't mind - I will consider it an adventure and perhaps a life lesson for my young adult sons. I am going to keep tabs on the restoration efforts week by week. If there is still great need by the time we leave, I'm packing work boots.


_______________________
Want to make a difference? Visit Kiva.org.
Re: Reality Check [Re: SXMScubaman] #146566
10/18/2017 08:13 AM
10/18/2017 08:13 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 3,896
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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kim  Offline
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Posts: 3,896
Newtown, CT
Quote
SXMScubaman said:
How do you get by on a $5 vacation to St Maarten? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />


I have done a $5.00 a day trip to St Maarten many many times! I just made sure pat picked up all my expenses!!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />

Re: Reality Check [Re: Tropez62] #146567
10/18/2017 08:32 AM
10/18/2017 08:32 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,671
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 69,671
Central Florida!
I honestly don't think by March 2018 you will be in the way at all. Local people will be very HAPPY to have visitors come, those that do. Grocery stores have reopened (most of them) and gas stations have reopened, so there are not shortages of food or gasoline. March is another 5 months from now, so the conditions should improve significantly before then, both at the airport and around both nations. The larger question is whether YOU will be ready for what you would encounter. While a lot of it will be cleaned up, there will still be plenty of devastation evident everywhere. How will that make you feel? What is your PURPOSE in going? If your PURPOSE is to go on a vacation, and enjoy yourself, you may fall short in that goal. If you want to go and help out the island, and can be perfectly happy with a cooler on the beach at Club O for the day, you may be OK. My suggestion would be to wait a couple of months and see how things shake out and then decide. However, if you need to decide something now, make up your mind which is more important and if you decide to go, prepare to be VERY flexible. We went to SXM in February 1996, after Luis, and stayed at L'hoste and spent every day under a yellow umbrella. Papagayo was gone. They were cooking burgers on a grill and serving drinks out of a cooler and that was good with us. Back then there wasn't nearly as much there on Orient as there is now. It was a different time..


Carol Hill
Re: Reality Check [Re: Carol_Hill] #146568
10/18/2017 08:44 AM
10/18/2017 08:44 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,429
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 12,429
Brookfield, CT.
Well said, Carol, with regard to personal expectations. I was very disappointed when I first learned our timeshare did not anticipate being ready for vacationers in March.

Returning after something of this nature has all to do with your own expectations. We went back seven months after Luis and were okay with what we saw. Okay, but definitely not great. And in fact, one of my daughters was so upset at what she saw on that trip compared to all her other SXM vacations that she chose not to go back for almost another ten years, but She was accustomed to the Mullet Bay Resort she knew as a kid. Twenty plus years ago I was perfectly content to cook in most nights and take my cooler to Mullet most every day, but not so much these days.

The big thing is, whatever choices you make, make them with both eyes open. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by pat; 10/18/2017 01:24 PM.

Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Reality Check [Re: Tropez62] #146569
10/18/2017 08:45 AM
10/18/2017 08:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,261
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Posts: 1,261
Hershey, Pennsylvania
We were uncertain whether we would use our timeshare on December 30, 2017 when our resort announced that they would reopen 12/1/17. When they updated their expected opening to 1/1/18, we took that as a sign to postpone our vacation to a later date.
This issue is a personal one. While some have suggested that you could be a burden to the recovery, most know that a country that relies on tourism for survival critically needs your visit.
Another thing to consider is the expectations you have for your vacation. Those that want nightlife, casinos and lots of activities may be disappointed. Sand gravity will still be available and a welcome goal to many.
Many of us are fortunate enough to have friends as residents of SXM. They will likely be the best sources for accurate information.
Ultimately, you must decide what works best for you and then, go with it.

Re: Reality Check [Re: Tom] #146570
10/18/2017 08:48 AM
10/18/2017 08:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 146
pburke40 Offline
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pburke40  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 146
If you are seriously considering a return to SXM in the near future, you might want to read this post from the Everything SXM, fb page.
https://m.facebook.com/groups/62977...=10154938417606367&ref=bookmarks

Re: Reality Check [Re: pburke40] #146571
10/18/2017 08:55 AM
10/18/2017 08:55 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,671
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 69,671
Central Florida!
Can't open it. That is probably a private group??


Carol Hill
Re: Reality Check [Re: Carol_Hill] #146572
10/18/2017 08:57 AM
10/18/2017 08:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 14,249
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Posts: 14,249
Ohio
Quote
Carol_Hill said:
Can't open it. What's it say? That is probably a private group??


Private/closed group I believe and hence the problem with posting a link to it.


J.D.
Re: Reality Check [Re: ruralcarrier] #146573
10/18/2017 09:03 AM
10/18/2017 09:03 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
mprevo Offline
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mprevo  Offline
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Posts: 212
Michigan
This is Carol. Sorry, I removed this post, as I am of the opinion that even if it's on Facebook, if it is a private group, as far as I'm concerned, it is copyrighted material and one cannot copy and paste in total material from another source. Anyone that wants to read the post can join the original group where it is posted, or ask for someone to copy and paste and send it to them privately.

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 10/18/2017 09:40 AM.
Re: Reality Check [Re: mprevo] #146574
10/18/2017 09:24 AM
10/18/2017 09:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,429
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,429
Brookfield, CT.
Thanks to you, Mitch, for posting this and to Rikki, who so openly and honestly conveyed her thoughts and reactions. You are stating here much of what Iíve been told by several resources and also some of the feelings I had on our first trip back after Luis. My daughter and son-in-law will be soon making their own quick three day trip to inspect their recently purchased condo and I will make sure she reads your post in its entirety in anticipation of her up-coming trip

I hope you and your husband are recovering completely and will soon be able to return to this Island we all love when both IT and YOU are ready for you to do so. God bless!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Reality Check [Re: Carol_Hill] #146575
10/18/2017 12:17 PM
10/18/2017 12:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
mprevo Offline
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mprevo  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
I will try this again. Also before you delete this again please realize I do have permission from Rikki Zart to repost this. She was happy to do so if the information could help someone.

Reposted from Facebook link above:


Trip report 10-13 to 10-15 2017: My husband and I flew into SXM on Friday afternoon on Delta...PHL to ATL to SXM. The flight from ATL to SXM was virtually empty...maybe 25 people on a 737. Our reason for flight was to pick-up two rescue dogs. A one-eyed Coconut Retriever named "Sylvie" who would live with us in Philly and "Shorter" a puppy who we would transfer to a network here in the states that would get him to his forever family anxiously waiting for him in Vermont. Our trip was riddled with unexpected twists including being struck head on by a bus in the French Quarter and Delta playing "3-card monty" with our flight arrangements and animal accommodations after booking them, with a "pet supervisor" in advance...but these stories are not what I wish to convey here. I would like to give my personal impressions as a long time visitor (two weeks yearly and/ or multiple trips a year since 1999). I have followed the devastation since the hours before Irma hit because we had planned to have these animals before the storm. We followed all the details of them and their caregivers as Irma struck, and then daily as the aftermath unfolded. That is also another story in itself but I have had the chance to speak one-on-one with quite a few of the survivors and their harrowing stories are mind-bending and hair-raising...In our wildest thought I believe we could never understand what they endured. So, having followed this FB page and many others I too saw the horror pictures and pretty well knew what to expect. Our plane flew the normal approach to SXM and out the window the first thing one encounters is the sights of what look for all intents and purposes like bombed out buildings. After landing the process of entering the country is swift, but rudimentary. Once outside the airport I could not contain my emotion any longer and choked-up with tears running down my face. I was not prepared for the reality. As we drove our rental car (Soualiga Car Rental) to our accommodations at Simpson Bay Suites I felt very strange...like a dream where you are in a place you know but things are very out of place. I was unprepared for the 20-30 ft tall mountains of twisted metal (collection spots for debris) that greet you as you enter Grand Case and Simpson Bay. The photos you see do not convey reality. I agree with those who say that they need tourist dollars to return to normalcy, and I so strongly agree that now is not that time. First, there are few choices in lodging, and what is available may not be up to normal resort vacationer standards. We knew what to expect at Simpson Bay Suites. It was clean, but it is well worn. However more importantly, anyone expecting a tropical vacation need go somewhere else for many many months...I would repeat that again in bold italics if FB had that option. On Saturday we took Sylvie to Orient beach for some time to get to know each other better before flying together. Dear friends, Orient beach is a wasteland. That is not hyperbole, it is fact! Sunning oneself and swimming that beach would be equivalent to the surfing scene in the film "Apocalypse Now"...I'm not trying to make colorful references...that is reality. In fact, much of what used to be Resort Chic is now third world. There is almost no tourist infrastructure to speak of...yes some restaurants are open. I went to The Greenhouse (Simpson Bay) to grab take-out because we were recuperating from our collision and stint in the Marigot hospital in our apartment. Take-out would have been our only option anyway because they are fighting what seems like a losing battle with large flies, which I assume is a result of current conditions. Also the islanders I met, I believe, are not ready for tourism, even though they need the money desperately. Yes, the cashiers at Garden Market were as surly as always but there is also now a blankness in their gaze. We went across the street to Burger King to grab a cup of coffee because that seemed like the only place around at the time and we were most definitely met with the feeling of not really being welcome. We were an annoyance that needed to be endured. "The Friendly Island" of the past is hurting bad and needs time to understand and heal it's wounds before that smile can return to those faces. This is an observation I made in quite a few instances...including the bus operator that rammed us head-on in Orleans. However not all is lost. The owner of the car rental (I won't use his name because I do not know how private a person he is) but both he and his wife came to the scene of the crash and stayed with us through the entire ordeal of being extricated from the wreck, immobilized and packed into the ambulance for the long bumpy ride to Marigot and for the full time we were in hospital. They took us to the Pharmacie for our prescriptions and braces and then returned us to our hotel. Oh yes and they picked us up the next day and brought us to Princess Juliana Airport...people we had never met before Friday have become like family to us. So that trait of going above and beyond is still ingrained into these folks...we just need to let it return naturally. Harry and I will not return in May to our timeshare at Flamingo Beach as is our custom. We are instead pushing plans back to Oct/Nov 2018. I must admit I think even that may be too soon but we shall see. If I detailed all my emotions, all I saw and experienced these 3 days this post would be unbearably long...probably tedious. I would want to share with you the details of the stories told me by those who lived Irma. In the same breath I am glad we went and sad we had to experience Saint Martin as it is. This trip has substantively changed me. I now realize how deep my love is for this place. It is so much more than a crazy-cool place to unwind, tan and re-energize. This is my second home and where my heart would like to be all the time. In our early years going to the island I would always comment on how as we were driving from the airport to our resort that "I feel like I'm coming home", I'll bet many many of you feel that way too. You yearn to see what happened, how bad it is. You are curious as to all of the how's and where's of what's open and what's destroyed. So many of you are owners of property by way of timeshares like we are and want to know the status of our investment. All these are valid wants and concerns. I have never been in a war zone before but the damage sustained from Irma makes the island look like pictures from Alepo Syria or Beirut. Yes, these people are resilient and will bounce back but I can not overstate that this will take (here comes that 4-letter curse word) TIME. I have never posted anything more than comments in this forum before. I hope this post hasn't broken any guidelines. These are the personal observations and opinions of someone who has traveled to this island very often, for weeks on end. My husband and I have been to most of the beaches, lodged on both sides and eaten our way through a significant number of eateries. We have made life-long friends whom we visit and now have two dogs living with us in Philly that we rescued with the help of Ursula Oppikoffer at the "I Love My Island Dog" rescue and shelter. These are my only qualifications for this post and my opinions are simply that. I hope this adds to the base of reports for on-the-ground eyewitnesses and brings one more point of view. I apologize for being so verbose....even my island friends comment on my lack of brevity in communication. And yet I feel like I have left so much unsaid. One last note (and I put this last because this is not what I want this post to be about but feel the need to vent)...totally based on this trip...We will never, ever fly on Delta Airlines ever again. We were sold our seats in good faith (booked with a pet specialist and supervisor) disclosing our agenda and conforming to all regulations. After we were already in the air headed for our destination we were singled-out, dismissed, mistreated and then down-graded due to what they agree is their mistake. Seems we are not the first. Our previous experience on American Airlines were wonderful. If you have read this far you are a trooper...thanks.


***********************************************

Next vacation is scheduled for February 7th through February 19th in Grand Cayman.

A totally new Adventure is awaiting us!!
Re: Reality Check [Re: mprevo] #146576
10/18/2017 12:22 PM
10/18/2017 12:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,671
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,671
Central Florida!
I accept your representation that you have permission to repost the report and I will leave this one. However, in future, if you want to repost something that is on another forum, please state that you have the permission of the original poster elsewhere. Thanks.


Carol Hill
Re: Reality Check [Re: Carol_Hill] #146577
10/18/2017 12:56 PM
10/18/2017 12:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
mprevo Offline
Traveler
mprevo  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
No problem. I was just trying to help those who don't have access that that information since many on here do not belong to Facebook.


***********************************************

Next vacation is scheduled for February 7th through February 19th in Grand Cayman.

A totally new Adventure is awaiting us!!
Re: Reality Check [Re: mprevo] #146578
10/18/2017 12:59 PM
10/18/2017 12:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,429
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,429
Brookfield, CT.
Again, this should be a MUST READ for all who are contemplating their early returns to the Island. These are some of the things we were concerned about when we thought back to our return the first Easter after hurricane Luis devastated the island and things we considered before cancelling our upcoming November and March trips. If Iím remembering correctly, I believe Luis was a Cat 4 while Irma was a cat 5 plus. These were but some of the reasons we felt it was in everyoneís interest to wait a bit even if waiting wasnít our first choice.

The Island certainly needs our support at this sad time for the people of St. Martin-Sint Maarten. And at the same time, we all know our own personal comfort zones and love the island or we wouldnít still be here reading and debating. In the end I hope everyone weighs the concerns mentioned in this post and makes their own personal best choice and is happy with it. I know the people of the island have an incredible spirit and a strong and determined will to overcome all these pitfalls and in the end, she will come back stronger and better than ever. Of this I have absolutely no doubt! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Reality Check [Re: Tropez62] #146579
10/18/2017 01:06 PM
10/18/2017 01:06 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 185
VitaMan Offline
Traveler
VitaMan  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 185
To condense my comments as much as possible, I would echo everything Carol had to say. Personally, I think that by March, the island will be ready and anxious to receive visitors. It depends on what you want from your trip. One thing that hasn't been emphasized enough is that there will be much less lodging inventory available even by then, so make sure you have something locked in. My guess is that beause of the concentration of restaurants in Grand Case and Orient Beach, lsss than 50% of restaurants will have re-opened on the French side. The same probably goes for other activities as well.
Pat, as always, your post is well reasoned and well stated. I would not recommend going back this November for a vacation, but as I just said, I think March or April will be fine as long as you have realistic expectations.
Just as a side thought here, I have seen many posts here in past years bemoaning how commercialized and over-built the island (especially on the Dutch side) has become, so maybe that effect of this tragic event will be welcomed by some.
Regarding Rikki Zart's facebook post, it just shows how differently two people can see the same thing and come away with two completely different perspectives. As just one quick example, I saw the huge piles of twisted metal dumped at certain sites as tremendous progress. At least that debris is no longer lying in the streets and in peoples yards. I think someone trying to evaluate the situation just has to take in all opinions and information, even from opposing points of view, and then decide what's right for themselves.

Re: Reality Check [Re: VitaMan] #146580
10/18/2017 01:25 PM
10/18/2017 01:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 410
Toronto, CANADA
Ritchard Offline
Traveler
Ritchard  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 410
Toronto, CANADA
Quote
VitaMan said:
To condense my comments as much as possible, I would echo everything Carol had to say. Personally, I think that by March, the island will be ready and anxious to receive visitors. It depends on what you want from your trip. One thing that hasn't been emphasized enough is that there will be much less lodging inventory available even by then, so make sure you have something locked in. My guess is that beause of the concentration of restaurants in Grand Case and Orient Beach, lsss than 50% of restaurants will have re-opened on the French side. The same probably goes for other activities as well.
Pat, as always, your post is well reasoned and well stated. I would not recommend going back this November for a vacation, but as I just said, I think March or April will be fine as long as you have realistic expectations.
Just as a side thought here, I have seen many posts here in past years bemoaning how commercialized and over-built the island (especially on the Dutch side) has become, so maybe that effect of this tragic event will be welcomed by some.
Regarding Rikki Zart's facebook post, it just shows how differently two people can see the same thing and come away with two completely different perspectives. As just one quick example, I saw the huge piles of twisted metal dumped at certain sites as tremendous progress. At least that debris is no longer lying in the streets and in peoples yards. I think someone trying to evaluate the situation just has to take in all opinions and information, even from opposing points of view, and then decide what's right for themselves.



I have also been considering the situation as an opportunity to enjoy Orient Beach and my other favourite spots a little less crowded; I hope that doesn't come off as selfish sounding. That said, people-watching is one of the best parts of Orient Beach.


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Re: Reality Check [Re: VitaMan] #146581
10/18/2017 01:29 PM
10/18/2017 01:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,671
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,671
Central Florida!
Agreed, availability of lodging and, especially on the French side, having restaurants re-open is an extremely significant consideration. And possibly rental cars, as many are out of service from being damaged by the hurricane and I assume many other rental cars are being rented out to island residents whose own vehicles were damaged or destroyed.


Carol Hill
Re: Reality Check [Re: mprevo] #146582
10/18/2017 04:46 PM
10/18/2017 04:46 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,539
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,539
Auburn, WA
I am under the impression that postings that are on a public Facebook forum is open to the public and Ok to reuse or share as long as it is deemed sharable.

Re: Reality Check [Re: SXMScubaman] #146583
10/18/2017 05:19 PM
10/18/2017 05:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,671
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,671
Central Florida!
I really don't know what the rules are regarding Facebook in general, but this was a PRIVATE forum.


Carol Hill
Re: Reality Check [Re: SXMScubaman] #146584
10/19/2017 04:48 AM
10/19/2017 04:48 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 14,249
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
Traveler
ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 14,249
Ohio
Quote
SXMScubaman said:
I am under the impression that postings that are on a public Facebook forum is open to the public and Ok to reuse or share as long as it is deemed sharable.


There are MANY closed groups on facebook. One has to be a member to see what is posted, comment, etc. This holds true for everything from travel groups to dog groups to whatever kind of group you want to be closed/private.


J.D.

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