Traveltalkonline.com Forums


SXM Cruise Schedule TTOL Sponsors SXM Travel Calendar
Forum Statistics
Forums39
Topics38,998
Posts315,807
Members26,611
Most Online2,734
Jul 13th, 2024
Top Posters(30 Days)
Kennys 31
erb923 30
bailau 17
Member Spotlight
trueblue
trueblue
Chicago
Posts: 281
Joined: June 2009
Show All Member Profiles 
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
Who's Online Now
24 registered members (eightzerobits, SteveH, Jeremysfla, pl3, MKGrey, MrEZgoin, Sunnysideup, dolfer, lhbsurf, captmonk, PML, xrayman67, charlie, 11 invisible), 599 guests, and 285 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Trip August 17-31, 2022 #288393
09/05/2022 01:29 PM
09/05/2022 01:29 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,195
Virginia
Snorkeller Offline OP
Traveler
Snorkeller  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,195
Virginia
SXM August 17-31, 2022

Unlike years past when we hit different and multiple beaches practically every day, on this trip we did almost nothing worth mentioning. Drove fewer miles than ever before.

Many firsts for this trip. First time in many years we did not fly in business class. We flew main cabin extra on American – which worked out fine – we never trouble finding overhead space for one roller bag and our back packs.

On three of four legs of trip, no one was seated in the middle seat between us. On SXM-MIA leg coming home, a very large muscular man arrived at our row and took the middle seat. This guy was huge – no fat – very fit – but big. I risked offending him, but I asked him if he had played (I said “had played” because he was older) a professional sport – he said “boxing.” Interesting. Was a great guy. He was from the Grenadines originally, now living in SXM – he is one of the five harbor pilots working out of Philipsburg. I had a great time talking with him, but there was no way he belonged in the middle seat. As we were waiting a while to get going, I accosted a flight attendant and asked her to find him a better seat – and she agreed to do so – she found him an aisle seat to move to after takeoff. I would have switched with him if they had not done something for him. He thanked me and said that he was prepared to just chill out, but he was glad I had approached attendant.

We had the ramp on arrival in SXM which is easier for me than stairs. Bus to terminal - which was pretty crazy. Even though it took a long time to get through immigration, we waited a LONG time for luggage. I think a Delta and Jetblue arrived just before us and an Air France not too long after. One of longest waits we have had, or at least it felt like it. Our arrival was on a Wednesday – as was our departure – I really don’t want to find out what a Saturday is like.
Rented car from Mike at Unity, which we have done for many years. Got a Hyundai Accent, which worked well – often turned off AC to get up the steep hills without getting out to push, but no problems.

Drove first to Carrefour – where I stayed with car and wife did the shopping. She used the 5% off coupon that is in the Destinations magazine and other tourist stuff. She got a cashier who apparently had never seen the coupon before – but she got her 5% off. We also have both a Carrefour and a Super U shoppers’ card – which btw are easy to get, and you should have them. We went to the Super U later in trip – nice store but produce section was pretty wiped out the day we were there, and we went back to Carrefour soon after.

Drove on to Divi, where we stayed the entire two weeks – first time we had not spent all or majority of time on French-side. We missed Cecile but the third floor walkups are in our past. Divi had us in a third-floor suite – but Elvis watched me walk up to front desk and already was thinking about how to find us a first-floor unit – which I asked for. They found us a nice first-floor suite – 604 in Building 6 – and could not have been nicer about it. I was very pleased with how they reacted and got us settled in a great unit. Eddy drove cart to our car and took care of luggage and groceries for us, carrying it all into room for us. (He also helped us with everything on departure.)

They had every other day maid service, which was perfectly fine for us. They kept the room well supplied with towels and kept it clean. The kitchen was adequate for our needs and we ate the vast majority of meals in our room, or actually many meals were eaten out on the lanai. The unit had a nice lanai looking out across Great Bay and we very much enjoyed eating meals at the table out there.

Other than a couple Aqua Mania beach guys, who were just OK, and not including Edwin who was great, everyone we encountered at Divi was very friendly and very welcoming. We were very impressed with service we received. Indeed, while there I booked us for two weeks and a day next May – having a nice exchange with Tina about getting the right unit for us.

Why Divi? The main thing is that the wife is very happy to spend her time – practically all of her time - snorkeling and hanging out in Little Bay. Our routine on this trip was to snorkel together for two hours or so in Little Bay almost every morning. After lunch, the wife would often go back for another hour or two – not going as far out – while I would veg at beach or a chair at Sea Breeze, or go for a walk. Also, at Divi, we can be close to beach and beach is not very big where we enter and exit water – and there is always help getting out of water as needed.

The wife also joined some of the Divi “noodle classes” which she enjoyed and claimed that they were more of a work-out than might be thought. Snorkeling is interesting there – over the days, we saw Eagle and Southern rays, octopi, eels, a barracuda, turtles, and lots of the usual fish and sea creatures. Some small turtles were hanging out in the area every day – saw four different turtles on one day – three on several days – had never seen turtles there consistently before.
At Divi, we met a number of other guests – most timeshare folks but some other hotel guests – who were very nice and with whom we chatted every day on the beach or in the water. A couple from Vermont became my assistants in getting out of the water and onto the dry sand – taking one side while the wife took the other. Especially after a couple hours snorkeling, I have trouble climbing up the small incline with the wave action – basically, I cannot do it without help. People were very helpful.

We did not go to any other beach the entire trip – very unusual for us but some of the beaches we used to enjoy, such as Red Bay and Plum Bay are too rough for us now. We did not go to Orient because the wife did not want to try the swim to Green Cay and it just did not seem worth the drive to me if we were not going to swim over to Green Cay. And, we still find the Club O beach at Orient a little depressing – just doubt it ever will be what it used to be and it is sad. We talked about going to Pinel at least one day but just never did it.

We did take the Eagle Eco-Tour, which goes around island with stops at Long Bay, Creole Rock, and Tintamarre – very pleasant day with great crew and great fellow pax. We were on the Too Rhum Punch. Very much enjoyed it. The boat has an excellent ladder that made entry and exit relatively easy for me.
Eagle still was not going to St Barts with snorkel stop or to Prickly Pear. Talked to young women in office about it and they said it was just too much paperwork to do either trip. Lambada was going to Prickly Pear, but we never got up the energy to drive to SBBR and find parking.

We have very much enjoyed our trips with Captain Alan, Paul, Colleen, Gervais (sp.?), and the others over the years – but we did not go with them this year for the first time in many years because it is hard for me to get on and off their boats – plus we were just too lazy to drive over to Oyster Pond. I do want to see their new boat and will get over there next year.

Other than in our room, we ate meals only at Marks, the Rib Shack (one of lolos in Grand Case), and Chesterfields. All were as good as expected – except Chesterfields was even better than expected. Great seafood meals there.

Made it to DK Gems where we saw Deepti. If you have any memory of my reports over the years, you know that Deepti personally got my wife to be comfortable going into an island jewelry store – I still try to be polite to Deepti. We were at DK Gems on our 49th wedding anniversary, so you know how that went. Deepti “threatened” me with what would happen when we showed up next year. Hey, we won’t be there on the anniversary day itself – so maybe there is some safety.

We had a great time doing very little this trip and mostly just hanging out at Divi. Used about half a tank of gas the entire two weeks. Still glad to have rental car and will get one next year – even if we drive even less. We never had bad traffic in the times that we were out and about.

SXM Sponsors
Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: Snorkeller] #288397
09/05/2022 01:46 PM
09/05/2022 01:46 PM
Joined: Sep 2022
Posts: 148
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
C
CaribbeanCanadians Offline
Traveler
CaribbeanCanadians  Offline
Traveler
C
Joined: Sep 2022
Posts: 148
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Great trip report, thank you.

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: Snorkeller] #288399
09/05/2022 01:56 PM
09/05/2022 01:56 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,666
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,666
Brookfield, CT.
Sounds like a perfect trip to me....just sayin"

The 'getting older thing' coupled with mobility issues can put a real damper on your trip if you allow it to. Last November and April past I was not able to get into the ocean at all so we made really good use of the BSV pool. Hopefully this November will be better and I'm thinking we will have to try the beach at Divi based on your experiences so my most sincere thanks for you sharing them. Divi would be a lot closer than the drive to Friars and beyond and certainly easier than finding convenient parking in Grand Case.

Glad all went well and a good time was enjoyed by all. And congrats on '49 but look out for '50 - it can be a real drain on the wallet. smile smile


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: Snorkeller] #288400
09/05/2022 02:20 PM
09/05/2022 02:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,320
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,320
Central Florida!
Thanks very much for the report. Mobility issues are something a lot of us have to deal with. Glad you were able to enjoy yourself regardless and so nice you were able to get people who helped you out..


Carol Hill
Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: Snorkeller] #288405
09/05/2022 03:19 PM
09/05/2022 03:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 339
S
StMartinFan Offline
Traveler
StMartinFan  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 339
Thanks for sharing your experiences snorkeling at Divi. We're owners there but haven't bothered to bring our snorkel gear the last several years because we spent part of our time staying in Grand Case. Sounds like we need to pack it again!

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: Snorkeller] #288407
09/05/2022 04:00 PM
09/05/2022 04:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19,059
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19,059
Auburn, WA
Nice report. What is the advantage of having the Carrefour membership?

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: StMartinFan] #288411
09/05/2022 05:36 PM
09/05/2022 05:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,326
RI
jomarc Offline
Traveler
jomarc  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,326
RI
Excellent trip report!

Chesterfields is one of our favorite restaurants on the island.

I found the Carrefour coupon once we returned home this past May. I’ll have to try and use it next month. Thanks for reminding me!

Attached Files 842EEE1B-9C94-4460-B863-7771401A78EA.jpeg

Jo-

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: SXMScubaman] #288414
09/05/2022 07:04 PM
09/05/2022 07:04 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,195
Virginia
Snorkeller Offline OP
Traveler
Snorkeller  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,195
Virginia
There are some promotions and you get loyalty points which can translate to some savings. Plus, it makes you feel less like a tourist when you show the cashier the card.

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: jomarc] #288416
09/05/2022 08:08 PM
09/05/2022 08:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19,059
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19,059
Auburn, WA
Originally Posted by jomarc
Excellent trip report!

Chesterfields is one of our favorite restaurants on the island.

I found the Carrefour coupon once we returned home this past May. I’ll have to try and use it next month. Thanks for reminding me!


Some checkers let you keep the coupon to reuse at another time. We must have used that same one multiple times during our 4 week stay.

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: SXMScubaman] #288418
09/05/2022 09:19 PM
09/05/2022 09:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,326
RI
jomarc Offline
Traveler
jomarc  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,326
RI
Good to know. Thanks!


Jo-

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: Snorkeller] #288420
09/05/2022 09:35 PM
09/05/2022 09:35 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 598
mahokid Offline
Traveler
mahokid  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 598
Surprised more do not purchase the magic of the Caribbean card especially for those who eat out a lot or are staying for more than a week or more than a couple
good for more than 2 guests, I used it at La Hibiscus and saved almost $100 on the bill although the bill was almost $1000.00

Most of the more popular restaurants accept it and offer a 10% discount
La Villa, Le Cottage, Villa Royale, Spiga and Ocean 82 for starters
also good for services such as spa treatments and boat excursions

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: Snorkeller] #288421
09/05/2022 09:49 PM
09/05/2022 09:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 347
Long island
VGerfo Offline
Traveler
VGerfo  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 347
Long island
Very nice report, except for the references to your spouse as “the wife”….

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: VGerfo] #288427
09/06/2022 07:40 AM
09/06/2022 07:40 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 393
U
Uksimonusa Offline
Traveler
Uksimonusa  Offline
Traveler
U
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 393
Originally Posted by VGerfo
Very nice report, except for the references to your spouse as “the wife”….

????????????????

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: Snorkeller] #288440
09/06/2022 03:58 PM
09/06/2022 03:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 174
R
RickandJulie Offline
Traveler
RickandJulie  Offline
Traveler
R
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 174
Where do you purchase these Magic of the Caribbean cards?

Is there a website?

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: RickandJulie] #288442
09/06/2022 04:20 PM
09/06/2022 04:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19,059
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19,059
Auburn, WA

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: Snorkeller] #288453
09/06/2022 10:50 PM
09/06/2022 10:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,623
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline
Traveler
irish1223  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,623
originally Long Island, NY/now...
Great trip report. Sometimes doing less is more. We've had a few visits like that. We'll see what kind our upcoming November trip will be. Definitely looking forward to it.

BTW, that was really nice of you to help the guy on the plane find a more appropriate seat; and fantastic that people were so helpful to you on the beach. I wish we could all be kinder to each other. It really makes the world a better place.


Robin & Ed

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. - Henry Miller

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: mahokid] #288454
09/07/2022 12:45 AM
09/07/2022 12:45 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,922
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
Traveler
jazzgal  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,922
Portland, OR
Originally Posted by mahokid
Surprised more do not purchase the magic of the Caribbean card especially for those who eat out a lot or are staying for more than a week or more than a couple
good for more than 2 guests, I used it at La Hibiscus and saved almost $100 on the bill although the bill was almost $1000.00


I just don't feel right asking restaurants or other service providers for a discount when they are still recovering from Irma/pandemic. To each his own.


[Linked Image]
Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #288455
09/07/2022 01:17 AM
09/07/2022 01:17 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,335
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
Traveler
Todd  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,335
Vancouver, WA
We don't use a discount on any place we have visited previously, one thing if it was to try a place but not on a return visit. Also as you stated, post Irma and Covid, we don't consider a discount as an option.
T


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: Snorkeller] #288456
09/07/2022 06:03 AM
09/07/2022 06:03 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 541
M
mort Offline
Traveler
mort  Offline
Traveler
M
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 541
If a discount is available to use at a restaurant we take advantage of it. We then add what we have saved to the servers tip

Re: Trip August 17-31, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #288458
09/07/2022 07:16 AM
09/07/2022 07:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 393
U
Uksimonusa Offline
Traveler
Uksimonusa  Offline
Traveler
U
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 393
Originally Posted by jazzgal
Originally Posted by mahokid
Surprised more do not purchase the magic of the Caribbean card especially for those who eat out a lot or are staying for more than a week or more than a couple
good for more than 2 guests, I used it at La Hibiscus and saved almost $100 on the bill although the bill was almost $1000.00


I just don't feel right asking restaurants or other service providers for a discount when they are still recovering from Irma/pandemic. To each his own.


Same here, had got a couple of thise discount cards and have never used them.


Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1