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Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 #176954
12/02/2018 12:35 AM
12/02/2018 12:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline OP
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irish1223  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
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originally Long Island, NY/now...
We arrived to sunny skies last Tuesday, November 27, via Delta Airlines from Atlanta. Flight was full, but uneventful and arrived on time. We pretty much breezed through immigration without any problems. We have carryon only bags, so didn’t have to hang around waiting on luggage. Found Lesley immediately waiting for us outside, he quickly brought our car, did 5 minutes of paperwork, and we were on our way. Lesley is the best! Always dependable and on time.

We are staying at Beachside Villas this time around and it looks wonderful! Gardens are growing back and the staff has done an amazing job of getting the units in order. It’s super nice having a/c throughout the entire unit now rather than just in the bedrooms. We are in unit #1 at the opposite end from the pool, which is fine for us as we prefer to be away from the pool area. It’s just quieter and less people walking by. Just our preference; we know others prefer to be closer to the pool. In all honesty, we’re just happy to be here, the unit number doesn’t really matter. One note though is that our unit does not have a grill — not a big deal to us as we don’t grill (or barely cook, other than breakfasts) while on island. I noticed several other units without grills also, not sure why. And other than measuring spoons, the unit has just about everything we need — though we’re still trying to figure out the intricacies of the TV remote. We should have it down pat by the time we leave. Haha! Craig (Bob) from Packlight dropped off our umbrellas and cooler, right on time as promised. Ran into Elizabeth (islandgem) that evening and was finally able to say hello in person. Turns out she is staying right next door to us!

We followed our tradition and had our first dinner of the trip at Pineapple Pete. Ed had the lamb shank and I had the garlic shrimp. Both meals were very good and service was warm and very friendly, as always. We stopped at Carousel for gelato afterwards. We were going to stop at happy hour at the Palms prior to dinner, but traffic was a bear and by the time we got down that way, it was late and time for dinner.

Wednesday dawned on a gloriously beautiful day. We had breakfast at the Yacht Club, where the staff welcomed us back with warm hugs and huge smiles. There were (are) several big yachts in the lagoon. It’s good to see them back. As we were a bit tired from our travel the day before, we spent the rest of the day at our unit getting unpacked and just enjoying the wonderful view. There was some seaweed in the water at BSV on Wednesday, but it’s been gone since. We haven’t seen any at Orient, at least not at the Club O end, which is the only part we’ve visited thus far.

Wednesday night dinner was at the Palms. Ed had the ribs and I had a delicious chicken breast with mushroom sauce. Service there is always with a smile.

Thursday we decided to forego breakfast and head straight to Orient. The road to the Perch Lite area of Orient is much improved now that they fixed it! No more teeth-jarring ride through tons of pot holes. wave The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. So clear! We were able to see Saba, St. Kitts and Statia from our BSV unit, as well as St. Bart’s from the road above Orient. The Club O section of beach was very clean and there were approximately 75 chairs taken that day. Cedric stopped by to chat for a few minutes. He’s doing a great job and said his goal is to have all the chairs filled soon and to have ALL yellow umbrellas on the beach; “no blue or orange ones”. grin We had lunch at Perch Lite and the ribs were still as delicious as they were in June. While we miss Willie and the original Perch, we actually like the food better now. It’s also nice to see some of the staff from Papagayo working there. Tables were busy and everyone seemed happy. Service was great.

Returned to BSV to shower and rest, then decided to just have a simple light dinner in the unit. The sun and beach takes so much out of us sometimes, but in a good way. Going to sleep listening to the waves is beyond perfection. It feels like nature’s lullaby.

It rained some during the night, but Friday we awoke to mostly sunny skies with just a few clouds. Stopped at Zee Best for omelets on our way to Orient Beach. Food was very good and service was efficient. It was a bit breezy at Orient, but still nice. We lunched again at Perch Lite. Happy hour is now between 1:30 and 2:30. The parking lot was pretty full. We were going to stop at the Hole in the Wall in Maho that evening to catch up with Bill and Elaine, Elizabeth (islandgem) and Linda (jazzgal) after having dinner at the Yacht Club, but fatigue caught up with us after having a few drinks at the YC, so we returned to BSV instead and called it a night.

It rained rather hard Friday night into early Saturday morning, but was clear by the time we woke up. Thus far, we’ve had no rain at all during the days. Today (Saturday) we had breakfast in the unit and spent the day on ‘our’ beach in front of BSV. Had a nice swim and later walked next door to El Zafiro for lunch. Last time we ate there, we didn’t care for it, but it’s within a very short walking distance, so figured we’d give it another try post Irma. It’s still a ‘no go’ for us. Food and service were mediocre— Ed had a bacon cheeseburger with salad and awful coleslaw and I had the Caprese salad which was not the best I’ve ever tasted. The mozzarella cheese slices were somewhat wet and slimy, as though they had been sitting in water (there was even a little puddle on my plate), and the so-called pesto topping was terrible. They sat us at the worst possible table, even though there were many empty ones in better spots. We were sitting right next to where work was being done; the smell of paint was quite strong and workers had to keep moving by us. Service was slow and not overly friendly, though not rude. It was expensive for what we got. We won’t go back.

We had an absolutely fabulous dinner at Vesna Taverna tonight, which made up for the lunch. Ed had a wonderful piece of fish (sorry, I can’t recall the name of it as it was in French) and I had the Greek special (little tapas of several different Greek dishes) which were delicious. Service there is always so special and it’s become a favorite of ours since first trying it in June. I don’t know what took us so long. We just love the owner and her staff.

I’m bad with figuring out how to post pictures, but you’ve all seen most of what there is to post about BSV and most of the places we’ve eaten, including several photos that others have posted of the lamb shank from Pineapple Pete. Suffice it to say that we are beyond happy to be here yet again and that each trip over the past 12 years has brought its own special moments and created some beautiful memories. There’s no place quite like it. We wander near and far and always end up back here.

We have another week yet, so I’ll attempt another report later. Oh, yes, and as others have noted, the island is lush and green and looking pretty darn good. Still work to be done, but it’s happening everywhere. Even saw a group of workers at the Royal Palm yesterday. Everyone seems to be upbeat and energetic and glad to have us here.


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

SXM Sponsors
Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #176957
12/02/2018 06:56 AM
12/02/2018 06:56 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,285
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Posts: 16,285
Ohio
Thanks for the report. Enjoy!


J.D.
Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #176958
12/02/2018 08:03 AM
12/02/2018 08:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 339
East Haven, CT
Wingman Offline
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Wingman  Offline
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Posts: 339
East Haven, CT
Thanks for the report, glad you're having a wonderful time. We were there the end of October to beginning of November. If you ask either one of the room attendants or Nicholas, they'll bring a grill to your unit. They now store them in the maintenance area and bring them on request. I'm assuming to leave more room on the decks. The TV remote can be challenging. But there were directions on the desk under the TV when were there.

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #176959
12/02/2018 08:57 AM
12/02/2018 08:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,048
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
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jazzgal  Offline
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Portland, OR
Nice report, Robin. I was glad to meet you and look forward to seeing you again at the TTOL Meet and Greet on Monday.


[Linked Image]
Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #176961
12/02/2018 09:10 AM
12/02/2018 09:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,117
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 76,117
Central Florida!
Sounds like a lovely beginning!!! As Wingman said, if you want a grill, just ask for one. Our unit always has one automatically, as they know we grill in a lot. Regarding pictures, ALWAYS love more pictures! There is a note in the FAQ section that tells you how to upload pictures to TTOL. Regarding the TV remote, Eric figured it out, so I just leave that stuff up to him! We have never had a good experience at El Zafiro either. Enjoy the rest of your stay!


Carol Hill
Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #176968
12/02/2018 09:41 AM
12/02/2018 09:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,221
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PelicanPirate Offline
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Nice report, as usual.

The newly paved road to club O—-Is that the regular old road to Club O?

If so, good. I thought I kept reading the only way to get to CO was through the village.

It is amazing how so many restaurants blow it in the non-food department where the poor welcome, lousy table offering, nonchalant service drag down good food.

Sometimes the opposite happens where a warm welcome, good table, great service bouys up an average meal.

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #176974
12/02/2018 09:59 AM
12/02/2018 09:59 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,078
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
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BillandElaine  Offline
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St Maarten
Will we ever see you Robin? LOL

Pirate, you can't get to CO from the village. The gate behind what was KonTiki has been closed since Irma.


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #176985
12/02/2018 11:01 AM
12/02/2018 11:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,945
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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islandgem  Offline
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Nice report neighbour! Someday when I am "in residence" I hope to spend some time with you on the balcony here. So nice to finally meet you! Mostly using my phone here for pictures etc... so will try to post my trip report when I arrive back home.




Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #176994
12/02/2018 11:46 AM
12/02/2018 11:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,477
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 13,477
Brookfield, CT.
Hi, Robin and Ed,

Sounds like a very good start to your trip.

With regard to the TVs at BSV, we also had major but intermittent issues with ours and found Emmanuel to be our new BFF while there. We were gratified to learn at about day three the problems we were having weren’t all ‘user issues’ and he was able to resolve them by adjusting ‘something’ in or near another unit a few doors away.

Too bad about your ElZafiro experiences. We know of others who have also had issues there but thankfully, our visits have all been good. We stayed there three days before our BSV time and had no issues at all and were able to sit wherever we chose for all our meals. Erika and the other waitress whose name escapes me now, greeted us each morning with big smiles and made us feel more than welcome. We didn’t find the food to be fantastic by island standards but more than good enough to satisfy our rather plebian tastes. Our breakfasts were included in our room rate and we chose to eat dinner there two nights - the first night John had an app he so totally enjoyed that we went the second time so he could have it again. Are they still hosting cruiseship guests? It didn’t happen the days we were there but the day we left they had buses arriving for a promotion they were running - way too many people for me but since we were leaving anyway it was a non-issue for us and I fully get that island businesses need to do whatever they can to make their bottom line work particularly now with all they’ve endured.

Our only issue with BSV was that it is so very comfortable there we almost hated to leave to go anywhere else or do anything else beyond BE THERE. We love the property, the staff and the way everyone involved tries to make your stay an enjoyable one, not that there's much more they can do that hasn’t already been thought of.

Please keep your goods words coming and thank you for sharing your trip with us. Perhaps one of these years we’ll get to do do so in real time but for now, enjoy my friends, enjoy!


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: Wingman] #177000
12/02/2018 02:10 PM
12/02/2018 02:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline OP
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irish1223  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
Originally Posted by Wingman
Thanks for the report, glad you're having a wonderful time. We were there the end of October to beginning of November. If you ask either one of the room attendants or Nicholas, they'll bring a grill to your unit. They now store them in the maintenance area and bring them on request. I'm assuming to leave more room on the decks. The TV remote can be challenging. But there were directions on the desk under the TV when were there.


Ahh, that explains it. Thanks, Wingman! It’s a non-issue for us, at least during this visit, but we were curious.


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: jazzgal] #177002
12/02/2018 02:11 PM
12/02/2018 02:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline OP
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irish1223  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...


Originally Posted by jazzgal
Nice report, Robin. I was glad to meet you and look forward to seeing you again at the TTOL Meet and Greet on Monday.


It was nice to finally meet you too, Linda. We look forward to the M&G!


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: Carol_Hill] #177004
12/02/2018 02:19 PM
12/02/2018 02:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline OP
Traveler
irish1223  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
Carol, would you believe I even printed out the instructions for posting photos before we left home?! duh LOL! But I’m using my cell phone this trip, rather than my usual laptop, and so it’s a bit confusing. I’ll get it figured out or else I’ll wait to do the second installment until we get back home.

It’s a shame about El Zaffiro, as it’s so very close, but I’d rather spend my money elsewhere, even if it means hopping in the car.


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: PelicanPirate] #177005
12/02/2018 02:21 PM
12/02/2018 02:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline OP
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irish1223  Offline OP
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originally Long Island, NY/now...
Thanks, Pirate! As for the Club O road, it’s the old regular dirt road; and it’s not really ‘paved’, more like graded — but a huge improvement!


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: BillandElaine] #177006
12/02/2018 02:26 PM
12/02/2018 02:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline OP
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irish1223  Offline OP
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originally Long Island, NY/now...
Originally Posted by BillandElaine
Will we ever see you Robin? LOL


We sure didn’t come all this way to not see you. jester We did try to make happy hour at the Palms last Tuesday, but traffic was terrible and held us up forever. Just let us know where the next gathering is and we’ll be there! Looking forward to it for sure. banana


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: islandgem] #177008
12/02/2018 02:30 PM
12/02/2018 02:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline OP
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irish1223  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
Elizabeth, you have been partying way harder than us slugs during this trip. jester jester jester But we’ll make it happen. Also, if you need a ride to the TTOL meet n greet, just give us a shout! thumbsup


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #177009
12/02/2018 02:32 PM
12/02/2018 02:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,659
L
LBI2SXM Offline
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Sounds like you are having a great time. Lucky you. Enjoy the rest of your time and don't forget the report.LOL

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: pat] #177011
12/02/2018 02:56 PM
12/02/2018 02:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline OP
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irish1223  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
Ahh, Pat, my friend, you are so right about not wanting to leave the comforts of ‘home’ to go elsewhere. It’s so easy to just pop outside here and be in the water. Or sit and look at it. Or.....well, you get the idea.

As far as the TV goes, it’s working fine. It’s the darn remote that gives us hives jester Too many buttons with so many functions and right in the middle of a show, it will intermittently tell us that another show is scheduled to be watched and do we want to switch to that show or hit ‘cancel’ to continue with the one we’re watching? I imagine it’s because others have either DVR’d shows into memory or put them in a schedule of some sort. We finally figured out how to get to ‘live’ TV, but it’s clear we’re not going to be great friends. Haha!

Perhaps the difference at El Zafiro was because you were staying there? I don’t know, but it wasn’t at all crowded when we were there. When we arrived, the girl asked us if we had already started a tab (I guess meaning at the beach part of it?), and when we said no, she sat us at table that wasn’t great. Right next to where they were doing construction and cementing/painting. We didn’t notice any taxis or cruiseship people being bused in, at least not yesterday. During one of our previous island visits, four of us rented chairs and ate there, and none of us cared much for the food or the drinks. Perhaps we just hit bad days. It happens. There is so much good that we experience here on the island, it’s hard to complain.

Both Ed and I also look forward to the day when we can sit and talk with you in person. It feels like we’ve been ‘friends’ for years now without actually meeting. I still remember the kind note you wrote me when my mom passed and that was 11 years ago! So, yes, I agree it’s time we meet in person. Perhaps next November. Something to look forward to.

I hope you’re keeping warm up there. grin


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #177013
12/02/2018 03:02 PM
12/02/2018 03:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,069
Yonkers, NY
fabila Offline
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fabila  Offline
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Yonkers, NY
You're in our villa at BSV. LOL. We like that it's farthest away from the pool and only having one set of neighbors to the left and not on the right when facing the ocean. You can request a grill although someone else probably responded to you with that answer. My husband loved the lamb shanks (they served him two) at Pineapple Pete's and our one meal (breakfast) at El Zafiro was a total bust. Some of our friends ate there more than once and liked it for lunch.

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: fabila] #177025
12/02/2018 06:43 PM
12/02/2018 06:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline OP
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irish1223  Offline OP
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originally Long Island, NY/now...
Yes, Ed had 2 lamb shanks and truly enjoyed them.

No worries, we’re taking good care of your villa. toast jester Perhaps one of these days we will share this beach at the same time. That would be cool. cool We do really like this unit. We still have another week here and are already dreading going back to the cold.


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

Re: Our trip so far: Nov 27-Dec 1, 2018 [Re: irish1223] #177354
12/06/2018 11:13 PM
12/06/2018 11:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,221
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PelicanPirate Offline
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Funny how a lambshank i had on a Princess cruise ship ranks in the top 5 meals of my life. Heading to Pineapple Petes for two of them.


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