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My thoughts on returning......... #225417
04/24/2020 10:38 AM
04/24/2020 10:38 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,422
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
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pat  Offline OP
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Posts: 13,422
Brookfield, CT.
We’re among the ever-growing numbers of would-have-been April visitors who were displaced due to Covid-19 and now we find ourselves looking at a planned November return and hoping that’s a wise move, and at the same time, hoping the trip will actually happen. Not suggesting anyone should agree or disagree but the last thing I would want to do in the next couple of months is get on an airplane to anywhere, including but not limited to St. Maarten. And in reading some of the comments of the realities of people who are currently there, both residents and visitors/property owners who opted to stay on despite the pandemic, I have to say I’m glad I’m here and safely ensconced in my own home.

My first thought is I wouldn’t want to take the chance of catching the coronavirus anywhere but certainly not on island, and beyond that, I also wouldn’t want to add to the burden of the island’s already under-staffed and under-equipped medical situations and thereby possibly taking services from those who rightly belong there and might need them.

Beyond all that, I can’t imagine being on island and not being able to plunk down on those soft white sands or enjoy the warm Caribbean ocean waters; I can’t imagine a trip where I wasn’t free to enjoy breakfasting on those wonderful island pastries on our patio or at the Yacht Club or other breakfast spots; and dining in general around the island from Rosie’s to Le Moulin Fou to Spiga and all places in between; I can’t imagine not having Jeannie Gee pre-stock my apartment or having to forage for groceries and once again, getting in the way of those who have no other options but to do so at this time. All the things we so enjoy, be they boat trips and activities, or evenings at our favorite watering holes - these things are not available right now, and as much as I want to help the people of the island recover from yet another disaster, what I don’t want to do is become a burden to them. I really want to be there but NOT at the expense of those who have no alternatives.

I don’t know what the future will bring but I know in my heart there will have to be serious considerations made before I board that November flight I’m currently booked on. And if there is any doubt in my mind about the island being back to what I consider normal, this might just be the year with no St. Maarten on my radar screen. sad sad


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
SXM Sponsors
Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: pat] #225419
04/24/2020 10:51 AM
04/24/2020 10:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 97
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ib4ut1 Offline
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ib4ut1  Offline
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Posts: 97
This is a great post! One of the most succinct and thoughtful posts I have read in a long time. But of course, I always appreciate your posts. Thank you.


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Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: ib4ut1] #225421
04/24/2020 10:53 AM
04/24/2020 10:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
Amen, great post Pat.


Carol Hill
Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: pat] #225425
04/24/2020 11:07 AM
04/24/2020 11:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,025
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
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BillandElaine  Offline
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Posts: 18,025
St Maarten
We're with you Pat. We've already had two trips cancelled and I expect our mid June trip will be cancelled, which I wouldn't want to be on anyway. We're thankful we got to spend quality time with most of the family in January.

We're comfortable enough here and I think it's probably more safe for Bill to go to the small Carrefour by us than a trip to Stop and Shop now that we can go out for groceries. And we have a family video chat at least once a week with lots of grandbaby pictures every day!

Stay safe, stay well


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: pat] #225429
04/24/2020 11:22 AM
04/24/2020 11:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,050
PA
biglar Offline
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PA
Dear Pat, Carol and I were supposed to travel to the island for 3 weeks beginning at the end of the first week of June. We too realize that's not going to happen and we talked about going at the end of October. Just talked,,,didn't do anything about it. But, after reading your post, have now changed out minds. You are right...the last thing we want to do is sit on a plane and have someone sneeze on us and worry our entire vacation if we will have to go to the hospital in St. Martin. It would not only put an extra burden on the hospital, but I would worry about the care we would get. Many years ago I suffered through a bout of shingles while on SXM. After a few days Carol told me she thought I had shingles so I went to a doctor in Philipsburg. Doctor had no idea what it was until Carol suggested to him it might be shingles, since she had it a few years before. He had to check his computer to see if she was right. Yep! That's what I had and I waited too long before coming to him to be helped by any medicine he told me. Not sure I would want to get the virus on SXM. We too will wait until next year before we return. Perhaps we will see you again at that time.

Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: pat] #225432
04/24/2020 11:41 AM
04/24/2020 11:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 42
N42.8 W78.8
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sxmParrotfish Offline
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Posts: 42
N42.8 W78.8
If and when SXM reopens itself to tourists, visiting will simply come down to personal choice. If restaurants and activities aren’t open, the island won’t be either so that’s no factor. One’s own risk factors will guide the decision. Personally, I hope to return as soon as I can after SXM declares itself open. My last visit was in early February. I went through JFK each way, so perhaps I’ve already been infected with Coronavirus . I’m going for an antibody test next week to find out. I’d like to go in November but would consider sooner , just not August-October.


Formerly " Parrotfish" approx join date .. sometime in 2001
SXM lover since 1999...
Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: pat] #225443
04/24/2020 12:34 PM
04/24/2020 12:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 709
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bran Offline
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Good Post Pat,

Given this a lot of thought. Provided that we give it a few months of SXM being open to ascertain how things are improving or not and that stores and restaurants are open again and provided we take precautions, wearing masks when appropriate, not going to crowded places etc... I see no reason why we should miss out if healthy able and willing. I have a feeling that Airports will be less crowded than normal, planes will have safety factors in place as in plexi glass between passengers with some seats removed and TSA hopefully will monitor health testing procedures. Lots of hurdles, without a doubt. Why bother you say? Could be another suggested mass breakout of Covid-19 in the fall?
Ok, stay at home, and wait and wait and rot and not go out for another 6 months and then go to a food store and some idiot coughs and you get it. if, If, if. It may never happen, or you might get ill, or flu, or in my wife’s case lose most of her sight.
Getting old now and provided as I say they open up, try sensibly to control matters, might as well take a calculated risk and enjoy what we can where we can and it would be SXM and Anguilla plus London which we cancelled this coming June and that is far more daunting for obvious reasons but considering we rent a villa in St. Martin and see nobody, and basically go to restaurants(always eat outside)and normally pick our favs anyway, do little food shopping as mostly eat out, and hand pick the beaches as we all do, we can cut down the risk factor. The most people will be at the Airports, that’s our main concern, nothing else.
Life is just too short and I always say it may never happen unless you make it happen. Reckless, maybe..who knows?

Last edited by ruralcarrier; 04/25/2020 01:17 PM.
Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: SXMScubaman] #225449
04/24/2020 01:50 PM
04/24/2020 01:50 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,399
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
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Posts: 4,399
People would have to be crazy lol.

Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: SXMScubaman] #225450
04/24/2020 02:27 PM
04/24/2020 02:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
OK, we are NOT going there, with regard to that comment. Period.


Carol Hill
Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: bran] #225464
04/24/2020 06:40 PM
04/24/2020 06:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 53
Allentown, Pa
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bobbarb Offline
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Allentown, Pa
I find it interesting someone say not to get pollitical but then does by getting his digs. Anyone who does that is someone I would not trust.

Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225467
04/24/2020 07:10 PM
04/24/2020 07:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,422
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
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pat  Offline OP
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Posts: 13,422
Brookfield, CT.
To all here who have responded favorably to my thoughts and comments on up-coming visits, thank you.

It wasn’t my intention to cast aspersions on those who might have alternate opinions and it sure as heck wasn’t meant to be in any way political. I can’t believe anyone would be foolish enough to consider ingesting bleach, regardless of what may have been said by whom or how it was meant to be taken. Just my personal thoughts and feelings about the disappointments so many of us have shared this year. I’m not alone and I feel the pain of all who have been effected.

This was intended purely as a way for me to let off a little steam considering in another reality I might have started my day with the sun rising over the waters of Simpson Bay and the sounds of the waves breaking on the beach; coffee on our patio followed eventually by breakfast at the yacht Club while watching the boats come and go through the lagoon; followed by time spent on our beach or in our pool at BSV and sundowners on our patio and finally, ending the day with a wonderful dinner somewhere. And instead, my realities - a gray, raw and rainy day here in CT. And since it’s Friday, probably a pizza for dinner.

Somehow there’s just no comparison. But in the end, que sera, sera. We will return as soon as common sense works for us. Hopefully November but if not, I’ll look forward to seeing our island friends in April. handshake handshake





Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: bobbarb] #225468
04/24/2020 07:22 PM
04/24/2020 07:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,249
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Posts: 16,249
Ohio
And the next political reference will result in this ending. Read the post at the top of this page! This goes for everybody!


J.D.
Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225469
04/24/2020 07:24 PM
04/24/2020 07:24 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,399
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
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But I do have some folks are planning on visiting in May , June , July and August thus far. Hoping all goes well . Prayers .

Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225470
04/24/2020 07:47 PM
04/24/2020 07:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 17
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susancat Offline
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Posts: 17
Thanks for your thoughtful posts Pat. Like you I am visiting the TTOL sites as I was supposed to be on the beach this week too. But here I am in cold rainy Pittsburgh. I can’t wait to return to St Martin, but will wait until the island is ready to accept visitors. The last thing I would want to do is bring an infectious virus to the island.

Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225471
04/24/2020 07:55 PM
04/24/2020 07:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 922
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SammyM Offline
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Posts: 922
My thoughts surrounding a November visit remain about the same. That would be the earliest I would shoot for, and by all means have travel insurance in place for a number of reasons. Things will eventually return to normal. They key is not pushing the peddle too soon. Infections worldwide should begin to decrease steadily over the summer months. Will COVID-19 simply disappear by the end of summer? Probably not, because not enough people will be infected to create herd immunity. But, there are a number of positive signs on the threshold. Oxford's Jenner Institute has a vaccine which started initial human trials yesterday. This first phase of human trials will attempt to identify immediate side effects from the vaccine. If all goes well, it's possible that double-blind placebo trails could begin as early as June. Of course, this is wishful thinking, but the scientists in England who are working on this have a high level of confidence that this vaccine will be ready on a limited basis by September. Initial doses will be reserved for medical professionals and other health care workers who are on the front lines. The hope is that by Christmas (if all goes as planned) worldwide distribution of their vaccine will be ready. This would require partnering with large pharmaceutical companies that can produce billions of doses of the vaccine. In addition, other vaccines that use different scientific methods are being fast-tracked. In China earlier this week, non-human primates (monkeys) were injected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus after receiving a vaccine and none of the subjects developed a COVID-19 infection. The sample size was small, but encouraging nonetheless. Of course, any vaccine that arrives this fall will require FDA approval. So we all must be diligent and ride out the storm, but there is light at the end of this tunnel.

Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225472
04/24/2020 07:57 PM
04/24/2020 07:57 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,794
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,794
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
This is so similar to our visits after Irma. On the one hand, we want to support the island businesses and help them to recover. On the other hand, we don't want to overtax the infrastructure and possibly bring more problems. Our next trip is scheduled for late November, and I fully believe that we'll be able to enjoy that, both to our benefit, and to the benefit of the island's economy. I hope I'm right.


[Linked Image]
Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225476
04/25/2020 02:25 AM
04/25/2020 02:25 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,700
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Bahston Offline
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This is a general response, not intended to be a response to GaKaye's post.

Being eager to return is great. There are some things to consider though.

1) When will flights and tourist accommodations be available, including necessary (grocery etc.) shops.
2) Will a quarantine be required for arriving tourists.
3) Will a quarantine be required in the US for returning tourists.

This is not the same as a return after a major hurricane, which I have done many times. This is a whole new world.

Return for many of us may not be advisable until after antibody tests and a vaccine are widely available.

My plans are cancelled until 2022.

Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225478
04/25/2020 06:51 AM
04/25/2020 06:51 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 176
New Hampshire
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Hdrdr911 Offline
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Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 176
New Hampshire
Bravo Pat Well stated. My only add would be the primary thing we have enjoyed about the island besides all the obvious charms of the place is the people we have met both visitors and locals. Some of each have become lifelong friends. As social interaction is severly limited and appears to be for the foreseeable future we are not returning to the island until this crisis is well and truely over.


If the phone doesn't ring .... it's me
Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: pat] #225480
04/25/2020 07:15 AM
04/25/2020 07:15 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,303
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Posts: 1,303
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Pat,
Your posting sums up the feelings many of us have regarding a return to SXM. I do not enjoy being labeled part of the "high vulnerability group" targeted by Covid19 but we need to face reality. Our motivation to return after 30+ years of annual vacations is reduced a bit because we sold our timeshares while we were there in Dec/Jan. I suppose "wait and see" is the plan most appropriate at this point.

Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: pat] #225481
04/25/2020 07:18 AM
04/25/2020 07:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,794
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Posts: 12,794
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
So far we're still planning on our annual Thanksgiving trip, and hoping it comes to pass.


[Linked Image]
Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: Tom] #225483
04/25/2020 07:33 AM
04/25/2020 07:33 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,249
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Posts: 16,249
Ohio
Quote
I suppose "wait and see" is the plan most appropriate at this point.


In reality, I think that pretty much sums it up for everyone, regardless of any specific group we might fall into. Nothing is a given at this point, other than the uncertainty of if/when we can travel and if/when SXM may be open to us and what the restrictions may be to enter and return home. There will likely be a lot of things to ponder when that time does come.

As always, well stated by pat.


J.D.
Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225484
04/25/2020 07:34 AM
04/25/2020 07:34 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
Pat, I'll join the chorus and say what a great way of looking at things. IF the island is accepting tourists, I think it will all still come down to personal a choice as to when someone returns to the island. As you know, my March/April trip was canceled and the next trip scheduled is Oct/Nov. Optimistically, we're going but I honestly can't say it's a slam dunk. I think this is where everyone's personal choice comes in. I don't think anyone really knows, including the scientists, what conditions of this virus are going to be like then, nor knowing what, if any, vaccines will exist. I will be making my reservations for March/April soon as per usual and like you, I just can't imagine not getting there in the fall. But if that happens, it happens. It would be the 1st time in 50 years going over a year without getting to the island. I know if I were in my 30's-40's, I'd have a different, bolder attitude about getting there. I just keep on hoping and keeping fingers crossed that soon this will be over and more manageable. But I don't think anyone really knows.

Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: bran] #225490
04/25/2020 10:00 AM
04/25/2020 10:00 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 43
Philadelphia.PA
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Seaisle Offline
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Seaisle  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 43
Philadelphia.PA
We don’t need politics here, by the way it is UV radiation (the sun)

Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: SXMScubaman] #225491
04/25/2020 10:03 AM
04/25/2020 10:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 43
Philadelphia.PA
S
Seaisle Offline
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Seaisle  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 43
Philadelphia.PA
Thank you SXM

Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225493
04/25/2020 11:52 AM
04/25/2020 11:52 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 343
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foreversxm Offline
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Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 343
Personally I think .....and probably most of SXM it's a bit SILLY to say "if" the island will re open rather than "when" and really just counterproductive rhetoric for the Island. Just like after hurricane Irma it seems overly gloom and doom which their is already too much of and the Island really come back much quicker that some thought. Quote me on this in the fall. The island only/mainly exist for tourist and without it open their is no way for it to survive. We moved our SXM May to trip to October and the hotel already was sold out on beachfront rooms and down to just a few garden rooms. My "GUESS" is sometime early June it will slowly get open with all the safeguards and tourist flights coming in. I would love to go during the summer if possible , some airfares are really cheap for certain dates, Sure some will be very careful and not travel but enough people are getting very anxious to get back to some normal things like a vacation. You have all those reservations that got pushed back 3 , 4, 5 months , some crowded to the end of the year so I don't really think its gonna be bust. Sure the virus could come back but the world is racing for a treatment or cure that will come. Time will tell.

Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225500
04/25/2020 04:38 PM
04/25/2020 04:38 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 291
Chicago, IL
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Mbrott Offline
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Chicago, IL
I'm really worried about traveling. We had a cruise planned in March and is was 18 hours before departure they cancelled the cruise. We have a future credit but I couldn't imagine using that until late 2021.

Whatever anyone decides get FULL COVERAGE travel insurance.

Mbrott



[Linked Image]
Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225506
04/25/2020 07:52 PM
04/25/2020 07:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 130
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chazo Offline
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Posts: 130
I am a strong advocate of travel insurance and would not travel outside the US without it, particularly now. But just be sure you are aware that the travel insurance companies have declared Covid-19 a foreseen event. This does significantly impact coverage. From TravelGuard: "...any losses for trip cancellation, trip interruption and/or trip delay caused by or resulting from quarantine due to COVID-19 is not considered “Unforeseen” and will not be covered under the terms and conditions of this insurance policy." They will still cover you it you get sick from COVID-19 and are medically unable to travel before your trip and they will cover Medical Expense and Trip Interruption/Curtailment benefits if you have a confirmed and documented diagnosis during the trip.

Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: chazo] #225512
04/26/2020 06:11 AM
04/26/2020 06:11 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,249
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,249
Ohio
As always, read the fine print.


J.D.
Re: My thoughts on returning......... [Re: pat] #225563
04/26/2020 04:32 PM
04/26/2020 04:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 628
Bucks County PA
JohnB Offline
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JohnB  Offline
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Posts: 628
Bucks County PA
We are booked to return next February hoping things are back to normal or an alternate normal we can deal with

Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: Kennys] #225564
04/26/2020 04:59 PM
04/26/2020 04:59 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 769
Conway, SC 29526
bigbobthib Offline
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bigbobthib  Offline
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Posts: 769
Conway, SC 29526
Been to Island over 30 times . Last time 4 years ago. Time to move on and stay in the US........

Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: pat] #225584
04/27/2020 11:30 AM
04/27/2020 11:30 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 219
TOTOWA NJ
lina Offline
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lina  Offline
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Posts: 219
TOTOWA NJ
I remember when Irma hit. my husband said "ooo it's gonna be years before we can go back" I looked at him and shook my head...I went to St Martin January after Irma hit, on a cruise. It was in pretty bad shape,but, we took a cab to Orient. I swam in the glorious water. Came back home, and, as soon as the flights became available, I booked 2 tickets for June . Sure,the island was not the same..but the people, our friends, the beaches, the water was outstanding. And yes, the French side was a lot worse than the Dutch, but our resort at Simpson bay villas, was exactly the same way we left it in June b4 Irma.. We have been going every year since 1985. We cannot wait to return. I know I will. I hope to go back later this year, and sooner is better than later.


lina and piggy
Re: Just my thoughts..... [Re: lina] #225587
04/27/2020 01:03 PM
04/27/2020 01:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,493
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Posts: 2,493
Connecticut
Lina, We also went right back to sxm the April after Irma hit.
It had a lot of bruises for sure, but we were so happy to be back.
The people were happy to have us there and it was a great vacation.

Loved seeing all the employees at BSV , the girls on the beach, the people in the restaurants etc.
We drove over to Orient and it was very sad, but we were treated so kindly by the ladies
in the coffee shops and everyone we talked to. It was such a nice experience.

The difference now, was we knew it wasn't a good time for us to hop on a plane, not only for our health but for the people of sxm.
A lot of people thought we were overreacting ---but we were okay with that.
Now we have to pray that they recover from another bad time.

We will all be back when things are safe for everyone!! Right now I am so grateful to be in our home without
worrying about food and issues that many are dealing with.
And I'm speaking as a person who had to cancel two trips the year before and left a few times previous to that because of health reasons.


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