Getting the approval in time to travel that Thanksgiving week was a problem but we managed to get the tests and approval in time to make our Saturday flight. The flight down only had 28 people on an A319 so social distancing wasn't a problem. Upon arrival we were ask for our approval letter and a copy of our test results that were both stamped. Everyday at about 6:15 AM we both received an email asking for our temperature which we submitted by link in the email.
The car rental was easy as we had already registered on-line with Thrifty and we pretty much had the pick of the litter. They gave us a little bigger new car at the same price as a small car. We always ask for French plates and there was no shortage of cars. We actually prefer an older car with dings in it so we don't have to worry about getting nicked or dinged and being charged.
We stayed at the Simpson Bay Resort in the M Building. Housekeeping came on Tuesdays and Saturday and we tipped them $10 every time. They gave us 4 beach towels every time we exchanged them. The room was very nice but we really didn't spend much time there.
We had bought the Magic of the Caribbean Card for our May trip, which was cancelled, but it was still good for this trip and they delivered the card to the Simpson Bay Resort desk and we picked it up when we checked in. It was good at a lot of the restaurants we used and it definitely paid for itself.
We eat breakfast every morning at Zee Best and they no longer provide a basket of pastries on the table. Carlene, who has been there a long time, said that they now have to deliver the pastries one at a time. The coffee was great there and we loved their fruit parfait; really good and healthy. After breakfast, on the way back to our room, we stopped at the Pelican sub shop (across from the old BBB parking area) and got their Italian sub and took it to the beach. The sub was only $6 and was really good; we always added green peppers.
The weather was fantastic, but cooler than in previous years, Several days were windy but not intolerable. We only had one day with passing showers but mostly sunny.
The traffic was no existent. Traveling from Simpson Bay to Orient Beach and back was an enjoyable drive averaging about 25 minutes each way. It appears that they have been working on the roads and installing what looks to be cables. There were significantly fewer cars on the road than in previous years. There was never a problem finding a parking space anyplace.
The restaurants (Greenhouse, Lee's, Topper's, 3 Amigos, Pineapple Pete's, Moulin Fou, and Isola) were all empty. The food was good but the service was always slow. The nights we were at Toppers, there was only one person tending bar and also waiting tables. At the Yacht Club, we sat down and waited 10 minutes and no one came to our table so we just walked out. The best service was at Pineapple Pete's and Moulin Fou. The best food was at Moulin Fou and 3 Amigos.
All the restaurants have hand sanitizers and require mask to enter and then take the mask off when you eat or drink.
The beach chair rental was pretty consistent at about $105 per week for an umbrella and 2 chairs at Club O. We rented from the guy right next to Club O, Collin, at $100 per week plus he added a able. His chairs were better than those at Club O but his umbrellas were smaller. I don't like the Club O chairs as I slip through the chair straps. The Perch got a new kitchen trailer (bright yellow) to expand their kitchen and they still have good ribs and a good BLT.
We walked down the beach to Chez Leandra several times for their conch chowder and it was very good. Zelman is a nice guy and a good host. We walked all the way down past LaPlaya and the beach was virtually empty all 12 days we were there. There were a few days in which he seaweed washed ashore but nothing in excess.
Drove down to the House of Jewels in Philipsburg to see Kevin and found that most stores have limited operating hours; theirs was from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday. We parked and walked up from the pond and there are not a lot of people walking the streets. I usually don't get uncomfortable, but the situational awareness said this was not a place to hang around.
We spent a lot of time at the Hollywood Casino and as expected, they won. They have remodeled the inside a little and the bathrooms are very nice .To enter, you have to have a mask on all the time, sanitize your hands, and have your temperature taken at the front door. By 11:00 PM the place was empty.
The check in at the airport went pretty well. There were very people there in comparison to last year. We got there at 11:30 AM for a 2:00 PM flight and we were sitting in the boarding area at 11:50 AM. A few food shops are open and of course there is a bar open down in the waiting area.
It was a great vacation. We have some pictures that we are trying to upload.
There is a new building in Mullet bay that I took pictures of, near the old Towers.
Last edited by candj; 12/13/202005:43 PM.
Fair winds and following seas! SSN691-May She Ever Prowl The Seas in Defense of Human Freedom! SSN787-Preserving Peace, Prepared for War
Thanks so much for the detailed trip report. We hope to get back eventually, but as time flies by, the opportunity for a return trip seem further and further away. Nice pictures, but in the first photo of the yellow perch trailer I notice what appears to be Club O Beachfront studios in the background. Do you know if they are livable? I guess they belong to a private owner who repaired them? I doubt that Club O has them up and running again. Thanks again.