Caribbean Travel Roundup

Paul Graveline, Editor

Edition 61

January 1 1996


Last update 29 Dec. 2300 utc

Back to CTR Homepage




In any case. I'm still in the market for more sites so the following is still valid:

As some of the regular readers know, I have been having problems establishing a RELIABLE WWW site. For a long time I'd been using the one in Manitoba but the driving force there has apparently left and the CTR does not get posted anymore. Russ Filman h ad been posting the more recent ones but he is now unable to continue. This might be a good opportunity for someone with a commercially related Caribbean site to greatly increase the number of their hits as the site would be promoted by me in the CTR and elsewhere.

I would like to find a VERY RELIABLE WWW SITE FOR THE CTR. Here's what I would like:

1/ A site where I could keep the at least the last two years of the CTR on file and the present year. This means that about 36 issue would need to be archived so disk space would have to be fairly extensive -- probably around 8 megs.

2/ The site coordinator would be willing to post the CTRs in a timely manner on the site so people with browsers could read them. If there were FTP facilities that would be good also. The site manager would have to be willing to do the programming but I only expect a site where you would click on a highlighted "CTR Jan. 95" and then the person would be able to read the particular issue.

3/ I would not be adverse to commercial sites which are promoting businesses ventures in the Caribbean. You could possible add about 3000 hits per month to your site, and of course, I would be giving you all the publicly that your site is the place to check in the CTR. It would most like always appear in the heading of the CTR so it would be getting great exposure. HOWEVER, I WOULD REQUIRE THAT I RETAIN FULL EDITORIAL CONTROL OF THE CONTENT. So if you are afraid that someone might write something unfav orable about one of your clients, then your site would probably not be a good one for the CTR.

In summary, I need a site with enough memory for 3 years of CTRs, a simple post up procedure where I would just e-mail you the latest edition which would appear in a few days on the site and finally that I would remain in full control of the content.

If you think you might be interested in being the "official site" ( I might decide on two good ones for backup purposes), contact me at
Fax 508-470-1971

Paul Graveline


This edition of the Caribbean Travel Roundup marks six full years of publication. The first edition was uploaded on 28 Dec. 1989 just a few days before the last decade of the 20th century began. Originally designed as a ten times a year newsletter with up to six pages it has evolved into a major undertaking which has become one of the most (if not the most) widely read source for Caribbean information in cyberspace. Distribution confined to Compuserve for the first issue has now grown into a world wide di stribution network, although there have been and continue to be hitches.

Many thanks to all those who have contributed over the years, especially to our regular correspondents without whom nothing would have been produced. Also much thanks to Rik Brown of Travel Online in St. Louis MO for his help. Rik's BBBs has been carrying the CTR since issue number two and has been of invaluable help in getting the CTR on the internet from that time to the present.

Once again my thanks go out to all these who have contributed to the CTR or helped in its distribution over the years.

Paul Graveline
CTR Editor
29 Dec. 1995




All-Inclusive Package Starts at $1,375 Per Person Including Airfare from JFK or Newark

Snowed in residents of the tri-state area can escape the cold during President's Week without breaking the bank with a one-week all-inclusive package to Antigua from February 18-25, 1996, starting for $1,375 per person. The package includes roundtrip airf are from JFK or Newark, eight days/seven nights accommodations at the Jolly Harbour Marina Club, plus all meals, snacks, beverages and a full array of land and water sports and miles of beach. Discounted rates are also available for children under 12, who can participate in a free daily professionally-supervised children's program.

Located on the marina at Jolly Harbour Beach just minutes from the capital of St. Johns, the Jolly Harbour Marina Club features individual two-level modern villas with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious living room and dining room, a kitchen plus a p rivate patio and terrace overlooking the marina. Guests have access to the beach at Jolly Harbour and a private fresh-water pool, plus continual shuttle service to the marina shops.

In addition, the package includes full daily access to the all-inclusive Club Antigua resort, located nextdoor, where guests can enjoy: three meals daily in a choice of four restaurants plus unlimited beverages (including alcohol); full access to the reso rt's beaches and two large free-form swimming pools; a full array of watersports including snorkeling, windsurfing, waterskiing and sunfish sailing; a health club offering stationary bicycles and aerobics classes; eight tennis courts; a casino; plus night ly entertainment including live bands, caberets and a disco. A daily professionally supervised children's program for those ages 4-12 is also complimentary, as is special evening activities for teenagers. A nearby golf course is also available to guests f or an additional fee.

The price includes roundtrip airfare, airport transfers, seven nights' accommodations at Jolly Harbour Marina Club, all meals and activities at Club Antigua, plus all taxes and gratuities (tipping is not permitted). For information and reservations call C lubs International at (212) 251-1865.

Contact: Dana Lauren, Herman Associates Public Relations (212) 338-0700 or



I just completed a very non-tourist trip to Anguilla. I was there to put a roof on the parish house at St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Island Harbor. Despite the work, it was probably one of my favorite trips to the Caribbean, because the people of Anguil la are fantastic.

A friend of mine and I stayed with a local family in Crocus Bay and commuted each day to Island Harbor to work. We worked from about 7 to 3 each day and then toured the island the rest of the time.

The island is in great shape considering the pounding it took from Luis. No one should have qualms about going- in fact it is probably as green as you will ever see it due to the rains this year. The residents are very hard working and have done a great j ob rebuilding and cleaning up.

Some places we saw: Johnnos is rebuilt and open - great fun. Ate at Uncle Ernies and had good ribs. Roy's Place was right down the hill from where we stayed- good drinks and a wonderful place to watch sunsets. Hill Street Restaurant in the Valley had grea t curried chicken.

Cap Jaluca appears to be on schedule to reopen- $2 million in repairs and it looks great. Carimar was the busiest hotel we saw and the beach looked pretty good.

The beach at Shoal Bay [east] was in good shape >> Crocus Bay took a beating and was still pretty rocky. Still some beached boats around Road Bay. Junk's Hole Bay still has some debris but they are working hard to clean up - I think it is the prettiest be ach on the island.

What makes Anguilla so wonderful is the people - they welcomed us with open arms and we made friends we will never forget. Working side by side, sweating and laughing, we got to know the islanders in a way few will experience. They housed us, fed us , and entertained us as if we were family. It was quite emotional leaving- I will never forget last week.


We just returned from 2 weeks on Anguilla and of course, had a terrific time. Things are much better than I had imagined although they still have a ways to go. So anyway, "Here's alls we know!".

GENERAL IMPRESSION: we were surprised how green everything was - the palm trees suffered all over the island - still a lot of work to do on roofs - the North and South parts of the island seemed to be hit the worst. Everyone wanted to talk about Luis and we heard several different stories but basically the eye went over Island Harbour for 45 mins with 5 mins of eye at Sandy Ground and no eye at Seahorse . Everyone agreed that if the wind had not changed directions there would have been much less damage.

One man told us he didn't leave his house (in Island Harbour) for 3 days - he had a concrete roof but the water bubbled in around the windows and soaked everything in the house. Apparently it was fortunate that Hurricane Marilyn came by - it provided enou gh rain to wash the salt off all the vegetation - some parts of the island looked better than others - Rendezvous Bay and Blowing Point areas looked good but Cove Bay and Shoal Bay West areas not so good - not much is growing back there.

It rained almost every day and the amount varied but you could see the difference in the plants after 2 weeks. It was cloudy a lot but it wasn't too hot and the wind was blowing just right.

Didn't see many tourists on the island - there were less people than last Nov. The owner of Pizazz said it is always slow over Thanksgiving and she doesn't know why she bothers to open, but the bar lady at Johnnos said it was really slow and she didn't ex pect to have a good season.

Everyone was very nice and friendly, as usual, and interested in what we thought about how the island looked. You could see how much work had been done and they are proud of what they have accomplished. Most places looked better because of the clean up an d new paint, etc. and are taking advantage of the opportunity to improve and upgrade their properties.

We never regretted going and are glad we stuck with our plans.

BEACHES: generally they all looked much better last year but time will help I'm sure. Most of them have trash (wood, dead foliage, etc.) washed up on the beach. Shoal Bay East was cleaned up and looked the best.

Rendevezous Bay - doesn't look too much different except for less foliage - at Seahorse, a lot of change - the retaining wall and bbq were washed out - the sand is covered with rocks and shells - the "Minnow" is in 2 large pieces covered with dried seagra ss - Ronni had contacted Public Works to get a backhoe to clean it up and is waiting to see what they recommend. Pineapple Beach Club was open and had a few people there - there was work being done on few buildings.

Sandy Ground - beach looks the same but still have a few boats beached that need to be removed and a lot of the buildings are gone - we saw men working on the dive shop and a couple of other sites. Johnnos was rebuilt but the rest is mostly concrete slabs and empty space. The public restrooms by immigration have a big hole in the roof and the concrete steps are broken. We heard Sydans lost 2 apts and don't know their status on rebuilding - the paper says they were to reopen 11/30. The only restaurants ope n are Johnnos ,Ships Galley, Ripples, and Pizzazz, Johnnos isn't open in the evening though.

Shoal Bay West - seemed to look more damaged - vegetation isn't growing back very fast. Cove CAstles was closed and had workmen on the property. Paradise Cafe was being rebuilt and Blue Water Apts were open and had guests.

Little Bay - we decided to have a look but didn't try to get down to the beach, the sand was covered with small rocks, looked similar to Seahorse but the bay was still beautiful but not much sand now to set your stuff down.

Cove Bay - had a lot of trash on the beach and some in the water - vegetation needs a lot of help. Paradise Cove looked to be open and looked good from the road - landscaping was new.

Junks Hole Bay - the most wood and debris on the beach that we saw - we heard they had a party to clean it up but they hadn't removed the piles yet. Lots of wood in the water and the water was very rough. Palm Grove Restaurant is open and according to the owner he gained a lot of sand. Shoal Bay East - has lots of sand but I couldn't remember if it looked like more than last year - lots of construction going on there.

Barnes Bay - didn't see it but was told by 2 different people that Coccoloba had lots of damage and lost all the beach, "not a speck of sand on Barnes Bay" is what we were told. We didn't see Meads Bay but heard it had lost sand also.

Crocus Bay - looked OK, needed some clean up. The concrete patio at Roy's was washed away and looked like there was a new wooden deck with a tarp. Later we noticed the tarp was replaced with new roof.

Island Harbour - looked like it had taken a beating, concrete slabs with nothing else - gas station looked new and was open and busy - Smitty getting ready to move across the street to the beach in old Coconut Beach Bar building. Scilly Cay lost lots of s and - they are rebuilding but it looks smaller with much less sand.

Hotels: We saw a few of them and some we couldn't get in.

Casablanca - closed, just sold (papers changed hands during Thanksgiving) - they are painting and repairing tile roofs - didn't hear a reopen date.

Cap Juluca - closed, couldn't get in but looked like it needed a lot of work - paint and landscape - heard it would open with 6 rooms in Dec. sometime.

Frangipani Beach - had a "no enter" sign - listed as heavily damaged in "What To Do In Anguilla".

Coccoloba - had a closed sign - also listed as heavily damaged and we heard the beach was gone.

Cinnamon Reef - had guests and looked great - looked like they lost some palm trees - don't know if restaurant was open.

Arawak - open - met a guy from WA who said it looked fine except for a lot of trash still on the beach.

Rendezvous Bay - lost a lot of shingles off the roofs - had a few guests - had a backhoe working some of the time - windows boarded up on the units next to Seahorse.

Ferryboat Inn - was taking guests but the restaurant wasn't open yet - it should be now.

Malliouhana - open - met a kid that worked there who said they were full Thanksgiving weekend.

Fountain Beach - looked to be open but looks like a lot of construction going on - was listed as heavily damaged also.

Spindrift Apts - met some people staying there who said it was fine.

Shoal Bay Villas - lots of noisy construction going on (we were there on Sunday too) - also listed as heavily damaged.

Seahorse - stayed in the north beach cottage - has new roof, rafters and ceiling fan with fresh paint inside and out - looks better that last year. The vegetation has done well - Ronni showed us her hurricane pictures and there was nothing green at all an d it looked like a snow storm in the desert. By November what was growing looked healthier than last year and we saw new growth in the 2 weeks we were there. She did lose some palm trees but the hammock trees are still there - minus several limbs and many leaves. There was at least one person working every day on the yard, gardens and beach. The picnic area was washed out except for the picnic tables which got a new coat of paint while we were there. Ronni was arranging for rebuilding the retaining wall a nd brick bbq. The "office" was being painted and new garage doors were installed. The other 3 apts seemed to be fine and she was full most of the time we were there. Frankly, in a couple of months it will look better than ever.

Overall, most places are improving while rebuilding and most all seemed to target Jan. 1 at the latest for reopening.

Restaurants: many were closed

Ripples - dinner only - we ate there more than once - food very good especially the cottage pie - seafood pasta - chicken limonaise (sp?) - Joe said he had the biggest and best burger he's had in a while.

Ship's Galley - lunch and dinner, I think. Had excellent snapper - the best of the trip, also loved the peas and rice - almost deserted. Heard that the woman from Barrel Stay who made the fish soup is now at Ship's Galley.

Johnnos - lunch only, good burgers and rum punch - talked to the waitress for awhile - very friendly and told us a lot about the hurricane.

Pizzazz - dinner only and air conditioned, excellent Italian food - very pretty restaurant - had grouper with mariner sauce and scallops in Pernod sauce. The best was the bean and pasta soup which I thought was the best. They serve pizza only for takeout and not on Tues. night 'cause that's when we called so we didn't get to try it. Not busy at all, although the owner said Oct. was their busiest month.

Blanchards - had our best meal there last year but we were disappointed this year in the food and service. It was heavily damaged and the rebuilding looks great - they ordered all new plants but the old ones survived so they have twice the amount of lands caping now. Joe had stuffed swordfish which was pretty good but I had prawns with green apple curry sauce and it wasn't good - the corn chowder was $8 and was OK - the bean and pasta soup at Pizzazz is $4 and wonderful. The service was not as good as I ex pected - seems like they could use more help, of course it was the busiest restaurant this year same as last year. Perhaps it was an off night but we can't really recommend it for the price.

Cyril's Fish House - opened after Thanksgiving - rebuilding looks great - Joe had the biggest lobster he has ever seen - no kidding - he couldn't eat all of it - I had crawfish with lemon pasta - very good but couldn't eat it all. Not very busy and we heard Cyril complaining bout the lack of business. Seemed a little more expensive that last year.

Smittys - Ronni said he had the first sign saying "cold drinks" after the hurricane - you could just drive up for service. Had great lobster and crawfish and enjoyed meeting Smitty - prices same. He is renting a place across the street from the beach b ut should be moving to Coconut Beach Bar building soon.

Uncle Ernies - rebuilt - looks better than before - burgers and spicy coleslaw still good - Hennies are $2 now - had music on Sunday. Lots of locals and visitors on Sun afternoon - a really nice day to people watch.

Madeariman Reef - open but we didn't eat there.

Smugglers - closed - drove out there to see the floor entirely gone but supports and roof still there - they looked to be working on it.

The Old House - breakfast, lunch and dinner - had good french toast and eggs - looks same as last year.

Arista Cafe - had deli and restaurant with breakfast, lunch and dinner, had 2 great breakfasts with steak and eggs and good omelets - also got take out roast beef sandwiches We highly recommend trying it - bought some cheese for snacking too. Prices we nt up while we were there - got new menus.

Roys - dinner, were there for Happy Hour on Fri. - kind of a madhouse but the snapper and crawfish were delicious - be sure to try the West Indian and Mexican coffees instead of dessert - they were out of this world.

Palm Grove Rest - great chicken but my snapper was so so. It looks better than last year also.

Short Curve had a for rent sign in it and Tropical Penguin is completely gone.


Just returned today to the 35 degree N.J. weather after a wonderful week in the 88 degree Aruban weather! Wow, what a letdown to step off that plane at Newark!

Just thought I'd post a brief trip report. My wife and I went back to Aruba for the 3rd straight year, and were joined by my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who had not been to Aruba in 16 years. We stayed at my favorite place, Costa Linda. Rented a c ar from Thrifty for $257./week, minus their 10% discount for being over 55.(I have to admit to that.) Could have had a smaller Toyota Tercel for $203 plus the discount, but opted for a bit more comfort in the slightly larger car. Car had just 13,000 miles on it and in fine shape, compared to the "klunkers" I had rented the last two years from Econo-Car , both with around 70,000 miles on them. We just prefer having a car at our disposal to come and go as we please, without waiting for busses, calling cabs, etc.

Did some of the usual sightseeing to places such as Baby Beach, Natural Bridge, lighthouse, little chapel, etc. It seems that Aruba is making more of an effort to mark the way to those places with signs. I remember the first time we went to Natural Bri dge, that we had to guess that we were making the proper turn, etc.,

Weather was great, had a brief shower a few times, usually early in morning, but nothing much to speak of. Water was warm and wonderful as usual. Here in NJ, if I go to the beach once in 3 years it is a lot, but in Aruba, I can enjoy spending hours eve ry day on the beach or in the water or pool.

The only thing wrong with this year's vacation was that the casinos took a larger than usual "donation" from me. I did not play favorites, I managed to get around and make a donation at all 11 casinos!! Well, when I came home a winner last year, they s ecretly said "We'll get it back", and they did!!

Getting around in the area between the Wyndham(old Hilton) and the Americana and Radisson was an adventure. They are putting in new curbs, sewer system, and have the road all ripped and dug up. We were actually driving up the sidewalk from the Aruba Pa lm Beach casino to the Radisson! Maybe they will have the work completed soon, but they sure do not seem to be in any rush to finish it. In town, more work going on, barricades up in spots, heavy traffic. Just about all downtown traffic lights were turned off, making things very interesting.

Our old conversation piece, the rusty Royal, being dismantled a piece at a time. I can see why they could not implode it; there is so much heavy steel inside its construction that imploding it just would not work. It was probably about 20 to 25% disman tled when we left the island. Had intentions of trying to meet Jim Bianco while there, but with the other couple being with us, it just did not work out to make the connection with Jim.

Now, for restaurants. We had dinner four nights at our four favorite locations; Talk of the Town, The Mill, Buccaneer, and Chalet Suisse. Chatting with Benny a while, and Benny says "hello" to everyone on this board, and of course to "Applesauce". Took one night off from the usual dinner routine and went to Wendy's. Then, we tried the new restaurant up at the California Lighthouse, named La Trattorio Faro Blanco. It is a very nice Italian restaurant, and I had the best lasagna I have ever eaten. You ha ve the choice of sitting inside or outside, and we opted for inside as it was quite breezy up that high on the hill. They have a roving accordion player, and we enjoyed it there. Also went to the New Marina Pirata in the area called Spanish Lagoon. A smal l but nice restaurant, right on the water. We found that very enjoyable also.


I just returned to ten degrees and five inches of snow. Quite a difference from the white sands of Aruba. Naturally we had a great time. FOR PERSONS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN TO ARUBA, WE HAD A TERRIBLE TIME!

We had a few sprinkles, but they flew by and were welcomed. But we always go in the water so we don't get wet. I'll briefly go over some of the things that I observed the past two weeks.

1. The Rusty Royal is coming down piece by piece. It will take as long to tear down as it took to build. I pity the people in the time share next store. The dirt is really flying.

2. The road in front of the high risers has been under construction for two weeks, but should be okay by this week.

3. There are still labor problems at the Royal Cabana, but it is open.

4. The Holiday Inn has laid off a large group of people and more to follow.

5. An immigration swipe at the Marriot cleaned out about 50 illegals.

6. The Tourist Authority has in the works an identification card for persons who have traveled to Aruba for more than five years in a row. When it is issued you will be able to pass the card through a reader that will turn red or green and you will be able to go right through without the normal lines. I'm told this should be in works very soon.

7. The Radisson Garden Wing being completed remodeled and should be done by next week.

8. All the good restaurants like the Chalet Suisse are very crowded. Make sure you make reservations.

9. A new shopping mall is being built in town. Just what we need. Maybe we will finally get a Hard Rock Cafe. OH BOY!

10. Surprisingly the island isn't as full as everyone thought it would be. We flew on two half empty A 300's.

Now for some personal observations and concerns.

1. Those of us old timers were having a discussion on the ecological changes that has come to Aruba. They have built docks out at the High Rise hotels and now the beach around those docks are showing signs of erosion. The winds are being blocked by the wall of high rises and other structures. This week the government was spraying for mosquitoes. I saw more flies in two weeks then I have in thirty years. We think the winds aren't allowed the free flow that always existed. Incidentally the moon was upsid e down and was full on Wednesday. The moon set at 6:25 am and the sun set at 6:14pm We went to a new rib place "The Ranch" It was very good and fair priced. Lots of food and a salad bar. It is located in Noord.

The Radisson Casino was really jumping. I even think it was more crowded than the Hyatt. Speaking of Casinos, I finally came out ahead. Maybe they won't let me in again. I hope.

Also ate at the Waterfront for the first time. It was acceptable, but only because of the coupons we received at the airport.

The Palms at the Hyatt is about the same. I like their hamburgers. Fairly reasonable in price too.

Sinterclaus made his visit to the hotels with Black Peter. For those in the know, Black Peter took me to Spain but I escaped.

Also Johnie Walker was at all the restaurants and handed out scotch.


This was our first time in Aruba in December, June being our regular weeks. I do have some completely unscientific observations though.

It is much more crowded in December than June. Some of this though was due to the St. Martin refugees like ourselves. Still, making reservations every night at restaurants is not something we have to do in June.

It also seemed more cloudy that what I remember in June. We had several brief showers, but there always seemed to be some clouds floating by. Not that it was a problem, just different. Also, the wind did not seem to blow quite as hard as it did in June .

One other observation, it seemed an older crowd than in June, few families with school aged children. Again not complaining since we are part of that older crowd.

Had some very good meals this trip. Valentinos was our favorite followed closely by Chalet Suisse. Ate at both places twice. Also had good meals at The Flame, Rigalletos,The Mill and Tony Romas. Tony's does not take reservations and we had to wait abou t 45 minutes, very different from June when we walked right in and got seated.

One of the highlights of the trip was watching the arrival at La Cabana of St. Nicholas and his helpers in a horse and buggy. The children of the employees sang before heading out to a party. A young mother carrying a 4 year old girl to the party stopp ed to talk to Peg and I and explained their Christmas tradition. Although she did not speak much English, she explained how the children put out a shoe with grass in it for St. Nick's horse. The mothers later replaced the grass with a present. This may so und kind of corny, but Peg and I will always remember her smile as she spoke and her kindness for taking time out to talk with us. That was real Christmas spirit.

Should mention that we had a very good buffet breakfast at the Marriott and a nice lunch at the Golf course club house restaurant.

Saw no crime, no gangs, or anything else that will prevent us from returning to Aruba in June. It seems we enjoy ourselves more every time we return


Breezes is an all-inclusive resort located on New Providence Island. For anyone who has never been to an all-inclusive resort, the price of the package includes accommodation, food, drinks and activities. SuperClubs has completely renovated all of the rooms and facilities. At the time of our visit, Breezes had been open for only 10 weeks.

As you enter the reception area from the driveway you encounter a brightly painted and tiled lobby with no doors or windows. It immediately gives you a relaxed island feeling. The hotel is in a "U" shaped format facing the ocean, with rooms on both win gs and the common areas in the middle. The west side has eight levels and the east side has either three or four levels. There are a handful of oceanview rooms which are at the end of each wing. The inside rooms look down over the pool which is situated i n the middle of the "U". The outside rooms on the west side overlook an apartment or condo complex and are probably the least desirable as far as view is concerned. The outside rooms on the east side overlook the tennis courts and track, along with some o pen space.

We had an oceanview room and it was nice to wake up to the sound of the surf, but so little time is spent in the room that location is not really a factor. From what I saw (and I poked around a bit) all of the rooms were the same size, whether it was i nside, outside or oceanview. However I didn't get to see any of the suites, as they were still under renovation. The rooms are very basic with two double beds, floor safe, direct dial telephone, television with cable and remote control, ample closet and d rawer space, tub/shower combination, and a hairdryer. There were no clocks in the rooms when we were there.

The pool is large and in several sections, all surrounded by lounge chairs. There is a pool bar attached to the regular outdoor bar. There are several kinds of beer including Fosters and a local brew called Kalik that is very good. The bar is fully sto cked with all brands of liquor and liqueurs. The bartenders can mix any type of drink for you and also have their own supply of pre-made Bahamian favorites. There are also self-serve daiquiri machines with alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions, along with a soft drink machine. The pool area also has a burger bar that serves burgers, hot-dogs and fries until 5:00 PM. There is a small kiosk that supplies towels located between the pool and the beach. Just beyond the pool, the beach is at your feet.

Breezes occupies the best part of Cable Beach. There are no other resorts to the east and the few resorts to the west are barely visible. You don't feel closed-in at all. The beach is well equipped with lots of lounge chairs and umbrellas for cover. Th ere is a roped off area for swimming. All of the watersports are in one place at the end of the property.

Available watersports include sailing, windsurfing and ocean kayaking. There are classes everyday for novices in sailing, and every afternoon for windsurfing. There are two Hobie cats and eight Sunfish. The instructors are very good and if you've never sailed before, you'll be out on your own in no time. Also on the beach but not attached to the hotel in any way are other watersports that you can pay for, such as jet skis, parasailing and water-skiing. Bargain for the best deal. Offsite activities such as island tours, snorkeling and scuba diving trips are reasonably priced and can be booked in the hotel lobby at the information post.

The main bar located in the center of the building looks out over the pool and toward the ocean. There is a large area with tables and chairs and a stage for the house band and evening entertainment. Also close by are pool tables, card and game tables, big screen TV, table tennis and a very good exercise room with steppers, treadmills, lifecycles, rowing machines and weight machines. Just outside are the lighted tennis courts, mini track and half-court basketball.

The food was outstanding. There are three meals daily plus a midnight buffet. The main restaurant is located on the lower level. The buffet style includes a multitude of main dishes, fresh vegetables and fruit, breads and pastries, salad bar and desser t bar. Red and white wine are served with dinner. Attire is casual. In addition, for those who prefer a less casual atmosphere there is an Italian restaurant that requires reservations in advance.

The evening entertainment brings something new every night and seems to rotate on a seven day basis. The most enjoyable was the Junkanoo, a local celebration with drums, bells and brightly decorated headpieces and costumes. There are also other program s which include a toga party, karaoke, and a guest/staff talent competition. In addition, there are several pieces of circus equipment set up on the beach for not only the adventurous guest (trampoline and trapeze), but a circus night with routines perfor med by the staff. For the hard-core party set, there is a disco that's open until 5:00 or 6:00 AM, complete with a fully stocked bar.

Nassau is a short ride away on the #10 bus. Just outside of Breezes is a local bus stop. Even if you have no intention of getting off the bus until it returns to Breezes, take this trip anyway because it's worth the ride. It is currently $.75 to ride a nywhere on the island. You pay as you get off the bus. Nassau is a big duty free shopping area and combined with the Straw Market (bargaining a must) and other local shops, there is plenty to explore. US dollars are freely accepted on the island and the e xchange rate with the Bahamian dollar is one to one. There is a large casino within walking distance of Breezes called the Crystal Palace.

If you are thinking about getting married there are facilities available for a wedding. There is a wedding gazebo located between the pool and the west wing. It's not an ideal location but it's also not required that the wedding be performed there, eit her. The wedding coordinator will do almost anything requested. My brother-in-law got married on the beach with the ocean in the background and it looked from the photos as if they were married on a deserted island. There is no charge for the basic weddin g package that includes license fees, minister, bouquet, champagne and cake. If you want professional photographs or a video, there will be an extra charge.

If you are returning to the USA you are able to clear Customs and Immigration at the airport before you leave on your flight. There are several of these outposts throughout the world and it's very convenient if you have tight connecting flights at a bu sy airport such as Miami or Atlanta.

This resort has a little bit of everything for almost everyone. If you just fancy sitting on the beach and drinking and eating your way through the week, go to Breezes. If you like to be constantly busy with scheduled activities that take you from dawn through dawn, go to Breezes. If you fall somewhere in between, you will not be disappointed. This is a reasonably priced resort that allows you to enjoy yourself without having to worry about every penny you spend on food, activities and entertainment. T ipping is forbidden, but this does not prevent the staff from being courteous, friendly and very helpful.

By the way, I am not a travel agent or a tour operator. My husband and I went to Breezes because my brother-in-law asked us to be witnesses for his wedding. We had never been to the Bahamas or anywhere else in the Caribbean. We had such an enjoyable ti me that we are looking forward to returning sometime next year.


Flew into Grantley Adams Int'l Airport on Thanksgiving Day. It must be the most modern airport in the Caribbean. Its even air conditioned. Had ground transfer for trip to hotel. Stayed at the Inn on the Beach in Holetown, St. Jamesparish. Would estimat e cost to hotel by taxi to be $20-25 US.

The hotel is small and intimate. Only 23 rooms. All rooms are air conditioned studio apartments with private bath, kitchenette and balcony or patio overlooking the Caribbean and west coast of Barbados. The location is excellent. Great restaurants withi n walking distance. Supermarket, pharmacy, duty free shops, and bus stop to town are right across the street. Liqour store and post office are next door. And, it sits right on the same beach north of Sandy Lane, Almond Beach Club and Divi Heritage. South of Discovery Bay, Coral Reef Club and Colony Club. All are within walking distance! There is also a public beach (Folkstone) within walking distance. I mention all of this because the beach at the Inn is small, but very nice. In addition, the Inn on the B each doesn't have tennis courts, spas, or water sports. But all of these things are in close proximity. And although the Inn doesn't have them, it isn't burdened with their additional overhead/cost. Which brings us to cost. The Inn only charges $150US/nt for a double during the winter season and only $80/nt during the summer season (4/16-12/15). This is considerably less than any of the other hotels that I mentioned. The hotel has a small restaurant and bar, as well as a small swimming pool, too.

From the hotel to downtown Bridgetown is about a 15 minute drive. Or 20-25 mins. by bus. The bus costs $.75 each way and runs very regularly. When leaving town, you need to catch the bus from the Cheapside terminal, which is right next to the main Post Office.

There are tons of things to do in Barbados. Watersports, party cruises, snorkeling, scuba, sailing, fishing, golf, sightseeing, and more. I would recommend that everyone pickup the following publications that outline tours, activities, shopping, night life, restaurants and current activities. They are "Barbados in a Nutshell", "the Barbados Sunseeker", and "Visitor". All of them are free and available at most restaurants and hotels.

This island nation is incredibly diverse. Its easy to get around. Its very clean. There is little to no begging. The food is outstanding (so are the drinks). And the people are among the friendliest I've encountered in the world.

You should give strong consideration to renting a car. It minimizes your transportation expense and increases your flexibility. Virtually all activities can be scheduled with a phone call without need for a middle man/woman. And with one of the many ex cellent free maps, you can find everything on your own. If you do get lost, stop and ask anyone. I preferred getting my directions at the local bar/rum shop.

Must see places: Animal Flower Cave, Harrison's Cave, Wildlife Preserve, Atlantic Coast, grounds/beach at Sam Lord's Castle, Mount Gay Distillery, St. Lawrence Gap at night, downtown Bridgetown, the Careenage and Hacklestones Cliff by Day. I'm sure the re are a lot of places I didn't get to.


(ED NOTE: Lynn McKamey's material is copyrighted and she can be contacted at SCUBA.MOM@GENIE.COM or

A Magical Island in the British Virgin Island

When we stepped from the boat onto the dock at Guana Island, I felt as though we had walked through Alice's Looking Glass into a tropical wonderland. Seven white sand beaches edge three towering hills full of flora and fauna. Bright pink flamingos lazi ly drift in the large salt water pond and colorful flowers dot trails and hillsides. Clouds of white butterflies flutter by as a hermit crab skitters underfoot...

Guana is an 850 acre private island on the north side of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Under the direction of owners Henry and Gloria Jarecki, it has become an important nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary with one of the richest collection s of plant and animal species in the Caribbean.

This magical island has three peaks rising 325', 442', and 806' above sea level and is named for an iguana shaped rock formation on the western coast. A long shoreline, called White Bay Beach, borders a valley with a tranquil salt pond. A paved road wi nds up a steep hill to cottages set on a saddleback ridge almost 200' above the beach. Twenty hiking trails criss-cross the island and allow access to several other beaches, a bat cave, the three peaks, and ruins of former sugar and cotton plantations. A "Beach House" near the dock on White Bay has a self-serve bar, water sports equipment, changing rooms, bathroom, and shower. Transportation between the cottages and the beach is provided by staff members driving motorized carts or a Land Rover. White-wash ed stone cottages for thirty guests overlook the nearby islands of the British and U.S. Virgins with the deep blue Caribbean beyond. The main club house, called Dominica, was built on ruins of an 18th century Quaker estate and has a boutique, large commun al living room, cozy library with lots of books and games, a self serve bar, and dining areas for guests. A nearby stone terrace links meandering garden paths to rooms and island trails. Cottages are named after Caribbean islands and some contain only one guest room, while others have clusters of two and three private accommodations.

Guana's fifteen rooms have different configurations, locations, and panoramic vistas, but each is spacious and has a porch, patio, or balcony. Some rooms overlook the valley and White Bay, while others face Crab Cove and Muskmelon Bay. Decor is comfort ably "basic" with white walls, dark beamed ceilings, painted concrete floors, and small accents of color in cushions here and there. All rooms have excellent foam mattresses which can be configured into king size or two twins. Amazingly, when joined toget her as a king, the seam edges cannot be detected. Each room has flashlights, two umbrellas, and plenty of bars of soap, however, bring your own shampoo, rinse, and other personal necessities or purchase them in the boutique. My biggest surprise was super water pressure in the shower and instant hot water, something not often found in Caribbean resorts!

We stayed in a cottage called Upper Camanoe near the main house. Our large bedroom had two ceiling fans, a king bed, cane chair, dresser, desk, and walk-in closet. The bathroom had a free form shower big enough for both of us. A huge covered porch held two wicker lounge chairs and footstools, plus several tables. We spent quite a bit of time relaxing on our secluded porch - enjoying the scenic view, watching birds, listening to waves crashing on Crab Cove Beach far below, and savoring colorful sunsets.

I had a chance to see some of the other rooms. Anegada cottage, located a short walk from the main house, holds three large bedrooms, each with its own entryway and terrace; it also has a living room which can be opened to provide additional space for a group of six or three couples vacationing together. Barbados, near the main road, has one room with a big porch and is very private, but can be a little noisy when motor carts go to and from the beach and dock. Lower Camanoe (which was below our room) i s quiet and isolated. Dominica, the main club house, has several rooms attached - the couple staying in #4 said that the bedroom has a sitting area with a day bed plus a private terrace with a wonderful view of White Bay. Dominica #3 also has a very seclu ded patio.

Other cottages are scattered along a hill rising near the main terrace. Eleuthera contains one suite with a huge front porch - a living area with a day bed and a bedroom - perfect for a family of three or a couple wanting extra space. Fallen Jerusalem is another complex holding three bedrooms, each with its own patio, and has an adjoining shared terrace. At the highest point of the steep hill is Grenada cottage which has two guest rooms and outstanding vistas.

The newest addition is a remote and isolated North Beach Cottage, the only oceanside accommodation on Guana. It sits at the end of a narrow road which winds around the salt pond and through a dense tropical forest. The cottage has a large living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and two patios. A boardwalk leads to a wooden deck overlooking the vast North Beach shoreline and has steps down to a swimming area which has been cleared of underwater rocks and coral. This is truly the ultimate "hideaway" nes tled within the natural splendor of flora and fauna. Guests have access to a motorized cart which can be driven to White Bay Beach. If they prefer not to have breakfast in the main dining area, a staff member will deliver a fruit plate or light breakfast.

Dining at Guana is a delectable experience! All meals are served under covered verandas on either side of the main house and occasionally on Sunset Terrace. The menu changes daily under the direction of talented chef Manny Thompson who recently was one of the BVI's four culinary ambassadors to an international gourmet competition. The group won three silvermedals and a bronze, quite an accomplishment for the smallest nation in the conference.

Breakfast is from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. and begins with a fruit, cereal, and pastry buffet. Guests also have a choice of juices and eggs cooked any style or "the special of the day" which can include pancakes, waffles, eggs benedict, omelets, smoked salmon and bagels, or French toast.

A buffet lunch at 1:00 p.m. has delightful selections which always include two entrees. One of our meals offered Poached Salmon, West Indian Ribs, Coleslaw, Tomato-Basil-Onion & Feta Cheese Salad, Fruit Platter, followed by Passion Fruit Sorbet. Anothe r lunch had choices of Shrimp & Snow Peas with Olive Oil & Lemon Dressing, Chicken Roti, Waldorf Salad, Pickled Cucumber Salad, Mixed Green Salad, Fresh Fruits, and Lime Tart. Afternoon coffee, tea, and cookies are available on the buffet table.

Appetizers can be found in the living area at 7:00 p.m. A seated candlelight dinner with a fixed menu begins at 8:00 p.m. and guests are served such gastronomic treasures as Carrot & Thyme Soup, Fresh Fish Grilled and Served with a Shrimp Sauce, Spinac h Flavored with Nutmeg, Zuccini, Gatin Potatoes, and Lime Mousse. Another dinner might consist of West Indian Conch Chowder, Tenderloin of Beef Grilled & Service with Mushroom & Port Sauce, Broccoli, Grilled Tomatoes, Pureed Red Bliss Potatoes, followed b y Creme Brulee for dessert. The evening menu can be previewed in the afternoon, and alternative entrees can be requested. Complimentary wines are available at lunch and dinner.

In the evening, a seating chart is posted by the manager and guests dine at several tables set for six or eight which have a view of the garden, Sunset Terrace, and Muskmelon Bay. Each night the arrangement is changed to mix the group and encourages gu ests to meet and visit with each other. Couples or families who prefer their own table are often seated on the porch overlooking White Bay or on the terrace.

A small museum displays artifacts and information about Guana's wildlife. Guests also are provided with a twenty page natural history guide to the island. It describes many different species which may be observed - birds, reptiles (non-poisonous!), ins ects, amphibians, bats, trees, plants, palms, tropical fish and reef creatures. Most of the incredible array of flora and fauna are indigenous to the West Indies, except for a majestic "Australian Pine" on the beach and a couple of cute burros. Some speci es, such as Iguana pinguis, the great 6' long 70 pound iguana once found throughout the Virgin Islands, have become rare and endangered; a few years ago, only a small number remained on remote Anegada until eight pairs were transferred and reintroduced to Guana. Other "lost" species are slowly being brought to the island in hopes that they will thrive and multiply in a protected, natural environment.

My husband explored many of the trails, but the great iguanas were elusive. No problem - most mornings, one or two of these shy giants can be observed on the Iguana Trail at "feeding time" when they are offered fresh fruits from the kitchen. While snor keling White Bay reefs, we found an enormous brain coral and saw lots of tropical fish of all colors, shapes, and sizes. A large barracuda followed us around while we swam through several schools of friendly fish. Crab Cove, on the other side of the islan d, is the best place to observe marine life. Monkey Point, another exceptional snorkeling spot, can be reached by a very strenuous hike or a short boat ride to the small beach there.

Guana island has the delightful ambiance of a large bed and breakfast or small inn where guests are generally on their own to enjoy nature at its finest. The Dominica and Beach House bars are self serve - guests record their drinks in small books and a re charged accordingly. The boutique also has a booklet for listing purchases. However, if guests need anything from extra towels to a special menu, the staff will graciously try to accommodate.

The resort is managed by John and Catherine Morley-Dickens, both British. They can arrange off-island activities such as scuba diving, deep sea fishing, trips to Tortola, day sails, and castaway picnics to remote beaches. A staff member is usually near the Beach House and will help set up small sailboats, windsurfers, provide tennis rackets and snorkeling equipment or fishing rods. He will also arrange a ride up the steep hill to the cottages for those who would rather not walk.

Dress is casual during the day and casually elegant in the evening. Bathing suits with coverups and shoes or sandals are acceptable at breakfast and lunch. In the evening, ladies wear dresses, skirts, or pants-suits and men wear slacks with collared sh irts. In the high season, some men prefer coats and ties.

The island has 110 volt, 60 cycle power and a water treatment system, however guests are encouraged to help conserve water. A telephone is in the library and fax is available. Wash and fold laundry service is provided at no charge. Currency in the isla nds is the U.S. Dollar.

Visitors to Guana are mainly from the U.S. and Europe. Most guests are couples searching for a quiet, magical retreat - far away from businesses and "civilization". The island is also a special haven for honeymooners of all ages, small conferences, and family reunions.

The resort is generally closed to guests during September and October when scientists pursue research and studies in marine biology, entomology, ornithology, herpetology, archeology, and botany.

DAILY RATES for two include all meals, afternoon tea and coffee, and wines with lunch and dinner. The use of tennis courts, small sailboats, kayaks, and windsurfers is also included plus snorkeling, beach, and fishing equipment.


Dec. 16 - Mar. 31 $635 $950 rates on Apr. 1 - Aug. 31 $480 $720 request

Add 7% room tax and 12% service charge. A $25 per person charge covers round-trip taxi and boat transfers from the Beef Island airport. Rates are subject to change.

Guana Island accepts personal, travelers, or business checks and cash. No credit cards.

GETTING THERE: Fly to the Beef Island Airport (EIS) on Tortola. A resort representative will meet you at customs and arrange a taxi for a short ride to the Queen Elizabeth Bridge. A Guana boat will provide a 10 minute cruise to the island. If possible, plan to arrive and depart between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If your schedule allows only late evening arrival, Guana Island will be happy to accommodate you.

For more information, contact:

GUANA ISLAND RESERVATIONS OFFICE 10 Timber Trail, Rye, NY 10580 (800) 54 GUANA (914) 967-6050 FAX (914) 967-8048

For complete BVI travel planning, contact:

OLSON TRAVEL AND NAUTICAL CHARTERS 401 Highway 181, Portland, TX 78374 (800) 525-8090 (512) 643-4555 FAX (512) 643-6975


(Ed Note: The following piece was written by Harry Angus Owner of Caribbean Logistics Group, an import/export company based in San Juan Puerto Rico. Which exports Caribbean crafts to the US. More info from shop.)

Cultural differences can be a major obstacle to communications in the business world. They are rooted in our ignorance of the other person's culture and customs, and all the stereotypes and prejudices toward that person. Anybody from any culture doing business in the Caribbean is faced with these obstacles. This becomes all the more important, since there is no such thing as a typical Caribbean person. In this short essay, we will try to determine the cultural differences that may cause communication p roblems and how to avoid them. We will try to demystify the "typical" Caribbean man and point out the differences that arise between those two dozen countries and territories that form the Caribbean. Before we begin to trace a psychological portrait of su ch a man, we will start with a list of tips that will certainly help to avoid cultural clashes when doing business in this part of the world. -

When you extend an invitation at 9:00 AM, do not expect the Caribbean business person to be there at 9:00AM. Thirty minutes late is common in business and acceptable. If you are invited, be on time. It is not uncommon to ask if it is American or Caribb ean time. This will ease the situation and clarify any doubt. -

If invited for dinner at their home at 8:00 PM, show up around 8:30 PM the earliest. It is not good taste to be there at the exact time of the invitation. They expect everybody to start arriving at 9:00PM. You will embarrass the host if you arrive when they are still preparing for the guests. -

When a Caribbean person says he or she understands, do not assume it is true. Telling that they do not understand is perceived as saying they are stupid. Ask more subtle questions to find out if the person really understood your point. -

Do not interpret a "yes" as "OK" during negotiation. Caribbean people do not like to say "no" up front, to avoid conflicts. This "yes" could be a "maybe" or sometime a "I will try" as you will notice later on. Again, by asking more specific questions, you may discover the meaning of their initial "yes". -

Do not take their favorite two words "No problem" literally. It only means that they will try to do whatever you asked them. In their mind, if they can't, the world will not end. No problem ! -

Whatever you may interpret as excuses may not be so for them. Even if they promised to realize a task, what you consider minor problems may be seen as a good "reason" for not doing it. -

Caribbean people are very proud. It is best to enhance their self-esteem in order to achieve your goals. Talking down to them can be disastrous and the damage may be difficult to repair. It is not common for business people in the Caribbean to have hea ted arguments and meet the following day as if nothing happened. -

Be very formal. First names on first meeting should be avoided by all means. Call them Mr. X. If they have a degree, in some Caribbean countries like Haiti and the Dominican Republic, they expect to be called Doctor X or Engineer X. -

Be very polite. Any deviation may be seen as arrogant. As you have stereotypes about Caribbean people, they also have stereotypes about Americans and people from other countries. By being polite, you will be perceived as different and be more likely to be accepted. In the Caribbean it is as important in business to be liked as to be respected. Try to win on both fronts. -

Do not rush into business subjects. During a business lunch, it is best to start with small talks and leave business for dessert. Family talks is a good way to start. Asking questions about their country is even better. -

Lunches and breakfasts can be more productive. After dinner and a few drinks, they might not be in the mood for business talks. Be prepared to stay up late if they invite you for dinner. -

Be casual. Jacket and tie is not "de rigueur" in most Caribbean countries. With the Caribbean climate, this is quite understandable. -

Do not be offended by "sexist" comments. This is very common in the Caribbean. Politically correct wordings have not arrived yet in this region. -

Do not try to show off your knowledge of anything. Praise theirs instead. Let them choose the wine at dinner and let them talk lengthily about the subject of their choice.

We should note that in the Caribbean, like in South America, it is difficult to categorize a typical person. Anybody who has done business in different South American countries can confirm that people act and want to be considered different from all th eir neighbor countries. The Caribbean is no exception. In this section, we will review the common traits that most people attribute to the Caribbean man and try to discover the "truth" behind these stereotypes.

The "laid back" syndrome is a major obstacle for an American to understand the Caribbean people. In the sunny islands, they do not live to work, but they work to live. In other words, there are more important things in their lives than work. Many tend to label such a person as being lazy. What we value determine our actions. If work is not so important in our lives, why would we spend most of our time dedicated to it? When the question is seen from this angle, it may be easier to understand each other. In the Caribbean, heart attack is not the major cause of death. Maybe there is a piece of wisdom we may learn from them. The word "stress" is not in their dictionary yet!

The typical Caribbean man is not inclined to believe in change. It is said that their eternal climate of summer have taught them this piece of wisdom. The sun will shine tomorrow as it did yesterday. Determinism also plays a very important role in the Caribbean life. They are true believers and they do not feel in control of their destiny. If their life is controlled by a higher force, they do not put so much efforts in changing anything. They believe their fathers have faced the same problems that the y have today. Life is like a cycle that they cannot escape. The only truth is that you will leave this life with nothing just like you entered it in the first place. When faced with an urgent problem, they tend to think that at the end all will fall into place. They may have seen worst than that before and at the end, God will take care of everything.

Another common trait of most Caribbean people is that they are class conscious. The business people you are dealing with usually pertain to a higher class in their community. If they are financially successful but do not pertain to a well known family in their country, they prefer to ignore their past and do not like to talk about it. Coming from below may be a source of pride for Americans but it is not in the Caribbean.

In addition, they do not view everybody as equal. Finding the historical causes of such attitude is not the purpose of this essay, but it has to be reminded that class conscious Caribbeans differ a lot from the typical middle class American person. Cer tain tasks are not considered managerial. They do not see their clerks as potential managers for the future. Trying to import the American way in a Caribbean environment is as utopian as trying to force a sheik into monogamy.

Remember that your business counterpart is a member of a small aristocratic class in a very small country. He or she is well known in his country. Talking down to such a person or just ignoring that fact could create barriers to communications. It is r ecommended to be very polite and show good manners. Your table manners may be what will determine your education. Education has a broader meaning in the Caribbean and does not only refer to the academic background. Showing good manners will encourage the Caribbean person to relate to you and will improve the communication line. Caribbean persons will not tell you exactly what they think unless they feel "comfortable" with you. Remember the part about their "yes" and "no problem"!

There are many other traits that are common to the Caribbean people. However, as we noted earlier, not all Caribbean people are from the same culture. Three major languages and cultures form the vast majority of Caribbean countries: French, English and Spanish. Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico share the Hispanic background. Haiti, Guadeloupe and Martinique are marked by the French culture. The rest of the Caribbean are mostly ex-British colonies and the Anglo-Saxon culture is still vivid. Final ly they all share the same African heritage that might be the common denominator in so many different backgrounds. It would be absurd to group all the people from the Caribbean region under the same label. A Puerto Rican is as different from an Antiguan a s an American is from a Japanese. In fact, the common traits between Caribbean countries exceed by far what differentiate them. The differences between nations of the Caribbean could be an interesting topic for another essay.

Remember to be cool, enjoy the sun and be happy while visiting these beautiful islands and do not forget to leave your prejudices and stereotypes behind.

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