Caribbean Travel Roundup
Newsletter - Paul Graveline, Editor
| CTR Homepage | Island Index | Search |
May 1, 1999 Euclid "Slick" Carty is a 38 year old Anguillian with a special dream. . . . May 1, 1999 - Site Map - Click to enlarge pictures Send Anguilla's Own "Slick" Carty To the Olympics He wants to represent Anguilla at the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia in the year 2000. Wheelchair-bound since an automobile accident twelve years ago, Slick has never considered himself a cripple. He's married, works full time in the vehicle inspection department at Public Works, manages a tee-shirt shop in South Hill and keeps up his physical fitness with regular workouts. His fund raising campaign is well underway to raising the US$20,000 needed to ensure his participation. To date the campaign has raised US$10,885 thanks to the generosity of friends, local businesses and caring tourist. The campaign kicked off in April this year with a US$1,000 donation from Cable & Wireless who challenged other companies to support Slick's efforts. The management and owners o f Cap Juluca (US$3,500) and Covecastles (US$1,900 received with more pledge to come) have also been major benefactors. Most recently two of Anguilla service clubs- Soroptomist International of Anguilla and the Rotary Club- have given generous donations of US$500 and US$1,500 respectively. The Government of Anguilla is providing maximum support for his efforts through the Sports Officer and has promised to make money available in 1999. A number of island businesses are holding fund-raisers with proceeds going to the "Send Slick" fund. Exac USA, a Swedish wheelchair company operating in the United States, donated a new lightweight state-of-the-art wheelchair to Slick in August. And this month Slick finally took delivery of his Tennis wheelchair and his Racing chair. He plans to enter the 200 and 800 metre races and the tennis competition. Anguilla currently has no Olympic Committee and while Government is making efforts to see if Slick can compete under the island's name he has been registered as a participant under the auspices of the Paralympic Caribbean Foundation. So he is definitely going to Sydney!! Arrangements are now being made for him to receive coaching and to participate in regional meets in 1999 and early 2000. American Eagle has pledged their support by making tickets available for Slick, his wife and special personnel (like coaches & trainers) at extremly low costs. The campaign continues. There is a pressing need for a sponsor for the special clothing needed for training and competition. Anyone out there with connections to a manufacturer of athletic clothing? Another US$10,000 needs to be raised by the end of 1999. If you would like to help send Slick Carty to the Paralympic Games you can send donations directly to him at P.O. Box 847, The Valley Anguilla; or directly to the fund established at Caribbean Commercial Bank, for Deposit to EUCLID CARTY ACCT. #7552771, P.O.Box 23, The Valley, Anguilla, B.W.I. Fund-raising Tee-shirts are also available at Medeariman Reef Restaurant on Shoal Bay beach, the Tee-shirt shop on the South Hill road (just east of the Methodist Church) or from Slick at Public Works in the Valley for only US$20 each. And Slick has a web site, slick.ai , provided by Leroy Hill and Bob Green . Story courtesy of What We Do in Anguilla Do You Recognize Crocus Bay? Anguilla has so many beaches that it is a challenge to identify them all. Last issue we asked readers to identify the beach pictured to the right. The first answer to come in had a great story about a dog and pelican on Katouche Bay, but unfortunately that was the wrong answer. The second answer from Christine in Vancouver was I just love every issue of The Anguilla News. My guess, as the overachiever tourist, is Crocus Bay . This classic beach is the closest to Anguilla's capital, The Valley. Crocus Bay is the site of an historic invasion by the French in 1745, as well as a protected anchorage for fisherman and yachstmen. The next correct answer came from Frank and Rosa Bombino in Puerto Rico Hello Bob. Greetings from Puerto Rico. That beach is Crocus Bay, from where you can get a boat ride to Little Bay, enjoy snorkeling on the right hand side of the beach as you come down the hill or enjoy some fish and chips at Roy's. When me and my wife go there we are usually the only ones at the beach. Please do not spoil it by recommending it to tourists. Hit the link below for a photo of my wife Rosa at Crocus Bay. Take care Frank Bombino San Juan, PR Directions: From the airport parking lot, take the only exit and turn left, then drive straight past Island Car Rental and the National Bank of Anguilla. Turn left at Barclay's Bank and Albert Lakes, proceed through The Valley, up the hill, passing the now closed Cottage Hospital, and follow the road down a steep hill to the parking area next to a small, white one- story building, across the street from Roy's. Beautiful Stamp by a School Child Last year Anguilla held an art contest for school children . The theme of the contest was "Hidden Beauty of Anguilla". Some of the winners had their art immortalized on new Anguillian postage stamps. The young artist of the beautiful underwater view on the $1.50 stamp is 6 year old Carvel Fleming , a student at the Teacher Gloria Omolulu Institute . You can click this link for a picture of the student art hanging in the post office; Carvel's original is in the lower right corner. We have already featured Teresa's $1 stamp and watch future news issues for the other two stamps. Anguilla Questions? Email the Tourist Board at email@example.com or the Hotel Association at firstname.lastname@example.org Here are some events scheduled for the next few weeks: May 24. Whit Monday, public holiday. May 7-9. The Sias-Williams 3-day Wedding, arranged by Carol Webster. May 28. DeBrodah's Gospel concert at Landsome Bowl. May 31. Anguilla Day, public holiday. Probably will be a boat race. Queen's Birthday Holiday is June 14th, according to the Chief Minister's office. Updates and Feedback Feedback to News.ai: Email updates and feedback on news stories to email@example.com Translations: Anguilla Local News is also available in Italian and German. Click here to see what issues have been translated. Tete-a-Tete Forum: Read and post feedback on Julian Niles' Anguilla Home Page Update on Serenity Restaurant : This restaurant at the upper end of Shoal Bay has a special event every full moon , a moonlight madness after-dinner party on the beach. Last night, Friday April 30, was this month's event. A large crowd appeared for dinner between 7 and 8, and Kingsley started playing very danceable West Indian tunes about 9. It was great to sip a cool drink with friends around a table on the sand, then dance to a few songs, walk the gentle beach, snack on the complimentary hors d'ourveres, and stare at the full moon. 1-264-497-3328. Next Full Moon party is probably Saturday May 29. Feedback on Recent Visit. From: Jon Whiteman, firstname.lastname@example.org To: Bob Green Subject: The Green Man Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 09:04:17 -0400 We just returned from a 16 day visit to Anguilla. One day during our visit, we were driving around Island Harbor, and a guy in a pick-up truck pulled along side us, and was gesturing frantically. We rolled down the window and he asked if I was the "Green Man". I stopped the car, and he introduced himself. He had assumed that I was you, but recognized that I was not once we were stopped. The situation became more humorous when he learned that I was the "White-man". Jon Whiteman Web Sites About Anguilla What We Do In Anguilla has a new and improved look at www.anguillatourguide.com Harbor Lights is a small inn on the waterfront in Island Harbour. They have a new extensive web site a new toll-free contact, 1-800-759-9870, and a new email address email@example.com A Guide to Anguilla. Frank and Rosa Bombino have updated and expanded their Anguilla web site . Email Adresss: Architect Kevin Gumbs is at firstname.lastname@example.org Carimar's Frequent Visitor Celebration Carimar Beach Club on Meads Bay is a place that really looks after loyal visitors. On April 9, 1999, guests at Carimar celebrated in an award ceremony for Barbara Berliner and Sol Rymer. In recognition of their 10th visit to Carimar, Barbara and Sol were honored at the ceremony, received an award plaque, and a prize of 5 free nights at Carimar, good between May 1st and November 15th within the next two years. Carimar is a resort of two-bedroom condominiums and tennis courts between Malliouhana Hotel and Blanchard's Restaurant on Meads Bay. Those of you who are still working toward your 10th visit to Anguilla can conact Carimar at 1- 800-235-8667 or email@example.com for their summer special of 7 nights for the price of 5. April 1, 1999 First Jukebox in Anguilla? The Pumphouse Bar and Restaurant in Sandy Ground Village now has a real, old-fashioned juke box, for times when they don't have live music or a DJ. The musical selections are wide ranging, but tend toward Boomer tastes. Editorial Policy The Anguilla Local News publishes information about what is happening in Anguilla. We do not accept advertising and do not charge for stories. We welcome submission of press releases, announcements, story ideas, even guest articles, but we reserve the right to select what we think is of interest to our readers and to condense, expand, or edit stories. Appropriate topics are tourism, beaches, local culture, nature, sports, schools, clubs, shopping, boating, fishing, events, music, art and, of course, food. Bob Green Anguilla Local News Box 931 The Valley Fax: 1-264-497-3295 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Computer Club's Advanced MS Word Class In order to raise funds to promote computer literacy and in response to requests from offices on the island, the Anguilla Library Computer Club presented an advanced professional course on MS Word, March 23-29, 1999. The instructor was Rose Anne Leonard (email email@example.com ) of Canada. Rose Anne is a professional instructor and her visit to Anguilla was arranged by snowbird Dave Thomas. The lab facilities and the actual class were arranged by Griffin Webster of Beachtech Center on Shoal Bay. MIS Manager at Anglec Johanne Webster and Computer Club President LeRoy Hill were lab instructors. Each student received a copy of the class textbook, Microsoft Word 98 - Comprehensive - Enhanced , a complete tutorial from www.course.com The students used the club's new Win95 systems for the course: Shoal Bay Scuba Launches New Dive Boat Glen Richardson of Island Harbour has created a luxurious new dive boat for Shoal Bay Scuba . With her name still to be decided, the 36-foot vessel was launched on February 23, 1999 following the blessing ceremony performed by Reverend John Gumbs. It is anticipated that due to the wide beam this dive boat may be able to take divers to spots that were inaccessible before. And it is powered by two outboard Yamaha 250 engines purchased from local distributor Mithcell Hodge craft. Dive Master Michel Faligan and Shoal Bay Scuba owners David Stephan, Ray Knudsen and Leander "Bull" Bryan are also hoping to promote Anguilla internationally as a premiere professional boat building center through the use of a specially made video that chronicles and documents the building of their new boat. News Tidbits from Anguilla House of Assembly Sworn In. Anguilla's new Court House and House of Assembly was the site on March 30, 1999 for the ceremony of swearing in the new members. You can read about the elected members on the elections.ai web site. The House also includes two "nominated members": Walcott Richardson and Claudel Romney. Elected Speaker of the House was Leroy Rogers. Grand Championship. Anguilla's Tae Kwon Do Karate Team returned from a tournament in Jamaica this week with the Grand Championship trophy. Cinammon Reef has a new representative in the States, Ralph Locke Islands, and new 800 numbers: (US and Canada) 1-800-223-1108 (UK) 0-800-894-057 (Europe) 310-440-4225 Arts Festival Deadline: The last date to register for this summer's Art Festival has been changed from March 31 to May 31, due to from Caribbean neighbors. There are registration options to suit all artistic temperments and pocketbooks. Budget Anguilla: Casa Nadine Anguilla has budget accommodations as well as luxury ones. Casa Nadine is probably the least expensive. It is recommended as a good choice for those who would be seeking a youth hostel in these postings to Julian Niles' Tete-a-Tete Forum for Anguilla. Casa Nadine telephone: 1-264-497-2358 Below is a review of Casa Nadine from a visiting teacher with a backpack: Hi Bob, Met you at the Computer Club last Thursday. It was nice to see the good things going on (and the enthusiastic kids!) O.K as promised a quick review about Casa Nadine in The Valley A nice place, especially if you consider the cost (20 dollar a person). The owner is very friendly and helpful, rooms are clean and have a fan and shower / toilet. The only negative is the kitchen, that could use a thorough clean up, but for making a breakfast it is still o.k. (there is a fridge). Anyway, all the best with your good work over there, if you ever want to let your kids do / exchange e-mails, I have loads of students willing to do so, just drop me e-mail by then. Thanks, Marcel Ideler International School The Hague The Hague, Holland firstname.lastname@example.org Updates and Feedback Update on Wallblake House : The gross amount raised at the auction was $20,000 and the net is $19,000. The money from the auction will enable them to complete the new roof before the hurricane season. They are using authentic wallaby shingles of the type originally used on the house. The Wallblake House Trust is also offering a new raffle which is a week at Malliouhana for two, including round trip airfare (from anywhere), car rental, and five dinners for two at five local restaurants. Only 500 tickets to be sold. Cost of tickets are $50. Drawing on Nov 26, 1999 at the Malliohana Hotel at 5 pm. For more information, contact Margie at email@example.com or Fiona at firstname.lastname@example.org Update on Pressure King : Pressure does not spend much time around Shoal Bay anymore. He has a charter boat, the Pressure Queen that operates mostly out of Sandy Ground. New Visitor Training Program Here is what you need to know for your first visit to Anguilla: Comfort : 80F day and night. Casual dress. No ties. No swimsuits in town. Airco for some people. Put shorts in your carry on (baggage gets lost). Perils : Use sunscreen at the beach. Do not touch coral. Guard against mosquitos. Money : Bring US cash and travellers checks, plus your credit cards. No ATM machines. Groceries : Places to buy groceries and how to find them! Phone/Net: : Reliable but expensive. Consider Internet-by-the-minute. Driving : Stay to the left. Don't worry about horn beeps. Bring your license. Manners : Say "good morning" before stating your business. Wave to strangers. More Tips : Power. Pets. Gratuities. Ferries. Marriage. ... Web Sites About Anguilla Nature Boy Expeditions. Dubois Webster, aka Nature Boy, now has a web site for his Anguilla water exploration business at natureboy.ai -- when we bought our used catamarran in Island Harbour, Nature Boy came out from his house to help us fix the broken parts and teach us how to sail it. He is a great teacher. Arawak Resort is under new management and is offering a 50% off special (starting at $55 for the summer, $87.50 for next winter). And they have a new web site: arawakresort.com and email address: email@example.com Lots for Sale. Beachfront building lots are for sale at Lockrum (that is between Little Harbour and Blowing Point) on this web page . Human Energy Kerry Davis has created the energy.ai web site for his totally natural health system based on colours. Splash Villa has updated their web page at splash.ai Sea View Guest House in Sandy Ground now has email, firstname.lastname@example.org , to go with their web page . Ritz Watersports has an updated web site with new pictures from this season. Check it out, then learn to waterski. Luciano Ristorante Italiano If you are looking for some Northern Italian pasta for dinner, then consider Luciano in Long Bay village (about a block east of Malliouhana Hotel). Your hosts Luciano Romani (an Italian from the Italian Riviera) and his wife Sophie Jaquin (French, from Paris) will make you welcome, as evidence this recent email message below: Telephone: 1-264-497-6700 for reservations. They only accept American Express. Open for lunch. Closed Fridays, also closes for September and October. Directions: If you are staying in the West End, Luciano is just up the road from Malliouhana Hotel. Starting from the airport parking lot, take the only exit and turn left, then left again to drive past the airport going west. Go through the airport roundabout and follow the main road, going straight through the other roundabout at Sandy Ground. After the South Hill Plaza on the left, watch for a paved right turn to Long Bay Village (which may or may not have a traffic light). Drive through the village and watch for Luciano on the right, just before Meads Bay and the Malliouhana Hotel. Luciano Dinner Menu Feb 99 ANTIPASTI Insalata Caprese Tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, oregano, olive oil $11.00 Legumi alla Griglia Grilled vegetables with garlic and basil $10.00 Carpaccio Beef carpaccio with celery and slice of parmesan $14.00 Insalata Mista Tomato, carrots and mixed green salad $7.00 Insalata Di Gamberi E Pomodoro Mesolum salad with shrimps and tomato, basil black olive and chives $12.00 ZUPPE Zuppa Di Cipolla Home made onion soup, Italian style $7.00 Zuppa Di Pesce Home made fish soup $10.00 PRIMI PIATTI Spaghetti Pomodoro E Basilico Spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and basil $14.00 Linguini alla Puttanesca Linguini with fresh tomato sauce, capers, anchovies, black olives, garlic, oregano $15.00 Linguini Al Pesto Linguini with fresh home made pesto sauce $15.00 Spaghetti Frutti Di Mare See food with tomato sauce, shrimps, calamari, mussels. Parsley and garlic $22.00 Spaghetti Aglio Olio Pepperoncio Spaghetti with garlic olive and crushed red pepper $12.00 Fettuccini Ai Porcini Fettuccini with french cepes mushrooms with cream sauce $16.00 Linguini Ai Crayfish O Aragosta linguini with crayfish or lobster with cognac. Garlic, Fresh tomato sauce, white wine and a touch of cream sauce $28.00 SECOND PIATTI Pollo alla Griglia Grilled breast chicken with rosemary $15.00 Piccata Al Limone Veal with lemon sauce and white wine $20.00 Pesce Del Giorno alla Griglia Grilled fish of the day varies Calamari Fritti Fried calamary with slices of fried zucchini $26.00 DOLCE Tiramisu $10.00 Dolce Cioccolato tiepido con alsa alla vaniglia Warm chocolate cake with custard sauce $10.00 Semifreddo in Salsa D' Arancio Honey parfait with orange sauce $10.00 Panna Cotta Al Cioccolato O alla fragola Panna cotta with chocolate sauce or strawberry coulis $10.00 All prices are in U.S. Dollars, plus 15% service charge.
SPRING AND SUMMER RETREATS AT ANTIGUA’S FAMED JUMBY BAY ISLAND ANTIGUA, April 21, 1999 – Jumby Bay Island in Antigua, one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive island retreats, is offering vacationers tropical sunshine, luxurious amenities and added value savings with a choice of four getaways. Escapes For Everyone Jumby Bay Island is offering the “Island Escape,” “Romantic Escape,” “Villa Escape,” and “Ultimate Escape” programs for five or seven night stays, now through December 15, 1999. Each package includes five or seven nights accommodations for two, daily full American breakfast for two at the Beach Pavilion or continental breakfast on a private terrace and dinner for two each night at the Estate House, the resort’s fine dining restaurant. Additional package features include airport transfers, a welcome amenity, afternoon tea service and sunrise coffee service, transport to and from the resort by ferry, and use of all water sports, tennis courts, and island bicycles. Guests booking the “Island Escape” package also receive a snorkeling excursion including a picnic lunch and a sunset cocktail cruise. Double occupancy rates start at $2,860 for five nights and $3,220 for seven nights, for a deluxe oceanview room from May 15 - November 1. From April 1 - March 31 and November 2 - December 15, rates start at $2,360 for five nights and $3,920 for seven. The “Romantic Escape” also includes daily lunch for two at the Beach Pavilion, a day charter with champagne and caviar gourmet picnic for two or a day trip by air to Barbuda with lunch and an island tour, a couples massage and a momento gift. Pricing for two starts at $3,715 for five nights and $4,195 for seven, for a deluxe oceanview room from May 15 - November 1. From April 1 - March 31 and November 2 - December 15, rates start at $3,215 for five nights and $4,895 for seven. The “Villa Escape” package also includes a sunset cruise and an island tour featuring stops at historic Shirley Heights and Nelson’s Dockyard. Double occupancy rates begin at $4,165 for five nights and $5,775 seven nights, for accommodations in a two-bedroom villa from May 15 - November 1. From April 1 - March 31 and November 2 - December 15, rates start at $ 7,150 for five nights and $8,470 for seven. For travelers who seek a carefree getaway including all meals, beverages and activities, the “Ultimate Escape” is sure to please. The package includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, all beverages including select wines by the glass and cocktails, and up to six hours of private instruction and services including tennis, massage, water-skiing and snorkeling. Rates start at $4,120 for five nights and $4,900 for seven nights, for a deluxe oceanview room from May 15 - November 1. From April 1 - March 31 and November 2 - December 15, rates start at $3,620 for five nights and $5,600 for seven. Luxurious Hideaway Boasts New Look Jumby Bay Island, managed by Rockresorts International, features 51 newly refurbished accommodations, including a 12-unit Mediterranean-style complex, 27 junior suite-style cottages, and 12 deluxe oceanview units. Telephones have been added to all existing rooms and satellite TVs and VCRs are now available in the oceanview units. For information and reservations, call Rockresorts at (800) 223-7637 or call Jumby Bay Island directly at (800) 421-9016.
(Submitted by: Joe and Joanne, Celeste and Carmen)
Trip 4/99 I will start out with our trip planning and try to highlight things we did as a result of our many trips to the ARUBA bulletin board. After realizing we needed a vacation and our Twentieth Anniversary was coming up we decided to go to ARUBA. Our travel agent recommended the Allegro All Inclusive with Apple Tours from Philadelphia on Mexicana Airlines at a special price that did not include the dine-around. Some folks did get three coupons worth $50.00 each per room for the program but their package rate was about $500.00 higher than what we paid. Additionally, the restaurant list was limited and I did not inquire as to which restaurants were on the list. I do know that the El Gaucho was not on the list. Since this was our first trip we decided we were not going to try all the establishments that the BB folks have been recommending. Prior to our leaving, postings to the bulletin board indicated that we should contact the hotel, car rental agencies, and any restaurants we wished to dine at. I contacted the El Gaucho at the following address: email@example.com for reservations for the 31st of March at 7:30PM for four. A person named Riri confirmed the reservation with a return email one- day later. I contacted Economy Car Rental at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Suzuki Jimmy 4wd. Mario the owner's son (just back from school in New Hampshire) confirmed the three-day reservation and price ($179.00) two days later. I also contacted the Allegro manager Alain Tiphane at email@example.com with a request for a North Tower Even Numbered Room above the third floor. Alain returned my request two days later with a promise to do all he could to accommodate my request. As a result of his promise I sent him three one-pound boxes of New Jersey Salt Water Taffy and a jar of my wildflower honey. These were sent three weeks in advance (he received them without any problems). I brought all three-email confirmations with us, as they would be needed. There is no need to be concerned with the Apple Tour folks or Mexicana Airlines. The flight to Aruba did leave Philadelphia ½ hour late, but we arrived on time. The Airplane was a new A320 (airbus) with seating three on each side. Seating arrangements on the charter are assigned at the airport so get there early. There was more than adequate room so there was no need to be fussy except to sit up front to be first off the plane. Drinks were free and the meal was good. The flight attendants on the way down seemed to have an attitude, but flight deck personnel were very pleasant. I would much rather have them happy than the attendants. Specifically, I asked for some water and it seemed they were doing me a favor in getting it. I also had to ask for ice for the water, which really seemed to put the attendant out. Similar requests from other passengers were met with the same lack of enthusiasm. For example, a pillow or blanket… The flight down took 4 ½ hours at 35,000 feet (for those who want minutia) and was quite bumpy. As we made our approach to the airport the pilot brought the plane in too high and too fast and we had to go back up again and try a second approach. After a bumpy flight you could of heard a pin drop. I just enjoyed the excitement of the moment. We finally landed without any more fanfare and were let off the plane. Upon disembarking from the plane we were met with high humidity, 94- degree temperature and high (36 knots) winds. I went right to the immigration folks and cleared without any problem (less than a minute) and then went off to Economy Car Rental for my Suzuki. Since we were with another couple they stayed to retrieve the baggage. I presented the young lady at the counter with my email confirmation concerning dates, prices etc. Economy had my car ready and I was out of there quicker than the wind. We elected to forego our transfers with DePalm tours so we would get to the hotel before the busses. I drove around to pick up my wife and the other couple and we were off to the hotel. It was an experience getting four adults and four large bags into that Jimmy. If you are going to rent a car for the day or two this would be a good time to do so, since you will get to the hotel first. When we arrived at the Allegro there was no one waiting to check-in and they had no problem checking us in at 1:30PM. We received our ID Tags w/o pictures (had pictures put on the next day for vanity), towel tags, gambling match coupons, and schedule of events. We got our rooms (pre- arranged with Alain) as promised 520 and 714, had the baggage brought up, unpacked and were on the beach at 2:15PM. The rooms had a king-size bed, refrigerator, safe and were neat, clean and more than adequate. They are still working on sprucing up the place but just minor cosmetics. On the way to the beach we noticed the lobby was filled with people just off the bus. On the beach it was very windy, not a refreshing breeze, but a stiff wind that peppered the legs with sand. The sand was not hot. Three cruise ships were in town so it was pretty crowded. I went into the water and my dive watch registered a water temperature 81 degrees, the water temp did not vary much except some areas were warmer than others (shallow vs. deep). Oh soooo cold!!! Pool temperature was 79 degrees late in the day. About 6:30 as we were on our way back up to the rooms for showers, we stopped at the lobby bar for some drinks (Mudslides & Bloody Mary's). People were still milling around but finally thinning out. Most of them missed out on the late afternoon sun and wind. One gal from our charter had her luggage mistakenly sent to a cruise ship, she did have a change of clothes and her bathing suit but that was all (did not see her or husband the rest of the week so I don't know how this worked out). Make sure that if you are on a tour, you use the tour identification tags the agent sends you. Apparently she did not use them and her bags were sent elsewhere. It appears airport personnel start the sorting of baggage. The lobby bar was pretty busy that afternoon though. The drinks at all the bars (lobby, beach, and pool) all used top shelf liquor and very good. We got two more drinks and had no problem taking them to our room (you should ask for plastic cup though). Glasses are used at the lobby bar and this helps the staff keep glasses where they are supposed to be! Later in the week we noticed people getting drinks in glasses and bottles at the lobby bar then taking them down to the pool. I think they left their brains at home. Funny thing about the showers and cold water. I think all of the water is warm, you could not get a glass of cold water from the tap. Get a bucket of ice if that is what you want. The desalination plant produces some 14 million gallons of water a day from the warm ocean, thus the water is warm to begin with. It is then distributed though pipes, which are not too far from the surface adding more heat. During our stay I never turned on the hot water for a shower, the temp was just fine coming from the tap, slightly more than warm. My wife on the other hand loves scalding showers and she only opened the hot tap, all she could get was warm water. My wife finally did get some hot water so she figured out the timing and got her scalding showers accordingly (3:30PM). I think it had something to do with people coming off the beach? After our showers we went to a buffet dinner. Brochures say the Allegro has four restaurants, however, the Tradewinds Restaurant (closest to the pool) changes the name at night so there is really only three. Cheesecake desserts seem to be an Allegro specialty. There must have been a dozen different kinds of cheesecake. If you could not find something to please your pallet, then you must be dead. All types of salads, chicken, pork, beef, fish, potatoes, veggies etc. etc. etc. The food was very good and the service excellent. Even though we were on the all- inclusive we did leave a tip for every meal, usually four dollars for breakfast and lunch or six dollars for dinner for the four of us. We did the same thing for drinks. Whenever we went to get a drink (or two or four) we always left a dollar tip. I brought a stack of one-dollar bills with us and used most of them. You get better service when you tipped. For example, if the bartender saw us in line he would start working on our drinks and by the time we got to the front of the line our drinks were ready. After dinner we went for a walk up the beach to the fisherman huts up the beach towards California Light. There is a lot of activity up there in anticipation of the windsurfing races coming up. During our week the moon was approaching the full phase so it was quite bright and very romantic. Upon returning to the Allegro we decided to go to the Casino. They have free bingo for $1000.00 every night at 10PM and you only get one card. You can get three additional cards if you change $20.00 for tokens. We changed $40 dollars for token and got six plus our two free for a total of eight. They play cover-all and if you cover all your numbers by the time they have called fifty numbers them you get the $1000. If no one gets bingo with 50 numbers the prize goes down to $100. We never did win at bingo and while we were there no one won the $1000. Oh well next time I guess. We then played the slots and lost $15.00 of the original $40.00, cashed the remaining tokens in and headed for bed. Sunday: I am an early bird (never got the worm) and get up around 5:00 every morning. This being the case, I was designated the "Obtainer of Shade". Each hotel has a number of thatched roof huts that provide more than enough protection from the INTENSE SUN, however, you must get to the beach early to get a choice location. I would get my shower and head down to the kitchen to scrounge up some coffee. I say, "scrounge up" because the coffee is not usually ready until 6:30AM. On of the cooks usually had some instant coffee, which would suffice. Dunkin Donuts up the street did not open till 6AM. I then proceeded to the beach. The beach attendants lock up all the lounge chairs each night, however there is usually a chair or two around the beach towel hut (where you get your beach towels daily). I took one of these chairs to the hut of my choice. At 5:30AM the only people around were usually the security guards. Around 6:30 or so the "real" coffee was put out in one of the two downstairs restaurants and I went and got a few more cups to go and returned to "my spot" on the beach. The beach attendants arrive about 6:45 to clean up the beach and set up the lounge chairs. The first day they asked me if I wanted some chairs set up in the hut I was sitting in. I asked for four and gave the attendant my two towel cards. He then said I should get the other two cards to him as soon as the other members of my party arrived at the beach. I gave him a $5.00 tip, and then went for a swim, then a short nap until 7:30 or so when my wife and brother-in-law came down. My sister likes to sleep in so we would just sit around and watch the morning activities until 8:15 or so. If anyone wants a hut, I would seriously recommend they get to the beach not later than 7:15 or so at least the first day to let the attendants know which hut you want and tip them. They will set up the hut for you the next day. There are signs in the huts that read "This hut is for the exclusive use of registered hotel guests. If the hut is not occupied after two hours time the towels and belongings will be removed and taken to the beach towel hut". I did not see this to be the case, but most people did put some additional stuff around to make the hut look occupied. We usually had some shirts, flip-flops, and beach bags we left on our chairs and never had a problem. I also had a radio, which we put in the hut and left on. Wasn't worried about theft (cost $11.00) because there was more than enough security folks around. Around 8:30 or so my sister would come down and we would go eat breakfast. It was kind of neat to watch the little yellow birds flit around and try to grab some morsels off breakfast plates. The birds were particularly fond of apple juice. If you left the table to get something and did not cover your juice glass they would swoop down and "steal" a drink. They did not do this with orange juice, so consider yourself warned. Breakfast was the usual fare, eggs, pancakes, bacon, and sausage, yogurt, fruits, potatoes and of course deserts. After breakfast, it was off to the gym for my brother-in- law, the rest of us went off to the beach to people watch and relax. I must say that I relaxed during this vacation, I did not even so much as read one book. There was much to observe; kids (more about them later) thongs, skimpy men's bathing suits (not my observations), the occasional uncovered breasts (no more about this, they are around), water activities, and the occasional "Shade Thief". "Shade Thieves" were the people that for some reason felt they were entitled to shade even though they arrived at the beach around 10 or so, some much later. They would grab a lounge chair and place it right next to wherever they thought it should be without consideration for others. I remember one comment on the bulletin board about "if there is a crying baby (and this could be anyone from 3 months old up to and including some adults) within five miles it would be right next to me" seemed to be the case in some instances. Talk about invading one's personal space, some people have no class. I actually saw one guy rearrange some chairs in one hut so that he could get two additional chairs into the hut away from the sun. The people using the hut were about twenty yards away at the water's edge. The hut he wanted to use would only accommodate four chairs and the people using the hut had two babies 6 and 19 months (very good all week). He was asked to remove his belongings to another space by the beach attendants and security. He got a little belligerent, but succumbed and finally moved. Around 2PM, my wife and I decided to do the tour of the island in our Jimmy, while Carm and Celeste stayed on the beach to work on the bodies beautiful. We drove out to California Lighthouse (took pictures) and continued on the "coast highway" on towards the Gold Mine ruins, Natural Bridge and beyond. When we were in the Cayman's last year we rented a Chrysler "Jeep" with an open top. We learned from that trip not to do it again. This trip was done in the comfort of an air-conditioned hard top. The road was bumpy, dusty and should only be done in a four-wheel drive vehicle (talk about an experience). Saw all the things you are supposed to see during this trip and took more pictures. Did not find out why some folk's build the little rock piles but that's ok, they do seem pretty strange though. When we got to Natural Bridge it appeared that we could get to the beach on the other side of the cove by just driving up the mountain and over it. I thought there was a way over without going all the way back down the same road we were on and decided to try it. There did seem to be a road along the front of the mountain so that is the way we went. Believe me, it was a white- knuckle ride across the face of the mountain. All the people down at the bridge area were watching us to see if we would make it. I did have to get out more than a few times to walk ahead to see if we could. My wife had her eyes closed the whole time and I am sure she said a few rosaries also. Looking back, it was really stupid of me on my part, but live and learn. We finally did reach the other side and got down to the beach where there were people on horseback riding in the surf. They mentioned that the road I used was only for small four wheeled all terrain vehicles. The trip to the Chapel of Alto Vista was uneventful. Further along the way we entered the Arikok National Park and followed the road to "Conchi" (natural pool). The road in the park is not like the road in "Yellowstone". After a short ride and not wanting to do the "face of the mountain thing" again, we turned around and headed back. As we drove to exit the park I missed a road marker (about a foot high) and we found ourselves at the top of another precipitous ride down the "road". This one was not too hard to navigate and we made it to the "safe" highway. I had enough of this (Joanne had enough at the Natural Bridge) so we headed back to our hotel. We arrived back in one piece thankfully. We met up with my sister and brother-in-law and decided to go to dinner around 7. Joanne did not get a hot shower. Went down to the lobby bar, had a few drinks and off to dinner. Dinner was the usual fare (I don't mean to belabor the point but dinner and all the meals were good and satisfying). During dinner a cute dog came over to the edge of the seating area and sat down. Our waiter told us he would just sit there until all of the patrons have left at which time the staff will give him a big meal. He was very well behaved and we could not resist giving him some of our leftover dinner. He is partial to prime rib and tuna. After dinner we went downtown to the "Crystal Casino" where we changed $40.00 for quarter tokens and $10.00 for dollar tokens. "Aruba Rick" said on his home page he felt the payoffs were better here (http://www.nothinbut.net/~eniac/sitemap.html). He was right. The first dollar slot I came to took my first dollar and promptly paid out $40.00. I put in two more tokens and won $60.00 more. I left that machine alone and cashed in my tokens. My wife did not have as much luck and we left with $58.00 winnings. We later gave this back to the Allegro casino over the course of the week. Losing $60.00 for the week was not too bad. Back to the hotel and bed. Monday: Got up at 5:00 and did the usual (see above) got same hut and gave same tip. After breakfast, Carm went to the Gym (small but enough to give him a workout) and we went to the beach. Stayed at beach until 1:30 had lunch and then Carm, my wife and I were off to baby beach for some snorkeling. Celeste stayed at the hut to watch out for the "Shade Thieves". We found baby beach without any problem, donned our snorkel gear and did the snorkel thing. Since we dive we had our lycra body suits with us. They don't keep you warm but do a good job protecting you from the sun. The water in the cove was quite warm (86 degrees) but past the rocks and towards the reef the water was 72 degrees. There was not a great abundance of reef fish but enough to satisfy the adventurer. When I noticed a "nut" out there with a spear gun I decided it was time to leave. There were some folks topless on the beach, and others changing out of their bathing suits on the beach. We satisfied our voyeurism desires and headed back to the hotel for showers and drinks before dinner (Joanne got a hot shower tonight). On Monday nights, a buffet dinner is served with a show on the beach. As a result, during the day one-half of the beach was roped off so tables and chairs could be set up for the "feast". Let me tell you since the beach area was reduced, the "Shade Thieves" were out in full force. No serious confrontations though. Tipping your waiters pays off. When we got to the buffet area we were immediately seated right in front of the stage. The star attraction was "Vincent". He is an Island favorite and puts on a very good show. He plays at the various resorts and should not be missed. Very entertaining. The dinner buffet was tremendous. After dinner and a walk it was on to free bingo at the casino. Lost again along with $10.00 in tokens. We never did use our "match Play" coupons, but we are not big gamblers anyway. I gave mine away to some guy sitting at a blackjack table. He lost, I guess easy come, easy go. On to the lobby bar for a few drinks, and off to bed with our drinks. They have a Disco and bar but we did not stay. Tuesday: Up at the usual time, coffee, beach chair, hut selection (same one) tip, etc. I had some company this morning. Our little friend from dinner came down the beach and sat with me for about a half-hour till breakfast was served at the Tradewinds. Again he was just patient and waited for his handout. This morning though as soon as Carm came down, we went to make reservations for Friday night at Caruso's restaurant. Each guest can frequent this restaurant at the Allegro only one time and you must make a reservation. I then left to go downtown to take some pictures in the morning light. I was particularly interested in the wharf and the fishing boats from South America. Each Tuesday morning the fisherman from South America dock at the wharf to sell their catch. It was interesting to see the haggling over prices and the various types of fish being sold. There were some pretty odd- looking fish being sold. One fellow who had bought some fish and was having them cleaned, mentioned to me that this particular fish was found at a depth of 200 meters. It was the only kind of fish he liked. He mentioned the name but I do not remember. There were a lot of restaurant and hotel chefs at the dock buying the "Catch of the day". A few boats specialized in shrimp, which were by no means small. Most of the shrimp were as big as 7 inches long. After the dock, it was on to Fort Zoutman, the Governors Mansion and some other picture taking sites. Since we would be coming back into town on Wednesday for dinner, I thought I would look for our restaurant then head out to the airport to inquire about returning my car to the Economy Rental stand across from the Allegro. I was told it would be no problem and no additional charge. This left me some more time for additional sightseeing. I drove through some various neighborhoods and returned to the Allegro. I had a late bite to eat before going to the beach. Joanne and Celeste were already soaking up the sun, and Carm was at the Gym. Had a few drinks, soaked up some more sun and then returned the car at 1PM. The office for Economy checked in my rental and I was back to the beach for more sun and suds (mudslides & bloody mary's). We all stayed at the beach with some short visits to the pool and outdoor shower. We watched some "best legs" contests, as well as other different events going on around the pool. The activity people always had something going on. Afternoon bingo was a big hit as well. We didn't play but maybe next time. Tuesday night dinner was held "Table d' Hote in the showroom and featured the show "Amigos". The show was colorful and entertaining, and we had good seats (tip, tip, tip $5.00). Our only complaint was that there was too much singing in Spanish. I'm sure they could find some Latin music that can be sung in English. Wednesday: Same morning routine. Sat at the beach all day. Listened to the radio, talked to some folks from Boston and Toronto, waited for the cruise folks to come and fight for good spots on the beach. Had a light lunch and some more drinks. Tonight is the big event of the trip, also a full moon and play on the beach after dark (use your imagination). Dinner was scheduled at El Gaucho. So a light lunch was in order (a banana). Stayed at the beach until 5:30 or so then went up for showers. Joanne did not get a hot shower! We all met in the lobby at 6:30 for some drinks and then off to the El Gaucho. The cab fare was $9.00 to the restaurant and our driver was full of information about the island. When we got to the restaurant there was a crowd of about twenty people waiting. I went up to the hostess and told her our names and of course there was no reservation in the book. I showed her our e-mail confirmation, however, the hostess still did not know what to do except put our names on the list. Then Rosa, (I think one of the owners) came over to see what the problem was. She looked at the e-mail, apologized, and immediately took us upstairs for the feast of our lives. I guess reservations made over the Internet via e-mail and Web page visitors get preferential treatment since the El Gaucho folks pay big bucks for the webpage (http://www.visitaruba.com/elgaucho/menu.html) . Dinner was nothing short of fantastic. Since we did not eat at The Flame we cannot compare the two, however, we all agreed the dinner was much better than Ruth Chris' Restaurants we have eaten at. For starters Joanne had the Garlic shrimps, I had Shrimp Cocktail, Celeste had Crème de Pumpkin, and Carm had Squid Buenos Aires. Drinks included one Miller Lite, a Glass of White Zinfandel, a Spicy Bloody Mary and a half carafe of red house wine. For dinner Joanne had the Argentine Grill ($22.00), Celeste, Carm and I had the Churrasco Argentino (gaucho steak, $22.00), each meal came with a salad, corn on the cob, a vegetable medley. For desert we had Caramel ice cream, cheesecake, and coffee. Total for the dinner was $184.00 that included the service charge but we left $190.00 because of the exceptional service and palate pleasing entrées. We walked to the bus station about ten minutes away and waited about 10 minutes for the bus. The bus ride back took ten minutes and cost $1.50 each. After a trip to the lobby bar and some drinks it was off to… (As I said use your imagination). We missed the Prime Rib buffet and the "Broadway Revue" this night at the hotel, which everyone was talking about the following day at the beach, but I think the dinner was worth it. Do not miss it. Thursday: Just another boring (sic) day at the beach. Normal routine, still have not figured out why the do not have a coffee bar set up all the time. We went to the manager's welcome party at the pool for drinks and appetizers from 6-7, then off to the showroom for a seafood buffet and show. Had front row center seating this time and you just have to remember to tip these folks ($5.00). Those big shrimp from Tuesday morning finally showed up in our restaurant. My, they are delicious. This is where you need to watch out for the kids and arrogant adults. There was a lot of line jumping in order to get to the shrimp. It seems some people only wanted the shrimp and were not content to wait in line behind others. The fact that the shrimp were being given out by a hostess (three to a person/per trip did not deter these folks. Adults and kids alike that were not satisfied with the three that were given by the hostess were prone to obtaining their own by reaching into the bowl and taking what they wanted. Parents with the "kids" even permitted this type of behavior; of course there was no "excuse me" even from the adults. Enough said. The show was very good and although you could not take pictures during the show you could go up on stage with the performers afterwards to have our picture taken with them. This show was a Vegas style show with skimpy costumes. Bring your camera. Again too much Spanish, however music is an international language so you can get with "the beat". After dinner, a walk and then off to the lobby bar for drinks and bedtime. Friday: Is the week coming to an end? Must be…today started quite a bit differently than the others. Well for the most part things pretty much went the same, that is I got up at 5:00 showered and went down to scrounge up my cup of coffee. Upon exiting the elevator I was greeted not with the sound of the little birds but the sound of rain. Rain I thought? I must still be dreaming, here I am in Aruba and it is raining... not just raining but a torrential downpour, this can't be I thought then just as soon as I noticed it the rain stopped. I looked around and thought the hotel staff had just finished washing the area around the pool. The rain lasted about 30 seconds or so. I went to get my coffee thinking of how everything survives with rainfalls such as the one I had just witnessed. I guess that is why the place is known for bright sunny days. Well I now have my coffee and about halfway to the beach for my morning sit, the rains come again. I can't see the beach for the sheets of rain. I did not bother to run since I would be wet soon enough and continued to walk to my spot on the beach. This time the rain came down pretty hard for about all of a minute. Did not see another drop the rest of our time in sunny ARUBA. This day we planned on doing some snorkeling over at DePalm Island and then some shopping in town. Since it was Good Friday the shopping part was out. We decided to get a cab ($20.00) over to the DePalm dock instead of using the Tour ($18.95 each), getting the ferry ($8.00 each), doing the snorkeling then get back to the beach. Celeste did not want to go so she sat at our spot on the beach while we went snorkeling. By taking the cab over and back we spent $4.00 more than what the tour would have cost but we accomplished the same thing in 2 hours less than the scheduled tour. The snorkeling here was very good, saw huge blue parrotfish, some young speckled moray eel's (about two feet long) and lots of other fish. The coral is pretty beat up and there are a lot of people out there that do not know how to keep off the coral, however, they pay with bumps, bruises and cuts. When we were ready to go the bartender called a cab, which was waiting or us when we stepped off the ferry. The cabby whisked us back to our hotel we had had a quick bite to eat then on to the beach. Tonight dinner would be at the Allegro Caruso, the restaurant with an Italian flair. Here you order off the menu, which was pretty extensive, however we were limited to non-meat items due to the fact it was Good Friday. For appetizers, Joanne had a Caesar salad, I had some sort of seafood cocktail (I didn't care for it), Celeste had gnocchi and Carm had Calamari. For dinner, Joanne and I had the Shrimp with Lobster sauce over pasta that was great. Celeste had Ravioli and Carmen had the Grouper. Me personally, I could have gone for the buffet but the others enjoyed the meals and atmosphere. After dinner we headed up to the lobby bar and then to the casino for our dose of bingo. Did not win again even with the extra cards obtained as detailed above. Well after bingo we went to check out and go over our bills. We did not charge anything, but phone calls were expensive. It is best to have the kids call you at a predetermined time. That way you can be shocked when you get home and not in the lobby as some folks were (not us). It seems that to call the USA you are connected to a operator from your hotel room. The operator then places your call, if the line is busy or does not go through you still pay a connect fee of $3.25. Some guests were pretty upset at this and I think the hotel did something for them. After clearing our account we got some more drinks and went to our rooms to pack. Saturday: We have not left yet so there is no need to change our routine. I did the usual thing and Joanne put the bags outside our room to be picked up by the staff. These were sent on ahead to the airport in a truck. We all had an early breakfast, then down to the beach for those last rays of golden sunshine. About 10:15 we went up to our rooms to change and meet in the lobby for the last time. Our bus took us to the airport without any problems we got our luggage off the loading area and checked in for the return flight. A word to the wise, our documents stated that return seating would be assigned at the airport, however we found out that our tour representative was accepting seating requests for the return trip and already had seats assigned to those folks that requested them. As a result we got stuck in the back of the plane. After getting our seats, we had to clear Aruba immigration which was a breeze and then on to US immigration. If you smoke, do not go through the Aruba security checkpoint. You will not be allowed out until your flight leaves. You will have plenty of time to grab a smoke then go on to your gate. Our flight back was not delayed but the one to Baltimore and Cleveland was delayed seven hours. Our plane trip back was pretty bumpy, but the food and drinks were just fine. This crew was pleasant and we all arrived safely in Philadelphia about 15 minutes late. Gripes: SOME parents that bring kids (above three years old) should impress those children that they are to act as though they are civilized. That is respect your elders, mind your manners and clean up after you. I saw parents allow the little darlings get ahead of people in food lines without so much as an excuse me or pardon me. On another occasion, the kids left the remnants of their lunch (banana peels, leftover hamburger & fries) under their lounge chairs for the staff to pick up in the morning, and on another occasion the shrimp thief dropped two of her shrimp, looked at them on the floor and shrugged her shoulders and just walked away. It wasn't like she didn't have a free hand to pick them up and put aside, she did. Meanwhile both parents stood by and watched. SOME ADULTS were just as bad. Most nights a group of individuals would have a beer party on the beach at one of the huts. The hut was not 20 feet from a empty trash can, and it seemed as though they were playing basketball with the cans. One morning there were forty-seven cans strewn around the trash can. Additionally, they refused to use the ashtrays provided. Now I smoke but if RJR saw the site those folks left even they would have a hard time understanding this type of behavior. Okay enough already. Questions: Does anyone know where all the cats are? We did not see a single one. Does anyone know if the Aruban Power Company has investigated the possibility of windmills or thermal energy? Where are all the strays and barking dogs? We did not hear any, and except for the house dog and his pal we didn't see any strays. Comments: Would we do it again? Most definitely! Did we have a good time? Sure did! Do anything different? Rent a bigger car and stay two weeks! Maybe not do the all-inclusive, but this is a close one, I would prefer the all- inclusive and eat out one or two nights. Would I go with Apple and Mexicana? Yes. Would I buy a time-share? Weighing the consequences now. Sorry we missed the BB happy hour but I forgot the date book I had written the times and places in. I am sure there will be a next time. By the way we left the sun, beach, warm water, and gentle breezes for you all to get back to and enjoy.
| CTR Home | << Back | ToC | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Next >> | Search |