Caribbean Travel Roundup

Newsletter - Paul Graveline, Editor

Caribbean Travel Roundup
Paul Graveline, Editor
Edition 107
September 1, 2000

Last Update 31 Aug 2000

| CTR Homepage | Island Index | Search |


Trip 7/00

Getting There

After  finishing  last-minute  packing  items, we left for the airport 
around  7  a.m. We ended up in the overflow parking in North 13. There 
was  a  bus waiting near the car. Check-in was easy. We managed to get 
exit-row  seats  for both of us to Atlanta and for Todd to Jamaica. We 
were  at  our  gate  waiting around 8 or 8:15 for our 9 a.m. flight to 
Atlanta.  They gave us some strange granola snack mix and a soda going 
to  Atlanta.  We  were told that our flight to Montego Bay was at gate 
E26.  I had forgotten my headphones, so I went off to buy headphones--
digital  for  $9.95--and  for  a  Pizza  Hut  meal  to share. It had a 
pepperoni  pizza,  breadsticks, and Diet Pepsi for $5+. I watched part 
of  the  DVD Heat. We had a layover of over 3 hours. Finally, about 45 
minutes  before  the  flight,  it  dawned on me that almost no one had 
arrived  at  gate  E26. I went off to an information desk (no monitors 
anywhere  in  sight)  and  found our gate was E29. We went down there, 
and  there  was  a mob. Our Air Jamaica flight was delayed due to them 
stocking  the  plane. We left almost an hour late. We were to get into 
MoBay  at  4:15, but we didn't get in until after 5 p.m. On the plane, 
we  had  the  same  chicken hot meal as before, but it was less tasty. 
They  offered  a  choice  of chicken or pasta. It was in a brown sauce 
with  capers  over  rice  and  peas and was accompanied by green mixed 
vegetables,  salad  with  vinaigrette  dressing, and cake with coconut 
icing.  They  offered  complimentary  wine, champagne, and Red Stripe. 
Soft drinks and juice were also available.

The  baggage  area  was mobbed, more than we have seen except the time 
we went when there was a power outage. 

We  waited  quite  a  while  for  a  ride  to the airport, unusual. We 
arrived  at  Braco  at 6:40 after a 45-minute drive. There was a major 
crowd  checking  in,  but  this  time we received a wet towel and some 
champagne.  They  also had safe deposit keys. We gave them the Diamond 
agent  coupon  that  was  to  get  us a room upgrade, champagne, fruit 
basket, and flowers.


Celine  was  checking  people in, along with several others. After our 
towel  and champagne, she walked us to our room and carried our laptop 
bag.  It  was  a  very  short walk to room 1221/1222. Our bags arrived 
quite  promptly.  It  was  a  one- bedroom suite in the gardens on the 
textile  side.  We  stay  in the textile side at every resort, and our 
views  and  perspectives are from guests of that side, so keep that in 
mind as you continue to read.

We  had  a  refrigerator,  as  I had requested (hard to get on textile 
side.  Celine  made  sure  it  was stocked. It had soda and beer. Very 
soon,  they  arrived  with  a  platter  of  shrimp and smoked fish and 
champagne.  We  hung  out in the room a little while. The maid came to 
turn  down  the  bed.  We  got  ready  and  went to Victoria Market to 
dinner. It was Sunday night.


Room Service

There  are  continental  breakfast  items  available from room service 
from  6-11 a.m. We ordered this one-day and checked the 6 a.m. to 6:30 
a.m.  time  slot.  The  order  arrived at 5:45 a.m. We ordered this so 
that  Todd could get juice before taking the 7 a.m. bus to Breezes for 

Buffet--Located  in Victoria Market Daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 
They  serve a good variety of foods. Service at this meal and location 
were  the  worst  on  the  property.  They  still  have  the too-runny 
scrambled  eggs,  so  waiting  for eggs to order is a good idea if you 
want them. All sorts of omelets and eggs over easy were most common.

Other  items offered are toast (fresh bread), English muffins, bagels, 
cream  cheese,  jams,  cheeses,  fruits,  meats,  including  raw fish, 
sometimes  carved  ham,  bacon,  French toast, pancakes, Jamaica don't 
touch  me sausage, one or two local dishes, cereal, and yogurt. I only 
saw  orange  juice,  coffee,  and  tea available for drinks, but I saw 
someone  with  cranberry juice more than once. There is a wide variety 
of  tea available if you get service. One day, we even saw people with 
mimosas  and  bloody  Marys. In order to get any drink service, it was 
necessary  to  sit  at  a  table  with a water glass, juice glass, and 
coffee  cup.  Otherwise, we would sit the entire meal and not even get 
water.  One  day  we  finished  eating and I went and asked for water. 
They were so apologetic, but the next day, it was the same.

They  also  had dried fruits and hot cereal. They had mango and papaya 
most   days   (seasonal),  along  pineapple,  watermelon,  cantaloupe, 
apples, and grapefruit.

Our routine varied. We ate anywhere from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

Lunch  La  Pasta--open  from  noon  until  2  a.m.,  casual dress & no 

We  sat down here to eat on Saturday afternoon. In addition, I ordered 
one  during  the  week  to  go, and we ate there on Sunday, the day we 

They  have  an  antipasto  bar  for  salad  with  quite  a few salads, 
lunchmeats,  anchovies,  and  olives.  The  scallops  and calamari are 
still  on  pizza but were not out as antipasto this time. On Saturday, 
there  was  no  lettuce,  so  I  went  to  Victoria  for salad. When I 
returned,  they  had  put  out  lettuce  at La Pasta. Todd ordered the 
roasted  garlic  soup.  I  ordered the seafood (frutti) pizza. He took 
his  pizza  trio  de  carne (bacon, pepperoni, and ham) to go. We were 
served  some  good  Italian  wine, but it took a while. This was a big 
improvement in service over the last stay.

On  Sunday,  Todd  ordered  Fusilli  con  Pollo affumicato (pasta with 
chicken  in  creamy  garlic and leek sauce). He did not expect to like 
it, and really did.

To  order  a  pizza to go, talk to the waitress. They wouldn't take my 
order  at  the  counter.  The pizza was cooked and wrapped when I came 
back in 15 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised.

The  noon  opening  time  is  a  little soft. On Sunday, they were not 
ready.  We  were leaving at one, so we were in a hurry, but it was not 
a problem.

Lunch Buffet at Victoria Market--12:30-3:00 p.m.

The  buffet  varies from day to day. We usually stopped by for a look. 
If  buffets  aren't for you, you can find plenty to choose from at the 
beach  houses,  your room service menu, Nanny's Jerk Pit, or La Pasta. 
The dining choices are wide at Braco.

Each  day  there  are  at least 3 entrees, one or two grilled items, a 
Jamaican  entrée,  vegetables, salads, one soup choice, fruits, smoked 
fish  &  salmon, breads, ice creams, and pastries. Sometimes they have 
a carved item.

Items  I  liked:  Everything  grilled--steak,  lamb chops (better than 
those  from  the Beach house), fish. One day there was a great seafood 
soup  with  scallops and shrimp, lo mein, spring rolls, all the fruit. 
Todd also enjoyed a burger one day and the BBQ ribs.

Items  I  didn't  like: Southern Fried Chicken--not crispy or hot, hot 
dogs--reddish  color  & different from what I am used to. All over the 
resort  they  previously  had a great vinaigrette dressing. This time, 
it  was  replaced  with  red  wine  or  balsamic  everywhere. Each was 
somewhat tasteless from what I would have expected. 

Service  here  was  better  than  at  breakfast.  We  were able to get 
something  to  drink  during  the  meal each time we ate here. You can 
order wine, bar drinks for soft drinks.

Beach Grill & Room Service

They  offer  the room service menu (on both sides of the property) and 
a  good  place  to sit and eat it. The sit-down service will be faster 
than  room  service.  That is not saying much. We waited 30-45 minutes 
for  items at the grill. If we ordered just a bottle of wine from room 
service  for  the  room,  it  never  came.  If we ordered food, it was 
exactly  1  hour  no  matter how long they told us it would take. Both 
beach bars offer 24-hour service.

  On  the  textile  side, the grill is way down at the east end of the 
property.  There  is  a  Jacuzzi  there  that is little known. We were 
pleased  to  see that they thinned the foliage enough that you can see 
the  ocean  through  it now. We saw an absolutely fabulous sunset from 
here  one  night.  The  sky was several shades of orange and gray, and 
the sun dropped down seemingly into the water like a big ball.

Room  service  is  offered  all  hours,  but  for  a  few hours, it is 
breakfast  only  and  has  no  hot  items.  The room service guys ride 
around  mostly  on  three-wheeled  bicycles  with  baskets.  The  room 
service  menu  has  changed slightly. They offer buffalo wings, potato 
skins,   steak   sandwich   (replaced  tilapia  fish),  burgers,  club 
sandwiches,  pizza  (if  they  will bring it), lamb chops, salads, and 
desserts.  You can also order up bottles of wine or champagne or sodas 
or  other drinks (might take 3 phone calls). The time we ordered food, 
we  had  steak sandwiches and salad. You can still pick up a bottle of 
wine  or  champagne at any of the bars. We always asked for white wine 
and  received their house French every time. The room had a corkscrew, 
but they had always already opened it and put the cork back in.

At  the  beach  grill,  we tried the steak sandwiches one day. We each 
received  a  different type of bread. Mine was French (as indicated on 
the  menu).  Todd's was "other". One or two times, Todd tried to order 
grilled  cheese or a patty melt. Each time, he offered an explanation, 
since  they weren't on the menu. The day he ordered grilled cheese, he 
received  a  cheeseburger.  The  day  he  ordered  the  patty melt, he 
received  a  hamburger  with  a  grilled chicken slab on top of it. Go 
with the flow, and stick to the menu.

We  ordered  a  lot  of  Diet  Pepsi. Sometimes, we received it in the 
bottle. Other times, we received it by the glass.

Nanny's Jerk Pit--11 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily

Every  time  we go to Braco, this restaurant is busier and busier. The 
service  here  remains  good.  Although  I  very  much prefer my sauce 
cooked  into the meat, their sauce is great (quite spicy). I recommend 
their  excellent, flaky bread to go with it to cut the heat! They will 
gladly  allow  you to choose white or dark and will wrap your plate to 
go.  They  serve  Jamaican meat patties, jerk items, soup, and a daily 
special.  For  drinks,  they  serve various sodas (no diet), beer, and 
rum.  Dinner at Victoria Market--6:30-9:30 p.m. Daily except Wednesday 
and Friday

We  ate  the  a  la carte menu here on Sunday and Monday. They did not 
have  the menu that was posted outside the lobby, as that menu is more 
not changed daily even though the one at the restaurant is.

On  Sunday  night  we  arrived  at  the  resort  at about 6:40 p.m. We 
relaxed  for  a while and then went to White Gaulin, the main bar, for 
some  refreshment.  We arrived at Victoria Market at around 8 p.m. The 
band  took  a 40 minute break right after we sat down. The dinner menu 
offered  a  5-course  dinner.  We  did  not  find  an  appetizer  that 
interested  us,  so we skipped to the soup. Todd had French Onion, and 
I  had Jamaican Sweet Potato. I warned him that the sweet potato would 
be  one of the best soups on the property, but he did not order it. Of 
course,  he  did  wish he had ordered it when he saw it. For salad, we 
had  the  market  greens.  The  vinaigrette  was not the same as a few 
months  ago  and not as good!! For dinner, I ordered the snapper. This 
was  listed  as  a  healthy choice and tasted it but was very good and 
well  presented  with  rice  and  vegetables. Todd had the Black Angus 
beef  tournedos,  and  that  looked  really good. It was served with a 
baked  potato  and  vegetables.  For  dessert, I had the vanilla crème 
brulee.  Todd  had  something  else  that  I  don't  see on the menu I 
brought  back.  The  band  did  start before we finished eating, and a 
cabaret  singer  came  on  after  that.  We  received  plenty of wine, 
although  we  doubted  it was coming sometimes, and they still had the 
problem  of not putting the kind in your glass that was already there. 
They  would dump a California Chardonnay into a French Sauvignon Blanc 
and so forth.

On  Monday  night,  we  attended  the  wine  and cheese party at White 
Gaulin  and  then  went back to the room for a while and then back out 
to  the  Victoria Market. You can read about the wine and cheese party 
in  the  activity  section  of  this  report. The band was on the same 
schedule  as  before,  play  40  minutes,  break  40  minutes, play 40 
minutes, then evening showtime.

For  the  appetizer,  we had baked lasagna with jerk chicken and fresh 
vegetables.  This  was  VERY spicy but good. Next, we had the Jamaican 
Pepperpot  soup. Todd wanted the black bean, but I talked him into the 
Pepperpot  hoping  it would be creamy. It was broth based, and he said 
I  did  the  same  thing  to him on our last visit. Oh, well. It had a 
good  flavor. Todd skipped salad, but I had the same one as on Sunday. 
Again,  the dressing was tasteless, but I am glad I ordered the salad. 
For  the  entrée, Todd had the prime rib, and I had the mixed grill of 
ocean  treasures.  The  prime  rib  was a thin cut of meat served pink 
with  a  double  baked  potato.  My  mixed grill had shrimp, fish, and 
mussels.  I  could  not hold it all, so I gave Todd the fish. Mine was 
served  with  steamed  vegetables.  For  dessert,  I  ordered  a fruit 
tartlet  with  custard  cream, and Todd ordered cheesecake. All of the 
fruit  tarts I had on the property were exceptional, better than Braco 
has ever had on previous visits.

Street  Party--Friday  Night,  beginning  at  7  p.m.  around the town 

We  attended  the  street  dance  and  gala barbeque. The presentation 
changes  here  each  time.  Once,  we  saw  a huge blue ice sculpture. 
Another  time,  it  was  lit up like Christmas. This time, there was a 
big  fountain  and flower arrangement at the fruit table. There was an 
elaborate  arrangement  of chocolate-covered strawberries in white and 
milk chocolate.

Main  selections  included  seafood pasta (great), steamed vegetables, 
conch  soup,  jerk  chicken,  lo  mein,  sushi, and the selection here 
wasn't  a  huge  number  of things but all was very well presented and 
wonderful.  I  only  took  grilled  lobster,  seafood pasta salad, and 
chocolate   covered   strawberries.  The  lobsters  are  really  large 
crayfish  (spiny  lobster).  Some were the size of shrimp. Others were 
quite  huge.  All  guests  ordering asked for two. I ate 2 small and 1 
large  of  these.  Todd ate 3 and had some roast beef. Items we didn't 
eat:  California roll, sushi, raw fish, carved meat, carved beef, many 
vegetables,  fish,  chicken,  variety  of  salads,  including to order 
Caesar,  and  meats  and  cheeses.  There were some breads. Todd and I 
took  some  lobster back to the room, and I had some for breakfast the 
next two days.

After  the  dinner,  there  was  dancing  in  the  street.  The social 
directors  start out with line dances with everyone participating. One 
was  what I call the bus stop. It has a bunch of different names. They 
even  did  the  Macarena,  which  I  still  like.  I  participated  in 
everything  until  the  contests.  They  do a dollar dance contest for 
women  and  then  men. They do several groups of 4-6 people and pick a 
winner  based  on  claps  (and  their  own  opinion if they ignore the 
claps).  Then  the finals are held with the winners from each of those 
groups.  Each  set  of  people had a different social director to show 
them  the moves throughout the dance. The reward was a large bottle of 
Appleton  Rum.  The  men were particularly animated. One guy went from 
dancing  with  a  post to jumping on one of the other guys. A woman in 
her  50s  went  out and danced to them. I wondered for a second if the 
top was coming off, but it stayed on.

Beach Party--Wednesday Night, beginning at 7 p.m.

Guests  are  invited to wear their beach outfits. During our stay, the 
event  was  moved  to  Victoria  Market  due to the threat of rain. It 
never  did  rain,  however. The highlight of the dinner for me was the 
sautéed  prawns.  I  ate little else and went back several times. They 
were  cooked  in  a number of spices until tender. Most people arrived 
between  7:00 and 7:30, so the line was rather long but moved quickly. 
They  also  offered  several  types of grilled items, ribs, chicken, a 
carved  pig,  many  salads  fruits, and desserts. They had a wonderful 
variety of fruit tarts.

The  social  directors did a limbo contest. When the event is outside, 
they have a longer program and a bonfire.

Piacere   French   Nouvelle  Cuisine--6:30-9:30  p.m.  except  Friday, 
reservations and jackets required

We  arrived  at  the resort on Sunday night. On Monday morning, I went 
to  the  concierge  and  was  told  there  was no time available until 
Sunday.  I told them that we were leaving on Sunday. After asking 3 or 
4  times,  she  said  that she had 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday 
open.  When  she turned to that page, it was nearly empty. I was asked 
if  we  needed  a  jacket,  and I said that we didn't, as Todd had one 
along.  I highly recommend signing up for this as soon as you can upon 
arrival.  There  is  still  a  problem with people that book and don't 
turn  up  for  their  reservation.  We  have  been on the waiting list 
several  times  but  have  never  been  able to get in when calling to 
check for cancellations.

Todd  wore  a silk shirt and sports jacket with dark pants and Dockers 
leather  boat  shoes.  I  wore a long casual dress with short sleeves. 
The  resort  has some loaner jackets, but I do not know what size they 
have.  We  were seated near the entertainers, a Cuban guitar and flute 
duet.  We  had  already  met the girls, who are delightful. We enjoyed 
sitting  there,  although  they  did  have a break during our stay. We 
could  see  a  tiny  bit  of  sunset  out the very small window by our 

I  recommend  going  here very hungry. Even then, it will be difficult 
to  partake  of  all of the food in all of the courses. We gave it our 
best  try.  They  offer  about  5  appetizers,  3  soups,  2 salads, 8 
entrees,  and 6 desserts. The menu does not rotate and has been static 
since  our  last  visit. However, it is subject to change at any time. 
The  restaurant  is quite elegant. Service here is white-glove and the 
best  on  the property. Our waiter smiled and offered champagne, white 
and  red wine and recommended trying all three. We did not opt for any 
red  wine  but did have champagne and white wine. If you would like to 
sample  wines,  I  highly  recommend the wine and cheese party held at 
White  Gaulin.  I  believe  it  is  on Monday night. Our glasses never 
reached bottom during the evening.

For  the  appetizer,  we had sake-marinated shrimp with pickled ginger 
and   glass   noodle   salad  enhanced  with  Soya  garlic  and  Marin 
vinaigrette.  This  was  excellent  and  had  an oriental twist. Other 
appetizers  offered  included a tuna loin, quail, salmon with crayfish 
and  caviar,  and  tomatoes and peppers with goat cheese. Todd had the 
white  bean soup. I had the crayfish soap. They also offered a chilled 
consommé'.  We both had the mixed green salad. It is served in a crisp 
sweet  potato  basket  with  oven-dried tomatoes, braised shallots and 
balsamic  vinaigrette. They also have a salad with endive, watercress, 
and  slivers  of  duck and Parmigiano in lemon-olive oil dressing. All 
of  that  filled  us up, along with the little bread dollops. However, 
we  went  on  to  the  main course. I splurged and had the Black Angus 
beef,  ordering  it  medium, as we have previously found anything else 
is  served  charred.  I  could not eat half. On a previous stay, I had 
ordered  the  veal  and prawns (still served) and another seafood dish 
that  is  no  longer available. Both times, I could not eat half. They 
bring  out  a  palate cleanser sorbet at some point during the dinner. 
With  dessert,  they  offer coffee and tea. We did not have either. We 
ordered  the  orange  and  French vanilla crème brulee. Between us, we 
could  not  finish  it. I felt the crème brulee at Victoria Market was 
much tastier.



On  Sunday,  we arrived at around 6:40 p.m. We missed my favorite lame 
activity,  the  fishing  in  the pond. This is now advertised as being 
held  twice a week, but it seemed to only be held on Sunday afternoon, 
the only time we were not at the resort.

I  went  to  the  Jacuzzi  before dinner and met a few single men from 
Birmingham,  Alabama.  I  learned  the next day that this was the golf 
pro and his traveling companions.

On  Sunday night, the resident band played part of the time during our 
meal.  They took long breaks. Showtime started promptly at 9:30. There 
was  a reggae singer (male, dreads) that did a lot of popular numbers. 
He  got  people dancing and then started audience participation games. 
That  was  our  exit  cue.  I  did hear that the games got into asking 
personal  questions,  and  at  least one couple was offended, but most 
participants probably enjoyed the fun.


I  awoke  very early, about 5:40 a.m. I watched the end of the sunrise 
and  then unpacked our suitcases. I made some tea, but it had a coffee 
taste, and I couldn't finish it.

When  Todd  awoke,  we  went to the breakfast buffet and then to check 
out  the  golf  lessons.  These were the beginner golf lessons. Oscar, 
the  resident  pro,  didn't  seem  to remember me in spite of how many 
times  I  have  been  to those lessons in the last year and a half. He 
and  the  visiting  pro,  Steve, re-taught me a grip and swing at this 
range  lesson.  Every  lesson  in the morning and the afternoon had at 
least  5  participants.  These lessons last two hours. We stayed there 
for  about  1.5 hours. Todd has played for 30 years; he was just there 
to see what I was doing.

At  11  a.m.,  I  went  to  water aerobics with Michael (a.k.a. Mighty 
Mike)  in  the  main  pool. Michael's "just 20 minutes" turned into 45 
minutes  of "tai bo". That afternoon, we also went to the lesson, this 
time, it was a chipping and putting lesson.

At  4:30,  I  went  to  the  socca  aerobics. Michael had us doing the 
dollar  dance and a few others in the gym. The workout lasted about 45 

I  quickly  changed, and we went to the wine and cheese party in White 
Gaulin.  They  featured  every  white, red, and champagne they have on 
the  property, along with cheeses and appetizers. During the week, the 
bar  had  great  appetizers around 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. Items served were 
spring  rolls,  chicken  on  a  stick,  pigs  in  a blanket, etc. They 
offered  two  Chardonnays  (California and "other", an Italian wine, a 
French  sauvignon  blanc  (resort  house--VERY dry), and Italian wine, 
champagne,  and  a  few  reds. All were available for tasting. Between 
the  wine  and cheese party and dinner, we went out to the beach house 
hot  tub  and  saw  a  sunset that was incredible. The sky was various 
shades  of  orange  and  gray,  and the sun was a big orange ball that 
just suddenly appeared to drop in the ocean.

The  showtime  was  a  black  lady  w/  blonde  hair. She did a lot of 
popular  reggae numbers and involved the audience. Todd didn't make it 
through  the  whole  show,  but  I  did.  I  went  to  the sing-a-long 
afterward.  April,  a  guest  really belted out the tunes after one or 
two  other  guests  sang.  Evidently,  she  had sand previously in the 
week,  as  some  people  requested her by name. We sang "New York, New 
York",  a  Madonna  song, and that "Dock of the Bay" song. Camille ran 
the karaoke.


On  Monday  night,  I put out our room service ticket to receive fresh 
fruit  and  juice  between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. Todd was scheduled to be 
on  the  7  a.m.  golf bus. The knock on the door came at 5:45 a.m. We 
enjoyed  what  they  brought,  and then Todd quickly got ready for the 
bus. He was down there right at 7 a.m.

I  decided to take a relaxing hot bath. I lay there for some time with 
my  eyes  closed. Eventually, I noticed the outfit I planned to put on 
was  laying  on  the  bathroom  floor  in a huge puddle. The tub had a 
leak!  I had not filled it to the overflow or anything. Luckily we had 
two  bathrooms!!  I could not make myself go to the golf lesson, but I 
did  get  on  a  swimsuit  and head for the Jacuzzi and then aquacize. 
Each  day,  the aquacize had about 15 guests participating. There were 
a  lot  of  people  that  just  lay on floats watching, and we had the 
scuba lesson people to dodge during the workout. 

I  lurked  on  during  the  music trivia and then got a piece of white 
jerk  chicken  with  the  sauce and headed for the room. Todd had just 
got  back.  We went for lunch and then off to the beach. We found some 
lounges  in  the  shade  and noticed a cocktail waitress. She took our 
order  and  came back about 20 or 30 minutes later. I got in the water 
on a float. It was a little cool but relaxing.

We  went  to  the  3:00 p.m. golf lesson where they worked on chipping 
and  putting.  The  lessons  are 2 hours, and I left to go to the 4:30 
aerobics.  The  aerobics were reggae/kick-boxing. There were a handful 
of  people  there,  and  it lasted about 45 minutes. The session ended 
with  a fast walk around a portion of the property. I went back to the 
room  to retrieve Todd for the crab races and dinner at Muna Hanna and 
then  casino night and evening entertainment. I was feeling overworked 
from all of this vacation!!

The  crab races are run like para-mutual betting, and the same guy has 
run  it each time we have been at the resort. He works comedy into his 
routine.  Each  race  has different crabs, and a minimum bet per color 
is $3. We came out $2 ahead by the time we went to dinner at 6:30.

We  finished  dinner  in  time  for  the  casino  night.  They had two 
blackjack  tables,  but  only one was open. Tanya ran that one, and we 
(along  with other guests) played with funny money. Near the end, Todd 
went  broke.  I  was in. Tanya encouraged us to bet it all. I did not, 
and  I came in 3rd. Unfortunately, only the top two participants got a 
prize.  Next,  guests  absolutely  begged Camille to open the roulette 
table.  She did not want to do it and said she was paying everything 2 
to  1  and  doing  only  two  spins.  She  did  3. Everyone played the 
outside,  and  she  wrapped it up in 5 minutes and handed someone some 
rum. She had places to be.

At  the evening show, we saw some costumed dancers, but I was starting 
to  fall asleep due to too much vacation! We saw some staff members in 
togas but no guests.


We  went  to  the  breakfast buffet and had eggs to order and bacon. I 
had  fruit,  Todd had potatoes. Again, we had trouble getting juice or 

We  went  back  to  the room for the golf clubs. I went to the lesson, 
and  Todd played Braco's course. Oscar informed me that I needed to be 
Debbie  and  used a posture that put the club in front of my bust!!!!! 
I  found  that  humiliating,  but  it honestly improved things for me. 
That  is  the  way  Oscar is. He will irritate you into submission and 
force you to do better.

Next,  it  was time to try the Internet again on the laptop. It worked 
this  time!!!!!!  After  checking some email and a live report, it was 
off  to  find Miss Cynthia for some coconut and into the Jacuzzi until 
lunch.  We headed to the beach house and had steak sandwiches. After a 
while  in  the  room  and a soap opera fix for me and CNN for Todd, it 
was off to the afternoon golf lesson.

We  changed  and  went  to  White Gaulin. We tried to arrive some days 
between  5:30  and  6:00  because they had excellent appetizers. There 
was a saxophonist playing in the street.

Since  the  beach  party  was  held in Victoria Market, the games were 
scaled  back.  We  had not planned to attend much anyway and headed to 
bed  by  9:30.  I  just  couldn't  manage to sleep past 5:45 a.m. on a 
single day.


Todd  went  off  to  Breezes  for  golf  again,  but this time, he did 
without  the  juice  and  headed  for  the  7  a.m.  bus. There was no 
aquacize  that  day, and I was having fun looking at the ocean out the 
window  and  posting  on  the  Lido boards on the Internet. I put on a 
swimsuit  and  went  out to the main hot tub. They tried to get people 
interested   in  pool  Olympics,  but  they  could  only  scare  up  a 
volleyball  game. I got on a float and went over to see Wayne for some 
Diet  Pepsi.  I  went  back  to the room about noon to see if Todd was 
back. After his shower, we went off to eat and to the hot tub. 

I  asked him to go play Bingo to win something when I headed off for a 
facial.  I had forgot to ask for a specific type, I had only requested 
a  one-hour  facial. The treatment was held in one of the rooms behind 
the  gym.  It  was  a  deep  cleansing  facial  with several layers of 
goodies  applied and also steam. She massaged my head, neck, arms, and 
feet. It was pleasant.

I  believe this is the day that no gym instructor arrived for the 4:30 
aerobics.  I  did  a  few  weights and headed back to the room. It had 
rained  for  about 3 hours that afternoon, so I went back to find Todd 
still  holed  up  in  the  room watching sports. It was really raining 
right  before  6 p.m., the time for the repeat guest party. They moved 
it  from  the  Muna  Hanna patio to the conference room. That was fine 
with us, as it was near our room. The rain quit just in time. 

We  arrived  promptly  at  6  p.m.  and  had  a long chat with Richard 
Bourke,  the  resident  manager.  We found out that he was moving in a 
few  days  to  GL  San  Souci  to  take the place of favorite resident 
manger  Rajiv  who  gave  notice  to  pursue private interests such as 
working  in his successful restaurant in Ocho Rios. We also learned of 
some  staff  members  leaving for Ritz Carlton and management's desire 
to  turn  some  top  suites  on  both sides of the resort into Jacuzzi 
suites  by  year-end,  add robes, and more room amenities by year-end. 
We  also  learned  that a real watersports area would be added at some 
indefinite  timeframe  and that it will be several years before we see 
GL St. Kitts.

We  spoke  with  Maurice,  the  sales  manager and several other staff 
members.  I  told  newest social director Camille that she looked like 
former  social  director  Ashley, only shorter. She said that everyone 
tells  her that. She also asked Todd if he helped throw her in the a/n 
pool  that  day  (more  than once), as it was a bunch of tall guys. He 
assured  her  he  was  a  super-prude  and had never stepped foot over 
there before. 

A  good  friend had arranged with the chef to feed us a special dinner 
in  our  room.  Chef  Herbert  arranged  it with us to have the dinner 
served  at  7:30  p.m. The lobster was served as nouvelle cuisine in a 
beautiful  presentation  with  excellent  spices  that  I  have had on 
lobster  before  but  can't  name  and  rice  and vegetables. Was I in 

Todd  was  done  for the day and went for TV while I headed out to see 
the  staff  and guest talent show. I just had to see guest April (from 
karaoke)  belt  out  another  song  or  two. I arrived at the starting 
time,  9 p.m. and was seated in the 3rd row of chairs for the overflow 
crowd.  I  received  no  drink  service (bring your own) but loved the 
show.  The  staff  did  a  doctor's  office  skit that we have seen at 
several  resorts  before  and  could  live  without  (the hypochondria 
thing).  Maurice (sales manager) did a duet with a guest. There were a 
few  other  good  acts. There was a bad act in the audience--two girls 
and  two  guys  (there were a lot of skinheads on this trip) that were 
making out there in the audience. 

I  believe  it was this afternoon at the beach house that Todd twisted 
his  ankle  and  broke  his  toe. The nurse visited and brought an ice 
pack  and Motrin. It might have been Friday, the days all mix together 
when  you  are  having fun. This gave Todd a good reason not to dance. 
Devin,  the  P.R. manager sent truffles for the sick. We also received 
some flowers from Rajiv.


I  woke up very early again. I enjoyed the Internet again and then got 
Todd  to  go  to the breakfast buffet. After that, I went to aquacize. 
We  had  a  guest  gym instructor, and she explained her experience of 
teaching  on the a/n side (clothed). We spent some time in the hot tub 
and  at  the  swim-up  pool  bar (tried Wayne's World and Mango Tango) 
then had lunch. 

I  had  my manicure and pedicure in the beauty salon and had a meeting 
with  some GL managers to show them some of the things on the Internet 
relating  to  GL.  At  4:30,  I  went to the Aerobics session with the 
guest  gym  instructor.  I  met Jackie Konder, another repeat GL guest 
that  I  had communicated with on one of the Yahoo boards. It was nice 
to  put  a  name  to  a  face, and I had seen her husband at the class 
taking  pictures.  I  remembered seeing them in November, but we never 

We  went for another hot tub session and waited until about 7:30 to go 
to  the  street  dance. We sat with another couple from Houston. After 
the  dinner,  I  stayed  for the dance, and Todd turned in. I hung out 
with  all  of  the other women who were by themselves and recognized a 
few  women  I'd  seen  earlier  with  men. I made it to the end of the 
street  party.  After  that, they moved to the disco, but that was the 
end of it for me. Saturday

I  woke  up very early again, and Todd slept until 9 a.m. I got him up 
just  before  what  I  thought was the snorkeling time. Even though he 
slept  at  least  10 hours, he did not feel rested. I munched leftover 
lobster  from the previous night for a breakfast appetizer. At 9:30, I 
rushed  us  to  the  snorkeling. We found out it was at 10:30, so Todd 
went  back  to  the room. I went to the hot tub. We showed up at 10:15 
to  get  our  equipment.  The  snorkeling  boat  took  us  west of the 
property. We were out gone for an hour.

That  afternoon,  I  went  to the shops to look around and bought some 
logo  shorts  and a sleeveless shirt. As always, the shop wanted cash. 
We  got some drinks and sat in the hot tub and pool. We had lunch, and 
then  the  afternoon  went  quickly. We dressed for dinner and went to 
the  game  room where Todd played pool, I attempted darts, and then we 
went  to  White Gaulin for drinks and the crab races before our dinner 
at Piacere.


We  were  to  leave  at  1  p.m.  so we used this as a day for sun and 
relaxation  before packing and heading out. I was disappointed that we 
never  were  able  to  speak with general manager Anil Sud. We saw him 
twice  on  the  property,  but he seemed very busy. We found out later 
that he had gone on vacation for a month.

The room

We  were  in  a  one  bedroom on the textile side. Our room number was 
1221/1222.  We were located closer to the main facilities than we have 
ever  been.  We  were  near the town hall, restaurants, pool, and golf 
course.  We  had a good view of the ocean this time even though it was 
in  the distance. The balcony was like a gazebo and had two chairs (we 
were on the second floor in a 3 story building). 

Nice  touches--long  mirror  for  full-length  view,  iron and ironing 
board  in  both  halves of the room. Bar soap and GL standard shampoo, 
soap,  and  lotion  in  the wall dispenser were present. Our suite was 
really  like  two  rooms,  but one had been turned into a living room. 
There  was  a clothesline in each bathroom. The bed was king-sized and 
very  comfortable.  Plenty  of  pillows  were  provided, and they were 
comfortable  as  well.  We  had  a remote control TV in the armoire of 
each  room  and  channels  were  in-house  (always  on), NBC, CBS, HBO 
Cinemax,  CNN,  Espn,  TNT, USA, TBS, and FINALLY ABC (thank you Braco 
management).  They'd  also  have a Japanese station and Playboy. There 
were two local stations.

There  was  a nice writing desk in our bedroom. We had a couch and two 
wicker  chairs in our living room, along with the refrigerator I asked 
for.  It  is  fairly  difficult to get one on the textile side, but we 
did  get  one  and  were able to get it stocked once after the initial 
stocking.  This  feature  comes  with  the  rooms  on the a/n side. We 
brought  some  extra  hangers.  The  safe  deposit  box  will hold two 
wallets,  passports,  and  plane  tickets  and  a  couple of pieces of 

We  had  a  room  upgrade for booking with a Diamond agent (also faxed 
ahead  and  requested  one).  We  also received a bottle of champagne, 
flowers,  and  fruit  for booking with that agent and some smoked fish 
and  cooked shrimp and champagne from management for being a many-time 
SuperClubs  guest. When Todd broke his toe and twisted his ankle, they 
sent truffles, and the nurse came by with an ice pack and Motrin.

Spa—treatments, beauty salon, free services & facilities

There  are  a  number  of  a  la  carte  services available. There are 
various  massages,  facials,  wraps,  loofah,  body  scrubs,  paraffin 
treatments,  waxing,  and hair treatments. Some treatments are offered 
in  30  or  60-minute versions, even 80 minutes. Check in with the spa 
desk  for  scheduling  treatments.  This desk is also the location for 
booking  the  manicure  and  pedicure  that are included. You can also 
request use of the sauna or steam room.


The  fruit  lady,  Cynthia  goes  around with her basket of fruit. She 
wears  her  native  costume and Adidas. We generally caught her around 
10  or  11 a.m. She commented that she never travels but that her face 
has  been  seen  in so many homes (via the internet). Many people were 
seen  that  week sipping the watery milk from the coconuts. The vendor 
also  had sugar cane, but I didn't see anyone try it. This time, I did 
not  see  the  peanuts or the Popsicles. Craft vendors set up and sell 
different arts every day. No one nags you to buy.

Laundry Service

Take  advantage  of  the  laundry and dry cleaning. It is included. We 
used  the laundry twice. Both times it was returned in about 1.5 days. 
You  will  probably  find  a laundry bag and ticket in the closet, and 
there  should also be a ticket in the packet in the room that contains 
the fact sheet, room service menu, rules, etc.

Maid service, turndown service, and towels

The  maid came twice a day. This time, we did not have petals all over 
the  bathroom  as before. We did have a decoration made with towels on 
the  bed  every  day. The maids came in the morning any time from 8:30 
to  3:00.  They  would  go around knocking on doors as early as 8 a.m. 
Staff & Service

The  staff  is  very friendly if you make a point to talk to them. The 
service  was  good  everywhere  except  the drink service at Victoria. 
Previous  problems  had  been fixed, so I imagine this problem will be 
fixed  soon,  as  well.  The  social  directors  work day and night to 
entertain  guests  and  get  those involved that want to be. At night, 
they  start  off  the  dancing and sometimes dance with guests. During 
the day, they organize many contests, games, and events.


The  resort  has  a 9-hole executive course. They are all par 3 except 
for  one  par  4.  It  is  a  great place to practice your short game. 
Lessons  for  beginners  and  intermediate are offered in the morning, 
advanced  lessons  are  offered in the afternoon. There are no lessons 
on  Sundays.  That  is  a good day to go to Breezes Golf and Beach for 
the  18-hole  course  because  a  lot of people arrive and depart that 
day,  making  everything  far  from  crowded.  You need to sign up for 
Breezes  with  the  concierge  a  day  in  advance. The bus to Breezes 
leaves  at  7  a.m.  and  10:30  a.m.  The ride to Breezes is about 25 
minutes.  Each time Todd has played the whole trip has been about 5 or 
5.5  hours. The current caddie fee for 18 holes (subject to change) is 
$14  plus  tip.  Todd  typically  tipped  them $15, but many tip a lot 
less.  Todd  brings  his own clubs, but they are available for rent at 
both  Braco  and  Breezes.  Clubs  and  balls are provided at the golf 
lessons at Braco at no charge. 

I  took  about  7  lessons at Braco. The resident pro, Oscar, is still 
there.  The  visiting  pro this time was named Steve. He is a coach at 
the  university  in Birmingham, Alabama. He had 3 other bachelors with 
him  (two other guys from the university and one of their sons) and no 
women.  I particularly enjoyed the afternoon lessons where we did many 
putting  and chipping drills to learn the difference in swing distance 
for  various  putts,  loft  distance, etc. Morning lessons were at the 
driving  range.  On  Thursday night, they have a glow-ball tournament, 
but we did not attend.


One  time,  the  Jacuzzi at the main pool reached 112 by the time they 
closed  it.  At one time, we found the one at the Beach House to be 82 
degrees.  Generally,  though  the  Jacuzzis  were 98-100 degrees. Each 
side  of  the  property  has  two,  and  these  are  good  places  for 
conversation sometimes and to be by yourselves at others.


The  resort  scuba  course seemed very popular. They go out as a group 
and  use the buddy system on dives. There are also dives for certified 
divers.  We  didn't  do  anything but swim and snorkel. Previously, we 
had  only snorkeled off the beach, but this time, we went on the boat. 
I  recommend  the  morning  session held at 10:30 because the water is 
already  rough  by that time. There is a hut just behind the main pool 
that  is used for sign up for snorkeling, scuba, and glass bottom boat 
tours.  You can generally get a snorkeling spot one day in advance and 
often  for the later session on the same day. We went out on Saturday. 
They  took  us  west  of the property. I saw a small spotted ray and a 
large  crab.  One  of  the watersports staff fed the fish some sort of 
fish  guts,  and  the  fish just swarmed him. Todd saw a bloat fish or 
something  like  that.  The  water  was  the  clearest  I have seen in 
Jamaica.  Our masks (Braco's) didn't fog at all, and this is the first 
time  Todd  had  snorkeled  since he had lasik. Since the water was so 
rough,  it  was  somewhat  of  an aerobic workout, but it was a lot of 
fun. They also had an a/n snorkeling one day. We did not attend.

The  windsurfing  instruction looked good, too, but it was windy. They 
have  sunfish  sailing,  windsurfing,  kayaking, and water skiing. For 
optional  activities,  they offer PADI certification courses and night 

Trip Home

We  were  to have our bags out at noon and to depart at 1 p.m. We were 
ready  right  at  noon and called the front desk to request someone to 
pick up our bags. 

We  went  to  La  Pasta and then went for a check out. It was a simple 
process.  We got on the bus right at 1 p.m. It was really full. We got 
to  the  airport  before  two  and  were placed in a long line for Air 
Jamaica.  We  didn't  buy a thing at the airport. We were an hour late 
leaving  Jamaica  due  to  "last  minute  bags".  We  barely  made our 
connection  in Atlanta after clearing customs (on the plane 13 minutes 
before  departure).  We  were amazed our bags made it. Air Jamaica fed 
us  the  same  chicken  as  before,  but it wasn't as good. I had tiny 
champagne,  Todd  had  beer.  The flight to Houston was uneventful. We 
arrived home around midnight.

Repeat Guest Party

See the activities section of this report.

General Comments

The  watersports staff tries really hard to keep towels at the beaches 
and  pools  and the gym & spa staff try to keep them at the gym. There 
are  times  when  you  can't  get a towel because some people actually 
grab  handfuls  for  just two people!!! You do not sign out towels and 
can  return  them  to whatever location you like or leave them in your 
room. There are plenty of floating mats in all water areas.

General  stuff:  menus are outside the lobby. The Victoria Market menu 
can  be  used to get an idea of the types of food offered. The menu at 
the  restaurant  rotates  daily,  but they don't change the one on the 
wall  outside  the lobby daily. I mentioned that to the staff. You can 
pick  up a list of textile & a/n activities, map, watersports activity 
sheet,  and  resort  fact  sheet  in the lobby, also. You can view the 
day's  main  events  on a board by Victoria's market. There are things 
going  on  from 7:30 a.m. until evening. You don't have to participate 
in anything.

Brochures  for  all  SuperClubs are available in the lobby. Shops want 
cash,  no  charging  to  the  room, at least at the logo shop. You can 
charge spa treatments to your room.

There  is  often  a  lot of wind at Braco and other areas of the north 
coast.  We  were  still able to snorkel and enjoy everything we wanted 
to  do.  Braco  is  a  very unique property that seems to keep getting 
better.  Service  is  great  in  most  areas, with a few glitches. For 
those  glitches,  fill  out  the  comment  card  in detail. Management 
really  pays  attention to the comments. If something particularly bad 
happens,  speak  to  a  manager  right away. They usually are swift in 
solving problems.

The  resort  was  at  near  capacity  in  the 90s, percentage-wise. It 
didn't  feel  crowded  anywhere  but we could tell that the resort has 
become  more  popular. On our November visits, we have found more east 
coast  U.S.  people  and many Canadians on Lido Lottery. This time, we 
found  many  Texans  on  Funjet charters, some from the south and some 
from  the  east coast, mostly Americans. There were some Europeans and 
Jamaicans, also.

Rooms  are  nicer  (and pricier) on the a/n side of the resort. I wish 
this  wasn't  the  case,  as  we are very much room people but have no 
desire  to  stay  on  the a/n side. For those that like that side, the 
facilities  are  huge,  they  have tennis courts, two Jacuzzis, a pool 
that  you  walk  into  like  you  walked  out from a beach, and a long 
beach.  On  the  textile  side, you have a huge pool that looks out to 
the  town square and hosts a variety of activity and leisure. There is 
a  swim-up bar there, also. There are lots of friendly people to meet, 
or  you  can  keep  to  yourselves. Whatever side you pick and however 
long  you stay, you will most likely want to return and wonder why you 
didn't book more days.

From  speaking  with  management,  it  sounds  like they have a lot of 
ideas  to  take  the resort a little more upscale, and we like that. I 
imagine  it  will  still  be  the  casual- elegance that keeps GL fans 
returning again and again. 


Trip date 8/1/00

To  begin  with,  If  you directly through Superclubs. They 
have  their own website and toll free number. I used MLT vacations and 
got  a  good  bargain. The big problem is the 727 cattle plane and the 
service  mentality  of a charter. The airport checkin and checkout was 
horrific. BUT ...on to the vacation..

Check  in  was a zoo at the Jamaica ready for a delay as 
it  seems  every  airline  shows  up  at  the  same  time  and customs 
officials are slower than Christmas.

The  air-conditioned  1hr30min  bus  ride  was actually pleasurable. I 
expected  it  to  be  a nightmare..but it was actually nice to see the 
coastline  and  local  cities  and  everday  life  of Jamaica. I was a 
little  shocked  to  find  out it was as third world poverty ridden as 
some  points in Mexico. Our arrival at the hotel was a bit muddled and 
we  had  to  wait  for  about  an  hour for our room to be ready. They 
showed  us  to  the bar or out to the poolside for lunch. The room was 
adequate.  HUGE oversized king bed with marble accents throughout. Air 
conditioning  was  a  joke. It ran 24/7 and never cooled the room to a 
comfortable  level.  We  stayed  in  the  2000 building. If you want a 
pool/beach view try to get an even number room. 

The  food  was  varied throughout our 5 day stay. Lots of "jerk" meats 
..but  they  laced  in  some fish, fajita, fried chicken, pastas, etc. 
You  won't  go hungry. My personal experience with the service started 
out  on  shaky  ground.  This  is  MY take it as you 
will....I  believe  the  mindset  of a typical Jamaican is that of all 
white  people  are  racists  until  proven  otherwise.  At first, if I 
ordered  a  drink,  I was put off while they tended to others of their 
race.  It  was  almost  as  if  they were subtly telling you that they 
would  wait  on  you in their good time. You are constantly, no matter 
what  the  atmosphere,  told  "No  Problem".  After  chumming  up to a 
bartender  or  waitress  or  two....and  they  realized  I wasn't some 
racist  Texas  pig.....the  drinks  and  service accelerated from just 
plain  capable.  By  the  way...the  Jamaicans  have a drink 
called  a  "No  Problem"....try it'll like it. I at no time got 
nauseated  or  had  any  symptoms  of  the  typical Mexico Montezuma's 

The  water  was  absolutely  spectacular. I've been to several resorts 
and  this  is  the  best snorkeling/scuba water I've ever seen without 
having  to  pay  someone to boat me to a location. Several local hotel 
boats  brought  scuba/snorkelers  and  moored about 100yds offshore to 
dive.  If  you are not a scuba person....the snorkel equipment is free 
to  use at the hotel. take either an English muffin or a box of cereal 
out  with  you....the sunfish and several other species will literally 
eat  from  your  hand.  I  kept an English muffin in my pocket while I 
snorkeled...and  the  fish would follow you anywhere. You can see fish 
less  than  15ft  into  the  water and not over knee deep. Wear either 
fins  or  some  type  of  shoes  in water because there is an array of 
coral  and  urchins  just feet from the shore. You can swim out nearly 
200  or  300  yds  if you are comfortable doing so. The coral reef and 
water  was  crystal  clear.  I  played  golf at the resort. And if you 
don't  take  your  own ready to pay about 70 bucks to play. 
$14  mandatory  caddie  fee....$35  rental clubs(adequate). $15 sleeve 
for   balls(3)...cart   was   $30.   The  fairways  were  in  horrible 
shape...August  is  suppose  to  be  rainy  season....they  are  still 
waiting  on  the  rain. The greens were fast and very little crabgrass 
or  nutgrass  on  greens. But they were sparse and you could tell they 
were  having  trouble  keeping them green. Absolutely NO fairway grass 
was  green. My wife went on a shopping trip to Ocho Rios($15) from the 
hotel.  She  enjoyed  it  immensely.  Although  they  warned her about 
straying  from the group. I usually rent a jeep to survey the area and 
enjoy  the town...but I was warned and warned again about going out on 
your  own. They drive on the wrong side of rode in Jamaica..and if you 
think  they drive bad in Mexico....Jamaicans win the prize for passing 
on curves and squeezing a 14ft wide bus through a 12ft wide space. 

This  resort  has  both  a  Nude and a Prude beach. The nudists pretty 
much  keep to was fun watching unwary wanderers along 
the beach come upon the 30 to 50 or so nudists and gawk.

The  pool  at the hotel was nice sized with volleyball on one end. The 
mustard  algae  was so bad on the sidewalls it was in patches of about 
the  size  of  basketballs  in  several spots. They keep the bottom of 
pool  looking  good...except for the 2 patches of plaster about 2ft by 
3ft  that will stub your toe good if you don't see it. I can't believe 
that  SuperClubs  allows  this  algae  and  bad  plaster. I don't ever 
recall  a  pool  being  in  this bad of shape. The water was clear but 
that was about it. 

Nightly  entertainment was varied and enjoyable. It goes til 
if you goto your ready to hear music till then.

Daily activities were varied and fun for most. 

| CTR Home | << Back | ToC | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Next >> | Search |