Jump to content

Sandals as an alternative?


Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, seabeew said:

To rightfully protect Jamaican citizens, airline passengers receive two tests upon arrival at the airport: a nasal and throat swab. You can then go to your resort but not leave there until you get your results in three days. If you test positive, you are supposedly taken by ambulance to  quarantine for 14 days at a facility at your own cost.

"a facility"?

Full of other people there against their own will. Potentially sick and contagious.

Yikes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds great doesn’t it? 

39 minutes ago, ThirstyCruiser said:

"a facility"?

Full of other people there against their own will. Potentially sick and contagious.

Yikes.

 

Edited by seabeew
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, not-enough-cruising said:

I wonder what the travel restrictions will look like for Americans to fly to some of these islands where the AI resorts are located?


I saw on one the FB pages that travellers from the US might not be allowed to some Caribbean Islands due to the spike in US Covid rates. It has been mentioned (nothing official) if the EU doesn’t allow Americans, then some Islands under the same flags will follow suit. 
 

Antigua has had a spike in cases since they opened to tourists.  I would think this will weigh heavy on their decisions. 

 

3DDECFD1-D1AE-478D-8A55-7C7BA7CC24A6.thumb.jpeg.1208ac577ac12b964ee1c4c4bc1ee53f.jpeg
 

DBB52C3C-95F5-424B-9D3F-1C7180AE6BEB.thumb.jpeg.0ff717fb9da75b06f756084915339722.jpeg

 

 

2 hours ago, singinalot said:

 

I haven't really noticed any change for Sandals...we had been looking at Sandals Grenada for Feb and there's not much difference at all


The prices seem to be in line with our other visits. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, not-enough-cruising said:

I wonder what the travel restrictions will look like for Americans to fly to some of these islands where the AI resorts are located?

You can check by going to the department of tourism website for each Island or country you want to travel to.  I just checked St. Lucia and Visitors must be tested for Covid-19 up to a maximum of 48 hours before their flight to Saint Lucia.  

https://www.stlucia.org/en/covid-19/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sandals Montego Bay update

 

Jamaica’s prime minister says the country doesn’t have the resources to test everyone at the airport. Starting next week travelers from hot spot states will have to test in USA and upload results to a travel Jamaica app. 

 

I could see Royal Caribbean doing something like setting up a health screening app with ability to upload required Covid test. Of course there are gaps between testing and actual travel. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, seabeew said:

Sandals Montego Bay update

 

Jamaica’s prime minister says the country doesn’t have the resources to test everyone at the airport. Starting next week travelers from hot spot states will have to test in USA and upload results to a travel Jamaica app. 

 

I could see Royal Caribbean doing something like setting up a health screening app with ability to upload required Covid test. Of course there are gaps between testing and actual travel. 

 

and cost.  Its $100 per test so family of 4 is another $400 on the vacation.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LoungingMcCoy said:

Are any of the Sandal's resorts close to "civilization" where a person could do something akin to a shore excursion?  Specifically, I find it terribly fascinating to get away from the tourist areas and see how the real people live.


check trip advisor for the island that interests you. We chartered a private boat for the day, separate from sandals, and they picked us up and returned us at the end of the day. 
 

Sandals, just like RC😉, have trusted tour partners too for excursions.  We wanted to do something different, that the resort didn’t offer. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, seabeew said:

Sandals Montego Bay update

 

Jamaica’s prime minister says the country doesn’t have the resources to test everyone at the airport. Starting next week travelers from hot spot states will have to test in USA and upload results to a travel Jamaica app. 

 

I could see Royal Caribbean doing something like setting up a health screening app with ability to upload required Covid test. Of course there are gaps between testing and actual travel. 

 


Rumour is Antigua is going to do the same. I do wonder if the people doing the home tests will do them effectively enough. 🤷‍♂️

 

1 hour ago, 20165 said:

and cost.  Its $100 per test so family of 4 is another $400 on the vacation.  


No kids at Sandals but it would be same cost to step foot on the island. I guess you could possible go to the USVI, San Juan or Hawaii as they are in the US.  Their rules for tourists might still effect American Citizens though.  Currently Hawaii has a 2 week quarantine and visitors can’t even rent/lease a car.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Covid aside, we love Sandals, but we don't love all AI's.

 

Pros:

Way cheaper for Canadian's in a package than cruising.

No kids.

Rooms that are bigger than ship cabins, but some we've stayed in needed updating.

Restaurants are better than any MDR on any cruise weve been on except maybe Windstar.

We like the beach and pools, way bigger than on ships and included in the price.

Booze is included. Bar scene is generally livelier.

Italian coffee, ice cream, fresh baked cookies all included.

Stay at one, go to many increases the number of restaurants and beaches you can try.

We find excursions to be cheaper, longer, less crowded and no worries about getting back late if anything happens.

'Yard Sales' are weekly instead of nightly.

 

Cons:

Not on the sea. (Biggest reason we cruise, but we always take a Catamaran day trip anyway)

Nightly shows aren't as good.

Only one island.

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

People with kids may like to know about Beaches, which is basically a similar setup that allows and entertains kids. Fewer locations. 

 

Never stayed at a Sandals. Did enjoy Sunscapes Resort Curacao. Land-based offers more opportunity to experience and get to know a specific destination, but that requires getting off the reservation, so to speak. On Curacao, I scuba dove with Ocean Encounters, the kids' club took our daughter to the Sea Aquarium and we went as a family another day, we did an ATV excursion, spent some time in the capital, stopped at Mambo Beach...it was nice. 

 

Also enjoyed an 8-day 'week' on St. Croix, which was not A.I. But I think cruising (I'm an inside state room cheapie) would've been less expensive than either. 

 

Richard.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, mafig said:

For you Sandals experts:  Any of them in the Caribbean associated with or close to a casino?  That's something we would enjoy going to in the evening.

 

 

From the FAQ: Sandals Grande Antigua, Sandals Royal Bahamian, Sandals Grande St. Lucian, Sandals Halcyon Beach and Sandals Regency La Toc have casinos nearby.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, drrich2 said:

People with kids may like to know about Beaches, which is basically a similar setup that allows and entertains kids. Fewer locations. 

 

I'll second the Beaches recommendation, if you aren't worried about cost.  We spent a great week at Beaches Turks and Caicos several years ago...before they built the Italian Village.  We had a 4 family trip (my parents, me/brother/sister and our spouses/kids) and it was fantastic for the kids to enjoy an AI week with their cousins.  Every time that we look at going back, the prices are so high that we would save money by cruising in a Royal Suite, so we haven't been back.

 

Note also that Sandals (who owns Beaches) announced that the Beaches Turks and Caicos resort would close indefinitely starting in 2021.  They later changed their minds and now saw that the resort will stay open.  I'd be a little nervous about what that might mean for the condition of the resort and the level of service.

Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, CRZR58 said:

Covid aside, we love Sandals, but we don't love all AI's.

 

Pros:

Way cheaper for Canadian's in a package than cruising.

No kids.

Rooms that are bigger than ship cabins, but some we've stayed in needed updating.

Restaurants are better than any MDR on any cruise weve been on except maybe Windstar.

We like the beach and pools, way bigger than on ships and included in the price.

Booze is included. Bar scene is generally livelier.

Italian coffee, ice cream, fresh baked cookies all included.

Stay at one, go to many increases the number of restaurants and beaches you can try.

We find excursions to be cheaper, longer, less crowded and no worries about getting back late if anything happens.

'Yard Sales' are weekly instead of nightly.

 

Cons:

Not on the sea. (Biggest reason we cruise, but we always take a Catamaran day trip anyway)

Nightly shows aren't as good.

Only one island.

 

 

 

 

Curious on the cheaper than cruising for Canadians comment.  When i price them out in the US, including air, its waaay higher than a cruise.  Now i dont require air for the cruise so im guessing thats that difference?  thx

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, mjkacmom said:

In my state the tests are free, I believe.

Not for going on cruises.  If you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone that became ill with covid, yes the test is free but not before you go on vacation.

Edited by 20165
Link to post
Share on other sites

Helpful thread! I don’t wanna have to veer away from cruises for a while, but it’s nice to know there are still some fun options. I’ve found Sandals to be a lot more expensive than cruises, but DH has wanted to try an AI. We’ve walked by the one in Antigua; it looks cool. 

Edited by cruisequeen4ever
Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, 20165 said:

Not for going on cruises.  If you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone that became ill with covid, yes the test is free but not before you go on vacation.

It’s free for anyone who wants it, my family got tested with no symptoms (I have older teens/young adults and they’ve been working, my 19 year old was leaving to go to her friend’s vacation house to work, we are in the NYC metro area).

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 20165 said:

Curious on the cheaper than cruising for Canadians comment.  When i price them out in the US, including air, its waaay higher than a cruise.  Now i dont require air for the cruise so im guessing thats that difference?  thx

I've only bought packages that were less than the rate on Sandals website for room only and the packages include flights plus transfers to/from the airport. I think it's Canadian thing where airlines buy so many rooms that the airfare is basically free.

 

When I cruise, I have to add Air, 1 night hotel (Can't get there same day from Calgary), transfers to/from airport, gratuities, booze package and WIFI to the cruise price to match the Sandals package pricing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, CRZR58 said:

I've only bought packages that were less than the rate on Sandals website for room only and the packages include flights plus transfers to/from the airport. I think it's Canadian thing where airlines buy so many rooms that the airfare is basically free.

 

When I cruise, I have to add Air, 1 night hotel (Can't get there same day from Calgary), transfers to/from airport, gratuities, booze package and WIFI to the cruise price to match the Sandals package pricing.

Thats interesting.  Thanks for the info.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, CRZR58 said:

Covid aside, we love Sandals, but we don't love all AI's.

 

Pros:

Way cheaper for Canadian's in a package than cruising.

No kids.

Rooms that are bigger than ship cabins, but some we've stayed in needed updating.

Restaurants are better than any MDR on any cruise weve been on except maybe Windstar.

We like the beach and pools, way bigger than on ships and included in the price.

Booze is included. Bar scene is generally livelier.

Italian coffee, ice cream, fresh baked cookies all included.

Stay at one, go to many increases the number of restaurants and beaches you can try.

We find excursions to be cheaper, longer, less crowded and no worries about getting back late if anything happens.

'Yard Sales' are weekly instead of nightly.

 

Cons:

Not on the sea. (Biggest reason we cruise, but we always take a Catamaran day trip anyway)

Nightly shows aren't as good.

Only one island.

 

 

We have never been to Sandals but have stayed at Couples in Jamaica (which is very similar) and this has been our experience as well.  

 

At Couples they also have several excursions included such as snorkeling/scuba tours, glass bottom boat rides, catamaran cruises, trips to local sites such as Dunn's River Falls or Rick's Cafe.  

 

For a cruise, by the time we add on airfare, pre-cruise hotel, transportation to/from port, drink packages, gratuities and excursions it's cheaper for us to stay a week at a high end AI.  I know that booking excursions isn't a requirement but even a DIY beach day at a port costs money (taxi's, renting loungers, lunch, etc.) and needs to be factored in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I stayed at Sandals in Jamaica both before it was a Sandals and after. Great place but we just don't like Jamaica that well. We've booked vacations in Puerto Rico and Playa Del Carmen to fill the place of our canceled cruises. Our Playa Del Carmen vacation is scheduled for September and we have our fingers crossed. Good luck and safe travels to all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a link that should open for all. It is about Antigua and their issues with Covid testing and island visitors. Some people are causing issues, I think to which will bring about changes to future visitors.  I know the islands need the tourist money, but they need it less than sick guests. 
 

https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/tourists-threaten-to-sue-antigua-and-barbuda-over-covid-19-testing.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...