Jump to content

Sandals as an alternative?


Recommended Posts

13 hours ago, A&L_Ont said:

It is about Antigua and their issues with Covid testing and island visitors.

Interesting.  I would think that Antigua would have the right to implement whatever testing they want.  Don't like it, don't travel there.  Of course, you'd want to be sure that travelers to the island would be well aware in advance of what they would need to do upon arrival. I imagine that testing before you leave home and then upload results will be a common approach for many of the Caribbean islands.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours 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.

I can see where you are coming from. In my case. I live between Ft. Lauderdale and Port Canaveral. So my cost to cruise is dirt cheep. Off site parking with shuttle is very inexpensive especially being a vet. Have stock both Carnival and Royal and get double OBC With Princess being a veteran. So for us to go to Sandals would be a lot more expensive. We did look into it. However, we do like a lot of the different cruise ports.

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

Interesting.  I would think that Antigua would have the right to implement whatever testing they want.  Don't like it, don't travel there.  Of course, you'd want to be sure that travelers to the island would be well aware in advance of what they would need to do upon arrival. I imagine that testing before you leave home and then upload results will be a common approach for many of the Caribbean islands.


they knew in advance... yet for some reason it was a surprise.
 

I think uploading tests will be common, but I also wonder if by accident or on purpose these tests could be done wrong/poorly. Who wants to stick the swab into their nasal cavity 1-2 inches themselves.  I have had a swap done once and wow is all I can say.  I can’t envision doing it to myself, but I could see my wife do it to me. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, A&L_Ont said:

Who wants to stick the swab into their nasal cavity 1-2 inches themselves.

 

Many years ago, in a lab experiment for a class, I had to do this; take a swab (like a very large Q-trip), insert it through a nostril all the way back till it hit the back of my throat (to collect a sample for growing some bacteria in a Petri dish). 

 

When the swab hit the back (my nasopharynx), it triggered a pretty potent hit of nausea. 

 

I'm guessing this also happens when people get a nasopharyngeal swap to test for COVID-19?

 

In other news, for people who don't drink alcohol, Sandals might be less appealing since in effect you're paying for it whether you drink it or not?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, drrich2 said:

In other news, for people who don't drink alcohol, Sandals might be less appealing since in effect you're paying for it whether you drink it or not?

 

There are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available at AI resorts like Sandals.  Smoothies, soft drinks, juice, virgin drinks, bottled water, coconut water & coffee beverages are all included.  Where as on a cruise, these items cost extra. 

 

Whether you do a cruise or go to Sandals, there are always going to be things you're "paying for" that you aren't using.  On cruises we're never used Adventure Ocean, the gym, fitness classes or the pools.  Our last cruise was port intensive and on several days we only ate 1 meal on the ship.  We've done a few cruises where we barely set foot inside the main dining room.  Vegetarians never order lobster, prime rib, filet mignon or rack of lamb.  

 

We cruised for close to 10 years before we finally tried an AI resort and ended up loving it. Since cruising currently isn't an option I think an AI is a great alternative for those looking for a warm weather vacation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed; people have to look at what offerings they use and compare against price and alternatives. I see the alcoholic drink packages on Royal Caribbean cruises are pretty expensive; I assume that cost is averaged out and baked into the Sandal's price. 

 

We have a little girl, so we got some use out of Adventure Ocean. Not much gym, no fitness classes, did use the pools (again, mostly due to the kid). 

 

I'm not knocking A.I. I have been put off by prices (despite the seemingly constant 'big sales' on their websites) at Sandals and Beaches compared to cruises, but I'm glad our little crew plus my mother-in-law got to enjoy a week at Sunscapes Resort Curacao. 

 

It may be one of those things worth trying at least once to see for yourself how you like it. There are actually people out there who don't like cruising!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heading to Jamaica, you might want to read this. 
 

These are the new rules (July 10th) for Americans flying into Jamaican. This is a link from the US Embassy in Jamaica.  A PCR test (Covid test) must be uploaded 7 days prior to arrival to a Jamaican website along with a survey.  Travellers are also tested at the airport when they arrive. If no test is sent in prior to boarding, then you do not board the plane. It gives you the travel authorization to go. If you fail The Covid test in Jamaica then you are quarantined in a Jamaican government facility. 😱  
 

This is all over Sandals FB group pages.
 

link to the website. 
 

https://jm.usembassy.gov/health-alert-u-s-embassy-kingston-jamaica-07012020/

Edited by A&L_Ont
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, A&L_Ont said:

Heading to Jamaica, you might want to read this. 
 

These are the new rules (July 10th) for Americans flying into Jamaican. This is a link from the US Embassy in Jamaica.  A PCR test (Covid test) must be uploaded 7 days prior to arrival to a Jamaican website along with a survey.  Travellers are also tested at the airport when they arrive. If no test is sent in prior to boarding, then you do not board the plane. It gives you the travel authorization to go. If you fail The Covid test in Jamaica then you are quarantined in a Jamaican government facility. 😱  
 

This is all over Sandals FB group pages.
 

link to the website. 
 

https://jm.usembassy.gov/health-alert-u-s-embassy-kingston-jamaica-07012020/

 

Oh that's interesting. Thanks for posting, A&L_Ont. A blogger I follow lives in Jamaica and has said the island is taking Covid very seriously because they have pretty firm limits to the number of care beds they have available. I think it is very reasonable of them to strongly try to keep it out knowing they have limits like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jamaica must have a quick turnaround on the test results.  Here in the U.S. my daughter waited 3 days for hers (done by her primary care facility) and my future son-in-law is on day 4 waiting for his (CVS pharmacy).

 

Wonder if they let you go about your vacation while you wait for results, or if the results are immediate?

 

I understand other countries wanting proof of negative test results within a certain # of days before travel but I have two thoughts:

 

1.  A negative test 7 days prior - you could still be exposed on days 6-travel day.

2.  Timing of test result - I'm not aware of any widely used facilities here in the U.S. where you can get an immediate test result (although I'm sure they exist since celebrities and professional sports people seem to get test results back much faster than regular people - and I'm sure there's a premium for expedited results) so in theory, you'd have to have the actual test prior to seven days before leaving and hope for the result on day 7.  That would give me too much travel anxiety.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, momofmab said:

I understand other countries wanting proof of negative test results within a certain # of days before travel but I have two thoughts:

 

1.  A negative test 7 days prior - you could still be exposed on days 6-travel day.


Jamaica wants to before you travel and will test you again when you arrive. If you test positive you can’t come, and they double check upon your arrival.  To make sure you didn’t get it between. I also think they are retesting for those that might have done it incorrectly with the home tests, or perhaps for those that may have falsified their initial results in some sort of way for whatever reason. 

 

San Juan is now looking at having testing done prior to arrival.  Link below this quote. 

 

“Starting July 15, all passengers have to wear a mask and must take a test 72 hours prior to their arrival and submit the results to officials at the airport. Those who refuse to do so, or tested positive, or do not have the test results available, will be forced into a two-week quarantine. During that time, they have to undergo a test and share the results if they want to be released from quarantine, said Puerto Rico Health Secretary Lorenzo Gonzalez.”

 

https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/puerto-rico-to-demand-covid-19-test-results-from-arriving-passengers

Link to post
Share on other sites

When everything shakes out, RCL will be the winner with Perfect Day at Coco Cay.  It may be the only place a ship is allowed.  I do realize it also has to be approved but it may be easier than other islands.

 

Is there anywhere to build some villas?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah - I’m sure there’s a large margin of error with any kind of a home test.  My future son-law had to do his own swab at CVS 😳

 

Definitely a lot to consider before traveling outside the country.

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

 

I find it so hard to believe ....😁😁😁

pretty much anyone outside of this board these days. I mentioned booking a 2021 reunion cruise to my family and they looked at me like i had the plague...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m following the Facebook pages for Sandals Montego Bay and the prime minister’s announcements very closely as I have a reservation there (which I will be canceling due to the uncertainty of the situation).

 

Here’s what going on Jamaica tourist and testing-wise. 

 

Phase 1: June 1 - 30. Before Jamaica opened up, the PM announced no testing for tourists visiting resorts. That caused an outcry from the Liberal party because Jamaica Nationals were being tested and Jamaica crew repatriated from the Adventure of the Seas  had to wait three days to get off the ship due to testing protocols. (I threw in a little cruise ship relevance.)

 

The PM reversed his decision and tourists had to take two different tests upon arrival in Jamaica along with filling out a digital health questionnaire before arrival. After testing visitors were told to proceed directly to their resorts and stay at there until they received their test results which would be available in three days. 

 

It it turns out getting test results back took more than three days in most cases. There was confusion and some resorts (not Sandals) were trying to confine  tourists to their rooms. Anecdotally some tourists staying at Montego Bay never got test results.

 

Phase 2: July 1 - 31. On June 30, the PM announced that going forward in phase two, Jamaica would stop mass testing at the airport. The PM said doing mass tests and reporting put a huge strain on its health care system. They didn’t have enough personnel, tests, and testing supplies to handle the estimated 1500 people a day arriving via flights. So they came out with a different system.

 

Tourists from hot spots would need to upload test results to the Jamaica tourist app along with answering some health questions. From what I read, no further testing will be needed for these tourists unless something is flagged on their digital health questionnaire.

 

Non hotspot tourists still have to answer the questions, but will not be tested in mass or be required to submit protests.  They could be tested based on their answers on the health questionnaire. 

 

Until July 10, there seems to be a hodgepodge of testing protocols going on at the airport. Some people are being waived through based on where they live. Hot spot people are being tested because they didn’t have enough lead time to test in the states before their trip.

 

The PM claims that there are fewer positive cases coming in than originally projected and that prescreening before travel will eliminate most cases. Who knows how that will turn out?

 

Sorry this is so long and probably of little interest to most people. (I’m bored.)

 

I think this account does give insight into how Caribbean countries are balancing tourist dollars with protecting their citizens and tourists. 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, momofmab said:

Yeah - I’m sure there’s a large margin of error with any kind of a home test.  My future son-law had to do his own swab at CVS 😳

 

Definitely a lot to consider before traveling outside the country.

My sons ICU is using a quick test (15-30) minute test for elective surgery admissions but they have found false negatives. A couple tested negative before surgery and later tested positive after surgery. 
 

M8

Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be a good time to find a good TA.  We have done dozens of all inclusives.  Sandals are fabulous.....but very expensive.  A TA could personalize your trip & will also let you know what areas are now open.  We are headed next month to Secret Maroma/Cancun.  Also, take some time to view some YouTube presentations.  Have fun!!

 

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

Here’s what going on Jamaica tourist and testing-wise. 

 

How do they define a "hotpost"?  Is it by country or in the case of the US, by state?  Doing it by state may make more sense but would open up logistical holes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Current hot spots are Florida, Texas, Arizona, and New York.

 

Sandals and other resorts furnishes their guests’ contact information to the official Jamaica tourist agency. The tourist agency emails a health question and directions for uploading pre-test information if required.

 

This information is furnished to the airlines. You can’t fly at all if you don’t submit the questionnaire.

 

When you arrive in Jamaica, you’re directed to appropriate screeners based to your responses to the questionnaire. For example after July 10, Jamaican Nationals will be advised to make an appointment for a test and stay sheltered until then. Tourists from non hotspots aren’t tested  if their health questionnaire responses doesn’t raise issues. Business travelers are tested on the spot. If you’re from a hotspot, my understanding is that you won’t be tested upon arrival. The Jamaican Prime Minister has stated that they don’t want to quarantine tourists as it’s bad for everyone involved. From what I’ve read I’m surprised they haven’t banned people from hotspot states. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of our favorite port days were day passes at Sandals. I think we've only done the Grand Bahamian and Grand St Lucian. Got turned away in Montego. Fantastic food and drink. The private island in the Bahamian is a great time too.

 

With that said, I have no interest in staying at these for an extended period of time. Even for a half day, I get bored. That's quite the pretty penny to be bored. I understand the food and drink is good, it's not the whole trip for me though.

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

Some of our favorite port days were day passes at Sandals. I think we've only done the Grand Bahamian and Grand St Lucian. Got turned away in Montego. Fantastic food and drink. The private island in the Bahamian is a great time too.

 

With that said, I have no interest in staying at these for an extended period of time. Even for a half day, I get bored. That's quite the pretty penny to be bored. I understand the food and drink is good, it's not the whole trip for me though.

I'm curious how you get bored at an AI while you don't get bored on a cruise? What do you do on a cruise that you can't do at an AI?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CRZR58 said:

I'm curious how you get bored at an AI while you don't get bored on a cruise? What do you do on a cruise that you can't do at an AI?

There is so much more to do at an AI, snorkeling, water skiing, scuba, golf, kayaking, paddle boarding, tennis, pool and ocean swimming...

Link to post
Share on other sites

   After reading the posts on this thread and still being very cautious about Covid-19 due to age and health issues, I would like to know how people are comfortable with travel to a resort?  

Are you concerned about flying iinto a country where the resort is located? If you do contract Covid-19 while  visiting a resort ,would you be comfortable with the medical care given to you in a foreign country ?

If you needed to be quarantined, would you be comfortable being sent to the country’s quarantine facility ? Could you spend that amount of time away from your work,home,family ?

       Since my DH and I cancelled a resort vacation in Bermuda in early March due to these very concerns, I am wondering about the comfort level of people booking resort vacations for the near future.

        As for us, once we feel comfortable about traveling again, our first few trips will be driving trips within a certain distance of our home.

   Of course,YMMV

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

   After reading the posts on this thread and still being very cautious about Covid-19 due to age and health issues, I would like to know how people are comfortable with travel to a resort?  

Are you concerned about flying iinto a country where the resort is located? If you do contract Covid-19 while  visiting a resort ,would you be comfortable with the medical care given to you in a foreign country ?

If you needed to be quarantined, would you be comfortable being sent to the country’s quarantine facility ? Could you spend that amount of time away from your work,home,family ?

       Since my DH and I cancelled a resort vacation in Bermuda in early March due to these very concerns, I am wondering about the comfort level of people booking resort vacations for the near future.

        As for us, once we feel comfortable about traveling again, our first few trips will be driving trips within a certain distance of our home.

   Of course,YMMV

I just booked Secrets Akumal today for October. We cancelled our Allure Med for October.  

Not concerned about Cancun, I'm in Florida, how much more concerned can I be? Medical care in Cancun? I work for our local hospital, Cancun might not be much worse. Comfortable in a quarantine facility? I'm sure not but it's the chance I guess I will take. Can I spend that time away from work,home,family? Yes. 

Have the travel insurance, at this point hoping for the best by the end of October. 

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...