Full disclosure- my wife and I are bottom feeder budget travelers. Arthur Frommer, Rick Steves, you get the picture. For us, a hotel room is a place to wash up and sleep. Carol's a great cook with a discriminating palate, so we have high standards for restaurants and will gladly pay for well prepared food. For this trip, our mode was complimentary continental breakfast at the hotel, packed lunch for the beach, dinner out. Our 2 children are grown and busy in medical school so we traveled alone.
We've been around the Caribbean and Bahamas a bit- Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, Negril, Cancun, San Salvador, Paradise Island, Harbor Island, Virgin Gorda, St. Thomas, St. John, Martinique, St. Martin, Tortola, PR, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Lucia, Anguilla. We like small properties on small islands away from crowds. Always wanted to see TCI. Needed a sun break from our gloomy winter and visited Provo Feb 10-15. Booked about 1 month prior.
USAir non stop from Philly. Had to pay extra for across the aisle seats in the front of coach- grrr. Well, actually worked out as we bolted off the plane, skirted families with kids and strollers and got the the front of immigration/customs both ways.
Checked into Ports of Call and on the breach by 1500. Windy, partly cloudy, rained. Carol said "can we go home". Patience, dear. Dinner at Upstairs- see review, not good. Quick trip to the IGA for bananas and Turks Head light in cans- no glass by the pool.
Still windy, sunny, water rough, breaking surf. On the beach all day. Tristan, friendly beach attendant, is a hoot. Says the wind and waves "are just an illusion". Long walks in both directions. Swims a little challenging with surf. Outlook is getting brighter. An international crowd at Ports- lot of Canadians, some Italians, French or French Canadians, Germans. A little put off by the high rise resorts and condos. Reminded us of Florida.
Dinner- went to the Graceway Gourmet IGA- friendly young man at the counter gave us a taste of the steamed conch- a spicey stew that was delicious- with rice&peas and steamed veggies, 10 a piece plus wine, total 28 for what was really tasty local food.
Still windy and waves. Walks in directions, around the point to the east and down to Coral Gardens to the west- 10 miles total? Swims in the waves. Jo Jo the dolphin made an appearance at one of the buouys directly in front of our beach. Some couples at Seven Stars grabbed snorkel equipments and swam with her. Dinner at Flamingos- walked down along the road, sat at the rail and watched the sunset, see review, walked back along the beach under the crescent moon with tiki torches blazing at Grace Bay. Very nice.
Finally- no wind or waves! Walked to Coral Gardens and snorkeled- better than expected. Great swimming with no waves. Settling into a routine of walks, swims, back to the pool around 1500 to read email, have our beer or a rum punch from the bar, nibble on snacks. Back to the IGA for dinner- curry chicken, rice, cabbage- again, really tasty local food. Really liking the whole Provo experience. Getting used to the sight of the larger resorts and condos- makes for a more interesting walk and lots of people watching.
Calm, clear, beautiful. Same sort of beach day. Conversations with others from Ports. Walks and swims. Dinner at Coco Bistro- see review- worth every penny- equal to Anguilla. Mid range chadonnay, 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, 1 dessert- total 207 with tip for the two of us and worth it.
Day 6- last morning on the beach, totally flat water, no surf on the outer reef, many boats with snorkelers/divers out there. Then off to the airport and home and in the car by 1800.
-Airfare, all in with taxes, fees, one checked bag- 968
-5 nights Ports of Call, beach umbrella rental, tips for Tristan and the maid- 1051
-Taxi to/from airport with tip- 60
-Meals, groceries- 450
-Non stop from Philly
-Ports of Call is in a super location- walk to beach, shops and restauarants and supermarket.
-Awesome beach and water.
-Wind/waves first two days.
Will we be back- most definitely. Although Anguilla and Virgin Gorda have been out favorites up to this pont, we see the charms of Provo and Grace Bay. Easy to get to, easy to stay. If we had a whole week, we'd rent a car for day and drive to Bight and Smith's for snorkeling. Book a snorkel trip. Get a day pass to Club Med. If they can make it work with their schedule, we will send our son and his fiance in June.
Many thanks to those on this forum for their answers to questions we posed and helpful advice. See you soon!Edited: 11:19 am, February 16, 2013