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Review of our trip to St. Martin No. 16-24

San Diego...
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Review of our trip to St. Martin No. 16-24

First off, listen when they tell you not to leave anything in the car. Two guests were robbed of passports, credit cards, driving licenses and cash which they left for 5 minutes, in glove box, in locked car.

Second, the mosquitos are horrific. We were all eaten alive. I think they consider the repellants an appetizer before the blood. We did not try Skin So Soft by Avon, but hear it works.

Third, we rented C'est La Vue for $7,000 for the week. But, it had lots of problems ranging from most of the outdoor lights being burned out, to bed bugs. Yes, three of six beds had these nasty critters. Jennifer, of Jennifer's Vacation Rentals, came over the day after we reported the page long list of issues. She would not negotiate the rate due to the many cockroaches, or the bed bugs, or the other many things that were wrong, but she did send Terminex over to spray the place. We would not rent through this service or this property again.

This rental advertised a daily maid except for Sunday. She came three times during our week and although exceptionally pleasant, did not wash towels or change any linens ever.

If you rent a VRBO, ask if they regularly spray the exterior to limit mosquitos. C'est la Vue did not do this. Also, note that most do not have A/C in the living areas making them very uncomfortable. Jacuzzis are not heated and hot water is commonly limited in showers to luke warm water - we heard this from others about places they rented, as well.

Islanders are friendly and prices at stalls are all negotiable. We loved Sarafina's in Margot. Well priced, and excellent quality. We did not find any other restaurants good enough to mention based on food or price.

If you go to the Buccaneer that promotes the bonfires and rolling ball of fire, be aware that it only occurs on two nights a week - I think Friday and Sunday. We went on a Tuesday. Food is fairly priced here and good for families.

The bar next to the airport where you might want to watch crazy tourists being blown by airplane exhaust, only accepts bills and credit cards. You cannot get rid of your coins here before leaving the island! Very strange!

At the beaches, you have to rent the loungers. They cost between $10 and $15 each. Beach bar prices vary so check out the different spots on any beach. Water is warm and inviting but watch kids because the current can pull them out.

Finally, we all found the heat and humidity oppressive. But we come from San Diego, Pasadena and Seattle. You might find 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity tolerable.

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Auburn Washington
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for St Martin / St Maarten
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21. Re: Review of our trip to St. Martin No. 16-24

Why was your bill in Euros on the Dutch side as you said you were at a place watching planes take off and couldn't get rid of your coins?

Bluffton, South...
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22. Re: Review of our trip to St. Martin No. 16-24

$7,000 a week - without food? WOW.

I stayed there during the worst storm in years - roads closed and an island curfew. I was there on an RCI exchange. A few pina colada's later and some lovely new friends, the rain didn't seem to matter.

I stopped there a year later for a day off a cruise ship - beach was lovely, but different experience. I'm not a "cruise" fan.

I am going next month for a week aboard an RCI exchange on a catamaran. I am sure it won't be a $7,000 experience, but it will be a once in a lifetime experience.

Sorry you had a bad vacation. Try renting through For Rent By Owner FRBO. I rented a flat in Paris for about $1000 for the week. Too small for a family, but perfect for a couple.

Simsbury...
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23. Re: Review of our trip to St. Martin No. 16-24

Hi Lola,

I was in St. Martin November 12-19, 2012 and I can 100% agree and vouch for your mosquito experience. I couldn't even count how many bites I had on just my feet and legs alone, but I do tend to get bit a little more than others. We had the villa accommodators (gobeach.com-highly recommended) come and spray the property while we were there because it was so bad. Did you end up getting married there? I was searching "French side requirements" and somehow came to your posts. My fiance and I got engaged on our trip last November and are returning to the island (with lots of bug spray) in November of this year to get married. Other than the mosquitos and the fact that our maid did not supply us with clean pool/beach towels, everything else was amazing! I'm sorry to hear that your experience was sub-par. I do wish that you tried the food in Grand Case, we are considering our after wedding reception dinner at one of the restaurants in the area. Also, if you liked Sarafina's quiche, you would love the quiche Lorraine at La Croissanterie in Marigot. Actually, everything there is delicious, we ate breakfast there nearly every day, same with our trip two years prior.

Portland, Oregon
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24. Re: Review of our trip to St. Martin No. 16-24

I'm not sure if Lola performed any research about the Caribbean, the weather or to check out any forums and to heed the advice of others. It is possible their trip was a last minute decision. Had she been more informed, her expectations may have been different. Also, I often find that responses reflect the tone of the delivery evoked in the original posting. Although her original posting appeared to be fairly critical, from the postings she responded to, I believe all in all, they enjoyed their stay.

Traveling requires flexibility and depending on your personal nature, some Individuals are better at adapting than others. Personally, when embarking on a new adventure, I enjoy researching any and all about the locale flair, its’ people, the location in general, and the various accommodations. Forums like these are ideal to educate yourself. I have been know to stay at high end establishments to camping in the back-country. If you are uncomfortable in third world countries, do not enjoy certain environments, or have difficulty in humid conditions, then please do yourself a favor and don’t travel to these destinations. I would suggest that anyone, especially when traveling outside your own country, be prepared for the worst, even when spending exorbitant amounts. Although you are likely to have a few hiccups, do your research so that you can mitigate the challenges.

As a side note about mosquitos - living in the Pacific Northwest, I am very familiar with the challenges and am allergic to both bees and mosquitos. I incur swelling from mosquitos between the size of golf balls to grapefruits. For these reasons, I find that although I would prefer otherwise, I must use a 80%+ Deet spray and take one Clariton tablet each morning and evening when weather conditions warrant amplified measures. Although I still have a tendency to incur bites, the swelling, redness, and itch are drastically reduced and allowed to heal within day’s vs months. If you have similar problems with mosquitos and no-see-ums, try it - it does help!

Edited: 2:18 pm, May 23, 2013
San Diego...
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25. Re: Review of our trip to St. Martin No. 16-24

To Diane S. Why would you try to translate the tone of the original poster for the rest of the readers? It sounds like you're chastizing her and then explaining to the rest of the readers what she really meant. We can read. And most of us want just the facts and not someone else's translation of yet someone else's experience. When we're about to spend $20,000 to go to a new place, we want to read about people's unexpected turns of events. We can find good restaurants on Yelp.

Portland, Oregon
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26. Re: Review of our trip to St. Martin No. 16-24

Jani – I appreciate your concerns. My apologies to all and especially Lola if you misinterpreted the intent of my post. I agree with you that the readers want to hear the good and the bad about their experiences. I was more or less responding to a few misc. comments indicating a negative inference without directly criticizing anyone in particular. For instance, one post refers to Lola as “hyper critical”, proceeding to provide alternatives. I wholeheartedly agree that Lola’s challenges were valid and aside from the tone of the post, I don’t believe I have said otherwise. It's all a matter of perception. I also agree with other posters that she provided “valid honest points from her perspective” and that “the bed bug issue alone would be enough to leave a negative impression” for anyone on vacation. Again, I was hoping to instil the importance for all of us to do our homework and take heed of the advice in forums and sites in order to become as educated as possible. Next time, I will be more careful and reply to the specific post rather than to the topic in general.

Edited: 8:17 pm, May 23, 2013
27. Re: Review of our trip to St. Martin No. 16-24

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