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trip report March 20-30

Milwaukee
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trip report March 20-30

This was our fourth trip to Turks and Caicos. We stayed at Villa del Mar for the second year in a row. I didn't think I would write a trip report this time as I don't have much to say that hasn't been said here many times. But we had a few neat experiences that I would like to share. Villa del Mar continues to be great. We love it here for many reasons - the quiet, the clean and new accommodations, the friendly people - both staff and guests. The walk to the beach is nothing and quite pretty through Grace Bay Club. This year the hotel was very full in comparison to last year during the recession. With the influx of guests, it seemed the hotel had a hard time keeping up with clean towels! It wasn't a big deal and they were really trying hard to keep them coming throughout the day.

The weather was outstanding. A bit windy and cooler at night at the start but then hot, hot, hot for the remainder. All sun, no rain, 85-90 each day – perfect!

Nothing exciting with restaurants for us. We are not heavy dinner people and with two kids we ate out for lunch and stayed in for dinner. Grace Bay Club, Hemmingway's, Las Brisas, Caicos Cafe, Ocean Club - all had a good lunch with our favorite being Grace Bay Club. We generally spent about $75 for two adults and two kids meals and ice tea/lemonade. At night we'd grill out or make great salads and then walk to get dessert at a local hotel or one of the two ice cream shops nearby. The grocery store is great. We had a car but it is easily walkable. Some things are expensive, some not. We brought along snacks - crackers and nuts and even girl scout cookies, noodles, rice, seasonings (expensive here). We also brought along some chicken breasts, ground beef, even a pork tenderloin as we eat organic meat and weren't sure about the quality available. The selection of meat at the IGA was good and not too expensive. Fish was super pricy but really good. The front desk had a lead on getting fresh fish delivered to the hotel. Be specific as to how you'd like it (skin off/no bones).

Some highlights of our trip were parasailing with Sky Pilot. We went out at noon and the boat was full, which we didn’t expect. It took a bit to get through all the people, but my kids had a blast and it was fun to be out on the water taking pictures. I thought the guys did a great job. We saw people parasailing at sunset and it seemed the boats were a little less full – we would schedule a later trip next time to avoid the crowd on the boat.

We were fortunate to be invited to spend a day with some friends on a private charter with Kenard Cruises. I cannot say enough about these guys – Ken and Brian, captain and dive master. They picked us up at Grace Bay Club and drove us to the marina. They took us out to Iguana Island (not great – I would skip this trip), then to snorkel at a quiet spot, then to Pine Cay to collect sand dollars. They were both super kind and fun, especially to the four kids on board. Brian went in the water with us each time and was super knowledgeable about the iguanas, fish we saw, etc. He even swam back to the boat with my daughter on his back after a wave took her out and she got scared! When anchored at Pine Cay, a dolphin came along and had fun scratching his back on the rope tied to the anchor – we jumped in and swam along with him for quite a while. The boat was stocked with tons of toys like inflatable rafts. Ken made a great lunch of conch salad, jerk chicken, lobster, etc. They had cookies for the kids, fruit for breakfast, rum punch, beer, wine, soda, etc. We had a blast and would highly recommend this company. I’ve noticed some people asking to share this trip with others and thought that was such a great idea as I am sure it was an expensive trip for our friends. We saw the boat go out each day we were there so it seems he is busy. Such a cool trip – we were very lucky to be invited along.

My kids also really loved checking out the potcake puppies at Salt Mills. There were four darling puppies we loved to visit. We were able to take them out and play with them for a bit each visit. There were also older puppies that you could “check out” for a walk. They provided water and supplies needed for a walk. Of course, my kids would have loved to bring home a puppy, but my allergic husband said no, thanks!

Again – an amazing trip to Turks for us. We laugh when we think about asking that travel agent 8 years ago what she knew about TCI and she told us, “Oh, you won’t like it there, there is nothing to do!” All the reason we love Turks so much. We spent 11 days this year and hope to extend it to two weeks next time. Nothing to do is exactly what we love about Turks… beach, pool, family time… just hoping Chicago will begin to offer a direct flight so we can go more often!

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Kenard Cruises
Kenard Cruises
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Turks and Caicos
Pine Cay
Pine Cay
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Finger Lakes Wine...
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1. Re: trip report March 20-30

I ABSOLUTELY agree with your statement that the best thing about TCI is that it is a quiet island.

Glad that you had another wonderful trip!

Mike

Connecticut
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for Providenciales
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2. Re: trip report March 20-30

Sounds like an awesome memory making trip! Glad you enjoyed Villa Del Mar and good to hear they are busier than last year. Thanks for sharing.

Mullica Hill, New...
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3. Re: trip report March 20-30

Glad to hear you had a great trip! We also like the atmosphere at Villa Del Mar, and will be staying there again sometime.

Did you eat at Grill Rouge for lunch at Grace Bay Club? We tried it years ago when it first opened and had a poor meal so we never returned. It would be great if that is now a good lunch option. Can you tell what you had and what you liked?

Connecticut
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for Providenciales
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4. Re: trip report March 20-30

Same with us, Joe. Tried Grille Rouge years ago and it was awful and never went back, it would be nice if things have changed.

COMMACK, NY
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5. Re: trip report March 20-30

So glad you had a great trip! We also stayed at VDM and loved it.

We had one lunch and one dinner at Grill Rouge and it was fantastic.

Guess things have changed for the better.

Milwaukee
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6. Re: trip report March 20-30

We had a few things that we liked... burgers, tuna burger, and a mahi-mahi club (yum)! Also, they had a cool salad buffet one day for $15 - a few salads, fruit, tuna wraps - this was really yummy and fresh. Nothing super exciting, but consistently good. The wait staff was NOT very nice, though - One day my husband heard a woman come in and yell at the manager after some terrible service. This was something we noticed a few times during this trip, but chalked it up to island life slowdown... not a big deal for us as we are pretty easy-going people, but I can imagine people paying top $ for GBC would not be too happy about. This is NOT to say that GBC has terrible staff - there were lots of people there that were extra-nice, but the particular waitress we had two times wasn't too great. Also, surprisingly, we enjoyed the Ocean Club (not the one just next door, but east a bit) had a great lunch. There kids fish was really good - grouper and not overly fried. My daughter kept asking to go back! They had a great chicken wrap, too. The kids fish at GBC was yuck - too fried and not great.

Illinois City...
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7. Re: trip report March 20-30

Sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. I notice a lot of talk about Pine Cay and sand dollars. Is Pine Cay the only place you can find them?

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Pine Cay
Pine Cay
Turks and Caicos
Boston...
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8. Re: trip report March 20-30

You can find sand dollars and a starfish on Grace Bay in front of the resorts using snorkeling gear.

Edited: 01 April 2011, 01:53
Atlanta, Georgia
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9. Re: trip report March 20-30

Great report. :-)

Grille Rouge has such a fantastic atmosphere, I do hope the food quality improves -- honestly, the only bad meal we've ever had on Provo.

Milwaukee
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10. Re: trip report March 20-30

We didn't have any luck finding sand dollars on gb but we found lots of starfish and saw some sting ray right from shore with our snorkels.