I don't post much but I was stalking the TCI forum since February and got a lot of great tips from you all so THANK YOU!! My friends and I decided to do a girls trip as I was celebrating my recent late-in-life-but-better-late-than-never college graduation and another friend was celebrating a birthday. There were 6 of us ranging in age from late 30's to early 40's. We had a long layover in MIA so we checked out the Islander Cafe next to the gate. 2 of us had the grouper sandwich which we thought was really bland. A couple others had the grouper fingers and loved them! The drinks were really good though, especially the "alligator.." something shots :) As suggested. we also stopped at duty free and purchased some liters of Ciroc and Belvedere to take with us. Glad we did, they were like $20+ more in TCI!!
Transportation: We rented a mini-van from Grace Bay Car Rental and it was a pretty easy process. We had no issues at all. We were on the last flight in to TCI arriving at 7:25pm so they left the van in the parking lot and we had to pay the fee to get it out (which wasn't much) and we dropped it back off in the lot when we departed and they took care of that fee. The one friend that did the driving was the only one who had been to TCI before, and her husband drove then, so it took some getting used to driving on the other side of the road but it was fun and she had it down by the next day! Now that we're back home she said she still occasionally has hit the windshield wipers by mistake, instead of her turn signal. LOL
We rushed from the airport to the fish fry and got food out there from Miss Moonies. The fish was delish! It was packed out there.
Accommodations: We booked through turksandcaicosreservations and stayed at the Alexandra in the Lady Rose building, room 2303. The resort was beautiful and the grounds were very well kept. We LOVED our 2 bdrm, 2.5 bath, ocean front suite!!! We ordered a roll-a-way bed so 2 of the ladies wouldn't have to be squished up on the pullout couch. We had an awesome balcony that had a dining set, lounge chair and other seating. It was so gorgeous and waking up to the sounds of the waves crashing was priceless...we already miss it! The staff was all very pleasant. Our only issue, which we just discovered, was that when booking we used 2 credit cards and they put the final balance at checkout on the wrong card but that's no big deal, we'll just move the money back around among ourselves. There was also a broken down paddle boat on the sand that people kept trying to use. It stayed out there the entire time we were there instead of being taken out of the way or at least having a sign put on it that it was broke instead of ppl trying to drag it to the ocean before folks started calling out "that doesn't work!"
Dining - thanks to the reviews here we found the grocery store and stocked up on a few things to save on money. Two of the girls only ate dinner out, they cooked their breakfast and lunch in the suite. I didn't go to the Graceway Gourmet store but the ones that did compared the prices to Whole Foods. The IGA prices were much better!! Those of us that had breakfast out ate at Mango Reef every morning. It averaged about $14pp and was good. We didn't have any other meals there other than the fish tacos that I ordered from the beach, they were really good...and so were the Mango Tango drinks we ordered on the beach (when we finished whatever we were sipping in our Bubba Mugs that we brought along :)).
Friday night we had dinner at Somewhere Cafe to hear the band. The band was just ok, we could've skipped it. I think we all had the fish tacos and were pleased. The current Premier, Dr. Rufus Ewing, was there with a group at the table next to us. Only knew that because the band gave him a shout-out. The next day we met the former Premier, Michael Misick, at Mango Reef and recognized him from the Lisa Raye/Rocsi scandals. My friend asked to take a picture, lol, and he seemed nice enough. We later overheard a couple waitresses the next day saying that he was kind of rude to them and was like "don't you know who i am?? I used to run this island!" UGH! Anywhoo, back to the food...
Saturday night we ate at Caicos Cafe, highly recommend!! The food was outstanding! We didn't have reservations but were immediately seated outside when we arrived. We had the escargot appetizers, first time having it and it was delicious! I had the seafood taglioni which was also superb. It was a beautiful night and we even got to see a few fireworks while finishing our meal
Sunday night we dined at Coco Bistro, another I highly recommend!! We didn't have reservations there either but were quickly seated in the outside bar area. I think Reggie was our servers name and he was great. I had the conch ravioli and the coconut cake for dessert. OMG, I don't normally eat coconut cake but that had to be the best ever!! Coco the cat strolled past us and a frog was on the couch next to us :) Half of us thought Caicos Cafe was the best and the other half thought Coco Bistro but we all really enjoyed the meals at both, and we consider ourselves foodies!
The food was pretty expensive, especially with the tax and added gratuity, but I was expecting it to be way worse.
Excursions: Two of us did the Provo Ponies, lots of fun!! That was my 1st time on a horse and I had Diamond who was really chill and slow and a little feisty biting and head-butting a couple of the other horses. Another two did the Snuba adventure. Another friend and I were going to join them but we're not swimmers so we weren't too sure about doing it. The ladies that did it said it's a good thing we didn't go because they really had trouble with it and they are swimmers. Sounds like it was a lot of steps in trying to make sure your ears pop, breathing, one said the tube or something on her back was too heavy so they basically just held on to the float and would duck their heads underwater every now and then. One said she would try it again though. All of us did the Sunset Happy Hour cruise with Sun Charters and had a lot of fun on that as well. We had unlimited rum punch and chips & salsa. I forget the captains name but he and Junior, his 2nd hand, were awesome and shared a lot about the island with us. The sunset was gorgeous!!
Other than that we just chilled out on the beach and had fun in the ocean. The weather was beautiful our entire time there. On our last full day there was a thunderstorm for about 2hrs but we just ducked into Mango Reef for a quick bite, then ran through the rain to our room. By the time we showered and were ready to head out to dinner the sun was shining again. One thing that i was looking for in the forums was how much money to bring and the tip that rang true was someone that said it really can be as cheap or expensive as you make it. I usually budget $100/day so i was going to bring $500, another friend didn't think that was enough and suggested $800. One only brought $400 and went back with a few bucks in change and managed to do 2 excursions and 2 meals a day. I think we all did pretty well money-wise.
All-in-all we had an awesome vacation!!! We've been to Mexico, Nassau, Aruba, the Dominican, Jamaica, Europe...and have all agreed that TCI is the most beautiful beach we've been to yet. Can't wait to go back!!