Providenciales, Turks & Caicos – Mid April 2012
Booked through Carlson Wagonlit Harvey’s Travel in Bayer’s Lake, Nova Scotia
Saw that catchy title above at a few shops when we were at Ports of Call (near Ocean Club West) 😀
We picked Turks & Caicos as we told the travel agent that we like to snorkel and be on the beach; in the past we’ve gone to three different locations in Cuba and wanted to try something different so she suggested this location as it was great for snorkeling (and scuba diving which I don’t do…I only surface snorkel with a life jacket; I even bring my own jacket along with my snorkel stuff) we booked executive class with Air Canada via CWT travel agent who was very accommodating and answered all of our questions. You rock Gloria!
We arrived at the airport; checked in and grabbed a burger for lunch then headed through security and up to the Maple Leaf lounge; where we had comfy seats and drinks and snacks. We took a window view seat and watched the planes on the tarmac; until our departure time. We made a stop to duty free to pick up a our bottle of rum to take with us as we were staying at a non inclusive resort. Once on the plane we were seated in the front row; they brought us some juice or water and a hot face cloth to freshen up. For meal we had the choice of vegetable stuffed canolli, salmon or chicken…we both chose the pasta and it was delicious. After watching “Bad Teacher” (too funny and dirty LOL) and a few glasses of wine we were there. Customs was very fast as we had nothing to claim as we had under the exemption of booze.
Shuttle This was interesting…it is very disorganized; you more or less stand there and keep repeating your hotel name every time a shuttle bus comes up while the AC rep monitors the crowd and yells to the girl paying the drivers to put you in the van…eventually we got there.
Resort – Ocean Club (the original Ocean Club)
Apparently the whole strip here in the Provo area are condos with the exception of Beaches and Club Med. We could not have asked for a better room; it comfortably managed the two of us. Open concept with full size kitchen and washer and dryer; had a huge screened in deck with a door to the pool (you couldn’t exit from this door and lock it from your way out; you would need to lock it and exit your main entrance to your room if you weren’t going to be close by but great if you want to run into your room from the pool and grab a snack or a drink) I had originally wanted a 2nd floor room due to so many people usually walking by…but we were glad they “stuck” us in a 1st floor room.It was the best room we could have asked for. The room over looked the pool area; which over looked the gardens then the beach/ocean and you could pretty much see it all from our kitchen. It was nice to be cooking in the kitchen and see the beautiful pool and gardens and often kite board or sail masts go by the beachfront. In the mornings we’d make coffee and head out to the poolside and listen to the birds; cook at the gazebos by the pool in the evenings.
With regard to food we did not find food anymore expensive than we do at home (of course there are some things but really it evens out)…we cooked the majority of our meals and may have spent around $650 on food including a trip to Yoshi’s Sushi restaurant in Salt Mills and a few meals at Club Cabano Bar & Grill (on the resort) a bottle of wine every night with our meals and some beer. We tried to get into Coco Bistro but it was booked and we waited to the last-minute of course to try to get in. We took a bottle of rum with us that we picked up at duty-free before boarding the plane…this was what we drank while we relaxed around the pool and beach.
The main pool was awesome we spent a lot of time there; the water was so refreshing and hardly anyone was at it made for a peaceful time. We had taken pool floaties but didn’t bother using them just floated around the pool ourselves. Plenty of towels they allow you to change your towels twice a day.
There is beautiful foliage everywhere colourful flowers, geckos, birds and many little garden statues throughout the resort. Club Cabana Grill pretty good bar food here and totally recommend their conch fritters, pesto chicken with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes pizza; grouper fish…complemented with a Turks Head beer …totally hit the spot. My husband enjoyed the margaritas.
There was so much room on the beach it was very relaxing and people were not overcrowded; for a public beach there was no hounding from people trying to buy things or for you take excursions (it was very nice must say)…the excursions rep would just walk up and down the beach along the water waving a flyer for the services if you wanted it you’d go to him or flag him down.
Birds spotted on the grounds of the resort:
1. Rufous Hummingbird
2. Kite- these birds were naughty…LOL
4. Bahama Mockingbird
6. Green Heron (off resort near the golf course) – not sure what he was eating there as he was in the flowerbed
7. Saw a white bird flying above the resort but not sure what it was maybe an egret
8. Osprey (this is Turks & Caicos national bird…who knew)
9. Yellow throated warbler
10. Mystery bird…
We took one excursion; an afternoon of snorkeling which was pretty good we went snorkeling near the reef saw many fish and corals; then went snorkeling in a limestone area for some conch and finished the trip with a stop to Half Moon Bay Beach/Iguana Island (created in 1960 from winds of Hurricane Donna) to shell our conch and the guides (these guys were awesome) made a salsa salad and we went walking around the island…I was looking for birds and others were looking for Iguanas and we all found what we were looking for…though I did have my eye out for some star fish but no luck to shallow of water.
One day we took a long walk to Coral Gardens area to snorkel (took just over an hour from Ocean Club)…it has a roped off area that you can snorkel on the outside we saw many colourful fish and a barracuda…the water was a bit rough so it wasn’t as clear as it normally would be. Down farther is smith’s reef and people had seen turtles and baby octopus (we didn’t venture that route…this time)
On the way back we stopped at Ocean Club West and took the shuttle to Ocean Club; we were pooped (mainly me 😉 )
When it was time to return home the shuttle return we had received conflicting information about when the Air Canada pick up time was for our flight; I had to call our travel agent to get it sorted out so eventually they showed up about ten after four for a 3pm pick up (what we were told in email and a call to our room)…the normal driver ended up sending his cousin over to pick up his run.
Regarding Air Canada there is no info binder at this location (like they have in Cuba); so you really don’t have a rep to talk to and provide guidance…she did come to the resort after I called her when she didn’t show up when she said she’d be there…she got tied up in AC strike calls)
All in all, the trip was a great place for romance and to kick back and relax. Both of us had a great time and will probably go back again and rent a car and hit up some more snorkeling.
For more photos click here – http://www.flickr.com/photos/10910433@N03/sets/72157629657237780/with/7167427402