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Thread: Cancel Impending trip?

  1. #1
    KPJ72 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jun 2016 Posts: 20

    Cancel Impending trip?

    Hello all. I hope the recovery efforts are going well. I watched the whole thing unfold in horror. SB has become our go to vacation spot and we have even considered retiring on the island. I am confident that eventually it will be restored to its previous glory.

    Which brings me to my question... I rented http://www.wimco.com/villas/villa.aspx?pid=903980 through Luxury Retreats not too long before the storm hit, booked flights and even invited another couple (as we usually do) to share in the beauty. Immediately after the devastation became apparent, I started messaging the rental office about changing our booking. They were not ready to rebook me elsewhere and wanted to take a wait and see attitude. But my feeling is that visiting as a tourist during a period of massive reconstruction, we would not be doing anyone any favors. Even if our villa is intact, there are roads that may be in need of repair, infrastructure missing, restaurants, marinas and shops will still be rebuilding...it just seems to me we would be getting in the way of reconstruction efforts instead of contributing to the economy. Is there any word from any government officials on the logistics and a recommendation not to travel to SB for the short term future to allow things to get back to a semblance of normal? I am getting this vibe from Luxury Retreats that they are going to hold me to the booking because they are normally johnny-on-the-spot when you send them an email but right now they are very slow to reply, and this concerns me greatly. (They are located in Canada, so not affected by the storm.) Not just for us but for our guests as well as anyone else with near immediate future travel plans. Our dates are 11/25 through 12/2. Thanks in advance for any advice. The residents of SB are in my thoughts daily.

  2. #2
    chris83 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2017 Posts: 721

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    If i understand correctly,you have booked thanksgiving and right after.
    This is in 8 weeks.
    Regarding the villa,Lorient was hit hard,being on the north side of the island and on the powerful side of Irma's eye.It is logical for the agency to be in a wait and see attitude.And they are protecting you this way.
    Damages need to be assessed correctly.Having debris and broken trees today doesn't mean the villa won't be fixed in 8 weeks.It will take about 2 weeks for trees to become available again on the island and gardeners are ready to work hard.Some villas have almost no damage,and you can expect agencies to have a full list very soon.
    Regarding the island itself,there was no major damage to airport,roads,power plant or water plant.You can expect normal services.Driving around won't be a problem.
    Gustavia suffered damages with water.Will they have time to clean up and reopen ? it will depend on the interior they had.
    Orega,Isola are still standing and will surely reopen as planned.
    Hotels on beaches have been severely damaged.So don't expect lunch on the beach.But Christopher hotel seems near intact.We are waiting word from Villa Marie.Ti St Barth is also intact.
    Option is to book private chefs more often.Supply chain is intact and you will,again, provide work to locals.
    My opinion:You will find an island on the recovery path,still brownish,but still with lots of life.
    Reading your post,i sense you adore the island.Today,the island needs you more than ever.Many people lost everything.What they need is visitors to make a statement and come.They will be incredibly welcoming,and trust me,they will never forget you came.
    It won't be "vacations as usual",but it will be,by far, your most meaningful trip to the island,with a huge "feel good" effect

  3. #3
    Jim Kelly-Evans is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2010 Philadelphia and Fire Island, NY Posts: 1,081

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Beautifully stated, Chris.
    "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy." - Dorothy Parker

  4. #4
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 28,232

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Agree Jim. Just waiting to hear that our villa is ready to receive us. We still have our October arrival as a goal.

    Please keep doing what you are doing.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  5. #5
    steelpe is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2010 Posts: 453

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    I like forward to your embedded reports Amyb.

    KPJ72, I'm not exactly sure where you stand. I assume the rental agency you are dealing with is going to require full payment 60 days prior to your arrival. For you, this date would be 9/26/17, about 2 weeks away. Maybe under the circumstances you can ask your agency to reduce the to 30 days prior to arrival to see how things shake out. Then reassess the situation on 10/26/17.

  6. #6
    Reed is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Nantucket - St. Barth's Posts: 1,186

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Thank you for this well thought out response and of your uplifting reports.
    "Like" Us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/nantucketcatering

  7. #7
    cec1 is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 6,770

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Wendy & I will be on the island for two weeks surrounding Thanksgiving, with family, & I fully expect to have the pleasure of people & places that make being on SBH a special place.

  8. #8
    soyabeans is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2008 NYC Posts: 1,431

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    we are booked to arrive the 28th of October, wait for the status of the villa and then figure out how to get from NYC to SBH
    Today is the oldest you've ever been, yet it's the youngest you will ever be......so........ENJOY THE DAY

  9. #9
    chris83 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2017 Posts: 721

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by soyabeans View Post
    we are booked to arrive the 28th of October, wait for the status of the villa and then figure out how to get from NYC to SBH
    It's great you are coming over..one word "BRAVO"
    According to Air France,they are planning to reopen SXM very soon (of course,terminal will be damaged...but operational)
    Agencies will come up with a list of villas available in the next 2-3 weeks.
    Tradewinds evacuated people for free whenever they could.I highly recommend supporting them,if possible.

  10. #10
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 2,226

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Hi Soyabeans,
    Anita and I arrive the same day from Washington, DC via A/A. Will be interesting to see how things come together with flights. Life is an adventure. Our glasses are half full :) We are happy everyday we wake up on the top side of the ground.

  11. #11

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Y'all are awesome. No wonder it is called the "Insider's Guide."

  12. #12
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Posts: 21,436

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    If I understand KPJ72 correctly, Luxury Retreats is renting a villa which is listed with WIMCO.

    My guess is that WIMCO's St Barth staff is going to have to check every single villa in order to assess damage. I don't know if that assessment has begun, or how long it will take, but I do know that it won't be an overnight effort. Once WIMCO knows the villa status, they'll be able to answer questions for Luxury Retreats. Once Luxury Retreats knows, then they'll be able to have an informed conversation with you.

    I do know the villa that you referenced above, in fact I was the first person to rent it when it came on the market. It has a fantastic view, and I love the pool. It is well above the beach in Lorient, part way up the hill off of the Camaruche road, so it's very unlikely to have taken any damage from storm surge or pounding waves. If there was any damage then it would most likely be wind damage, or runoff from above. One question to ask Luxury Retreats is if there is any damage to the 3rd bedroom or the exercise room, which are on a lower level. (You walk down from the parking area to the main level, where the main villa and the pool are located, and then down another level to the 3rd bedroom and the exercise room.)

  13. #13

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Just spoke with Wimco. They are assessing each villa and will (or hope to) have information for all villas by next Tuesday or Wednesday. Our agent said she is not hopeful that October 22nd will be viable for arrival.

  14. #14
    TMinatra is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2003 Johnson City, Tennessee Posts: 159

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Thank you for those of you who've been active in posting. We've followed the site faithfully since last week, although it's been years since we posted anything. While this thread is primarily about the villa, there are also questions surrounding SXM as a transit point. I found this link today: http://www.travelweekly.com/Caribbea...open-in-a-week.

    Granted it is the Tourism director speaking but it gives a little hope that something will soon be open at Princess Juliana. We are arriving on October 29 for a 10 day stay, assuming we can confirm with the villa owner that the villa is in working order, and that SXM is open and AA will fly there.

    AA's policy re changing tickets was quite favorable a few days ago: if you had reservations to fly through SXM through Oct 31, you could rebook or obtain a refund with no change fee. Today, the policy is that if you have tickets through SXM through Dec 31 you can change them without a change fee provided you can travel now through Sept. 30. How crazy is that?

  15. #15
    phil62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2005 Glen Cove, NY Posts: 6,263

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by TMinatra View Post
    Thank you for those of you who've been active in posting. We've followed the site faithfully since last week, although it's been years since we posted anything. While this thread is primarily about the villa, there are also questions surrounding SXM as a transit point. I found this link today: http://www.travelweekly.com/Caribbea...open-in-a-week.

    Granted it is the Tourism director speaking but it gives a little hope that something will soon be open at Princess Juliana. We are arriving on October 29 for a 10 day stay, assuming we can confirm with the villa owner that the villa is in working order, and that SXM is open and AA will fly there.

    AA's policy re changing tickets was quite favorable a few days ago: if you had reservations to fly through SXM through Oct 31, you could rebook or obtain a refund with no change fee. Today, the policy is that if you have tickets through SXM through Dec 31 you can change them without a change fee provided you can travel now through Sept. 30. How crazy is that?
    The travel by date is September 30, 2018. That seems quite reasonable, and I'm sure the other airlines that service SXM will have similar policies.

    Phil

  16. #16
    steelpe is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2010 Posts: 453

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    All the villas assessed in a week? I don't know how detailed those assessments will be, but ok.

  17. #17

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    From AA
    Hurricane Irma - St. Maarten


    [COLOR=#D14904 !important]Information current as of September 13, 2017[/COLOR]
    If you’re traveling to/through/from:

    • St. Maarten, St. Maarten (SXM)

    The change fee may be waived if you:

    • Are traveling on an American Airlines flight
    • Bought your ticket by September 10, 2017
    • Are scheduled to travel September 5 - December 31, 2017
    • Can travel September 10, 2017 - September 30, 2018
    • Don't change your origin or destination city
    • Rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference

    Change your trip

    If your trip is eligible, you can change it online. Here’s how:

    • Find your trip
    • If your trip is eligible, you’ll see the option to ‘change trip’ in the toolbar

    Look up your trip

  18. #18
    TMinatra is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2003 Johnson City, Tennessee Posts: 159

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Makes a lot more sense, thanks.

  19. #19

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    I mistakenly posted this under some info about St. Martin. My mistake. This thread seems more appropriate.

    I spoke with our villa manager yesterday(the 11th). He advised me all hotels he knew of will be closed for at least 6 months. 80% of the homes/villas on the island sustained damage. There are not enough carpenters on the island. We have a trip planned the last week of Oct and first 3 weeks of Nov.; he said under no circumstances would the island be ready and we should not come. He doubts if the island will be ready for our next trip in March.

    Currently, they need food, water and electricity. The fear is if tourists come, they will have few if any services or restaurants available as the island is not ready, thus leaving tourists with a bad impression of St. Barts.

    Our villa is booked for 80% of the upcoming season and we've been advised to just close it for the season.
    Although our villa sustained minimal damage inside; however the 50x15 porch roof adjacent to the pool, along with all fencing is gone. We have already spoken to our carpenter and it will be fixed but we advised repairing the homes of the residents will take priority... (ask it should). .

    Our manger assures me St Barts will be back better than ever yet they need time. Just my $.02. I may be in error yet it seems everyone on the forum is trying to keep their plans of this season intact. They will be able to get there, however I question if it will be enjoyable.

  20. #20
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 10,918

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    The FORUM rocks! Thank you all for what all of you members do for the island and the visitors!

  21. #21

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    DavidB, I can't imagine the hardship for those who rely heavily on that next paycheck, especially in light of what your manager says about the next six months.

  22. #22
    joyce is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jul 2004 Posts: 8

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by soyabeans View Post
    we are booked to arrive the 28th of October, wait for the status of the villa and then figure out how to get from NYC to SBH
    We are in pretty much the same situation, scheduled to arrive on October 29. If the villa is in good order and we can make the flights work, we will be there!

  23. #23
    steelpe is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2010 Posts: 453

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    DavidB, what does your rental agency think about closing the villa for the season? On the surface it might make sense to give the locals some time to get things straightened out. If you close your villa do you have to give back all of your deposits?

  24. #24
    Eve is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2008 Boston Posts: 8,307

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    I saw pictures of Christopher, and it didn't look intact at all. And Carole said Le Ti is no longer

  25. #25
    marybeth is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,493

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Like others, our trip is in November. I hope we can go, but we're taking a "wait and see" attitude. There are many factors involved: the state of the villa, the likelihood of repairs being completed, whether US carriers will have flights and what's up with SBC. I'm glad we have the luxury of a few weeks before having to decide.

  26. #26
    Aipotu is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Feb 2008 Connecticut Posts: 352

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eve View Post
    I saw pictures of Christopher, and it didn't look intact at all. And Carole said Le Ti is no longer
    I've seen two reports that said Le Ti was fine, and that Christopher's damage was mainly to the pool and restaurant area. But who knows what is real and not real right now?

  27. #27
    stbartslover is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2003 Ann Arbor, MI---Flamands Posts: 2,596

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by marybeth View Post
    Like others, our trip is in November. I hope we can go, but we're taking a "wait and see" attitude. There are many factors involved: the state of the villa, the likelihood of repairs being completed, whether US carriers will have flights and what's up with SBC. I'm glad we have the luxury of a few weeks before having to decide.
    Spoke with our villa manager this evening.
    Ours is up high, less exposed than some and sustained slight damage (wind is always better than water), along with a lower railing. Our people worked there today and we fully expect to welcome our first Guests of the season November 5th.
    Gustavia has power along with parts of Colombier and our source (who's brother works at the utility) tells us that most of the island will have service restored in the next couple of weeks----St Jean, Flamands and areas farther from the electric plant in sequence as they are repaired and brought on line.
    The port is undamaged and the first Tropical ship arrived today. Grocery and gas stations are open along with bakeries and a sprinkling of restaurants.

    St Barth Commuter, Tradewinds and Air Antilles are flying at this time.
    Everyone on the island is working hard to make this season.
    Jeff

  28. #28
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 45,021

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Since SXM is only open to planes other than passenger where is SBH flying from? Good for you Jeff but the rest of the island especially low lying and St Jean and Lorient among others didnt fare so well. I'm not too optimistic about my St Jean villa. Some hotels won't open for 6 months.Im fully booked but glad I have trip cancellation insurance.


    Andy

  29. #29
    pascaleschmidt is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2008 NYC, Nice Posts: 1,723

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    The St Jean villa we rent was not too badly damaged even though it is on the beach.... the wait now is for the insurance inspectors to show up... otherwise they will rebuilt and be ready ASAP. Unfortunately the garden has gone... all sand now....

  30. #30

    Re: Cancel Impending trip?

    Thanks for your honesty! Your $0.02 will probably cost you thousands. But it may save others thousands and with what my friend tells me about the anarchy rampant in SXM it may save a few lives!

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