On another board I wrote a short account of my nephew's experience in the Dominican Republic that I heard last night over dinner. My nephew is not island savey and has only been to 2 islands. He doesn't come on either of these sites so he was not trying to make SXM to be the do all nor end all of islands but this is what he had to say and what I wrote on the other site...
He and his friends had gotten a great deal for a trip to the Dominican Republic 2 weeks ago and so he just came back from there and told me this...
Where he stayed which he swore was a really nice resort, he was told when he got to this resort that they would not be responsible for anything stolen from their room up to a certain $ amount. He could not drink the water which was absolutely horrid and smelled like it came out of the toilet... He drank beer the entire time (not so bad for some people but he hates beer) so he wouldn't have to have ice or any type of drink that included water (and that included coffee ) and even with the food he ate, he had to be very selective. There were guards with guns all over the place. He could not venture off the property without proper escort. He needed to go to an ATM in the evening and after "talking" to the guard (spoke very little English but understood "ATM") the guard went over to a resort contracted taxi driver and spoke to him for a short time. Then he pointed my nephew to the cab and my nephew got in. The driver took him to this dark place where there was a cement outhouse looking structure. While he went in which was like a small maze, while literally shaking and thinking he would never get out alive, the cab driver stood outside this cement structure with a machete guarding the entrance, until my nephew was finished. When he returned from his vacation, his wife said he had lost at least 10 pounds.
Needless to say, he has seen what an island with real crime looks like and will never ever take for granted the freedom SXM gave him while they were on the island for 2 weeks.
I truly understand that SXM has it's issues and when it hits home like with Bruce and Kim as well as some others here, it does impact my train of thought but not enough when comparing her to other islands and what it still has to offer, especially the freedom to roam the island and feel as well as meet with the different cultural people without experiencing what my nephew experienced. And that, my friends, is MY opinion and should not be discounted.
NOW...after writing this which was the TRUTH as there would have been no reason
for him to lie nor exaggerate (including about the water which he saw them refill from the tap
), I was told that I was trying to trash the DR to make SXM look good....hmmmm....talk about blindsided people....how utterly ridiculous. I wouldn't go that route..EVER. Why in the world would I make this up???????????????????????????????????????? I have better things to do than play games.
I wrote this to show that there are islands out there that appear to be fantastic but when you get there, that is not always the case and certainly makes SXM look like Disneyworld. Everything I wrote was exactly, if not missing even more things, about his trip.
So....let's hear the good and bad of other islands but don't forget to include whether there was freedom to explore and not be subjected to an all inclusive because of the dangers lurking outside the gates. To me that is not a vacation.
And I will start the ball rolling by saying that Bermuda has to be in the top 5 of my preferred islands compared to SXM...except it really has no casinos which is my evening entertainment, as well as not having all year round hot weather. Other than that, Bermuda is breathtaking and they do allow freedom to explore outside the boundries of the resort.
Life is not a child's game of follow the Leader. Instead, life is more about finding one's own purpose in life....your life's plan, and then making a positive difference on earth.