read this. posted on December 4th on cruise critic message board.
ridiculous that this happens!!!
" BEWARE of Kontiki beach bar on Orient Beach!!
Just wanted to give anyone that may be heading to Orient beach soon, to be warned about the horrible treatment we had when we recently visited.
We were there on Nov. 24th and took a island tour with Bernard (by the way, I can't say enough great things about Bernard and his tour). We were a family of 3 (myself 42y/o female, 16y/o son and 70y/o mother).
We were being dropped off at the beach for approx. 1 1/2 hrs and we just wanted to walk along the beach and sit on our towel long enough for my son to play in the water for awhile. I had asked Bernard and his fellow tour guides if it is okay to just put down a towel to sit on on the edge of the water line because we did not want to have to rent a chair for such a short time. We were told that the beach is a public beach and that you could put your towel down anywhere along the beach. With that being said, we headed out down the beach and stopped a short distance down because my mom's hip was bothering her trying to walk in the sand. We spread out a towel at the waterline which happened to be in front of the Kontiki bar. We were sitting a good distance in front of the lounge chairs that they offer for rent.
Shortly after sitting down, one of the waiters came by to offer chairs for rent which we declined stating that we were only there for a very short time. He then proceeded to tell us that we were not allowed to sit there because it was a "private beach area" and we would have to walk down to the "public" area. I explained that we were already told that the beach is public and could sit anywhere along the beach. To make a long story short, he and another coworker proceeded to harass us for an hour which included being threatened about being physically removed, having ice water dumped on myself and my mother (stating that if we weren't going to move, they were then going to "clean" the beach) soaking not only us but our towel and belongings, having sand kicked on us and being verbally harassed. Several people that were not only walking along the beach but one's that were also renting chairs from them came over to find out what was going on. After explaining that we just wanted to sit on the beach, one of the ladies walked farther down the beach to find out the rules and regs and came back to say that what they were doing was illegal and should be reported.
Some will probably wonder why we didn't just move--well after having ice water thrown on us, I was sure as h--l not going to move and have them think they ran us away from somewhere that we had every right to sit.
Our time was up so we gathered our belongings and headed back down to our guide and told him (Bernard) what had happened. He was appalled at how we were treated and sought out a beach security guy who then wanted me to take him back down to Kontiki and show him who had done this to us. Myself, Bernard and the security guy went back down and not only confronted the two guys but also their bosses and were thoroughly warned that what they were doing was illegal and they better not be treating tourists that way. They were all speaking French but I was getting the understanding that the Kontiki staff was trying to say that we made it up. The security guy then wanted to know if we had any witnesses. I then went back to the beach and spoke with the family that had witnessed it all (the ones renting chairs from Kontiki) and they offered to talk to the security guy to back up our story. In the end, I was apologized to and offered free chairs to sit on but our time at the beach was done and there was no way I would have accepted anything from them.
This was the 2nd year in a row that I had been to Orient beach but it was my mom's first cruise and she never wants to return there again and I can say that although I love the beach, I may never want to go back either. I just can't believe that on an island that relies on tourism for their economy, that people get treated this way.
When talking to Bernard about this, he stated that they have alot of problems with the French being not very friendly at times.
Bernard was so upset about how we were treated, that he called the local newspaper and had me speak with someone to report our incident in hopes that this will never happen again. He also states that they never used to have security on the beach but have recently started to due to incidents to the tourists like we had.
I hope this prevents other travelers that are just out to experience a beautiful island and beach from being harassed.
Have fun on Orient beach but stay away from Kontiki!!!! "