I am back, ever so slightly tanner and a bit poorer for my week in the Bahamas. What a beautiful place, people, and experience!
We stayed in our villa, Harborside Resort (part of the Starwood Network), which is somehow fortunately linked to the Atlantis.
The fun stuff: Starbucks, whole red snapper, cooking lobster tails at our villa, almost dying while racing on the ‘Mayan Temple’ waterslide, learning that we can actually sit still for a few hours in the sun, just reading or snoozing, the Nassau Zoo, Kalik beer, rockin’ on the local bus service, finding a roadside restaurant with great energy – fish – beer on the cheap, snorkeling, etc. etc.!!
LOVED – the service mentality of everyone we met. Two of many we experienced:
1. We ventured into Nassau to buy groceries. The local bus service is great – just flag down a little 16-passenger van, and off you go! They have Bahamian music blasting and everyone is tapping a foot or bobbing to the beat. We missed our stop by a few miles and asked the driver where we were. He laughed, and told us where to catch the bus we needed. Get this, he apologized that we didn’t get out where we needed to, and didn’t charge us for the ride. Missing our stop was 100% our fault.
2. Our villa supplies us with everything. Well almost. No coffee filters! So at our morning stop at Starbucks in Marina Village, we asked the barista where we might buy some coffee filters. She did not hesitate and said, “Here, let me get you some, no charge.”
NOT LOVED – Northwest Airlines. We booked using frequent flyer miles…we get these, in theory, because the airline loves that we fly so much with them for business (full fare tickets, some international). Gold ‘Elite’ status, etc. Sooo…here is what happened:
First, I get an email two days prior to our departure date, confirming our flights. Hmmm…they canceled the Detroit-to-Minneapolis flight we were originally booked on, and moved us to a much later flight. This results in a 4 1/2 hour layover in Detroit, and gets us home around midnight. Not fun. I checked and their is an earlier flight that leaves one hour after we land in Detroit. Perfect!!! I call the special reservation line and am told that Northwest cannot put us on the flight I mentioned because there needs to be more than one hour between flights for us to clear customs. I am not happy, but that does make sense.
So, we have a great vacation, get to the airport in Nassau, and guess what? They do United States Customs clearing right at Nassau Airport! We get on the phone right away to move to the earlier flight – and are told, “Sorry, can’t move you since you already are checked in. You’ll need to go to the gate and get on the stand by list.” Oh, and don’t worry, there are plenty of seats. Well, not when we got there. And many of the people on our plane were able to book this flight directly, no problem. We may have gotten a hapless call center person who didn’t know about clearing customs, wanted to reduce her ‘talk time’ metric and not rebook us, who knows. I just know that we are no longer accruing frequent flyer miles and are just shopping for ‘best price’. I wonder how they treat the platinum ‘elite’ customers? If only we lived in Chicago or New York and had a CHOICE!! Living in a ‘hub’ city blows.
I recommend Sun Country Airlines out of Minneapolis if they go to your destination.
Wonder which service people were ‘sheepwalking‘?