A different Visit to Club Med, Turkoise
The Turkoise sign was lit every night between the pool and the beach.
Leaving the Florida coast, just south of Cape canaveral.
Getting there and backWe used frequent flyer miles on Delta with a Monday to Tuesday (following week) schedule to keep the cost reasonable and avoid the longer airport lines on weekends. We arrived on the Delta flight nonstop from Atlanta: scheduled arrival time was 1:20 and we were about 10 minutes early. Unfortunately we landed right behind a larger Jet Blue flight from JFK so were behind them in the immigration line. It took us about 20 minutes to clear immigration and anyone coming behind us would have had almost no wait at all. Our bags were waiting for us and customs took about 1 minute. We waited about 10 minutes for the Club Med GO (Diesel) to line up taxis/vans for the about 12 people going to Club Med from the two flights. Then we were direct to the Club Med village.
Outside the arrivals area we waited while Diesel arranged our transportation.
Our room was nothing fancy, but functional and comfortable.
GeneralThe weather was great! no, make that "wonderful"! As I've said here before, we come to this Club Med primarily for the sailing and great beach and we had really great sailing weather. Every day we had good winds for sailing, usually in the range of 12 - 16mph. The first three days it had enough of a northerly component to make Grace Bay rather choppy for small boat sailing, but it did not slow us down much (especially for the Club Med regatta, which we won). On the fourth day (Thursday) the wind shifted more out of the east, the waves and chop disappeared, and Gracie was on her best behavior. It was wonderful. We went sailing every morning and afternoon, including the Monday "armada"/sailaway to Little Water Cay ("Iguana Island"). We had a couple of brief periods of rain but it never lasted long and did not keep us from doing anything. It was sort of fitting that one of the harder rains occurred while we were taking another couple on an "introductory sail". Our passengers were Kathy and Robert, our friends from Trip Advisor and being such good sports, they never complained about "sailing in the rain". Robert had sailed some before while Kathy was not real certain about the whole thing but she hung in there, rain and all.
A view of the beach looking SW from the Club Med part of the beach.
I always think that perhaps we'll get out and explore Provo more on one of our visits, but this time the sailing conditions were just so good, we could not tear ourselves away. Other than long beach walks and one trip to the Graceway Gourmet food store, we didn't wander away from the Club Med.
I will mention that Club Med seems to be pushing the Day Pass and Night Pass more these days with a sigh out by the beach. Also, Sharkies has been opened to the public. The beach bar opens at 12:30 and the grill opens at 2:30. The sign on the beach says draft beers are $4., cold drinks are $5, and hamburgers are $8. Based on my experience, I'd say the beers and burgers/sandwiches are a good deal, but the drinks, while relatively cheap, are forgettable.
Sharkies is open to the public and advertising on the beach. Club Med navy in the distance.
On the beach toward Leeward people have collected beach trash and constructed what we called 'Floatsam and Jetsam'.
Looking south along the beach from the Leeward area.
Around the VillageThe Club Med has not changed much from past visits. Some things were better (better wine, a better Sharkies) and other things stayed about the same. One of our main complaints in the past is the lack of really good sailboats: we much prefer Hobie 15s or 16s over the Waves and Getaways that Club Med has gone to in the US/Caribbean area. There may be some light at the end of this tunnel though.. more later. The rooms and general facilities were about the same. That is, they do need some updating and renovation. Our room was cleaned/mopped daily, but the shower had more mold than I've seen in past visits: not terrible, but enough for me (a guy who does not normally notice such things) to notice. The previous Chef de Village, Francis, had left a couple of days before we got there and the new CdV, Jessie, arrived (in a beach celebration via para-sail) about 5 days into our stay.. I have high hopes she will be able to make a real difference in the village. Lance, the Chief of Animations (entertainment) did an excellent job of filling in and running things between CdVs.
At the Sports Awards Lance (red pants) is introducing Mamadou while Helen and Sonja are looking on.
Sightings (animal, not celebrities)As usual, there were some cats around the village and we had to seek them out. This time there were two gray cats around the reception area and one tortoiseshell cat that we have seen the past several years on our visits. The gray ones are rather skittish but "Little Miss Tortie" has been around long enough that she is calm and makes friends easily, especially if you have a little food.
Little Miss Tortie was usually hanging around the restaurant and seemed to be well fed.
Food and DrinksThe food is about the same with only the main buffet restaurant open. All serving stations were in operation so there was always a reasonable selection to choose from. It seemed to us that over the last few years the food has been "toned down" some with less spice and less "grab your attention" flavor. Perhaps we just like our food spicier/tastier than most people, but many of the offerings bordered on bland. As mentioned, an improvement in the wine quality is very appreciated. All the included wines were very drinkable
This lady always had some kind of interesting looking salad or sandwich to try.
SailingThe GOs on the sailing team did an excellent job. Mamadou, Sonja, Eric, and Helen ("Pineapple") were hard working and friendly. (Derf was there and on the sailing team, but he had received a concussion from a collision with a sailboat, and he was packing to leave on Sunday, so he was not at the beach very much.) We had met Mamadou and Sonja previously at Columbus Isle so they knew we could sail and gave us a little extra leeway. In return, we always tried to help pull the boats up the beach (an exhausting job) at the end of the day. As usual for the past several years, Club Med had only Hobie Waves and Getaways.
There were 10 Waves and 3 Getaways (the larger ones with vertical Hobie on the sail).
On the way to Little Waer Cay, with the rest of the fleet following us.
All the boats lined up on Half Moon Bay beach, with Mamadou and Susan clowning in the middle.
New Chef de Village
Jessie arriving via para-sail on the beach. Quite an arrival!
We took the opportunity to discuss our feelings about the type of sailboats at the village now and, as a
former sailing GO, she understood our point and we talked about some possible solutions. We
suggested that we would be willing to pay an additional fee to give us access to higher performance
boats, such as Hobie 15s and 16s. Another option we discussed is eliminating the windsurfing since this
is not really a good place for windsurfing and the windsurf equipment needs a major updating if that
sport is to be retained. I hope that Jessie is able to follow up on some of these ideas.
I think one reason we got along so well with Jessie is that she and Susan see "eye to eye". Wrap-up
Finally, a comment about the new Chef de Village, Jessie. She is a small/petite person (from Taiwan) but is full of energy and is very good at getting people excited about something. When she leads everyone in singing "Hey Baby" ("I wanna know if you'll be my girl?") everyone is up and singing and participating. I got the impression that was sort of her "theme song". We ended up talking to her several times and found out that she used to be a sailing GO, including at Columbus Isle and knows several of the people/GOs that we knew. On our last night I wanted to get a reserved table out by the pool and a couple of bottles of good wine and have the sailing GOs join us for dinner. Normally, there is a rule of a maximum of 2 GOs per table at a time, which this would violate. There was a silver/gold (frequent stayer) reception and Jessie was there so I asked her if she would approve breaking the rule in this case. She frowned a bit and I thought she was going to say "no", but instead she said she wished she could join us. I immediately said that we could easily add a chair and place setting. She had CdV duties until 9:00 but then she joined us and we had the four sailing GOs and the CdV at our table for a while.
When I asked what kind of wine Jessie wanted (red or white) she went for the red! Now this is my kind of woman! Even the Chef de Village has limited ability to make significant changes to a village, but we have high hopes that Jessie will be able to make some positive changes. We already have reservations to return in October to check on the progress Jessie has made and to go sailing with her.
Jessie arriving via para-sail on the beach. Quite an arrival!
We took the opportunity to discuss our feelings about the type of sailboats at the village now and, as a former sailing GO, she understood our point and we talked about some possible solutions. We suggested that we would be willing to pay an additional fee to give us access to higher performance boats, such as Hobie 15s and 16s. Another option we discussed is eliminating the windsurfing since this is not really a good place for windsurfing and the windsurf equipment needs a major updating if that sport is to be retained. I hope that Jessie is able to follow up on some of these ideas.
I think one reason we got along so well with Jessie is that she and Susan see "eye to eye".
Wrap-upAll in all, this was a very successful and fun visit to Club Med Turkoise. We look forward to our next trip.