Grenada--Sail Windjammer--Nov 2015

Greetings fellow Arrivederci Int'l Yacht club "Pirates and Wenches"!!

   As We approach Our "6 months away from Margaritaville" date of May 8, I thought I'd give everyone an update on Air-Hotel-Cruise information so We can begin to firm up Our itineraries.

 Air flights--A number of You have already confirmed Your flights using air miles or Alaska companion fares. For those who will still need to ticket---Fares have just begun to drop a bit starting last Tuesday. I've been watching since November and the standard American airlines price from PDX to Grenada has been approx $950-$975. This last week the price dropped to $799-$849 p.p. This is about as good as it will get for Grenada,St. Lucia,Barbados, Martinique remembering that You are almost within 50 miles of South America--this ain't no Bahamas cruise!!

  American is My preference--PDX-DFW or SEA to Miami and on to Grenada, either "red eye" or early AM with the return---Grenada -Miami-DFW-PDX or via SFO or LAX. You can build Alaska Miles with these flights.

  A couple of You have used Your Alaska Air Visa Companion certificate PDX-SEA-Fort Lauderdale, over nighting for one or two nights in FLL-Miami and then purchasing an American Air ticket from Miami to Grenada. This will bring Your ticketing cost down to approx $750 p.p. and FLL and Miami are "Art Deco Cool"!!
  A person could also route through JFK with a forced overnight but I do not advise that in the Nov-Mar time period. While We're sipping Bloody Mary's you may be freezing Your butt off in NYC!
  Pricing out of the Bay area will be similar with similar connections.

  If you have f.f, miles with either Alaska or American do check for an award--40,000 miles and $50 in taxes is a pretty good place to use Your miles.
  Most of you that I see often in Arrivederci seem to be looking at flying out on the 7th and staying 1 night in Grenada prior to boarding the SV Mandalay on the 8th of November with a 2 or 3 nt post cruise stay prior to coming back home. Grenada is a beautiful Island that is the "True" Caribbean! Kate and I have been going to many isles in the Carib's since 1978 and have seen what over population and mega tourism have done to the pristine tropical nature of this area. With Grenada, Carriacou,Tobago Cays, Grenadines and St Vincent you will still see what We saw 35 years ago but the air conditioning and the beds will be much better!!!

Hotels--I've received responses from a few email inquiries I've sent out and here they are listed. I usually locate a group on either Grand Anse Beach or Morne Rouge Bay near St. Georges, the Capital. There are a number of 4-5 star hotels like the Calabash and Sandals that are classics and if You'd like to splurge for a few nights please let Me know and I'll chase down the best rates for You. My concept is the Arrivederci Mantra---"The less I pay for My room, the more I'll have for food and booze"!!--Indeed!! Herewith are the nice and reasonable 2-3 star properties with a 4 star tossed into the mix----

  Gem Holiday Beach Resort--Morne Rouge Bay--one bedroom gardenview $80 nt    one bedroom oceanview $100 nt
     Brilliant location on Morne Rouge bay and a very laid back "sand in your toes,beer in Your hand" approach to the day!

  Kalinago Beach Resort-Morne Rouge Bay--$135 nt oceanview--This is the newer sister property of the Gem holiday right next door and gets got remarks from past guests. nice pool.

  The Flamboyant hotel and villas--Grand Anse Beach--around the point from Morne Rouge Bay.  Standard-$185 nt   Superior Studio $200 nrt
Superior 1 bdrm suite $215 nt   superior 2 bedroom suite $425 nt.       We stayed at the Flamboyant with Our last Windjammer group about 10 years ago and had a great time drinking,swimming--some with clothes,some with not----dining and really feeling the Island vibe--Really! you gotta feel the "Island vibe". It's better than seeing the "Green Flash" and just as elusive!!! This property has been remodeled and upgraded.

  The Radisson Beach resort on Grand Anse Beach---$165 nt gardenview     $250 nt Beachfront    $295 nt Executive Beachfront.  Radisson always does a nice job throughout the world and a couple of Us in Our group have used f.f. miles to confirm rooms here--good idea!!!

  Residences True Blue Bay Resort--4 stars and great ratings!   std dbl room $150 nt       suite Sea facing  $190 nt   Suite King tower  $190 nt with a continental breakfast included.

  Nearly all of these resorts have meal plans available but I find that heading down into St. George's and settling into BB's Craback or the Ocean Grill is worth the cab or bus fare and really lets You find the "Island Vibe"!!! Breakfast really revolves around Bloody Mary's right? And Lunch--Maybe some local seafood washed down with a nice cold  West Indies Lazy pelican ale or maybe a simple Carib!

    Kate and I hope to join Ken and Patti and a few other "Trekkers" and head into the jungle in search of Concord and Annadale falls. I want ice Cream in the west coastal city of Gouyave. I want to go the the Local market of St. Georges.  I want to drift snorkel the Tobago Cays.  I want to go late into a bar in St. George's and pick a fight with the biggest, baddest dude in on the island--and then let Rich or Gary handle him----Well, Maybe not!....but I do want to have that Great beach BBQ on the little isle of Mayreau and then along with everybody else, walk up the path/road to the 4 bars that are the centerpiece of this tiny islands commerce..... and I want to make Katy dance like a Gypsy for money!!!!  Actually I just want to dance with Her, but that sounded pretty good,huh??
  Then We can all go down to SaltWhistle Cay to celebrate bragging rights for the most outback,beautiful,pristine beach and bar you've ever seen!!!

   If I sound excited at 3:20am--I am!!!     Kate also locked Me out of the house----Ha-Not really!!   I'm excited because this is, and has been, My passion since I was a boy. Sailing on a Windjammer and going back in time to another age where life was hard but simple. Walking on a beach that the Rich and famous still know nothing of.   Sharing drinks and laughs around the Mandalay's tropical bar into the wee hours of the morning with My friends.. Seeing the moon glisten on the sea with the sails snapping at the wind. Catching that first sunrise aboard ship and then going back to bed till 11am!!      And above all.....Hearing the bagpipes playing the strains of "Amazing Grace" as We raise sail and leave St. George's Harbor for the adventure of a Lifetime!!!

  God is good to those who seek the tender mercies of life, and the experience of true friendship. Kate and I look very much forward to sharing these great experiences, and more with you this coming November in the Grenadines!!

Mundaca tiburon Munoz  aka steve@Dateline