The Gory Details: SXM and NEV

This post will appeal only to those who like to know the minutiae of an island trip, but here it is:

Travel:

To SXM: American Airlines from BWI to MIA, and MIA to SXM — flights on time and without mishap (other than being at an ungodly early hour).

To NEV: Winair from SXM to NEV — flight delayed about 1 hour, at least partly attributable to heavy rain, but even being late, we were in NEV at 8:30 in the morning.  On the plus side, arriving at a tiny airport as 2 of a handful of arriving passengers is very convenient.  But the customs agent was more thorough than usual.  Once through, we were shuttled to Nisbet Plantation.

To BWI:  Taxi from Nisbet Plantation to Oualie Beach.  Private water taxi (with fully stocked cooler, if you need a Carib to get you through the 10-minute ride) from Oualie Beach to Cockleshell Beach (aka Reggae Beach) on St. Kitts.  Taxi from Cockleshell Beach to SKB.  American Airlines from SKB to MIA, and MIA to BWI.  Notwithstanding the many steps in this part of the journey, it was remarkably smooth.  Except for the fact that you have to walk from the terminal across the tarmac up the stairs to reach the plane.  Not a problem unless you get a torrential downpour and the thoughtless jerk in the first row of first class parks himself in the aisle to stow all of his stuff while everyone else waits in the rain…

Lodgings:

On St. Martin, Le Petit Hotel in Grand Case.

On Nevis, Nisbet Plantation.

Rental Cars:

SXM: I’d originally booked with Kenny’s (Lesley Bruce), but his wife was temporarily in charge due to his illness and had overbooked.  So they sent us to Payless, which honored the rate.  Payless was fine, but a little less convenient because you have to ride to their off-airport location to pick up the car.

NEV: We used Parry’s, arranged for us by Nisbet Plantation.

Eating Out:

SXM:

Francis Bar in Marigot

Bistrot Caraibes, Ocean 82 and L’Escapade in Grand Case

Sky’s the Limit and Au Coin des Amies lolos in Grand Case

NEV:

Nisbet Plantation for all breakfasts and dinners (different dinner menu every night)

Golden Rock Plantation, Sunshine’s, Yachtsmens Grill and Bananas for lunches

Customs and Immigration at MIA:

There is a new procedure for clearing in to the US at MIA.  After walking about 12 miles through MIA (or you can take the SkyTrain), you go to self-service kiosks and scan your passport.  The kiosk will spit out a receipt, and if anyone’s in your party has a photo with an X through it, you have to go to secondary screening.  (Someone very very bad must share Rick’s name, because he got the X, and got the same stink-eyed scrutiny we always get when entering the US.)  Then the usual bag claiming rigamarole — which, I believe, Florida law requires: load 4-7 bags from the arriving flight on the carousel to get the passengers all excited that the bags are coming, then wait at least 27 minutes before loading the rest on.  Then customs, bag re-check, security (again), and on to departure gates.

Finally, Because You Really Can’t Get Enough Of It:

Julie’s ant-bitten foot.

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