|By James Reilly (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #4) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:20 pm:|
Fran and I LOVE Bonaire. We are planning to return in July, but getting there from the USA is becoming a very difficult chore. (We live in Philadelphia.)
|By Brigitte Kley - Coco Palm Garden (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #262) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:45 pm:|
None of the big ones will come to Bonaire without a rather big increase in beds ....
|By John"Smack"Anderson (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #601) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 1:22 pm:|
|By Jake Richter - NetTech (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5412) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 2:20 pm:|
|By Marcus L. Barnes (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #254) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 2:44 pm:|
I agree totally and have stated so several times before. It takes us 12 hours to get from Iowa to Bonaire, which is a long day, but we are willing to deal with it if it means Bonaire remains as we know and love it today.
|By James Reilly (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #5) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 3:14 pm:|
|By Kelly Baum (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2434) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 3:36 pm:|
Very well said, Jake. And I repeated the mantra while stuck in Aruba with a missed flight.... "There's no place like home. There's no place like home." Or is that "there's no place like Bonaire"? Same difference.. lol
|By Marcus L. Barnes (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #255) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 3:41 pm:|
I can't help but notice every time there is a glitch (i.e. Air Jamaica) we start hearing about imminent economic collapse on Bonaire due to a lack of tourism - yet, it never seems to happen. This is only speculation, but my guess is Bonaire has a whole lot of repeat customers regardless of travel difficulties. It appears American Eagle has jumped at the chance to fly full planes to Bonaire in that they are flying from San Juan everyday once again; I assume this is in response to the Air Jamaica situation. I don't see sitting in San Juan waiting on a plane for a couple of hours as a big deal. Sorry.
|By Kelly Baum (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2435) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 3:45 pm:|
I would like to point out that it's easy to get to Cancun or Cozumel from the US. A short flight from Houston. Anyone ever notice how crowded it is there? I wouldn't go back to Cozumel on a bet! I personally love that Bonaire is so "quirky" and hard to get to. That's what makes it different and that's one of the reasons I love it and appreciate it so much more. And it almost guarantees that people that take the time and effort to get there will be the kind of people with whom I like to vacation... laid back and with a come-what-may attitude. [don't really need to name names, but Wally comes to mind here.. ;)]
|By Dennis Webb (BonaireTalker - Post #43) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 4:22 pm:|
The problem is obviously volume. How many people visit Bonaire in a year? 25000? If so, divide that by 365 and you get 68 people per day. Thats not a lot of people, compared to a place like Belize, which I read is now getting about 500,000 per year. A majority of course are probably going to Bonaire during the winter, peak season, so the average number of people per day during low season might be only 25-30 or less. Of course if my 25,000 is wrong and its 50,000 per year that still will just double to about 136 per day, once again, the majority being in the cold months. Everything on this planet runs on volume,(thanks to the MCDonalds and Wal-Mart models) Billions served etc. But I'm sure this same lack of volume is what actually gives Bonaire its charm, which we will experience April 20. JMHO.
|By sherry baker (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #559) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 4:52 pm:|
Bonaire does cost more to get to than alot of other destinations.. but Aquaman and i dont care-
|By Kelly Baum (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2440) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 5:00 pm:|
Hi Sherry... yes I agree, if Bonaire was easy to get to, it would get way too busy for me and I'd have to find another obscure location to hide out...
|By Jim Taylor (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #3) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 7:04 pm:|
Think about it - you can travel from almost anywhere in the US an obscure island in the Caribbean in less than a day. Amazing!!
|By Tom Cousino (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1575) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 7:37 pm:|
James, If you want to hear from the Travel Industry/Tourism folks in Bonaire, it would be best to contact them directly. I believe the people to direct your questions to are members of the Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association. Their e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
|By The Ginocchio's @ Golden Reef Inn (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #655) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 8:06 pm:|
|By Cheryl B (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #148) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 8:35 pm:|
Kelly wrote: My vacation starts the minute I leave in my car to head to the airport, not when I arrive at my destination.
My vacation starts the minute I leave in my car to head to the airport, not when I arrive at my destination.
|By Wally and Eva (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #744) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 8:41 pm:|
I believe vacation starts as soon as I leave the house and my 100 hour a week boss man job. Which means if I arrive at the airport it's beer time....and if it's 5:30AM that's with a coffee chaser.
|By Jake Richter - NetTech (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5413) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 9:42 pm:|
|By Susan Taft (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #460) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 9:47 pm:|
Kelly, I bet if you really think about it all the build up to a Bonaire trip is also part of the fun. I have already started "staging"for my April trip -- I have started to wash the shorts, fondle my dive gear, make piles of things that I am taking to friends, buy shampoo etc, etc, etc! Getting to -- and from -- Bonaire is always a challenge but I totally agree with all that Jake and others have said. Mark and I have had crazy trips and experiences in both directions but always find it worth every minute. I too have become one with the SJ airport, finished novels and written pages in my journal but would not trade it for anywhere else. James, AA has held many islands "hostage" by promising more flights in return for more rooms and has not always followed through -- Grenada is a good example of this.
|By Carole Baker (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #4752) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 10:26 pm:|
I wouldn't want hordes of folks headed toward Bonaire on a daily (or many times per day) basis. I recall our first years on Aruba before they destroyed it....we would watch the Air Aruba plane fly over the beach and say "here comes the Air Aruba flight"....meaning one single flight of tourists....now you can't keep up with the number of planes flying over the beach to get to the airport in Aruba....they all unload the folks to ride up the the high rise section of Palm Beach where it now looks like Miami Beach....only the buildings are closer together on Palm Beach.
|By Steve Holcomb (BonaireTalker - Post #20) on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 11:12 pm:|
Well said everyone.
|By Dennis Webb (BonaireTalker - Post #44) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 9:43 am:|
They will have just started flights on April 1 direct from Lexington,KY to Ft.Lauderdale for $140.00 rt! Then its merely about, $500.00 rt from FLL to Bonaire! YeeHA! Just announced today in the local paper!
|By Tom Cousino (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1581) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 9:51 am:|
With Jet Blue flying to San Juan, rt from Burlington, VT to Bonaire is now approximately $700.00. If AE sticks to its' current schedule, this could be one of the cheapest fares I will have ever paid to visit Bonaire in the past ten years.
|By Marcus L. Barnes (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #257) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 10:11 am:|
Dennis: Who is they? Thanks.
|By John"Smack"Anderson (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #603) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 10:58 am:|
Well, it seems the best points have already been made and most understand the issues involved with getting to Bonaire and the economics that are todays reality. As my recently passed grandparent once told me,"patience is a virtue, seldom found in women, never found in men". I know what she meant now, and do my best to prove her wrong. She would be proud of my last fiasco If time is so important and any part of getting to Bonaire(delays or otherwise) gets you upset, you are headed in the wrong direction. Go somewhere else, cause you are wound way too tight. Island time starts when I drag my bags out my front door on the way to the airport. It ends at the same place.
|By Marcus L. Barnes (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #258) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 11:01 am:|
Well Said John.
|By Lorraine Bayford (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #170) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 11:23 am:|
Those of you who live on the east coast or close to a major city have it pretty easy. Try getting to Bonaire from Canada's west coast! It is always 5 legs and 2 overnights and 2-3 days traveling EACH way. But I am not grumbling, that is the price I pay for living where I live and want to go to paradise. I am always on the lookout for better routes and prices but alas, there are never any deals from the west coast. I met a couple in Mexico in January complaining it was going to take them 8 hours to get home to Detroit but when I told them it was going to take us 2 days and 2 more flights, they were astounded and said they wouldn't complain again. We use AA from Seattle and sometimes Vancouver (if the time is right) and I have been happy with them. Only got bumped once in San Juan but in the end we got a flights to Mexico for the inconvenience. I take it as a challenge to book to Bonaire.
|By George Blanchard (BonaireTalker - Post #78) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 11:23 am:|
Most of the best points about maintaining Bonaire as is and enjoying it for the Island experience have been made. In the mid 80's Judy and I visited Anguilla as a quick side trip from St. Maarten. We fell in love with it and visiited 2-3 more times in the following years. It was a snorkeler's paradise. Then some very upscale properties were built and a number of condos and apartments quickly erected. When we returned in 2001 we could not find our favorite snorkeling site, all of the coral had been ruined. Our great beach restaurant, only 2 tables, had become a large restaurant with all the trappings of fast food. I hope Bonaire never becomes another Aruba or Anguilla.
|By Cynde (BonaireTalk Deity - Post #13308) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 11:26 am:|
Smack... If time is so important and any part of getting to Bonaire(delays or otherwise) gets you upset, you are headed in the wrong direction.
If time is so important and any part of getting to Bonaire(delays or otherwise) gets you upset, you are headed in the wrong direction.
|By Susan Taft (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #463) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 11:32 am:|
Smack .... we must be related as my mom's favorite saying is the same as your grandmother's!
|By Dennis Webb (BonaireTalker - Post #45) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 1:38 pm:|
|By Marcus L. Barnes (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #259) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 1:47 pm:|
Thanks Dennis. So is the flight from Fort Lauderdale to Bonaire a Direct Flight?
|By Dennis Webb (BonaireTalker - Post #46) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 2:45 pm:|
|By Dennis Webb (BonaireTalker - Post #47) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 2:53 pm:|
Hi everyone, I just wanted to mention one more thing about this direct flight scenario. Even though Belize gets about 500,000 tourists per year, you still gotta fly from Houston to San Juan, and then Belize City, at least thats what it was back in May of '02. Mighta changed since then.
|By Bob Davison (BonaireTalker - Post #48) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 3:17 pm:|
|By David Frank (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #162) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 8:09 pm:|
Er...did someone say (gulp) Hilton on the Sunset Beach site??? Yikes!
|By Dennis Webb (BonaireTalker - Post #49) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 8:17 pm:|
We have just about exactly a month til we go to Bonaire for the first time. We haven't traveled extensively in the Carribean, but we've loved every trip. We have been to Puerto Rico,Belize, and the US Virgin Islands. We are really looking forward to this trip and as long as we can get there (10 day trip), I'm not too worried about delays getting back since I'll have from Monday til Wednesday before returning to work and my wife is self-employed. Anyhoo, I'll let everyone know how it turns out, since we'll be flying AJ from Montego Bay. I think that its all a matter of luck. Surely every single AJ flight is not a totally crummy experience? This thread is leading me to believe that we are facing 100% probabilities of delays, inconveniences, etc. At any rate, even if we do encounter all of the above, I know it'll be a great adventure and I'll share it with you when we get back.
|By Wally and Eva (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #745) on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 11:22 pm:|
Well....I leave for the airport in about 6 hours for my all day trek to Paradise and all I have to say is NA NA NAN NA NANA NA NA
|By Linda Suter-Gibson (BonaireTalker - Post #27) on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 3:07 am:|
Yes, David, I kept waiting for someone to jump on that Hilton reference. How scarey is that??? Brigitte said "...the new Hilton or whatever..." We can hope for the "whatever" but that could mean Hyatt or Marriott or some other mega-chain resort. Can anyone confirm what is actually going on the Sunset Beach site?
|By Tom Cousino (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1590) on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 6:34 am:|
Susan T., I will post my airline experiences no matter which one(s) I use to get there.
|By Susan Taft (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #465) on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 7:53 am:|
Tom --- ooops snowing here this morning but not by you ....so much for banana belt!
|By Lorraine Meadows (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #919) on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 9:11 am:|
I always say that getting to Bonaire is part of the adventure.Starts the minute we leave the house for the airport.
|By Sue Goodman (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #122) on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 9:49 am:|
I spoke with a woman at the official Bonaire booth at Beneath the Sea this weekend & she sounded convinced that Hilton will rebuild at the Sunset site.
|By The Ginocchio's @ Golden Reef Inn (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #663) on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 12:17 pm:|
Check this website out, who knows?
|By Chuck H (BonaireTalker - Post #32) on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 1:45 pm:|
Don't get me wrong, I like Bonaire. I was there most recently in December. However, AJ was a mess then. I have almost given up on going back. Those of you looking for alternatives, try Little Cayman, Salt Cay or other parts of Turks and Caicos. Both are much more laid back than Bonaire. Not much shore diving however but I prefer boats anyway.
|By Kelly Baum (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2441) on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 2:34 pm:|
Bob, I enjoyed Cozumel because I took my (then 15) year old daughter and she had never been anywhere like that. But, that being said, the diving was only okay, and with the winds picking up, we lost all but 2 boat dives, and lost all our night dives because the boats wouldn't go out. The trip was a bust! And the POD people.... whoa... the downtown was FULL of people, like you couldn't even walk on the sidewalks because of all the people. Just not my idea of fun at all.
|By Marcus L. Barnes (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #263) on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 2:49 pm:|
What Kelly said. Also, you can't walk down the street on Cozumel without constantly being bothered by someone hawking something. We gave up on Cozumel 5 years ago and have been going to Bonaire ever since.
|By Davidson Mourillon (BonaireTalker - Post #16) on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 11:36 pm:|
It does hurt a bit to see that the airlift at this end leaves a gap between the islands. Of course the number of visitors going into Bonaire does not warrant a direct flight to Bonaire. If the vacation plans can be coordinated to warrant a direct flight this can be organized by the visitors themselves. Say every month a thread is opened and all going to Bonaire registers on the thread and this can bring about the possibility of getting to Bonaire in one group. TCA may not start flying to this part for some time unless another agreement is arrived at. (I may be surprised and I shall like that because it will bring about the necessary airlift - I am optimistic) Coming Wednesday a definite decision will be made as to the air traffic between the islands. This matter does have my attention viewing the troubles the Bonaire fans are encountering to get there. It is true that Bonaire is fine at this stage and commercializing it will take away the peace it now offers to its visitors. Start a thread planning ahead for Bonaire - I shall do the research to plot the distances to Bonaire from each origin within the US and Europe. Hope you guys hang in there - These type of situations do not last for ever. Joint forces make good things happen.
|By Nadine Rubin (BonaireTalker - Post #95) on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 1:38 am:|
I think we have all been spoiled with AJ and their customer service (missed connections, all inclusive over nights, car service from closest airport to your home, etc). We have been treated like royalty these past 5 or so years. Too good to be true- and all good things seem to come to an end. I think from the east coast we can all get to Aruba and St. Martin pretty direct. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be a good connection from there. I can't understand why TCB and BONHATA are not doing anything about this. TCB has an office in New York - at Radio City (of all the high rent places) - and what are they doing for us????? Who ultimately is paying for this high end TCB office? Why isn't BONHATA absolutely irate about the lack of airlift? All we want is a SIMPLE connection, just once or twice a week. Just like AJ had - hub into say Miami and out (like the old ALM)but without the 5 hour layover. If AJ can do it so can other airlines.But the squeaky wheel gets the grease. AND no this is not about personal convenience - there is no reason an airline can't operate efficiently and make a profit! Maybe it's about the handcuffs Curacao has on Bonaire?
|By Sue Goodman (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #131) on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 1:46 am:|
BONHATA and TCB are in denial that AJ has serious problems. I spoke with them at Beneath the Sea 2 weeks ago & they indicated AJ's just having temporary problems and will be back to normal soon. I asked the woman what they were going to do when AJ stops flying to Bonaire & she told me they wouldn't let it happen. All she could talk about was a Hilton coming to the old Sunset site & having a "name" hotel would be enough to attract a non-stop flight from the US. Given the sad financial state of US carriers, I think again she is dreaming...
|By Nadine Rubin (BonaireTalker - Post #96) on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 1:51 am:|
Yes, Sue, we were at BTS too and I bitched and complained and was given the same line too. But the people in those booths were not the ones to really talk to. I even thought the AJ booth - so cleverly disguised - was run by Aj only to find out they were a broker! So maybe on our next trip, we need to really complain directly in Bonaire.
|By Daren Daniels (BonaireTalker - Post #21) on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 9:38 am:|
True, I am sure the head of TCB wouldn't be running a booth! Also, all US airlines except JetBlue, Southwest, and AirTran are losing money every quarter and oil is getting more expensive.
|By Davidson Mourillon (BonaireTalker - Post #17) on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 3:54 pm:|
As many of you indicated Bonaire does not warrant a direct flight Cost wise - Other than that Bonaire does not have sufficient rooms to warrant this either. Nonetheless it is important for us to look into the possibilities to get you to Bonaire in one stretch If this ever happens it will be either from Miami, Atlanta or Newark. Traffic to and from the Netherlands Antilles is governed by the Central Government. Basically the old ALM was being subsidised by the Central Government in the past to secure a guaranteed amount of flights between the islands whether they flew empty, half full or full. Of course in time this took it's toll because ALM had to cease operations to be continued by AIR ALM which could not pull the cart and ended up in DCA who by unfortunate political decisions also had to cease operations. If maybe Exell and DCA could have come to terms the FIASCO we today face could have been avoided. But, as it is - Men learn sometimes by his mistakes. Some repairable and some unrepairable but definitely the lessons are learned. Success is based on understanding and positively seek for efficient (not emotional)solutions - and to achieve - communication and cooperation are the keys. Please rest assured that soon there will be a solution at which time we shall all forget the aches and pains we went through - Just like a mother giving birth to a child - During labor the aches and pains are intense and when the baby is born the aches and pains are suppressed by joy. I never had a baby but saw mine being born. If any of you need help to get to Bonaire I may be able to help if within my reach and means - just let me know - We are here to give a helping hand untill such time when things are up and running smooth again.
|By Israel A. Sanchez (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #170) on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 8:31 pm:|
Personally, I do not have any problems with many legs in our flights, as long as the airlines have the courtesy to keep one informed, and do not severely compromise the arrival to the final destination. AJ simply showed that the customers do come last. Actually, I think their staff comes last since they're the ones who take the heat from frustrated travelers. I have no problem flying other airlines to Bonaire, even when they take long, because I WILL KNOW that they will take long. It's no surprise to anyone that the Layover in San Juan is quite lengthy and most people come prepared to kill that time until it's time to board. Air Jamaica refuses to update their boarding times till the very last minute. It gives you the impression that you may have a timely flight until the boarding time arrives, then boom! They nail you with the news. Repeat the cycle once more, then have the passengers stand in line for another 20 minutes, then have them sit in the runway for another hour. Getting to Bonaire is no concern for us. We love the island a lot, just like the grand majority of posters here, so we will find whatever means are necessary to arrive there. What I found disturbing was the rumor of a Hilton being in the plans. What an atrocity! The very pinnacle of what is NOT Bonaire and what all Bonaire visitors try to get away from. That alone would manage to destroy the spirit of the Island, it would rob it of its uniqueness. Some people would call it progress, I would call it a step in the wrong direction. I'm keeping my fingers crossed so that ugly corporations don't rear their greedy heads over Bonaire. Just my two cents. Coach Izzy
|By John and Carol Collins (BonaireTalker - Post #83) on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 7:33 pm:|
My comments to this discussion are as follows:
|By Sue Goodman (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #141) on Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 6:57 am:|
|By John and Carol Collins (BonaireTalker - Post #84) on Sunday, April 17, 2005 - 11:42 am:|
|By Geoffrey Feldman (BonaireTalker - Post #79) on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 10:04 am:|
I have been diving for 35 years and I think people are missing a key point. The best diving is in out of the way places which, almost by definition, are hard to get to.
|By Sue Goodman (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #142) on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 10:41 am:|
Visit: The Bonaire WebCams - Current Bonaire images and weather!
The Bonaire Insider - the latest tourism news about Bonaire
The Bonaire Information Site, InfoBonaire
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