|By Gary J McClave on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 7:57 am:|
I have been visiting Bonaire for about 8 years now and have another trip planned for this November. Been checking airline prices on the web and haven't found anything less than $700+ dollars. I travel from the Baltimore/Washington area and have not paid more than $550 in the past. Just curious if other people have found this to be the normal now. This won't have me canceling my trip, but it certainly is a jump in prices.
|By mary pequinot on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 12:05 pm:|
When I booked, the AA airfares were 800/person. Air Jamaica was 575, if you're near one of their hubs, you might look into it. It also depends on when you're going.
|By Gary J McClave on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 2:57 pm:|
Mary, we flew Air Jamaica last year for the first time and it was great! After many years of never knowing when we would arrive with ALM, it was the first time we ever arrived in Bonaire when it was still daylight. Baltimore is one Air Jamaica's hubs and the airfare for traveling Nov. 6th - 16th is $815. Looking at Air Jamaica's web site, all of Sept. and Oct. for travel Wednesday to Saturday for 10 days is $666. I remember seeing in a magazine that there is a photo shootout or something going on the week of Nov. 9th - 16th. Maybe that is why the prices are higher.
|By mary pequinot on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 3:47 pm:|
That's interesting-I believe Caradonna tours said the $575 price was good through April 30th from Chicago. We've booked it already, so took advantage of what I thought was a pretty darn good deal.
|By lonnie hoover on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 2:19 pm:|
Gary, air fares to Bonaire are up 20%-40%, and non-stop service is not available. Even direct service is very difficult and the departure times are ridiculous(ie AA from Bon to San Juan at 6am...who wants to end their vacation racing to the airport at 3:30am???). If you fly AA out of Miami to CUR and take DCA to Bon, you will have to claim bags in CUR and recheck them to BON, going and comming. What a miserable hassel! There are not many good options at this time for travel to Bonaire, and those that do exist are quite expensive.
|By mimi greenberg on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 4:11 pm:|
Lonnie - I am amazed at the amount of abuse & indifference members of this board are willing to endure, just to dive Bonaire.
|By Jan Klos on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 4:42 pm:|
Those who are willing to endure know paradise lays ahead! And those who don't-- maybe they are not deserving enough to return!
|By mary pequinot on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 5:38 pm:|
Funny, I haven't had the abuse. Yes, the trip is long. We flew ALM twice, had no problem. This November, as I mentioned, we're going AJ. No theft problems, but I do take precautions, as I would in the states. Loved my accomodations, am staying in the same room as last time. Loved the restaurants.
|By Susan Feldman on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 5:48 pm:|
You know, Mimi... maybe you should try Haiti? Then you'll at least be very likely to get the treatment you seem to assume you'll get.
|By Talla Skag on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 6:01 pm:|
|By DARLENE ELLIS on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 6:57 pm:|
I was a late bloomer for traveling and when I discovered the Caribbean it was my plan to go to a different island every year until I saw all of them. At least that was my plan untill I discovered Bonaire!!! I for one can't get back to Bonaire fast enough!!!! I get home from one trip and I am already trying to get a good deal for the next one. My goal is for twice a year and I would give anything to retire there. It is the only island that I have been to that I feel safe enough to go there without my husband.
|By DARLENE ELLIS on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 7:10 pm:|
Oh I forgot! We have never had any troubles with our flights there and we have always found good deals through Caradonna travel with Kim. The worse thing that happened to us was that one of our three suitcases didn't make it till the next day and that has happened to us going to another island as well!
|By Ann Phelan on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 7:17 pm:|
May one use Caradonna just for air or must one buy a package?? I have heard accolades for Caradonna..they have a super reputation as does Great Southern and Patty Hazen. My own little biz is really not to compete but try to get windsurf buds down there..and wow, is it a great spot.
|By Jan Klos on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 8:12 pm:|
I for one do not find the caustic comments amuzing, and I am sure other will agree. I too would like to know why most of someones comments have been so negative.It's like every chance you get, you just stick the knife in deeper. I for one, have experienced an attempt of forced entry into our unit on Bonaire while we were sleeping. And that certainly would give me the right to be negative about Bonaire. But I love what Boanire has to offer-- and this could have happened anywhere. ____ happens! -- it's time to get over what ever is bothering you. Pick up and move on.
|By Gary J McClave on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 8:39 pm:|
Thanks everyone for your input/advice on air travel options. We did call Vicki at Caradonna and were able to get a better price than anything we'd been able to come up with on our own. Ann...Caradonna did inform us that they do not book only airfare. It had to be a package of some sort. We went for the airfare/rental car package. In the end we are probably paying about $100 more this year than last. We were able to get the same flights using Air Jamaica from BWI to Bonaire that we had last November. These departure and arrival times are definitely the best we've experienced since catching the Bonaire bug eight years or so ago. We knew we were in love with Bonaire when we continued to use ALM year after year with one bad experience after another. We'd sit in the airport at Miami and Bonaire and know that we'd be doing it again the next year regardless of how aggravating and tiresome the trip down and back home was. We personally have found something in Bonaire that will keep us coming back as long as we are physically able to make the trip. We've been to many islands in the Caribbean and like Darlene knew when we had found the one for us. It is definitely not for everyone but then no one place is.
|By Carole Baker on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 9:01 pm:|
Why, why, why?? Must be the planets aligning again....why, why, why? If a person no longer "enjoys" traveling to a specific destination, why would they still "enjoy" visiting a web site built specifically around that destination? Rhetorical question only....no need to respond..as someone once said to me....
|By seb schulherr on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 9:24 pm:|
Well, you know, Mimi, if you are travelling to a popular tourist destination, there are many more ways to get there than to get to Bonaire. And in my limited experience, the better the diving, the more off the beaten path the location is, and the harder to get there.
|By mimi greenberg on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 10:45 pm:|
Yes, i will still dive Bonaire. But only when the fares & schedules are user-friendly. And I will only stay in lodging where there is an adequate room safe and a staff person on the premises 24 hours a day to deter room break-ins. I only do boat dives, so shore theft is not a personal issue. The rest of the annoying stuff, I can deal with but wish I didn't have to.
|By michael gaynor on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 7:08 am:|
I wonder if the other destinatons have newsgroups? It should be interesting reading!
|By Talla Skag on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 9:13 am:|
|By Ann Phelan on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 12:52 pm:|
Has anyone used Priceline from BON to the US?? Or what has been the cheapest way to get from BON to the US?
|By Glen Reem on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 1:16 pm:|
|By mimi greenberg on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 2:03 pm:|
glen - i'm expressing an opinion, not dictating a law.
|By lonnie hoover on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 5:14 pm:|
Mimi, at the risk of being eviscerated by some of those faithful to this board and those who become prickly at the slightest notion of anything negative being said about Bonaire, I found your comments to be appropriately humorous and right on point. We would all agree that there are many great things to say about Bonaire, and it is still a paradise, even with the mounting blemishes. However, I believe it is completely proper to vent and air-out the problems visitors experience on Bonaire on this board. Ignoring the problems, or even worse, constantly being a cheerleader in the face of serious issues facing Bonaire does a great disservice to those who rely on these comments to plan their trip. Every single issue you mentioned, Mimi, is indeed a significant problem, and should be brought to light. The fact that you used a little tounge-in cheek sarcasm to make your point does not offend me in the slightest. Sarcasm is a very effective way to deal with a wide range of social issues. To those who are offended, I have two observations: 1. get a life! 2. remember Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors(not every one likes plain vanilla all the time)(even Bon AWA has a dozen, and incidentally, I am delighted to hear that they have reopened). Lighten-up, everyone. There's plenty of room for everyone's opinion without getting personal or becomming offended at every little pun or jab about Bonaire.
|By Susan Feldman on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 6:27 pm:|
|By Jan Klos on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 6:50 pm:|
Most of us are not being cheerleaders! We should all look out rose colored glasses more often, I agree that these issues are important and others should be made aware of them. If we have problems then we should share them. We all know there are problems big and small. But for one person to constantly harp on how bad things are, it's starts to wear thin. If she is being sarcastic, well -- I don't really find it humorous. Not many enjoy being ridiculed-- and to me that is what sarcasm is.
|By Greg Lambert on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 7:06 pm:|
Good post Lonnie
|By Corney Ann Carter on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 10:40 pm:|
Susan, your post was the first laugh I got out of all of this.
|By mimi greenberg on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 11:56 pm:|
Intelligent people who have a reasonable sense of humor do not need emoticons to make or understand the point of a message. You either get it or you don't.
|By Kay Powers on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 1:04 am:|
I think I'll have a rum punch! ahhhhh!!
|By Jake Richter - NetTech on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 2:06 pm:|
Sigh. I get busy for a few days and a discussion about air fares becomes a mud slinging fest. Folks - grow up!
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