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Worst Vacation Ever - Sandals Antigua

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I am typing this on the aircraft back to New Jersey because I am too upset to wait til we get back home to get started.

Let me begin by saying our home was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy last year. We were devastated by the loss. This past year has been the most trying time in either of our lives. And most unfortunately it occurred only a short four months after our wedding. We had just began our lives together and then it was shattered by the storm.
We vowed to rebound and decided to save up for a nice anniversary trip to try to put it all behind us. We had stayed 10 days at the Grande in St Lucia for our honeymoon. At that time, we had wanted a week in a rondoval but only 3 days were available. So we decided what better way to treat ourselves after such a difficult year but at another Sandals and this time, a full week this time in a rondoval. So we called our travel agent at Libert Travel and booked our week in Antigua.
Upon our arrival, we had expected a private car. The same private car we had gotten in St Lucia and was told came with the butler suites here as well. We did not get a private car. We brushed it off as 'no big deal', it was only one simple thing is what we told each other. We would just mention it before leaving to make sure we got the private car on the way out.
Next we enter our room and it is lacking what the same priced rondoval in St Lucia had. There was no hot tub, there was no outdoor shower, there was no indoor shower area like in St Lucia. The only shower was a small shower head in the ceiling that had no curtain or glass wall to keep the heat or water inside the area so showers were very uncomfortable. There were no cushioned chairs, couch, or coffee table. And even at this point, we were disappointed, but still tried to be happy that we were on a nice island and that we should be grateful for the opportunity. I know the travel agent mentioned that these were the original rondovals but such a considerable difference should have been mentioned.
Day 2 ended terribly. We went to the Reggae Fest in town. When we got back to Sandals, we had dinner at the Drunken Duck with some friends we had met at the resort. After dinner, my wife left her purse at the table and we went dancing. We returned to find the tables separated and her purse missing! Inside her purse was our camera with pictures of our house from the storm, my wallet that was a gift from my mother who is deceased, our RayBan sunglasses that were our wedding gift to each other, and my wife's wallet with over $600 in cash. We looked all over for the purse. My wife went to Lost and Found to see if anyone had dropped it off but no one had. We both were extremely upset and distraught that this would happen. We were supposed to feel safe. We spent a lot of money to be there and we wouldn't have if we knew how little security there was.
The next day we spoke to the front desk. We told them what happened and disclosed that we were so upset that we didn't even want to be there anymore. Shelly brought us to her office and we told her the whole story. She informed us that there are no cameras in the Drunken Duck. I could not believe there were no cameras in the place they should most be. How are people to feel safe from fights and thefts in a bar?! She also informed us that the staff is searched prior to entrance as well as departure. A policy that I hardly feel is rock solid in confirming that it was not one of the staff. And I truly don't believe a guest who paid a considerable amount of cash to stay at Sandals would have the need to steal a purse, but that is just my opinion.
Shelly let us attempt to reach our banks by phone to cancel the cards. Next a female security officer came in to take our statement. I had to repeat myself multiple times which was not only frustrating but lower my expectations of the report being done correctly or of anyone finding the purse. She would ask a question like, what time? I would reply, 7pm at the Drunken Duck. Then she would ask me where? And I would repeat, the Drunken Duck. We had pretty much given up on finding it at this point but Shelly said to not lose hope.
Things just never got better. The next day we returned to our room, after a day at the pool, to change for dinner. For the second day in a row our bed was not made. There was a cheese platter still there from the night before, a towel still thrown over a chair, and the shower had no hot water. For the money we paid for a room. It better have hot water. That was the final straw.
In St Lucia, the butlers left nice love notes, towel animals, and flower petals. We noticed this wasn't happening in Antingua. Another annoyance but we thought we could let it go. The first day the bed wasn't made and my wife called down to tell someone, their response was "so?" So?! My wife immediately said, 'Well let me speak to someone who actually cares then.' We paid A LOT of money for that room. The last response we expected would be 'so'.
So back to the final straw with the room a mess again and no hot water. We had put up with minor incidents for long enough for how much money we paid. A call went out again and Sandeep came to the room. My wife was in tears at this point. I discussed the issues with him, showed him the hard cheese plate, the towel, the cold water, the unmade bed, etc. I discussed our expectations from our previous stay including the butler messages, the little desserts that we weren't getting either, etc. He was very nice and also concerned.
I will admit that the next day we saw a major turn around in the housekeeping and butler treats. However our trip had already been soiled. We kept hearing that security would talk to us about the missing purse. I got a phone call at 830am late in the week asking if we had travel insurance. That was it. I had expected more. I was anticipating a conversation would happen the absolute latest at check out, but that didn't happen. In fact, insulting enough, I had asked our butler, Cecil, if he had heard anything new about the purse. He said he didn't know anything about it in the first place. Shouldn't our butler know our things were robbed? And this was as he was wheeling our luggage out to depart.
As the trip went on after the final straw, we heard other things from guests that really irked us. One guest had said they were picked up in a private Cadillac because they had written an email about the roads. One guest showed us there room that they had been upgraded to and the room had separate shower and a tub with jets, two sinks, and a cushioned couch/chair. I would almost say their room was nicer than ours and we paid A LOT more for ours!
It was just one thing on top of the next of disappointment and upsetting news and events. Even our last night, for our last dinner we ate at the OK Corral. A cockroach ran down the wall and onto our table, the slipped in the cracks of the table, to which I had to try to attack him through. I finally got a piece of him enough to knock him down and he scurried away. After a long, miserable week we just didn't even get phased at that point. It just seemed common for Antigua's Sandals.
At departure I asked Cecil if we had a private car. He looked surprised I would ask that and I told him about St Lucia. He informed me that it was a courtesy of other Sandals but the Antigua one doesn't really do that. He did get us one, which was nice. But all in all our trip was so miserable. My wife and I actually discussed last night not even bothering going on another trip anywhere because our experience here was do miserable.
Even on our last full day, we had wanted to eat at the Barefoot Grill. Well wouldn't you know it was shut down for a private function. A private function for travel agents who didn't pay to be there. We had PAID to be there and we didn't get to eat there.
My wife had wanted to get two massages and do some excursions. We couldn't do any of that because we had no money and no cards.
I am absolutely appalled that this trip went this way. We had planned it as a well deserved reprieve from the pain of our loss, but in turn it became a misery journey. We even saw a couple who said Rachel Ray paid for their trip because of Sandy. This wasn't our case. We PAID for our own trip. Which is why this experience is that much more hurtful to us. We saved up over a year to end up getting robbed and terrible service. I would NEVER let anyone tell me they are planning to go to Sandals without talking them out of it. In fact anytime someone mentions travel, this story is going to come out to them about Sandals.
If anyone has questions, feel free to email me jay_cordaro@yahoo.com

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