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travelenthusiast Sep 30th, 2005 10:09 PM

Several questions for the T and C experts before our Oct trip
We will be staying at the Sands in T and C in October. I have a few questions for the experts on the board. For background info, we are in our late 30's and have no kids.

1. We plan on renting a car but are not sure if we really need to rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle. What areas of interst would we not be able to access with a regular car? Any suggestions on out of the way places that are worth visiting?

2. I would like to go dancing in T and C. I was thinking of getting Club Med nightclub passes for the two of us. Are there any nights where they have retro type music from the 70's and 80's or good caribbean music? We really don't like Euro techo mix music. Any other suggestions for a place to go dancing?

3. Does anyone know where the Catholic churches are on th eisland and what time their masses are held?

4. Even though we use our Visa to pay for most purchases, sometimes you just need cash. Are there ATM's readily available for getting money from your checking or saving accounts - NOT a "cash advance" on your Visa.

Thanks for your help. I'm sure I'll think of more questions later!

virginia Oct 1st, 2005 03:44 AM

hi trav. you will love the sands.
1) rent a car. some roads are rough but entirely passable and frankly the good shocks in the cars help smooth out the bumps. you will probably want to make an excursion to malcolm road beach on the west end. this is very much a 4-wheel drive in one section. so tell your rental agency that you are driving out there and they will trade vehicles with you for the day you choose. malcolm is (supposedly, as i have never made it all the way out) very beautiful, pristine and has some very good snorkeling. however,i was speaking to the woman who owns the house i rent and she informs me a resort is under construction somewhere out there and that they have built their own road,which i presume is usable as well and may be in better shape.
2) i know nothing about dancing at club med. i'm sure they can tell you once on island. provo is not real big on nightlife. (my guess is that until recently provo was mainly for divers and they can't party before they dive and get tired by evening so...) i have heard that BET has a club/casino open now so maybe there.
3) Our Lady of Divine Providence is the catholic church. services: sat at 5:30pm, sun 9am, wkdays 5pm. it is requested that you phone ahead (941-5136) for the sat service. i have to tell you i never think to attend church on island and i think i will do it this trip - thank you for the inspiration. (ps - the ladies all seem to be in dresses with at least capped sleaves and Hats)
4) bank of nova scotia, barclay's and CIBC have banks,with only visa advances at barclay's and cibc. or you can go inside m-th 8:30 - 2:30 or til 4:30 on fri. others may have been added by now but basically plan ahead to avoid those nasty fees!
make an effort to find bugaloo's conch shack. and for a slightly offbeat excursion go to the conch farm - maybe not in the same trip as who wants to becomes buds with your lunch. you might enjoy a picnic lunch on taylor bay beach or sopadilla bay beach. both fairly shallow but very quiet. also long bay beach is nice but hard to find the beach access roads.
if you will be taking an excursion i would like to recommend art pickerings provo turtle divers at the turtle cove marina. oldest on island, good boats, very nice people!
happy planning.

TG Oct 1st, 2005 04:29 AM

Having stayed at The Sands I can tell you that one night of the week they have the proverbial 'managers party.' The week we were there they had live music which we enjoyed and danced to.

In my opinion a rental car is okay for a couple of days but on our last trip we did not do a rental. We took cab or shuttle to IGA and to dinner. The roads are lousy and very dark -- if you want to have a couple of drinks with dinner having a cab takes all the worry out of the drive home.
I do not recall seeing an ATM but we prefer to bring travelers checks and a minimum amount of cash. That would be my suggestion to you. Finding an ATM could become like a very frustrating 'treasure hunt.'
Have a great trip and I am sure you will love The Sands.

HowardC Oct 1st, 2005 05:54 AM

There is an ATM in Ports of Call shopping plaza. On wednesday Friday and Sat there is live music at Anacona with dancing. Tuesday and Thursday there is live music at The Sands. Friday at Calico Jacks. personally if I were going to buy a pass to a resort it would be Breaches rather tham Club Med.

mymoosie Oct 1st, 2005 06:40 AM

I've always used the ATM at Bank of Nova Scotia and never had a problem. And actually they don't even charge you a fee to use it, I only got charged by my bank.

We only had a car this past September and we did just fine with it. I think you really only need the 4wd if you are planning to go to Malcolm's Beach, or maybe Long Bay? We tried to go to Long Bay and it was a bumpy ride.

meta Oct 1st, 2005 09:48 AM

I don't think it's necessary to rent a car for the whole time. We had one for 3 days and that was more than enough.

travelenthusiast Oct 1st, 2005 10:47 AM

Thanks for your help. I told you I'd probably have a few more questions.

Why do you have to call ahead for Sat evening mass? If you forget to call, will they turn you away or do they just want to know how much communion they need. Where is the church located? I though I saw some somewhere that one of the masses was held at Beaches resort and we would rather not have to go there.

It sounds like the ATMs at the ports of call shopping plaza and at the Bank of Nova Scotia are regular ATMs like the ones we have in the US. Are they pretty reliable to MAC out money or are they down a lot? I really don't like the hassle of traveler's checks but I don't feel safe carrying a lot of cash.

What is the difference between Malcolm Beach and Long Bay? Do they have beach bars and chairs for rent? Thanks for the excursion suggestions. We are planning on doing a private island excursion where they drop you off for part of the day. It sounds kind of like a survivor experience.

I don't think we would want to try dancing at Beaches. They have too many kids running around. Not that I don't like kids, but I enjoy a more adult refined atmosphere. When we get there we'll call Club Med to see above an evening pass.

mymoosie Oct 1st, 2005 11:55 AM

The church is located on Leeward Hwy, the major road that runs through town. Not sure why you would need to call ahead for Saturday mass.

I've heard that the ATM on Ports of Call is down a lot. We've just always gone to Scotia Bank, which is on Leeward Hwy. And yup, it's a regular ATM like we have at home.

Malcolm's Beach is very deserted, so it's for people who like to have the beach to themselves. There are no places to rent a chair or beach bars. Don't think there are any either at Long Bay.

virginia Oct 1st, 2005 02:53 PM

hi, malcolm road is on the western coast. long bay beach is on the south side of the island on the east end. def no renting anything. no water. no burger. no chairs. no bathrooms. you will need to take whatever you need along.
as for the call ahead mass. i have no idea why. but i just received the latest "wherewhenhow" magazine (island tourist magazine) and it says in their ad "newcomers please call church in advance". i cannot imagine that any church would ever turn someone away so i bet you are right - its about communion.
there is a very excellent map of the island at
the map is sideways - in other words malcolm road at the top of your screen is west. grace bay beach, facing north, is on the right. this map shows ALL the hotels.
i get your concern re atm's. but this island is all of 26 miles long. and 1/3 of that is the uninhabited west end. in other words if you need money and had to drive to all 3 banks you will have killed an hour. maybe the sands has a check cashing policy??

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