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blamona Sep 5th, 2009 04:52 PM

trip report San Salvador plus layover in Ft. Lauderdale w/pictures
I spent a week on Club Med in San Salvador Bahamas.

The day before, we flew into Ft. Lauderdale and spent the night at Harbour Place Marriott. We always eat at Oasis Cafe-always a good place people watch, and fun because the tables and benches are on glidders. Shopped at Las Olas, and ate dinner at Hard Rock Seminole, walked around the shops. Marriott was gorgeous and comfortable, it smelled some good when I returned i bought the very expensive air fresheners, no my house smells great! Weather was terrific that day. Pictures of Ft. Lauderdale:

Flew Spirit from FLL to San Salvador. Airplane was comfortable, got there on time. To go to this Club Med, it includes the air from FLL, the only way they sell the packages from to States, and is from Sat. to Sat. My first spending the night in Club Med, I have day passed at T&C, and one in Maldives and Bora Bora. The first room we received, stayed hot and had a terrible musty smell. After having 4 techs throughout 2 days, they kindly moved us to a second floor room with a view. The room was in much better shape, and smelled great. The rooms were clean but basic, great TV reception (to watch Weather Channel of incoming hurricanes) but it was hot! The rooms could just not cool off. We acclimated, and were okay. The tiles are chiped in places, and grout overall in corners had accumulation, but overall very clean and sanitary. The pool was sparkeling clean, and the outside buildings were colorful, nicely landscaped, and gorgeous. The beach was AMAZING. Ranks in my top bests. Neon turquoise waters, bright white sand. The food was beyond excellent, and unfortunately gained a few not needede pounds. Every night was a different theme, and all was delicious. There were shows at 10, kinda cheesy, but fun. This CM allows children but has no kid's activities. I found the kids to be overall well-behaved, and my daughter made some life-long friends. They even sat at tables together to eat, and felt some independance. There were plenty of activities, included, from water skiing to boat snorkel trips, to water workouts and hobie cats and kayaks. I got to try out my new Canon D10, a new underwater camera, and I love it! (pictures included) The camera makes a great point and shoot, and is reasonably priced.

Club Med is really the only thing on the island-there are 2 other places to stay which i checked out--Riding Rock mostly for divers, and The Sands Residence Hotel. There is a small marina at Riding Rock. Columbus discovered the Americas here, I rented a bike and rode to the cross they have where it took place. I also toured the island with a lagoon excursion, which took us to one of the cays, with beautiful beaches. We also saw the lighthouse and circled the island. I wanted to try to hop over to either Cat island or Long island, but the logistics were quiet frankly, impossible. Weather was perfect and terrific and HOT!

Return flight was an adventure, 4 hour mechanical delay. CM was amazing handling it, gave us more food and let us keep the rooms until the airport. Once airborne, we had to circle Bahamas for an hour, FLL was closed due to storms. Spirit pilot actually kept us informed. The closer delayed all connections, so we were only 1 hour late at home. Pictures of San Salvador: I also posted under FLL and Bahamas forums.

greenie Sep 6th, 2009 02:56 AM

Gorgeous pics. That camera is phenomenal. The goodyear picture looks like an advertisement!!!

Peace, Greenie

virginia Sep 6th, 2009 08:24 AM

agree with greenie!! and your little girl just keeps getting cuter and more photogenic.

orangetravelcat Sep 6th, 2009 08:25 AM

After looking at photos of your previous trips, I was hoping you would do a trip report and include pictures.

What was your impression of the Sands Residence Hotel?

orangetravelcat Sep 6th, 2009 09:44 AM

Your pictures are unbelievably gorgeous. And your daughter is beautiful!

blamona Sep 6th, 2009 10:21 AM

The Sands Residence Hotel looked actually pretty nice, basic and colorful, and well maintained. When I was going through it, there was no one there, so you'd definitely feel secluded. It fronts a small but pretty beach, and is right next to Riding Rock. It's set up a lot like CM--2 story buildings with balconies oceanfront. I did not see a pool, but there's a small pool next door at Riding Rock. You probably could walk or bike over to Cockburn Town from it, or in the other direction to Club Med. I rode a bike from Club Med to the Columbus Cross down on Long Bay, and that's alot farther than Sands is to Club Med and Cockburn Town.

tdelano Sep 6th, 2009 11:05 AM

Beautiful Photos! Were all of your underwater photos taken from the boat snorkel trip? I am wondering if there is any good snorkeling from shore? thanks!

ejcrowe Sep 6th, 2009 05:44 PM

I think I'm a little bit surprised with your vacation choice. Would you do it again?

That water is phenomenally beautiful--your pics made it look fantastic. Are the photos enhanced at all or was it really that supersaturated with color?

As for the underwater shots--how's the visibility on your screen underwater? I have a Pentax point & shoot with underwater capability, but most of the time I can't really see what's on the screen when underwater. The glare & reflection of the sun, I suppose. Anyway, I mostly just have to hope I'm aiming closely enough at my subject with mine, but if your camera is substantially better I'd consider buying the same model you have...

mymoosie Sep 6th, 2009 05:50 PM

Gorgeous photos as always! This will have to be on our list of islands to visit. Thanks for sharing!

blamona Sep 7th, 2009 06:49 AM

All the snorkeling seemed to be by boat-it went out twice a day (weather permitting.) If facing the water, if you walked the beach all the to the end on the right, there's a point, then turns into a residential beach. At the point, was the Coral Gardens snorkel spot, I assume you could do it off the beach. But wear neon floaties, jet ski, boats etc do go by there. Rest of the shore didn't seem condusive to snorkeling. A couple of rocks in front of the jet ski shack could be snorkeled, but didn't seem much to it.

ejcrowe: it is funny i picked it, i'm not a stay at a resort the whole time kinda girl, but I am obssessed with turquoise water. I thought as for underwater cameras, Canon D10 rocked! I was extremely happy with it, and could see quite a bit on the screen. It also does video, and has different functions, including Vivid, for a point and shoot camera, I was very pleased. I didn't saturate at all-the color of water there is amazing! I did use a polorized filter with my regular camera, which helps the sky bluer, but in real life the water there is stunning.

mymoosie Sep 7th, 2009 06:59 AM

Oooh, must check out the Canon D10. :-D

caribtraveler Sep 7th, 2009 01:25 PM

Nice! Your daughter just loves that camera! :-)

kellybeaches Sep 7th, 2009 05:23 PM

Thanks for sharing! As always, great pictures! I love the stingray shot-you really have a great eye for photography. San Salvador reminds me a lot of Long Island, especially CSM's beach, except CSM doesn't have the pool/kayaks, etc. The color of the water and sand is really surreal, isn't it? How would you compare San Salvador's water and sand to T&C? Is it about the same?

BeachGirl247 Sep 9th, 2009 08:49 AM

Enjoyed your trip report, Blamona. It's on my short list for beaches so I'm glad you gave it your 'thumbs up'!

The more remote the better and this island sounds like it's still quite undeveloped.

Thanks for taking the time to post your great pics and your report!

BeachGirl ((h))

blamona Sep 10th, 2009 03:43 AM

kellybeaches: the neon water at T&C is really close! T&C's sand is actually a little finer and powder soft.

The beaches of T&C, Exumas, San Salvador Bahamas, Anguilla are definately in my top best!

kellybeaches Sep 10th, 2009 05:21 AM

great! We're going to Anguilla on a day trip in May (with Kristen) ;)

blamona Sep 10th, 2009 06:44 AM

kelly: I'm suppose to go with you guys! Kristen said we'd all meet at Baltimore or Annapolis this fall--so I'm counting on it!

kellybeaches Sep 10th, 2009 07:08 AM

Pussers, here we come!

beachdreams3 Sep 10th, 2009 07:04 PM


Great report and pictures, as always!

Based on your recommendations and other research I have done, Harbour Island is on my short list for a future trip, so based on your statement above "The beaches of T&C, Exumas, San Salvador Bahamas, Anguilla are definately in my top best!" I was wondering how you thought HI compares to other Bahamas beaches. I know (and love) the beaches in Provo and Anguilla.

Also, would you recommend the Cannon D10 for someone who is not a serious photographer (who just uses a point and shoot camera, usually on the "auto" setting)? I doubt I would take many underwater pictures, but I guess it would be nice to have that as an option or at least not have to worry about the camera getting water damage. My current camera is a five year old Cannon Powershot that was far from high end when I bought it. I would like to replace it with another Cannon, because I was so impressed by the way they stand behind their products and their CS. My 4+ year old camera developed a problem last year (something with the scanner?) and to my amazement, Cannon CS diagnosed the problem on the phone, sent me a prepaid shipping label, covered all the repairs at no charge, and shipped the camera back to me very quickly.

blamona Sep 11th, 2009 04:06 PM

I love Pink Sands Beach in Harbour Island, and as a bonus the town is gorgeous and fun to get around. I've always felt HI is the best first intro to the Out Islands. My husband loves that beach, and it usually ranks up on everyone's top lists.

I also love the Canon D10, so far I find it to be a nice rugged little camera. I never took underwater pictures before, but now I'm trying it in pools, in the rain, etc. I love Canon and I was excited they came out with this. It's still a PowerShot. Shutter speed is a little slow (I'm use to Rebel or 40D) but doable.

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