Archive for May, 2010
Commencing January 2011, the US Dollar will be the official currency of the BES Islands. The governing officials overseeing the monetary exchange is the DNB, Der Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch National Bank, is the entity responsible to transition and oversee the conversion from the guilder to the dollar. Times of change.
On 10-10-10 The BES islands become municipalities of Holland. Bonaire is the B, Statia the E and Saba the S. They will no longer be part of the Netherland Antilles but be referred to as the Dutch Caribbean. The Netherland Antilles will include Sint Maarten and Curacao. One question I have is, when I go to Curacao or Sint Maarten may I enter the Resident line still?
What do you think of this new plan?
Fortunately I have few windsurf clients heading to the island but for those who have chosen May 22 as your week, what to do? Well if you still want to take a go at windsurfing, meet Caesar Finies, our island’s best light wind freestyler. He works at Jibe City and can connect you with a rig and lesson to learn how to feel the breeze and become light wind proficient.
When the shuts down I head to the sea and snorkel. We have over 50 shore sites one can park and head in. My favorites include Tory’s Reef, south of Invisibles and the wall at Plaza snorkeling all the way south near the airport.
The Tourism Corporation of Bonaire reports Delta Airlines has cancelled their JFK Bonaire winter service. Delta will continue service from Atlanta. Continental Airlines will continue air service from Newark and Houston. Insel is negotiating an interline agreement with USAir. As always AA has air service from Miami to Curacao two flights daily. Connecting air can be arranged with Divi, Insel, and DAE.
For further information contact the Bonaire specialists at Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have learned that the Bonaire seeks to examine expanding their cruise ship market into the year round agenda. Interestingly, this is a widely debated topic on the streets of Bonaire and in the tourism industry. The April 12 issue of Travel Agent was called The Green Issue. It featured green hotels, tours and information on Caribbean resorts and cruise ships.
For reference I will provide some quotes:
“In a survey from Travel Agent, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc., agents share their thoughts on the importance of green to their cruise ship clients.
60.5% say green cruising is not a factor when deciding which cruise ship to book with (for travel agents)
78.4% of clients do not consider whether a cruise line is green prior to booking
47.5% of clients are somewhat interested in eco tourism as far as shore excursions
When considering a green destination The Caribbean is least green focused 12.2% and Alaska is the highest 49.6%
In a recent survey when CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. asked it’s agent partners how interested their clients were on eco friendly shore excursions 47.5% said their clients were not strongly interested. 29.5% were not at all.
Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) graded the cruise lines for enviromental advocacy. Holland America earned the highest grade a B. According to http://www.infobonaire.com Holland American arrives in port 8 times from April – Dec. 2010.
A Nov. 2008 story on Caribbean Destinations, National Geographic rated Bonaire a whopping 68 . It’s sister island Aruba scored a low 48 thanks to multi hi rises and cruise ship tourism. Cozumel, another dive destination has seen a great decline with a low score of 47 largely due to cruise ship tourism.
Here are some other informative sights on the impact on cruise ship tourism on the Caribbean. Please decide if this is the direction Bonaire wishes to proceed. To randomly accept and expand on cruise ship tourism without conducting impact studies is sorely negligent, in my humble opinion. If such environmental impact studies are available I implore the government to make these widely available for reader discretion. It bears mention that Bonaire lacks a cruise ship facility and does not presently have the infrastructure to support an industry being courted aggressively. Most business in town see frequent guests seeking to use the restroom facilities. There are only a few toilets available at Lac Bay to support hundreds of guests.
Whilst it is recognized there are many locals now employed in the taxi industry, it may not be prudent to provide more cruise ships to pay their WEB, and taxi loans. If cruise ship tourism negatively impacts the island down the road as I believe, we will lose our valuable dive and windsurf clientel. A recent story in the Bonaire Reporter suggests the sea grass beds at Lac Bay are being compromised due to the increase in recreation. It does suggest in my opinion that the recent escalation in cruise ship guests has sorely impacted the bay. I defer to others such as Foundation for Progressive Environmental Solutions to comment.
Whilst I am not totally opposed to cruise ship tourism I believe small boutique lines are a better target partner to link with versus the mass cruise ship tourist market.
Source: Travel Agent/CruiseOne and Cruises Inc.
Bonaire: Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations and Wannadive Bonaire have reached an agreement to commence a partnership.
I am super happy to be establishing a formal agreement with Bart at Wanna Dive. We had a very serious meeting on the beach at their dive center at Windsock (we both had shorts and flip flops on) and will proceed. Look for rates and deals soon to come. Meanwhile, I am ready to book Wanna Dive.
Take a peak at their private beach where I enjoyed a fabulous day of snorkeling. Check out our dive page at: http://www.bonairecaribbean.com/diving_bonaire.html
Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacation, your Bonaire specialists have upgraded and updated their website. Check out http://www.bonairecaribbean.com/ .To celebrate 7 years of doing business on Bonaire Ann Phelan is offering a Bonaire Bliss special. Kings Beach is a new 2 bedroom upscale condo on the water at Punt Vierkant. Minutes from the Hooker, Margate, Invisibles and many south shore spots, the property is on sale for 600.00 pp 9 based on a quad) including 6 days air with Dive Friends (nitrox and free gear storage), Budget Truck (with taxes), 2 bedrooms 2 bath condo on the water. This special is good for May and June and Sept. – Nov. 2010. Call 011 599 786 3134 or email email@example.com. Mention Bonaire Bliss. Windsurfers specials also apply with windsurf gear instead of dive gear.
The setting is magical. It is away from the town traffic and is very airey and breezy. The surroundings are very pleasing.The wait staff were attentive. The menu has plastic fake grass a little odd but fun. We had house wine, 7 guilder and quite good. My dining companion ordered the local goat cheese salad. The presentation was flawless. I had the Dorado medium rare with a mango zabayon and rice with asparagus. He had the tenderloin in green peppercorn sauce with homemade thick cut fries. It was outstanding but curiously served luke warm. Hot would have been nice. Oh oh..the homemade bread with EVOO, Bonairean salt and Tzatziki was amazing.
I ordered the lime mousse that came with a fat fresh strawberry and a dollop of ice cream. The mousse had a bitter juice on top I did not fancy so I poured it out and devoured the mousse. WOW….
I think the bill was 147,00 ANG before a generous gratuity was paid.
Caribbean Wind & Sun offer free Concierge Services for all esteemed clients. Contact the Bonaire experts at 800-219-0118 (US) or 011 599 786 3134.