Just got home from the Marriott Surf Club. Weather was great for all about 1 or 2 days. One of the two days it rained..the other day was just more overcast. We heard a lot of grumbling from people that were there from the previous week..that the weather was horrible.
We checked in on Nov 27th and did our usual rounds to see what has changed..the Marriott Hotel is amazing to see..but it looks like it belongs in NYC instead of the Carribean.
Wed night we headed to Simply Fish to enjoy Surf and Turf on the beach...let's just say that the first 2 minutes should of warned me about the rest of the trip. We are travelling with our 17 month old son and when we sat down he was a little cranky..who wouldn't be after a day of travelling and getting up at 5am. So we sit down and a couple that was sitting a table closer to the water starts to complain outloud about these "curse word" children (there were other families there with children). So I asked if there was a problem which lead into a full blown arguement. Well that eventually settled down..as we went on with our dinner.
Friday we took the SUN at the beach and relaxed. Friday night we went to Sunset Grille at the Radison..Lobster Bisque soup is terrific there.
Sat- back to the beach for more Sun and relaxing.. tried to get our sun to wander off the blanket..he hated the sand...eventually he got over that fear...
Sun..we decided to go to Gianni's for a Sunday Italian Dinner...great service and food. Just a warning there..they do charge you a 15% Service Charge..and then they stamp the bill with Gratutity not included...just not cool.
Sun night...the bad news starts here..10:30pm..the vomitting begins..this goes on until about 4:30am..when the other ends starts to kick in..if you know what I mean. I spend all day Monday in bed and on the toilet...vomit once last time around 3pm Monday afternoon and then we called the Marriott Dr on call. He came to the room about 8pm(Charges $100) offers to give me a needle..which at first I was ok with..until he searches his bag for a needle...I opt'd for 2 pills. He mentioned that there is a virus/epidemic on the island lately. They don't know what is causing it..some think it is uncooked vegetables like lettuce. So..just a warning to watch what you eat. Oh.. Pepto does not work for this...believe me ..I drank 1 bottle in one day...and it seems that no one has Immodium..when we finally found it..3 days later..it was $20 for 10 pills. T
Tues..I ventured back to the beach to join up with the family..I was weak and drinking a lot of Gatorade. Had to still make some bathroom runs..had to spend the most of the time in the shade..the sun was getting to me.
Wed...my father-in-law starting the vomitting and we gave him the second pill that the dr gave me..he wasn't as in bad shape as I was..but 2 down.
Thurs night my 17 mos old starts to vomit a little..and this is where we just want to go home.. He only threw up a few times..but this just kills one to see.
Unfortunately, we missed all our favorite restaurants like Madam Janettes..had to cancel reservations twice but the weather was good and we still managed to have a good time.
Sorry to hear about you all being sick.I also did notice when we were at Gianna's that they put the 15%on your bill and say that they don't add the gratuity to your bill.I did catch it and because of it they only got that 15 %. One question,how was the ocean and smell at the beach at the Marriott?Thank you hope you are all felling better.
We did notice that they began to clean the water in front of the Surf Club. The team from Sea Solutions was on site. There was a slight odor from time to time but I heard from other people that it was really bad at times.
So sorry to hear about all the sickness though it seems you had a couple of good days. Unfortunate to spend all that money to be sick in paradise.
That is outright dishonest. I wonder how many tourists have been "taken"? Would you go back?
Yeah I caught this, this year also. Most places automatically charge the 15% but they don't put it on their bill so I asked and they said it was included in the bill. Very shrewd! The funny part is we like the food, the service was ok but not to tip additional to the 15% or we would have, but I noticed them opening the bill cover and when they didn't see a tip she just shook her head. I was going to say something but my wife convinced me not to since we had a nice night out alone, didn't want to ruin it but it bothered me.
This 15% "service charge" and gratuity has been a pet peeve of mine for some time now. I asked a few of my regular waiters about it and it was explained this way: The 15% is split evenly among the staff (supposedly at most places). This is like the "salary" for the staff. Then, if the customer wants to tip (hence the "gratuity"), additional money should be left.
So, the concept is that you're paying the amount of the bill for the food, then 15% more for the service. Tip is therefore not included and can be left ON TOP of the aforementioned costs.
NONSENSE. I know of no where in the world where this is done. Certainly the Arubans are free to establish their own customs. However, it smacks of robbery, especially when the issue is hardly clear to the uninitiated and initiated alike.
Furthermore, I have actually encountered a new class (thankfully only a few but a slowly growing number) of surly wait staff who give me grief when I don't tip in addition to the 15%. One fellow had the audacity to say something to the effect of "sir, you haven't left a tip." To which I replied. "You hardly earned the first 15%." No, I haven't been back to that place and won't be going anytime soon.
I'm a generous tipper wherever I go to wait staff that performs admirably. However, if they want to accept a 15% salary and then do a mediocre job, they'll be stuck with the 15% and lots of disgruntled customers. Most everyone I know does not hesitate to tip AT LEAST that much to good people. Thus, they would be better off eliminating the fixed rate and taking their chances on EARNING MORE by doing it the other way.
I completely agreed on the "tipping issue." I am also a generous tipper but I am much more inclined to leave only the 15% at restaurants charging the "service charge." This issue is made even more confusing at all-inclusive properties like the Tamarijn which advertise that the all-inclusive price includes all gratuities.