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The Caribbean [again] with BA in Club World.

The Caribbean [again] with BA in Club World.

Old Jul 16, 19, 3:04 am
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The Caribbean [again] with BA in Club World.

“I don’t believe it”, he said. Home just 8 days, and already a PM on Flyertalk asking where the Trip Report is!

OK … not very special or interesting this time, but here we go …

It was August 2018 when we booked the trip, though BA Holidays = we ‘need’ an annual fix of the Caribbean, and this year it was St. Lucia’s turn again to provide it. One week All Inclusive at East Winds, St Lucia, with ‘Private Transfer’, and of course Club seats. JER-LGW-UVF with all that bolted on came to £6,300 for the two of us … eek! The ‘Private Transfer’, as opposed to a multi-destination mini-bus, was £213: I must stop shredding pound notes like this, but for a road trip of about 1h30m the extra comfort seemed worthwhile: we’ve been in that area before, and bouncing around in a mini-bus full of strangers, and diverting here and there on the way, isn’t my idea of fun.!

My 2015 Trip Report is here if you’re interested >>> TR: Our first BA First, and our first visit to St Lucia



26 Jun 19
BA2767, JER-LGW, 0705-0810, A319, CE 1D/F.

Oh, the Jersey Red-eye. How I love getting up at 0430, with a taxi at 0530, although at least at this time of year it’s not pitch dark - or freezing! Airport at 0545 just as they unlock the doors, as usual, and then painless bag-drop and Security, buy some Duty Free cigarettes and settle in the Lounge just after 0600. Time for a quick coffee and a pastry before called for boarding at 0635 to Gate 10 … all a bit of a rush at such an early hour, but in a good cause.

Boarding was efficiently managed, and our thanks to the gentleman who let my lady go first out of the Gate 10 holding room. We were thus first on board, and carefully sat in the unfamiliar 1D/F. Yes, someone had amazingly reserved seats before us (at least 10 months in advance) thus denying us access to our usual 1A/C. Oh, the horror!!
Up and away on time, and the standard BA Hot Breakfast arrived promptly; most welcome, after such an early start to the day!

Arrival at Gatwick was unremarkable until we approached our stand … and stopped on the taxiway. Ummm … The Captain came on the speakers to explain there was a spillage on the stand which needed clearing, and we were waiting for a new stand to be allocated. However, all was soon good again, and we were on the new stand at 0805 - thus 5 minutes early. Two buses were poised to take us to Arrivals, until they discovered the doors on Bus #1 wouldn’t open! Fortunately we early ‘disembarkers’ were directed to Bus #2 which, when filled, made its stately way through the dark depths of LGW(S), leaving another bus-load of pax awaiting rescue.

Huzzah, Arrivals … we just have time for a quick cigarette out at kerb-side before re-entering Departures and Premium Gatwick security. My back-pack was pulled for Secondary Inspection, where it was revealed that my disposable lighter [containing a couple of ml of fuel] should have been put in a bag! The nice Agent did that for me, and returned the offending item. Oh, well, I’ll bag it in future. That hurdle crossed, it was up to the FLounge (still only one lift in operation) where we grabbed a 1/2 glass of the duty fizz … and then at 0849 [very precise] Gate 21 was declared. Off we went, in a brisk and business-class manner.

BA2159, LGW-UVF, 1000-1345, B772, CW 10A/B
Entry to Gate 21 is via the Agents’ desks at the entrance, for BP and Passport checks, with one lane dedicated to ‘Priority’ pax … for which we of course qualified! With no other signage anywhere, our familiarity with the set-up enabled us to know to walk to the far end of the room and sit near the doors to the Airbridge, from where we watched the place slowly filling up with a 777’s worth of other pax.



And, somewhere around 0900, a distorted announcement contained the words ‘boarding’ and ‘Group’, which we interpreted as the ‘Go’ message and thus we headed down the airbridge as Seq 001/002 What, no wheelchairs, infants or special needs? How unusual!

The very nice CSD (SCCM, whatever) was looking after our side of the CW cabin, and we were soon PDB’d using the old-style glassware. Small measures are certainly the ‘New Order’ these days!



And eventually it’s time for “Fine Dining at 36,000 feet” …

Menu - we had both pre-ordered the marinated butter chicken.



Smoked Salmon and Brown Prawns (shrimps, surely?) and seriously delicious.



The new (?) miniature salad bowl. I guess that makes some sense, as BA must waste an awful lot of ‘Seasonal Salad’.



The Chicken. Rather tasty, if slightly untidily plated.



And to finish, a nice cheese plate/slate …



After which, I watched something on the visible IFE and then grabbed a bit of sleep which I needed after the early start to the day!. I think I had the Afternoon Tea … probably. My brain tends to shut down when flying long-haul, TBH!!

An engine and some clouds, just for effect and to prove we were airborne somewhere!



AFAIK we arrived on time at Hewanorra International Airport (UVF), and steps were duly positioned at doors 1L (for the pax in F) and 2L (for the rest of us!). Our seats put us right at the front of the pack for 2L, and we were quickly away on the 300 yard outdoor walk to Arrivals. Immigration was almost empty, with maybe 6 people ahead of us, and after processing by a very cheerful and smiley Immigration Officer we headed to Reclaim … where we waited for about 10 minutes. To our pleasant surprise, our bags were then amongst the first on the belt after a large collection of Crew bags.

Once outside, it was the familiar (and congested) collection of desks for the various ground transport agents. Annoyingly I forgot to take a photo, but believe me it’s a bit of a muddle, but much better than it was in 2015! Anyway, BA Holidays had arranged our ground transfer with “St Lucia Reps” as they had before - although the Reps was acquired by SunTours Caribbean in 2018. Handing over our transfer vouchers, and given a receipt for the return journey, we stepped across the road to the car park for a quick cigarette, and shortly after that we were waved back to to the kerb to link up with our driver, Bernard, and his modestly-sized SUV. Hmmm, not like the Lexus limo we had last time!

And so on the road, leaving the airport by the dirt track past a scrapyard or something, and on to well-paved (but winding!) roads for the 1h30m run to Castries and beyond (almost from the south end of the island to the top end, and no idea how 'Maps' manages it in 52 minutes!!) until finally, at 1600, we were at East Winds. Home - East Winds


Last edited by T8191; Jul 20, 19 at 10:14 am Reason: tinkering, adding road map.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 3:04 am
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East Winds
Oh, yes, iWife’s researches paid off. It’s very nice, in that Caribbean chalet hotel way that we rather like. Reception provided cold towels and a refreshing Guava drink, and after filling out the usual forms we were escorted to our chalet … No. 13. As luck would have it, the website has a virtual tour of No.13, so I don’t need to post any photos!
You can view it here >>> https://barnescreativestudios.com/3d...ge/fullscreen/

Everything was spotlessly clean and well-maintained, and of course fully-equipped. Note that St. Lucia uses UK-type 3-pin sockets on a 240v supply … very convenient for Brits, but less so for other Nations

The website’s Drone view gives an idea of the layout …



Only 30 cottages here, so East Winds is not crowded. The Deluxe cottages (semi-detached) are in the foreground with the cedar tiled roofs. In the distance (almost hidden by the trees) is the pool, and nearby the round ’Superior’ [i.e Standard!] Cottages. The blue roof is Staff accommodation. And beyond that, before you hit the sea, are the main hotel buildings and the 2 beaches. The grounds are immaculate, and everywhere is clean and tidy. Oh, and it’s quiet … apart from some stray dogs barking occasionally in the neighbourhood, and a stray cockerel with family wandering the grounds! Friendly birds abound, and various feeders around the place encourage the hummingbirds.

The Dining Room sits right by the low sea wall, and provides extremely comfortable seating and quality crockery, cutlery and glassware.



Breakfast is a modest self-service buffet, augmented by Paula’s fresh eggs and pancakes station, lunch is a la carte, augmented by additional buffet items or a BBQ, and dinner is a truly excellent 4-course meal (preceded by an amuse bouche). Have a few food pics, and a menu or two [which change daily, of course, as do the accompanying wines] …













The two Bars are adjacent to the dining room: one ‘indoors’ by the Lounge, and the other semi-open by the sea wall. Plenty of comfortable seating everywhere, too. Free-flow genuine champagne available, and the staff are pretty damn good at whipping up the cocktail of your choice! There’s also a self-service bar at the swimming pool.







Frankly, the hotel’s website offers much better photos than mine, so I’ve kept that aspect to the bare minimum!

The garden view from our terrace ...



What did we do? Lounge on the beach in the shade of a palapa with our Kindles! Everything very well maintained, beach loungers well spaced out and in excellent condition. Tranquility!

The Southern beach on a dull day ...



Oh, the Yellow Backpack incident! I have received a degree of banter about my yellow backpack. Well, it has value. On our 2nd day I was approached at dinner by a gentleman enquiring if I was on Flyertalk. He had spotted the ‘offending item’ as we were arriving.
Unfortunately he was leaving the next day, so we didn’t have a chance to chat extensively, but “Hello again, ‘Wherryman’ ”!

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Last edited by T8191; Jul 17, 19 at 7:31 am Reason: details
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Old Jul 16, 19, 3:05 am
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3 Jul 19
BA2158, UVF-LGW, 1855-0815, B777, CW 10A/B


All good things must come to an end, and having confirmed our return transfer and agreed a late checkout on the 1st, it was time to go home. St Lucia Reps wanted to pick us up at 1520, which we felt left too little flexibility given the challenging roads and possible delays: they agreed to our request of 1430. Our driver, with another modest SUV, arrived punctually and we reached the airport at 1545. Time for a quick cigarette before the BA desks opened promptly at T -3 hours. Being about the first pax there, bag-drop was quick and painless, and both we and the case were tagged through to Jersey. As CW pax we were also issued out ticket for the Iyanola Lounge. Then, after a last *cough* outside, it was time to head for Departures.

Before entering, there’s a booth where they do document checks. Then, through the glass doors … facing you is Security, BUT … first look to your left where there are the 2 immigration booths, which are easily missed! Nice friendly Agent again. Then to the quite small Security set-up, where it’s shoes/belts off, electronics out and … 30 seconds later, we’re sorted and officially Airside. Shops? A cluster of assorted small booths mainly selling tourist stuff, of course … rather pricey IMHO, at USD 15 for a t-shirt. However, we did find a Duty Free tobacco outlet this time, so I collected some Marlboro Gold at USD 32/200 for which I paid cash, thus saving foreign transaction fees … USD is widely used, provided the notes are in decent condition.

So to the Lounge, the door to which is on the left just after you emerge from Security. Down the corridor and up the stairs [or lift] and there you are … much the same as last time! The food offering was certainly better than in 2015, although still firmly in the ‘light bites’ category. The Barman was friendly and efficient, and we were delighted to find the little upstairs smoking room was still operational!



Boarding was at 1815, with another leisurely walk across to Door 2L after a BP check at the Gate. All fairly normal, with a cold PDB of [probably] champagne … this time in the new glassware, and decently filled!



… and a leisurely wait whilst the rest of the aircraft got on board. Yet again, no sign of children, wheelchairs or walking sticks.

No specific Gold greeting (surprise!) but the CSD did make a lot of fuss of another pax in Row 12: it transpired he was the Chef who had created the new menus.

Now we had enjoyed typical seasonal weather for the week. Temp around 30ļC every day, a few clouds scudding across the sky, and the occasional brief sprinkle of rain. But the weather was forecast to break, and as we got airborne on time … the weather break arrived on cue. Glad we missed that!



By the time we got to altitude, things looked much better.



... and it was thus time for dinner. Do you know, I have almost ZERO recollection of what I ate or drank, but the “Caribbean-style Creole chicken” with potato au gratin and roasted pumpkin sounds familiar. Undoubtedly I finished with Cheese and Port, as I do! Of course, my camera was in the drawer by my feet, and inaccessible when the tray’s deployed, so you will just have to imagine that I enjoyed some sort of dinner [a bit],

And then IFE (“The Favourite”) followed by some zzzzzzzz … whilst My Lady failed to sleep at all, poor thing. She just can’t sleep on aircraft.

Eventually … ahh, breakfast, we must be approaching Ireland. A nice sunny view to accompany the “Warm red onion, smoked salmon and egg on a bagel”. A good option in theory, and it tasted good, but bagels need to be a lot fresher than these were. Rather dry and crusty, sadly. Oh, well, it made a change from the “Traditional English”.

And so to the wonders of London Gatwick (South). There are times when I feel we live there … we’re looking forward to a refresher at LHR in September! At c. 0830 Immigration was pleasantly uncrowded as we reached the e-passport gates, where on scanning I got the message “Please go to a desk” or something like that. What? It doesn’t work? The Border Agent was equally confused, as he said there was nothing wrong with it at all. Oh, well, at least that passed a couple of minutes of our tedious 3-hour layover before the last leg!

Routine followed … Arrivals, Kerbside, Cigarette x 2, grateful the weather was sunny and not freezing, back into the Departures system and eventually back to our ‘2nd home’, the LGW FLounge
A couple of hours passed comfortably if tediously, before Gate 14 was declared for …

4 Jul 19
BA2772, LGW-JER, 1210-1310, A319, CE 1A/C

Not a lot to say, really! Boarding was tidy and efficient, and we giggled quietly at the gentleman in 1K who felt an urgent need to be the very first on the aircraft and almost ran down the airbridge. I’m not sure we weren’t actually seated in 1A/C before he had settled! I know we had Lunch, because I remember deploying the tray tables, but I suspect we just grazed around the edges … it had been a long enough day with numerous meals of one sort or another.

And then we were home! Reclaim, Arrivals, Taxi … and another trip done. Our 3rd trip in this calendar year, but the first in the Membership year, so the 360 TPs, which arrived promptly, were welcome.


Next one is … Jet2 (LS) in Economy (that’s all they have!) direct to Leeds Bradford (LBA) for a family visit. No TPs, no Lounges (unless we pay), no free F&B … but at least we have the pair of EXIT seats. Back to the reality most people live in!




Last edited by T8191; Jul 17, 19 at 7:28 am Reason: details
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Old Jul 16, 19, 8:17 am
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Another lovely trip report and photos uncle T. Completely agree... definitely 'shrimps' Looked like a very delicious starter.
I believe you were on a refurbished 777? Did your lady enjoy the new IFE?
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Old Jul 16, 19, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by AmaaiZeg View Post
Another lovely trip report and photos uncle T. Completely agree... definitely 'shrimps' Looked like a very delicious starter.
I believe you were on a refurbished 777? Did your lady enjoy the new IFE?
Thank you kindly! Not the most interesting trip, of course, but hopefully a bit of useful info for the FT community.

IFE. Yes, not bad at all. No frustration with dysfunctional buttons and a good clear screen. The Media content is, of course, a matter of personal preference (and age and ethnicity!)
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Old Jul 16, 19, 12:00 pm
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very nice.. glad .. seems like a lot of fun.. maybe I should try it, since being in the US its a lot closer for me..
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Old Jul 16, 19, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by fotographer View Post
very nice.. glad .. seems like a lot of fun.. maybe I should try it, since being in the US its a lot closer for me..
It is not, of course, a ‘Fun’ destination ... which is why we chose it!

Most guests are 55+, and although there’s live (soft) music during dinner everything apparently expires quietly around 2230. Not that I ever stayed up that late!!

Your route from GA will, I suspect, involve an aircraft change in FL somewhere (probably MIA). At least, that what I was offered when I looked at ‘via the USA’
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Old Jul 16, 19, 11:39 pm
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Great TR that resort looked delightful nice food and so relaxed
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Old Jul 17, 19, 1:34 am
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Originally Posted by adampenrith View Post
Great TR that resort looked delightful nice food and so relaxed
Thanks for that. Yes, it was lovely, only slightly spoiled by a less than impressive breakfast offer which really contrasted with the other meals.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 7:15 am
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Slumming it again Uncle T ? I always enjoy your trip reports.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
Slumming it again Uncle T ? I always enjoy your trip reports.
Cheers, Guvínor!

Yes, itís a really nice place. A bit limiting for smokers, sadly, but thatís only to be expected.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Cheers, Guvínor!

Yes, itís a really nice place. A bit limiting for smokers, sadly, but thatís only to be expected.
Thats the way the world has gone. They might ban booze next
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Old Jul 17, 19, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
It is not, of course, a ĎFuní destination ... which is why we chose it!

Most guests are 55+, and although thereís live (soft) music during dinner everything apparently expires quietly around 2230. Not that I ever stayed up that late!!

Your route from GA will, I suspect, involve an aircraft change in FL somewhere (probably MIA). At least, that what I was offered when I looked at Ďvia the USAí
great because ..well I am around that age.. my wife a little behind, and we like to just relax when we go somewhere..
plus I showed my wife your post, and now she is all about it, where as I was not before..
thanks
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Old Jul 17, 19, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by fotographer View Post
great because ..well I am around that age.. my wife a little behind, and we like to just relax when we go somewhere..
plus I showed my wife your post, and now she is all about it, where as I was not before..
thanks
I shall request commission from East Winds!

There were a few American guests when we were there, so you could be amongst friends! But the majority were British, and many of them VERY regular visitors ... Iím talking double figures!!
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Old Jul 17, 19, 9:27 am
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Marvellous report as ever - being of a similar age, you are a reliable scout for me! SWMBO and I are off to ANU next month on one of these never-before-tried-by-us LGW 777s, so good to read that life in the front is ok.
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Last edited by nwmgc; Jul 17, 19 at 9:28 am Reason: typo
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