10 November 2021
L&J World Travel clients Paul and Agnes Deery recently returned from a trip to Barbados. The Deery’s visited Barbados in October 2020 as well as again this year in 2021 staying in the same hotel and flying both times with British Airways.
The Deerys noted that this year everywhere was much busier – the hotel, airport and flights however they are all managing very well and have a good control of the procedures in place.
Back to Barbados By The Deerys
We have travelled to Sandals last October 2020 and again this October 2021. There have been some differences in the whole travel experience both positive and negative. Firstly on testing, on both occasions we were required to provide a negative Covid-19 result before we were able to board the aircraft and at the airport social distancing was a big thing, along with boarding and getting off smaller groups of seats were called at a time. Also masks were to be worn at all times. Last year as travel not many people were travelling the airport and plane were fairly quiet so security and moving around the airport was a breeze, not as easy this year as there are far more people travelling and things seem to be back to normal at the airport with social distancing mostly relaxed well outside of NI.
Last year as there were not as many people travelling our flight was pretty quiet check in and boarding was good, and you were able to select whatever seat you wanted on check in and even move around the cabin and spread out on the empty seats after take off. Everyone including crew were required to wear a face over during the flight except when actually eating or drinking and the crew reminded everyone of this at regular intervals. This year however there were far more passengers therefore the space was limited and not much chance to get extra space as most seats were occupied. That being said the service was still pretty good. BA are pretty much back to normal with their inflight service providing a hot meal, drinks, and a further lighter meal before landing. All in all a good flight experience.
Hotel – Sandals Royal Barbados
This is a beautiful hotel on a pristine beach. As it is All Inclusive everything is taken care of. Food in all the restaurants and drinks are fabulous. All the staff seem to be genuinely happy to have us here and can’t do enough to ensure we are having a great time. There are some little problems however, being the hotel is about 95% occupancy and it is obvious they don’t have a full complement of staff because of the ongoing pandemic, things just take a little longer but if you relax and just remember we are on holiday and they are working hard for us you will have a great time.
As this is an international hotel chain the guests come from far and wide, but mostly American and British holidaymakers. There is a good blend and mixes of ages and the atmosphere around the busy pool is always good with the entertainment team keeping the guests involved in the fun and games throughout the day.
There is also nightly entertainment on the main stage with a mix of music, dancing and local entertainers keeping everyone happy.
There are however lots of quieter places day and night to escape the noise if solitude and privacy is your thing.
Occupancy The hotel this year is about 95% occupied and both hotels are open, last year it was only around 35% with the Barbados side closed and only the Royal side open. All the restaurants are open every night but as you would expect getting reservations at the reservation required is hard and there is always a wait to get a table in the other restaurants that do walk in’s. Obviously the feel of the property is more lively and finding a sun lounger in your preferred position is somewhat challenging at times however if like me you don’t mind where you sit to enjoy your holiday then you will be fine.
One further point is because of all the Covid-19 testing and having vaccine passport and all the protocols that have been implemented by the governments and hotel you actually feel safer this year and less likely to come in contact with someone with the virus.The only negative point is everyone staff and guests are required to wear a mask while moving around the resort until seated in restaurants or at the beach or pools.