Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

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JonasArn
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Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by JonasArn » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:20 am

Hey,
I have been several times in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic and Cuba has been the destinations so far. I have heard a lot of good things about Tobago as well. Which are the best airports in Europe to fly from?

One thing I realized when i was at the Dominican republic, the sand was not white... how is it in Tobago? Is the sand different on different sides of the island there too?

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Re: Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by Ronald » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:36 pm

Hi Jonas,
I see that that 51 persons have been reading what you did write, but no one have been answering, so I´ll give you my personal opinions.

BEST AIRPORTS FROM EUROPE
My opinion is, Airports should not be the first choise, the airline should be.
That of course also depend on where you live and on wich airline/airport you mostly use or prefer to use.
Myself has always using BA, from Sweden to Heathrow 5 and the following day from Gatwick North to A.N.R Airport (Crown Point) Tobago. I could travel a little bit cheaper, but in case something happens on my way back and flights are delayed, you never know, than I have ONE airline to deal with instead of two. I wouldn´t like to hear "Sorry that you did miss your flight England-Sweden but we are not responsibil for that".

BA´s service is very good, even for us who travel in the Economic section. Mostly 3 choises of meal, free soft drinks and water, I´ve see some also prefer wine but I don´t know if that is free.

BA has two flights to Tobago on different days, both via an other island on the way down to Tobago.
BA also has flights to Piarco Airport Trinidad, and from there you can go with Caribbean Airlines across to Tobago. But I wouldn´t try that as you don´t know if you will have to spend one night around the airport before going to Tobago. But many from US are using Caribbean across to Tobago.
There are also (at least I believe so) Brittish Charter Flights from England to Tobago, but I don´t have any info on them.

From Germany you can go with Condor, they have a stop at the Margaritas (northern Venezuela). Their flights are better now a days, at least peoples has told me so. I have been using them once when BA was fully booked, and at that time both aircrafts and service was Very Bad compared with BA.

BEACHES
I haven´t been in Dominica os Cuba, so I can´t compare beaches, but I can tell how they are in Tobago.
All sand does come from coral, some beaches has light colour some a little bit darker, but this coral sand is not white, that sand only exist into silly broschyres. You can also find beaches with a lot of dark sand in some areas as at Black Rock Beach, but there´s no beaches with only black sand. These beaches can be found on other islands, example St Vincente in the Grenadines, an vulcanic island

Mostly beaches in Tobago are open against the sea, very few are protected by a reef, but Pidgeon Point is such a beach. Protected by reef, very shallow in the beginning and a lot of smaller peaces of coral nearby land. The swimming areas is Very Clearly Marked with ropes as the reef boats go close land on their way out and back. If you are there. Never go outside these ropes!
One very good beach is Store Bay in Crown Point. The water isn´t shallow so it get deep after some 10m. But this beach has normally no stones of coral in the water. The stones are there, but you only see them when it has been very bad weather and rugh sea for some days, the sea is moving the sand.
Life guards are on Store bay Beach, Pidgeon Point and also in some other beaches in the north, but many beaches doesn´t have life gards.

There are quite many beaches all the way from Crown Point up to the tip of Tobago, but all safe ones are on the western side of the island.
The eastern side of Tobago is open for the Atlantic, so mostly beaches on that side are not safe for swimming. Even if some are safe nearby land, as soon you go outside the cliffs, the current can take you and f yiu have bad luck you might end up in a coffin! Signs are puit up on some places, and trust them!
There are just a few nice beaches on the eastern side, but the sea is often rough, I know only one really safe beach on the eastern side in the south and one in the north. Even if visitors go out with local peoples for some fishing trips, they can still get in trouble by the sea.

My best advice to you is to read all kinds of general information you will find on myobagoinfo about mostly common things a visitor should know. If you find something you want to know more about, write your questions and sooner or later you will get answers.

Good Luck
Ronal

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Re: Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:49 pm

Hello Jonas and hello Ronald

Ronald is quite right.

I would add about the airlines that BA do serve unlimited alcohol.

I last flew with Condor from Manchester Airport (Sunday) and it was very good, 7.5 hours direct but on the way back you have to get off the plane in Barbados for about 1 hour. A bonus suck of the warm Caribbean air. Carrying a few Barbados dollars would be advised if you want refreshments without having to use a Credit Card.

Condor also serve alcohol and, of course, this is a very important feature of the flight but you do have to pay if you are not in Premium ... the alcohol is free and unlimited in Premium although because of me and my Carer they ran out of Gin and so I switched to Rum which was also quite nice.

I have already booked with Condor for next year and they are unique by allowing you to book your flight more than a year in advance, although I must remember to give them advance notice to ensure they have plenty of Gin next time :mrgreen:

Any chance I could be bumping into you again Ronald in Dec 2017/January 2018?

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Re: Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by Chris Runciman » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:09 pm

When you got off in Barbados did you have to take hand luggage including any carry on duty free alcohol?
Were there problems re-boarding carrying excess liquids?
There have been reports of duty being charged in Barbados on 'imported' alcohol ?
Just wondering as the subject was brought up at a tourist board meeting yesterday.

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Re: Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:59 pm

Yes chris ... we had our baggage checked and any liquids purchased in tobago customs were confiscated in barbados ... i lost a bottle of water and had no barbados dollars to replace it ... it was a bit of a farce
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Re: Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by Ronald » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:56 am

Hi Paul,

You still give Very Good advices to peoples
At the moment I´m in Sweden as I had to leave Trinidad as they didn´t gave me a second months VISA, and I know that I was not the only visitor who get problems at the Immigration!
If I´ll be in Trinidad, Tobago or Barbados byt the end of this year, that I don´t know right now. But I I´ll be in T&T than I´ll let you know just to see if you have time left instead of drinking All beers in T´go.

The problem with customs in Barbados, that´s something wich happens peoples who change flight in UK too. The problem is, the staff in Tobago doesn´t know/understand/care that bags with liquids must be sealed, I have told them facts but they simply do not understand or they do not care
1- the liguids must be put into a bag from the shop, including the receipt
2- the bag must be sealed with a tape
3- the tape should be a Security Tape, every Airport has that (at least they should)
4- that bag must than be put into an other normally bag from the shop

If it´s done like that, the bag with the liquids will pass a second security check-in in UK.
An other option is of course to pack down the liquids into the suitcase and hope for the best!

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Re: Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:14 pm

Hello Ronald

I will always make time to see you if you are in Tobago when I am there ... I am also not very far from Manchester Airport where some of the Condor flights to Tobago leave, let me know if you need any assistance that way ... Just PM me and we can swap emails.

So, why is it so hard for you to get a second month's visa? I go for 28 days normally but would I have a problem if I went for 6 weeks? Should longer stays be 'visa' in advance?

Apart from North Korea, I think that Tobago has the most extensive network of 'Business Prevention Departments' (just look at the tourism decline!) but it really seems dumb to stop a tourist from spending more time and money in Tobago, it's not like you are an illegal immigrant trying to find work.

I like your point about the UK customs ... won't apply to me but will apply to lots of Europeans.

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Re: Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by Chris Runciman » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:31 am

Hi Paul
Immigration will automatically issue you with a 90 day visitors visa upon arrival if you say on the immigration form that that is when you wish to leave. I have seen single travellers asked for details of onward travel before getting the requisite stamp. An extension can be obtained , which can require some evidence of why you wish to stay longer. You visit the immigration office to make an appointment and then return for a short interview. We have never had any issues with entry other than the wait when it is busy but the staff have always been pleasant. We only had one grumpy officer years ago at the port office but when I discovered he had also been to Belgium I turned the conversation the beer there after which he asked 'so how long do you want to stay?' The fee for an extension is $100TT.

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Re: Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by Ronald » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:30 pm

Hi Paul (and others)

Chris is correkt. One can have 3+3 months stay as long you have a return date on your ticket and can explain why you want to stay, I use to do so. Normally I use to stay in Tobago and Immigration there has always been nice.
But in December I was in Arima and the Immigration in PoS seems to be harder! It did sound as one must outside T&T at least 6 months to be allowed to get the second stamp for an other 3 months.
But now I have a brand new passport, NO Stamps at all! So if I will be in T&T this autumn, I should not get any problem.

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Re: Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by Paul Makin » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:54 pm

ah, the "visa extension" debacle.

previoisly, when last living on tobago i utilised my work permit/business proprietor status and came and went as i saw fit. one year my work permit expired when i was home in the uk.

no probls thinks me, fly back in , get the usual 90 days and sort it all out once i'm back.

didn't quite go that way. work permit was slow (aren't they always) and 90 days is up. off to immigration at the port for an extension to my tourist visa.

arrive and take the ticket, wearing my best long pants and "cleanest dirty shirt". lady calls me in, asks me some questions and sends me back to waiting room. some time later i realised that she had actually sent me home with an appointment to return when they would process my application.

eventually worked all this out and told to return in the evening in a weeks time. allows them to check with PoS that i am, indeed, of good character.

return at the appointed date/time to be told that the fax isn't working and that i'll need to come back in 3 days. by now all my visas have expired and my long pants are shot.

return in 3 days and all is done. or so i thought. i had literally walked in the door at home when i get a call. i answer and it's immigration. "there's a problem with your visa. i'm working at the airport tonight and you must come and see me".

packed an overnight bag (just in case i got deported) and met my man. he took me through to that little immigration office in arrivals . this is getting bad thinks me - i'm now airside. what about my truck, my business, my partner? (prob in that order if i'm honest).

so we sit down and he takes my passport, reiterating that there's a problem. with his pen he then crossed out the expiry date and hand-wrote a new one. he reckoned that the old expiry date was a few days too long and required an additional fee, the new date didn't ?!

so, off we went ti tristar and we had a couple of beers. i left with my bag and his cell # in the event of any future "problems".

my how we laughed

paul

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Re: Similarities to other islands in the Caribbean

Post by Ronald » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:05 pm

Hi Paul,

When I´ve been in Tobago I used to go to Immigration 9 days before the passport stamp 10days before expired, as one can go maximum 10 days before that date.
They always gave me a date to come back to see the Immigration Officer at least 2-3 days AFTER the date in my pasport! Once I got an appointment date/time almost 7 days after that date into my passport.

So date/time and how they work seems to differ a lot between Trinidads and Tobagos Immigration, some officers are very friendly and doesn´t make problems if the visitor come in time to apply for an extended Visa, some seems to me much harder!

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