ST. LUCIA

Leave the island any time? Not this time

Rebecca Taillon planned a milestone 50th birthday getaway to celebrate at St. Lucia’s upscale Jade Mountain resort. She felt confident because she was flying on LIAT — you know, as in, “Leave Island Any Time.”

But for her, it didn’t turn out to be any time.
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Does Sandals owe me anything for deleting my wedding photos?

This is one of the strangest cases I’ve come across in my two decades of fielding consumer complaints. It involves a honeymooning couple’s missing wedding photos, me, and another me.

Rachel Patrick’s destination wedding at Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa in St. Lucia was flawless, except for one little item: her wedding photos, which were taken by a hotel photographer, were missing in action.
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A Sandals Caribbean honeymoon that makes her wish she’d eloped

Nicholas and Katherine Welch didn’t have a good honeymoon. Actually, that may be something of an understatement. It was dreadful.

The Welches thought they’d done everything right. They visited St. Lucia, which is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the Caribbean. It’s also a gorgeous island. And they booked through a reputable all-inclusive resort, Sandals.

“We had a horrible experience that will remain with us for our whole lives,” Katherine Welch wrote to me. “Please help us.”
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St. Lucia from above

Today’s adventure took us deep into the St. Lucian rainforest, where we caught a ride up the Rainforest Aerial Tram.

“Where are the skis?” asked my five-year-old son, Iden, who talks about the Vail trip as if it happened yesterday.

Alas, no skis. And no snow.

But it was an unbelievably beautiful ride into the clouds, through dense forests of fern, hardwood trees and ficus. Hummingbirds buzzed our gondola as we neared the top of the mountain, and then we turned and saw the most awe-inspiring view of the island; the Caribbean on one side, the Atlantic on the other.
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Seeing both sides of St. Lucia

Calling the Caribbean island of St. Lucia “picturesque” may be like saying Miss America is beautiful. And how.

There are Kodak moments around every hairpin turn on the road. I took this picture a few minutes ago from the top of Windjammer Landing. I’ve uploaded more photos to my Flickr page, too.

I’ll share more snapshots and stories of St. Lucia in an upcoming post on National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel blog. But I also wanted to offer a few early impressions.
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