When it comes to vacations, you never know quite what you're going to get until you get there. A bed bug on the bed. Stain on the sheet. I have very loud neighbors. So I was tasked with a simple... See More
When it comes to vacations, you never know quite what you're going to get until you get there. A bed bug on the bed. Stain on the sheet. I have very loud neighbors. So I was tasked with a simple mission, to see just how accurate those hotel marketing photos really are. As I boarded the plane for the caribbean, I was hesitant to trade the gray skies of New York City for the turquoise shores of St. Maarten. St. Maarten is known for its white sandy beaches, fine hotels, and those blaring 747s. Princess Juliana international is not just an airport. It's a tourist trap. Every few minutes on the beach, at the hotel, at the bar, planes take off or land, all day long. On average, 60 planes land here every day. Even though we've seen the videos on youtube, nothing could have prepared us for the plane's departure. Tourists from far and wide throw caution to the wind. They curl their fingers around the chain link fence and hold on for dear life. I had no idea it was going to be that strong. Tagging along with us, travel expert extraordinaire Jane Reynolds from oyster.com, a travel review site owned by trip advisor. Their site is where the so-called photo fakeout is exposed. First up, the royal palm beach resort. Their site boasts an inviting pool, a welcoming lobby, both are of course empty in the online pictures. But when we visited, not exactly what we saw online. Everyone on our plane is here. Our check-in? A 45-minute ordeal. Next we head over to the storied French side. Taking in an amazing view. What do you think so far? So far this hotel really bills itself accurately. It's on a beautiful piece of land looking over the water. This hotel came the closest to being as advertised, but we did learn another valuable lesson. Just take a look at this online picture of the hotel pool. The photo is cropped, but in reality, there wasn't much pool to crop out. The pool here is more akin to a bathtub. They told us they're in the process of upgrading their photos, but a small pool paled in comparison to what he experienced at our next stop, Mary's Boone. One of the selling points in the description is that it's tucked away and conveniently near to the action. But maybe a little too close. It's just south of the airport and while we all enjoy the convenience of an airport hotel, come on. It's so loud when the planes come through. For people trying to get away? It's not the relaxing hidden you are expecting. While some were aurate portrayals and some were not, after all those hotel check-ins I was more than ready to check out. At least with the airport so close, I didn't have trouble making my flight. For one maryland-based man, his trip wasn't about the photos. The airport is where all his problems began. Granada, Spain, a gorgeous city tucked away in the shadow of the castle, the place of flamenco dancing. I had a conference in Portugal. I saw it as my opportunity to finally get to Spain. There was one major issue. Spelling. Grenada is spelled similarly to a small island nearly 4,000 miles away. Within 20 minutes of departing we looked at this little monitor in front of us and the plane is heading west. I said to the flight attendant why west, why not south? We're going to Spain. He said Spain, what are you talking about? We're going to Grenada. We're in the west indies. And my heart dropped. To turn his hellish trip around they flew from Washington D.C. To London, to St. Lucia, Grenada, across the atlantic to London and finally to Lisbon. Three days, seven flights, and now no time for the castle. Did any of the burden fall on you that you ended up in the wrong place? I don't feel that way because when I booked it with british air, not only was I specific on city and country, but I even gave airport codes. British airways tells us they've offered Dr. Gamson and his partner extensive assistance, including new flights to Granada, Spain, flights to an alternate destination and frequent flier points. He disputes those offers were made and sued for $34,000. It sounds like a lot but it's the composition of the prepaid expenses, the cost of the flight and this is a first class flight and the fact that the two of us did not you beenhave a vacation. Last A local neighborhood shutting
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