Recent posts by dax | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

eeeefarm: Welllll, I can eat anywhere, including McD’s but that does not mean the food is memorable – at least in a good way. I live only a few minutes away from one of the best restaurants and hotels in Canada and have never been there. For me, part of having a memorable experience is not having to take out a loan to go there. I guess the best way to describe this is that you have a passion for snorkeling. I enjoy it, but it is far from a passion. I am quite happy to see coral and little colourful fish swim around – that would be like a McDonald’s in your view. I’m happy with an occasional peek into the underworld.I read your opinion on swimming/playing with the dolphins many years ago. It’s not my passion either so it was easy for me to change my viewpoint and understand how the dolphins are being tortured by that kind of confinement. I’ve even joined you in trying to persuade others to abstain from going there. I care enough to post on it when people ask but it’s still not a passion.Food is one of my passions. It didn’t used to be that way but old age and running a restaurant have convinced me that quality food is an important part of life. Great food is made with great ingredients and a lot of love and caring. I just don’t see that in Cuba. Buffets are particularly tough to work anywhere. I used to be in charge of the Sunday buffet. It’s a PITA to do it well. Cuba seems to cater to the bottom of the barrel. To be fair, I’ve posted a few times on how the vast majority of tourists fill their plates with junk food. I can understand why resorts are happy to oblige. It’s cheap, easy and keeps many people happy. Resorts in Cuba that I have been to appear to put food on the ‘the least we can do to keep people happy’ list. It is sad because Cuba has so much potential and it would not be a huge deal to make changes that would reverse this.I’ve seen lots of posts from people that say, "I’m happy as long as I don’t have to cook it". Uck! There have been lots of times my wife grabs my arm and pulls me away because she knows I want to get behind the grill and cook it myself. I’d absolutely LOVE to spend an afternoon teaching Cuban cooks how to do it right. It would be a waste. Then, there are a lot of people (like you ) who say "I can always find something to eat". To me, that’s like looking at a coral reef that got destroyed by people breaking off pieces to take home. The last group describe omelettes as ‘so yummy’ Have they ever eaten a really good omelette???? One that’s not dripping in oil??Sooooo, like everything else, you have your opinion, others have theirs. Some day, Cuba will have great food and I’ll be thrilled to eat there. Until then, it fills my stomach and it’s cheap.Still no takers on the photo of a plate of poo…. i thought it was easy.
So Budweiser ball caps are a no no? So…. does each and every single resort worker really NEED 50 baseball caps and 50 T-shirts every year? I prefer to use the pantyhose analogy. What is a maid going to do with hundreds of pair of pantyhose every year – most of them are the wrong size?? Personally, I think the maids are overweight from eating all of the goodies the tourists leave behind.

Not to destroy your argument but clothing with American logos is actually a sought after item in Cuba – so I understand.

We’ve been to Cuba at least three times, and will not be going back in a hurry……."ONLY BECAUSE OF THE FOOD"…….everything tasted the same, I’m curious as to where you went. There is good food in Cuba……and good "resort" food……and not always where you expect to find it. Best food experience for me has been Los Galeones, a very small resort off the beaten track in Santiago de Cuba province. (which is also the best location for weather in the winter months)
It’s not often I disagree with eeeefarm BUT ..It all depends upon how high a priority food is in your life. As Jake says,"but for "ME", the food is a very important part". The cooks in Cuba seem to be fixated in covering everything in cooking oil. I can’t comprehend why Cuba should be so awful for food when they have a Spanish tradition and all the other Caribbean islands are so fabulous for spicy food. The revolution destroyed taste. I’ve had lots of meals in Cuba that are OK and a few that were good. In Mexico, I’ve had lots of meals that were good, many that were great and a half dozen that were outstanding.Quiz for all you foodies. Winner gets a beer when we meet in Cuba – or Mexico. Identify this dish: Attachments:

We were a pro E-6/Ciba/BW lab. Rode it to the end. Nowadays my Oly’s sit on the copy bench and the G10 Lumix comes out less and less in favour of the FX700. Wossa messed me up when I picked up a GoPro. After that, even freelensing wasn’t as much fun.

Still have an RB67 and a 4X5 for you old guys and CS6 is used every day.

Used to do E3/E4/E6/Ciba/B&W, still doing RA4. Still have 45,RB,3×645,3×35 plus a split 70.Weez gonna get in deep doo-doo for bein so faar off topic.

Gotta go make supper, it’s Valentines.

A 190 with a Leitz ball and socket head was required equipment in the day.

Ya, that’s in the days of chromes. Now, you just crank up the ISO shoot in HDR and PS it to death.

I am so bl**dy sick of PS’d photos. It’s nice to see the ones posted here that are real images, not created on a computer.

Great, so now you tell me! Gave hubbie a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod a few hours ago to go with the Canon 6D I bought him for Christmas.

Beer can would have been a LOT cheaper!

Whew. I have made my living for 40 yrs. taking professional photos. I will show that post to my wife. There’s still time for her to buy me another 6D w tripod for Valentines. I’ll be lucky to get a hug though.

We were at the grocery store an hour ago and I was looking at flowers while waiting at the checkouts. A female clerk came up to me and wanted to show me all the beautiful arrangements of cut flowers. I said my wife was not worth the $20. OOPS. Then she realized that my wife was standing a few feet away and well, you know women … I ended up buying the flowers.

The photos are absolutely gorgeous. When I go on holidays, I now take my cell phone and use the camera feature. I’m on holidays, why would I want to work taking photos???? Good thing I’m not a sex therapist!!When we were in Italy last year for almost 3 weeks, I made a last minute decision to take one of my ‘back-up’ Canons. Figured that I would use it. I took tons of photos but they are all on the HD, never to be seen again. By far, the best photos & videos came from my cell phone. Photos are all about capturing special moments. That comes from the heart and the eye, not the camera.

The Canon 6D is a great camera.

Is this at the Pueblo la Estrella between the Memories and the Royalton?
Yes it is. At the time, Royalton was still under construction and Memories was Barcelo.

Yup Ontario has, I believe, the highest electricity rates of any state or Province. Out of that $411, only $180 was actual electricity usage. To be fair, it was a pretty cold Jan.

Here goes, hope it works: A few minutes of impromptu music and dance from 2011.

Thanks for the help.

Thanks for that. I figured as much. Spunky has been PMing me with some help. Trying to find something other than youtube. Even though there is nothing personal or bad on the video I wanted to share, I just have an aversion to putting anything on view that might some day come back to haunt me. I’m old fashioned about what I share in public even though I realize this forum is public, it’s not on the same search level as youtube.
I understand the limitations of a forum like ProBoards and I’ll try to find another way to make it work.

I thought the quote was something about a Cuban paying his monthly bills for about 4 CUC. I would have taken that to mean the utilities and such. Bullseye.This isn’t complicated.Cheers,Terry

Not wanting to get into this too far, but my guess is that an average Cuban uses far less utilities in a month than most North Americans do in a day. My hydro bill is $411. for January. OUCH

I think that will be the next ‘change’ in Cuba to squeeze more $$ out of us. I’ve heard the rumor a few times about resorts changing to EP as standard and offering AI as an upgrade. Obviously, this can’t happen in some areas such as CC where there are few options for dining. It makes sense as food is one of the most expensive components for Cuba.
Cruise lines have done a similar thing with free buffet and snack bar but if you want a great meal, pull your wallet out for $15 to $40. pp plus drinks.

Well, the "new face" of Debbie’s is certainly changing my habits. Now I find myself checking in here before I go over and see what is happening on that "other" forum. So, will this forum become the ‘other forum’ eventually? Sort of like the changes to Cuba. With growth, sometimes things change that are not so great. I have to agree that things are much better than when it was days without new posts.

I still aam looking for advice on how to upload a video. I prefer not to put it on my own site or youtube. Suggestions. Hope that questions is not to far off topic of Debbies.

We’ve been to some 3 stars which should have been 2 and some 4 stars, a few were a stretch for ratings, can’t afford a 5*. Some of the lower rated resorts are actually more memorable. I came to the conclusion years ago that stars ratings are all BS. I don’t use most of the things that add stars such as spas, weight rooms, yoga classes, etc. I find older resorts have better views since many of the new ones are built so far back and are too huge for my comfort. Older resorts also usually have older staff. I find older staff are better at their jobs from all the years of experience. They seem to be able to make more from less and are more content.My favorite has yet to be found. Favorite memories:Getting drunk on really good Brut every night at Barcelo CSM.Meeting up with a group from Argentina and drinking until dawn at MCSMSitting at the 24 hr bar at Colonial CC until dawn almost every nightThe piano bar at the Colonial CCSpending hours at Parque Josone and eating & drinking at the ‘cave’ where everything was kept in a small cooler and grilled on a BBQ smaller than the one at homePlaying on the beach with my kids at TrypHmmm, a lot of good drinking memories. lolLeast favorite:Getting mad when the awesome musicians have to go home so that a bunch of skinny kids can have a fashion show for an hour with horrid disco music – various resorts.Sitting in the manager’s office for 3 hrs. at Club Amigo trying to get a room where I don’t need a hazmat suit.DJ’s that crank the volume to max so they can hear their voices bouncing off the walls when calling bingo in 4 languages.
I remember seeing on the news in B.C. people being forced out of their houses and cottages because the natives refused to renew, so they were just burning them down so that no one would get them. No thanks. That happened in Ontario too. They were given months to vacate.That problem arose from new Band Councils being elected and they had the power to dissolve existing agreements.My opinion only: The back & forth with the Cuban development is a result of disagreements between elected officials in Cuba. If one or some of the new developments goes badly, I can see the Cuban gov’t reversing it’s decision.
"The Cuban government has plans for 16 golf real estate projects, with condominiums and homes for sale to foreigners."So, non-Cubans are going to be allowed to buy land?? Does not sound like it farther down.

"Observers are speculating that golf development in Cuba has not materialized because of uncertainly over the property rights of buyers. Two years ago, Cuba announced it would grant 99-year rights to foreign purchasers of golf-course houses and apartments — a term banks around the world consider equivalent of perpetual property rights.
However, there is also insecurity over other aspects of Cuban real estate law."

“Cuba will, for one, have an allure that few other islands in the Caribbean have, especially for Americans, once they are allowed to purchase real property rights in Cuba. And the strength of those Cuban real property rights, as we can foresee them today, will be no lesser than the kind of real-property rights in Mexican touristic resorts that Americans have been buying heads over heels for the past 30 years or so.”

Not quite accurate. My understanding is that foreigners can own land outright in Mexico, unless it is within xx meters of the beach. Forgot the exact distance. Closer than that, you create a Mexican company with the foreigner as director and the company owns the land. Nothing about 99 yr. lease that I recall.There are lots of 99 yr land lease problems in Ontario cottage country where the land is on an Indian Reserve. Some of those have not worked out well at all with the band council ordering the residents to vacate with little notice.Sounds sorta like:

‘The Bellomonte venture collapsed when two top executives of the British investment firm that was putting it together, Coral Capital Group Ltd., spent months in pre-trial detention at a Havana prison on various charges, before being let go on minor charges and permitted to return to the UK. Coral Capital’s assets were reportedly confiscated by the Cuban government.’

Agree with iggy x100 ‘However, I would be very leery of buying a condo in Cuba, rent yes, but, not….."

I will be my life savings (all 20CUC) that people will be killing each other to get first in line to buy without even knowing what they are getting into.

Actually, we did use a cab from YYZ to a hotel 3 miles away. I was trying to shorten the story. IF anyone here is desperate and gets a cab at YYZ, the meter will read $25. by the time you are getting off airport property. Something about the high cost of cab licence for the airport. They restrict pick-ups to cabs that have the airport pick-up licence. Now you know.
When I was in Mexico City last fall, we took a cab downtown, which is not all that far but was 30 min with traffic. Cost was under $20. The Metro was 3 pesos which has now risen to 5 – that’s about 30 cents. Amazing. Groping is free.

OK, you own me a beer when we meet in Cuba next time. We tried a parking deal I found on the internet 2 years ago. They lease space from hotels in the area and re-sell it. The idea is wonderful but we were promised a shuttle every 30 min. Problem is that both times, they said the shuttle was just there and we’d have to wait 30 min, unless we paid $25. So, we ended up paying $50. more than we counted on. Normally, I’ll wait to save the $$ but in both cases it was super cold and when we returned, it was 2:45 am and we just wanted to get home. If we were staying at the hotel, it would not have been a big deal.

Have a great trip. By the end of March our flowers will be in bloom – I HOPE!!

Hey, I saw that deal on Travel Zoo. We are going towards the end of March and it is an afternoon flight. So we thought, why don’t we drive to Pearson the day before the flight, check in at Crowne Plaza and have a nice dinner/drinks. Go back to the room and watcg TV???? Then get up in the morning, get our free breakfast and by noon we should head out to the airport! So we told some people from way,way,way up north and they booked the same deal! We usually park at Valet but it was getting expensive (even with coupons and we always go for 2 weeks); so this is a triple win for me – no dinner to cook, no bed to make, no breakfast to cook, my guardian angel is looking after me.

On ‘new Picassa albums’ I got Google error 500 the first time and then it worked fine in the second attempt.

It is all well and good to be up in arms about who is trolling our forum……. the more the better. But what is really important is that the contributors have this forum and the information we share as the purpose of the exercise.

If TA banned me, I’d actually be better off and have more time for doing useful things and my wife would be thrilled.

You’re ragging on my every post, to the point of having steffie j ban me on a couple of occasions is getting long in the tooth, no one is forcing you to read them, so if you don’t like what I have to say, DON’T READ MY POSTS! REALLY?? I don’t recall ragging at all. If I am doing that in your opinion, there must be a reason. I’m pretty sure you’re the guy I had good conversations with years ago about your B&B. You don’t sound like the same person at all.My point was and is, it you think Canada is so bad, then put up or shut up. Slinging mud from thousands of miles away is cheap. Just like the shot you made at Radar.

"The reality is that politicians come and go while the "bloated bureaucracy" of union cash-for-life civil servants rule with an iron fist!
As to education/food and water safety/health care, compare today’s services to 20 yrs ago and see the major decline in all the above. :|"

This post is actually somewhat fair and there are times that I would agree with that statement.

If you want to have a meaningful conversation, then start with a reasonable statement. I have no problem discussing politics with you or anyone else. If you just want to b*tch, then talk to the mirror. We’re trying to avoid the need for mods to intervene. This forum has a real chance to succeed and if you want to be a part of it, you really need to calm down prior to posting. I’m not a mod but that is my opinion. Or as iggy says, "respect each other"

Not sure if it’s always cheaper to rent an apartment though. In St. Lucia we stayed at an apartment, that came with a rental car. If we added up what we’d spent on gas, groceries, eating out, renting beach chairs/umbrella’s etc., it may have been cheaper staying at an AI (it’s not a cheap country at all). We did St Lucia for 2 wks with the kids 20 yrs ago and it was expensive then. A Toronto lady had a house for rent and it was a good deal. We flew on points. I had a bunch of Amex points because I could buy business supplies using Amex (at the time, till they found out what it cost the supplier). Then I converted the points to Continental Air, then to BWIA and it went from 2 return tickets with Amex to 5. Zowie. The bonus was that we made it there & back on Beewee – alive .The house was in the semi countryside with goats and roosters next door and an outdoor bar 3 doors down. It was super hot with no a/c so not a lot of sleep but the days were lots of fun. I love to shop & cook, so that makes a big difference. We met a lady from Quebec that had a B&B there and we had one dinner but she was full for the night. The trip around the island back then was not so easy as the roads were under construction and it took two days to make it with sight seeing.

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