> Destinations > Turks & Caicos Islands > Trip Reports > Trip Report
July 21-July 28, 2002
In a word..WOW. What an incredible time we had. I can not believe how beautiful the beaches were. I am still in shock over the clarity of the ocean water! I will break down this trip report into sections so it is easy for the reader. If you would like to e-mail me with any questions, please do not hesitate. I relied on reading trip reports before choosing my destination for my vacation, and they were extremely helpful. Often times, when I read trip reports, people focus mainly on the resort. I will give my honest opinion on the resort, but I am also going to focus on the other aspects of my trip. Just a word of warning..This is going to be a long report. There will be information that you don't need, but hopefully there will be some that will of use to you in planning your future vacations!
Planning the trip:
We live in New Hampshire. We purchased our vacation through The Vacation Outlet in the Mall of New Hampshire. It was a vacation package through GWV vacations. I have to say that we loved the people at both The Vacation Outlet and the GWV staff. They were very helpful and gave us a package that suited our needs perfectly. Our package, with airline tickets, resort voucher, etc. came in the mail about 2 weeks before we left for our trip. We were initially scheduled to fly on a charter direct to Provo from Boston. However, the charter did not work out so we flew on American airlines.
Our flight was scheduled to leave Boston at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 21. Because we live in N.H. and we had to arrive no later than 4:00 a.m. we decided to hire a limo company for our transport to Boston. We sent inquiries to several companies in the city where we live, and found the best deal through Danielle's Limo service. We only rented a town car, as there were only two of us going and a limo was unnecessary. We arranged for the car to pick us up at 2:00 a.m. Our driver, Dennis, was great. He arrived right on time and got us to Logan airport at 2:55 a.m. The cost for the car was $70.00 and we gave $30 for a tip. Well worth the money! We hung at the airport for awhile, got coffee, etc. until it was time to get in line to check our bags. Security was pretty tight (which made me feel safe and I was thankful for it!) We boarded the plane and departed a few minutes late. The airline crew were very accommodating. We were served a drink and a granola bar.
We arrived in Miami around 9:30 a.m. Security there was evident but again, this made me feel safe. Random body/luggage searches. We then connected to the flight for Providenciales and were off to our paradise! There was a bit of turbulence but nothing too bad. On the flight we were given our customs paperwork and some general information on Provo. We were also given the name of the GWV representative who would be meeting us. We were served a drink and a bag of chips. The pilot then announced we were approaching the Bahamas. It was amazing to see the beautiful ocean below, and when we arrived in Turks and Caicos, the colors of the water were even more amazing. I couldn't resist taking pictures from the plane!
We arrived at the airport at approximately 12:30 p.m., after quite a rough landing!! I was quite thankful to be on the ground. The airport was quaint; we were let off in the lot where the planes land and walked into the airport. It was a sunny and beautiful day with a pretty good breeze. When we got in the airport we went through customs, which took about 15 minutes. Very easy. We then gathered our luggage which was waiting for us. We saw a woman holding a GWV sign. We went over and was introduced to Regina, the GWV representative. She led to a shuttle that would take us to the Allegro and told us that there would be an information session at 2:00 p.m. at the Allegro. We waited about 15 minutes for everyone to get on the shuttle and we were off. It was about a 15 minute ride to the resort.
We arrived at the Allegro at 1:25 p.m. The front of the Allegro was attractive. There was a little pond area with fountains. Flags were waving in front of the resort. There were palm trees (very dry as they are not native to TCI), bushes with colorful flowers, and pretty butterflies fluttering about.
There was a short line to check in. We were given a cold punch to drink while we waited. The lobby area was nicely decorated with a Caribbean feel. Nothing too fancy, but there were a lot of plants, trees, centerpieces, etc.. which gave the area a nice look. What I found interesting was the open concept of the lobby. There was no air conditioning as the lobby was all open. There was no door separating the outside from the inside. However, there was a nice breeze and this kept us cool. We had a glimpse of the beautiful beach from the lobby and couldn't wait to walk down!
We were told our room wasn't quite ready yet. The woman at the check in desk was very nice and helpful. She suggested we go have something to eat and check back for our room. We checked our luggage in and went into the main eating area, Topaz Restaurant, which is the buffet area. We had a bite to eat (details on food below) and checked back to see if our room was ready. The room was ready at this time, and we were given our keys for the room and safe, a towel card for each of us, three slips for reservations for the ala cart restaurants, and a few brochures. We were encouraged to call or come by anytime if we had questions or concerns, or if there was anything that could make us more comfortable.
We were in room number 4101. It was on the first floor. We liked the fact that our room was so close to everything. We were steps away from the pool, Topaz dining area and the lobby. We were also very close to Coco Loco Beach club and the Suntan bar.
We walked into our room after having a bit of difficulty with the key. We were immediately relieved by the coolness delivered by the air conditioner. The room was nice and clean. The walls were painted orange, blue and yellow and it had a Caribbean flare with paintings and colorful window treatments and a bed comforter. The dresser was wicker and had plenty of space for our belongings. There was a television, sitting area, end tables with lamps, an armoire, and the floor was reddish tile. There was a coffee pot, two mugs and two packets of Foldger's coffee. I found it peculiar that there was no sugar provided; only Sweet 'n Low. We had sliding doors in lieu of a balcony (second floors and up had balconies while the first floor had sliding doors) that led directly to the pool area. We had chairs and a table outside our sliding doors on a little patio.
The entryway leading to the bathroom had a sink and vanity, as well as a closet where the safe was located. There was plenty of room to hang clothes and hangers were provided. There was soap, shampoo and lotion for us to use, displayed in a white shell container. There was a hairdryer as well. The wash clothes were folded nicely. There were two wash clothes there.
The bathroom itself was fair in size. There were two bath towels as well as a bath mat. There was an ironing board and iron on the wall. The shower was in need of repair or even replacement! The faucet hung off the wall and I feared that it would eventually just fall off. It didn't however, and even though it looked as though my showers would be affected, they weren't. The shower pressure was fine.
My biggest complaint in terms of the room was the bed. Only two pillows (very flat pillows) were provided, however, when I asked the front desk for more, I was immediately brought another one. While I appreciated the prompt service, I was a bit disappointed to only get one more pillow (I kind of expected two!). The bed itself was not very comfortable. It was somewhat hard and the sheet and blankets were rough; not soft in the least. This was a major disadvantage when your skin is burnt by the sun! It almost felt like sand paper.
We walked around the grounds of the resort and agreed that they were beautifully kept. There were hammocks in front of the "pink house" (a section of upgraded rooms). All guests were free to use them.
The drinking water here on Provo was delicious, right out of the tap. No reason for worry; you will not get sick from the water here. They had water bubblers all around the resort with ice cold water.
Breakfast: Topaz dining area (buffet). They had trays of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, French toast, pancakes, Belgium waffles, cereal, fruit, bread assortments that consisted of rolls, croissants (these were actually very good; I lived on these at breakfast!), English muffins, bagels, and toast. They also had a station called "Eggs: Any way you like." There was a bowl of whole eggs and containers of onions, peppers, tomatoes, sausage, etc. You could order an omelet with everything in it, or eggs sunny side up. I figured you couldn't go wrong with the omelets, so I ordered this. I don't know why, but the eggs here are watery. I thought this was because they weren't cooked all the way (they hardly cook them!). You really have to emphasize "Well done" even just to have them cooked thoroughly. But even when they were well done, they were still watery. The omelets weren't too disgusting, but definitely could have been better. The waffles and pancakes were terrible! They were doughy and had no taste!
Another nice attempt at breakfast was the smoothie station. There is a staff person there who makes smoothies to order. You can choose from various fruits such as watermelon, bananas, melon, pineapple, mango, etc. and create your own smoothie. These were pretty good, but they make them with milk instead of yogurt. Maybe this is normal and I am the weird one, but I thought smoothies were made with yogurt.
I am an iced coffee drinker, so needless to say, I was quite disappointed in the fact there was no iced coffee available. However, the staff were very accommodating and would get a glass of ice and pour hot coffee in it. A very nice gesture, which I did very much appreciate. However, anyone who loves iced coffee as much as I do knows that iced coffee made this was doesn't taste very good. Very watered down and weak. We solved this dilemma by bringing a container of coffee to our room, a little cup of milk (no cream available) and filling an ice bucket to make our own. Speaking of ice buckets. Okay, it is quite an adventure to get ice. There are no ice machines. The staff are great. They will fill your bucket 100 times if you ask them, but it was the convenience factor. It is small details like this that would make the Allegro that much better. Another downfall in terms of food was the milk. It was always warm! I am not a picky eater, honestly. But I detest warm milk, especially for cereal. Coffee is one thing, but warm milk for cereal? They keep the milk out for hours as well. This made me a bit leary but we didn't get sick and I didn't hear of any one else getting sick either.
Topaz dining area. Selection included: Potatoes, rice, fish of the day, meat of the day (lamb, chicken, pork), mixed veggies (usually carrots and something else), salad bar (lettuce, tomatoes, macaroni salads, choice of three dressings), pizza (cheese, pepperoni, onion and pepper, and one day, corn.yes, corn), soup, and pasta made to order. I am missing a few items I am sure, but you get the picture.
The pasta bar: Here you have a staff behind a frying station, two huge trays of different plain pasta (macaroni, spaghetti, shells, etc.), a bowl of red sauce (marinara?), a bowl of white sauce (alfredo?), and a few containers of veggies, garlic, butter, olive oil, parm cheese, and occasionally some type of shell fish. You can choose whatever pasta you want, whatever veggies or sauce you want and he will prepare it in the frying pan. I figured the pasta with red sauce was a safe bet. WRONG! The sauce was terrible. It was honestly a cross between tomato soup and ketchup. Even with the five pounds of parm cheese it still was nasty. I later decided to go the olive oil and garlic route.
They had a station that had a staff person making sandwiches to order, on a grill. They had platters of different cheeses (swiss, cheddar, american, provolone), deli meats (ham, turkey, roast beef), sliced veggies (onions, tomatoes, etc.), and condiments (mayo, mustard, etc.). You also had your choice between three types of breads, including white bread, a torpedo roll and a bagette. After shoosing what you wanted, the staff would grill it for you (they didn't use butter). These sandwiches were really good.
Desserts were plentiful, and they had a decent selection daily. There were different pastries, cheesecake, pecan pie, chocolate cake, some kind of jello type mold, cookies and ice cream. The ice cream was delicious. The flavors they had during our stay were coconut (my favorite), maple walnut, chocolate chip, chocolate, and cookies and cream. This ice cream was definitely the highlight of lunch time! It was so good!
Lunch at Coco Loco: Being a vegetarian, my choices were limited here. My boyfriend is not a vegetarian, and he enjoyed the food here. Menu items included; cheeseburgers, double cheeseburgers, hot dogs, french fries, nachos, salad, and pizza. My boyfriend thought the burgers were great. I had nachos with just melted cheese, salsa (delicious salsa!), and sour cream. They were great! This place was always dead for some reason. I wondered if people realized this place was included in the all-inclusive deal, or if it even existed! Coco Loco was a hop, skip and a jump away from the beach, and it was wonderful to go and get a cold drink here. Heniken Beer (sp?) in the bottle (if you were going to the beach they would pour it in a cup), all types of liquor (same as Topaz pretty much) and soda.
Dinner: Topaz dining area.
Really the same selections as lunch, minus the sandwich station and the ice cream. However, they also included a carving station which alternated between roast beef, lamb, and pork. They also had different themes each night (French, International, etc.)
A la cart dining: Caruso Italian Specialty and Papaya's Oriental. We didn't go to either of them. We had reservation to go to Papaya's, but lost track of time in the casino! We heard mixed reviews on these, but the majority was that the Italian was pretty good and the Oriental was terrible. You have to make reservations at "guest services" (a desk in the lobby) for the following night, and they alternate nights. For example, Papaya's is open M-W-F, so you would make reservations S-T-Th. Same for Caruso's. I can't remember if these are exactly the days they are open, but you get the picture. Also, each restaurant is closed one day of the week, and I can't remember this either. The weird thing about reservations is that you can't go and reserve for the week. You have to go the day before to make them. I heard it was tough to get into Caruso's, so if it is important you go there, find out what nights it is open, and go early the morning before to reserve.
I really think that if the resort staff cooked in a more native type of style the food would have been good. I felt as though they tried too hard to cater to the tourists and attempted to give the food an American and European flare. Please don't get me wrong. It wasn't totally nasty, but this was definitely the biggest complaint of the trip. Was it enough to prevent me from going back to Allegro? No. I WILL go back to Allegro, as the staff were wonderful and very accommodating. We will definitely upgrade to a room that has a kitchen so we can get a few things, but I will come back to the Allegro for sure. More comments regarding this at the end of this report. Even though the food was not great, this in no way had an effect on our vacation. We had a fabulous time.
At all of the bars, the drinks are plentiful. They do not skimp on the booze in any way! We never experienced a wait for our drinks. We found the service to be efficient in all of the bars.
Even though we were at an all-inclusive, we decided to venture out for something different to eat. We went to Lattitudes one night, which is directly across from the Allegro in the Ports of Call. We had a nice time here. The atmosphere was nice and relaxing. They had a bar and pool table and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
The menu had good selection. My boyfriend ordered the fish and chips which he said was delicious. I had the veggie pizza. It was very good, but it was not made as the menu suggested. Example: The menu said the pizza came with artichoke hearts and maranated mushrooms, as well as other veggies. Well, there were no mushrooms or artichoke hearts. It did however have broccoli and jalepeno peppers which the menu did not state. However, the pizza was delicious and I for one love broccoli and hot peppers. I could see why a customer would have been upset about this, but for me it was fine.
The total for the dinner (two beers for my boyfriend and a soda for me) was under $30.00. The service was very good and our waitress was friendly.
We also checked out the Barefoot café, which is located in the Ports of Call as well. They had a great selection of coffees, but again, no iced coffee! I just find this peculiar when it gets so hot in the islands!! Perhaps iced coffee is an American thing? Once again, the staff were more than willing to accommodate any request and made me an iced coffee that was very good. The staff here were very friendly, and we were glad to have come here. My boyfriend ordered a burger with fries and said it was excellent. The prices here were reasonable. On Friday night, they had a live band playing. They were great!
One day per week, the Allegro has a BBQ, which is quite an event. We had a blast at the BBQ. The food was good this night, and the selection was great. They had all sorts of salads, pasta dishes, baked potatoes, breads, corn on the cob, fish, chicken, beef, a whole pig, etc, etc. They also had deserts galore! The staff went out of their way to ensure the guests had a wonderful time. And we did. Everyone was smiling and enjoying themselves.
After dinner, they had a great show. The staff are so good; very energetic! They aim to please. They end this wonderful night with fireworks. This was a definite highlight in our vacation.
Before coming to Provo, we decided to do at least two excursions. The first one we did was the beach cruise through Dolphin Tours. The desk for Dolphin tours is right I n the lobby for the Allegro. The cost was $35.00 each for a four hour trip. The trip included a stop at Iguana Island, a stop for snorkeling and then over to Fort George Cay for shallow water snorkeling for sand dollars and shells. The bus picked us up in front of the hotel (previously stopped at Beaches to pick up other guests) and we were on our way to the dock. We got fins and snorkeling equipment and off in the boat we went.
Iguana Island was fun. More for the kids, but fun anyway. When we came back to the boat, a few other people decided to take a dip in the water. It was then that Kevin, our guide, pointed out a huge sting ray, right in the shallow water! What a sight. I was glad to have gotten a picture. The Iguanas were interesting, and some where really big!
Next stop was snorkeling in the middle of the ocean. Kevin was a great guide. He pointed out different points of interest and was quite informed of the island. I didn't go too far from the boat because the water was a bit choppy, although there were 10 year old kids who didn't have a problem. My boyfriend and a few other people snorkeling saw three HUGE stingrays right below them. Everyone saw beautiful fish and coral, and when Kevin our guide swam down deep, he saw conch crawling along.
Next stop was Fort George Cay. The boat ride was, for me, the most enjoyable part of the day. Seeing the beautiful shades of water was so relaxing and amazing. I can't explain how turquoise and clear the ocean was. The beach at Fort George was beautiful. Very clear water, and shallow for many feet out. We found many beautiful shells here, as well as some coral that had washed ashore. We didn't find a sand dollar, but two others did. We have amazing pictures from Fort George. The water was just as beautiful as can be. You could see the bottom everywhere you went. It is a great trip for the little ones, as the water is extremely calm. No waves at all when we were there, and as I understand it, there very seldom is. It rained for about three minutes this day. However, this in no way impacted our trip. The sun was as hot as ever after the shower.
This beach excursion was one of the many highlights of our trip. We loved it!
Another excursion we took was a two hour snorkeling trip through Dive Provo. They are located right in back of the pool area at the Allegro. This is also where you get your free snorkeling gear to use while you are an Allegro guest. This trip was fun, and our guides, Lucy and a gentleman whose name I can't remember, were very informative and professional. They stopped at two different locations on the reef. The water this day was a bit choppy for me, but I gave it a chance. We saw parrot fish, angel fish, beautiful coral, barracuda and stingrays. I didn't go as far out to the reef as most, but those who did had great sightings to share. A few people saw a nurse shark, lobster, and awesome tunnels in the coral formation.
We had a great time this excursion, but when we returned, I learned that we had missed out in a big way. Jojo, the island dolphin, had followed another boat in and swam around with the people on the beach for awhile. Many people we talked to couldn't believe they actually saw Jojo, never mind swam with him. A girl I chatted with got some great pictures. Oh well, next year we will be back and hopefully will see the dolphin!
Ahhhhhhh...My favorite thing to talk about. To those who want to find a place that has the most beautiful beach you will ever see, come to Turks and Caicos. I can not even describe how beautiful this beach is. The water is brilliant neon turquoise like a color you have never seen before. There is NO SEAWEED anywhere, not on the sand or in the water. None! There are no rocks to be found either. It is the clearest water I have ever seen. It was 88 degrees when we were there, but it still felt refreshing! When I hear of water being that warm, I used to wonder how one could be refreshed after a day in the sun, but sure enough, this water was extremely refreshing. I still to this day, dream about Grace Bay in Provo. The water was amazing. It was like swimming in a pool. It was so clear and clean. We have only been to the Bahamas before here, and we went to Freeport (YUCK). The beaches don't even compare. We spent the majority of our time in the warm, beautiful, inviting water. I couldn't get enough of this beach. The shades of blue would alternate from neon turquoise to deep aqua, to a crystal clear blue. Amazing.
Right in back of the Allegro is the Dive Provo operation. Here you can get your snorkeling gear (free). You can use the equipment for the entire day. It must be returned by 4:30 p.m. I had heard by reading reports before going that you only had 2 hours with the equipment, but this isn't true. The gear was in great shape.
We walked down the beach to Coral Gardens. It was awesome! Probably the best snorkeling we did the entire trip. We saw barracuda, a turtle, parrot fish, sting rays, etc. only a few feet away from the shore. It was fabulous. There is also signs and trails under the water that point out different things. We had a blast while snorkeling here. To walk here from the Allegro, simply go to the beach in front of the Allegro, and walk to your left. It is about 2 ˝ miles down.
Another sight I wanted to mention was the starfish!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!! If you are on the beach in front of the Allegro, walk to the left, go past the dock a ways, and look in the water. There are tons of huge starfish! At first I thought they were rocks, but then I realized there are no rocks in the water here, especially that big! Sure enough, they were starfish. It was amazing!! Huge starfish, all different colors ranging from red to orange to yellow. Some were bigger than a dinner plate. We got some awesome pictures. They are cool to pick up, but please do not take them out of the water! I saw a man picking them up out of the water to show his kids, but he kept them out too long! We got a quick underwater pic (I held it almost to the surface) and then gently put it back on the sand under the water. The starfish are in very shallow water, so this would be a great experience for the kids.
This same day, we snorkeled up and down the beach, and my boyfriend found a huge sand dollar. It was alive, so obviously we didn't keep it. It was so cool to see a sand dollar alive. It had little hairs on it and was grey in color.
I could go on and on about the beach, but I guess I will stop now! I challenge you to find a more beautiful beach. It was stunning! The color was so amazing. I wish I was there right now!
One day, my boyfriend and I snorkeled up and down Grace Bay looking for shells or anything else that caught our eye. Suddenly, Ron motions for me to come over to where he is. He points out a stingray, buried under the sand. Only it's eyes were above the sand, and you could see the outline of his body and especially his stinger! It was so cool! It appeared to be waiting for his lunch to swim by.
I am not exactly sure how long Grace Bay is. However, you can walk the entire length. There are no rocks to deal with, or any other interruptions. You can walk all along Grace Bay. The sand is so soft!
The pool at the Allegro was very nice. Extremely refreshing, as well. Our daily routine consisted of spending the entire day on the beach then diving in the pool. What a life!
The pool has a couple of waterfalls, cold water jacuzzis and sections where you can play volleyball or lounge. The pool has an unusual shape, and I am not so sure it would be that safe for kids. It is somewhat difficult to determine the shallow end from the deep, as there is no indication. The pool is very big and never seemed crowded. It was always clean. Occasionally you would find a cup floating around, but the staff were quick to take care of that. It was annoying knowing a guest just threw their cup in the pool or didn't pick up after themselves. The staff work so hard to make the Allegro clean and pretty. There were plenty of chairs and lounge chairs around the pool. There was never a wait to get a chair. There were floats for guests to use, as well. There is not a pool bar (which was a bit disappointing) but there are two bars very close.
It was awesome swimming in the pool late at night. The grounds were lit up, with lights spiraling around the trucks of the palm trees. It was so pretty. We did see a sign that said the pool closed at 9:00 p.m., and we usually abide by the resort rules, but the pool was so inviting!
The Allegro has the only casino on Provo. It was small but fun. There were various slot machines, video poker, blackjack tables, poker, roulette, etc. We actually did pretty good playing blackjack. We walked away one night $200 ahead. The casino is closed on Sundays and is opened Mon-Sat at 7:00 p.m. It is not opened during the day. Strangely, the casino closed for two days while we were there. Rumor has it (and I stress rumor) that the casino ran out of money. I don't know how true that is!
Every night the staff put on a show. They really put their hearts in it, let me tell you. The audience really reacted to these shows, and the staff interacted with the guests very well. Is it Vegas quality? No, however they do a great job! We enjoyed them very much.
During the day, the staff offered volleyball games, water aerobics, etc. There are tennis courts, a pool table, nearby golf and free scuba lessons in the pool.
There was not a huge amount of shopping here on Provo. However, we had fun shopping at Ports of Call (across from the Allegro). We also ventured down the road to a little straw market place that had a lot of hand made goods, such as baskets, pipes, clothing, etc. The Allegro has a jewelry store (duty free) in it. They sell jewelry, Cuban cigars, perfume and leather goods. I bought a little sand dollar 14kt gold charm (only $24.95) to remember our snorkeling experiences. We also bought a bunch of gifts for our family, such as t-shirts (ranged in price from $12-$35), key chains ($2.00-$10.00), ashtrays ($5.00), beaded jewelry ($5.00-$18.00). I bought my daughter a beautiful doll that was made by one of the local women for only $12.00. It was worth more. I didn't find the prices in the shops to be too bad, actually. I expected them to be a lot higher.
I should say though, one day while walking back from Coral Gardens, we stopped at a beach bar (at one of the condos, maybe RWI?) and ONE can of coke was $2.50! Yikes! I was so hot that I paid it with no problem, but wow!
We didn't bring our daughter so obviously we didn't utilize the program. To be honest, I didn't hear much about it. I saw two kids with one of the staff in the pool, and the kids looked like they were having fun. There were pictures drawn by children in the lobby, but that is really all we saw in terms of the children's program.
We utilized the taxi service on two occasions. Both times, the fare was $8.00 one way. Once was to Coral Gardens (took a cab the first time as I didn't know exactly where it was. We walked back, and then walked to and from after knowing where it was). Some people had said that it should have only been $3.00 to go to Coral Gardens, so I questioned the driver. He said when there are more people in the cab it is usually about that. It was only us going at the time.
Men. Will they ever learn? Prior to leaving, my boyfriend has a toothache. I told him to go to the dentist before we left, but he insisted he was fine. Well, wouldn't you know that on the second day we were there, he woke up with a slamming toothache and a swollen face?
He found the number of the local dentist, and took a cab over. They gave him medications for the infection and for pain. The total cost for the appointment, prescriptions and taxi fare was $70.00. Not too bad in my opinion! He felt a lot better the next day. He said the dentist was very nice, and saw him immediately after he walked in the office.
I have never cried about a vacation ending before. Well, I did this time. I was so sad to be leaving this paradise! I missed my daughter tremendously and I was anxious to be back with her, but I did not want to leave! I had the best time ever.
There was a board near the desk in the lobby that had departing instructions for guests that traveled with GWV. We had to leave our room at 12:00, and be in the lobby at 1:30. We had plenty of time to take a last trip to the glorious beach and take more pictures. Checking out of the hotel was a breeze. There were no phone charges, which was unusual and a mistake to be honest, as we did make a few local calls. I was told by the hotel staff that local calls were $.75 each. We weren't charged a dime. We handed over the keys, were thanked profusely from the friendly staff, and the bus picked us up in front of the Allegro and took us to the airport.
Tourists should be aware that there is a fee (I think it is $25.00) that is charged as a departure tax. This fee was included in our package so we didn't have to pay it, but a couple that we saw at the airport were quite surprised when they were charged. We were, however, charged $5.00 at the airport. I have no idea what this was for but I guess it was a standard charge.
Customs was a breeze. We left on time and stopped in Miami to change flights. This was a bit of a hassle. We had to fill out the custom forms (given on the plane). We didn't fill it out right so we were sent to the back of the line. We eventually made it through and got on the plane that took us to Logan.
In closing, I have a few suggestions and thoughts on vacationing in the Turks and Caicos.
If you are expecting luxury accommodations, do not stay at the Allegro. You will be disappointed.
Stay at the Allegro if you are on a budget and looking for comfortable accommodations with the friendliest staff I have ever dealt with. Go to the Allegro if you want a nice resort on the most beautiful beach.
Go to the Allegro with an open mind. Be friendly to the staff! You are on vacation and in their country. Respect that.
While tips are not necessary being an all-inclusive resort, we did tip. We felt the service was wonderful and worthy of tips.
Before going to Turks and Caicos, get a base tan! My boyfriend who has very dark skin got burnt the first day. The sun is HOT!!!
Bring sunscreen and USE IT! You will still get an awesome tan with it on.
Bring aloe or a soothing gel to apply to your skin after a day in the sun. You will need it!
As far as spending money, we brought $800.00. Depending on what you plan to do in terms of excursions, meals, gambling, shopping, etc. you really don't need much. The amount we brought was more than enough, and we never went without when we were there. Some excursions (IE: French Cay, Grand Turk) was expensive; around $150 per person. We will do one of those excursions next time.
There is not a lot to do on Provo. This is what enticed me in the first place! I wanted a vacation where I could just relax, swim in a gorgeous beach, snorkel a bit and meet friendly people. Provo exceeded all of my expectations. However, if you are an active person and looking for tons of excitement, I would say Provo is not for you. There are many activities here such as parasailing, boating, fishing, diving, golfing, etc. but there really isn't a lot more. If you want to swim in the most beautiful and clean waters, if you are laid back and want a lot of relaxation, Provo is for you.
Do not be afraid to venture outside of the resort. While there is crime everywhere in the world, I felt extremely safe in Provo. I never felt afraid, even walking around at night. The people are so friendly here!
We are already planning our next trip back to Provo, Turks and Caicos and yes, we are going to stay at the Allegro. We are going to upgrade our room for only $30.00 additional per night, and buy some things at the grocery store. You will definitely get the best deal in Provo by staying at the Allegro. It is an inexpensive resort, and gives a great value. I also plan on bringing my own sheets in case I get burnt again! Gosh, those sheets felt rough! The Allegro had the best beach front on the entire strip of Grace Bay, in my opinion. It was not crowded at all. The sand was clean; the water flawless. The beach in front of the Beaches resort was EXTREMELY crowded!!!! We were kind of shocked when we walked by. There were tons of people (mainly children). We paid $1,049 per person, which included airfare and all hotel expenses for 8 days. I feel that we got our money's worth and then some. At no time did I feel ripped off or disappointed.
A few areas in which I feel the Allegro is lacking: There is no ice machine. Like I stated previously, the staff would do anything for you and fill up your bucket 1000 times, but it would have been more convenient to have an ice machine nearby. The bedding should be more comfortable, in my opinion. I think the food offered in Topaz should have more of a local flare. Despite these minor issues, we had a blast. With a little TLC, Allegro could be a 5 star resort.
Even though I haven't traveled to many destinations in the Caribbean, I feel like I don't have to look any further. I have found my paradise. I can't wait to go back! I am sure I forgot to mention a thousand more things about our trip! I have so many wonderful memories of my time on Provo.
Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. I would be more than happy to answer them! Reading trip reports was so valuable to me and helped me tremendously, so I would be more than happy to assist you in any way that I can!
Thanks to Denise for this trip report ...