My girlfriend is pregnant, but Sandals won’t refund our Caribbean vacation

Kevin Kordosky’s girlfriend is pregnant, but thanks to the Zika epidemic, they’ll have to cancel their Caribbean vacation. Worse, they soon find out that Sandals won’t refund their money.  Can I help? Read more “My girlfriend is pregnant, but Sandals won’t refund our Caribbean vacation”

Construction noise ruined my Sandals vacation in Barbados

When Lisa Chiarello’s Sandals vacation is ruined by construction noise, the resort offers two “free” nights. Is she entitled to more? Read more “Construction noise ruined my Sandals vacation in Barbados”

Not the “Sandals difference” she was hoping for

In case you missed the ads, the “Sandals difference” is that this chain of all-inclusive “luxury” resorts offers “the most romantic getaways with more quality inclusions than any other luxury beach resort.”
Read more “Not the “Sandals difference” she was hoping for”

Help! My hotel is being renovated – and my vacation just got a lot more expensive

Frazao/Shutterstock
Frazao/Shutterstock
When her hotel is sold unexpectedly, it throws Miriam Ingber’s vacation plans in turmoil. Who should help her fix this problem?

Question: I’m hoping you can help me. My entire extended family booked an expensive vacation at the Veranda Resort in Turks & Caicos for a week. My immediate family had stayed there last spring and we loved it. When we booked it, it was managed by Grace Bay.

We found out less than a week ago that it was being taken over by Beaches, which is owned by Sandals, was being shut down, and they were refunding our deposit (although we haven’t seen a penny of the $16,000 yet).

Beaches would not reimburse us for our flights or any expenses associated with rebooking elsewhere. Our travel insurance also would not pay for any of our expenses.
Read more “Help! My hotel is being renovated – and my vacation just got a lot more expensive”

“When I walked into the room everything was covered with bugs”

If you don’t like bugs, you might want to skip this story. It comes to us by way of Allison Nawracaj, who recently flew to Jamaica for her honeymoon.
Read more ““When I walked into the room everything was covered with bugs””

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.
Read more “Does Sandals owe me anything for deleting my wedding photos?”

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.”
Read more “A Sandals Caribbean honeymoon that makes her wish she’d eloped”

Travel agency whacked with $200,000 fine for offering “free” flights with Sandals vacations

The best things in life may be free, but that apparently doesn’t extend to the airfare on your all-inclusive vacation, at least according to the government.

The Transportation Department this morning fined Unique Vacations $200,000 for promoting “free” airfares in connection with its Sandals packages, when, in fact, customers would sometimes be required to pay airline fuel surcharges.

Here’s the consent order (PDF).

That’s illegal, says the government. Any advertising that states a price for air transportation or an air tour is considered to be an unfair or deceptive practice unless the price stated is the entire price to be paid by the customer to the air carrier or ticket agent for such air transportation, tour or tour component, according to the Transportation Department.
Read more “Travel agency whacked with $200,000 fine for offering “free” flights with Sandals vacations”

Honeymoon in hell: “I wanted to leave and go home”

Jessica Kase describes her stay at Sandals Grande St. Lucian as a “honeymoon from hell” and she wants the all-inclusive hotel chain to make it up to her. But has it done enough for her already? And how do you make up for a honeymoon in which you spend “three days in my room sobbing because what was supposed to be an amazing vacation and honeymoon was completely ruined”?

Kase and her husband booked a week at the resort and another week at a Sandals property in Antigua, despite some misgivings. The online ratings were mixed, but another couple they knew had recommended the hotels.

“I should have been smarter than that,” she says. “It was the worst vacation of my life.”
Read more “Honeymoon in hell: “I wanted to leave and go home””