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Summer Travel in the Caribbean – No

In the summer, the islands in the Caribbean are hot, humid, sweaty, bug-infested and run by resentful, unhappy people who can barely hide their hatred for North American tourists. In fact, those islands are like that at every time of the year. If that sounds too harsh, I’m truly sorry for those sincere folks there who try to do their jobs and keep the tourist industry going.

However, the still-unsolved case of the high school girl’s murder on Aruba, and where the obvious killers were set free, is just one example of how corrupt the leadership of the islands is, and why I can’t recommend anyone visit the Caribbean in the summer or any time of the year. My opinions are based on years of personal experiences.

Until I retired recently, my job was to set up and run annual recognition conferences for a major financial company. Over more than 30 years, I worked our programs, usually for six consecutive weeks each, in hotels and resorts on Bermuda, Aruba, Trinidad, the Virgin Islands and other Caribbean areas. I’ve also directed our conferences in Canada, Hawaii, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Monaco and France. In the U.S., our conferences were in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, California and resorts in many other states.

Of course, when I went into a facility with a crew of our own employees to set up for hundreds of delegates, including their accommodations, food, entertainment and awards programs, I often ran into problems. It was our prime responsibility to solve them quickly and effectively, so that our delegates and their families … usually 1,500 adults and kids at each conference … would have the maximum enjoyment and security. In my experience, our biggest task was dealing with the hotel staffs. We were definitely not arrogant nor abusive, but we were a prestigious company, we paid top dollar and expected no less than total cooperation and value for our money.

While hotel management always made promises of total cooperation, the attitude of the staffs could be an entirely different situation. Unfortunately, I found that our most prevalent problem was with the hotel workers in the Caribbean. I was certainly aware of the political and economic disparities and racism still existing in those islands since colonial days, but the hotel, transportation and restaurant workers always seemed to be in a constant state of resentment. Worse, they took out their anger on visitors, including guys like me trying to do my job.

I’ve never forgotten the deliberate lack of cooperation, and at times, outright verbal resentment, I experienced when I worked my assignments on Caribbean islands. Since I’ve retired, I’ve flown to and cruised from many places as a private citizen, including England, France, Scandinavia, Hawaii, Russia, Holland, Italy, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, South America and Alaska. However, I’ve never ventured back to the Caribbean islands.