The first time I ever went on an international trip, it was to Hawaii. Heading for the beach from my hotel room in Waikiki, I was accosted by time share people offering free sunset cruises if I would only come to their office and watch a presentation about time share opportunities. I have avoided timeshare pitches every since. Who would make such an expensive purchase on their way to the beach?
The idea of going back to Hawaii every year did not appeal. The idea of renting the same hotel room every year for many years did not appeal. Aside from having a wonderful beach, Waikiki is just as American as Los Angeles. The only thing that attracted me to Hawaii was the weather in the middle of winter. In essence, I was just renting their sunshine.
My visits to Barbados have proved very different. First of all, while I have explored much of the island, I haven’t scratched the surface of the activities there are to do there. For a small island, you could spend many trips and many years just getting to know it. That’s if you can find the time in a week to tear yourself away from Crane Resort, where there are also so many things to do.
On my last visit I was fortunate enough to discover that on Monday nights there is a “manager’s reception in the central plaza to which I was invited. This turned out to be not a manager’s reception but an owner’s party. Here I got to meet and talk with several of the hundreds of people from around the world who enjoy “shared ownership” at The Crane, also referred to as “fractional ownership.” Amazingly, every owner I met raved about their visits to The Crane and urged others to consider making a purchase. Wow! I’d never seen anything like that before. Here, talk to them yourself….
- Jo Jo, a lovely French lady, told me that she had purchased a unit 5 years ago, comes to The Crane 4-5 times per year for a total of 8 weeks vacation every year, and plans to buy more.
- Jill, from Great Britain, has been coming to Barbados for many years. While at The Crane, she enjoys the shopping.
- Graham from The U.K. has been bringing his family for 12 years now.
- This lovely couple (too noisy to hear their names) told me they have been coming to the Crane, and bringing their children, for 14 years.
- Walter, an owner for 12 years, loves the food and sense of relaxation.
- Martin, bought 10 years ago and now comes 2-3 times per year.
On other occasions while wandering around the spacious grounds of the resort, I met other owners, all of whom responded exactly the same way; they loved The Crane and suggested to their friends and others that an investment in the Crane was the best purchase you could make.
- Kirk from Canada has been coming to Barbados since the 1980s, and has owned at The Crane with his wife for over a decade.
Apparently even poverty-stricken travel writers like myself could afford to purchase a unit at The Crane, if the cost is only $1,500 down and monthly payments. Then, after I have paid off my costs and if I decided to re-sell I would get my money back. In other words, I would have enjoyed free vacations for a decade, which is not such a bad idea. The only challenge to this prospect is that I have fallen in love with Barbados and would love to spend more than just a few weeks there every year. From what I have seen so far, I’d like to spend the entire winter there.
To date, in my visits so far, I have enjoyed swimming at The Crane (pools and the beach), fine dining a The Crane and Bridgetown, visits to many tourist attractions (Harrison’s Cave, Hunte’s Gardens, St. Nicholas Abbey plantation house, Bridgetown, Oistins Friday night fish fry, surfing at Bathsheba beach, relaxing over jazz at Naniki Retreat, swimming with sea turtles (twice), a catamaran cruise, snorkelling, beach combing on the west island, partied at a Bajan rum shop, chilled out at The Crane, ridden in a submarine, and I forget whatever else.
However, I haven’t played golf, gone yachting or deep sea fishing, watched cricket, bet on the race horses or ridden any horses, enjoyed ziplining, mountain biked, hiked anywhere, been to any museums or the usual tourism activities, shopped in Bridgetown, scuba dived, partied at any of the bars in St. Lawrence Gap, visited Bajans in their homes, or any one of a multitude of other possibilities that are available to the curious explorer. So much yet to do!