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#937935 by LynxJohnny
31 Aug 2017, 14:28
Hi there guys. I need some advice for my holiday in November to St Lucia.
Firstly I'm treating myself and partner to Upper Class for the first time and want to make full use of the clubhouse. What time does the Gatwick Clubhouse open, our flight is at 09:00. Also has the Gatwick fleet of A330's had the scheduled refurb's yet? I've seen a post say the MAN fleet will be the last to done, is this the same fleet as Gatwick?
Currency wise which is best? The US dollar or Eastern Caribbean dollar? I want to get the most for my money.
What is the terminal like at St Lucia? Does it take long to get through security and what is the facilities like? All I know is that we board the plane via some steps instead of an air bridge. I look forward to your replies.
#937938 by Christo
31 Aug 2017, 14:50
Currency wise - Official currency is XCD but our experience has been that businesses prefer the USD but will accept either. The FX rate for both is pretty awful! Although it has improved slightly since the start of the year. If you look at the charts they follow the exact same trends. We tended to go about 50/50. Just make sure you check which currency is being used on tariffs and menus...easy to be caught out! There are some unscrupulous types around...

Terminal - its the Caribbean...so don't expect much. Maybe a ceiling fan if you're lucky, though probably not switched on. Yes customs for us always takes ages! Best to try and get off the plane swiftly (without being impolite to anyone else of course) and then change your watch to 'Island Time' and try and relax, it will take as long as it takes!
#937940 by ken54
31 Aug 2017, 17:32
Is the Airport Terminal in St Lucia as bad as you are saying, when was the last time you where there
#937945 by pjh
31 Aug 2017, 19:11
The Caribbean and US Dollars have an officially tied and constant exchange rate which should be reflected in the prices offered so in terms of value there isn't much to be gained in taking one or the other.

Terminal wise, it's basic on the way in and something to get through as Christo said "on island time". if you're flying back UC then there's small functional lounge available with a small selection of food, beer and spirits. It's shared with BA and I think there's a pay in option so it can get busy.

You can get some great rum bargains in duty free.
#937949 by marshy11
31 Aug 2017, 22:41
On a side note, if you can, take the helicopter from St Lucia to your hotel. You won't regret it and it will be a lovely start/end to your holiday if you do it both ends.

Image

By the way, St Lucia is beautiful, but particularly so in November. Our favourite time to visit.
#937956 by Sandissi
01 Sep 2017, 11:16
Another vote for the helicopter transfer here. Saves that all-winding, slightly hair raising journey up through the banana plantations. Once was more than enough for us! Never again, heli's all the way!
#937961 by HWVlover
01 Sep 2017, 12:03
The LGW Clubhouse opens at 6.15 am or thereabouts.

You are likely to be on a 330 with the refurbished UC suites, the seat plan in your booking will show if this is the case. My flights to and fro UVF in April/May were on such a 330 as, at the moment, are our next flights, also in November.

I have never had a problem on arrival, getting off first does help. The only time immigration was slow was when a late arriving Canadian flight unloaded its passengers just before we arrived. Otherwise it has been very quick, we are normally outside in our taxi within 30 minutes of leaving the plane.

I have done the transfer to and fro my hotel both by helicopter and taxis (sent by my hotel) although this is only relevant if you are travelling to the North of the island.

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In that one I was also auditioning for the role of Borg queen.

However I like the drive up to the North, this is always on a Sunday for us when the roads are quieter.. There is a lot to see and lots to learn from a knowledgeable driver. On our trips we have often got to our hotel before those travelling by helicopter.

As others have said there is a small lounge at the airport, we try to get to the airport early for our return to avoid any hassle and also to get a decent seat in the lounge.

Have fun. St Lucia is absolutely lovely.

Regards,
David
#938003 by LynxJohnny
03 Sep 2017, 14:08
Many thanks guys for all of your advice. I'm certainly looking forward to the clubhouse, flight well everything! The idea of taking a helicopter ride to our hotel sounds fab but we are staying at Coconut Bay which is just around the corner.
#938018 by pjh
03 Sep 2017, 22:39
LynxJohnny wrote:The idea of taking a helicopter ride to our hotel sounds fab but we are staying at Coconut Bay which is just around the corner.


That's one of the bits they don't tell you. The helicopter ride isn't to your hotel, it's to the airport at the north of the island. You then still have to complete your journey in a car.

As HWVLover says, the road trip is an experience in itself. As long as it's a private transfer it's fine (though I'd still like the helicopter ride)
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