On a recent trip to Nassau Bahamas my husband and I decided to do some shopping in the downtown area. We couldnt help notice how many jewelry stores there were and decided to check out what these shops had to offer. In one shop we found what we were looking for and were more excited about the price! A 2.5 loose yellow diamond! We also found a setting in their shop and had the ring custom made. Amazingly the piece was put together in less than 4 hours. We picked our beautiful ring up that evening and were both pleased. Merry Christmas to us!!
SADLY,Not even 12 hours later and 3 hours of actual wear on my hand the stone fell out!! Where it fell out is beyond us. We frantically looked for that diamond and came up with nothing. We called the merchant and we went to the downtown location to show of what happened. Upon showing the ring we met with (Jeff) the owner and seller of the diamond. Jeff took the diamond ring and went upstairs to show his so called master jeweler. Upon his arrival back were told the ring had been tampered with. Its basket holding the diamond was broken. Jeff said they have never encountered a lost diamond in all there 20 years of business. LIES! My husband and I were Horrified to hear of this! We made arrangements to meet with the owner (JEFF) at his other location as he has 2 downtown and the other Parklane in Atlantis and he would deal with us there.
While waiting for Jeff as he was running late we showed the setting to his co-workers. Jeffs one Co-worker showed us the ring using a Loupe (a magnifier to see diamond grades or damages) he showed us that the basket was not broken and neither was there any damage present. This worker said this diamond mysteriously fell out and that its the liability of the craftsman who put it together! With relief he assured us we would be well looked after. When Jeff arrived we were not only dealing with him but another co-worker who tried to convince us that we tampered with the ring. We explained to Jeff that his other co-worker denied there was any tampering. They are from the middle east and they started talking in their own language which to us was very unfair. They also started arguing about what his other co-worker stated in the beginning. We ended up getting some money back but not all of it in which we are pursuing through a lawyer.
What we didnt realize is we should of researched this company before purchasing anything! We as a couple should of made ourselves more knowledgeable in purchasing in another country along with the do's and dont's. It could happen to anyone. What we learned is a good master Jeweler doesnt set a diamond like that in a few hours. It takes a few days. We also learned that a diamond like that with the setting is impossible to get for the price we paid unless it was FAKE! in which we had a few jewelers show us the details! Thank you for the honest people who did wish to help. My husband felt bad and found a beautiful replacement here in Canada where we have the proper information/identification of the ring and a life time warranty and guarantee.
To those who are travelling please be aware of these places. Research the company first before making your purchases. Had we done that we would of found a story just like ours on the internet. Our stomaches turned as we read a story just as we experienced. If we would of researched it we would never purchased that ring, salvaged the money we lost and enjoyed our vacation that much more.
This company will take you for a ride! try to get you to take the ring and claim it through your insurance company a month later. They wish for you to lie and lose your integrity to be like them. Sorry Jeff you will one day get shut down by your own doing! on my next visit I wish just to see that!!!
visit to Paridise Island Harbour Resort March 1, 2008
We came to Paradise Island Harbour Resort to celebrate my wife's 50th birthday. She turned 50 on March 1, the very day we arrived at the resort. I wanted a memorable vacation.
The front desk staff were friendly and helpful. In fact, the young man who helped us upgraded us to a partial water view room, and volunteered to make our dinner reservations for us that evening as I wanted to have a nice dinner as it was her birthday.
I want to praise the hotel staff, as the people who work at this hotel are the only redeeming quality we found.
The pool area looked beautiful, at first glance. The water in the hot tub was dirty, and made you wonder if they used chemicals in the pool.
There are only two bars in the entire place -- and only one is open at a time. You would often times have to stand in line for several minutes before you could get served.
Our room was 1216, and was on the top floor. It was about the same quality as a low budget motel room ... I could have only imagined what the room we were supposed to have would have looked like. The bed was so hard it was difficult to get a full nights sleep. The light from the hallway shined through the openings around the door; and while lying in bed you could actually see movement in the hallway.
When we went to dinner the night of our arrival, the host could not find our reservation, and kept insisting that we did not have one. I explained that the desk clerk made the reservation for us; and I explained that it was my wife's 50th birthday. She again told me she could not find a reservation for us, but did find us a table none-the-less. The meal we had was acceptable, but nothing that we would consider exceptional. There was nothing special done despite my mentioning it was my wife's birthday.
The second day we ate at the Captain's Table buffet. This place is more like a low budget Denny's. The food selection was very poor, and that night my wife became violently ill in the middle of the night; and since it was about 14 hours after we had eaten lunch in the Captain's Table, I would suspect it was some type of food poisoning. On Tuesday, after my wife started feeling better, we set out to find another hotel.
We spent most of all of our time dining elswhere, as the all-inclusive package was just not acceptable.
We have stayed at other all-inclusive hotels in Mexico, Panama, Jamica and elsewhere, and never experienced anything like Paradise Island Harbour Resort.
We checked out on Wednesday morning, much earlier that scheduled. We checked into the Sheraton on Cable Beach. The manager there actually gave us a reduced rate on our room because we told him about our experience at the Harbour Resort.
The Sheraton was great ... but Paradise Island Harbour Resort should be bulldozed.
Our vacation did turn out to be memorable ... but the only pleasant memories are from the last three days; the days we spent at Sheraton.
Personally, I would avoid Paradise Island other than to visit it for the day. Everything is way overpriced. The true beauty of the island would be the Cable Beach area. If we were to ever return, we would only look for a hotel around Cable Beach.
We never one felt threatened, ever, ok, maybe the cab rides or the shuttles. But all in all, just know who you are and where you are. Know your surroundimgs always and be safe. One guy approached us selling weed and cocaine, in the middle of downtown, in the daylight. He even showed us the bag. We heard these are sometimes cops. Do not get busted buying drugs on your vacation lol!
We were surprised with the amount of people trying to sell us drugs. If this is your thing watch out for the undercover cops. We saw a few people ending their vacation in hand cuffs. Find some other way to party.
Beware that food in the Bahamas is outrageous. You can easily pay $50 for an entree at some restaurants. If you can find prices from $10-20 for an entree, you have found a good deal. Be sure to budget lots of money for food.
I didn't feel as secure walking around downtown, this could be a real or imaginary feeling. We didn't stay long, just to visit the Straw Market. It is very rundown in parts and I just felt more nervous there, but never really felt unsafe. Make sure you don't stay in a hotel downtown, we saw some beautiful hotels in the middle of all that. Stay either on Cable Beach or Paradise Island.
If you go during the winter months, the water is quite chilly. However it is not so cold that you can't get in there. It's cold at first but then your body gets used to it. We did swim once and waded on the shore more often than that.
The cab drivers often speed and/or drive recklessly in Nassau, and not all taxis have seatbelts (a taxi can be made out of anything, a car, van, bus, limo, etc). My guess is that the faster they get you there, the faster they get a new passenger, and the more money they make (since they charge a flat fee depending on where you are going, not depending on the mile). One of our drivers was actually drinking and driving! The jitneys are much safer, but often times you do need a cab to get where you need to go. Just beware and hang on tight!
To my own dismay, I thought that Kings Street was just a place with a bad traffic jam. When I got out of the Pirates Museum, I was shocked to find myself in a déjà vu situation.. the same cars were out front. Be careful with parking on the block in front of the Pirates Museum because you run a high risk of getting trapped in there by another car (that is, if you had chosen to rent a car).
Driving on the left takes time getting used to, as a newcomer to the islands. I spent many trips to both the islands of Grand Bahama and Nassau before attempting to drive. The hardest two intersections to get used to, at first, are making a right hand turn onto a street at a light or entering a roundabout. The brain tells you to drive into oncoming traffic.
Within the first month of driving, I found myself pulling out of a parking lot and driving on the wrong side of a divided road. One will immediately realize the mistake when a car is headed right at you. Avoiding this potential accident is difficult if you are on a divided highway. Quickly pull off the road as safely as possible, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “Drive Left, Drive Left”!
I took the boat ride from Paradise Island to the city Nassau and then back again. At the end of each ride, the guide came to each passenger individually, for tips. I see nothing specifically wrong with this, but at least after reading this, you wont be caught by surprise when it happens. I thought it a little unfair that the boat in one direction seemed five times the size as the other. Would that mean the guide receives five times as much tips? Maybe it averages out, as they alternate boats! On my one journey, I tipped the driver instead, in case he does not receive any of the tips,
Follow the advice of this sign when you're considering the related excursions or entertainments. Better safe than sorry. Way better. Remember that just because you are on vacation, common sense should still prevail, and be prepared so that even after a few drinks, you will still come home healthy.
Be careful when having locals work on your hair, when they tie hair into tight weaves with beads on the end. If combs are not cleaned properly between clients - it would be very easy to trasmit head lice. I am sure that most workers would follow proper procedures - but it is always better to be safe.
While in Nassau you should stop at the straw markets. They have some great deals there and you can bargin with the people to get the item cheaper.The local people will continually ask you to buy their items at the straw market...learn to say ' No thank you' or you will be buying everything.
Although it didnt happen to us, people on the ship said they were approached by locals that put braclets on them and then said they had to pay for it since they wore it. So beware. Also, if you decide to have your hair braided, ask first how much per braid and how many braids they will put in and the length of them. Many found after they had their hair braided that the bill was $100 US dollars. Ask and make it clear what you want.
Watch the current beyond the rocks. I almost could not get back in after venturing out over the rocks. It took two guys to help retrieve me. I was actually becoming frightened.
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