St. Maarten getaway 2016 travel blog

Carnival Conquest coming into Philipsburg

Near the Flamingo

View near the Flamingo

Villas at the Flamingo

Flowers around the Flamingo

Selfie at the Buccaneer Bar and Grill

Today was our "Owner Update", and the shuttle van picked us up at 8:45 to take us to the Flamingo Resort - a sister resort to Royal Palm where we are staying. We checked in and then were greeted by Lynne. Lynne was a long-time resort manager all over the US who now lives on St. Maarten with her husband who also works with Diamond Resorts International. Lynne asked how long it had been since we had an Owner Update - three years - and she said she was going to "Change-Our-Lives". Right, whatever, just get on with it. So, we talked for a while and she shared with us a lot of things that have changed since we had last sat down with them. Things like using our points to purchase prepaid cards that can be used for all kinds of things, such as..... paying for nights at campgrounds! Well, that got our attention! She kept talking with us about different ways to use the points we already have and to date have only used for vacations such as the one we are on now. We knew we would continue to take vacations like this one, and perhaps an Alaska cruise in the next year or so...but now we can also use our points to pay for airfare, rental cars - all kinds of things. (We have timeshare points that can be used at locations all over the world as opposed to a traditional timeshare where you own a week at a specific resort at a specific time each year.) We were prepared to say "No" again, just like we did when we did the Westin timeshare tour last week. Saying "No" to the Westin was the right thing to do - with our lives changing to living in our RV, it just didn't make sense to spend the money to buy into a more traditional timeshare like the Westin was offering.

But, with the flexibility that Diamond International has with their point system and now the ways that you can use those points to exchange for things that we would normally pay cash for... Well, let's just say that we now have even more flexibility than before! I know our financial advisor is probably cringing as she reads this, but we didn't go too crazy, and it fits into the budget, so we're good! We'll fill you in on the details later, Callie!

So while they were finalizing the paperwork, we took a walk around the Flamingo and checked it out. We will probably stay at the Flamingo for a week when we come down next year to link it to the 4-night stay we won at the Westin. Not sure yet, we may just stay at the Royal Palm again.

We were back in our room by about 12:30 and just hung out in the room. It was cloudy and hot today and really humid, so we didn't have any desire to be out and about. I checked email and found out that the dinner cruise we had scheduled for Wednesday evening has been cancelled - they were getting a new generator on the sailboat, and it apparently has not arrived on the island yet, so they can't do the cruise. Bummer - we were looking forward to that! So we may go to the casino instead since we haven't done that yet since we've been here.

Tonight was a pig roast at the Buccaneer Bar and Grill on the beach near our resort. Several of the same people that we met on the Santino cruise yesterday were there for dinner as well. This was provided by the resort as part of a welcome package. They had hired a steel drum two-man band and a pair of dancers to entertain us. It was okay, but the music was so loud we had a really hard time hearing the people that we were talking with - so we ended up yelling to be heard - a little annoying. But anyway, one of the couples we were talking to live in Montgomery, Alabama. They are also in the middle of renovating a house, so we had plenty to chat with them about.

Not too many pictures today...just a few shots around the Flamingo, and a shot from this morning when we saw the Carnival Conquest coming in to port. Enjoy!

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