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Club Med, Turks and Caicos

Hands Up! Baby, Hands Up! If you didn't know the moves to this follow along dance from your childhood, you'll know it by the time you leave Club Med! I recently had the privilege of basking in the warm sun, chowing down on some great food, and dancing the night away at Club Med Turkois in Turks and Caicos.

I had never been to a Club Med before and I chose Turks and Caicos because of its reputation as a singles resort. It's true that no children are allowed, but there were not as many singles as I had expected. There were couples, some on their honeymoon and ones that have been married for many years. Nevertheless, we found our group of single friends and had a blast!

Club Med is what you make of it. You can choose to lie around all day on the beautiful pristine beaches with turquoise water and white sand, get cozy in a hammock with your favorite book, or take advantage of the wide array of sports activities and excursions they offer. I tend to have trouble relaxing, so I was anxious to take part in every water activity I could! I started my week sailing on a catamaran with my friend Mark. If you are an experienced sailor, you can sign up and take one out on your own or choose to take a lesson which they offer daily in the mornings and afternoons. The sailing was great, except we did hit a big wave and strong wind and I toppled off the boat! If this happens to you, don't worry.. there are people out on the water and someone came by to see if we were alright. I also got to see how great the nurses were in the infirmary! A little ice and ibuprophen and I was good to go! Throughout the rest of the trip, I took out a kayak, went snorkeling, scuba diving and even braved the trapeze. I will usually try anything, but I had such a fear of the trapeze. I think it stems from a fall I had down the steps of a high diving board when I was a teen! However, one of the GOs Daniel, was determined to get me up on that thing. Despite my ridiculous trembling, he succeeded! Those that work at the Club are referred to as a 'GO' - staff, gentils organisateurs . The people that spend money to go to the Club are a 'GM' - guests, gentils membres . The 'Chef de Village' is the head honcho. The GOs are terrific. Everyone who works there is determined to make sure you have a good time. They are also very interesting to talk with as they come from around the world.

Club Med for the most part is all inclusive. All of the sports activities, including water polo, water aerobics, and beach volleyball, tennis, as well as the kayaking, sailing, trapeze, windsurfing and snorkeling trips are included. However, if you opt to go scuba diving or to any of the excursions, which are run by outside companies, you should expect to pay extra. You don't need to bring much cash with you, as you can open an account with your credit card for any additional activities or internet usage. There was plenty to do at the resort that I never did go on an excursion. I did, however, decide to go scuba diving, as we were told that Turks and Caicos is ranked number six in the world of places to go diving. Mark was an experienced diver, so he just had to take a quick refresher class and was set to go. I, on the other hand, do not have my certification, so I signed up for two lessons and a beginner dive. The two lessons are given in the pool and they teach you everything you need to know about how to set up your equipment, breathing, if your mask fills with water, etc. The diving experience was incredible. There were about five of us to an instructor and we went down about 40 feet on two separate dives. We saw amazing coral, reef sharks, and sea turtles.

They tell you not to do any cardio for six hours after the dive, so I had no excuse to just lay out in a hammock with my frozen daiquiri and chill out! The frozen drinks were great, as were their signature breads. They boast a white and dark chocolate bread which is to die for, and I made sure to include it in every breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The food was excellent. Each night was a different theme from Asian to Italian and was presented in a buffet style. They also had an a la carte restaurant for which you can make a reservation the day before at 7am. We made a reservation for one night, but decided to stay with the buffet so we could be with our new friends. We did go over there though, and the food looked great!

Our typical day included a day of activities or just laying on the beach, then over to the trapeze around 5pm to watch guests fly across into the arms of the experts, which to me was amazing, since as I mentioned, I was scared to even climb the steps! After that, we went to Sharkies, one of the two bars in the village, to hear live music while we drank and had a snack before dinner. The food at Sharkies included grilled chicken skewers, fries, conch salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Then it was back to the room to shower and change for the cocktail hour and dinner. After dinner, there was a show each night put on by the GOs..some nights were better than others, but all were fun! After the show, we danced into the early morning hours by the main bar.

I enjoyed the diverse population at Club Med. It is a French owned entity, so there were many people from Canada and France . Yes, ladies, cute Frenchmen! And the guys won't be disappointed either! The rooms were nice...not luxury, but I wasn't expecting that at a club med. You can opt for a king or two twin beds and the rooms are very colorfully decorated! The one thing you should know before going is that if you have business to conduct via phone or internet, it is not cheap! If you choose to use their internet terminals, the rates start at 10 dollars for 15 minutes and time cannot be carried over to the next session. The guys we met there purchased a seven day pass for 100 dollars. There are no pay phones in the village, so you probably don't want to waste money on a calling card. If you have Cingular, you will get cell reception, and pay around $2.00/minute. Also, don't forget to bring your bug spray with your sun tan lotion. The sun is strong and so are the bugs! Mark left with no bites, while I had around fifteen!

So if you are looking to get away on your own, with a friend, or as a couple, I would highly recommend Club Med Turkois! You'll leave there having learned a new sport and with a new group of friends...some who may live in your own backyard!

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