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bamboozel

Grand Turk - Beach chair scam!!!!

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We recently had a port stop at Grand Turk on Feb.1st 2019. We were on the Carnival Magic.  My husband and I got off the boat and headed to the beach area. We have been to this port four times before and loved it. Not this time. When we arrived at the beach we were met by two men who said that the chairs would cost us $30 for two of them with an umbrella. These chairs on the beach were always free and Carnival states that they are free on their Carnival page. Anyways, there where at least 6 to 8 guys hoarding people and scamming people to pay them for these chairs. They said the free ones were way in the back with green umbrella's but all the rest were two chairs for $30.Then these guys were telling other people $35 then later yelled out they are $25 for two chairs.  The people next to us told us that somebody told them before their trip that it was a scam so don't pay but we already did. The guys were yelling at the people next to us cause they refused to pay and telling them to pay or get out of the chairs. Security was called and of course they are part of the scam, too. She told them they had to pay or get up. These guys were making a good amount of  $$$ doing this. They gave you a yellow paper bracelet to wear so they knew who paid and who didn't.   About an hour of this, they disappeared. So, the chairs that they kicked people out for not paying  were taken by different people who never payed cause the guys were gone. 

I just got home from my vacation and called Carnival and made an official complaint. I told them I would not go to Grand Turk again until this scam was rectified. They said, somebody from Carnival will get in contact with me in the next three days. She did give me on board credit of $30 but they need to stop this scam.  So cruisers beware of the situation in Grand Turk!!!!  Carnival has chairs right when you get on the beach. They are suppose to be free. Note: there are other chairs way down the beach that you can rent which are owned by restaurants there. 

So to say the least, my husband and I were not pleased with Grand Turk and won't go back until this scam is addressed and stopped!!

 

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They are very aggressive. We paid them too. They were kicking so many people off the chairs. We had no idea. Thanks for the post. 

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That's a shame  always and forever free !  Sic Heald boy on em 😈

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It was bound to happen - the "locals" are now taking over and the port area is being ruined. With Carnivals $50 million investment in GT over a decade ago, it was almost like another private island. Years ago, you never saw a local trying to scam anyone. Now it's out of control and all over the place. 

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Disturbing to read this has happened to several people!  We always go down to Jack's Shack and will do so again this time.  I'd rather pay for their umbrellas and know that the people working there are going to be around to watch out for things like this.

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blue chairs/green umbrellas are free to guests

- others are privately owned and they can charge.

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17 minutes ago, summersigh said:

blue chairs/green umbrellas are free to guests

- others are privately owned and they can charge.

Yes, they move "their" chairs in front.  Port "Security" is useless.  Take pictures and video and post to Heard and Carnival as well as showing to the Ship Cruise Director ASAP.  Complain only to Carnival name tagged people.  

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Years ago Grand Turk was a great place.  The private Carnival site was nice and you were told to stay within their confines.  When we went there this past October, the locals had basically taken it over.  We were accosted right on the pier walkway with offers of renting golf carts.  You couldn't walk on the beach without being bombarded with the locals selling things including renting chairs.  We walked through the shops and returned to the boat.  It didn't feel safe.

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I remember seeing JH cover this once recently. It depends on the umbrella color. Some are free. Some are charge. I forget which color the free ones are....probably the color you didn't have.

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We feel Grand Turk has always been a waste of a stop.  Amber Cove is a waste too.  Some many nicer islands  to visit

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We'll be going to GT in Oct.  Our plan is to go to the beach.  Thank you for this information.  I hope it is rectified before we get there. 

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15 minutes ago, Saint Greg said:

I remember seeing JH cover this once recently. It depends on the umbrella color. Some are free. Some are charge. I forget which color the free ones are....probably the color you didn't have.

See Post #6

 

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This is why GT is a stay aboard port. We have Cheers, food, empty Serenity area, empty slides, making for a very peaceful day. The only excursion (non Carnival) I do there is dive. The diving is incredible, morning dive and back on the ship by noon.

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2 minutes ago, coevan said:

This is why GT is a stay aboard port. We have Cheers, food, empty Serenity area, empty slides, making for a very peaceful day.........

 

Ditto for us.  Last time we stopped there we went right instead of left and it seemed much less crowded and pretty laid back.  None-the-less I didn't loose anything there and when we return in about a week I'll be slurping up Cheers drinks, enjoying empty food lines, and getting a decent spot on the Serenity.

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We were in blue chairs and they weren't free. Only ones free way way in the back were the green umbrellas. We have been here four times before and all chairs were free. Carnival still advertises the chairs are free.

Edited by bamboozel

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As I understand, the problem is that legally the beach is open to all - the port can't keep out the people who charge for chairs. Those folks are the ones who come in early and set up chairs in front of the free chairs supplied by the port. It's become worse since the hurricane hit GT two years ago, which caused a fair amount of beach erosion.  We've visited GT four times now.  The first time we stayed at the port and even though there wasn't a problem with the vendors, we didn't enjoy the port area.  Too crowded and the water wasn't very nice for swimming. Since then we've gone to Jack's Shack. Yes, we spend $20 for an umbrella (chairs are free), but the beach and water are much nicer.

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4 hours ago, bamboozel said:

We recently had a port stop at Grand Turk on Feb.1st 2019. We were on the Carnival Magic.  My husband and I got off the boat and headed to the beach area. We have been to this port four times before and loved it. Not this time. When we arrived at the beach we were met by two men who said that the chairs would cost us $30 for two of them with an umbrella. These chairs on the beach were always free and Carnival states that they are free on their Carnival page. Anyways, there where at least 6 to 8 guys hoarding people and scamming people to pay them for these chairs. They said the free ones were way in the back with green umbrella's but all the rest were two chairs for $30.Then these guys were telling other people $35 then later yelled out they are $25 for two chairs.  The people next to us told us that somebody told them before their trip that it was a scam so don't pay but we already did. The guys were yelling at the people next to us cause they refused to pay and telling them to pay or get out of the chairs. Security was called and of course they are part of the scam, too. She told them they had to pay or get up. These guys were making a good amount of  $$$ doing this. They gave you a yellow paper bracelet to wear so they knew who paid and who didn't.   About an hour of this, they disappeared. So, the chairs that they kicked people out for not paying  were taken by different people who never payed cause the guys were gone. 

I just got home from my vacation and called Carnival and made an official complaint. I told them I would not go to Grand Turk again until this scam was rectified. They said, somebody from Carnival will get in contact with me in the next three days. She did give me on board credit of $30 but they need to stop this scam.  So cruisers beware of the situation in Grand Turk!!!!  Carnival has chairs right when you get on the beach. They are suppose to be free. Note: there are other chairs way down the beach that you can rent which are owned by restaurants there. 

So to say the least, my husband and I were not pleased with Grand Turk and won't go back until this scam is addressed and stopped!!

 

We are going end of March, but we really like the margueritaville pool area...so we just stay there.    I have done the beach there before and we have also taken golf carts around the island.    I like the port and am looking forward to the gigantic pool again.

 

We only stay on land a few hours though..then back on board to enjoy the almost empty ship.

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We were there 5 minutes and heard about 3-4 groups paying for free chairs!

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Scam is a bit of a stretch, many Caribbean beaches charge for chairs. They probably are too aggressive, but charging for chairs and umbrellas is not unusual. Carnival could use some security and have their chairs closer to the beach and monitor the locals. St Martin is more straightforward with signs like 2 chairs, umbrella, and 2 beers $25. Some of the beach bars will give them for free if you have lunch there. 

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Other cruisers can do what I do - walk down the beach past Carnival's conflicted area, and go to Jack's Shack.  Loungers are free, an umbrella was $10 and you can order the local jerk chicken to your liking.  The beach is actually nicer, almost total sand with very few rocks too, as opposed to the rocks and dead coral you can see in the water at "Carnival's" beach.

 

If you don't like Jack;s, there are other local vendors who are pleasant to deal with, ask for their food menu and drink prices, and make your own choice of where to enjoy this fine stretch of sand.

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This is why CC is so important to me. I appreciate the information being shared. 

 

While I understand the locals need to make a living ie placing their chairs in front of free chairs. It does put a bad spin on the whole port.

 

My kids are going to Flow ride then we plan on heading down to beach to Jacks.

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I have been to Grand Turk 4 times now and the vendors right by the ship get worse each time. On our first visit, there were only green umbrella/blue chairs and many right in the front row. After being in the water for a while, the vendors pulled their own chairs to make a new front row and charged people for them. Now, it is so crowded that you can barely walk to a chair without poking your eye out with a low umbrella. 

 

Don't let this alter your opinion of Grand Turk. If you walk down the beach to the left, there is so much open space and other more reasonable vendors offering cheap chairs for rent. Or better yet, walk to Jack's Shack. The beach there is wide and beautiful, the water calm and clear. We rented 2 chairs and an umbrella front row and center for $10 and they had restrooms and food and drinks for purchase. Plus, they have adorable dogs to watching frolicking around in the sand.

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Grand Turk is one of our favorite ports, and we will be going there again this year and next.

 

We've stayed at the Margaritaville area once and never had a problem.  We go further down the beach where it's much less crowded.

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