Author: Frank (---.cbcads.com)
Date: 11-18-05 11:03
No offense taken ... I sincerely apologize if my post offended! I was merely making the point that part of makes Culebra special is that it doesn't always work. And it forces those of us who are so demanding (my personality profile is "perfectionist") to lighten up a little and enjoy life AS IT COMES rather than how we WANT IT TO GO. Read that last statement again and ponder it ... it's important!
Example. One year we arrived on Culebra and walked off the ferry to a car rental business located near the ferry dock. It was February 2002 and we had made the reservations about six months prior. When arrived ... three families, 6 adults, 8 kids and luggage for a 10 day stay ... the owner looked panicked and said, "We did not think you were coming because all those people died on September 11th. We gave your cars to somebody else."
To this day I don't know if she thought we ourselves had died or just wouldn't come because of that tragedy! :-) Instead of getting upset, we sent the kids to the Dinghy Dock for a nice long lunch. I stayed behind and worked with her ... calmly ... on finding cars. We needed three but she could only promise two and not until much later that day. She finally called a friend (Arlene?) and we rented Arlene's car for the week! It was a blast! As we drove around the island that week everybody thought it was Arlene and honked and waved! We waved back and laughed! What a great time. Now I must confess ... if this same experience happened at Hertz in Philadelphia, I may have had a different reaction. An ugly, angry reaction! LOL. But the people on Culebra have a spirit that transcends customer service ... and I value that.
This is just one of dozens of stories from our trips through the years to Culebra. Many of them are about when things did not go as planned and how we adapted. If I want things to go right, I'll book a trip to Disney, not Culebra! One experience is not better than the other, they are just different. I can appreciate them both for what they are ... while enjoying them both in their own way.
I agree that there is a certain level of "customer service" that people expect. But if the bar for such customer service gets raised too high, Culebra will become just another island and not the special place it is now. People on Culebra may "need" tourism. But if they are not careful, tourism will destroy the uniqueness of Culebra.
The administrator of this forum stated it perfectly: "You will be looking back on these days with sorrow when they have built a bigger airport and you can book a flight online ... does anyone here remember the old airport, which was pretty much Happy Landing and another shack? Getting a flight was really fun!"
The changes in the last decade on Culebra have been enough! Because by catering to tourists that DEMAND customer service, you lose the unique character of Culebra. We can get customer service anywhere. I've stayed in my fair share of Ritzy hotels around the world. Give me a stripped down house, a hammock and the stars of Culebra any day! Throw in losing my electricity for two days or not finding any milk on the island for three days ... and I'm happy!
But that's just me. I respect everybody's right to their opinion. Some may want to see Culebra "progress". Me ... I would like it to regress a bit. I can get "progress" elsewhere thank you very much!
Thanks for reading ... peace.