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Terrance Rey saves the day!!

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Dominique View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 July 2007 at 8:02am

SHORT VERSION - On our last full day in St. Barths, a backpack - with son's passport inside! - was stolen from our rental car - urgent phone calls to U.S. Consulate  -- HELP! we are told that our son (age 23) will not be allowed to travel because he has no passport and no other form of i.d. whatsoever - he MUST fly to Consulate office in Barbados to get emergency passport, must have flight arranged to Barbados, a hotel room, local transport, all within just a few hours.  Terrance Rey of AirStMaarten TO THE RESCUE!  Thank you, Terrance, we could not have managed this crisis without you!  My advice to everyone on this forum:  use Terrance's services  -- you never know when you will have some type of travel glitch, or even a true crisis, and need help in traveling to or from St. Barths.  "You're in good hands with TERRANCE." 

DETAILED VERSION - We went to St. Barths for a week in Paradise, but at our trip's end we were plunged into Dante's Inferno.  Our descent into hell was caused by a stolen passport, which my adult son had been carrying around in his backpack all week, left in our parked car as we leisurely enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Nikki Beach.  (Yes, Nikki Beach).  Also in the backpack:  all other forms of i.d., credit card, ATM card, iPod, camera, nice watch, money.  We searched the entire area, hoping the bag with passport still inside had been thrown in the bushes by the thief. We went to the Gendarmerie (the National French one at the fort) to file a police report.  "You don't speak French?" we were asked (in English) over the intercom at the gate.  "You must come back with a translator."  We headed back to our villa to get the phone number of our villa manager, but on the way we picked up a beautiful hitchhiker  -- she was from Australia, the daughter of French parents!  "Yes, I will be happy to translate for you!"
 
We returned to the police station with our interpreter Kimberley, and the officer said: "No you cannot make the report."  Although the items were stolen from our car and we knew all the details, we had to come back with our son, only he could make the report.  (We had sent him out on a jet ski to try to forget about this problem for at least an hour).  Finally, a police report was in hand, Kimberley was taken to do her grocery shopping, and we began the next stage of dealing with our undocumented U.S. citizen family member.
 
A great perk at our villa was the free wireless Internet access, but for unknown reasons our laptop had stopped working mid-week, so we had to find a business open on Sunday inorder to access the Internet, so we begged to use a computer at a diving company booking office.  We discovered that the nearest U.S. Consultate is in Barbados.  We returned to our villa and called the Consulate, and the weekend duty officer said he was pretty sure my son could return to the U.S.  using the police report to explain the lack of passport or other i.d.  "Oh, but my son needs to go back to St. Kitts, not to the U.S., he has flown here from St. Kitts where he's enjoying a 2 month vacation (staying with a friend who is attending grad school there)."  We were instructed by the Consulate to call the airline on Monday morning to see if the airline would let our son board the plane to St. Kitts (in St.  Maarten), but the duty officer was very reassuring that the police report would get us through this mess.  
 
My son's St. Maarten to St. Kitts plane ticket was on WinAir.  On Monday morning we had a lengthy discussion with WinAir in St. Kitts, then we were patched through to St. Kitts Immigration, and they said:  "Have your Consulate fax to you a travel authorization."
 
I called the Consulate in Barbados asking for the faxed authorization to travel:  "We no longer fax travel authorizations.  We have heightened travel restrictions.  We have no way of knowing this person is who you say he is.  It will be difficult to even return him to the U.S.  Your son must fly to Barbados and apply for an emergency passport.  There are no emergency passports issued in the U.S."  By this time it was 10 in the morning, our flight out of St. Barths was at 1 o'clock!
 
HERE IS WHERE TERRANCE REY of AirStMaarten SAVES us!
 
My son and I were making all these frantic phone calls from Sibarth's Gustavia offices.  The Consulate said our son should bring 2 passport pictures with him, but my husband had our rental car with him - he was back at the villa frantically packing for all of us.  The fantastic, helpful accomodating Nathalia of Sibarths handed her car keys to my son so he could drive to Alain's across from the airport to have the passport pictures taken.  Nathalia let me use a computer, and the phones.  Sibarth tried to book my son's flight to Barbados, but the airline's (Liat) computers were down.  Sibarth tried and tried with no luck.  Sibarth was wonderful to us - but they don't typically book people to Barbados and had no inside track to figure out a solution when Liat's computer lines were down.
 
So I e-mailed Terrance Rey of AirStMaarten:  "HELP!!"  You see, I had used Terrance to book a shared charter for our flight from St. Maarten to St. Barth  -- and am I ever thankful I did this!!!  We've been to St. Barths at least 10 times with no problem ever with WinAir, and have always made our own airline reservations.  But this time, having read about Terrance's exellent services on this forum, I decided to book a shared charter.  Terrance had selected Windward Express Airline (not affiliated with WinAir) as our charter - and that was the other amazing part of solving our crisis - the rep for Windward Express, the beautiful, patient, fabulous Elizabeth Peterson (on the ground in St. Maarten) knew from Terrance that we would be flying back into St. Maarten with no passport for our older son, and with Terrance still working out the flight to Barbados, and a hotel in Barbados (Terrance had recommended a small hotel whose proprietor arranged for my son's pickup at the Barbados airport and to the Consulate offices the following day). 
 
Well, it now was 12:30, our flight was scheduled to depart St. Barths at 1:00, and finally my husband pulled up at the Sibarth offices (having left our other son at Le Select for one last Cheeseburger in Paradise).  My older son had just gotten back with the passport pictures, we hopped in the car, swung by Select, and drove quickly to airport, turned in the rental car, and scrambled aboard our charter, knowing that Terrance was at his desk still working on the quickest way to get our son in and out of Barbados.  We landed at SXM, Elizabeth was there waiting on our flight, she took us into the airport, and we realized we were standing there absolutely helpless, because we didn't have a cell phone that would work, nor would our French calling card work in the Dutch phones at SXM.  Even US Airways (which the rest of the family was flying on) REFUSED to allow us an emergency phone call to the Consulute offices to confirm our son's clearance through Barbados Immigration.  But Elizabeth took care of ALL of our needs, phoning for us, faxing for us, standing in line with us  -- she kept in contact with Terrance, she changed our son's St. Kitts ticket for two days later, she confimed all the arrangements by phone with the U.S. Consulate.  She stuck by us for 3 hours, and she smiled the entire time!  Terrance called Elizabeth and confirmed that everything was arranged, we waved goodbye to Elizabeth, and waved goodbye to our son and we walked to our US Air departure gate.
 
We landed in Charlotte late that night, and telephoned the hotel in Barbados.  Our son was there, safe and sound, with an appointment early the next morning at the Consulate.  He later told us that he arrived at the Consulate at 7:20 a.m. and did not finish the process until 2 p.m.  Had he not brought the passport pictures with him, it would have been hours longer.
 
Due to the efforts of Terrance, Elizabeth, Nathalia of Sibarth, and our Australian/French translator Kimberley, we did not have to leave our son stranded forever on St. Barths, "a man without a country." I will always use Terrance for my St. Barths bookings.  Terrance!  you should send all the business you can to Windward Express, so that more people will have the pleasure of meeting the incomparable Elizabeth.  I have used several villa booking agencies in the past, but WIMCO/Sibarth has earned my loyalty.  I am very happy to see that WIMCO is advertising on this valuable forum.  And Kimberley works in the restaurant at Carl Gustaf, so be on the lookout for a lovely young woman with an Australian accent (unless she's speaking in French). 
 
POSTSCRIPT:  the backpack, passport, and a few other items were found along St. Jean beach a few hours after our departure, and somehow were turned over to Sibarth, which is sending the items back to us.  The original passport will be surrendered to the U.S. Consulate in Barbados. 
 
 
 
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CEC1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CEC1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2007 at 12:12pm
BRAVO . . . BRAVO . . . BRAVO!  Fantastic exposition of what was a nightmarish experience . . . salvaged by the heroic efforts of "friends!"  (And, friends they were!)  Terrance, it is unanimously agreed among those who have used his services, is incredible in the effort and results that he produces.  I've loved the people at Sibarth for 30 years.  And Kimberley sounds like a gem!
 
There are, of course, several lessons that speak for themselves in this story . . . not the least of which is that in times of adversity, find sustenance in a Cheeseburger in Paradise!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GregB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2007 at 12:30pm
Very nice to read that Terrance and Elizabeth are a team who worked together to solve a series of issues.  Also, what Wimco/Sibarth offered is so typical of all that I hear about their excellent service.  While we all know the pics of Terrance....here is one of Elizabeth Peterson, from Windward Express.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote soleil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 July 2007 at 12:33am
Originally posted by Dominique Dominique wrote:

We had sent him out on a jet ski to try to forget about this problem for at least an hour
............having left our other son at Le Select for one last Cheeseburger in Paradise
 
Sounds Like you handled the crisis with St. Barts style and poise......
 
I always wondered what we would do if our passports were lost or stolen....
I learned alot from your post........
 
If that should ever happen, will be sure to use your escape plan from Dante's Inferno............
 
Jetskiing, a Cheeseburger in Paradise, Terrance Rey, and a beautiful hitchhiker....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lolita Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2008 at 4:46am

Hello to all the great people on this forum! I recently learned from a friend that it is a good idea not only to travel with a copy of your passport but with 2 passport pictures too.  It saves money and headaches!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Juzjon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2008 at 6:07am
God bless you Terrance, I wish the world had more kind and giving people like you, it would be a lot better place to live.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mccoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2008 at 9:07am
 AwardsAnd the Academy Award for best feature suspense film, best director, best producer, best editing, and best costume design on St Bart.....because even if your belongings are stolen you have to look chic....goes to:
                     The Terrance, Elizabeth and Nathalie
                                 Dreamworks Production
 






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FWMike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2008 at 9:09am
Our trip for April has been booked for months, but I just told my wife to contact Terrance for our November trip.  Bravo to all involved (except the thieves, of course)!
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