What is a Resort’s Obligation To Inform?

Half Moon, Jamaica

If you’ve been following along on our vacation blog, you know that a week into our ten day stay, I got sick, a full intestinal disorder. Mr. EOS got it a day later. We never quite recovered, not enough really to enjoy the last week. We were okay enough to get outside and do, but at meal time, one or the other of us either ate little, or nothing.

As I told you, on the first day I was sick we noticed the staff at breakfast pouring only bottled water to guests who wanted water at breakfast. We asked the woman who seats us what the deal was and she handed us off to a management employee who just happened to be there. Huh, such a coincidence that a manager was there at the same time a seemingly rushed decision to pour only bottled water.

We asked him specifically if the water was a problem or the cause of my illness. He very quickly said NO, the water is fine. I believed him as much as I believed Hillary saying a video was responsible for Benghazi. He suggested we tell the Nurse we were sick so the resort could log such things. The station where pitchers of lime and orange water sat was gone.

Then the nurse. First, she was impossible to track down. She wasn’t at her station from when it opened – the curtain was closed and the sign said back in a few minutes. We tried calling her from our room. Nothing. No answer. We went back to her station. Te curtain was still closed, the same sign was up. Not good.

I finally got a hold of the nurse around 11:30am – three and a half hours after our initial attempt. She took down the details. We asked specific questions. She hedged and hemmed. We asked her how many others were sick. She used only general words, others. What was she doing all morning that she was neither in her station or answering the phone? Were other guests so sick she was with them in their rooms?

It’s really only from the staff that we found out tidbits. We’d chat with the waitstaff and ask questions and they actually answered. The illnesses were not just on the resort. Residents in town too. It was the water.

No one reached out to us from management. No one from management sent out a letter to guests to warn of a potential problem. No one said one thing. Nothing.

Had I been the manager, I would have been out front with this, the second I thought there could be a problem. I would have told guests to use only bottled water for teeth and to drink.

To further aggravate the problem, when we checked out early yesterday morning, not one the regular staff was at the desk. There was an overnight auditor to give us a zero balance receipt. He didn’t know us from Adam, never seen us before, so any comments to him would have been a waste of breathe.

So, back to the post question at hand:

When does a resort inform guests there is a illness? Or a problem? What do they tell the guests? Everything? Nothing? A little bit? Half Moon went with the Nothing approach.

We found out by Googling that Half Moon recently ended their five-year relationship with Vail Resorts Management and RockResorts. The local Jamaican paper reported that as a good thing, that Half Moon was delighted to get back to managing their own way, with their own people. I can see that as a good thing, I understand that, but we noticed a dramatic sea change in the resort, dramatic not only in its management, but in the quality of the guests so maybe Vail Resorts provided Half Moon with the means to advertise to a clientele that we were used to seeing, not Jenny from The Block. We were in a sea of t-shirts and black sneakers, loud people with loud children. Look, I don’t care where you are from, but if you are going to vacation at a resort with rules, then heed the rules.

We suspect we will write a letter to the manager at some point now that we are home.

Meanwhile, I’m through the huge mound of  mail, hugged and hugged and hugged and hugged Dawg, made the first mound of laundry to do, and have the windows and doors open on this balmy morning. Only difference, I don’t hear the ocean waves.


5 thoughts on “What is a Resort’s Obligation To Inform?

  1. The resort we frequent in Sint Maarten has its own water filtering system, and the tap water is safe.. Is it possible that the change in management at Half Moon did away with a similar system, to cut costs, so the water you drank was town water, with potential problems? If so, you should have been made aware. Worth researching. Bibi

    1. We have to assume that Half Moon has their own water filtration system. It’s only logical that any big and good resort would. There are huge water tanks on the property but it is odd that the one waiter told us people in the community were affected too.

  2. Skeptical S here suggests you shouldn’t assume anything. You probably will never know what caused the distress. Regardless, management should have handled it better.
    What’s really unfortunate is discovering a resort you have enjoyed for many, many years isn’t the same.

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