This April, Southern Travel Agency had the pleasure of sending three couples to the all inclusive Sandals Royal Barbados resort for an unforgettable vacation. A lively group that has been taking annual vacations together for the last ten years, Charles and Pamela Schader, Brett and Brenda Giles, and Scott and Donna Byers bring the fun with them wherever they go under the combined pseudonym, The Schilers. Their vacation philosophy? Experience as much as you can through every moment of your holiday, no matter the circumstances, from takeoff to touchdown. With high spirits, a create-your-own-adventure attitude, and entertaining improvisational skills, find out how their infectious energy spread throughout the resort and even had some additional guests joining in on the fun!
Q&A With The Schiler 6 About Their Amazing One-of-a-Kind Stay at the All Inclusive Sandals Royal Barbados Resort
STA: Hi, Schiler 6! It’s great to meet you guys and speak with you today. How do you all know each other?
Schiler 6: We all met about ten years ago at church and pretty much immediately found that we shared a lot in common. For instance, two of our three couples were married on the same day in the same town before we even knew each other! And our kids are all roughly the same age, so we naturally started taking summer vacations together as a group. Now that the kids are all grown, we’ve continued the annual tradition between the six of us!
STA: Was there any specific reason why you chose the Sandals Royal Barbados for this year’s vacation?
Schiler 6: Well, with the help of Southern Travel Agency, we celebrated all of our 25th wedding anniversaries a few years ago at Sandals St. Lucia Grande. That set the bar pretty high, and we wanted to make sure our 30th anniversary celebration could live up to it. So this year, we went back to Southern Travel and told Mike what we were hoping for.
We definitely wanted a higher end place where the age range didn’t feel too skewed in either direction, and we also knew we wanted to fly direct. Mike immediately recommended the all inclusive Sandals Royal Barbados, and it worked out great! Since the Barbados property is right next door, it was a great two-in-one with lots of activities when we wanted things to do, without ever feeling like we were surrounded by a teeny bopper crowd. Sandals Royal Barbados had only been open for about a year, so it seemed like most of the folks there had to be really in the know.
STA: And did Sandals manage to live up to the expectation this year?
Schiler 6: Oh, yeah! It was a perfect all inclusive resort recommendation. We had our quiet time when we wanted it — mostly napping in countless comfy places by the pools — and the activities were flexible enough that we could have our own fun with them. We really like to get as much as we can out of our vacations and sort of create our own events along the way, so we really appreciated that Sandals made us feel welcome to do that.
As far as the Sandals resort itself goes, we were all really impressed by the bowling alley at Royal Barbados. Inside, they’ve got an insane frozen bar with craft beers from places all around the world, and a chilled strip of metal that runs the length of the bar. All you have to do is set your beer down on the bar and it stays cold, even in the Barbados heat! The customer service was also just impeccable, as always. Donna’s suitcases actually ended up being switched at the airport and Sandals did a really great job of communicating with the airlines and tracking it down quickly.
STA: Wait a second, let’s back up for a moment… Can you elaborate a little more on some of these events that you’ve created?
Schilers 6, chuckling: Well, for instance, this year we made up our own pool bar crawl. There were four pool bars between Royal Barbados and Barbados so we would go to one, get in the pool, order a drink, drink it, and move to the next pool. Another couple actually ended up joining us along the way! Another example that stands out is from our 25th anniversary in St. Lucia. The resort had a resident yoga teacher that taught a class each morning. We had built a bit of a connection with the instructor, so the day before our last session we decided to throw a surprise Toga Yoga party and asked for six white sheets from concierge. We practiced tying these sheets up into togas all night long and then arrived in style for the 7am class chanting, “YOGA, YOGA!” We like to be a little competitive and turn anything we can into a game, whether it’s ping pong or bowling or one of the Sandals events or even just eating dessert. Plus, we all wear these orange jerseys that say “The Schilers 6” on the back, so I think we end up getting a little recognized throughout the resort during our stay!
STA: Wow, it sounds like you guys really know how to have a good time! All in all, what were some of the most memorable moments from this vacation?
Schilers 6: I mean, the highlights started the second we left! Our plane ended up having some mechanical problems so we lost a couple of hours at the airport, but that didn’t stop us from having some fun! We really try to do everything that’s possible on these vacations, so we jumped right in when we finally got to the island.
Snorkeling was definitely one of the highlights: we saw sea turtles, rays, tropical fish, and a few different shipwrecks. The Caribbean side of the island has the calmest, clear waters, so all the water activities were phenomenal. The guys took a Catamaran out sailing one afternoon and ended up flipping the whole boat upside down! People did recognize us for that… a rescue boat had to come out and get us, while other guests got a great view of all the capsized orange jerseys, bobbing up and down in the water. Of course, we still went out and did it again the next day!
Since we’re three couples, it’s nice to be able to travel as a group and break off periodically within each other’s company. Instead of always just being with the same one person, the guys can occasionally go off and do stuff like that together while the girls have their time and we all link back up for dinner. It’s a good mix of romantic moments and socializing! The Sky Bar in particular was great for an intimate evening spent dancing under the stars.
STA: That is quite the memorable vacation indeed! How did Southern Travel Agency contribute to making this vacation possible for The Schilers 6?
Schilers 6: It all boils down to having that trust. Working with Mike and Southern Travel Agency, we are able to interact face to face and really feel confident that they always have our best interests at heart. We know that Mike is asking those second and third questions to the resorts and airlines; confirming that our rooms are close together; making sure our trip is special and the experience is one we’d want to have again.
That relationship is what made us feel so confident in Mike’s recommendation. We booked this trip only a week after the resort opened, so even though he hadn’t personally been to Sandals Royal Barbados yet, we trusted his expertise and judgment. He continued to keep us updated every time he got more information leading up to our departure, always following up and making us feel like we’re really being taken care of. We’re already looking forward to doing it all again for our 35th anniversary!
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