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Oceana Palms Updat & Photos

jerseyfinn

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Finally got our December 2011 photos up in my Oceana Palms gallery. Nothing dazzling here, but I do have a few new shots which convey the character of an Oceana Palms stay. Also some fotos here of the osprey I mention that whizzes past our 19th floor balcony some 30 feet away.

I also added some ocean-themed photos from our two resort visits (Nov & Dec ) to this other gallery. This gallery has an image of an osprey clutching a jack in her talons at Ocean Pointe -- an interesting site since this jack was a good 2 pounds and about the length of the osprey's body.


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As to things Oceana Palms. The resort has pretty much found it's stride as routines are established which define the resort experience. Construction of the "Sunset" buliding moves apace and this initial phase of construction was ahead of schedule ( as of early December ). The next phase will require about one year of fitting out the guts of the new building with the hope/expectation of first occupancy in late February/early March depending upon how the construction gods look down on things. The noise impact from this initial phase has been minimal upon guests, though some employees got their vehicles pasted with concrete a couple of times ( you gotta appreciate that a 20 story boom is being used to convey concrete up to the top and wind makes this a tricky task ). But the construction company is really on their toes keeping the impact to a minimum -- kudos to them.

As to issues / problems. In addition to the construction on the Oceana Palms property itself, the city of Riviera Beach is in the process of laying new water and other utility line and this means that Ocean Blvd ( the only access road to the resort ) is a torn up mess. Add to this a misunderstanding between the contractor and local zoning officials and there now exists a snafu which slows the progress of work so that the entire project is now several months behind schedule ( = longer period of torn up road and no side walks ). The practical impact of this construction is that there are not many functional sidewalks astride the road by which one can walk from Oceana Palms to the Ocean Mall. For folks who like to go to Johnny Longboats for a brew or breakfast or dinner ( count me as one of these :cool: ), the most expedient way to get there is to walk the beach & use the Rivieria Public beach access to get to the mall. It's all of 3/10ths mile stroll and truthfully, it's kind of neat walking the beach to grab a bite.

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As to the resort itself, the associates are a hard-working bunch of folks who try to make the guest experience a good one. The resort bar ( Reflections ) remains a work in progress as it is more of a daytime bar/grill and a bit of a no man's land at night. This is partly because they close at 9PM which is when some folks might be wandering home from dinner pondering a night cap --this early closing is an ad hoc thing based partly on being open to the public ( who do not materialize at night ) . Another issue here is the wind tunnel effect created by these hi-rise buildings which can really whip the wind ups on those windy days/nights. This tends to keep many folks on the move so they either don't stop for a drink, or they linger long enough to grab take out food fare. Wind screens have helped to reduce this wind effect, but in the winter on a cool night, Reflections can be a wasteland with no atmosphere.

The Market Place continues to innovate and find different prepared dishes & snack specials for guests who want to relax in their apartments. They offer room delivery of pizzas and a few other entrees ( the pizza is actually pretty good as the dough is hand prepared & toppings tasty -- definitely not a Pizza Hut pizza like Ocean Pointe used to have ). The Market Place is pretty well stocked. It goes without saying that prices will be higher in the market place. One rank example is the price for a 4 pak ( 16 oz ) bottles of beer priced at $20. I ask if anyone buys these things and I'm told there are buyers after the bar closes. That's a pretty mean price IMO. :annoyed: Then again, I go to Johnny's and drink at the locals' price so it does not impact me.

We're beach people who spend the entire day on the beach, but when we do walk the pool deck, there were people in the sunny part of the deck and Reflections does have a lunch trade. The problem at Oceana Palms is not going to be a lack of pool deck lounge chairs, but rather a lack of chairs that are in the sun and out of the building's shadow, especially on those windy days -- a consequence of the small resort physical foot print.

The apartments themselves remain a fabulous experience which coupled with the vista views, makes Oceana Palms an increasingly popular resort destination. The negative side of this is that when the second tower is occupied, legacy timeshare owners will represent perhaps 20% of all inventory. So the character of Oceana Palms is always going to have a transient feel to it as owners will be a distinct minority at this resort as the VC points people migrate in and out of the resort.

Presently, Oceana Palms is being pushed real hard by Marriott as a "hook" to induce first time VC preview guests into thinking they can come to Oceana Palms every year. Yes, that's the sales pitch these folks are being given, and there's some truth to this line given the overwhelming control the Trust holds ( or will hold upon buildout ). For we legacy owners the real question remains whether we can "trust" the Trust not to lock us out of inventory access some years in the future when VC points people clammor at the door like barbarians at the gate.

Despite Marriott's prevaricating ethos, Oceana Palms is going to turn out to be a pretty nice resort located upon a fantastic stretch of beach. With the nearby Ocean Mall slowly gaining tenants and momentum, this means that folks should have more dining and shopping things within walking distance as each year passes.

Barry
 

windje2000

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Your trip accounts and images are always excellent. :clap:
 

dmharris

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Barry,

I love your "point of view" of the resort. You must have a lot of sandy shorts after lying on the beach for some of those great shots! Thanks for sharing.
 

ada903

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Beautiful artsy photos, thanks for sharing!
 

jerseyfinn

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. . . .You must have a lot of sandy shorts after lying on the beach for some of those great shots!

Thanks for your comments Diane, windje, & ada. I've been having a blast with photography ever since digital cameras came out and I figure out how to use Photoshop like a competent artist ( which tranlslated means hours of doing things the wrong way until insight finally prevails :wall: ) . Diane has the right picture of me as we're on the beach all day long & linger past the time that the beach guys pull up the last chairs, & we sit on the beach taking it all in. That said, I'm not camera obsessed. My camera & video camera sit near me all day, but on some days I take nary a shot until some moment pops up & the light is right or something passes by which catched my foto eye ( not talking about gals in skimpy bikinis, but my wife does notify me when a bikini approaches so I don't snap my neck . . . . I take a picture in my head -- she especially loves to do this in Spain when she tells me a thong is coming & I turn to see it's a skinny guy :rolleyes: ).

Back at Ocean Pointe in November I had the pleasure of meeting DougP, as you know, another TUG photo guy. He arrives the day on which the wind is blasting from the north & it's cool and cloudy as we turn our chair backs into the wind and hunker down. I tell him that my wife & I will likely be the only folks on the beach, but if there's people, I'll have a tripod sitting near our chair. Not sure which suggestion he used to find us, but he did easily locate us.

Barry
 
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