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Thread: Any input on the Caribbean?

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    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    Default Any input on the Caribbean?

    My husband and I will have one kid-free week next summer (kids are their grandparents' house) so we've decided to take a trip. We love the Caribbean and since it will be our 10 year anniversary, we'd like to go some place where we can just relax. We've both been to the Caribbean a few times and I'm stuck thinking about the places we love. We have a pact not to visit one place twice though so I need some outside opinions and advice.

    Between the two of us we've been to:
    Jamaica
    Grand Caymon
    Playa del Carmen
    St Thomas
    St John
    British VIs
    Puerto Rico

    We're thinking about Turks and Caicos because Grace Bay seems incredible but the rest of the island seems flat and arid. Belize is on the list but might be more adventure than we're looking for with this trip. Where else should we consider?

  2. #2
    fgg
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    wherever you choose, i would suggest an all-inclusive resort so you guys can have an amazing time without worrying about anything.

    i know it is in the bahamas but i have heard nothing but amazing things about the atlantis resort. you wouldn't even know you were in nassau, if you didn't want to leave the resort. i've visited it but haven't stayed there yet.

    have an awesome time!
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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    Gold Member MentalNotes's Avatar
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    see, i would do just the opposite and look for something way smaller and more boutiquey. food at big all-inclusives tends to be nasty, and the bigger they are, the nastier. and i'd look for a place where you can stay on the beach and relax if you want, but that also has areas around it that you want to explore and see, whether it's nature or a small town or something. if i stay in a resort the whole time i'm somewhere, i feel like i wasted a vacation because i didn't actually 'see' anything. but that's just me.

    belize is gorgeous and it's only adventurous if that's what you're looking for.
    if it's your 10th anniversary and you really want to spoil yourselves and splurge, you should go to one of francis ford coppola's resorts in belize. at least for a couple of days for a romantic getaway and then go someplace else. there's 2 of them, one's on the coast and the other is more of a rainforest type thing. they're luxurious but eco-touristy, not mega-resorty at all.

    the keys off belize are also gorgeous.

    never been but i've heard the french antilles are gorgeous - martinique, guadeloupe, st.barthélémy, etc.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    If you don't mind spending and really want to soak up luxury I recommend The Ocean Club on Paradise Island. I also highly recommend the Mandarin Oriental Elbow Beach in Bermuda, and Parrot Cay in the Turks & Caicos as well.

    Atlantis is fun, but it can be crowded. The adult only Cove section of Atlantis is the way to go if you want to enjoy it. I'd much rather stay next door at the Ocean Club and go over to the Atlantis for the casino or restaurants.

    St Barths is nice in the off season, and Nevis is a nice unspoiled island with some beautiful places to stay.

    I don't do all inclusives, so I can't recommend anything there.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I agree with MentalNotes - not with her avatar, but with her recommendation.

    It's been about 11 years, but here are the things I liked about St. Martin (mostly along the lines of what Sputnik seems to like):

    1. Even though the island is supposed to take Euros, they still took American cash everywhere. Meaning that we never had to go to a currency exchange
    2. Has a Dutch side and a French side. The French side has superb small French restaurants. The Dutch side is a little more industrial, so bigger stores, more commerce, etc. there. But still has good restaurants and beaches.
    3. Gambling is legal (although I'm not into it).
    4. Island is very small and it only takes about 45 minutes to drive from one side to the other.
    5. Orient Beach (French side) is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world -- and it is clothing optional (that could be a downside for some, but it's not like it's compulsory or anything).
    6. Amazing little boutique stores (that are duty/tax free). Especially in the town of Marigot.
    7. Very safe island in terms of crime. We were out and about at all hours with no problem.
    8. Island desalinates all water. So, all drinking water is safe to drink.

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    Elite Member Butterfly's Avatar
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    We go to the Bahamas a couple times of the year... You might like The Westin at Our Lucaya, Grand Bahamas... It is a big resort with a beautiful beach and lots of activities....right across the street is a little town with restaurants, bars, and live music on the square surrounded by a straw market...that is where we spend most of our time if we are not fishing or playing on the beach.

    At the end of July we are going to Bimini... I haven't been there yet, but it looks beautiful.

    Just be careful where you choose because a lot of places are for fisherman and they don't have much to do in ways of restaurants... Old Bahama Bay where Travolita's son died had a nice restaurant, but it closed so your only option would be the 1 outside bar with a limited menu. We take my dad's boat so we bring lots of food with us to BBQ and of course what we catch we eat...
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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    I have a friend that goes to Turks and Caicos every year...loves it.
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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    I've always wanted to go to Belize.
    I can recommend St. Lucia, it's got amazing beaches of course, including at least one black sand beach, but is also green and mountainous on a large portion of the island. There's also a semi-dormant(?) volcano you can visit.
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    WHat do you like to do on vacation? Scuba? Casino? Windsurf? Zipline?

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    A*O
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    It's worth going to St Maartin to watch the planes swooping down to land at the airport right by the beach. You can almost reach up and touch the wheels. Amazing vids on YouTube.

    Avoid any island/port that's popular with cruise ships, as they dump tens of thousands of drunk people into these places on busy days.

    St Thomas has the best jewellery stores.
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    these all sound wonderful. I've only been to Cancun.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    It's worth going to St Maartin to watch the planes swooping down to land at the airport right by the beach. You can almost reach up and touch the wheels. Amazing vids on YouTube.
    .
    yeah. That was super fun until the planes started taking off and blew my 1300 camera, passport, bag, glasses and everything else into the ocean. Not worth it. Pain in the ass to get there too, filled with tourists. Much nicer beaches elsewhere on St. Martin.

    It would probably be cheaper to rent a villa somewhere on one of the islands, and a jeep for a week, than an all inclusive for however many people. I was looking at doing it in aruba and it's a lot less money.
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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    I love Bermuda. There is so much to do and still plenty of time to just relax. Renting mopeds as your transporation is nice too.
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    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    I thought about St. Martin until I saw the runway. I have some freaky phobia about the underside of airplanes and those photos almost gave me hives. There's no way in hell I'd relax with a 747 100 feet over my head.

    We both want to find somewhere off the beaten path. My perfect beach vacation is not having any agenda but being able to sit on a beach, snorkel, hike (volcanoes are good!), and eat good food (the definition of which is that someone else made it). Talking to locals is great but I don't want to go anywhere that's touristy or crowded. That's why we haven't really considered the Bahamas.

    Here's my list so far. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on something:

    Nevis/St. Kitts - rain forests, volcano hikes, keep hearing it's "unspoiled," harder to get to (long flights)

    St. John - would be a return trip but we loved everything about that place

    Turks and Caicos - Grace Bay is consistently rated one of the top beaches in the world, the rest of the island is arid, touristy

    Belize - rain forests, snorkeling, adventure, somehow Central America doesn't seem quite as safe

    We've also thought about some of the islands farther South like Curacao and Trinidad/Tobago but I have to do more research on those.

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