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All Inclusive Honeymoon

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We are planning our honeymoon for august and want to know where is the best place to go for a honeymoon that is an all inclusive resort with crystal clear CALM water and beautiful beaches. Also not mega expensive. Amazing pools are a plus! Travel agent is pushing St Lucia on us...looks awesome but the more I read it is not the calmest or clearest waters in the Caribbean. We want to do a lot of swimming in the ocean and not be restricted by "red flags" every day.
Thanks in advance!

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    I would choose St Lucia over Dominican Republic as it is a place I would never want to go. You also need to be careful in DR as to the location of your hotel as it could be on the Atlantic side and therefore not calm. St Lucia has lighter sand beaches in the north around Reduit Beach which is usually calm and clear, in the south of the island, the sand is darker however the sea is still very clear. Some beaches are not calm, depends on which hotel you are considering.

    Antigua has many beautiful clear calm beaches and several AI hotels. Even beaches on the atlantic side are swimmable and beautiful eg Grand Pineapple or Verandah Resort.

    You don't need AI in Aruba, there are many places to eat out. Beaches are really nice too.

    What time of year is your honeymoon?

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    The majority of AI's are located in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. There are a few in St. Lucia, Antigua and a few other Islands.

    If you are wanting calm, crystal clear water and beautiful beaches, while not too expensive, then St. Lucia is out. While the Island is a tropical paradise with waterfalls and amazing topography, it does not have the beach criteria you are looking for.

    August is prime hurricane season, so whatever destination you decide on get the hurricane/trip insurance that you can cancel for any reason not just if your flight is cancelled or your hotel closes. It costs a little more, but it is worth it. After 15 years, we stopped traveling in August and September to the Caribbean/Mexico because it just became a PIA dealing with the weather. We found the 3rd week of May the best for low crowds, low prices and better weather.

    Aruba would probably fit what you are looking for. There are a few AI resorts there, but I agree Aruba just isn't the destination to go AI. There are so many wonderful bars and restaurants there that part of the draw is trying as many as you can.

    Antigua would also fit your AI and beach requirement. I would avoid the Jolly Beach resort. If you can afford it look at Cocobay and Galley Bay.

    Here's a list if AI resorts in the Caribbean for your research:

    http://www.caribbeanallinclusive.com/caribbean_all_inclusive_resorts.cfm

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    it is a common misconception that every island is surrounded by a wide ring of sandy beach. Remember, islands are old, mostly sunken mountain ranges.

    Sandy beaches - the DR isn't a recommendation - too many issues. St Lucia is beautiful but unless you're on Rodney Bay, the comments are spot on..besides, airfare is not cheap and the service can be quirky. Schedule changes are not atypical.

    Bahamas - that is a big word that covers a lot of islands..Nassau & Grand Bahama Islands - very very commercial/touristy..Exuma, very quiet, laid back.

    Negril, Jamaica has a fantastic beach and I personally like the Couples Swept Away. Really like Secrets in Montego Bay, was there last month. Just back from Playa Mujeres, north of Cancun. Mexico is almost always the biggest bank for your buck...don't dismiss Mexico. You will be pleasantly surprised.

    Aruba - much more international community - food options are superb. There are a couple AI's that I know deliver quality..not outstanding..but clean, reasonable & on the sand. St Maarten - the Sonesta just came out of a renovation last year..walking distance to town for culture. Maho Beach..'nuf said there. It isn't a fantastic beach but that's only part of the experience. Besides, as I ask everyone who says they need a great beach...do you get your hair wet? or are you looking for that picture postcard view? If it's both - then Maroma Beach in the Riviera Maya or Playa Mujeres.

    hope this helps...and be sure your travel agent is asking you questions.

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