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Help Choosing Island for Honeymoon

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So my fiance and I are planning a honeymoon for mid July 2016. I have been to many islands in the Caribbean (DR, Bahamas, Jamaica, Caymans, USVI) but she has not. I am trying to chose and island that is not super touristy and can offer good resorts, good selection of food, good snorkeling, and good views/water. We do not care about shopping, nightlife is not a huge points but we would like to be able to get a drink or two some nights, a casino would be a plus for me. Obviously many islands fit these descriptions so I have narrowed the selection down to about 5 islands below. Please give me your opinion of which one(s) you think are best for the things I have described.

Budget: $7700 for 7 days, including airfare. Have a little wiggle room if need to up budget.

Turks & Caicos: This is in my top two. Seems to not be super touristy, looks to have awesome water, beaches, and snorkeling. Very pricey. Is the food good here, are there a good amount of choices that are easily accessible? The landscape scenery seems to be average as the island is flat and semi-arid.

St. Lucia: My other island tied with T&C for top choice. Mountains and rain forests make this island very appealing and my fiance is in love with views. Seems to be prettiest island landscape wise. Water seems to be pretty but maybe not on level with T&C. Have read the snorkeling is good, is it as good as the others on this list? I read food is good but limited options as resorts are isolated and getting around is expensive as taxi is only option. Also very pricey. Seems my biggest beef is how you are stuck at your resort and have read alot of them gouge you and good is average. Exploring the beauty of the island seems hard/expensive because of topography and roads. Thoughts?

Antigua: Have not done as much research on this island. Seems to be a decent middle ground of alot of islands. Good beaches, easier to get around, average selection of food, selection of casinos, and direct flights. How are the resorts? I have the read the snorkeling is good. How is the beauty of this island compare to others on my list? Is this place as pricey as the other?

Grenada: My fiance likes it because she is obsessed with waterfalls. I know it is a lesser known option since its independence from Great Britain and civil war. Do not know much about this island. Price? Beaches? Snorkeling? Resorts? Food?

Places we will not consider: Caymans, Jamaica, Bahamas, Aruba, St. Martin, Dominica, Puerto Rico, Martinique.

I appreciate your thoughts!
Hunter

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    First, you mention that you were considering 5 islands but only listed 4 in your question. Do you have a "specific" 5th option?. If so, please let us know which one.

    One of your main desires seems to be snorkeling. If so, of the islands you mentioned the Turks & Caicos (I assume you are looking at Providenciales' Grace Bay where 95% of the resorts in the T&C are located) has the better snorkeling - both walk-in and boat access. Antigua has very little walk-in snorkeling and the boat access sites are just OK but certainly no where near as good as in the T&C's There's only a limited amount of snorkeling off of St. Lucia and since it's a very big island you have to do some serious research if you want to stay at a resort that's nearby. Simply put, no one goes to St. Lucia for the snorkeling. I can't comment on the snorkeling off Grenada as I've never snorkeled there but based on what I've seen while visiting that island there's probably not a lot to choose from.

    If snorkeling is a high priority for you then you might want to look at St. John (USVI's) or Virgin Gorda (BVI's) as you find some of the best in the Caribbean on those islands and it will outpace the snorkeling on any of the islands on your list. Both of these islands have a great combination of beautiful light golden sand beaches lapped by calm bright turquoise waters, a decent collection of restaurants and a variety of very good to excellent resorts. The only thing on your wish list that they lack is a casino. You should give them careful consideration.

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    RoamsAround, Thanks for the input! It seems that you bring a good perspective from the snorkeling point of view. I would like the snorkeling to be good/great but if some of the other criteria are met then I could compromise if the snorkeling was not incredible. After alot of research it seems that you cant beat the virgin islands for snorkeling in caribbean (Brit or US). I would consider the BVI but from what I have read they are super expensive and do not have alot of option for resorts and food. But maybe I am wrong, are they more expensive than T&C or St. Lucia?

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    I think you are mistaken about the overall "expensiveness" of the USVI's and BVI's vs. the T&C's and St. Lucia. Like most destinations they have their share of very upscale resort properties but they also have a wide choice of more budget friendly options. You should have no difficulty finding plenty of very nice resorts in your $7,700 price range during July throughout those islands.

    A honeymoon is a pretty special event and you'll want to spend it on a special island. Others may disagree but to me, Antigua doesn't have that "special" vibe. It's a grade "B" island (good but not great) - you want a grade "A" or A+" island for your honeymoon. That's why I recommended St. John (USVI's) and Virgin Gorda (BVI's) in my earlier reply.

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    RollTide_

    Hopefully Blamona, the T&C expert will answer this, but to respond to a few of your questions:

    Grace Bay in Provo has one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen, and that includes Greece!

    We go almost every year, and love it because of the stunning long beach, some of which is remarkably empty, especially early-mid morning.

    There are lots of good restaurants on the island, though food is pricey at the more upscale ones.

    Some resorts like SEVEN STARS are close to restaurants, the big supermarket, town, etc. For others, you will need a car since taxis are insanely expensive ( about $10 per person each way).

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    I forgot to mention that one reason we keep going back to T&C is that it's an easy non-stop 3 hour flight from the East Coast. Not true of some of the other islands mentioned above.

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    Roams,

    Thanks for the honesty and getting to the point, I like your style. What you said about Antigua was exactly what I was looking for. For people that have been to these places to differentiate them by what they offer. Since I have not heard anyone rave about Antigua since doing my research and due to your comments I think I am ready to take Antigua off the list. After looking today it seems the VIs would still be doable for us. However since I have been to the USVI before I was leaning more towards the BVI. Would you recommend staying on Tortola or Gorda? Seems like if we want restaurant selection Tortola is better?

    WWK,

    Thanks for the input. You are like the 7th person to say T&C is their favorite destination. I can tell from the picture its beaches are gorgeous and the water is incredible. However I have a pretty high standard for beaches since I grew up in Destin, FL. We have sugar white sand. Being from the coast you learn from a young age that the real action actually happens in the water and on the boat, the beach gets a little boring after a while haha. Hopefully we can file a nice resort on Provo that has an ocean view. The premium resorts I looked at were pretty super pricey for next July but I didn't look that long. Still deciding whether to do all inclusive.

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    RollTide,

    Provo has sugar white sand, too. But if you're bored by the beach, you might want to look at another island with more action like St. John, for instance. Provo is very quiet, except for water sports.

    Some resorts to check out that aren't as pricey: THE SANDS, WINDSONG, OCEAN CLUB WEST.

    All of the resorts have ocean view and most come with kitchens, so you can scale back food costs by eating breakfast/lunch in your condo/resort.

    Also many resorts offer summer deals of some kind. But it's probably way too early now to figure out what those will be.

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    First, to put thing in perspective, I live in the Caribbean and have visited well over 25 different islands, many of them multiple time.

    While Tortola is nice, my favorite island in the BVI's is Virgin Gorda (Note: No one refers to it as just "Gorda"). I first visited there some 30 years ago and have been back many, many times since then. Also, to put your mind at ease, Virgin Gorda has plenty of restaurants, not as many as Tortola, but more than enough for you to have lunch and dinner at different places every day of your week long honeymoon.

    You should also be aware that on this forum there are a lot of T&C enthusiasts but I'm not one of them. One visit was enough for my spouse and me, we will not be going back. Provo's Grace Bay is indeed spectacular (11+ miles of sugar white sand) but the island is flat, arid and scrubby which is not to my liking. For us, an island needs more that just a pretty beach. We also found the locals lacked the friendliness that we found on other island.

    The biggest difference between the beaches on Provo vs. the ones on Virgin Gorda come down to color of the sand - white on Provo vs. light gold on Virgin Gorda - and the "size" and number of the beaches. On Provo, the main beach is Grace Bay which is 11+ miles long. There are a couple other beaches around the island that are somewhat remote and devoid of any "facilities".

    There are many more beaches on Virgin Gorda but they are are smaller "cove like" beaches that vary in size from a few hundred feet to about 3/4's of a mile in length. IMO, the beaches on Virgin Gorda are more "picturesque" being nestled among hundreds of naturally growing palm trees and other tropical plants and vegetation, which you really won't find on Provo (much of the vegetation at the Grace Bay resorts is man-made landscaping, not natural growing plants).

    Have fun selecting your honeymoon destination.

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    Roams,

    Thanks for the in depth info. After discussing with my fiance we are now very much considering the BVI. What is the most economical way to get to Virgin Gorda? Is it to fly into Tortola and then take a boat to Virgin Gorda?

    In regards to T&C I will have to agree about the landscape. My fiance is very much into the topography and vegetation on an island. She wants to do some onshore excursions and places like T&C do not really offer that. Outside of the Virgin Islands is there anywhere else in the Caribbean you would recommend?

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    No doubt Provo isn't for every taste. We go because we love the easy flight, the beach (!), the quiet, and choice of restaurants. But there isn't much to do other than water sports.

    Now about the locals: I could say the same about lack of friendliness in parts of St. Thomas, Barbados, and even Aruba. I don't think this is particular to T&C.

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    Getting to Virgin Gorda can be a bit of a challenge but it is definitely worth the trip.

    The "most economical way" may not necessarily be the "best" way. You have to look not only at the cost but also take into consideration the overall amount of time you spend reaching your destination and whether or not you feel a particular way is worth the cost differential. Generally speaking the most costly method is to fly directly into VG from either San Juan or St. Thomas and the less costly method is to take one of the ferries from St. Thomas.

    The only way to determine which is the "most economical" is to actually price out the different options for YOUR specific dates of travel. Airline flights from the US (I assume that's where you are flying from) can vary greatly depending on time of year, day of week and the particular airline's anticipated passenger loads for the flights you select. Ferry schedules sometimes don't "mesh" well with airline schedules meaning you could have long waits or connections that are so short as to be problematic. For instance you may find a bargain air fare to San Juan that will help offset the cost to fly from SJU to VG and make your overall cost lower than if you flew from the US into St. Thomas and took a ferry. Or, you may find that your timing is such that you can't make the short ferry trip but instead have to take one that makes multiple stops. The ONLY way to know what works best FOR YOU is to price out the different options - there is no "pat" answer.

    Personally, when traveling I NEVER, intentionally inconvenience myself just to save a few dollars. I'd rather use the method that gets me to my final destination as quickly as possible and with the least amount of connections.

    You basically have the following options:

    1) You can take a private charter flight from either San Juan or St. Thomas to VG. This will be the most costly option and probably be outside your budget. I mention only because it is the best, quickest and easiest way to reach the island.

    2) Flying into either San Juan or St. Thomas then taking a commuter flight (most likely on Air Sunshine) to Virgin Gorda. Depending on your actual dates of travel you may find the cost for flying in VG is not all that much more than taking a series of ferries..

    3) Flying into San Juan than taking a connecting flight to Tortola and then a ferry to VG. Cost will be about the same or slightly less than option 2 but will take longer. (FYI - it makes no sense to fly into San Juan and take a connecting flight to Tortola and ferry to VG so I've eliminated that option).

    4) Flying into St. Thomas than taking ferry to VG. Depending on day and time the ferry might make one or more intermediate stops or you might have to take 2 different ferries. Cost will be less than options 1, 2 or 3 but elapse travel time will be several hours longer.

    You can check Air Sunshine fares and schedules at: www.airsunshine.com

    You can check ferry schedules between St. Thomas and VG at the following websites: http://www.bestofbvi.com/info/info_bviferry.htm

    Google "Getting to Virgin Gorda" for lots of information.

    Last hint: You might also want to check out the BVI Forum on TravelTalkOnLine - use the search feature there and you'll find hundreds of threads on the different ways to reach Virgin Gorda. - the subject has been discussed ad nauseum.

    Hope this helps.

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    I'm adding my vote for Virgin Gorda, if you can find a way to make it work financially and logistically. It's a less touristed but beautiful island. Google image searches will help you get a sense of the beachscapes of both VG and T&C. I think VG is more different compared to Destin and will likely seem more exotic. Little Dix Bay is probably your best resort option. Lots of nice villas too, and you could always hire a cook/maid.

    I went for a day trip to St. Lucia on a cruise stop and was really impressed with the island's beauty. And there's lots of waterfalls for your fiance! The problem, in my opinion, is that the resorts are either incredibly expensive (Jade Mountain, Anse Chastenet, Sugar Beach) or get mixed reviews. Can't really recommend one for you.

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    Obviously not 1 island fits all, so if you want the best--

    Water (turquiose): Turks and Caicos, Anguilla, Caymans, Barbuda, Virgin Islands, Grenadines, Out Islands of Bahamas. Avoid: St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Grenada (has some turquoise but not enough for the list) Antigua is turquoise but not same league as the list

    Lushness (interiors which add to scenery and not meaning that all have turquoise water): Virgin Islands (probably most turquoise), Antigua, Grenada, St. Martin, St. Vincent, St. Lucia (not really turquoise waters)

    Best snorkeling: Bonaire (no real beaches though), Virgin Islands, Caymans, Turks and Caicos, Belize, Roatan

    Best Beaches: Turks and Caicos, Anguilla, Out Islands of Bahamas

    Most expensive: Anguilla, St. Barts, Barbuda, followed by Caymans, Turks and Caicos

    Best shopping: St. Martin, St. Thomas

    Best Restaurants: Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barts, followed by Turks and Caicos

    Best beach bars: Virgin Islands, Out Islands of Bahamas

    You will find fans for every island, you will find people that don't like other islands. You will find that some users love their island so much they recommend it even if it doesn't fit criteria

    For example, I love Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, Virgin Islands, Out Islands Bahamas. Don't like Grenada, St. Lucia or Bequia (in Grenadines but LOVE the others) at all.

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    For a honeymoon? I strongly suggest St. Lucia. T an C definitely has the crystal clear water because of its topography and location but St. Lucia also has wonderful water. If you stay in the Rondey Bay area in the north there are several good restaurants there as well as many resorts like Le Sport, Sandals, Club St. Lucia, Royal St. Lucian and others. They are not in remote areas. If you like seclusion then you can go to Ladera, Jade Mountain or Anse Chastanet which are in the Soufriere area on the west coast. These are all outstanding. Getting around the island can be reasonable depending on your contacts.

    There is also a casino in Rodney Bay.

    I have a personal blog on St. Lucia that you may find of interest and which may help you decide. Go to:

    https://www.travelblog.org/Central-America-Caribbean/Saint-Lucia/blog-788144.html

    Good luck.

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    Thanks Jimmie for your vote, it seems I am really going to try and book the BVI if all possible. Hopefully the resorts there are a tad cheaper than St. Lucia as the airfare is about $160 per person flying directly to Virgin Gorda. Since we are only going for 7 days and the fact we are flying from Houston does not really allow us to take the ferry. The flights land too late.

    Roams, can you recommend your top resort choices for Virgin Gorda and Tortola?

    Thanks
    Hunter

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    For honeymoon in VG definitely Little Dix Bay, not cheap but worth the money, it's awesome!

    Many places to stay in different price ranges on Tortola, and actually easy access to hop around day trips to VG, St John, Jost Van Dyke (do not miss there 3) maybe even Peter Island.

    What's nice about Tortola is it's a great base to hop around easily on ferries. (and the 3 day trips have amazing beaches, some excursions even combine a couple of them in a day and stop at others for snorkeling too)

    If you want suggestions, what is your actual budget? As we can be all over the place if not

    If you decide to stay VG you can actually day trip to St John too. (or switch it, stay at St John more economically them day trip VG and others)

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    Go to the BVI forum on TripAdvisor and click on the "Hotels" link - you'll find listings for just about every hotel/resort on both islands with "hundreds" of reviews.

    If your budget allows, on VG stay at Little Dix Bay, it's one of the best rests in the Caribbean. Look also at Mango Bay Resort (fantastic triple snorkeling reef that runs the entire length of the 3/4 mile long beach just 150' or so off the beach), Nail Bay or Guavaberry Spring Bay. On Tortola, look at Scrubb Island, Fort Recovery or Frenchman's.

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    Well thanks guys for all the input. It looks like I am pretty sold on Virgin Gorda & the BVI. After looking at Little Dix Bay it seems they are actually running some pretty good deals right now. Alot of their packages come with free pickup from St. Thomas airport, Tortola airport or Virgin Gorda airport. Since they offer free shuttle service it seems that the best best is to fly in to Tortola and have them pick me up. Its only a 15-20 min ride from the beef Island Tortola Airport to the resort. That also saves about $200 in airfare as opposed to flying direct to Virgin Gorda. Plus with the distance of the VG airport from the hotel it takes the same amount of time as Beef Island airport.

    Obviously now I have to chose which room type we want and go from there. The LDB resort offers a 2/3 meal plan where you get a selection of breakfast or lunch and dinner. They also dont make you buy it for every night you are there. How is the food on the resort at LDB? I probably would get the 2/3 meal plan for 4 out of the 7 days.

    Can anyone also tell me of the best restaurants on Virgin Gorda? What about ones on Tortola? We may take the ferry there one day eat on Tortola.

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    blamona my budget is in the OP, $7700. That includes airfare. Believe it or not Little Dix bay has some reasonable offers right now compared to the St Lucia and T&C resorts I looked at. THey have a stay 7 pay for 5 deal right now. It is just their normal ocean view rooms but they look bigger than alot of the midlevel rooms at other resorts. I will have to decide whether to rent a car or not. My fiance wants to do some hiking in the national park so a taxi there may be expensive. I am an American but should do fine driving on the left. Genetically I am British so it should come back to me lol.

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    Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    Just so you know Virgin Gorda airport is less than a 5 minute drive from Little Dix Bay. The boat ride from Beef Island (where the airport on Tortola is located) to LDB is more like 30 minutes - so, allowing for the time it takes to clear Immigration & Customs on Tortola and getting to the boat your total transfer time to the resort will be at least an hour, maybe longer. Immigration/Customs at Virgin Gorda Airport will only take a few minutes - from the time you deplane at VG airport until you are in your room at LDB will be about 15 to 20 minutes, and that includes the time it takes for check-in and drinking a welcome cocktail.

    Food at LDB is excellent but there are lots of good "off resorts" restaurants on VG. Chez Bamboo, Top of the Baths, Mine Shaft, Rock Cafe, to name a few. Like I advised above, go to BVI/Virgin Gorda forum on TripAdvisor and use the "Restaurants" link for a complete list and read the reviews. Do the same to check out restaurants on Tortola BUT you should know it's very difficult to go to Tortola for dinner as getting back to VG requires finding a private water taxi operator who is willing to make the crossing after dark.

    If you are just planning to go to Tortola for the "day" I would't plan the trip around where to eat lunch. Instead, hire a taxi driver/guide for the day and have him show you around the island - it's better and more efficient than trying to driving yourself on a one day tour. Tell the driver what type of food you feel like having that day for lunch and have him recommend a place. You'll be pleasantly surprised. We do this often when traveling not only in the Caribbean but all over the world and have had some excellent meals - we've never been disappointed.


    Whether or not you opt for LDB's Full Meal Plan or their Modified Meal plan is purely a personal decision. If you opt for a Modified Plan choose the Breakfast and Dinner Plan so you can have lunch at some of the local places. Your comment about choosing the Meal Plan for only part of your stay makes good sense as that will let you experience dinner meals at some of the restaurants around the island which is always a treat.

    The VG National Park is only about a 5 minute drive from LDB Resort so cab cost will be nominal but you'll need to give driver a time for him/her to come back and get you when you finish your hike (or get his cell phone number so you can contact him) as no cabs will be just waiting around for fares. There are some great views from the top of Gorda Peak and it is not a very difficult hike. FYI - There are also some very nice hiking trails that you can access from LDB property.

    Suggest you consider renting a car for part or all of your stay. It will give you the flexibility to fully explore the island and to come/go as you please. FYI - driving on the left is a snap - most people get the hang of it in about 5 minutes. Take your time driving and you'll be just fine. Take it from a seasoned traveller - hardly anyone ever regrets renting a car in the Caribbean but when using hindsight a lot of people regret not renting one.

    Lastly, there are NO BAD ROOMS OR BAD ROOM LOCATIONS at Little Dix Bay - there are only different rooms in different locations and, as they say in France "Vive La Difference". Choose the one that fits best with your budget and you won't have any regrets. Remember, no matter which room you are staying in, you'll have full use of all the resort's amenities.

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    Roams,

    Thats good to know about the airports. However since the flight would land at 6pm on Tortola I thought it would be cool to have the resort pick us up. We would be on the water around 7pm and should get some cool views on the water on our way to LDB. Plus flying into Tortola saves about $200. The airfare is tricky because in order to get a good deal you have to stop twice. If you fly directly to San Juan from Houston and then to BVI it doubles the price. Oh well! The total travel time (including layover) over there is only 9 hours so its not horrible.

    But now that I have settled on a resort and island it opens up a whole new can of worms of planning activities, whether to do the meal plan, etc lol. I am still hesitant about doing 4 days of the modified meal plan. The problem is that they make you do the same meal combo for all three days. You can't do bfast & dinner one day and then do lunch & dinner the next. As you said when we are out on excursions and doing things we will most likely eat lunch out. But the problem is most of the excursions leave at like 8:30 or 9:am so I would have to wake up pretty early for bfast haha. But I guess I will just have bfast room service and pay the extra fee.

    We plan to do alot of snorkeling. Looks like DiveBVI picks up at the resort so I am looking at them. We are debating whether to start our dive certification here and try some diving in the BVI. Its just whether it is worth all the trouble and time that will be spent learning a new hobby.

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    RollTide - If you keep asking questions I'm going to have to start charging you for all the travel advice - just kidding, of course!

    You are not clear whether you are flying from Houston to St. Thomas or San Juan then on to Tortola but either way, you'll be on one of the commuter flights into Tortola since that airport only takes small planes. Just take the flight routing that works best time/budget-wise for you. Again (as a very experienced traveler) , I caution you to make the routing which gives you the least amount of connections even if it costs a bit more. The more connecting flights you have the greater your chances are that you'll experience some type of delay or even cancellation. And on the WAY TO the Caribbean allow at least 60 minutes (90 minutes is better) between flight connections. On the way BACK allow at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours between your flight from Tortola to either St. Thomas or San Juan as you'll have to clear Immigrations/ Customs/TSA all of which can be very time consuming.

    If your flight to Tortola lands at 6PM you'll be making the crossing to VG just before or just after sunset (depending on how long it takes you to clear Immigration & Customs and whether or not the flight is "on-time (commuter flights in the Caribbean don't always go on schedule). In July, sunset is between 6:50 and 7PM and it gets dark very quickly so I'm betting the last half of your crossing will be "in the dark".

    For some great walk-in snorkeling on VG be sure to visit the Baths, Spring Bay (aka the Crawl), Savannah Bay, Mahoe Bay and Mountain Truck Bay. For boat access snorkeling sites you might want to consider booking trips to the Caves on Norman Island, the Indians, the Dog Cays or even to the reefs around Prickley Pear and Necker Islands. Dive BVI is a terrific company. You'll be in good hands if you dive with them or go on one of their snorkeling trips.

    As for meals, if you don't do the Meal Plan you'll find that the "ala carte" meal prices at LDB are on the high side. If you "opt out" you'll do much better just taking some or all of your breakfasts at LDB (not a lot of off-site places serve breakfast other than resorts which tend to be pricy) and then have lunch & dinners wherever you want - either on or off resort. BUT, do this if you have a rental car otherwise you'll spend a lot on cab fares effectively wiping out any cost savings you get by not taking the meal plan. For what it is worth, in all my travels we've almost always found it more economical to opt out of meal plans besides, doing so allows you to sample a lot of the local cuisine and nothing stops you from eating at the resort whenever you wish.

    Good luck.

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    I think it's a good idea to rent a car for at least part of your stay -- may three or four days -- to do some exploring around the island. Traffic is minimal. We had a good experience with Mahogany Rentals many years ago. Roams has given you the best beach spots, and on the day you go to the Baths, make sure you get there early when it opens to beat the daytripper crowds. Spring Bay is my favorite, and there's decent snorkeling as you work your way south toward the Baths. Mahoe has a nice reef offshore.

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    Ok so after enough research to make my head explode we have decided on VG. We will stay at Little Dix Bay for 7 nights in mid July. The only real thing I am trying to decide now is flights. Unfortunately Houston does not offer much directly to Puerto Rico and even if we took Delta we would arrive in Tortola later than the American Airlines flights. American Airlines only offers us flights that have two stops. So the question becomes do we leave two hours earlier, fly to Dallas and then on to Puerto Rico. Or do we get 2 more hours of sleep the day after our wedding, fly to Miami and then on to Puerto Rico. The main thing here is whether flying to Dallas or Miami is better in July. Both flights eventually take the same plane from PR to Tortola. I REALLY wish Houston offered more direct flights to PR through different carriers. They want $1300+ to fly direct from Houston to PR then on to Tortola.

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    Take it from a very seasoned travel (more than 2.5 million miles since 1985) - I have the following basic rules of travel (listed in order of importance):

    1) Whenever possible fly non-stop to your final destination.

    2) If you have to make a connecting flight or flights, always opt for the least number of connections for any give flight. The more flights you take, the more chances for something to go wrong.

    3) Opt for the earliest possible flight. That way if things go awry you'll have more time to deal with any problems.

    4) On connecting flights allow at least 60 minutes between flights for domestic transfers (90 minutes is better) and at least 90 minutes between transfers (2 hours is better) for international transfers.

    So, if I were you, and assuming you have at least 60 minutes between flights in PR, I'd take the non-stop Delta flight to PR rather than the American connecting flight via MIA.

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