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Help! plan our honeymoon

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We are getting married in July and are desperately trying to plan an amazing honeymoon. We have done so much research to find the perfect destination, but still can not decide. We think some advice from people who have actually traveled the Caribbean might be more helpful. Here is a little background on us...we went to Aruba last year and LOVED it, we had the time of our lives and I think we are comparing every island to Aruba, so our first and most important requirement would be the soft sand and clear, calm water of Aruba (we loved being able to walk in the water and our feet only touched soft sand, not anything icky) we also loved being able to jump up from our lounge chair and hop on a jet-ski or go water-tubing. Second, we love exploring nature....while in Aruba we rented a jeep and explored the island on our own, it was our best day on the island! We definitely want to be able to have that type of experience again. Hiking through rainforests, caves, anything historical, etc is our idea of a perfect day, so the more lush and scenic the better, and we would like the safety on the island so we can explore on our own, not with a guided tour. We both want to have a more "islandy" feel than Aruba had...a little less American-ized. We are hoping to plan a 10-14 day vacation in which we would spend half on the beach and half exploring the island. We are not into restaurants and do not want to go anywhere overcrowded or to a party destination. We enjoy the casinos and like shopping from the locals. After our research we decided on Antigua and Barbuda, but wanted to hear feedback before making the final decision. I loved Grenada, but everyone is still hung up on the politics from the 80's and is scaring my fiancee out of going there. We thought about Belize, but heard the beaches were not good. I like Puerto Rico but my fiancee is scared of sharks and thinks he might get eaten there (yes i know lol...but it is true) Thoughts on St. Vincent? Also, it does not have to be an island in the Caribbean, we will consider any destination! Lastly, I would like to keep the airfare at no more than $600ish per person round trip and not have a difficult time traveling (from New York). Thank you so much in advance for all of your suggestions...we can't wait to hear them!!!

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    Ok, you've given us plenty of information to go on.

    First off, you are asking for a destination with rain forests so that's going to leave out the flatter coral/limestone based islands like Aruba, Anguilla and (I'm sorry to say) Barbuda. Antigua is not particularly lush either so you might scratch those islands from your short list.

    You mentioned Grenada - well that has just about everything you are seeking except casinos - and, by the way, the government there is very stable and they are doing all they can to foster tourism. It's the up and coming destination - still a bit "undiscovered".

    St. Vincent is a very lush islands but you'll probably be disappointed with the beaches.

    You might like St. John (USVI's) or Virgin Gorda (BVI's - both are hilly, somewhat lush (dry forests rather than rain forests), have excellent golden sand beaches, some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean, lots of other water sports and plenty of hiking opportunities (in fact 2/3's of St. John is a National Park). The only thing missing from your list is a casino. Best of all you should have no difficulty getting to either island on you $600/PP travel budget.

    Sorry, can't help you with your fiance's irrational fear of getting eaten by a shark Not to make light of the situation but the odds of him even seeing a shark (while essentially the same no matter where in the Caribbean you go) is in fact very, very, very slim.

    If you wan't an island with a casino you might look at St. Martin. The island is hilly, has some decent hiking, more watersports than you can imagine, plenty of duty free shopping and has two different cultures - French and Dutch.

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    Hi Brian and Cindie, I run the Grenada Tourist Board in the UK, so i'm biased, but... Grenada does have everything you want with the exception of Casino's.
    Don't understand your comment about being scared to go. I go regularly and so do thousands of Brits and American's. Crime is low, politics are stable, and democratic!
    Yes they talk about the incursion, but it's the one thing that put them on the map and the older generation in Grenada want everyone to know where they were when... has no baring on what's happening in the country today.
    I've just go back and I took a group of tour operators who only sell wedding & honeymoon's and 100% of them fell in love with the island and their number one comment was how friendly and approachable the people are. No hassles on the beach and you feel safe walking around. If that's what the travel trade think and they make a living out of sending people to places they can make money from, then you will not regret your decision.
    Grenada has everything you are looking for with just enough hotels for you to find your perfect hide-a-away, and as most of the hotels have a self catering option, then you don't need to worry about using restaurants - although I think you will be missing something special. If you are going to be on island the last Friday of any month, go to Fish Friday in Gouyave, for a great local's get together.
    Take the plunge, I've worked with Grenada since 2000 and in all that time, I've had three complaints from travellers, and everyone was because they choise a hotel not recommenede by the Tourist Board.
    Good luck.
    Sharon - General Manager, Grenada Board of Tourism, UK

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    Congrats! St Lucia very romantic

    good packages on

    one of my favs other islands

    with great beach/nice mountains

    not a tonne of rain in July...

    Jamaica Swept Away Negril

    Guadeloupe Martinique Barbados Granada

    Little tougher to get to by air though...

    Happy Hunting,

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