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Honeymoon in Caribbean & US - HELP!

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Hello Folks,

We are planning to spend our honeymoon in the Caribbean & US. Total days - 18-20! We need your help and ideas on how do we work out the best itinerary which means convenient travel, and more exploring.

I just looked up and there are far too many options to decide between in the caribbean and shortlist the perfect one. Basically, this is what we have decided -
- We want to spend 7-9 nights in 2 Caribbean islands. Possibly two contrasting cities and cultures. Of which, we would like to do ONE all-inclusive resport
- Later, we wish to travel to the US (most probably - the west coast) and do a 10-12 days road trip.

For Caribbean -
- We would like to do an All-inclusive package at one of the 2 places we do. Having looked through the existing deals, we have found a lot good hotels are going out of our budget. Between the rest, it's a little confusing and not able to differentiate much of it. Ideally our budget is - USD 500/night for a couple (for 4 nights)
- We would like to do more of cultural and vibrant city experiencing than secluded and alone time and hence if you could suggest which two places we should go in the Caribbean.

For US -
- The easiest and safest bet is to do a roadtrip from the Pacific Coast highway across California. However, that's too short of a trip and would appreciate if you could help us with a better, longer roadtrip.
- Here, we would be interested in doing cities, smalls, adventures, national parks and different experiences.

For the moment, based on my research - I had shortlisted the following 2 Caribbean
1. Punta Cana, Dominican Replublic (Hardrock Hotel - All Inclusive)
2. Cancun, Mexico

However, the flights aren't the cheapest and they all fly through NJ, which doesn't seem the right way to go.

I am planning to travel at the end of March so, I might be getting a little late with my booking.

I'm open to ideas and any suggestions!

Thanks for your help in advance :)

- Shreyansh

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    March is peak season in Caribbean, so much is sold out already

    Travel time from 1 Caribbean island to another usually requires back to US, over nit there, etc. It's not easy to island hop!

    Most islands can be reached from Miami, (DR) or New York. Why not add a couple of nights of those in US? To Cancun you can fly through Dallas TX.

    A local airline might fly from DR to Cancun, so that might help.

    Where are you coming from? (to determine where to fly from). It's extremely hard to get to Caribbean from California without connections in other cities (and maybe even overnights)

    DR is fairly large- for example from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo (you want city) can take 4 hours 1 way.

    Caribbean is about beach and nature, you'll find very little "city" (although DR and Cancun have it, it's not really a city experience)

    California is big, and even with 12 hour drives you can fill 2 weeks. Consider Big Sur, Napa Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, San Diego. 1 of these areas can fill up a week!

    And if US, why not New York or Miami as cities? (at least to break up Caribbean portion)

    You will loose travel days-- from DR to Cancun probably at least a day, from Cancun to California another.

    Cancun is also Spring Break for schools in March-- tons of students will be there with parties, Cancun is party central in March, and not about culture and cities!

    A great place to put air together:, continue to matrix. You can put in multi cities to see how air stacks up

    So where youre coming from is a start-- being flexible will help

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    That is a long hop from the Caribbean to California, although it's do-able. We flew American Airlines from St Croix to Miami, then nonstop to L.A. and SFO (two different passengers).

    Would you consider Hawaii, then California? Instead of starting in the Caribbean?

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    Wow. Where to start!

    As you've already discovered, there don't seem to be any direct flights from the Dominican Republic to Cancun. You'll have to make a stop someplace, probably in the US. That's going to be at least half a day of traveling, and more likely most of a day. There are a couple of established airlines that mostly fly in the Caribbean. Winair ( and Caribbean Airlines fly between some islands. Perhaps you could choose two islands where it's easier to travel? You haven't allowed that much time for the Caribbean and by changing islands you're already giving up most of a day.

    Or, you could just stay in two different areas of Mexico and have very different experiences. You can easily find an all-inclusive and non-all-inclusive to meet your budget. There's a lot to do and see just on the Caribbean side of Mexico.

    If you still want to stay on two islands or an island and Cancun and you're looking for different cultures I can tell you that all the islands are different and feel different culturally. The problem is you wanting city experiences. Not many islands have big cities. Islands with higher populations and thus more nightlife include St. Martin, Aruba, Jamaica (although I might not advise staying in Kingston), Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Jamaica has a lot of all-inclusives and a lot of things to do as well.

    I think if you have your heart set on an island and Cancun you're going to have to accept that you're going to lose about a day in travel to make it happen.

    The Hardrock Hotel is known as a party resort and it will be doubly so in March since it will be spring break for a lot of colleges in the US. Just be aware.

    It's pretty easy to reach California from Cancun. You might have to change planes but there should be plenty of flights. You may want to post on the US board to get suggestions for the California portion of your trip but you really don't have that much time in California either. California is huge and there are thousands of things to see. Some places won't be accessible even in March due to snow. I would suggest flying to San Francisco and staying there for at least 3 days. If you're interested in wine country then rent a car and drive to Napa/Sonoma. Spend a couple of days there and then head over to Yosemite National Park. All of the park won't be open due to snow but some of it should be (do some research or ask on the US board) and spend a night there. Then head back to the coast and drive down Highway 1 making stops along the way: Big Sur, maybe Hearst Castle, Santa Barbara. End your visit in L.A. with whatever time you have left. Really, that's all you'll have time for.

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    Depending where you are flying from... You could fly directly to Jamaica, there are multiple AI's around the Montego Bay area, I can't personally recommend any one of them since we don't stay at AI's but there is lots of info here on the forum.

    Negril would be my recommendation but with only a few days... The 4 hour drive each way back and forth to the airport will eat into your honeymoon.

    Spend a few days there then, fly to Puerto Rico, a few days there and a direct flight to Florida?

    A direct flight home and you are spending as little time in airports (and on planes) as possible while visiting the Caribbean and the US

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    St. Martin! Love this Island!! Here are some Highlights: Anse Marcel: see the Raddison or what ever it's called these days. Take a swim with Anquilla as a backdrop. Gran Case: Tuesday night is Mardi Gras. Eat at Spiga, Sky's the Limit LOLO and Sunset Cafe. Orient Beach: great happening beach, much to do or rent a chair and umbrella get a drink and chill. Watch the planes land at the Sunset Bar.. Go to Phillipsburg to shop or see the mammoth cruise ships.Dawn Beach:Watch the Sunrise, beautiful beach with views of St. Barts, visit Busby's for reasonable breakfast, lunch, beers and use of chairs and umbrella, good snorkeling short way out from the shore. Simpson Bay: this is where most of the nightlife is and there's plenty to do and eat during the day as well. you like beautiful Yachts, they got'em. Take a look at the La Samana hotel: it's beautiful, the most luxurious and a beach and view to pay for, I meant to die for. Enjoy, it's some playground. Next time your back, and you will be, use SXM as a stepping off point to visit one of about 4 surrounding Islands:, Anguilla, St. Bart's, Saba, to name a few. Make sure you don't rent a very small under powered car. You'll need the extra power for the hills, especially around Anse Marcel.

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