Affordable Eats & Drinks - which Islands?

Jul 13th, 2015, 10:11 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 3
Affordable Eats & Drinks - which Islands?

Hello! We are planning our annual Holiday vacation using reward points for hotel and air. 2 couples in our low 40's. Xmas - New Years.

Our challenge is finding a destination that has affordable food and drink options. We were in Grand Cayman last year and sampled some of the top rated restaurants and spots but found the prices to be quite high. We could not get a table at the reasonably prices establishments - 90 minute wait times! Our actual hotel food and drink prices were ridiculous. But the beach and snorkeling were wonderful.

Unfortunately our hotel chain does not offer AI for points redemption. Although they have some resorts that offer AI if you pay cash - we have to use points. We have even tried purchasing food for lunches in our room and snacks, even alcohol - but it never quite works. We enjoy dining out and mixing things up with choices. Plus we have to add in a resort fee for a few of the locations.

We have been to Puerto Rico twice so that is out. We have considered going to Mexico? We have a ton of options - Aruba, Curaçao, St kitts, St Thomas....large chain - am I allowed to mention the name on here? Even Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica....

We enjoy pools, beaches, piña coladas, snorkeling, walking through town, a bottle of pinot noir, and good food! Safe to leave the resort area. Willing to taxi to a new restaurant every evening, without having to pay a fortune for the meal.

Which Islands have good food and drinks for reasonable prices? And choices other than the facility you are staying at? Please help, the budget is tight this year . We appreciate your help immensely!!!!
thebus01 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2015, 11:43 AM
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Bassguy66 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2015, 12:17 PM
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Your money definitely will go further in Mexico than on most any Caribbean island.

That said Negril Jamaica has plenty of 'cheap eats' for local style food. But it's a more rustic place not really a pina colada kind of town.
suze is offline  
Jul 13th, 2015, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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At that time of year you are going to pay premium prices in most places. I do not care for St. Thomas at all- personal opinion- and it would be expensive. I much prefer St. John or the NVI's- not sure of your hotel chain for points.
I am planning my first trip to Belize for next February 1/2 in Ambergris Caye and 1/2 on Caye Caulker) and have been pleasantly surprised at the good prices for accommodations and restaurant menus as compared to places we have been in the BVI's, USVI's and the out islands of the Bahamas- our favorite places. Seems to be very safe for using a rental golf cart, biking or walking to get around and plenty of choices of places to stay and to eat/drink.
I do think Mexico is a good choice, too- we went to Akumal in February and had a very good time- very reasonable condo and good restaurants but smaller place (which we love). We have also enjoyed Isla Mujeres but considering Tulum or Holbox for our next Mexican adventure. Tulum might be a good choice- or look into Playa del Carmen or Cozumel if you want a bigger, livelier location.
Planned then had to cancel two Roatan trips in recent years. Still think it might work for you pricewise.
ishkribbl is offline  
Jul 13th, 2015, 06:12 PM
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Thanks for the advice! I'm not sure about Belize, that's a good one. Also, we went to Puerto Vallarta years ago and loved the food and prices. I'll keep looking
thebus01 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2015, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 195
With research you can find reasonably priced restaurants anywhere, but you will be going at the busiest time of the year. Place your reservations well in advance so you don't have a long wait
beachykeen is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2015, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,122
Have you considered Aruba? Aruba has a variety of restaurants in all price brackets to suit most peoples finances. That is one thing I love about Aruba. They have TGIF,Wendy's (if you want fast food) Tony Romas, Pizza places, 5 Guys hamburgers, Senior Frogs, Mexican, and of course all the local eateries as well. You can eat cheaply in Aruba if you choose. This is high season of course you are looking at. Aruba has friendly warm welcoming people.

I like the Mexico ideas we well. St. Thomas is very expensive.
diann24 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2015, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Funny coincidence, I go to PV every year, I think my fall trip this year will be my 25th time. AS you can tell, I love pretty much everything about the place.
suze is offline  
Jul 25th, 2015, 05:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I'm surprised you can use points at Christmas, as almost everything even paying is pretty much sold out!

Have you tried even seeing where points are available? That will truly knock down your choices.

Over all Central America is much cheaper than any island.
blamona is offline  
Aug 7th, 2015, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2015
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We are at a high enough level on our Hotel and Air status that we can use points anytime. But there are some places booked already, last year in the Caymans the whole hotel seemed to be on points! Probably why they had a resort fee per day ;-)
thebus01 is offline  

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