April island adventure - help us pick

May 31st, 2013, 05:45 AM
  #1  
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April island adventure - help us pick

Help us pick a relaxing island for an early April 2014 40th anniversary trip. We would like an oceanfront hotel on a beautiful beach. We raised a family and love children but would prefer this trip to not be at a primarily family resort. We are open to AI, but it would have to have a variety of restaurants or at least be close to offsite alternatives. The perfect island would offer an array of water sports, interesting town(s), an historical sight or two, maybe some light hiking, some nightlife, and a variety of restaurants.

We would love direct flights or at least the shortest flight times, and will travel form Dallas, DFW.

We have already been to Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman, and would prefer to experience somewhere new.

I know that we may not be able to tick all the boxes but thought we would just shoot for the moon here. Thanks in advance for your input.
Barblab is offline  
May 31st, 2013, 06:14 AM
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What's your budget?
Jimmie is offline  
May 31st, 2013, 09:04 AM
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For direct flights from DFW, you might be limited to Mexico and Hawaii for places you haven't already been to. Mexico (Caribbean side) would surely tick all the boxes - Hawaii would as well except maybe flight time and of course there are no AIs, might also be lacking in the historical sights (aside from Pearl Harbor maybe) although Lahaina in Maui has some interesting history as an old whaling town.
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May 31st, 2013, 11:19 AM
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Jimmie, we would like to keep it at 7k max but there is some flexibility there.

Odin, we have been to Mexico, both coasts, and Hawaii so was hoping for something in the Caribbean. We were trying to avoid multiple flights each way but maybe that is not to be. We just don't want to spend an entire day getting there and then another one getting home. We have also been to several countries in Central America which is why I did not mention that area.

Thank you both for responding so quickly.
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May 31st, 2013, 11:28 AM
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Forgot to add we are looking at 6 nights lodging.
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May 31st, 2013, 11:33 AM
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I think you could get to Caneel Bay, St. John (USVI), on that budget. Not that hard to fly to -- there's transportation from St. Thomas -- amazing (but smaller) beaches on the property, some neat historical sites nearby, limited nightlife and some decent restaurants, plenty of water activities. It's many people's favorite all around island.
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May 31st, 2013, 12:09 PM
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I have no idea about the availability of direct flights from DFW to Caribbean islands. Perhaps that would be a good place to start? Then we can help narrow your choices. I understand the need to reach your destination quickly with only 6 nights.

Having said that, some of the direct-flight islands from the east coast (other than NY and Miami which have more options), other than the ones you've already been to, are St. Martin, St. Thomas and Aruba. Have you considered St. Martin? It ticks most, if not all, of your boxes. There are plenty of water sports, great restaurants, two towns for exploring, and certainly nightlife. You could even take the ferry to Anguilla for the day if you wanted a change of pace although I wouldn't bother with so few days. Or you can also take the ferry to St. Barts for the day but I really wouldn't bother with that as it can be a very bumpy ride.

Jimmie's suggestion of St. John might also work for you. We've stayed at Caneel and the location can't be beat. And it has great snorkeling right off of the beach.

You're probably already aware that some resorts change their pricing from high season rates to low season rates on 15 April. But some don't make the switch until 1 May so be careful when you're looking for a place to stay.
sharona is offline  
May 31st, 2013, 01:41 PM
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I agree with the USVI as a destination- from DFW you'll either go to Miami and then St Thomas or to Puerto Rico, then St Thomas. It won't take you ALL day. The combination of St Thomas and St John (a 15 minute ferry ride away) is difficult to beat. IMHO ;-)
eastenderusvi is offline  
Jun 1st, 2013, 04:49 AM
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Thank you for the answers thus far. I am exploring all of your ideas.

I did lots of research trying to determine the direct Caribbean flights from DFW but it is harder than you think. It seemed whenever I came up with a possible destination when I actually looked up the flights it had us leaving one morning and arriving sometimes the next day! So my thought in posting was the hope I could find a seasoned DFW/Caribbean traveler that could direct me to the easiest islands to reach.

Again, thank you for the time you have taken to help me.
Barblab is offline  
Jun 1st, 2013, 05:30 AM
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There aren't many direct flights at all and the ones that exist you have already been on. You'll have to go via MIA or SJU to get anywhere. You can fly to Barbados from MIA for instance. Might be worth taking a look at Spirit Airlines apart from the usual suspects eg AA, again it will be via MIA or FLL or somewhere like that.
Odin is offline  
Jun 1st, 2013, 07:40 AM
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For what it is worth, there are very few non-stop flights from DFW to the Caribbean. You probably can only get (via non-stop) to Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, the Dominican Republic and perhaps Aruba. You will need connecting flights to reach almost every other island.

If you fly American, you'll connect through Miami to most other islands. If you fly Delta you'll be connecting through Atlanta and if on USAir you'll connect through Charlotte.

I fly out of DFW to the Caribbean often (on American) - In addition to the destinations I listed above, here are some destinations you can usually reach in one day (leaving on the 5:30AM flight to Miami): St. Thomas, St. Martin, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Aruba, Providenciales (Turks & Caicos), Nassau & Bermuda. I'm sure you can find a few more if you do your research.
RoamsAround is offline  
Jun 1st, 2013, 08:26 AM
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Here's a good search engine if you aren't familiar with it. I'm sure you already know about Kayak?

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/search.htm

I did a quick search from DFW to Aruba, St. Martin, and St. Thomas for random weekend dates in early April 2014. You can reach all of these islands on the same day at reasonable travel duration (7-9 hours) with one stop. They do leave early, however, just as RoamsAround said.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 04:15 AM
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Keep on mind air will be expensive then, it's major spring breaks for Canada and US, so that's the height of peak season.

To avoid the crowds you may have to connect and not maximize your going and leaving days, as those fill up first.

Although you have to take a ferry to these, St. John might do nicely for you. Fly into St. Thomas, the go to ferry dock, then 20 minute ferry to St. John. The connection time to Virgin Gorda is longer, but you may find it worth it.

You might want to consider an Out Island in Bahamas, but they also require connections.

Most islands that will fit your criteria during spring break peak seasons are going to require connections.

When I saw spring break crowds, I don't mean overrun with 18 year old partiers, but is is extremely popular time for families.
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Jun 7th, 2013, 05:15 AM
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Just wanted to follow up and report that we decided on St. Lucia. We are just going to suck it up and take the 5:30 am flight to have some time the first day, and then we take a fairly late flight home. Thank you to all who responded.
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