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Bermuda vs. Virgin Gorda

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Jan 3rd, 2016, 10:49 PM
  #1
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Bermuda vs. Virgin Gorda

About three months ago my fiance and I decided on Virgin Gorda for our July 2016 Honeymoon. I had chose Rosewood Little Dix Bay as our resort as well. The resort has a stay 5 nights get 2 nights free deal and it seems pretty reasonable for all that it offers. However, the logistics of getting to Virgin Gorda have me doubting my choice. Luckily I have not booked anything as of yet. But since time is ticking I need to make a decision soon. The biggest issue is the cost of airfare and the amount of connections/time it takes to get to Virgin Gorda from Houston. 2.5 months ago the price of flights were reasonable at about $775 for a total travel time of about 9.5 hours with 2 stops. However, randomly about 8 weeks ago the price went up about $300 a ticket with American Airlines. The other airlines are $1250+. It just seemed ridiculous to pay this much to fly to the Caribbean from a major city on the Gulf. I could basically fly to Europe or Hawaii for cheaper.

So to make a long story short I am still considering VG but am also looking closely at Bermuda and possibly Hawaii. My main concern with Bermuda is the cost of lodging if you want a beach front hotel. We want to do alot of snorkeling, like good good, and want to avoid a trashy/tourist trap island. Any comments or suggestions about these three choices is welcome. I appreciate the input.

Hunter
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 10:51 PM
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Good food*
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 10:53 PM
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Also forgot to mention that budget is about $7500 for total 7 night trip cost.
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Jan 4th, 2016, 12:58 AM
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I can't speak for VG at all, but lived on Bermuda for 5 years. Do you want to snorkel from your hotel? I ask because the shore snorkeling can be very dependent on the calmness of the waves, obviously, so your nicest beachfront hotels might not be your best best for walk-in snorkeling.
Cambridge Beaches and that end of the south shore would be the most consistently calm for snorkeling. The south shore nearer to the airport can see more wave action; I think the barrier reef is closer to shore.
However, the off-shore snorkeling (boat trips) can be fantastic - the shallowness of the reef extends for miles and miles. I've been 3 or 4 miles off north shore at low tide and the water has been waist deep. But boatloads of other snorkellers might not be your cup of tea.
Hope that helps a little.
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Jan 4th, 2016, 04:22 AM
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If snorkeling is a high priority then Virgin Gorda is the destination I would choose - there's some of the best snorkeling in the USVI's & BVI's (much walk-in from the beaches).

As for getting there, look at routing yourself from Houston to San Juan, then taking Air Sunshine or Cape Air to Virgin Gorda. Or, flying into St. Thomas then taking Air Sunshine or a ferry to Virgin Gorda - depending on the dates you travel you should be able to find airfares (or airfare + ferry) in the $650 to $800 range.

Hint: When researching airfares, it sometimes helps if you delete the "cookies" on your computer. Airlines use those to track your travel plans and it's not unusual for them to show you higher fares if you keep looking at the same itineraries. Use sites like Matrix ITA (http://matrix.itasoftware.com) or Kayak (http://www.kayak.com) for your initial search then when you pick your flights go to the airline websites to book.
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Jan 4th, 2016, 05:57 AM
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Have you looked into Grand Cayman Island? Beautiful beach and snorkeling there.
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Jan 4th, 2016, 06:21 AM
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VG vs. Bermuda vs. Hawaii as you may already know are drastically different islands. Are you flying in to Tortola? and taking the ferry over to VG? Should be the most economical...
Bermuda is lovely and I would not consider it a tourist trap. It is an upscale island with some very nice restaurants as well as good shopping. We are not big snorkelers so cannot comment. The beaches are nice/decent although horseshoe bay can be mobbed when the cruise ships are in town.
We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. For us it was not as relaxing as the Caribbean usually is since there is so much to see and do (on Maui, Kauai, Big Island)
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Jan 4th, 2016, 07:00 AM
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The easiest way to get to Virgin Gorda is usually to fly into St. Thomas and take the Caneel Bay ferry to St. John and then continue on the resort ferry directly to Little Dix Bay. You arrange this through the resort. I can't guarantee that this is the fastest way, but the resort should be able to confirm if the connections will work for you.

Otherwise, flying into Tortola and taking the ferry from there is a the best way (and what almost everyone else does).
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Jan 4th, 2016, 09:43 AM
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I've been to all three. While I loved our trip to Virgin Gorda (we stayed at Biras Creek and visited Little Dix), Bermuda is my favorite island ever. We've been there 7 times. Last year, we stayed at Pompano Beach Club and they have a stay 4 nights, pay for 3 (or stay 8 nights, pay for 6) and it's a good location with a very pretty (small) beach. There are a number of other high end resorts and I can't imagine they would cost more than Little Dix.

There is a lot to do in Bermuda, it's a very sophisticated island with a strong British feel. I love the ferries and the small city of Hamilton. You can't rent a car there, just motorbikes - but be careful riding them. Virgin Gorda is very laid back and relaxed with not a lot to do which might be exactly what you're looking for. Hawaii is nice, particularly the north shore of Kauai, but I personally prefer Bermuda or the Caribbean.
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Jan 5th, 2016, 07:21 AM
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I have traveled to VG multiple times. You have 3 options. Fly into St Thomas or Tortola and take a ferry. Ferry schedules are tricky in July but they exist. Best option is fly into San Juan and take a puddle jumper to VG. There are several. Cape Air or Air Sunshine. It's an amazing flight. You fly over all the islands and land on a tiny runway. Worth the price.
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Jan 7th, 2016, 09:31 PM
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I like the Reefs club in Bermuda. It would be very nice for a honeymoon.

Grand Cayman is also a nice low key island.

I would like Bermuda more.

Taking 9.5 hours to get the Caribbean is long! You could fly to Hawaii for that.

I think there is so much to do and see in a place like Hawaii. With one week for a honeymoon, you are better off chilling on a beach. My pick would be number 1, Bermuda. Number 2 Grand Cayman and if you can find an easier way to get to VG, then that could change my mind.
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Jan 8th, 2016, 11:51 AM
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We honeymooned in Tortola and visited the islands in the BVI at leisure. We flew to STT and ferried over. Use skyscanner and look at your various options. It may behoove you to get to STT late and spend one night there.

Bermuda has no beach type bars and are off road, downhill and with few facilities. Virgin Gorda is WAY less populated and remote. Getting around Bermuda involves taxi or bus, and traffic can be bad.

Snorkeling is way better around V Gorda with interesting side trips to the Caves and Indians. Side trips to Jost Van Dyke and Anegada by plane are delightful.
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