Caribbean Island Like Phuket, Thailand?

Mar 30th, 2006, 06:34 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,837
Thanks mistybc! Yes Pippi had 2 friends. Tommy and Annika. They were brother and sister. LOL!

About your honeymoon to the Caribbean. You're going to love it! I married and honeymooned in the Caribbean (Bermuda). My photographs are awesome! Somehow that does not seem to fit your desires though. Such a tough choice to make because they are all so different. However they will all please you.

(Portugal- what a great country. Would love to go back sometime soon).
Best wishes!
annikany is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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I'm guessing Cancun is nothing like Phuket, but it *would* meet all your requirements. You can find an all-inclusive very cheap. There are plenty of luxury hotels. You can take the bus (around 50 cents) to any of the beaches -- Playa Delfina was the prettiest beach on the island, IMO! There's always something to do, but it's easy to relax there. We took a side trip to Chichen Itza (ancient ruins) and a cenote (a natural underground pool) and loved both. Street vendors everywhere, but you don't get harrassed on the beach -- only if you go to the markets, in which case you're there to haggle anyway Lots of great Mexican food (obviously) but you can find fast food or a Planet Hollywood when you just want a burger. We also felt safe there at all hours, because the nightlife is so busy that you never get that creepy, isolated feeling.
karameli is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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P.S. I forgot to say that I know Cancun wouldn't "count" as Caribbean -- it was just the first place that popped into my mind after reading your post! Also, we went in July and it did NOT have that crazy, cheesy Spring Break vibe. If your honeymoon in between February and April, you'd probably want to steer clear.

You could also consider Curacao, with a side trip to Bonaire.
karameli is offline  
Apr 15th, 2006, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Your original post was a couple weeks ago so you may have already made up your mind. But, if not, I'd encourage you to consider St. John. I think it would fit almost if not all your requirements.

It's a beautiful island (lush green mountains, 2/3 National Park, awesome beaches in the National Park with great snorkeling right off the beach, as well as very nice for swimming & sunbathing).

It has a nice little town (Cruz Bay) with some great restaurants and nice quaint shops. If you want more shopping, you just jump on the downtown ferry to St. Thomas & you have tons of shopping.

St. John is just a short ferry ride from not only St. Thomas but almost all of the BVI's (Jost Van Dyke, Norman, Cooper, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, etc). You can also take one of the many daysails offered which can take you to one or several other islands for a day.

There are only 2 hotel/resorts on St. John so most people rent villas (which is, IMHO, an absolutely delightful way to spend a honeymoon). Your own home, with a private pool, usually a killer view, and just nice & romantic.

Really look into St. John if you haven't already done so.

ParadiseLover is offline  
Apr 15th, 2006, 09:48 PM
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I agree with ParadiseLover about St. John. The most gorgeous beaches in the Caribbean, very unspoiled, but enough going on, and easy island-hopping. If you can afford Mustique or Carlisle Bay, then look into Caneel Bay Resort on St. John. This is eco-beach lovers' paradise on earth. 171 rooms scattered about 170 acres and SEVEN tree-shaded white sand beaches with wade-in snorkeling. Within the National Park, so there is no development to be seen anywhere.
xkenx is offline  
Apr 16th, 2006, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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hi misty,

i know you mentioned the south pacific was too far, but keep in mind, it's only 7 and 1/2 hours from los angeles. i am very excited about my upcoming trip to st john (caneel bay resort) which was recommended here by the wonderful, knowledgeable fodorites. however, if you are still considering the south pacific, think about bora bora. pearl beach resort in bora bora was simply amazing. here's a link:

we went for our honeymoon six years ago, and i have always tried to replicate that trip (bahamas, kauai, maui) and NOTHING comes close. although, in my opinion, the closest thing in the caribbean to what i loved about tahiti seems to be st john. i'm spending more money on st john, than i did on tahiti. i'm a big fan of turquoise, shallow, lagoons, and st john does have snorkeling from the beach. turks and caicos was our second choice, because of the shallow water.

good luck on whatever you decide.
jackiehammond is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 94
We just got back from Belize and really enjoyed it! Lots of things to do - snorkeling, fishing, cave exploring, sea kayaking, mayan ruins, animal sanctuaries. We stayed at Turtle Inn in Placencia which was beautiful but no a/c or tv ( and those birds start chirping early! ) It's owned by Francis Ford Coppola so it's expensive but the food is good ( mostly Italian! ) The swimming off the beach isn't great b/c the reef limits the wave action and the sea grass grows there. The people are very friendly and the tour operators are licensed by the gov't.
Donna_M is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 10:03 AM
Original Poster
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Just in case anyone is finding this thread now, looking for ideas... We ended up going to Isla Mujeres in Mexico and LOVED IT! For several reasons:

1. It was easy to get to, which was VERY important to us . Just a short, two-hour direct flight from Nashville to Cancun, 10 minute cab ride to ferry, 20 minute ferry ride to island.
2. Our Hotel:
Perfection!!! And only $225 per night!
3. Garrafon National Park:
We spent a day there and loved it.
4. Renting a scooter and being free to go wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted.
5. The ocean was gorgeous there - turquoise! Especially at the south end of the island.
6. Cost: Cheap!!! Food and drinks were dirt cheap there, but still good quality.

I cannot highly recommend this place. It is not overly touristy... In fact, the only chain store on the island was a 7-11. We took the ferry over to Cancun one day and HATED IT. Although I did get to shop at Zara, which we don't have at home. But otherwise... It was bad news. But we expected to hate it... Just not our thing. We rented a car and drove to Belize, only to miss the last flight to Ambergris Caye, but thats okay. We drove back toward Cancun and found the most incredible place in Tulum:

The next day we spent in Tulum, going to the ruins, etc... Very nice.

I think our trip cost less than $2000 with four nights hotel, flights, and rental car... What an awesome deal.
mistybc is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Thanks for the update, Misty! Isla Mujeres sounds gorgeous. We didn't have to chance to visit there while we were in Cancun (which we did love -- but I think the beaches were much nicer pre-hurricane!) but the hotel looks gorgeous. Interesting that you took a side trip to Belize -- I never thought of that or I would have done the same! (This is why I always love when people post follow-ups to their threads!)
karameli is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
I too thank you for the update. I reread this whole thread and while doing so, couldn't help but wonder where you went. Wish more posters would do so. Glad you had a nice honeymoon.
brenandg is offline  
Jul 21st, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Go to St. Barth. See all the beautiful beaches on my website.

100dm is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2007, 06:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We're planning our 25th anniv. trip in Nov. and Isla Mujeres sounds like it's exactly what we're looking for. We seem to also have similar interests/lifestyle.
Can you tell where we catch the ferry, how much, do you need reservations?
Hotel Secreto looks fabulous. are there rooms right on the beach, or only oceanview? Are there good restaurants in the hotel area? Would you recommend renting a car?
Please elaborate about driving to Belize, and what you did while you were there.
Don't mean to pile up the ques., but we seem to be on the same page as to what we like to do on vacation.
Thanks in advance.
traveling is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2007, 07:40 PM
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Thanks for the report - we looked at Hotel Secreto last year but we were booking late and they were fully booked and we went to Nisbet Plantation on Nevis instead.

I still have all the research for Isla Mujeres and we will visit in the future - So many islands so little time
alya is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 03:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I was on Isla this past January and will probably return next spring. Great little island.

I'll try to answer some of your questions. From the Cancun airport, the simplest thing to do is arrange a arrange a transfer from the airprot to Puerto Juarez where the ferries leave from. With Best Day the cost (in January) was US$9.00 per person, one way. This isn't a private transfer, although ours turned out to be, and I've read that happens frequently. To insure a private transfer, try Cancun Valet. Both have web sites.

No need for reservations for the ferry. Cost is about US$3.50.

I've never stayed at Secreto, we stay next door at Media Luna. Both are small, less than 20 rooms. All units face the ocean, nothing between you and the beach but the pools.

The downtown area is only 3-4 blocks away. Loads of very good restaurant options.

No need for a car on Isla. I think you can bring one on the car ferry from the mainland, but I sure wouldn't bother. You can rent a golf cart to explore the island, it isn't very big, only about five miles long and not nearly that wide.

It's about six hours from Cancun to the Belize border. Many car rentals won't allow you to cross the border with their rental cars. We've made the trip a couple times by bus, never with a rental. Across the border in the Belize, the first town is Corozal. I've not spent much time there, we've just been heading to the airstrip to fly on to Ambergris Caye. Corozal really isn't much of a tourist town. I've not seen any beaches, there are a couple of nice places to stay.

JeanH is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 117
Thanks for the info. Can you tell me about your stay at Media Luna? Is it a 3 or 4 star hotel? Would you call it a "luxury spot" or along the lines of a Hilton? Celebrating our 25th anniv., so would like to splurge a little. Is there snorkeling off the beach from Media, and if so, how was it? Thanks.
traveling is offline  
Jan 28th, 2008, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 201
I know this is an old thread, but I was reading it before my latest Caribbean trip. I never went to Phuket, but we had a great time in Ko Samui, Thailand. We knew we couldn't get exactly that, but wanted to go somewhere nice that would be closer (NorthEastern US).

We ended up going to St. Martin (only the French side). Click on my screen name to see the whole report. We were able to find nice quiet beaches, great restaurants, and an interesting mix of people. The town of Grand Case reminded me of a town that was on Ko Samui (only much smaller), particularly the restaurants over the beach. The only thing missing were the spas and massage treatments. We probably could have found them, but didn't go out of our way to.
carl170 is offline  

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