Cayman vs. St Maarten

Old Jun 8th, 2000, 07:11 AM
  #1  
Jen
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Cayman vs. St Maarten

I will be going to one of these islands around November - please provide feedback on each, pros and cons (if any)! It will be 2 couples in our mid 20s looking for beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, great restaurants (and a little nightlife), nice resorts. Is there more to do on one island than the other (hiking, scuba, day trips, etc)? Is one more expensive than the other? Any advice would be great. Thanks!
 
Old Jun 9th, 2000, 10:05 PM
  #2  
David
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One definite thing that stands out among all others when you compare the Caymans to St. Maarten is crime. St. Maarten has more than its share of crime. I personally know two couples who went at different times and stayed at different hotels, and they all had money and jewelry stolen from them. The worst part is that it was stolen from their rooms while they were asleep in them! One couple was on the second floor, but it didn't matter. I have also read about rental cars being pulled off the road and robbed, and also cab drivers robbing their passengers. My advice is to just check out the rate of crime in St. Maarten.
 
Old Jun 10th, 2000, 08:12 AM
  #3  
angie
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My boyfriend and I (we are 25 and 36 yrs.) went to Cayman last year and absolutely loved it. No bugs, no trash, no beggars. Very well kept island. Very expensive but worth it. We stayed at a condo called Villas of the Galleon. They are on 7 mile beach and on one of the best parts of the beach. Very good price for what you get. We had breakfast and lunch in the condo and then went out for a nice dinner every night. The food is what really racks up the bill in Cayman. I highly reccommend the place. Right on the beach and a beautiful view. If I remember correctly the website is www.villasofthegalleon.com. Cayamn has beautiful clear and calm waters. We would go swimming at night and be able to see our shadows on the sand from the moonlight . Not to much nightlife to speak of. Very safe island. I went shopping downtown by myself i.e. walked on the street, caught a bus, etc. never felt threatened. We were planning on going to st. martin this year. I had airline tickets, hotel and everything and I just changed everything. I have read some things here and there about crime, trash, and drugs. If they had come from one unhappy person I wouldn't pay much attention but I had been hearing more and more. One post in particular (on this forum) that was the final straw. Granted i have not been there to give you first hadn info., but it cost me about $300 to cancel everything and change my plans and I am very glad to have done it. St. martin will have more nightlife and hiking etc. It will be slightly less expensive. You will want to take these things into consideration. Cayamn is a British island and st. martin french- big difference in cultures. If you go to st. martin, stay on the french side. I know this is long- if you have any questions feel free to email me for add. info. I would love to go back to cayman but my boyfriend wants to try out other islands before we repeat ourselves.
 
Old Jun 10th, 2000, 05:44 PM
  #4  
Donna
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Jen, <BR>I have been to both Grand Cayman and St. Maarten, and I loved both. I went to Cayman in '96 and '97, and I can't wait to go back. It is a very flat island, but the beaches were great, and the water very clear. Stingray City is a must, and very worth it. We stayed at the Marriott both times, but the Westin is very nice, too. There is night life, but we didn't do a lot at night. The restaraunts were great, and the people were very friendly. I felt very safe on this island, and the locals kept telling us that I could walk around by myself at night, if I wanted. I am very careful ANYWHERE I go, traveling or at home, and am always aware of my surroundings. I would recommend this island very highly. I thought it was a very romantic island, too. St. Maarten was very beautiful, also. It is more mountainous, and tropical. I went here last June with a friend, also female, and we didn't have any problems. We went out at night, and had a rental car, we were careful, and were not separated, and stayed in very public places. I thought this island had more night life than Cayman, and more "personality", being it is 2 countries. We stayed on the Dutch side, but visited the French side daily. There are very good restaraunts here, also. I really liked both islands, I think I liked the beaches on Cayman more, though. I really liked both islands, so it is hard for me to pick the one I liked the most. Good luck in your search! You may email me for more info if you want. <BR>~D
 
Old Jun 10th, 2000, 05:48 PM
  #5  
Tom
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The French side of St. Martin is very safe. It also has some of the best beaches and restaurants in the Caribbean.
 
Old Jun 10th, 2000, 06:03 PM
  #6  
Meg
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I am glad to be hearing good things (as well as truthful bad things, I guess) about St. Martin. I have plans to go in November arriving a few days before my husband. After reading some of the recent posts, I was concerned that maybe we should choose another island altogether. St. Martin has been high on my list of islands to visit, so I haven't made any other plans yet. We are planning on staying on the French Side either in Grand Case or Orient Bay. Would I be okay there by myself for a few days before my husband arrives? I'm pretty adventurous on my own but am always aware of my surroundings. Any other recent visitors who have suggestions or comments? Thanks.
 
Old Jun 11th, 2000, 07:57 PM
  #7  
Nancy
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MEG, We were in Grand Case this March and had no problems with crime. We stayed at Grand Case Beach Club right on the water and felt very safe. They have a gurad bar that goes across the entryway at night (you punch in a code to enter after hours) and a guard that sits at end of roadway to town. We walked every night into town for dinner without any qualms or problems. It would be a fine location for you as a solo. (Note: My husband and I loved GCBC and will be returning next year, but it is quieter than Orient Beach and probably would bore the young "party hardy and drink all night" crowd).
 
Old Jun 12th, 2000, 08:14 AM
  #8  
Mike
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St. Maarten is dirty, with plenty of slums and crime. Cayman is very British -- clean and conservative. St. M has nude beaches (fat ugly people); Cayman does not. The scuba is 100 times better in Cayman. Restaurants about equal. <BR> <BR>Bottom line: If you want dirty and nekkid, go to St M. If you want clean and conservative, go to CI. <BR> <BR>
 
Old Jun 12th, 2000, 01:50 PM
  #9  
Meg
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Thanks, Nancy. Quiet and boring is right up our alley for beach vacations. We are now considering the Turks/Caicos rather than St. Martin. We only have a few days for this beach trip and don't want to spend all our time getting to and from somewhere. I will not give up hope on St. Martin - I will visit eventually. <BR> <BR>As for Grand Cayman, we were there a few years ago. I agree with all the positive comments - it's a nice, clean, safe island to visit. Stingray City is fabulous!
 

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