Ejcrowe and Caribtraveler

Old May 19th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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Ejcrowe and Caribtraveler

Refresh my memory...which islands have you each been to and which have been your favorites?

I know Caribtraveler has been to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. And Ej...I know you have been to the BVIs, Antigua and Barbados. (That is what I recall off the top of my head).

Also, have you guys checked out tripadvisor.com forums and reviews? I really started using that site before my T&C trip and really like it.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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Kristen--EJCrowe left for Vieques today so peobably won't post until next week
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Old May 19th, 2006, 02:49 PM
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Hi Kristen. HowardC is right about ejcrowe. Lucky her!

I still have quite a few islands to cross off my list. Besides Cozumel and Grand/Little Cayman, we've only been to St. John, Aruba, Curacao, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Grand Bahama Island and Peter Island. Hurricane permitting, we'll add Jamaica and Turks & Caicos to the list this year.
Over 10 years ago, I went to Haiti, Martinique and Guadeloupe. But I don't really count those since it was such a long time ago. We're thinking of doing Martinique and Guadeloupe next year.

It's so hard to say which one is a favorite. These islands are all so different.
I'd say Cozumel, St. John and Peter Island top the list. But we liked each of them for various reasons. Some had really warm people (St. Lucia), some had great vistas (St. Lucia), some had great beach/water (Peter Island/St. John), some were really laid back (Peter Island/St. John), some had great historical sites to see (Cozumel/Curacao/Puerto Rico), some had great food (Puerto Rico/Grand Cayman) and some were fun (like Aruba/Grand Cayman), etc...
And a few of those had certain things we didn't like (the fact that the island wasn't really pretty or didn't have great beaches or was just too built-up).

I can tell you that our least favorite was Curacao. For the longest time I tried to figure out why but I haven't been able to put my finger on it. It just did not click for us. And I remember never really having that "wow, this is beautiful" feeling. Know what I mean?

Are you already thinking of the next destination? (how fun is it to start thinking about it and then plan?!) Based on the places you've been and seem to like, I think you'd like St. John and Virgin Gorda.

I'm a big Trip Advisor fan when it comes to hotel reviews. I check it out all the time. I love the fact that they now let people post their hotel photos too. But I wish they wouldn't let people post their blurry photos!! I do post my hotel reviews on it. I don't really use their forum. I've posted maybe 4 times there. I prefer Fodor's for posting.

Hope your cutie pie daughter is doing well.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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So great to ask this question... I was thinking of asking a similar question, since now that I've been to one Caribbean island, I'm eager to see more!! I just have to convince my hubby to take more time off...

The place that keeps creeping to the top of my list is St. John, but I'm wondering how it compares to GC in terms of fun things to do with young kids. It's obviously a totally different place geographically (more mountainous and lush). We loved the snorkeling and wildlife on GC (stingrays, sea turtles, etc.). Caribtraveler: any thoughts?
Thanks!
JS
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Old May 20th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Hi jspen. Oh nooooo!! You now officially have the Caribbean bug!! You're in trouble or is your husband the one in trouble?

Yep, 2 different islands. GC is MUCH BIGGER and MUCH MORE COMMERCIALIZED than St. John.

GC is busier with much more to do and see. We were tired from our vacation there while we felt more relaxed/refreshed after St. John. If that makes sense.

I give St. John's beaches the edge. Lots of them and all crystal clear calm water with lovely sand. Great for little ones too.
To be honest we didn't do much snorkeling while in St. John because at that time we didn't do that much of that and our son was just over one. But from everything I've read the snorkeling in St. John has the edge over GC.

GC has a lot more restaurants but St. John has a fair number of them for such a smaller island. Good ones too.

St. John is more visually beautiful in my opinion since I like green/lush (i.e. trees), mountains, etc...

There aren't really "tourist" attractions for kids in St. John like Stingray City or the Turtle Farm if that's what you were wondering.
You could go see the Annenberg Plantation Ruins. It's not big at all so you could do that with the kids.

In terms of safety, both islands are safe. While you can walk around GC (along 7-mile beach, to the stores, etc..), you can't really do that on St. John. The beaches of St. John have to be reached by car. It's not one long stretch like on GC. You coul theoratically walk but it'd be a long walk, up and down hills. Just not feasible with kids.

To me, St. John is much more about relaxing by enjoying nature (the views, the beach/water/snorkeling).
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Old May 20th, 2006, 07:45 PM
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I agree with the last post about the comparison of St John and GC..other than I think that the snorkeling was better in GC.

GC is better for kids with alot more to do for them.

If you can do a trip with just adults..I would definitely go to St John.The views are more beautiful and it is very laid back there.

I think that the people of GC are more friendly than STJ.

I really love them both for different reasons.

If you go to St John with kids...I would stay at the Westin.They would enjoy it more there than in a villa.

Also be prepared to drive slower in St John...you drive on the left side on roads that are alot more hilly and curvy than GC.

Christie
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Old May 21st, 2006, 11:15 AM
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Thanks caribtraveler and christiegr! I do now have the Caribbean bug--all I can think about is where to go next. (Which means that my husband is the one in trouble...

One reason I like the idea of St. John is that it would be a different kind of island, so a different experience from GC, plus it's not that far to go, and I figure it would be fairly easy to get familiar foods, good healthcare, etc. (things we always have to consider with my food-allergic son). Friends have also recommended T&C, which sounds great but more like GC. I'm sure we'd love either one, but it's great to hear all the pros and cons, especially for things to do with kids.

I know it's not really Caribbean, but I've also wondered about Belize, since it has a lot of wildlife, plus snorkeling. But I wonder if the food and healthcare issues might be more of a challenge. Any thoughts?
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Old May 21st, 2006, 07:55 PM
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Kristen 1206,
I have been to: Bermuda, Bahamas (Paradise, Nassau, Abacos,Eleuthera,Harbour Island,Exumas) Jamaica, Caymans, Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Turks and Caicos (most of them) Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands (all of them except for the one Branson owns) Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barts, Antigua, Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, and Aruba. I'm hopping I didn't forget any. So ask away!!! I'm always willing to give opinions.

Caribtraveler:I hope you like Turks and Caicos, but in all honesty, I don't know if it's going to be your style. It's very flat and scrubby and dry looking. No hills or lush or hiking. The beach is stunning though.

jspen: St. John sounds like your style. Turks and Caicos is is similar to Caymans, just not quite as built up and commercial. It is quiet and relaxing though.

PS sorry about the "double " post.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 10:28 PM
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carib,

where are you going in Jamaica and T&C?

We did both last year, we LOVED Negril but T&C was a little too slow for us, Horses for Courses
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 03:13 AM
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Blamona: Hi! I actually think we will like T&C. For us, it depends on what the trip is about/what we're looking for. This trip will be just hubby and me for a long weekend to RELAX. So we just wanted to enjoy a GORGEOUS beach and GREAT restaurants. So I think we'll be very happy and most importantly, very RELAXED on our return.
By the way, you leave me in the dust with all the islands you've been to!! But I'm doing all I can to catch up to you, if it's EVEN POSSIBLE.

Jspen: We have not been to Belize but we would LOVE to. We're waiting for our son to be a bit older for that country.

Alya: We leave the last weekend of July for Idle Awhile in Negril (for 10 days). I just finalized our excursions with Talk of the Town Tours. I CANNOT wait to go!
October 1st is our anniversary so we're going that weekend to the Grace Bay Resort in T&C (with no cutie pie in tow). As I said to Blamona, this is a relaxing trip for us so we are looking forward to "slow"! Blamona was quite helpful for this particular trip planning.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 04:57 AM
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Thanks Caribtraveler, then TC will be great for you! It is one of the best beaches in the world, the water is probably the pretiest in the world! Restaurants are great and romantic, so maybe another cutie pie?

Also been to Belize, great for an "adventure" destination. It's more "off the beaten path"

The reason I've been to so many islands, (even around the world) is that my goal in life is to find the world's most perfect beach! If I can help people along the way, then bonus points. 8-)

I just got back from TC (Provo) so I will post a report soon.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 06:45 AM
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Caribtraveler. thanks for repsonse! You have been to quite a few places (more than me!). Where are you planning to stay in Provo? Also, Cozumel is high on our list of places to visit. Do you have any suggestions as to a good place to stay?

Blamona...your travel resume is so impressive, I am jealous! What you did you think or Aruba? Can't wait to read your latest trip report!
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 06:49 AM
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Also Caribtraveler...have Blamona give you a list of the best restaurants. I know Magnolia and Coyaba are high on the list. And Anacoana is supposed to have a great setting. Other good choices are Hemingways, Bay Bistro and Coco Bistro. And we also really enjoyed Mango Reef.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 07:10 AM
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hi, everybody!

Just thought I'd check in while waiting to check out of the Hacienda Tamarindo this morning. It's a beautiful place, and while not perfect, I would not hesitate to recommend it and I will certainly return to it myself. But I'll give the full details after I get back and post a complete trip report.

Kristen, you have a very good memory for the places I've been to. It's hard to pick a favorite among them, but it's easy to say that while we greatly enjoyed Barbados and certainly loved every moment there, it is probably not a must-return kind of place for us, at least not until I see the rest of the places on my must-see list.

My first trip was to St. Lucia, which was where the Caribbean bug bit me and I've been hooked ever since. I loved, loved, loved it, despite the fact that we were largely resort-bound. You can bet that my next trip to St. Lucia will be nothing like my first one.

We've done the BVI twice, once for an uncomparable honeymoon experience on Guana, and again for a short trip with one of our granddaughters last year. We all loved it so much that she has determined to save enough of her own money to pay her way for a trip next summer--we told her that if she could save at least $800 that we would pay the rest for her. That trip we'll stay on Virgin Gorda in a villa.

We loved, loved, loved Nevis and will definitely go back. The sooner the better.

We also loved, loved, loved the Treasure Beach area of Jamaica and will definitely go back, also the sooner the better, and preferably for a longer stay next time.

I've made multiple trips to Antigua, as it was the place I got married and we like to add 2-3 nights there at the end of other trips to the Caribbean just so we can reminisce and visit with our friends at the Long Bay Hotel.

Our next trip will be to Bequia and Grenada this July--it will be the first trip that my husband and I take, just the two of us, in over a year.

Vieques is great, but I'll have to come back with just my husband to get the full picture of it. We're here now with another granddaughter and one of my husband's daughters, so our schedules are more tailored around their preferences.

And yes, I love TripAdvisor and post there, too!
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:03 AM
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Wow....thanks Ej from responding from vaaction but it could have waited!!

I breifly considered Nevis a while back but didn't hear too mucn about it. But if you loved it...

I am also a bit skeptical about Jamaica but again your opinion may make me look twice. BWI is definitely high on my list.

So when are you going to make it to Anguilla??
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Emily!! You CAN'T possibly be missing us while being on a sunny Caribbean island?!

Blamona: LOL re: another cutie pie... I wish I had the energy...
And I cannot believe you just came back from Provo, again. You and HowardC I think travel the most on the board and I'm so jealous....

Kristen: We'll be at Grace Bay Resort. Blamona and HowardC kindly suggested restaurants on another thread.
Regarding Cozumel, it's my understanding that the InterContinental is the best hotel on the island so that's where we stayed. It gets lots of raving reviews but we were a bit disappointed by it although the snorkeling of the beach was AMAZING. I have a review of it and some pics somewhere on this board. Let me know if you need me to ttt for you. I think the island was pretty beaten during last year's hurricane season so I don't know that they've recovered yet. I believe Diana has been to Cozumel several times and would probably be able to give you a more expert opinion than me.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:31 AM
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Kristen: I meant Grace Bay Club. That's where we're staying.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:34 AM
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Caribtraveler...yes I did see your photos and read your report. You son is a cutie! And getting so big. I saw you said that the beach was a little small for what you are expecting so i didn't know if you had another suggetsion. But this trip is probably far off! I will check out Diana's posts as well, thanks.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 03:11 PM
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Carib,

I'm sure you will love Negril! Idle Awhile is such a cute resort - if you generally use a hairdryer then don't forget to pack one - they didn't supply them last year when we stayed there - as negatives go it's not a biggie

T&C for a quiet long weekend getaway? Perfect!

I too am jealous of Blamonas travel experiences
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 04:59 PM
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Alya: BIG thank you re: hairdryer. It actually really matters to me. I'm not into big hair. I'll definitely bring mine then.

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