PR or USVI

Old Apr 22nd, 2017, 04:45 PM
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PR or USVI

My husband and I are planning a trip the first week of July and although I have done some research I am still undecided. Puerto Rico or one of the US Virgin Islands?
We are early 40's and we have 6 kids. We will be taking a much needed week long vacation WITHOUT kids.
We really want nice beaches, sunshine and relaxation.
We aren't into the night life scene; so we don't need that.
We would love to do water sports; renting jet ski's, or parasailing etc.
Shopping is a plus.

Any suggestions would be great. I am really overwhelmed with all of the options
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Old Apr 23rd, 2017, 02:12 AM
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I've been to PR twice and didn't like it, on that basis, I would go USVI even though I have never been. There are such good reviews on St John. I was disappointed with the beaches, the rainforest (Luquillo and El Yunque), probably because I have seen better elsewhere in the Caribbean.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2017, 04:18 AM
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USVI is amazing, especially ST John. As for shopping, you can ferry and explore St Thomas from there, there's small "tropical" shopping on St John.

You can also day trip to stunning Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, others

Awesome destination
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Old Apr 23rd, 2017, 07:00 AM
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Go to St John. No jet skis or parasailing tho. The beaches are beautiful.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2017, 07:56 AM
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Have been following photos on FB of a friend doing 10 days in Puerto Rico. Looks like they had a blast and there was some stunningly gorgeous scenery, botanical gardens, historic ruins, etc. I don't know any details but was definitely a trip I would love to take myself.

I was on St Thomas one night beginning and end, when we ferried over to St John & camped in a tent for a week at Cinnamon Bay many moons ago. It was fun but no place I felt compelled to return to.

But St John is very beautiful so I think either could work for what you seek.

Do you plan to rent a vehicle?
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Old Apr 24th, 2017, 06:56 PM
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I love San Juan and we go annually for a long weekend for a break without our kids. However, we like the nightlife, the amazing restaurants, ambiance of Old San Juan and the wonderful hospitality of the Puerto Rican people. However, if the beach and water were my main reason for going, then I would consider Vieques or Culebra and not San Juan. If you decide to go to PR, then that is probably where you would want to be (except no shopping but maybe do one night in San Juan at the end of the trip and stay in Old San Juan).
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Old Apr 25th, 2017, 12:03 PM
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>

We go every year too and that's why - decent beach plus all the things you mentioned. It's perfect for us.
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Old Apr 26th, 2017, 09:26 AM
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"Go to St John. No jet skis or parasailing tho. The beaches are beautiful."

This is not true. I have no idea about Jet Skis, but we went parasailing twice out of Cruz Bay in St John.

I agree about the beaches, some of the best I've seen.
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Old Apr 26th, 2017, 11:08 AM
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We took the catamaran at the Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas to Cruz Bay St. John. We liked it quite a lot.
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Old Apr 26th, 2017, 12:37 PM
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<This is not true. I have no idea about Jet Skis, but we went parasailing twice out of Cruz Bay in St John.>

I learn something new everyday. Do you recall who operates the parasailing?
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Old Apr 27th, 2017, 05:31 AM
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I would say both St. John and Puerto Rico have unique qualities! If you look into Puerto Rico I would stay in the Rio Grande area which is by the rainforest. I would also make sure to experience the Bioluminescent Bay and if you can get over to the Island of Culebra as the beaches there are STUNNING!

Happy Travels!
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Old Apr 27th, 2017, 01:56 PM
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The time around July 3-4 is festival in St John- very busy and noisy but can be fun. I think the USVI beaches are nicer than those in PR, but I love the food and architecture of Old San Juan. ;-)
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Old Apr 28th, 2017, 05:38 AM
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"I learn something new everyday. Do you recall who operates the parasailing?"

Sorry Brenny, it's been a few years, so I don't remember the name of the charter. We stayed at Gallows Point, and pretty sure we hooked up with them through a recommendation from Gallows. They picked us up off the smaller dock to the right of the ferry dock.
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Old Apr 28th, 2017, 09:14 AM
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Bassguy66, thanks for your reply.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 01:15 PM
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Have to add my 2c. You may feel it's worth much less, but ...
When I was in the Navy, many many moons ago, we used to fly to PR for "workups" for the aircraft carriers. In our off time, we could go to the beach and of course the base had its own private beach. Just have to say that the snorkeling was truly stunning and I've never been able to find anything approaching it. Not really relevant to your question, so like I said ....
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Old May 2nd, 2017, 10:23 AM
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I have been to the BVI --- Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola and Anegada. (I loved Anegada, if you really like to be off of the grid).

However, the past five years I have been going to Culebra, which is politically part of Puerto Rico, but geologically, it is a virgin island.

Culebra and Vieques are called 'the Spanish Virgins'.

Culebra is low key, no traffic, no big hotels, most of the island and reefs are protected, and Flamenco Beach is one of the best I've seen out of 35 islands I've been to in the Caribbean and Pacific.

It's a 30 minute flight from San Juan, and no customs!

Check it out!.
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Old May 14th, 2017, 08:57 AM
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We stayed in Rio Grande a few years ago and would not go back. Other than the amazing food shacks close to town, the hotels and beach were a total disappointment. Maybe things have changed, but if I were considering where to go, it would either be to Vieques, or to St. John.
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Old May 19th, 2017, 05:49 AM
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>

Would you mind describing in what way they were a total disappointment? And what hotel did you stay at? thanks
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Old May 20th, 2017, 05:09 AM
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We love Puerto Rico. We usually stay in the Isla Verde area and stayed in the Loquillo area as well. There are definitely more restaurants in the Isla Verde area.
We are beach people and have always enjoyed the beaches in PR.
We have also driven around and visited different parts of PR and found the people to be so helpful and friendly. The driving, on the other hand, was quite an adventure!
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