Help- first time to Caribbean!

Old Jul 24th, 2003, 02:07 AM
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Help- first time to Caribbean!

My wife and I are planning a trip, first one, to the Caribbean. I say Caribbean generically, could also include Cancun or other area in Mexico.

Question: Where is the best place to just relax? Not big partiers, like a nice beach, pool area, etc, to read and relax at? A bit of outside sightseeing would be good, but not enough of it to cause us to cram too much into a short trip. Some of our other trips to Europe have been fun, but exhausting! This time we want
to *relax*. It can't be outrageously expensive, either. Thanks for the advice!
dwzemens is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2003, 03:43 AM
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Your question is so general, that just about every island in the caribbean would work. You can relax & read by the pool at 90% of the resorts in the caribbean. If you are a bit more specific in your needs, and whats important to you, I'm sure you'll get a better response.
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Old Jul 24th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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I can only tell you about the islands that I have been to. Research is the way to find what will custom fit your needs. Message boards, websites, and general internet surfing will give you a great overall view of the caribbean.

Bahamas - If you go there, Paradise Island is the place to be. Research the hotels, there is the famous Atlantis, (too big for me), Holiday Inn, (very nice), Sheraton, and many others......Very busy island, lots of night life and casinos, too wild for my taste.

Turks and Cacious Island - BEAUTIFUL, this is my husbands favorite. WE stayed at the Ocean Club, and it was wonderful....You can relax on a quiet beach, near a pristine pool or sight see around the island and find a secuded beach.

Aruba - I love Aruba, my husband did not. He hated the trade winds, I loved them. He felt the island was too commercial and built up, I loved the people. We stayed at the Raddison and it was spactular.....Gilligans on the beach was a real highlight with the best burgers and wonderful live caribbean music all day.

D.R. - Puerta Plata....(just last year),I was not crazy about the DR, however many other people love it, but I will not return, the water was not like other islands that I have been to and the people were not as friendly.

Puerto Rico - Lots of night life busy and crowded when we were there years ago. I didn't like it much, but maybe we need to try it again.
Next month we are headed to St. John.....after much research, I decided that it has just what I want...quiet, beautiful beaches, and if we want night life, we can just take a ferry to St. Thomas...
Hope that I was some help...
Good luck.
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Old Jul 24th, 2003, 10:59 AM
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We returned from a unique experience in Negril, Jamaica at Swept Away last fall - did lots of research on all of the islands - and a detailed price comparison - and felt this resort was good value losing little of what the very high end places offer. It is an all inclusive.

We also wanted to relax (one of the reasons for the all inclusive) - have also done the "adventure" etc. trips to Europe and hiking adventures....but this particular time wanted to hang out on the beach, have a drink, read, swim and enjoy some great food. Although SA doesn't have the greatest pool (it's small), they do have a seven lane lap pool in the Caribbean's best resort fitness centre and it is on one of the Caribbean's nicest stretch of beach...Negril's 7 mile beach. We had no desire to swim in the pool with clear, 85 degree water at the beach.

This resort is worth a look - there are many reviews on this site and other travel sites.
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Old Jul 24th, 2003, 11:38 AM
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beachlover50 -

there is much more to The Bahamas than Paradise Island, much more to the Dominican Republic than Puerto Plata and much more to Puerto Rico than the nightlife and crowds of San Juan. Seems you missed the best of those three.
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Old Jul 24th, 2003, 11:55 AM
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What's expensive? Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico would be a great place to relax, but it is expensive. U.S. Virgin Islands are very relaxing. You may want more of a St. John atmosphere rather than a St. Thomas type. Many people like Caneel Bay, but again, it's rather expensive. However, there are many resorts around. You may want to start investigating the USVI and see if that appeals to you.
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Old Jul 24th, 2003, 02:49 PM
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Take a 7 day cruise, relax and spend as much touring around as you wish.

You can see several islands and see which one you would spend more time.
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Old Jul 24th, 2003, 07:24 PM
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Dear anonymous,
If you read my message correctly, you would have noticed that I said I can only comment on MY experiences....Instead of critisizing my post, why don't you tell us everything you know about those places, that is what the first post asked for anyway......I'm surprised that someone who "knows so much" likes to be called "anonymous"!
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Old Jul 25th, 2003, 05:20 AM
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dw -
The would disagree with the poster that said Paradise Island "was the place to be in the Bahamas" - to me it's the place to avoid! On Nassau, we stayed at Compass Point - a very quiet and small resort outside of the hustle and bustle of the cruise ships, paradise island and cable beach, but near enough to be accessable to local bus when we wanted to go to a casino, shop or explore.

There are also hundreds of other Bahamian islands that I have not had the chance to explore.

Grenada offers some othe best beaches (in my experience) in the Carribean - is extremely quiet, not overdeveloped, has some great restaurants and accomodation can be expensive or very reasonable. We returned in early May from the most relaxing and enjoyable holiday on Grenada and would highly recommend it.
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Old Jul 25th, 2003, 07:07 AM
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If you want to find out what's unique and beautiful about the Caribbean, avoid Paradise Island. It's like a mid-range Florida coast city and has no carm whatsoever. And Nassau and Freeport should be avoided if you're wanting beauty, relaxation, blue water, etc. The out islands of the Bahamas have all that you're seeking, but not the population-dense areas.

Look into St. John, the BVI's, Anguilla, Nevis, Aruba, Barbados, Grand Cayman, etc.
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Old Jul 26th, 2003, 02:18 PM
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The pefect place to just relax we have found is Curacao. The prices are reasonable as well. Aruba also comes to mind and there are more things to do if you want. And the beaches are better there.
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