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HELP! I get married in May 2011 & I cant decide on a honeymoon destination

HELP! I get married in May 2011 & I cant decide on a honeymoon destination

Old Aug 26th, 2010, 07:17 AM
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HELP! I get married in May 2011 & I cant decide on a honeymoon destination

I need help! I get married in May 2011 & I cant decide on a honeymoon destination. We've been contemplating between Mexico vs Jamaica, however we just can't decide. The prices for Mexico seem to be much less than Jamaica, and cost is definitely an important factor for us. We prefer to stay at an AI {All-Inclusive} resort and we would like a nicely sized room w/ all the honeymooner amenities included. I know a lot of hotels have jacuzzi's or hottubs in them, but I really also want a shower stall too. I LOVE those fancy all-glass shower stalls. I cannot see taking a bath everyday during our honeymoon. I also prefer to have liquor drinks included w/AI package, and I know usually this comes as part of the deal at Mexican resorts. We also do not want to stay at a place with lots of children. Since it is our honeymoon we prefer to stay in a place that's for couples only, or adults only. Is there really a difference? If so, what is it? And lastly, we want to be able to stay at a place that has beautiful beaches, but also offer many fun & inexpensive activities + attractions to tour. Please, any advice??????
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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It would be nice if I can sway you to Grenada. It is a small, relatively unspoilt island with lots to see and do and Wedding/Honeymoon is its No.1 market. It is also a destination where you can explore in complete safety where the locals are very friendly and helpful. There is a range of hotels, including those at the luxury end and there is also a range of great restaurants. Take a look at the following website for a few more ideas: www.grenadagrenadines.com.
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 09:29 AM
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If you go to Jamaica I highly recommend Negril (been 3x). I didn't stay all-inclusive there but just got back last month. It's a great place. I did find it more expensive than Mexico. The i7-mile beach there is gorgeous, or there's more rustic places to stay up "on the Cliffs". There's not much of a town there, but there's lots of activities offered like tours around the island, or glass bottom boats, etc.

For Mexico I'll recommend Puerto Vallarta (been 19x). Again not an expert on AI but you can look at Villa Premiere (adults only), Buenaventura or Hotel Playa Los Arcos. VP is more expensive and nicer, Buenaventure and PLA nice mid-range hotels. All are walking distance to the city and there is tons to see and do for free or reasonably priced. I don't think any of these has the fancy bathroom you are looking for though. The beaches are just OK, somewhat rough and rugged. I love them but the are not 'white sand turquoise water' like you'll find in the Caribbean, since it's the Pacific ocean.

Another recommendation, where I have not been, but I think has the widest assortments of all-inclusives in all price ranges is over on the "Mayan Riviera", the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Between Cancun, Playa del Carmen and on down the coast. This area offers ruins and many outdoor activities. The beaches are good because they are Caribbean quality.

One other area you might look at is Los Cabos (the town of San Jose del Cabo, the tourist 'corridor', and the town of Cabo San Lucas) on the Baja peninsula. There are quite a few All-Inclusives, not so much in the towns but out along that corridor. From luxury to mid-range. Baja is a desert peninsula, with Cabo at the tip, so dry, rugged, cactus, arid.

Jamaica is VERY jungly and lush. Incredible overgrown green huge plants wild vegetation. PV is quite tropical and sits on a large bay with mountains surrounding in the background.
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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You lost me @ AI. You could stay anywhere & it would make no difference whatsoever. Please reconsider.
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 02:15 PM
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While I personally agree with you SAnParis2, I think your statement that "you could stay anywhere & it would make no difference whatsoever" is completely ridiculous! There are ALL levels of all-inclusive resorts in all different types of destinations, high-end luxury, budget-friendly, in Mexico, in the Caribbean, etc.
Maybe since it's their honeymoon, they like the idea of not having to think about food & beverages each day? Doesn't mean they can't leave the resort or try other things in addition.
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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I answered this thread as posted on the Mexico forum.

With regard to SanParis 2 comment; What does that statement actually mean? It's just not true. Just because you choose an AI resort doesn't mean you sit on the property the whole time. Granted there are people who do that, which is a shame, but you make it sound like it's a requirement and not a choice.

We have been to many AI resorts and we are off property all the time. I always get numerous comments after posting a trip report how we did so many things.

I will agree that there are some destinations better than others to stay at a AI resort, and some people just prefer it due to shear convenience, but it can't be so blanketly labeled like that.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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But most people do. They feel trapped on the property because they have already paid for the buffet meals & all you can drink, etc. I'd never do an A1, Never (kind of like a cruise without the boat, eh ?). I'm too independent & that is not at all what I travel to the Caribbean for (anyway). Not to mention - likely more expensive, all things considered.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 01:51 PM
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That is simply not a true statement.

We've been to 14 AI's, 3 non-AI's (exception of US) and 3 cruises. Depending on the destination, I have paid more on my non-AI trips as the package deals I get for an AI cost less then a hotel/air package.

I felt trapped on the cruises we did. No matter how big they make those things, the cram too many people on them. Getting on and off is a nightmare.

I do agree that some people don't leave their AI property, which in itself is a shame, but many people do. Staying at a resort that offers an AI package doesn't mean that you can't leave the property and experience the Island, do tours or eat/drink. We always have and never felt like we already paid for an AI package so we couldn't do that. We like AI mainly for breakfast and unlimited alcohol. The tours we do usually include either lunch or dinner and then we go out for a few dinners.

Until you've experienced an AI and all it has to offer, it's really not realistic to make such broad, incorrect assumptions about them.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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Some people stay only at their AI resorts, some leave and go experience the town they are in. It is impossible for you to be able to generalize about that. How can you possibly know what "most people" do. I believe the answer is also different depending on destinations. Some people don't feel "safe" leaving the resort property in certain places. Honestly I think that's more them than reality, but that's how it is. Plenty of people choose AI because they like to drink a lot and in the lower priced AI's can make it worth while by their bar tab alone, then they go out to eat around town (I know for a fact that's true in Puerto Vallara, for one example).
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 02:48 PM
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We returned to Jamaica again this past February. The all-inclusive meals are nice when you just want to run and eat, or sit awhile. This last time we went to Sandals Whitehouse. The food was yum-yum. We spent a great deal of time chilling on a lounger around the pool as that was the type of vacation we were in need of. I crave burgers a lot and they have such tasty ones. We also spent a fair amount of time in the pool and the swim up bar drinking some great cocktails i.e. "Sex on the beach". No children, which we prefer. We have done a number of AI's, but we've also done many non - AI'S. We've never stayed on the resort before this trip, but we really needed to kick back this year and so we did!
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 06:09 PM
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I don't have any interest in an AI, nor any 'resort' for that matter, nor a cruise, unless perhaps it is a smaller boat on the Rhine or Seine or the Greek Islands. I can rent an entire house for what people will spend @ an AI for a room. I've done the research, I am well aware of what you get & more importantly, what you don't. I've also spoken to many of my friends who prefer this method of travel. Here's the thing, I'm not spending an arm & a leg to sit by a pool that could be anywhere, surrounded by people who are all tourists, to eat & drink myself to oblivion. I don't do tours. I am an independent traveler & if I go to St. Maarten, Antigua, Montserrat or PR (& I've been to all of those & others, btw)I want to see those places & their people, not someone elses' idea of what I should or should not see in some make believe Resort setting.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 07:04 PM
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I also am independent, and don't go AI, or do tours or cruises either. But that doesn't give me the authority to say that people who choose an all-inclusive resort never leave it. That's the problem with your post. That sentence is simply not true.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 07:47 PM
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I agree. Your statement is not true.

Just because I chose an AI resort that doesn't mean that I don't "see those places & their people". I've been to many places and spoken with many people. Your assumptions are based on your own narrowed mindedness and that of "others you have spoken to" and not on anything you've actually experienced. Also, there is nothing wrong with doing tours vs. going on your own. You're still seeing/doing just in a different manner of getting there.

Here's are picture site. You can't say we spent all of our time on the resort around the pool eating and drinking ourselves to oblivion. Again, making broad, incorrect comments based on your own ignorance it not helpful to anyone. In other words, if your going to slam something you have to a least try it first.

http://community.webshots.com/user/kvrlvn
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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I am basing my statement on my own experiences & people I have spoken to - I believe I said 'most people'. Of all the people I have spoken too, only one couple (that I can recall) chose to 'leave the resort' & it was on a tour (so I'm not really sure if that even counts). I would guess a similar amount of people visit Vegas, & never leave the Strip. Do I have empirical evidence, no. Do I still believe what I said is true, certainly.
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 06:14 PM
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Unless you drink like a fish and windsurf 5 times a day I can't really see the value in an AI (most AI's are noted for their mediocre dining BTW). The one advantage I will give to the AI people is the mindless get away from it all vacation which really isn't a bad thing. My personal choice is not AI (bin once but on a company conference in Costa Rica, so not on my dime) but if thats what you want go for it. (beats Nebraska, Alberta, north Dakota, etc in January hands down)
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 07:09 PM
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To: Two1woman
Whar is your originating airport? What is your tolerance for things not being like they are at home? ($800.00 a night does not guarantee no bugs, etc) This would be good to know to narrow down suggestions. While not an AI person I wholly understand why you would choose this route for a honeymoon.
While being a Jamaican fan(atic), my gut feeling is that a Mexican Riviera resort might fit your needs and expectations.
Just remember the age old rule; you get what you pay for. Couples Swept Away in Negril might come in at a higher price but in retropect would definitely be worth it. You said May 2011 is your wedding date which is shoulder season in most southern areas. Shop around and you might be suprised at what you find.
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Old Oct 8th, 2010, 12:58 PM
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The only AI I have been to is in the Riviera Maya...Barcelo Maya---Been to Tropical 2 x and Palace 1 x. It was awesome and a great deal for the $$$. For our family of 5, it was a total bargain! If you are interested in it, search the "unofficial barcelo maya" and you will find message boards with lots of people who love it, pics, trip reports, etc. We've told lots of people about the resort and all have loved it. We have been to many islands, Disney, other vacation destinations and my 3 kids all love it the most! Only thing...I wouldn't go during spring break or Easter...but that goes for any AI!
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Old Oct 9th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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ST. MAARTEN
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