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Help me choose an all inclusive resort and an island

Help me choose an all inclusive resort and an island

Old Apr 15th, 2005, 11:13 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 198
Help me choose an all inclusive resort and an island

HI,
In September my husband and I want to take our son to an all inclusive resort in the caribbean for his birthday. He turns 21.

I have heard that some of the resorts are very overcrowded and understaffed, therefore the wait for food and beverage is very long. So I don't want to stay at a place that has poor service, but I don't want to spend a small fortune either.

Are there mid range all inclusives that have good service?

I also want to go to an island that has other things to do besides the all inclusive entertainment. My husband would like a casino, I would like great shopping, and my son would enjoy swimming with dolphins, horseback riding, and snorkeling.

I've never stayed at an all inclusive before so any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
ktyson is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2005, 02:31 PM
  #2  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,472
ktyson.

You will find that people who frequently post in the Caribbean Islands forum:

a) are nearly unanimous when it comes to all inclusive (AI) due to issues you mentioned (overcrowded/understaffed) and the poor quality of the trough buffet type meals. Most islands in the Caribbean have excellent restaurants, ranging from good'n cheap all the way to expensive, and everything in between and part of the excitement of a Caribbean vacation is finding these great places (either on your own or with advice from places like Fodors)

b) 110% unanimous when it comes to swimming with dolphins due to the cruelty to the animals. Search this forum under 'dolphin' and you'll be able to read some of the numerous threads on this subject.

Can you fill us in on some of the other things you are looking for. Lush tropical island, white sandy beaches? Are you looking to snorkel, hike, or explore ruins?

Do you want to mix with a local crowd or have a secluded getaway and not see poverty. There's not a right or wrong answer to this last question - each person is entitled to experience their own vacation without feeling pressure or guilt from others. Search for comments on Jamaica as a good example - some people love it and others don't.

What kind of shopping are you looking for? Any of the islands that attract cruise ships have shopping to cater to that group - mostly jewelry, perfume and liquor.

Travel time is another consideration. Consider where you're travelling from. AA, Continental, US Air, Delta gateways on the East Coast have non-stop flights to numerous islands. To more remote islands or from elsewhere in the US you will likely need to connect through San Juan or Miami.


J62 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2005, 04:37 PM
  #3  
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Hi,
I will probably need to connect in Miami. The closest major airport to me is is Chicago.

I have heard a lot of negative things about Jamaica, so I don't think I want to go there. The things I have heard are about the locals harrassing people.

Upon further research, we will not be doing a dolphin swim. Why didn't I think of that myself. What is being done to these dolphins is horrible.

Your obvious suggestion is not to do an all inclusive because of the poor service. Aren't there some all inclusives that have good service?

I'm not really sure what Isloand I want to go to. I want an island with white sandy walkable beaches, beautiful surroundings, snorkeling, and possibly a casino. I would enjoy mixing with the local people if I won't be harrassed for handouts.

ktyson is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 06:54 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Check out St Thomas.You could take a day trip to St John which is less commercialized..or a British Virgin Island.

Also have heard good things about Curacao.I have been to Aruba..it would have alot for you to do but if you want beautiful scenery..it is not a lush island so maybe Curacao would be better.I think that Bonaire would be good for snorkeling(have heard its the best in the Caribbean)but it is probably lacking on the shopping and things to do issue.

Bermuda is nice but expensive.
christiegr is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2005, 12:19 PM
  #5  
 
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I would look into Wyndham Sugar Bay in STT. There are two restuarants and a poolside grill. The rooms are beautiful and they have a nice pool. Lots of adventures on the island and taxi's are good and easily available. Many people think the shopping is great. I ws stunned by how crowded it can be with the cruise ships, but there are the crafts areas, as well as all kinds of jewelry, T-shirts galore, candles, etc. My friend couldn't pass on a lot of the jewelry. Expect to find a lot. If your son is devoted to the sun and sand, he will be happy in the USVI. Half Moon stables offers horseback riding for around $50 on a secluded trail in STT'S very lush green hills.
Knowing is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2005, 06:01 PM
  #6  
 
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I agree with St thomas. Lovely place. The only problem is the time frame of Sept. There could, be a hurricane. For this reason alone I would think Aruba would be great. Not sure about AI in Aruba or lush island but great weather you would be assured of at least.
diann is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2005, 07:31 AM
  #7  
 
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Like the above poster said, most of the Caribbean has a hurricane threat in September, except the ABC islands. Curacao has AI at the Marriott and at Breezes...both are pretty inexpensive. Haven't been to either, but know of them from researching my own honeymoon. On that note -- we love AIs, but opted for Aruba instead. Despite what people say, you CAN do Aruba on the cheap. The Radisson sometimes offers room around $150 a night, and it's gorgeous. Even if you eat WELL every day, you can feasibly do a week for two around $2500 total (including airfare), which may wind up being less than some AIs quote you. Good luck!!
karameli is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 07:40 AM
  #8  
 
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Check out Swept Away in Negril, Jamaica. We went there on our honeymoon & it was beautiful. I believe it's only couples though. The food was okay, not fantastic.
llp711 is offline  
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