Help! need advice for Caribbean first timer!

Old Feb 14th, 2001, 08:20 AM
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Help! need advice for Caribbean first timer!

I live in Detroit and am DESPERATE for a little sunshine and relaxation. Going solo. Thinking about the Carib. Have only been to Cancun -- just ok. Like Myrtle Beach with Spanish accent! Quick Trip. 3-4 nites. Keep looking at travel sites and making myself nuts! I'm not a diver/snorkeler. More shopping/site-seeing. Looking for quiet, clean, stressless, wiggle toes in sand.

Any advice?
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 09:06 AM
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Adrien, We live in Erie, so I know what you mean about needing some sunshine.

We've taken the Apple Vacations package from Cleveland to Nassau twice now and it's a relatively inexpensive, but quick getaway. You can leave early in the morning and be on the beach by 1:00 pm. You spend three nights, but on the fourth day, our plane didn't leave until later in the day and the hotel provided us with a place to shower and change.

We stayed at the Nassau Beach Hotel which is a little less that the Marriott and Radisson which are also offered in that package.

Nassau isn't my absolute favorite in the Caribbean, but it's an easy jaunt and a fun time. I wouldn't go until March, though as it's still a little cool there.

Someone posted something about Apple Vacations on another thread, but I haven't read it. We had no problems.
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 01:40 AM
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Highly recommend Punta Cana area of the Dominican Republic or the Playa del Carmen area of Mexico. Playa is about an hour south of Cancun. Very relaxing and very few Americans; mostly europeans. Recommend the Riu resorts for both DR and Mexico. Knowing a little Spanish would'nt hurt.
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 01:53 PM
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Thanks! I forgot to include that I am female and SAFETY is an issue for me. I've heard stories about say.. Jamaica - petty crime, etc.

Also, used Apple to Cancun and was pleased. Would use them again.

Keep those cards and letters coming!
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 02:28 PM
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Aruba is a bit further, but is always sunny and warm. It is also clean , stressless, and safe.
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 04:17 PM
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Taking our first time Vacation Express to Aruba flt. via UPS! Travel agent pointed out hotel prices are based on double occupancy so you might as well take a friend! Also, Nassau isn't in Caribbean, but Atlantic Ocean.
Old Feb 16th, 2001, 09:00 AM
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Although the amount of shopping varies depending on the island, you can have a lovely - and safe - experience at Virgin Gorda, Anguilla, St. Barts. They're all great in their own way, and crime is almost nonexistant at all three.
Old Feb 16th, 2001, 10:21 AM
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If your trip is going to be just 3 or 4 nites, I would start with air and see where you can get to with the minimum of fuss and time. Maybe fly as far as San Juan the nite before, overnite it and head out early in the am for a nearby island. And check return flights for late departures so you aren't leaving, like some people do, with the early birds on your departure to come home. Don't know how that works out of Detriot but it does for me here on the East Coast for the long weekends in the USVI. Actually, St. Thomas might be a good choice - lots of sight seeing on island as well as on nearby St. John and the BVI's for a day! And it is the "mecca" for shopping. There are some quiet lovely resorts in all price ranges islandwide. If it were a longer stay, you might be more inclined to go to the "more remote" islands that take lots of time to get to!! But you have to check for flights and what works out of your airport!
Old Feb 16th, 2001, 10:44 AM
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Adrien, I would also suggest going to Nassau, little crime there, several nice places to stay and I have been there several times solo and have never had a problem.

Don't try to do too much with such a short trip, you spend way too much time traveling and not enough time just laying back and enjoying.

Also try Liberty Travel, for more package deals and they fly "real planes" not charter, so you have less problems with delayed flights.

Also try the Delta and American travel desks, they often have good package deals with airfare and hotel.

One other suggestion is a small resort on Harbour Island in the Bahamas, you fly into Nassau and take a ferry over from there. It is small VERY safe and you will meet interesting people from all over the world.

Have a great time and get some sun for all of us, lol.

Old Feb 16th, 2001, 11:40 AM
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I just came back from the Grand Caymanian Resort (5 star) in Grand Cayman and loved it! If you are considering the Caribbean for Travel, this is the place to stay! Some amenities are Kitchen, Washer/Dryer, Pool, Beach, Dock, Dive Shop, Restaurant, Free Shuttle, plus more… I actually am willing to talk to you regarding this resort and can offer availability at a discounted rate ($800-$2000/week). To see more info on this resort visit:, Please call Jeff (570) 374-3482
Old Feb 17th, 2001, 03:41 PM
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Thanks, everyone for the suggestions. Living in Detroit I am held hostage by Northwest Airlines. I find that the only places in the Caribbean-Atlantic they fly is Grand Cayman & Jamaica. Also direct to Cancun if I want that or Playcar.

Otherwise I will have to use a charter. Or change my mindset and stay in the States. Thinking Florida or even Charleston if I forego the beach. Love history!

Also, if anyone knows of message boards like this that cater to single travelers. I'm not looking to meet someone, but figure it will be a good place to pick up helpful business and leisure travel tips.
Old Feb 17th, 2001, 05:16 PM
caribbean prince
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I have been to just about every island in the Caribbean and in my opinion, the beaches are absolutely gorgeous. However, I wouldn't recommend any island to a single female travelling alone. I think it is very unsafe. One time, I was driving a rental car in St. Lucia and got stuck in traffic and one of the natives jumped in my car and demanded to take him to some destination.
The people in Martinique are the nastiest people I have encountered. I also had a horrible experience in Jamaica. I have been there twice and the first time I was there someone stole $200 from my wallet. In general, the natives are not so friendly to the rich American tourists. Only natives who are friendly are the one who is high on drugs. I can't and shouldn't make this kind of generalization but I certainly wouldn't recommend single female person to go to the Caribbean by herself.
If you are a victim of a crime in the Caribbean, I don't think that you have much recourse. If you really feel the need to go to the Caribbean, St. Barths
has to be the best island. Shopping is best in St Thomas and St Maarten.
But if I were you, I would stick to Florida, maybe KeyWest.


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