Honeymoon help!!!

Aug 8th, 2003, 09:55 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 44
Honeymoon help!!!

What I want: clear water, white sand, not too rocky beaches, some day trips and some hiking, snorkeling, boat trips. I am not a "lay on the beach everyday" type of person. I am scared about renting a car on an island. But should I not be? Should I rent a condo and get a car or should I stay in a hotel?

What I don't want: All-inclusive. I am also not a "shopper" so I don't have any desire to go to clothing or knick-knack stores.

I live in Saint Louis, MO. Budget is not an issue right now

I looked at the travel channel website and it seems I would like St.John USVI or Kauai's Poipu Beach area. Am I on target?

I am NOT afraid of flying, however I get antsy on long flights and would prefer not to have to travel too far.

I will be honeymooning in mid-June or early July.

Thanks. All island travelers' opinions are appreciated!
howlermonkey is offline  
Aug 9th, 2003, 01:05 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 718
American had a 7-8 hour non-stop from Lindbergh Field to Maui earlier this year. Haven't checked to see if they've discontinued it due to their budget cutbacks.
Getting from St. Louis to one of the more interesting Caribbean islands will still take you 6-8 hours depending on where you want to go.
As such, I'd choose by the island, not the travel time (unless the non-stop flight to OGG-Maui is no more).

So you want clear water, white sand, hiking, snorkeling, day trips, no AI's.

First off, there are no white sand beaches in Hawaii and the water is relatively dark and murky most places compared to the Caribbean. Poipu beach is very nice, though. The sand is dark tan, a bit coarse, the water is blue but dark blue and green. Also, the Pacific water is cold, while the Caribbean water is much warmer if that matters. The Caribbean has many coral islands, and these break down into white sand. The Hawaiian islands are volcanic. Most have tan sand, not especially soft, but no worse than most California beaches.
Hawaii offers the best range of accommodations, interesting day trips, hiking and dining of any of the islands in the Western Hemisphere.
But you won't find your white talcum powder beach with clear water.

Of the Caribbean islands the best white/light tan beaches with light blue water are on Turks/Caicos, Anguilla, St. John, Bahamas, and Caymans. The only good hiking is on St. John (if you mean terrain hiking). The other islands are relatively flat.
St. John is a pretty quiet island. There's one little town. 75% of the island is National Park.

Technically, St. John is the only island that really fits all of the criteria you listed. I wouldn't rule out places like St. Barthelemy, though. Not a "beach destination" island, but the beaches which are there are nice and the island has lots of other good things to offer, including some terrain, great food, day trips, minimal crime and a high standard of living.

As for car rentals, driving on the islands is easy. Speed limits tend to be low and there are so many people who don't know where they're going that expectations of toursits are low.
TedTurner is offline  
Aug 9th, 2003, 07:22 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6
St John is beautiful, but expensive. no night life if that matters, but good food here and there...
for excitement, dive, snorkel but my favorite is sailing...a lady out there has a beautiful one called the Winnifred, just awesome.
Problem that I see is your time frame: she informed us that most sailing outfitter move out for the storm season after memorial weekend, July is a touchy time to go b/c of hurricane season. for a change of pace you can go to St. thomas for the day, but I prefer to stay in St. John, the Lindholm Inn is very cute and is on some of the most coveted territory in St. John.
Kauai is beautiful with great hiking. Maui has wonderful biking down Haleakala for all skill ranges...
The Big Island has all types of cool stuff, even skiing....if you get away from the typical tourist agendas you will find really cool spots
tjtravel is offline  
Aug 10th, 2003, 09:31 AM
  #4  
jcb
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Congrats on your upcoming wedding!!! I honeymooned in Kauai in June 2002 and vacationed in St. John in June 2003. I agree w/ TedTurner's descriptions of the islands.

I spent 10 days in Kauai and 7 in St. John. We needed a few more days in Kauai and less in St. John. I do NOT recommend the Poipu side of Kauai - I did not like it at all (but that is me - lots of people love it). However, I fell in love with the north side and especially with the Princeville Hotel. (We spent 5 days at the Princeville and 4 days at the Hyatt). When I vacation, I prefer to be in the less populated places of my destination.

Like you, I do not like to lay on the beach or shop. I like to sight see, hike, etc. I found more of that to do on Kauai.

Having said all of that, I probably will go back to St. John and probably not to Kauai (well, not anytime soon). I say that b/c getting to St. John took less time, and it is less expensive.

If your honeymoon will be a once in a lifetime trip (i.e. you have unlimited funds and time), I suggest going somewhere that you probably won't be able to back to anytime soon.

If you do a search, I have my St. John trip report posted somewhere.

Oh yeah, driving on the islands is not that big of a deal.

Keep us informed of your plans!!
jcb is offline  
Aug 10th, 2003, 11:33 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
I think you should take a look at Guana Island in the BVI. It's a small private island (850 acres) that offers clear water, white sand, and hiking in abundance. There are miles upon miles of trails hacked out all over the island, much of which is inaccessible any other way. The trails range from easy to difficult, and there are scores of other activities available if you should want them. The snorkeling is very good just off the main beach; they provide windsurfers and kayaks, too. There's tennis, bocce, and croquet for land sports for instance. And though not on site, the managers can arrange for scuba, too.

The island holds a maximum of 30 guests at any given time, so it's definitely not touristy. At the same time, it's only a 10 minute boat ride away from Tortola, so it's easy to get to. They offer sunset cruises, beach massages, and castaway picnics, should you be so inclined. The food is good and the menu changes for each meal.

However, since it's a private island resort, there's not a lot of variety and there's no nightlife. If you wanted to, though, you could take day trips to other islands in the BVI or USVI--some folks did when I was there two months ago.

There are two fantastic trip reports available for Guana, one of which has great photos from some of the hiking paths. Check them out at www.scubamom.com and www.scubatreks. com. I went there for my honeymoon in June 2003 and the weather was not too hot--the very private cottages are built up on a ridge to take in the constant breezes. The island is alsmost self-sufficient, which I also find appealing. They grow their own organic produce, generate their electricity, and have their own water filtration system. In short, Guana is the most beautiful and relaxed getaway I've experienced that provides a few key comforts, but where nature is very little intruded upon.
ejcrowe is offline  
Aug 13th, 2003, 06:49 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9
I've been all over the Carribean and Hawaii. The two absolute best places I have been is St John and Virgin Gorda. They are both exacly what you described. The two resorts, and I wouldn't stay anywhere else if money is not a huge concern, are Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda and her sister resort Caneel Bay on St. John. They have programs where you can stay part of you honeymoon at one resort and part at the other. Includes free inter-island transport on their high speed catamaran. Absolutely sublime resorts. Look no further.
pdmargie is offline  
Sep 20th, 2003, 06:28 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9
Hello again! I'm curious....where did you decide to go?
pdmargie is offline  
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