Honeymoon questions

Old Apr 11th, 2003, 08:42 AM
  #1  
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Honeymoon questions

Hi everybody, I just have a few questions for somebody who may be able to help me out. I am planning my honeymoon for the first week of August (2nd-9th) and was considering one of the Sandals resorts. I am open to other suggestions because I know many of you are not Sandals lovers. Neither my fiancee or I have ever been to the Caribbean and will be happy with what ever we choose, our budget is roughly $4000 which must include air from michigan. I was curious about any other suggestions for destinations that would be similar to a Sandals (AI etc...). I was also under the impression that August is maybe one of the slower seasons and was wondering if i should book a less expensive room in hopes of being able to get an upgrade based on availibility. any comments would be much appreciated, i am just looking to get the best value for our vacation, thanks.
mrfett is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2003, 09:36 AM
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For my honeymoon in October 2001 we decided on the Sandals Halcyon in St. Lucia. I remember deciding on the Sandals because when I was planning our wedding, etc. all the websites, magazines for weddings STRESSED the Sandals so I was sold. We had a nice honeymoon but for the $$ I did not think our standard room was that great. You would think they would have upgrated us knowing that it was our honeymoon (especially during low season, right after sept. 11th) but NO! Food is okay, not bad. But if I were to go back to St. Lucia I would maybe try the Hilton (Jalouise - I think) because its set right in between the beautiful pitons St. Lucia is noted for. Now with that in mind I can tell you that if you like the AI idea and want the beautiful caribbean water and for a romantic get-away like a honeymoon, I would HIGHLY recommend Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Last year we stayed at the Royal Hideaway Resort which is an AI with beautiful accommodations, 5 star food and service. You will not be disappointed and for the $$ it is such a great value! I would look into Playa Del Carmen. This location in Mexico is so ideal because you are on the caribbean coast, not as hectic as Cancun, and plus you have access to the mayan ruins, take a ferry over to Cozumel, etc. I have pictures too if you like I can email you. Congratulatons and good luck!
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Old Apr 11th, 2003, 11:53 AM
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Hi mrfett, We have been to alot of the Sandals resorts in Jamaica. Most of them should fit your budget. We can't say enough about Sandals. Although, alot of people don't like them. They do have one of the highest returning guest #'s in the caribbean.

We have used newhorizonsvacations.com

They have been good to us.
endlstvl is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2003, 01:36 PM
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We too have been to many Sandals and we have enjoyed out stay at all of them but they are all different in some way and some more expensive thenothers.

In gengeral, the Sandals on Jamaica are going to be the most affordable. Sandals Ocho Rios is one of the cheaper ones and honestly, one of the best and really the prettiest. It is very romantic, beautiful grounds with lush gardens and nice thing too is that it is one of the few Sandals where you can book low in room category and be fine as all room locations are pretty good. You also would get to use Sandals Dunn;s and Beaches Grande right next door too so get alot for your money.

Sadnals NEgril and Royal are also good.

Off Jamaica, Sandals Antgiua and Halcyon are also great resorts. Great laid back feel and casual.

Penney
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Old Apr 11th, 2003, 02:13 PM
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First of all, congratulations! You'll have a great time in the Caribbean no matter where you go because it is a very romantic destination.

Now, I am in the anti-Sandals camp, and it's my belief that for the money you're prepare to spend (say, $2500 for a week at a really top resort, and $1500 (being generous) for airfare from Michigan), you could get a much nicer, more individual, and unforgettable honeymoon than at a Sandals. That said, you are traveling in the hurricane season, and I think Sandals does offer a really nice hurricane policy--something along the lines of if a hurricane hits while you're staying there, they'll rebook you later in the year for the number of days the hurricane interfered with your honeymoon.

I highly recommend that you check out a website called luxurylink.com. They've got fantastic offers to the very best places in the Caribbean, usually at substantial savings. For example, today when I was browsing that site, Young Island Resort just off the coast of St. Vincent was offering a week long package that included airport transfers, all meals, a sunset cruise, the usual water sports,one massage per person, and taxes and gratuities. (Basically you'd only have to pay out of pocket for drinks and excursions.) The package was offered to buy at $1800. Young Island is a private island, very small, but still intimate. It has the advantage of being close enough to St. Vincent (1000 feet or so away) so you could make daytrips there without feeling "Stranded" on Young Island. It's very beautiful and romantic there.

Of course, there are tons of other great deals on that website. And you may decide that a Sandals is right for you, but before you decide, just make sure you know some of the other fantastic choices out there. During August you can get really good prices ANYWHERE.
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Old Apr 11th, 2003, 03:13 PM
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i made a mistake in my last posting--I was conflating an auction for Ti Kaye Village on St. Lucia with an auction for Young Island. YI doesn't offer the sunset cruise, Ti Kaye does. Ditto for the massage. Sorry about the confusion.
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Old Apr 12th, 2003, 04:19 AM
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Just returned from a Sandals resort in Jamaica. This was our fourth year in a row to go to Jamaica. The previous trips we had stayed at Couples resorts.
In my opinion for the money Couples does a better job. We prefer Negril over Ocho Rios because of the beaches and the water is much calmer. Ocho rios was windy and choppy waters...not very tranquil...some days there aren't good for water sports. Couples food is better than Sandals. If you want to have a romantic trip I highly recommend]
Couples and preferrebly Negril...then Swept Away in Negril, and finally Ocho Rios Couples. I will admit we enjoyed the trip to Dunns River Falls and horseback riding that was included in the Couples Ocho Rios, but it is an older property and not much beach!!!
My Suggestion is to visit their website.
They offer a package to split your vacation between two of their resorts and they will fly u to the other...
I suggest 3 days in ocho rios and 4 in Negril...this way u see both ...
My complaints about Sandals....just an okay room....food just okay...the excursions weren't included ....
Couples offers great excursion and they are included...
Cheapest way is to call the resort yourself to book and ask questions and ck on your own airfare... Get a price and take it to AAA...Best deals I have found and their insurance package was the best price...
We are going back in Feb. to get Married in Jamaica...We love it!!!!!!!!
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Old Apr 12th, 2003, 04:21 AM
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The Sandals guarantee goes like this. If a hurricane interrupts any portion of your vacation, they will rebook your entire stay. Includes airfare, if booked with the package. If you book 2 weeks and during the last 2 days your hit with a hurricane, you get 2 weeks on them.
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Old Apr 12th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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I would just like to thank you all for your time and useful suggestions. Now i just have to make a decision and go with it! Thanks for your help.
mrfett is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Dear Mrfett & Other Honeymooners,
There is so much more to Jamaica than inclusive hotels. Having lived here for 14 years I beleive the best honeymoon spot is Bluefields Villas on the South Coast. They have 5 beautiful villas' which are affordable and provide the most memorable vacation for this very special life event. There is also Jakes in Treasure Beach, different again ..a more local old Jamaican feel and finally for those wanting exclusivity and pampering Oasis Spa ( stay in a villa and have a spa to your self) also on the South Coast. Everyone of these are real examples of Jamaican life, food and experience. All are safe and the staff are really fantastic. I think all three have websites..of the same name..try seaching..
Finally , although August is in hurricane season it is still pretty safe. After Sept 15th it gets more iffy..until end of Nov.
Good luck
jaguide
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 03:00 PM
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mrfett, we honeymooned at Sandals Antigua last October and really enjoyed it. With August being in hurricane season, it may be best to steer away from Jamaica. You may have a better chance of good weather further south.

That being said, the grounds of Sandals Antigua are very lush/tropical and well kept. The beach is large and spread out with the water being very calm. The food is good, although not great (let's just say you don't visit an All-Inclusive for the food). Service was good and drinks were plentiful. We really enjoyed having access to the watersports equipment anytime we wanted. Our room was also comfortable and kept incredibly clean.

I agree with the above poster that paying full price for a Sandals resort is not worth it. Although, they are offering 35% off and with the discount I found it well worth it (I can't imagine them going back to regular prices!). They took care of us being honeymooners and all. We had a candlelight dinner one night with flower petals on the table and a bottle of wine. It was very romantic.

Congrats and enjoy whatever you choose!
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 07:13 AM
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I just returned from my honeymoon and I have to stress that you CAN have a beautiful, romantic and first class honeymoon without breaking the bank. See my post on Young Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is a private island resort and it was fantastic- $2940 got us 8 nights with all meals, tax and tip included as well as transfers to the airport and a two night sail on a private sailboat with a captain and cook all to ourselves! It was awesome and I would be glad to answer any questions you might have. Also, look at www.youngisland.com
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 11:29 AM
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For that price you can do alot of locations. One of our favorite places I can recommend is Romora Bay on Harbour Island, they have package deals and one of the most beautiful locations. Accomodations are villas overlooking the ocean. Nice pool area, excellent food and nice people.

Try their website www.romorabay.com for info on their packages.

Have a wonderful time
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 01:11 PM
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Where the heck is Harbour Island? All I was saying is that Young Island is a top notch private island resort that is reasonably priced- I don't know of any other private island resorts that are both five star and somewhat affordable. And after much research- I have to disagree with you- there are not "many" other luxury private island resorts in the Caribbean that can be had for the same price. For example, Palm Island, Petit St. Vincent, Peter Island, Meridian Club (turks and caicos) and others are typically much higher priced.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 09:24 PM
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Harbour Island has been written up by Islands Mag as one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world. It is very small only 3 miles long by half a mile wide and right off the coast of Eleuthera. Pink Sands one of the premier resorts in the Carribean is on Harbour Island.

I suggested Romora Bay because it would be perfect for a honeymoon, small private villas overlooking the water so lots of privacy.

It's fun to get there now too, you can fly or take the fast ferry over from Nassau.

For what they are planning on spending for the week including airfare this would be another good choice for them.

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