I have a theory...what are your thoughts?

Jul 10th, 2007, 01:12 PM
  #1  
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I have a theory...what are your thoughts?

I have a theory based on my own experience and those of my friends and family. Did the first place in the Caribbean you visited influence the type of island you prefer to vacation on?

For example, my first trip to the Caribbean was to St. Lucia, and since then I've discovered that I prefer the lusher, more mountainous islands with a beautiful interior--Jamaica, Nevis, and Grenada are at the tops of my list. I like the other kinds of islands, but for the most part they've not been the ones that have most captured my heart and imagination.

What have your experiences been?
ejcrowe is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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In a way, yes. I have only been to St. John so far and in planning future trips to the Caribbean, the gorgeous beaches and great from-shore snorkeling in St. John are steering me.
iamq is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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"Did the first place in the Caribbean you visited influence the type of island you prefer to vacation on?"

Absolutely. Our first experience was our honeymoon to Cozumel. It was amazing beyond belief. I was hooked. We went to Playa del Carmen for our first wedding anniversary and then Cancun for our 2nd wedding anniversary. Then we branched out to the Carribean. We love the clear warm water and the overall vibe. We fell in love with the concept of AI resorts, so after visting several Caribbean Islands and Hawaii, we still love Mexico the most. I agree though of all the palces we've been, St. Lucia is the most beautiful.
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Jul 10th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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Not for us although the first island (Virgin Gorda) we ever visited is high on our list of favorites. We like the fact that all islands are different. We've been to lush volcanic islands that we've loved (Nevis, Grenada, St. Vincent) and others we don't have to visit again (St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic). The same holds true for flat arid islands, we loved Anguilla, a couple of the Bahamas Out Islands, and Anegada but didn't like Provo, Cat Island or Aruba. As for the hilly but not necessarilly lush islands, we liked St. Barth's, St. John, Tortola but not St. Martin or St. Thomas. Unlike KVR we disliked Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozemel.
A_Traveller is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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Not so for me. One of the last islands we visited was Aruba, hardly your prototypical lush tropical isle. However I sort of liked the landscape just as it was. I also liked the dry or west side of the BI as well. However your ? is a good one. It makes sense, sort of in the vein of how a good 1st impression is lasting.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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Our first trip to the Caribbean was in 1998 to Jamaica. I don't know that Jamaica so much influenced me at the time as I knew very little about the Caribbean. We didn't travel to the Caribbean again until 2003 and that was St Lucia. St Lucia definitely had an impact on what kind of islands I now choose. We definitely prefer lush or hilly islands. St John seems to be a perfect fit for us. Hilly and beautiful with great beaches to boot. Not to mention good opportunities for island hopping. Maybe I will get out of my STJ "rut" someday, but not yet. Trip number four scheduled for November.
brenandg is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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so far i have been to st. thomas (1st) with mini visits in the bvi's, provo and mexico. i like them all best.
actually it's all about the snorkeling for me and each place was a good experience.
my ideal would be someplace with the culture and history of mexico and the snorkeling of grand cayman and the restaurants of provo.
what a fun question ej!
virginia is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 06:41 PM
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Good question ej!

My first trip to any tropical island was in 2002.My husband and I went to Kaua'i Hawaii.It did capture my heart! But I have since enjoyed other destinations..St John also captured my heart for the snorkeling and natural beauty like Kaua'i.Grand Cayman is also a favorite for the food,snorkeling and it is pretty in Grand Cayman..just not mountainous and lush like the previous two.GC makes a great vacation spot if you have kids with you..it's easy to navigate and plenty to see and do with the kids.Vieques PR is also naturally beautiful..though the snorkeling was nothing to brag about.The locals were very friendly and beaches nice.Aruba just did nothing for me..snorkeling was bad,people were friendly and food was good but everything else was not for me..too busy.Might would have been fun for the kids with all of the activities.

For me it is the nature,snorkeling,food,stories from the locals that make or break a destination for me.

If it's a vacation without the kids..I prefer a more quiet island with nature trails and great snorkeling...now that is true tranquility for me!

Christie

christiegr is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 07:15 PM
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I'd have to say yes. I first visited 4 of the Hawaiian islands (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii) when I was a kid in 1973. They were all so beautiful to me.

As far as Caribbean islands I have only visited Grand Cayman, and just recently St. Thomas, St. John, and Virgin Gorda.

While I love the Caribbean islands I have visited, I still love the Hawaiian islands the best... so maybe it is because that is where I visited first, ej!

Carole
cawhite is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 07:45 PM
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Carole,
I've kind of been waiting for your trip report. Anything in the works?
brenandg is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Yes, brenandg... I'm so sorry for the delay!!

We got back on 7/1 and I've been burried with work ever since... plus my son has been sick, my daughter has an out-of-state visitor staying with us, and I'm busy planning her 16th birthday which is this weekend!

We did have a very enjoyable trip and I'm going to try to get to the trip report and pictures in a few days... I promise!

In the mean time, I still have thoughts of the hours spent floating on the crystal blue waters of the very beautiful and uncrowded Mahoe Bay of Virgin Gorda.... ahhhhhhhhhh.... it was very nice.

Carole
cawhite is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 03:52 AM
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I have often said that I was spoiled as my first trip to the caribbean was STJ. I love the white sandy beaches with great snorkelling and the backdrop of the lush hills. Unfortunately, it has become so popular that it is not the same experience we had even 5 years ago!! Oh, and the color of the water. I hate to think what would have happened if I was taken to some AI somehwere on a busy waterfront beach!
We want to experience all of the islands, but Grenada, St.Kitts, Dominica are tops, with regular trips to the BVI's!
mahobaygirl is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 04:37 AM
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I would agree that my first visit to the Caribbean influenced the type of island I prefer to vacation on -- but it showed me exactly what I DIDN'T want!!

It was my honeymoon, in the pre-Internet era (1989), in SXM. Even in August, it was crowded and congested and loaded with American-style attractions. Seemed like everyone was from the East Coast. Without access to tons of information, we didn't know how to find the best of the island. It was our honeymoon, and by definition special, but disillusioning.

As little as we liked St. Martin, we didn't give up on the Caribbean altogether -- how could we? Despite the crowds and timeshares, there was still that water, and that sand...

Next trip, the following March (1990), was Eleuthera, a decision made with equal lack of information. Here it was that we fell in love with the truly remote, laid-back, non-commercial Caribbean [not technically the Caribbean, I know...]. Here, we had miles of pink sand beaches to ourselves, rooms without keys, welcoming (if a bit shy) islanders whom we were encouraged to pick up if hitchhiking, and at the end of the day, a handful of like-minded travelers to unwind with at the bar.

Since those early visits, we have visited the islands every year (sometimes as often as 3x), and we've added sailing to our Caribbean repertoire. We've run the gamut of destinations -- from cheesy Cancun to remote Cat (my current favorite). Our hearts take us back to the Out Islands of the Bahamas most often, because 17 years later, they retain the rustic and remote charm we found on Eleuthera in 1990.

We have learned to make the most of every destination, and the information and community avaiable on the internet make it easier to do so. Thus, we've come nearly full circle and spent our last vacation based in St. Martin as we sailed a 72' racing boat. This time, though, we found what we could love about St. Martin -- which has become even more congested and busy in the ensuing years, but with a bit of information, pleased even this seclusion-seeker. (Trip report here: http://www.traveltalkonline.com/foru...=15#Post651518)

In the end, I am grateful that my initially disappointed impression of the Caribbean didn't stop me from trying again (and again and again) to find my heart's second home.
Callaloo is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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My response is similar to Callaloo's; not that I didn't like the first island that I visited (Puerto Rico) but that the islands have changed over the 20+ years that I've been visiting and more importantly so have I. I, too am a seclusion seeker!

I now look for different experiences; I didn't snorkle 20 years ago and I've only just tried SCUBA plus now I probably require a little more comfort lodging-wise (AC and hot water are very welcome!).

I lived on St.Kitts for a couple of years in the days before the Marriott was built and the island wasn't a cruise ship destination. I travelled to several islands on very little money and this 'overview' has shaped what I look for in an island to vacation on today.

My number one priority is a great beach with from the shore snorkeling. Note: a great beach doesn't have to have powder soft white sand but it helps. The fewer people the better and deserted is ideal.

Twenty years ago I loved Anguilla now I much prefer Vieques and I'd like to go back to Montserrat for starters...
highflyer is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 10:06 AM
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Extremely interesting question,ej! It makes me think a little. Our first Caribbean island that we visited was Jamaica. Beautiful beaches and natural abundance of lushness. A very differnt culture.
Now when we choose an island, the beaches aren't so very important, but I still prefer the lusher places with a different culture...and someplace for a quiet stroll for two.
Knowing is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 10:13 AM
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I loved my first visits at the time! ;-)

Once in a while, after I've been to about 10 islands, I'll run across one that takes my breath away, and makes me forget the first ones.

But to add to your theory-maybe you're attracted the first time to seek what your tastes are, even if subliminal?
blamona is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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Great question EJ. My first trip to an island 1983 was Bermuda. Not quite the Caribbean but loved it. 2nd stop 1985 the Bahamas and Paradise Island. Truthfully didn't care for the trip. except when given the opportunity to travel beyond the resort. I can't remember the position the man held at the resort but when asked about traveling beyond the resort for dinner and true West Indian food he set us up with a cab, gave the man instructions where to take us after calling the restaurant and letting them know we were coming. The cabbie was also instructed to be available to bring us back when ready. Boy was I trusting in those days because we ended up definitely off the beaten path and had one of my best ever Caribbean dinners. My first time for conch and I was hooked. One of my favorite choices for appetizers and chowders.

Took a hiatus from traveling outside the US until 1991 the year of my first Windjammer cruise which departed weekly from St. Maarten. Didn't spend much time in St. Maarten but did visit Saba, Statia, St. Kitts and Nevis. From that trip on my preference has been the volcanic islands. Obviously my name says it all, my most favorite islands are of course St. Vincent and the Grenadines. SVG remains dearest to my heart not only for it's natural beauty but that of the Vincentians who live there. This Sept #12 WJ cruise scheduled on the Yankee Clipper sailing yet again for trip #9 to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Pure heaven 3 days on St. Vincent, 6 days sailing the Grenadines and a final 2 days in Grenada before heading back to the rat race. 2 more months to go.....
vinceygirl is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Not for me.

My first trips were to the Bahamas in the 60s as a child via cruise ship and then later to places like St. Thomas. It was my first trip to Negril 25 years ago that did it for me!

I love Jamaica for the food, people, and topography. Also the music! And my other favorites are the lush mountainous islands of St Lucia and Grenada. These are always my first choices.

The USVI pales in comparison for me, as do the ABCs and Mexico.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Somewhat. My first trip to the Caribbean was Bermuda in 1976. I was 12 and thought it was the most beautiful place in the world. I still think it is the prettiest island that I have visited. I have been back about 5 times since
I have however, enjoyed my trips to other islands that are totally different like Aruba and the Caymans. The Big Island of Hawaii was very strange looking, but we loved it! I was not impressed by Nassau in the Bahamas or by the island of Puerto Rico.
girlonthego is offline  
Jul 12th, 2007, 06:00 AM
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My first trip to the islands was Hawaii for our honeymoon. I liked all three Maui, Kaui and the big island (especially the scenery) but was not blown away by it. Our next trip was in '98 to Anguilla. I basically picked the island based on a book which described all the islands in the Caribbean. What appealed to me most in the description was the beaches but more importantly that it had a population of only 10,000 people. Our number one priority is quiet followed by the quality of beaches. And we LOVED it. The most beautiful beaches you could ask for, crystal clear bright blue waters, and empty except for us. And the restaurants were just an added bonus. So it was my first caribbean experience and it definately influenced my preference going forward but I agree with blamona that the reason I was attracted to Anguilla in the first place was because I knew what I was looking for in an island vacation. Our other favorite vacations have been to Eleuthera (currently #1) and Virgin Gorda. We definately hope to go back to Anguilla but I think it will not be as quiet as it had been in the past and we may be a bit disappointed.
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