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

Jul 12th, 2007, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I have had to think about my response for a couple of days. Good thought-provoking question.
I would have to say no. Our first trip was to Nassau, and I was not hooked. The beaches were nice, but I didn't like the fact that we felt tied to the resort for two reasons. It was our first AI and with the money that we were paying at a young age, we couldn't afford to explore other restauants and bars. Secondly, we were approached by so many venders and people trying to sell drugs when we left the resort, we ended up staying on the grounds way too much. So we really didn't get to see any out of the way places.
Our second trip to St. Martin's french side is what got me hooked on beautiful and lush islands. Since then, we have tried Aruba and didn't care for the flat and dry area at all.
So, I would say that my second experience in the Caribbean got me hooked and we have returned to St. Martin 3 times, followed by 3 trips to St. Kitts and Nevis, 1 to St. Barts and 1 to Maui (not the Caribbean, I know), but it is beautiful and lush.
iw is offline  
Jul 12th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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Altho my first island experience was Hawaii, my first Caribbean one was Provo. Since then we seem to alternate from year to year going to a more deserty one and then something more lush with a rainforest. Each one holds it's own charm and as long as there's a great beach.....I'm happy!!!!
shariej is offline  
Jul 12th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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My first trip to the Caribbean was to the Bahamas on a family vacation as a teenager. My parents took us on a trip every year and I was fortunate enough that they let me plan where to go every year. The Blue water and white sand in the Bahamas have definately influenced which islands I go to. All my husband and I care about if the beach. We love the blue water and the white sand. We've always gone to islands that have that. Grand Cayman was our all time favorite until we found Anguilla. It is our dream beach.
Anguillagirl is offline  
Jul 12th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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I would say yes. My first island trip was to Trinidad and Tobago for the carnival. I was only 20 and I realized that being on a not so economically well off island made me a bit nervous. My next stop was the Domincan - Puerto Plata. Same feeling - beggars on the beach, horrible roads, do I dare eat raw fruits and veggies and wonder if I'll get sick, etc. Then it was Bermuda for my honeymoon - not the caribbean and it was obviously a full circle from what I had experienced and now I have no desire to feel uncomfortable again and it's nice to not have to take shots and have the water quality problems to take your chances with . It's not just that, I was sold on how gorgeous the island is and every single time I go back it takes my breath away.
sp is offline  
Jul 12th, 2007, 04:31 PM
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Hmm. My first was also St. Lucia, and I liked it, but looked for a destination with calmer water for the following trips...we were on the south coast of St L and it was windsurfer territory, not so much snorkeling/floating in clear water.

Cozumel was an attempt at that, too built up for me though.

Jamaica was just right for us, that's the one we've been back to over and over though rarely to the same area.

..but that first trip to St. Lucia has sort of steered me away from very developed, what I'd call "Americanized" islands, or those with flat or scrubby landscapes.
liza is offline  
Jul 13th, 2007, 03:21 AM
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Interesting responses, everybody! I've enjoyed reading everybody's thoughts and getting a refresher course on the places you've already visited.

I have to wonder though: If I had gone to Anguilla or an Out Island for my first trip, would I now be seeking destinations that are centered on the beaches? Because I'm pretty sure I would have loved that as well. Then again, I generally expect to like my destinations, so who can say?

ejcrowe is offline  
Jul 13th, 2007, 04:33 AM
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It seems that people's opinions of places are absolutely based upon their frequency of travel. Some of my friends, for instance, have gone on their first tropical vacation (to Aruba for example) and end up buying a timeshare. They rave about how great it is there, without having the experience of what other islands have to offer. After our kids were out of school, my hubby and I were able to take a trip every winter to a warm destination. Each trip was our favorite until the next time. They kept getting better and better, expecially since I was able to start using the internet to plan our travel. We started out small, first going to the Keys, then Mexico, then Costa Rica, then Hawaii twice (that one will forever be hard to beat), St. John, St. Barts, and Virgin Gorda. My goal is to keep improving on the previous trip. All that said, I was enchanted by north shore Kauai and have been chasing that high ever since.
Maggi is offline  
Jul 13th, 2007, 11:11 AM
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Great thread ej! My first trip to the Caribbean was in 1985 to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and then to Negril for the first of many trips in 1987. Jamaica was an affordable destination for us (my parents) at the time. It still is an affordable destination and a preferred one of ours (my wife and I) for different reasons. Jamaica holds an escapism element that many other islands can't duplicate. Sun, sand and water are tops on our list of island basics, so the "lushness" is just an added incentive. We live in a big metro area, Seattle, so we desire a relaxed "vibe" and as little "Americanization" as possible. Also, a destination needs to be easy to get to, especially traveling with kids, and Jamaica holds that element as well.

That being said, I loved my trips to Jamaica so much that it inspired me to move to the USVI (STX) following my college graduation. The fact that it is US Territory made that an easy decision and that I was able to find work that my college degree is in. If you truly want to experience the Caribbean, live it. My experience on STX, although fairly short, was one that I have reflected on the most over the years. Those 3 years were the most influential years of my life at an impressionable age.

We are trying to experience some different islands, however. I have looked seriously over the years at T&C, Anguilla, Grand Cayman, Tobago and the Out Islands of the Bahamas. We just always seem to fall back on sweet Jamaica.

CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Jul 13th, 2007, 03:40 PM
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It is hard to beat the North shore of Kauai..it is very beautiful!I would go there more often,if it was not a 10-12 hour flight for me.

I plan to travel back to Kauai and the Big Island and to really see everything and enjoy it...we would need about 3 weeks to 1 month.I will have to wait until my kids are outta school.12 more years!...for now,I will enjoy the Caribbean and who knows...I may find that place that I keep going back to!
It was really hard to stick to our plans on going to Vieques,when my heart was saying St John!(which we might go to in February).

Have fun in Vieques!When do you leave?


christiegr is offline  
Jul 13th, 2007, 08:12 PM
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Good question. For me, the first was definitely not the definitive (thank God for that regarding and other things in life! We went to the Bahamas and Bermuda a few times before we ever went to the Virgin Islands, and for me, the experiences were very different. The overruling factor is the amazing water and the love of nature.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Jul 13th, 2007, 08:52 PM
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Our kids are grown, Christie, so this is the "now or never" time for us to travel! We leave on Aug. 6th, but first I will be in Boston for a long weekend.
Maggi is offline  
Jul 14th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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Not for me. I'm one of those people who want to experience every country in this world. I do love the Caribbean because it's where I'm originally from. Right now, we go there a lot because it's easy to get to from the East Coast with a little one in tow (and yes because we love it too). My trips to various islands have actually taught me what I like and what I don't like. I will never not go to an island because I think I may not like it. I know I will like something about it even if I won't love it. But I believe I must experience it so I can make an informed opinion. I may be pleasantly surprised. Right now, I've noticed that I've been booking islands with beautiful beaches, great restaurants with nothing much more to do. I think it's because we've been working a lot. We don't go to restaurants a lot.. and we are just exhausted... so we want to just relax and do pretty much nothing.
caribtraveler is offline  
Jul 14th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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my first trip to the caribbean, although not officially...was bermuda. fresh out of high school on a cruise from new york with two buddies...i think our "wanted" photo's may be still hanging up somewhere on the cunard princess !! we were the only ones to take the mopeds and meet the ship in hamilton from st. george....and what fun we had on those mopeds !! we saw frankie avalon and giggled through the entire show because he had on higher heels than us...this was at the southhampton princess way back when they did giant shows !!

boy did i fall hard for bermuda..went back for my honeymoon and have returned at least six times (lost count!) with my hubby, with friends, with the kids...

we've changed our "travel" tastes since then although it would be hard form me to NOT stay in the princess, next time we go to bermuda i would try something smaller, closer to that gorgeous beach! bermuda is truly a magical place.

now we prefer two or three stories the most, set on a beach, small, intimate, quiet.

we are smitten with antigua lately, the palm lined beaches, mountains, green farms and mangroves all call me when im thinking of where to go...the friendly people, both visiting and staff alike....the wonderful restaurants..we are heading there with our kids in august and i am truly on a count-down!!

thanks to you, carribean soul and your journals of your visits to negril, my husband and i are tossing jamaica around for next summer with the kids...took them to jamaica when they were toddlers and we were treated like family. nevis is another island i would like to visit....put it this way, any caribbean island is worth seeing in my book !

and what a joy to put the toddler beach-front meltdowns behind us. we did it with three in tow, dont know how, but we did....worth all the work, my kids adore travelling and do not hesitate to jump on board when we make the offer !!

now that my TA has an idea of what we like, she is pushing turks and caicos....take note blamona..., its on my list.

happy travels....albee

albee622 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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EJ: this has turned into a terrific thread. Congrats
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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My first Caribbean vacation was when I was 18 and I went to Barbados with an aunt and uncle. On the trip one day we went on a catamaran ride and I remember that the water was so gorgeous. It had what looked like stripes of royal and light blue going through it. In my 20 plus years of travel since then, I haven't seen water that came close to that memory until I went to Turks and Caicos. I could spend all day looking at that ocean! I don't think that my first Caribbean experience has influenced where I go but that memory of the water in Barbados has definately stayed with me.
travelenthusiast is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 03:46 PM
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Traveling = Learning.

Our first trip to the islands like many others was our honeymoon back in 90. We went to St Kitts and stayed at a cheap AI called Jack Tar Village. The reason we picked this resort & island was simply because some friend of our had just gone on their honeymoon there and loved it. We were both 24, and still into the party scene, so this low budget, crappy food resort was just fine for our first experience. I'll never forget walking to the Atlantic side beach, and thinking it was just another beach. But a day later we made our way to the caribbean side, and that turquoise water stole our hearts, and we were hooked.

Since then, we have tried many islands, looking for that perfect one, which is probably impossible. Each trip we learn more about what we really like in our vacations. Snorkeling has become a huge part of our overall decision, along with nice beaches of course, and a few other things we enjoy.

So far, St John is as close to what we love in a vacation that we have found so far. We are far from done exploring other places, but we will be going back to STJ mnay times I'm sure.

So I'm not sure I was influenced as much as others. I believe we just kept learning more & more, along with knowing what to look for while researching our trips. Thank God for the internet!! Or was that Al Gore?
ScottB is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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ScottB....You had me eating out of your hand until the Al Gore statement
Seriously, I totally understand what you are saying about getting out there and seeing new destinations.
St. Kitts was not our first trip to the Caribbean, but it was awesome. We have now been 3x to SKB and Nevis. BTW, we got married in 1990, same as you.
You might want to check out St. Barts. It is a great place, as well.
iw is offline  

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