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I need help! I get married in aug & cant decide on a honeymoon destination

I need help! I get married in aug & cant decide on a honeymoon destination

Old Apr 17th, 2009, 06:20 AM
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I need help! I get married in aug & cant decide on a honeymoon destination

My problem is I am so frugal and worried about the state of our economy. I really want a good deal, however I love luxury. I have been searching sites for months trying to decide. I want to be on the beach for sure! Reefs resort in Cayman looks really nice however a little more costly. Which is what I am trying to avoid. I keep thinking I am going to find a great deal if I wait.. however I Get Married In 4 Months! I need help.. I got a decent price at Sandals OCho Rios this morning.. but didn't commit. We want all inclusive and a package to incld air. Someone please plan my honeymoon for me? I would be flying from Evv, Stl, or Indy. Wedding date is 15aug. Oh and hurricane season, a little worried about that! Read that there are a couple destinations are safer from hurricanes , I believe it was Aruba and I cant remember the other. We have our passports!
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Old Apr 17th, 2009, 07:40 AM
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You'll also need to check & see what 'stay' requirements are involved w/your destination of choice. That may factor into your decision as minimum stays on the island are sometimes required in varying degrees.
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Old Apr 17th, 2009, 07:56 AM
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The risk of there being major hurricanes in mid-August is small and even smaller that if there is one that it will strike the island you are visiting. That said, generally speaking the further south you go the less chance there is you will encounter a major stom. Thus of the islands on your list the one that is perhaps the least prone to hurricanes is Aruba. You can, if you wish, research just how often hurricanes have hit the islands on your list during mid-August since the mid-1800's by going to the climatology section at www.stormcarib.com. You'd be surprised how few there actually have been.

As far as your comment "Someone please plan my honeymoon for me" goes this is probably a recipe for disappointment. It's YOUR honeymoon and YOUR Budget. While getting resort recomendation from others might be helpful YOU haven't given us much information on what type of experience you are seeking and how much you are willing to spend even though you seemed to be obsessed with "price". While that's all well and good remember the old adages "You get what you pay for" and "the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence".

My suggestion is that you first read up about the various islands on your list to determine which one most appeals to you. You can do that easily by using the "Destinations" link at the top of this page and clicking through to thr "Caribbean" and each "Island". Once you choose the island, you'll be able to concentrate your efforts in finding a resort the meets your needs and budget (whatever that may be).

Since you saod you are frugal, perhaps the followong might be of interest:

A) Grand Cayman is generally considered to be an expensive destination and it is the most expensive destination on your list.

B) The Dominican Republic is one of the More Economical destinations in the Caribbean and has lots of AI's. It is generally easy to get to and often there are low airfares.

C) Jamaica is another island with lots of AI's in decent price ranges and low airfares.

D) Aruba has lots of resort options, a few AI's, it's very Americanized, generall hurricane free but will be the longest flight from your departure city.
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Old Apr 17th, 2009, 04:24 PM
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sanParis2 is telling you there may be time requirements for an island wedding. as i read your post i think you are getting married at home. yes?
do you want to do things outside of the ai? like what? or do you mostly wanna hang on the beach at your resort?
jamaica & dom rep are very lush. aruba & gc are arid.
i too would elimate grand cayman - it is pricey. also the reef is really nice but away from everything. you'd need a car to do stuff.
you might look into mexico. the maya riviera area south of cancun. maya riv has loads of ai's in all price ranges. tons of good stuff to do from golf to zip-lines to ruins. and the resorts will organize any excursions you want to take.
you can fly nonstop stl-cun in 3 hrs for #$300

this page lists adults only ai's: http://www.all-inclusives.com/Adults/Adults_Only.htm
kayak.com is useful for checking flight info if you don't have it bundled w/resort.
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Old Apr 18th, 2009, 02:51 AM
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Thanks Virgina!!! Yes, I am ready to eliminate Grand Cayman... too $$$....The Reef looks likes good 10 yr anniv trip : )

Yes we are getting married Aug 15 at home.
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Old Apr 18th, 2009, 04:18 AM
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I second the Riviera Maya area of Mexico! Great beaches & tons of wonderful AI resorts. We've stayed at the Barcelo Maya resorts twice but have friends who have stayed at Iberostar resorts & loved those as well. Also quite a few Adults only AI if you don't want to deal with lots of kids on summer vacation while on your honeymoon. Better bang for your buck in Mexico it seems these days. go to www.locogringo.com to check out arial views, beach descriptions & some resort descriptions. If you are interested in Barcelo, search unofficial barcelo maya & you will find a site devoted just to those resorts with lots of great pictures, etc. Good luck! Also, a good travel agent may be helpful to you since you only have a short time to plan.
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Old Apr 18th, 2009, 05:34 AM
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I agree that Mexico will give you more bang for your buck. The Playa del Carmen/Mayan Riveria has some of the nicer adult only AI resorts. Look at the Royal Playa del Carmen, Iberostar Grand Parsion, Secrets Capri, Excellence Riveria,
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Old Apr 18th, 2009, 05:50 AM
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Sorry hit the enter button too soon.

Secrets Maroma and Secrets Silversands.

With that said, we have been to that area several times during the August/September time period and have chosen not to go there anymore during those months. Though we have not got caught in a hurricane/tropical storm, there were several times we weren't sure if our flight would be canceled or our hotel closed. We have been after the storms have hit and the area was still in disaray. In 2005, our trip was canceled and luckily we had the trip insurance and was able to re-book to another destination. It's a crap shoot. If your willing to take the chance, buy the insuracne in which you can cancel for any reason.

Personally, Aruba would be my choice. Though it's a longer flight and most people don't care for the Island as it's considered "Americanized", that's one of the reasons we like it. There are many restaurants in all price ranges, so you wouldn't want to go AI there. It's safe and easy to get around. Palm Beach and Eagle Beach are so nice. Grand Cayman was our favorite destination after Mexico until we went to Aruba. You would be very disappointed if you went to Grand Cayman and did not stay on 7 Mile Beach at least for your first trip.

The DR has many huge AI complexes. Though there are only a hand full that are adults only. If you plan on sitting at your resort and enjoying the facilities, then the DR may be an option.

Jamaica is very lush and just beautiful. Totally opposite of Aruba or Grand Cayman. Look at Sunset at the Palms in Negril. Little tree house type cabins, and they cater to honeymooners. Make sure you get out and see the Island.

If price is your concern, I don't believe any Sandals resort is worth the price they put on them, and all Sandals are not created equal. You get more for your money at the hotels I listed in Mexico. It's a hard decision. Good Luck.
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Old Apr 18th, 2009, 06:17 AM
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jenjay, kvr gives excellent advice re ai's. she has been to tons and knows whereof she speaks.
travel insurance is probably a very good idea. and booking through a travel agent might be helpful if you needed to change at the last minute.

locogringo.com is imho the best travel web site !!! they have Everything you'd ever want to know and all easy to find. also they were most helpful in planning my vacation there 18 months ago.
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Old Apr 18th, 2009, 10:15 AM
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thanks!!! What about Couples Negril? How does it compare to Sandals?

I want to stay away from Mexico at this time. Would love to visit there in the future.
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Old Apr 18th, 2009, 12:12 PM
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friends of mine honeymooned at couples swept away on jamaica. they choose it because it offered a dive pkg.
they loved the resort, saying it was beautiful and romantic and would like to return.
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Old Apr 18th, 2009, 01:17 PM
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Thank you Virginia, I appreciate you're faith in me.

I would definatley pick Couples over Sandals. The new renos in the Couples in Ocho Rios recently have been completed. We stayed a couple of hotels down from Couples Negril and DH went over to check it out. He came back very upset we didn't stay there instead.

You're still going to need the hurricane/trip insurance in Jamaica. It's usually the same weather issues as Mexico that time of year.
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Old Apr 19th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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As you know, Sandals is offering an extremely attractive rate right now. We just returned from Sandals Antigua last weekend. This was our second trip there. We stayed in the new Mediterrean Village that just opened 17 months ago. It was so elegant and romantic. The pool is the largest in the eastern Caribbean; we had a big balcony with a perfect water view for drinking wine from our bar at sunset; fabulous restaurants; a big bathroom with a large shower; a romantic four-poster bed; and a helpful staff that doesn't interfere with your conversations when you want some privacy.

My other suggestion would be Palm Island in the Grenadines. If your idea of a vacation - or honeymoon - is to close off the rest of the world - except your new spouse, of course, this is the place. It usually takes an overnight stay in Barabdos - and a small plane (they pay for it if you stay 7 days) and a 1 mile boat ride to reach the island, but the effort to get there is worth it, if you want total isolation and privacy. We stayed in a stone cottage by the beach, about 15-20 feet from the water. The most beautiful beach and water you will ever see in your life! The resort has both a rustic and that luxury atmosphere you are talking about.
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Old Apr 19th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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Kvr I know you said dont do AI on Aruba... but we are really interested in doing that and I see there are some.. the divi and the tamarijn? They seem to be right on the beach... Are you familiar with them? I checked out the tree house place in Jamaica and it looked really nice too!!
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Old Apr 19th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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check out Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios, its the high end Sandals, good deals right now for it. Step above all the other Sandals.

Movie with mandy moore and robin williams was shot there a couple years back, "license to wed" i think it is. anyway, after much deliberation this is where I Decided for our August honeymoon.

If i wasn't doing AI for the honeymoon, I'd probably have chosen Bucuti Tara Suites in Aruba for August, and if a Hurricane comes I may be using the insurance to cancel and change to Aruba.
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Old Apr 19th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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jenjay68, we love AI resorts and have been to 13 of them including Aruba, which is why we wouldn't go AI there again. There are literally tons of very nice resturants in all price ranges and part of the fun is getting to try them. Look at the Amsterdam Manor. It does have an AI plan if you absolutely must. It's the first hotel on Eagle Beach, so it's still close enough to get to the Palm Beach area for all the resturants, bars and shopping and is on the bus line to get downtown for even more.

I just read a review regarding the Bucuti Tara Suites and it wasn't that positive. Check out additional reviews and pictures of all hotels you are interested in on Trip Advisor.

If it's within your price point, look at the RIU in Aruba. Great location on Palm Beach, AI, and nicely appointed.

If you interested check out our picture page. It might give you some ideas of places to go.

http://community.webshots.com/user/kvrlvn

We are headed to Curacao in a few weeks. It's the Island next to Aruba. We chose not to go AI there from our experience in Aruba plus they really don't have any good ones anyway.

Also check out this dining guide for Aruba.

http://www.restaurantsaruba.com/
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 02:36 AM
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jpniner-- when are u getting married? We are getting married aug15. .. still undecided about the honeymoon.. Was thinking Aruba and then I watched the Natalie Holloway story last night on Lifetime and the way her disappearance was handled didnt sit well with me.... I have 3 daughters. Then on the way to work this morning, I heard a Jamaica airline was hijacked in Montego Bay... I know I know.. I worry too much , right?
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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I like Aruba but would be pissed if my husband had picked it for a honeymoon destination.

I have done AI on Aruba at the Occidental and loved it and loved the stay.

In my opinion, no one does AI better than Jamaica.

The reason we love all inclusive is I don't want to have to deal with the hassle of going off property to eat.
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 02:24 PM
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Why would you be pissed? What AI's have you done in Jamaica?
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 03:21 PM
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Go Travel, that is very conflicting information. I too, would like if you elaborated why. We went to Cozumel for our honeymoon and loved it. However, it was nothing like Aruba and I would have been estatic to have been able to go to Aruba for our honeymoon instead.

I don't agree with your comment regarding AI's either. In my opinion, Mexico has the best AI's. As there is more of them in varied price ranges and offers a wider range of facilities and amenties. But, I do respect your opinion.

We've done AI in Mexico many times and AI in Jamaica once. The RIU Tropical Bay in Negril was very subpar in many aspects to any of the AI's we've been to in Mexico including the real inexpensive ones we've stayed at. Price wise, you get more for your money in an AI in Mexico than in Jamaica. There are several Sandals/Couples in Jamaica and none in Mexico. The RIU's in Jamaica are of lesser quaility than the RIUs in Mexico and Aruba. The resorts I listed for Mexico are far superior in price, service, amentites and facilities, but that's my opinion based on our experience.
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