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VirginTraveler Jun 25th, 2003 06:37 PM

If it was your last trip as a young couple without kids, where would you go?
I'm planning a 4-7 day anniversary trip to the Caribbean during the last week of July. We will be flying from Orlando or Jax.
I WANT: Waterfalls, nice sunning beaches and turquoise water. Beachfront is a must.
HE WANTS: A place to surf and fish.
WE WANT: A modestly priced laid back vacation where you can swim, mingle with locals, get a drink anywhere at anytime and not have to dress up for it.
WE'D LIKE: A jacuzzi, linens, and a kitchen (or an AI that is worth its price in food)
WE DON'T WANT: KIDS, crowds, lots of tourists, commercialism, pain in the neck transit systems.
I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice you can share.

crosbie Jun 26th, 2003 06:11 AM

I dont know if it covers EVERYthing but it reminded me of Tamarindo, Costa Rica.
I know this is the Carribean board, but... you might want to look it.

Kristen Jun 26th, 2003 06:26 AM

If it were me, I'd go to Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands!

Or The Portofino or Victiria House Resort in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

gingele Jun 26th, 2003 08:09 AM

Horned Dorset in Puerto Rico (tho price isn't exactly "modest")

Tensing Pen, Negril - not beachfront, but "cliff-front" (you are right on/over the clear, turquoise water for swimming and snorkeling). great place and no little kids

Admittedly, neither place fits every single one of your requirements, but either one hits some.

I_am_anonymous Jun 26th, 2003 09:43 AM

July of this year? As in less than 4 weeks from now? You're a lil' late to be doing basic research, especially with such a long wish list! I suugest you contact your travel agent pronto. Summer flights to the Caribbean are very full this year because of reduced schedules.

snowrooster Jun 26th, 2003 09:54 AM

For our last vaca w/o kids (we had 2 in the past 2 years) we went to Maui and stayed at the Kea Lani hotel in Wailea. All rooms are suites so you have a separate sitting room and a mini bar (not really a kitchen but mini fridge, sink, microwave). Great big marble bath w/huge tube a separate shower. We loved it - it is in the less touristy and commercial part of the island but next to other high end hotels that are fun to explore.

Drive and hike the Road to Hana for waterfalls. Surfing along the way near a town called Pa'ia that we loved (very laid back).

BTW, don't give up on exotic vacations just because you may have kids soon. The grandparents are watching ours and we're going to St John for a week next month - believe me, you'll appreciate the vaca even more once you have little ones!!

Have a great time!

bogart Jun 27th, 2003 08:09 AM

we just did this trip! The one with waterfalls, surfing, beautiful beaches, drinks, and NO kids. We went to Hawaii. Specifically, Kauai sounds like the place for you.

DAVECAROL Jun 27th, 2003 10:26 AM

I agree with the other posters who say Hawaii.

The Caribbean as a region has all of your requirements, but I can't think of any single island that has all of them - the islands themselves are very compartmentalized.

I also couldn't agree more with snowrooster. Having kids doesn't stop exotic vacations - whether you leave them home or take them. Our daughter has been on 6 exotic vacations with us in her 5 years.

cartera45 Jun 27th, 2003 10:37 AM

I'd have to agree with Hawaii. Surfing and turquoise water don't usually go together because if the water is rough enough for surfing, it is too churned up to be clear and blue.

VirginTraveler Jun 28th, 2003 07:37 AM

I really appreciate all the good advice! YES I realize it's rather late--lesson learned! I bought a 5 day 4 night AI package for 2 at Almond Beach through a travel auction for $585. Is that good? I've read some pretty dismal remarks about the resort on these boards. I'm also afraid that we'll wind up overlooking the janitor's closet or something with that price. I'd like to maybe find something else more intimate on the island for the remainng 3 days--was also curious about which nearby island may be good for a stopover or boat trip to.
I realize I won't get my entire wish list in one place, but the Hawaii suggestions have piqued my interest. (such a LOOOONG flight from Florida, though!)
As far as the advice from the mommies and daddies--I really needed to hear that. I've had too many friends tell me it is "all over" once you have kids. Good to know that it's NOT impossible!

dianal84 Jun 29th, 2003 03:31 AM

I can't believe nobody has posted BERMUDA! It has everything you want. Not inexpensive, but absolutely beautiful. It is as beautiful as Hawaii, but with the charm of being a more expensive british island.
I'd highly recommend it and it is a much shorter flight. The beaches are totally breathtakaing. You'd love it!

tivertonhouse Jun 29th, 2003 08:17 AM

Check out Fern Hill or Goblin Hill in Port Antonio,Jamaica/the only surfing on island is at Long Bay, with fishing, waterfalls, amenities and modest pricing. But I'd also opt for Horned Dorset Primavera -- it's worth it-- easy to get to for just 4-7 days from FL -- and hang the expense.

ejcrowe Jun 29th, 2003 09:10 AM

Considering how last minute your trip is, I think you've got a good deal for the Almond Resorts. Barbados is lovely and if you can, I encourage you to go off site for one last romantic dinner for two before the little one arrives.

To reiterate, travel with kids, especially to the Caribbean, is a piece of cake once you get past the nervous factor. As an example, I returned last night from a wedding where friends and family brought several children--one family brought a toddler and one even brought a 4-month old. Everyone had a great time, and the kids' memories of their first tropical vacation will be priceless (10 kids, age 4mos-13 years and they all had a blast, and their families had no headaches with travel).

I_am_anonymous Jun 29th, 2003 09:28 AM

$585 for 2 people for 4 nights is a very good deal. Which auction site did you use? Have you booked your air yet?

VirginTraveler Jun 29th, 2003 01:36 PM

It was through a radio auction on our local AM station.
I can't find airfare for less than 700 at the moment.

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