Island Hopping Honeymoon!!

Old Oct 29th, 2014, 09:22 PM
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Island Hopping Honeymoon!!

My fiancé and I want to go Island hopping for our honeymoon. We are not sure how to go about it, and were wondering if anybody could help us get a few ideas on how to coordinate this trip.
Here are the details:
August 29th- September 5th 2015
Antigua, Barbuda, St Kitts, Nevis, plus another one close by if reasonable
flying from Chicago il
We would like to stay in B&Bs or small hotels (cheaper) instead of resorts

Price wise- as low as possible without giving up quality

Thank you so much!
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Old Oct 30th, 2014, 01:40 PM
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First, it is not always easy, quick or inexpensive to island hop, especially between the islands you mentioned in your post. You'll find it much easier to hop around the US and British Virgin Islands as they are fairly close to one another and the majority of them are linked by a fairly reliable ferry system.

Second, when you say you trip is from 8/29 through 9/5 I assume 8/29 and 9/5 are "travel days" so that only leaves you 5 full days for your trip. Trying to visit 5 different islands in that time fame means you'll be spending more time, checking in/out of your hotels, in airports waiting for flights and actually going between islands than you will seeing them.

So now for some practical advice, for a normal week's trip keep your island hopping down to 2 or 3 islands that you can travel between by ferries such as:

1) Antigua & Barbuda
2) St. Kitts & Nevis
3) St. Martin, Anguilla & St. Barths
4) St. Thomas, St. John and Tortola
5) Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke

Good luck planning your trip.
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Old Oct 31st, 2014, 08:33 AM
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Your only hope (including price) is a cruise
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Old Oct 31st, 2014, 09:06 AM
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So let me get this straight...you want to visit 5 islands in a total of 7 days?

You do know that you can't walk across bridges from one island to another right? LOL
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Old Oct 31st, 2014, 03:11 PM
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Yes, blamona's right. If you want to visit a different island every day go on a Caribbean Cruise.
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Old Nov 1st, 2014, 06:08 PM
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Thanks for your advice we are changing the dates to September 7th-20th
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Old Nov 1st, 2014, 10:54 PM
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Keep in mind that is the height of hurricane season, so buy trip cancellation insurance.

With nearly two weeks, you might actually consider a cruise for part of the time.

Look at vacationstogo.com for ideas of different ships and different itineraries. The 90 day sticker will show what is coming up soon, but you can also plug in your dates and see more what will be available when you want to go.

Look at cruisecritic.com for personal reviews of ships, itineraries, food, destinations, etc.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2014, 01:27 AM
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For 13 nights, pick 2--still can't do more than that--you loose so much time in travel, most islands require flying back to Miami or Puerto Rico, with overnights at each connection (and flights cost as much as initial flight to Caribbean each time.

Island hopping is not easy as crossing countries in Europe, or States in US. There are no ferries between Islands, and local airlines can tie you up for days.

Changing your dates doesn't make it realistic! (unless you add a month and tons of money)

You might be able to fly LIAT from Antigua to St. Kitts, but keep in mind you'll loose a day or 2 (and probably your luggage) Other than that you must fly back to either Miami or San Juan and spend the night (actually smarter in long run than LIAT)

From Antigua you can day trip to Barbuda (warning, extremely expensive! Maybe at least $1000 for day trip?) From St. Kitts you can day trip to Nevis.

As for B&B being cheaper, in Caribbean it isn't. You didn't give a budget, so it's hard to determine where you're at-- but your choice islands can't really be done on budget--think $400 nightly plus other expenses.

Again, a cruise will allow hopping in short time period within a lower budget with no backtracking and overnights.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2014, 01:22 AM
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Check the LIAT website and see what islands you can fly between. There is no need to only stick to islands that are close by. I would suggest picking contrasting islands for a different experience. There are exceptions eg Anguilla and St Martin, you couldn't get 2 more different islands however they are very close together, 15 mins on the ferry. You are only limited by availability of flights/ferries and funds. Having said that, I do agree that island hopping is not that easy because there are limited ways of getting between the islands but I have done 2 centre Caribbean vacations independently quite successfully eg Barbados + St Lucia, Grenada + St Lucia, Curacao + Bonaire, Martinique + Guadeloupe (if you are looking for inexpensive B&B, these are the islands to go to, subject to exchange rate of the Euro). Here is a link to catamaran services between Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Lucia, Dominica.

http://www.express-des-iles.com/index.cfm?lng=en
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Old Nov 2nd, 2014, 10:08 AM
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As Sassafrass says, that is the peak of hurricane season. Not only should you buy trip insurance, you should make sure that the places you want to stay are open. For example, on Barbuda, just about everything is closed for September.

I have, in the distant past, done St Martin-Saba-St Barts in 12 nights. You could do St Kitts/Nevis, as it is only a ferry ride away. RoamsAround gave you some other combos.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2014, 12:08 PM
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We are planning on changing the dates all together so that they fall during a carnival period. We are thinking February 2016 or July/august 2016.

We really would like to do the island hopping and get the most out of the trip without going on a cruise.

We don't have a budget at the moment because we don't know how much this kind of a trip cost. We want to keep the price as low as possible, but we do realize you can't literally jump or walk to the next island for free.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2014, 01:30 PM
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Each island has a different time frame for carnival. St. John is around July 4th. The BVI is around the first Monday in August. St. Kitts is Christmas, as is St. Croix. St Thomas is the end of April, etc.

No matter when you go, the advice above is good. Ferry rides between islands are cheaper than airplane rides. Don't turn up your nose at a cruise if you haven't been to the Caribbean. It is a good way to see a number of islands for future land-based visits. ;-)
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Old Nov 3rd, 2014, 03:49 PM
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Try vinow.com for information on ferry connections, USVI with each other and with other islands. Some can be done, others not.
I also say not to discount a cruise possibility. Sometimes you can depart a cruise a day early, so you might fly to say, San Juan and stay a few days to visit Vieques isle and Palomino Isla, then catch a cheap cruise to five or six other islands, and depart the cruise on an island such as St Thomas where you could also visit St Johns and St Croix, and fly home; or St Kitts and Nevis and fly home from St Kitts. It would take a good bit of planning, but could work.

Perhaps pick the two or three islands that interest you most, then figure the best way to connect those and add others.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2014, 04:28 PM
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If you have a choice, go in Feb/Mar/Apr, or Nov/Dec/Jan. Google images of carnival in St Kitts and Trinidad.
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