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Island itinerary help - 12/20 to 12/9 or so, 2 adults, 2 teens

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Oct 14th, 2010, 06:30 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Island itinerary help - 12/20 to 12/9 or so, 2 adults, 2 teens

Hello, Fodors:

New to Caribbean travel and not big travelers in general, but we're looking for a pleasant, low-stress warm weather getaway over Christmas. We're not exactly the dedicated AI type but some compromise between AI predictability and genuine local color would be nice.

We want to travel shortly before Christmas and return around New Years, maybe just after. I know, I know.

Looking for:

Some beach time but need more than just that
Some snorkeling, maybe boat/air tours, or a small sailboat rental (I can sail)
Some non-beach natural beauty - not real hikers, but would like renting a jeep for touring
Some "old town" charm and quaint/historic urban areas, but don't need a metropolis
Prefer condo/villa/house rental to straight hotel - 2 bedrooms and living room
Some shopping, but don't need super-high-fashion elegance
General fun

Don't really need:

Gambling/casinos
Nightclubs
Hard core hiking or adrenaline sports

We're thinking of Puerto Rico or USVI but are really looking for suggestions. I'm starting passport renewal process Saturday so they should be available by departure date. Of course we want to make reservations soon since it is high season.

I've looked into a few multi-stop cruises that might fit the bill but they tend to depart/return a little early in order to split the holidays into two outings. We're not sold on the cruise idea but it is not out of the question. I just think the the idea of renting a villa/condo and a jeep would make for a more interesting trip.

Thanks, Fodors folks! I know there are a lot of you out there that can help us narrow the choices and hit the good spots.
Duke_W is offline  
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Oct 15th, 2010, 08:35 AM
  #2
 
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Hi Duke W,

December would be considered off-season / low season in Bermuda. Temperatures in December would be high 60's, low 70's during the day and probably not appropriate for swimming, beach activities or snorkeling.
Bette is offline  
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Oct 15th, 2010, 09:13 AM
  #3
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Thanks, Bette! I'll cross that off my list.

St. Johns is really looking good at the moment - seems like it offers a lot of variety. Cruz Bay would be convenient and relaxing, and other parts of the island not far away by jeep.

Anybody else have suggestions or commentary? Thanks!
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Oct 18th, 2010, 10:37 AM
  #4
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Anybody? Bueller? Thanks in advance...
Duke_W is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2010, 01:34 PM
  #5
 
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Hi Duke.....

All you have mentioned you would find in Puerto Rico. You will not regret the experience! Also, a short hop to the nearby Puerto Rican island called Vieques is a magical experience.

Hope I was able to help.
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Oct 19th, 2010, 01:46 PM
  #6
 
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You will love St. John. It is one of my favorite islands... very picturesque while still having great beaches (and many of them!) Lots of different hikes. Good snorkeling; good restuarants; quaint, fun, small "downtown" area. I have also just completed an exhaustive villa search search as well if you are in need of suggestions!
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Oct 19th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Plus from St. John you can take a day trip to the BVIs. And when I say hikes, I mean a variety...more advanced to shorter, easier ones which lead to great semi-secluded beaches.

One other island to consider would be Grand Cayman.
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Oct 19th, 2010, 05:16 PM
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I'm partial to Puerto Rico, Rincon has everything you want, lots of vacation rentals on Homeaway.
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Oct 19th, 2010, 06:52 PM
  #9
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Thanks everybody for your replies. I looked long and hard at Puerto Rico but there seemed to be more of the resort-type places and fewer locations to just get away.

Kristen, we have in fact just booked a villa near Chocolate Hole on St. John. We're flying into Amalie a couple days before Christmas, spending 1 night to crash right near the airport, then plan on working our way across St. T to Red Hook and catching the ferry in the afternoon. That gives us about 7 full days on St. John before the return. Christmas and our 20th anniversary on the island! Thanks for your help here and with the car rentals.
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Oct 20th, 2010, 06:26 AM
  #10
 
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I think you made a great choice! Do you mind sharing which villa you cose?
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Oct 20th, 2010, 06:27 AM
  #11
 
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chose..sorry (I am a terrible typist)! I saw on the other thread after I posted suggestions on here that you had already found a place to stay.
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Oct 20th, 2010, 07:24 AM
  #12
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Ummm, I'm a little hesitant to get specific, but it is on the east side of Chocolate Hole. No offense meant and it's for the other thousand viewers out there rather than distrust of you!
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Oct 20th, 2010, 07:34 AM
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Totally understand. We will be staying in Chocolate Hole too which is why I was curious. Happy travels!
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