Narrowing it down

Jul 19th, 2016, 06:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 142
Narrowing it down

I have read every post I could see going back a very long time but would really appreciate some guidance on how to narrow things down. We are in the early stages of planning our holiday and want to include 12 days in the Caribbean.

We arrive in NYC (not negotiable) late afternoon on 12 April and our time must include 4 days in NYC, 5 days in the Florida area (mostly business) and 12 days in the Carribean.

Our thinking is to fly straight from New York to Miami to get the business out the way, go to the Caribbean and then go back to NYC before we fly back to New Zealand. Thoughts?

Caribbean: We are not keen on cities or shopping. We are looking for ocean views from our room, a bit of luxury (OK a lot), good service, swimming in a pool, dipping in the sea, exploring the local area without hiking, great food, just relaxing. Day trips to close islands would be a bonus. It would be lovely to stay in two places (5 days in each allowing two days for travel) but prefer not to rush from island to island. Having had some really bad experiences with screaming children recently we prefer resorts that are not overrun with little children. At night we enjoy good food, drinks, watching the locals but don't need massive nightlife. We have learnt from previous trips that it is good to ask for advice before making any big decisions so would be grateful for suggestions.

Budget: We are not in the hugely wealthy category but are willing to splurge and can make sacrifices if the hotel is worth it - no self-catering needed.
We have been to Cancun so prefer not to go to Mexico again.

Thank you for your help.
jinz is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 481
Your requests are very broad in nature, and just about every island in the Caribbean fits your description. You can find great ocean view rooms, good service, pool swimming, exploring local areas, great food & relaxing on every island. If you are more specific with what you would like to do on your vacation, it might be easier to make a suggestion.

Your budget also doesn't tell us anything. "willing to splurge" could mean $200 a night for one person, while meaning $1000 a night for another.

Tell us what activities are most important to you. Tell us exactly what you want in your resort beside s "an ocean view". Give an actually dollar amount for budget. If you provide these things, you will get a much better response.
Bassguy66 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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If you are including swimming in a pool and dipping in the sea, you might remove Bermuda for an April trip. April is great for golf, tennis, walking, hiking, great food but it is not overly warm. Also, no day trips to close islands would not be an option.
Bette is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 11:22 AM
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Split your time between Caneel Bay on St John (USVI) and Little Dix on Virgin Gorda (BVI)
brennynp is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 12:36 PM
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Little Dix Bay is currently closed for renovation. It is not scheduled to reopen until "late 2017" - well after jinz's April 2017 trip.
RoamsAround is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 12:46 PM
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I agree, your post doesn't really narrow it down to any particular island. What you request can be found most places.

btw Cancun does not represent all of Mexico, it's a built-tourist environment more like Miami Beach than the rest of Mexico
suze is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 01:34 PM
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Consider splitting the Caribbean part of your trip between Anguilla and St. Bart's. It can be a bit much to get from one island to the other, but the split will give you a nice exposure to a French Island (SB) and a more Caribbean British island (AXA).

As far as your overall routing goes, since you are arriving in NYC, I would get my business done there and then head to Miami. It is very easy to get to the Caribbean from Miami.

Flying back to NYC is 5 hours out of your way on the return trip to NZ. I guess it depends on your airline alliance, but you should be able to fly from the Caribbean back to Miami and then pick up a major carrier to take you to the west coast of the US and then onward.
Andrew304 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 01:45 PM
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Posts: 816
There are a few island groups that are easy to group together:
1. USVI and BVI
2. St Martin-Anguilla-St Barts-Saba
3. St Kitts-Nevis
4. Antigua-Barbuda-Montserrat

Another idea- What about a cruise out of Florida? Or even Puerto Rico?
eastenderusvi is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 02:10 PM
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Posts: 142
Thank you so much for your replies. Sorry if my background info was not enough. Re Mexico, we spent our last trip in Cancun but have previously spent a few weeks exploring Mexico. We staying at Aqua Live and loved it.

Budget wise - $800 - 1000 per night? Will this be enough?

Other needs - this time is for us not about too many activities - we work at stressful jobs so we appreciate time to just enjoy our surroundings, warmest island possible for swimming in the sea/pool, drinks and food served by the beach, small villages/towns rather than built up city like surroundings, local food (we enjoy eating in local places once we are out the hotel), easy access to the beach rather than climbing steps, somewhere where we can experience Caribbean life (hope this makes sense)

Snorkeling, day out on islands, Enjoy hiring bicycles and doing easy riding - motor bikes or golf carts are fun.

Hiking, tennis and golf - we admire those doing this from afar when we are on holiday but not for us!

We love going out on boats for the day but not a cruise ship.

Don't mind if getting between two islands takes a day. Thank you.
jinz is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 02:13 PM
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Just to add I will look at all the places suggested so far to try to narrow it down to islands and

also we are in our late 50's.
jinz is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 05:26 PM
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Perhaps this will help:

1) In April you won't have to worry about which island will be "warmer". On average there won't be more then a 5 degree F. difference between the coolest island and the warmest. You can expect daytime temps to be in the low to mid-80's F. no matter which island you visit. Note: Sun will be strong and winds tend to die down at that time of year so it will "feel" warmer. Perfect for swimming.

2) $800 to $1,000 per night is a very good budget especially if you travel after Easter (April 16 in 2017) when room rates throughout the Caribbean drop.

3) Most beachfront resorts in the Caribbean have "ground level" rooms so you can walk right out to the beach - no stairs unless you opt for a second floor room.

4) Most beachfront resorts have beachside dining facilities and many will serve drinks "on the beach". Also, you can always find plenty of "off-resort" beach bars and waterfront restaurants where you can eat and drink on the beach to your heart's content.

5) If you desire very good snorkeling consider resorts in the US and British Virgin Islands. The USVI's and BVi's are also perfect for "island hopping" as they are linked by a series of ferries making day travel between them quite easy.

6) You can rent motor scooters and bicycles on just about every island. Golf carts are not readily available on most islands (except if you are playing golf). The are more prevalent on some of the more remote Bahamas Out-islands and you'll occasionally find them at a few of the high end resorts (but you won't be allowed to take them "off-resort".

7) Just about every island offer a variety of day sails and private boat charters so that's not something that should affect your choice of island(s).

8) You can find "local food" on just about every island.

So based on your "wish list" you can go almost anywhere and find what you are seeking but I'd strongly suggest basing yourself on one of the US or British Virgin islands and then day hopping from there when you want a change.
RoamsAround is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 05:21 AM
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Posts: 481
With that budget, I would look into Caneel Bay St John. I think it hits just about everything on your wishlist.
Bassguy66 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 12:51 PM
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Posts: 2,575

I did not know that - thanks for the info.
brennynp is offline  
Aug 1st, 2016, 04:05 AM
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I highly recommend staying in Anguilla for 6 or 7 nights for total beach relaxation then flying to St. Barts for 3 or 4 nights for gorgeous scenery and fun. Both islands have suburb restaurants. Anguilla is English,quiet and flat with long, beautiful beaches, St. Barts is French, sophisticated, very hilly and beautiful. The best resorts on Anguilla are CapJaluca, Cuisinart or Malliouhanna, all are right on the beach. I did not like Viceroy at all - you have to take a shuttle to get to their beach. In St. Barts we stayed at the Carl Gustof Hotel which had great views of the harbor and we rented a car for scenic drives to the beaches.
cilburke is offline  
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