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Need help choosing an island for our honeymoon!!

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Sep 5th, 2013, 02:02 PM
  #1
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Need help choosing an island for our honeymoon!!

Hello everybody! I have started researching for our honeymoon planned for April of next year! My fiancé has NEVER left the country and I LOVE to travel! I have been to Mexico three times and visited Jamaica once. Each time I've traveled outside of the country I have done all inclusive. Personally, I think all inclusive is fine but I consider myself to be a bit more adventurous and I'm looking for something more exotic, laid back, and less crowded.

So far in my research, I've narrowed it down to a few places, but still am not quite sure which island seems best for us. Right now, on my list is Barbados, Curacao, and Aruba. I wouldn't mind any suggestions and would love to hear what people have to say that have visited these islands.

Our list of MUST HAVES:

Beautiful Beaches- I expect us to spend a lot of time on the beach. We both love the water, snorkling, and I hope to get in at least one dive while we are there. Plus I can't wait to show my fiancé the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean!

Exploring- I would like to experience an island that is SAFE to explore by a rented car. We love to hike and sight see. I would love to go to a place that has great history and some beautiful buildings to visit., along with maybe a plantation or other historical tours.

Culture & local food- I don't want to go somewhere that is extremely Americanized! I want to meet with friendly locals, eat local home-made food, and experience the island like the locals do!

We will be looking for a condo, villa, or apartment to rent and will be traveling in late April-early May. Any and all comments are welcome! Thanks everyone in advance for your comments!
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Sep 5th, 2013, 05:29 PM
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What is your budget?
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Sep 5th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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Well since we don't plan to stay all inclusive, I'd like to keep our condo under 1500, and I'd like to stay 8 or 9 days. Pricing the above mentioned islands on VBRO.com, I've seen nice places around 90-160ish a night with some discounts for weeks stay.

As far as flights I'd like to keep them around the average price I've seen for those islands, round trip ticket 550-700 per person. Hope that helps!
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Sep 5th, 2013, 05:51 PM
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Oh, and we'll be flying out of Chicago!
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Sep 6th, 2013, 02:57 AM
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Keep in mind that April and May are considered high season in the caribbean. Prices for flights and accommodations will be more expensive during these months.

If you are looking for an island that is not Americanized, I would recommend taking Aruba off your list. Bermuda is very expensive and not known for great snorkeling and hiking trails.

I might recommend looking at Roatan. The island is not overdeveloped and prices for condos and villas are reasonable and would fit your budget requirements. The beaches are pristine and you will find the best snorkeling and diving experiences ever. The island itself is visually breathtaking.
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Sep 6th, 2013, 04:18 AM
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Thanks Davenport. I do plan on booking by next month to hopefully get the prices around what I'm seeing now. I have heard that about Aruba and thanks for confirming. As far as Roatan, would you say it's safe enough to explore by car? And does it have some historical sites and cities to explore?

Do you have any advice on Barbados? Right now I'm leaning towards staying on the West side of Barbados. I have heard that restaurants are really expensive, I'm wondering if this is true or if we will be able to find decently priced food. Lets just say I don't consider us to be high priced meal people. Not to say I don't love good seafood but I won't pay like 80 bucks a meal for something. Thanks for your comments.
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Sep 6th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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I love Aruba it is in my opinion the most safe island and the people are just lovely so friendly and helpful--but there is TGIF Starbucks--somewhat more Americanized. Curacao and Bonaire are extremely quiet islands. Of all your picks I would choose Barbados. I don't care for real quiet places myself. I like a nice mix and I think that would check off all your boxes.
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Sep 6th, 2013, 07:49 AM
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Thanks diann. I think it's safe to check Aruba off our list. I'm sure it's very lovely, but we are defiantly looking for something not Americanized, and a bit more exotic.

I'm still focusing on Barbados and Roatan looks like it could work for us as well. My concern with Roatan would be that it's small and it may not have as much as we'd like to explore. Does anyone know if any day trips would be possible from Roatan?
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Sep 6th, 2013, 08:15 AM
  #9
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Well now I'm ready that Barbados wouldn't be ideal for a honeymoon... more for singles are groups. Let me say this because I haven't yet... I do want that romantic, private feel that one would want on their honeymoon. I'd like our honeymoon to be a place that maybe we wouldn't normally go to with a group of friends or family.
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Sep 6th, 2013, 12:09 PM
  #10
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Belize and Costa Rica are on my short list for "exotic" locations. I've been to many of the other islands in the Caribbean. Also, the French side of St. Martin? Lots to do, plus you could take a day trip to Anguilla, one of my all-time favorite islands, though very expensive.
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Sep 6th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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The last week in April is Carnival in St Thomas- lots of culture,local food, music, etc. St John is next door for exploring and hiking. Just to add something to the mix. ;-)
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Sep 6th, 2013, 05:55 PM
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ToBe:

Roatan is safe to travel by car. The island is very different from mainland of Hondurus as the residents of this island rely heavily on tourism.

There are plenty of small villages to visit as well as Coxen Hole, the capital. As with all islands, there are plenty of historical sites to visit.

Barbados is certainly a nice island but it is more for singles and dining can be expensive. I agree with WWK that the french side of St. Martin might be a great alternative and it is romantic. Grand Case has tons of fabulous restaurants and Lo Lo's (inexpensive BBQ shacks with fab food). Lots to choose from for dining options from cheap eats to $80 plus. A day trip to Anguilla on a catamaran would be a wonderful and romantic honeymoon trek. Plenty to see and do on the island of St. Martin.
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Sep 7th, 2013, 12:41 AM
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<> What nonsense! Barbados has beaches to die for on the west coast, it has accommodation to suit all budgets, you can get condos & you don't have to dine at the Cliffs if you don't want to. And it is easy to drive around the island and explore the east coast.

Bermuda is expensive, but has hiking trails and the most stunning beaches. You can rent apartments to make it less expensive and rely on the local excellent bus service to get around. However, April/May might be too early in the year to swim in the sea.

The Latin islands/destinations simply don't have the same vibe nor the beaches.
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Sep 7th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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Thanks for all the comments everyone! Sorry about the typos in that last post! Odin, that's just something I read in a Barbados forum. Staying on the west side of Barbados is still on my list, as well as Roatan, and now I want to research St. Martin cause I hadn't thought of that one! I love the idea of a couple day trips as well as exploring the island.

Again, thank you everyone for the comments! You all have helped me narrow it down and think of places I hadn't thought of. I'll start looking at St. Martin and see what I find! Keep the recommendations coming!
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Sep 7th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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ToBe:

When researching St. Martin, look at Homeaway villa, condo and apartment rentals. There are some great apartments right on the beach in Grande Case that would fit your budget requirements. You can roll out of bed, take 10 steps and you are on the beach.
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Sep 7th, 2013, 06:48 PM
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I'm reading about increased crime in St Martin.. Is that something I should be concerned about? A lot of robberies?
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Sep 7th, 2013, 07:47 PM
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We just returned in July from St. Martin. It is ok but I was not that impressed although I would return. I stayed at Divi Resorts and I enjoyed the resort and the little town of Phillipsburg. The french side is not as grandeous as people make it sound. I was expecting so much more and unless you are staying right there, one cannot drive to the french side at night if you are for example staying on the Dutch side. Some towns are unsettled and people I met at Divi who stay there year after year do not recommend that at all. That is ridicuous to think Barbados is for single people. How silly, like are we talking Cancun at Spring break? NO!! Now that would be more for single people. I would stay in Barbados before I would chose St. martin.
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Sep 7th, 2013, 07:51 PM
  #18
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Thank you diann! Appreciate your comments!
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Sep 9th, 2013, 04:16 AM
  #19
WWK
 
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Unfortunately, random violence seems to be on an uptick here at home and also in some of the islands. You'll have to decide what you're comfortable with, but you may prefer to stay at a hotel with extra security than a condo or apt.
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Sep 9th, 2013, 10:02 AM
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Barbados can be a wonderful island for a honeymoon. There are a wide range of accommodations, beaches, sightseeing, restaurants. The key is to stay above the ground floor for privacy and security, and at a place with enough grounds and beach, so you don't feel crowded.
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