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xyz99 Jan 19th, 2007 06:15 PM

Please help us decide which island to pick next...
We're trying to decide on ‘which island’ for our 2008 February vacation. We loved St.John last year, and this year we’re going to Anguilla – very different, I know.

So for 2008, we would like a lush island, laid back, not too commercialized, with good snorkeling and if possible, within a direct flight from Newark. It has to be safe, since we enjoy renting a villa for privacy. Shopping, night life, gambling are not important – in fact, would be better if they did not exist. For now, I looked at St.Lucia (only ok snorkeling, but the islands looks so beautiful) and Virgin Gorda (only a couple 1-BR villas, which is a problem). Other candidates, Grenada, Barbados and … is there any island that I should look at? I don’t know anything about Antigua or St.Barths…

As someone else said “so many choices”…can you please help?

VegasM Jan 19th, 2007 08:24 PM

<b>I <font color="red">LOVE <font color="black">how you're already planning for 2008 when 2007 just began!! That's my kind of travellor!!

Happy Planning! ((o))</font></font></b>

iw Jan 19th, 2007 09:33 PM

Well, if I may suggest Nevis or St. Kitts for your next visit? They are both very quiet islands, with Nevis being the far more quiet island....Good food, decent snorkeling and sights to see. The cool thing is that there is a ferry that runs between the two islands each day for a 30-45min trip each way, so you can see each island. St. Kitts is &quot;more built up&quot;, but much less than Aruba, St. Martin and the likes, thank goodness. Nevis is in its own little world, again, thank goodness, with sights and good food and the most fabulous people. Nightlife on both, to us, is, well, non-existent, although, the Marriott in SKB does have a casino, which is fun, but doesn't attract a crowd at all- hours. In Nevis, people have dinner, drinks and party on their own porch or patio afterwards...Just my take, but they are both laid back. For the last 2 years, we split our time b/n the 2 islands and have been happy...Actually, I am planning our 3rd trip now. Good luck!

I have yet to find a direct flight....

LPOWMACBACK Jan 20th, 2007 05:12 AM

We have been to St. Lucia, Virgin Gorda Antigua &amp; Barbados out of the islands you listed...

St. Lucia IS GORGEOUS - it is LUSH and mountainous. The beaches are very pretty - basically because of the lush foliage surrounding them - and the Caribbean butting up to them - BUT, they do not have white sand - they have what is called &quot;black sand&quot; but don't let the name make you think something exotic &amp; magnificent - they are just greyish - tan and not that appealing to me. And as you said - so-so snorkeling -which is a no-no for me).The food is wonderful on the island, but driving around is no picnic to me as well - you do have to travel about quite a bit to get from place to place and the roads, to me, are out of a 6-Flag's theme park! I also did not find the people there to be nearly as friendly as on some other islands (especially St. John).

Barbados had nothing special to me. I don't get why anyone would go there - when they could go someplace much more strikingly beautiful &amp; unique...

Virgin Gorda is not lush - it has LOTS of scrubby terrain - cacti, etc.! It does have The Baths, however, which are a definite reason to visit - FOR A DAY from ST. John :-) Since I am like you and like LUSH - I would not want to stay on VG.

Angigua may be a place for you to try- we found it to be beautiful &amp; very lush (in some areas) - and it has gorgeous beaches... the people there were also VERY FRIENDLY!

I have not been to Greneda but, from what I have read, seems very similar to St. Lucia - but I think it is even more underdeveloped.

We have been to many islands - and without any doubt, St. John is our favoirte for soooo many reasons - it has everything we love - a PRISTINE island with lush vegetation, mountains, National Geographic-like beaches, great food, charming, quaint Cruz Bay, easy to drive around, very friendly people, spectacular snorkeling - did I say PRISTINE EVRYTHING? No other island I've been on can compare it - so we are going BACK...

Good luck finding your next destination :-)


xyz99 Jan 20th, 2007 04:48 PM

Thank you both – I think I have it narrowed down to 4 islands: Virgin Gorda, Nevis, St.Lucia and Grenada. I need to start eliminating, so here are some further thoughts:

From all the pictures I’ve seen, I like St.Lucia the most. But some people seem to think it is not that safe – while others totally disagree. I am not sure what stories to believe….it hurts a lot, but probably St.Lucia is eliminated (for now). I know that someday we’ll visit, and hopefully crime will not be an issue then anymore.

Nevis and Grenada both look wonderful, I just need to figure out how to get there. It seems that getting to Grenada is an adventure in itself… so unless that is not true (can you please help with suggestions on how to get there?), it’s between Virgin Gorda and Nevis.

I need to learn more about Nevis – if looking for a villa, which are do you recommend? Thanks

vinceygirl Jan 20th, 2007 05:20 PM

With so many cutbacks in flights just about anywhere in the Caribbean can be difficult to reach. Crime is everywhere. If you fly out of Newark you already know that so don't let it deter you from visiting a particular island. The more commercialized the island the greater the increase of crime. St. Kitts and Nevis is a great choice as is St. Lucia. Grenada too. I'll add another to your list, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bequia in particular. Use common sense and you should not have anymore problem than you might at home and most likely less.
Enjoy Anguilla.

ejcrowe Jan 20th, 2007 06:43 PM

If you can get to one of the other NYC airports (I can't recall if it's JFK or LGA) you can get a nonstop flight to Grenada. I would think that either Nevis or Grenada would be perfect for you--they'll split the difference between St. John and Anguilla pretty well.

I can't help you with Nevis villas since we stayed in a hotel for our visit there, but in Grenada check out for a wonderful array of private homes. Most of them are in a beautiful and safe residential area of the island called Lanse Aux Epines.

I thoroughly loved both Nevis and Grenada and I look forward to a return to both islands.

masmas Jan 21st, 2007 04:28 AM

Wow - I found a question that Marblehead did not absolutely know the answer to (at least yet)!

xkenx Jan 21st, 2007 06:47 AM

Virgin Gorda has the best snorkeling of the islands you narrowed down to. Grenada is incredibly lush and tropical in feeling, ideal for you except for marginal snorkeling.

teresa48 Jan 21st, 2007 07:40 AM

For snorkeling, we loved The Baths at Virgin Gorda. Stayed at Biras Creek, which was quite and very laid back. They have little boats you can use for the day and we went different places to snorkel. However 2 days we went to the Baths since it was so good there.
Hard to beat St. John for snorkeling though - especially at Caneel Bay.

xyz99 Jan 21st, 2007 11:35 AM

I don’t think AA flies direct to Grenada from JFK – the best I saw was with a 4-5 hrs layover in SJU, way too long. Maybe airlines will reconsider their flights there is a few years…

Knowing Jan 21st, 2007 01:02 PM

Although Nevis isn't s direct flight, it is so worth whatever it takes to get there. We have to overnight in Miami from MN, and it is the only island my husband has ever been ok with doing that for. It's like a rural very lush island. Laid back, no hair -raising stories can be told about it. The palm groves and and the Nevis peak make this island so picturesque. There is a villa that you may want to look at called &quot;The Beach House&quot; that's about five minutes away from the airport.

100dm Jan 22nd, 2007 05:35 AM

Take a look on my website
St. Barths has so many nice beaches. Go to St. Barths.


mnag Jan 22nd, 2007 06:56 AM

Just as an fyi, the trip to VG will require a connection thru Puerto Rico and then a ferry transfer over from tortola to VG. Not to confuse you but Tortola may be more lush/scenic/hilly than VG. Vg is more quaint and the beaches are better. Both are very safe islands.

ejcrowe Jan 22nd, 2007 07:04 AM

xyz99, no, it's not American that offers the nonstop that I've read about. I think it might be Air Jamaica, and possibly only on Saturdays.

American's schedule to Grenada is ridiculous, no matter what part of the US you're originating from. Horrible arrival times with the layover, and even worse when coming home!

If Grenada interests you, you could also consider flying to Barbados (I believe there's a non-stop out of the NYC area) and then connecting with LIAT, a regional carrier, for a short and inexpensive flight to Grenada. If you don't think that Grenada is the right place for you, then definitely consider the other islands that have been suggested. Just remember, though, that to have a non-stop from Newark AND an island that is not too commercialized is almost a contradiction in terms.

xyz99 Jan 22nd, 2007 07:21 AM

You are so right…direct flight and not-too-commercialized don’t really go together. I should’ve known…
I still haven’t decided, but I definitely have a better idea – and planning is so much fun :)

xyz99 Jan 22nd, 2007 07:25 AM

I thought we could get to VG via St.Thomas, and then take a ferry from there…Isn’t that an option?

ejcrowe Jan 22nd, 2007 07:54 AM

yes, you can definitely ferry from STT to VG, but I believe that there are only certain days of the week where you can get a ferry directly there. most of the time you'd have to stop in St. John and/or Tortola before going on the VG. You can also fly to San Juan (and I think STT) and then take a local carrier airline to Virgin Gorda.

We're going to VG for our first visit this July and can hardly wait!

Nauticall Jan 22nd, 2007 11:28 AM

Virgin Gorda gets my vote,I just booked our trip for April. Trellis Bay is just across the road from the air port and you catch the North Sound Express ferry to VG.Check Guavaberry Spring Bay vacation homes, they rent several houses near the baths,we always stay in the Casita.There are also some one bedrooms at Nail Bay. Hops this helps.

xyz99 Jan 22nd, 2007 11:45 AM

As of now, VG is our top choice – I just need to figure out how to get there and where to stay :)
Are you usually flying into Tortola (that’s how I read your post) – where are you coming from? What airline?
Guavaberry doesn’t take reservations for next Feb (not yet), so that will have to wait…
Thanks a lot

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