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Question for SFO travelers. Easiest Caribbean Island to get to from the Bay Area, CA?

Question for SFO travelers. Easiest Caribbean Island to get to from the Bay Area, CA?

Sep 19th, 2002, 09:27 AM
  #1  
Jennifer
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Question for SFO travelers. Easiest Caribbean Island to get to from the Bay Area, CA?

We love to take short beach vacations (usually 4 days) and typically find ourselves in Hawaii a couple times a year because it's so convenient to get there from the west coast. We normally hop a 6 p.m. flight out, and are in Maui by 9 p.m. local time.

However, we love the Caribbean, and would like to go more often. But with the flights and transfers, it usually takes about 9 hours and a whole work or vacation day (due to the loss of 3 hours from time change). With that kind of scheduling, we feel we need at least a week to do the Caribbean properly. Unfortunately, our jobs do not allow for many week long jaunts.

Has anyone from the Bay Area found any destinations where you can fly non-stop from SFO and where you can get a mid to late afternoon flight out? I've tried using the various search engines, but unless you look at all the airline schedules individually, or know the destination, it's very difficult to search for non-stop Caribbean flights.

I know I may be looking for something that doesn't exist, but I thought i'd give it try. Can anyone help? Thanks.
 
Sep 19th, 2002, 09:36 AM
  #2  
Fred
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Have you looked at Mexico?
 
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:10 AM
  #3  
Jennifer
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Fred,

We have gone a few times, but we would really love to do the Caribbean. If you have any suggestions for direct flights from SFO for Mexico, we'd also welcome those. Most of the flights from our area to Mexico, barring Cabo, also seem to require stops.
 
Sep 19th, 2002, 12:04 PM
  #4  
kat
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Part of Mexico's coastline IS the Caribbean -- Cancun, Cozumel. Continental gets you there with a (usually) quick plane change in Houston.

The best gateway to the Caribbean I've found is San Juan airport, Puerto Rico. It's still arduous, though, because the best way to do it is a red-eye to JFK or IAD, connecting to San Juan early in the am but it can get you to many Caribbean islands by 2 to 4pm the next day.
 
Sep 19th, 2002, 07:27 PM
  #5  
Louis
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Believe me if you are talking about 4 days then there is no subsitute for Hawaii. The next best place is Mexico but you need to make a change someplace. Cabo might be your best choice. Otherwise I think most other places require a change in Mexico D.F.
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 11:37 AM
  #6  
Kat
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There is non-stop service from SFO to Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatanejo and Acapulco.

I prefer both Mexico and the Caribbean to Hawaii. Agreed, I don't do the Caribbean for four-five day trips -- those are Mexico-bound. Trips longer than 5 days, Carib certainly is doable.
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 12:13 PM
  #7  
Patty
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I can't think of any non-stop SFO-Caribbean routes. The next best thing might be Air Jamaica connecting thru LAX. Take a SFO-LAX flight after work and connect with the Air Jamaica flight leaving LAX at 10:30pm - you'll be in Montego Bay at 7:00am the next day. You spend a whole evening getting there but at least you don't have to take that day off. On the way back, the flight leaves Jamaica at 6:00pm (still giving you most of the day to enjoy) and arrives LAX at 9:20pm - you might make it home by midnight. I understand where you're coming from, we love the Caribbean but end up going to Hawaii a lot more as it is so much easier to get to from the west coast. The shortest trip I would probably consider doing is 5 days.
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 12:25 PM
  #8  
Patty
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Just checked LAX-SFO flight schedules and it looks like the last flight leaves LAX around 10:15pm so what I proposed above probably isn't doable considering you have to clear immigration/customs at LAX, sorry!
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 09:44 PM
  #9  
barbara
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I've worked in travel for 25 years..most of it in the Bay Area- but moved here from Miami and was born in the Bahamas. You have to look at the timing. It's eight hours (w/the time difference)non stop to the east coast. There is nothing to be done about that fact!! Add to that the fact that almost nothing connecta nymore but redeyes and you don't have many options! Best bet, for a short trip is Cabo- 3 hours each way nonstop, no time difference. Haven't been to the Caribbean for years because of this.
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 10:23 PM
  #10  
GM
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I'd say if you really want to go to the Caribbean, the closest would be Grand Cayman. We highly recommend the Holiday Inn, but the Westin is more 'classier' and quieter. Recommend Chef Tell's restaurant, elegant and expensive, tho. P.S. We live in the NYC area and LOVED SF! Gotta get back there, a week wasn't long enough!
 
Sep 21st, 2002, 12:39 AM
  #11  
Peter
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It's too bad that you don't have just a couple of more days. That way, you could do it the more relaxing way like I do from Los Angeles: Fly nonstop to Miami, sleep overnight there, hop a flight the next morning, and then you're usually on the beach by 3p.m. (or earlier, depending on where you're going)!
 

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