St.Lucia - How to get there?

Old Dec 4th, 2006, 05:24 PM
  #1  
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St.Lucia - How to get there?

Its still very early, I know but Im already thinking of the 2008 vacation (I always plan way ahead). I would like to try St.Lucia for a week in February, but how do we get there?

We are flying out of Newark and Continental (and none of their partners) doesnt fly to St.Lucia. So the next best thing is a direct flight on Continental (or partner) from Newark to a close-by island and then either ferry or short flight on a different, regional airline.
Can you please recommend something that would fit these criteria? Thanks a lot.
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Old Dec 4th, 2006, 08:56 PM
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xyz99:

I'm impressed with your planning...I'm finalizing a reservation tomorrow for the end of the year in St. Lucia (I'll post a trip report)!

Not sure about other airlines, but American flies there from Miami into UVF [Vieux Fort] and from San Juan into SLU (Charles Airport in Castries). If possible, you may want to fly into the part of the island in which you are staying. Good luck!
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 04:38 AM
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KVR
 
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We also had the same delima when we went last year. We are restricted to only AA and Continental where we live. We flew AA from Midland, TX to Dallas, to PR to the smaller airport in Castries. We left at 7am and finally got to the resort at 9pm. A very long day.

There are 2 airports on the Island. Depending on which hotel you picked it could be a long drive. We chose Sandals Grande and flew into Castries, the smaller airport, so only about a 20 minute drive. If we had flown into the bigger airport, it would have been an 1 1/2 drive.

St. Lucia is a very beautiful Island. We enjoyed our trip even though it is very far away and a little difficult to get there.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 06:20 AM
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I agree that St. Lucia's beauty is worth the extra effort it takes to get there.

If you don't want to travel on AA, you could try flying Newark to Barbados (I'd be surprised if they don't have a non-stop) and then take a regional carrier such as LIAT to get to St. Lucia. I believe that a regional carrier will put you flying into the smaller airport on the northern end of the island, which means you'll have a long transfer by car if you stay near the Pitons.

Where are you thinking about staying?
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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When we went a few years back it was with an Apple Vacations charter, direct from Detroit - relatively cheap and fast. You might want to check with a travel agent.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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Hi xyz99,To get to St.lucia look at air jamaica.They fly non-stop from jfk.They also fly from newark but i dont know about non-stop.Good luck
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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Although NOT one of my favorite airlines USAirways has a non stop from Philly to UVF every Sat. I vacationed in the Grenadines sailing out of St. Lucia. I flew PIT/MIA/SJU Thur eve overnight SJU then SJU/SLU the next afternoon on AA.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 05:30 PM
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Thank you, all.
This will be a vacation with complicated logistics but the island looks beautiful, so its hard to cross if off from the list of potential destinations. There are some others on the list (maybe Grenada, Barbados or Turks & Caicos) but for now, St.Lucia leads. Well see.

Ejcrowe,
Im thinking of the Stonefield Estate villasbut before even inquiring about availability, I need to figure out how long it would take us to get there. Our winter vacation is only 1 week, to allow for 2 weeks in the summer. So Im trying to find the shortest (not necessarily the cheapest, but without breaking the bank) way to get there.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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xyz99--as you've been told there are two airports in St. Lucia; we are very glad that our resort was close to the airport we flew into (Castries); I talked with multiple guests who had a long (and if anyone in your party is prone to motion sickness), rough two- hour trip from the other airport. You obviously have plenty of time to make your airline reservations, so also figure out where you want to stay and where to fly into, because that may impact your airline choice.

BTW, we flew AA through San Juan--it was fine, I'm sure you figured out that St. Lucia is far, but very worth it. There were multiple flights from San Juan so it may be an option to fly to San Juan on Continental, then go from there.

Hope this helps,

Mary in D.C.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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xyz99
If you decide to stay at Stonefield, it really won't much matter which airport you fly into. No matter how you look at it, you will have about a 1.5 hour drive from either airport. I personally would fly into UVF and avoid a connection in San Juan, but to each his own. You can also take the helicopter stluciahelicopters.com once you arrive.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 07:09 AM
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In your original post you asked about Continental or its partners (so I assume that you are going to try to use FF miles). Continental flies direct from Newark to Antigua and you can get a Liat or Caribbean Star flight from there to SLU (the northern airport). Delta is a Continental partner and they fly from either JFK or Newark (I can't remember which)to Barbados, which is about a 30 minute flight on Liat or Caribbean Star to SLU.
If you are willing to pay for a ticket, the only airline that flies direct from the New York area is Air Jamaica. They have a few flights a week from JFK to UVF (the southern airport). That's actually a good option -- if you don't mind waking up verrrry early -- because it leaves JFK at 6AM so you are in St.Lucia well before noon. The return flight leaves at about 6PM so you get the whole last day in St. Lucia.
If you are staying at Stonefield, it doesn't matter much which airport you fly into because, as brenandg points out, it's about the same distance from either one (although I disagree that it's an hour and a half -- it's about an hour ride). If you end up staying in the north, you are better off flying into SLU because it is a long ride from UVF to the northern half of the island. However, in my opinion, it's a pretty scenic ride and I don't think that it's nearly as "rough" as people make it out to be (but, then again, I'm not prone to motion sickness, so I'm probably not the best judge of that).
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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If you don't mind traveling over to JFK take Air Jamaica direct to St. Lucia..early morning flight and arrive around noon. Delta has coshared and put passengers on the flight. Check it out. I know you are probably saying JFK but it is worth the short flight.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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I had no idea that the UVF airport was so far away from Stonefield in terms of driving time! That's a real eye opener for me, I admit. I thought it would be more like 30-45 minutes.

xyz, you've got lots of info here. So, are you looking to use your Continental FF miles (or other specifically Continental bennies like vouchers or employee travel) like your question sort of implies? Or is the Newark airport just the most convenient for you?
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 06:07 PM
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dominick2,
I'm sure your assessment of the driving time is more accurate than mine. I have not actually been on the west coast road to Soufriere, but when we were there in '04,we were told the construction was close to being completed. I was also taking the traffic in Castries into consideration.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 06:42 PM
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Thank you all, this is great info.
No, were not going to use Continental FF miles (we dont have enough, yet) but we would like to fly out of Newark, which is the most convenient, and hopefully get the Continental miles. This time, we will pay for the tickets. JFK is a little bit too farand a 6 am flight is not easy what time do they start boarding?
Well probably try to find a direct flight from Newark to either Barbados or Antigua, then a short flight to St.Lucia. I get motion sickness, but its getting better with the age so I guess Ill be ok how does the drive compare to St.John? We were there this past February, and I was ok I suppose the drive is similar.
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Old Dec 8th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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For the 6 AM Air Jamaica flight, you should get to the airport no later than 4:30. I realize that that is obscenely early in the morning but for us it's worth it since we travel with young kids, which makes changing planes more of a hassle than it is for adults. Besides, at that hour, at least you won't hit any traffic on your way to the airport.
If you are intent on flying from Newark, my opinion is that you are best off flying American and changing planes in San Juan. The reason for this is that, since you won't be changing airlines, you can check your bags all the way through to St. Lucia and won't have to retrieve them in San Juan on your way down (but you will on your way back to clear customs). If you change airlines, I could be mistaken, but I think that you have to retrieve and re-check your bags. (On the few occasions on which I have changed airlines, I have only had a carry-on bag, so I can't be sure of what happens to checked bags.)
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Old Dec 8th, 2006, 03:26 PM
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Dominik2,
It would take us at least 1 hrs (no traffic, no snow) to get to JFK. We had to do this last year, and it was the day of the blizzard to put it mildly, Ill try to avoid an early flight from JFK during the winter from now on.

The AA from EWR through San Juan sounds like a great idea, thanks a lot. We usually travel with a carry-on only, but I think you are right about having to go through custom if you change airlines. Thanks a lot
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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hey
have you considered leaving from toronto? they fly direct to st. lucia (air canada)
a little skip from newark to toronto shouldn't be very far
cf
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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pangs
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Continental flies into Barbados and it's a short 45min flight to St Lucia on a Dash 8.
 
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