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St Maarten or Grand Cayman and where to stay for family of 7

St Maarten or Grand Cayman and where to stay for family of 7

Jun 14th, 2010, 08:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 279
St Maarten or Grand Cayman and where to stay for family of 7

We are trying to decide between St Maarten and Grand Cayman. It will be my sister, her 18 yr old daughter, her 21 yr old stepdaughter, myself, my husband and our two kids (4 and 6). We can not decide which island would be best for us. We like to swim, snorkle, hang out on the beach, shop, hike, explore etc.

If we decide on Grand Cayman, which area would we want to stay and which condo/resort? Same question for St Maarten. We would like to be on the beach and would prefer to stay in one place but could split into two condos if necessary. My sister is comfortable paying around $4000 or a bit more total to be split (not counting taxes and what not). We also would prefer a sandy entrance to the beach because of the kids and would like to be close to shopping and restaurants. A pool would be nice as well.

Thanks so much.

beachdreams is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 323
Hi Amanda,
I would recommend GC so much over St. Martin. There are many condos on seven mile beach that are steps away from the ocean and right on the beach. There is also good shopping not far away. I think all in all GC is safer than SXM. Now I might get in trouble for saying this, because I"m accused of being a SXM hater, but I don't like that place and don't feel comfortable there I can have an opionion too right? Check out GC.
Anguillagirl is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 433
Once again Anguillagirl is indulging in her favorite passtime - knocking St Martin !

There are plenty of choices on the island (more than on GC) particularly on the Dutch side which I think would probably be more suitable for you because of the mix of ages in your party, and the type of accomodation you are apparently seeking.

I am sure that if Barbara sees your post, she will be able to 'point you in the right direction' as she is far more familiar with Dutch Sint Maarten than I am, as she lives and has a business there. I live on the French side of the island.

Anguillagirl is certainly entitled to her opinion - even if it IS, by her own admission, biased - however her comments regarding safety seem to be calculated to scare you uneccessarily, even if she doesn't like the island personally.

I think that there may well be similar problems on GC, as it is no use denying that there is an element of crime on ALL Caribbean islands - even on Anguilla (recently) - as there is in most holiday destinations, so don't let the scaremongering put you off !

Come in Barbara !
DavidSXM is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 11:46 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 279
I live in Atlanta and spent time in Guatemala adopting both of my daughters so I am not easily scared. Admittedly I am avoiding Mexico right now because while I am sure I would be safe, I just don't feel like dealing with worrying about the kids and all the issues going on over there right now. I also ditched Jamaica because my sister hates being hassled to buy something constantly while on vacation and we don't aren't the types to just stay at the resort.

I would greatly appreciate any help with either place. I am just confused as to where to stay on GC (7 mile, north end, etc) as well as where to stay at St Maarten. We chose the dutch side to keep costs down right now since my sister is on a tight budget. I figured the dutch side would be cheaper than the french side but feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Thanks again.
beachdreams is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 11:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,373
Hi Beachdreams. I just returned from St. Martin and had a fabulous time. But I do prefer Grand Cayman over St. Martin. Better beaches, water clarity and snorkeling. GC is a cleaner, less congested island, IMO. And like Anguillagirl said, there are so mnay great condo resorts to choose from right on Seven Mile Beach. Though you can get a better bang for your buck on St. Martin if you want to stay in a villa. Both islands are expensive overall though I found St. Martin a bit more so. Since you are considering the Dutch side, I would say you'll see a similar amount of "americanization" on both islands. Both have a lot to do. I read a lot about the crime on SXM but I never felt uncomfortable.

If you decide on Grand Cayman, I would look into Avalon, Coralstone Club, Vills of the Galleon and Plantana. The first two are more upscale but worth looking into in case they are running specials.
Kristen1206 is offline  
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