Trip Report - Nassau and Hopetown

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Sep 21st, 2008, 07:02 PM
  #21
 
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St. Cirq- I can't wait to hear the last chapter of your story and I know there are a few others who are also very interested in your tale! Please send us the rest when you have time.
Ish
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Sep 26th, 2008, 05:07 PM
  #22
 
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Please finish your tale or write a book- I love your writing!
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Sep 28th, 2008, 06:48 AM
  #23
 
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Hi StCirq, I know your screen name well from the Europe board. Your trip report is fabulous - I really wish I could write as well as you do. I feel like you're sitting next to me, telling me all about it.

We have been trying to decide whether to visit the Caribbean, and if we do, which island. It's a place we always said we wanted to visit and now we live in the UK it's a lot easier than coming from Australia (where we're from). But you know, all the reading I have done just puts me off the place. It just doesn't sound like we would have a good time. It's a shame, though I haven't given up the idea entirely - yet.

Kay
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Sep 28th, 2008, 06:09 PM
  #24
 
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KayF, it may well be that the Caribbean isn't for you, but deciding that based on reading one trip report on one country would be like my saying that just because I didn't care overly much for Austria, I thus wouldn't be interested in visiting any other country in western Europe.

Tell us what's tops on your list for an ideal Caribbean vacation and I'm pretty sure we could come up with something that would suit you. Assuming, of course, that you don't mind the tropical climate--which is about the only aspect unifying the various countries of the Caribbean.
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Sep 29th, 2008, 02:11 AM
  #25
 
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Hi ejcrowe,
My thoughts are not based on one trip report, I've been reading lots of stuff on Fodors and lots of different guidebooks as well.

Some of the things that put us off are the crime - 2 British honeymooners murdered recently in Antigua is vivid in my mind. And I know people are killed all over the place but it did make me jittery. Also I've read there are drug problems on some islands, also tension with tourists as they are seen as 'rich' by island standards. Surly staff in restaurants and shops, gosh we get that here every day in London, we don't want it on holidays! Also we are not really beach people, I'd go crazy spending all day lying on the beach, we like things to do and see.

We also have the issue of getting to the islands. So far, I have researched the ones we can fly directly to which does limit us.

We are in our 40s, have travelled a lot, to Asia, Europe, North America. Love lots of choice of places to eat, good (cheap) shopping, nice cafes for people watching. We enjoy walking and history.

Out of the beach type places we have been in the USA, we liked Lahaina in Maui, also liked (to a lesser extent) Key West. Though we didn't go to the beach in either place.

So what do you think? Is there an island for us?

Kay
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Sep 29th, 2008, 04:48 AM
  #26
 
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Kay,
We love travelling in the Caribbean and the Bahamas because we are beach people and love water activities and relaxing in peaceful places on the water. I am not so sure I would travel so far if I were you if what you enjoy is not really the biggest draw in many Caribbean locales- the beautiful water and lovely beaches. The places I can think of that might meet your criteria are Puerto Rico where there is plenty to see as far as interesting historical sites and things to do besides the beach, and perhaps even Playa del Carmen, Mexico where you have good places to eat, people watch, shop and nearby Tulum for historical interest. I am sure others will have ideas for you now that you have said what you are looking for. I have never felt unsafe in any of the places we have travelled in the Bahamas or Caribbean.
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Sep 29th, 2008, 01:28 PM
  #27
 
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I agree with a lot of what ishkribbl says. Although not all islands have a cultural life that revolves around the beach, many if not most do in fact revolve around either the beach or the water--if you also don't like fishing, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, or sailing, the Caribbean is probably not the best vacation spot for you.

The few times I've encountered surly staff members anywhere in the Caribbean, with one exception, all of those circumstances turned out to be pleasant after initalizing some conversation with the employees. My guess is that dealing with the previous customer put them in a surly mood. I'm always surprised when I read about customer service attitude because it's such a far cry from my own experience--one of the many reasons I love to visit the Caribbean, actually--it's like a breath of fresh air where common courtesy is just that--common.

I might suggest that you take a look at Grenada, which is very easy to reach nonstop from London. It's a beautiful, lush island with a rugged mountainous interior. There are great opportunities to hike in addition to the usual water sports. You can daytrip to the sister island of Carriacou for a real step back in time. There are lots of places to explore, like the nutmeg processing plants or the fabulous Fish Friday celebration in the tiny fishing village of Gouyave. Lots of good restaurants, from the sublime to the hole in the wall. Exchange rate is good for you because the EC dollar is tied in exchange rate to the US dollar.

www.grenadaexplorer.com is a good jumping off place if you'd wish to learn more.

You may find that it doesn't offer enough diversions away from the physical ones -- you won't find lots of fabulous architecture, and though there is a fort on the island it doesn't seem to have a strong attraction for history buffs. The West Indian culture is strong, but there aren't lots of museums or art galleries, if you're seeking that kind of culture.

The one Caribbean destination that really does have it all is Puerto Rico--history, local culture, high, night life, beaches, water sports, hiking, shopping, and the fabulous bioluminescent bay on Vieques.
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Sep 30th, 2008, 03:03 AM
  #28
 
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Thanks so much for all the insight into the islands. And apologies to StCirq for hijacking her thread - sorry!

I'll look into Grenada, thanks for the thought. I know nothing about Puerto Rico (didn't even know it was classed as Caribbean) so will look into that too. The more you travel, the more the world opens up

Kay
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