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Trying to pick a vacation spot for Sept/ 1st timers


Aug 8th, 2017, 05:25 PM
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Trying to pick a vacation spot for Sept/ 1st timers

Hi All,

My husband and I are trying to find a vacation spot for this September somewhere in the Caribbean. I know that's broad, but I'm hoping some of you that have traveled there might be able to give some input. We have never been anywhere in the Caribbean. We're in our early/mid 30s. We're looking for something semi romantic, maybe bungalow-es que. We'd like nice dining options. Ideally a place to stay that's on the beach/romantic/ has nice amenities (bars, restaurants etc.) We are open to all inclusive, but are not necessarily searching for that. We'd like some nightlife options/bars to go to in the town or area. Also some shopping and some things to adventure/explore. We are also hoping to go diving and snorkeling. I guess a nice place to stay in an area that isn't too crowded, but has a town or city to check out. Our budget is around 4-6 k, though we'd like to keep it toward the lower end.

I'd also tried to tag a few other places we were interested in, but ran out of options: Martinique, st.barths, st. Lucia.

Thanks in advance and sorry if the description is vague!
ktsdrn12 is offline  
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Aug 9th, 2017, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Just so you know, choosing a "perfect destination" is a matter of compromise as no one Caribbean island "has it all".

If you want good snorkeling and diving, of the places you mentioned, the BVI's and Grand Cayman top the list. The other places you listed just won't compare so concentrate your search to the BVI's and Grand Cayman.

If shopping is also a high priority then you'll find more on Grand Cayman vs. on any of the BVI's so that could narrow your search down even further. Grand Cayman will have more opportunities for night life than the BVI's.

You should know, that September is smack dab in the height of Hurricane Season in the Caribbean and so many resorts are closed (usually during September and October). Now, it's impossible to predict if the island you select will be affected by a hurricane or tropical storm during the week you are visiting so you'd be wise to purchase Trip Cancelation Insurance just in case.

Again, because it's Hurricane season you won't find any crowds no matter where you go so that shouldn't be of major concern.

A couple of other comments that might help you:

A) While "crowds" or lack thereof are relative (especially in September)
Aruba will be more crowded that the other islands you listed.

B) St. Barth's is one of the most expensive destinations in the Caribbean. Diving & snorkeling is not a strong point for the island although it has great shopping and some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean.

C) When traveling with your spouse almost anywhere you go will seem "romantic" so don't let that be a deciding factor.

D) if you really want a variety of "nice dining options" avoid going All Inclusive as most are not noted for having really good food - lots of food"yes", great food "no". The islands on your list are not noted for having an abundance of All Inclusive so avoiding them should be easy.

E) With a $4K to $6K budget you can find beachfront accommodations on any of the islands you mentioned so that, in and of itself, won't help you narrow down your search.

F) "Bungalow-es que" accommodations are common on many of the Bahamas out-islands but they tend to be in more remote locations and won't have the amenities like towns and shopping "nearby". They can also be found on the other islands you mentioned but will tend to be at the more upscale resorts which could be at the higher end or even exceed your budget. If you find a resort with "bungalows" fine but since September is Low Season you should get that secluded feel anywhere except at a "mega high rise hotel/resort" and those are easy to avoid.

Hope all this helps narrow down your choices.
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Aug 9th, 2017, 04:51 AM
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I often recommend St. John, USVI for first timers since it's a US territory, relatively easy to get to, and comes closer than most islands to "having it all." September should be quiet since it's hurricane season, and your budget (on the higher side of it) could get you into a nice resort like Caneel Bay, which is on seven amazing beaches with walk-in snorkeling and other water activities.

Cruz Bay is a smallish town with some charming shops, but you could always take a short ferry ride next door to St. Thomas for the big shopping experience.
Jimmie is offline  
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Aug 10th, 2017, 06:17 AM
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I second everything Jimmie said above.

pijeta is offline  
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Aug 13th, 2017, 06:00 PM
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If you are going in September, the height of hurricane season, then I'd recommend going south. Ambergris Caye Belize might give you everything you're looking for, and it's got the proximity to great diving and snorkeling. Otherwise, you might look at Curacao, which is far enough south that it's rarely bothered by hurricanes. Regardless, buy travel insurance. Weather can be a big negative at this time of the year, and the forecast is for more than the usual slate of hurricanes and tropical systems.
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Aug 15th, 2017, 12:07 PM
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Another problem is that many hotels and restaurants are closed in September. I think Caneel is one of those. There will be places open, but just not as many.
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