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Union Island

Old Feb 25th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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owa
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Union Island

Hi, Vinceygirl and all other experts I need your help.

We are going to St. Lucia in May. We have been wanting to go to the Tabago Cays for years. I figured we were going to be close so why not now.

We are using FF miles. We were going to fly in and out of STL, but I couldn't believe my luck when this morning I was able to change my flights and leave from Barbados. So the plan is to fly into STL, stay 7 nights, fly to Barbados/Union Island. We plan to stay on Union Island 3 to 4 nights, fly back to Barbados/US.

My questions are: Where to stay on Union Island? Or, is my thinking wrong. Is Mayreau closer to the Cays? Should we go to a different island instead? My main goal is to go to the Cays a couple times.

I really appreciate any help. Owa
 
Old Feb 25th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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They are all close by to each other. You could stay at Palm Island Resort, Mayreau, or Canouan, (Raffles and Tamarand) or even Petiti St. Vincent, and do day trips all around the different cays, including Tobago Cays.
It's possible to do day trips through the cays from St. Lucia and Barbados too.
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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owa, that sounds like an amazing trip! where did you decide for st. lucia? i remember when you were asking about the Jalousie Plantation...
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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Thanks for the information blamona.

ejcrowe, I bought a package for the Jalouise, but the reviews sure haven't been very good. As long as it is clean, I can deal with "run down". The setting looks unbelievable. It will be fine. Owa
 
Old Feb 25th, 2006, 11:28 AM
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You might want to consider chartering a sail boat (yacht) with or without crew depending on your skill level and sail through all of the Grenadines. There are several independent operators based in both St. Vincent and Bequia some of which are listed on the Bequia visitors site.
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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Union Island is basically a landing strip with a few hundred locals and some guest-type houses. Palm Island is lovely as is Raffles but both are quite expensive. But, for 1 night it cannot hurt the pocketbook too much. Tobago Key is very lovely under water but you are doing a lot of traveling-probably equal to a full day -coming and going.
The one place that is nice but for 1 night the owner, Hazes Richardson would be miffed, is Petit St. Vincent Resort. Besides the food there is average at best, but the cottages and setting is first-rate and expensive except in July-Aug. But, then again for 1 day it is not worth it.
For 3 nights Little Palm Island Resort would be my first choice.
I have been to all 3 in the past 4-5 years.
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Thank you MSQ and Stankase. I have been so excited since I changed my flights this morning to include the Cays. I can't stay away from my computer to do more research on the suggestions i'm receiving. I'm suppose to be making a birthday dinner for my 14 year old grandson!!

 
Old Feb 26th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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Remember the Cays are only reachable by boat. If you want to visit them a couple of times as you say, again I would roll both your tour money and accomodation money into a yacht charter and then just anchor just off the cays and enjoy them for as long as you want.

You can then fly back to Barbados from Union on SVG Air or Mustique Airways without the need to take the time to sail back up the chain.

For a shorter visit you might consider staying on Bequia and taking one of the day trips down on the Friendship Rose, a local schooner that now does tourist outings down to the Cays from Bequia a few days a week.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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owa, back in 2001 when it was still a Hilton, the Jalousie was my first experience in the Caribbean. I went there with my partner, now my husband, under mild protest because I had no interest in going to the Caribbean. (I wanted to go back to Europe.) Well, as you can probably tell from my frequency of posts here, I became smitten with the region. St. Lucia is the most beautiful island I've visited, and the Jalousie has got to be the most stunning piece of real estate I've ever seen. Yes, the food was outclassed by the setting, but you'd need a few Michelin stars to even begin to come close to the setting. If you can, go next door to the Bang restaurant to sample some grilled coconut. Aside from my dinner at Dasheene, it was the best thing I tasted all week! When salted it tastes a lot like popcorn, but with a hint of sweetness.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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MSQ, I would love to do what you suggest, but I can't tolerate the motion. Tried it on a houseboat for a week in Northern Minnesota.

I found that Tobago Cays is 45 minutes from Union Island by boat. Is that correct? Would it be possible to just hire a boat for the day? Thanks, owa
 
Old Feb 26th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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the cays are beautiful. not to be msised.
unfortunately Union Island is the pits!
stay on one of the other nearby islands.
Or stay in Bequia as already suggested.
that is a fabulous island.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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Would suggest staying on Bequia or Mayreau. My personal preference is something more local and less resort oriented. There are a number of nice guesthouses and hotels on Bequia. Salt Whistle Bay is very nice on Mayreau. The Cays are not to be missed. Just like the Corona commercials.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Union is the pits only because as I said earlier it really is a connection point.
Bequia as stated above is one island I left out that is quite nice.
While Petit. St. Vincent is not my favorite place despite 3 visits in 10-12 years for 4 nights it is worthwhile.
I misread your question and thought is was a 1-2 day stay.
Having said that, I honestly do not think you will want more than 2 trips to Tobago Cay with 2 hours each time in the water.
At PSV they take you in a motor boat and in 15-20 minutes you are at the Cay.
Knowing the food is not it's strong point at $750-$950 with tax and service/day in late April (add 20% in late March to early April) with 3 meals request a beach front cottage. We liked 10,11 and 12 the most. Put them on request so you have a fair chance of getting one of them.
For $3000+ for 4 nights try to coordinate the flights to maximize your daylight hours at the resort.
Now ask yourself is it worth it.

You could take another trip for $4000 with air fare to Belize and stay at a rustic atoll resort-"lighthouse Reef Resort" for a week in April 2007. It has good snorkeling and goes with divers to the Blue Hole. While they dive you can snorkel around the Blue Hole and in my opinion, it puts Tabago Cay to shame.You fly to Miami and then 21/4 hours to Belize City and the resort Cessna, after a 2-3 hour wait in the airport takes you out the 60 miles to the resort. It goes from Sat. at about 4PM to Sat. at 8 AM back to Belize City (7 nights). There is nothing to really much to see in Belize City and it is not desirable to do without a guide but for a 2-3 hour quick tour around the city it is o'k.
Sorry to confuse you.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 02:40 AM
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Thanks everyone for your help.

We were in Bequia and St. Vincent for a week a few years ago. Really enjoyed both islands. So we would like to try a different island.

Is Union so horrible?? Is it that the accommodations are not good? I don't mind paying to stay at a really nice resort if I plan to spend lots of time relaxing on the beach. I just want to spend hours and hours snorkeling. I'm hoping Floridadventurist will see my question about Union as it sounded like he was going to spend time there.

Thanks again, Owa
 
Old Feb 27th, 2006, 03:31 AM
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Owa web site ttol Travel Talk Online has a board for South Caribbean. There is a great deal of info available there. Might be worth visiting
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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I was on Union for an afternoon when the captain of the Windjammer we were on had a launch take my two friends and me to Union so we could check it out (the others went to Palm Island where we had been zillions of times). There was nothing but a tiny town, a couple bars, an airstrip with cows on it and a run down closed resort. I don't think there would be any reason to stay on Union Island. I was intriqued too but found it is true...there's nothing much there. Don't waste your time when there are so many other excellent places.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 01:55 PM
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owa
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Well everyone, I'm going to take a chance and stay on Union Island (that is if Northwest pilots don't go on strike!) The short distance to Tobago Cays is what convinced me.

I appreciate all of your help. I'll let you know the outcome when I get back in May. Owa
 
Old Feb 28th, 2006, 03:15 AM
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Have a wonderful time.
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