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URGENT HELP NEEDED!!! Grand Cayman or St Martin/ Maarten?

URGENT HELP NEEDED!!! Grand Cayman or St Martin/ Maarten?

Old Mar 4th, 2003, 07:24 PM
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URGENT HELP NEEDED!!! Grand Cayman or St Martin/ Maarten?

Ay input is valued! I have to decide by Thursday wether to take my family (wife & 3 boys - ages 3, 9 & 12) to Grand Cayman or St Martin??? We've only ever been to the Bahamas.

I hear Cayman is great but very expensive! How much more expensive than St Martin??

I hear St. Martin is anti-American and has more crime?

Anyone been to BOTH???

Thanks for helping me with this stressful decision - I NEED THIS VACATION

Were going the end of July...
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 07:34 PM
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Haven't been to both but have heard people say Grand Cayman is very expensive. Have been going to SXM for more than 20 years and LOVE the island; in fact, leaving Saturday for our 2nd trip this year. SXM can be as expensive or inexpensive as you wish. We used to take our son from baby to age 17 and there was always lots to do. As to anti-American sentiment, we're Canadian so that's a bit harder to answer; the only thing I've noticed is that many people who make their living on SXM tell us that they find mny Americans(but not all) to be demanding and rather rude.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 07:36 PM
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Forgot to say, if you choose SXM stay on the French side; it's much nicer than the Dutch.
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Old Mar 5th, 2003, 05:09 AM
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uslegend -

I'm going to Grand Cayman for my first time in a couple of weeks.

My boss has a time share there and goes every year with his family. It is a family type island. Very safe, clean, and Americanized (I find security in that).

It can be expensive (like any island), but if you rent a condo and cook some of your meals, that cuts back big time.

Plus, Grand Cayman does have alot of inexpensive restaurants and fast food joints if the kids are craving some of that.

Let us know what you decide upon and where you will be staying.

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Old Mar 5th, 2003, 05:12 AM
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I'm an American who visits SXM frequently and have never really found any Anti-American sentiment. There are actually a good number of Americans living and working there.

I think that when visiting any foreign country, it all depends on how we, as visitors, approach situations. If we are rude and expect things to be like they are at home, of course we will have the same treatment in return.

I can't comment on Cayman, but I don't think you would have any problems in SXM. Yes, crime is on the rise there, but it's no different than any other major city. You just have to be careful as you would in the US.

I also agree that the French side is nicer.
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Old Mar 5th, 2003, 06:29 AM
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Grand Cayman gets my vote. It is very safe, without the poverty you see in SXM. It can be expensive but most of the Caribbean is. I agree with the previous poster about staying in a condo. You can get one on the beach with a full kitchen for less than a hotel room. Check out vrbo.com. GC is very Americanized which can be a plus or minus depending on what you're lookin for.
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Old Mar 5th, 2003, 06:57 AM
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St. Maarten anti American? that's not true
I live on St. Maarten, and I am an American, and have to tell you that this is one of the most friendly islands in the caribbean
I have been to grand Cayman.
I do not find it as pretty as sxm
it is flatter while sxm has beautiful rolling hills
grand cayman seems to me to be much quieter than sxm but, on the other hand, i do believe has less crime
sxm has crime..not violent crime, but petty theft. you have to be careful leaving things in your car..stuff like that
there is a lot to do on sxm.. the butterfly farm and the zoo are great for kids
the dining on sxm is absolutely fabulous.. no other island comes close to it
sxm can be expensive but we do not have import duties like grand cayman does so actually our prices are a lot lower.
the other nice thing about sxm is that there are day trips you can take to other islands such as Anguilla.
sxm is very small so , if you decide on sxm,wherever you decide to stay,(french or dutch side) you can easily navigate all over the island.

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Old Mar 5th, 2003, 07:26 AM
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Everyone has their own idea of the ideal destination. Did you like the Bahama's? If so, you may like GC better. It IS very expensive. However, you can cut cost by staying in a condo and going to the grocery store and liquor store. GC will allow you the opportunity to just hang by the water and relax. It is a short flying distance for almost everyone. I think you would have a magnificent time on either island if you are in need a vacation.
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Old Mar 5th, 2003, 04:39 PM
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I've spent time on both islands. In general, I recommend GC for families--it's sort of like Florida with a nicer ocean waters. GC has great snorkelling/diving, nice beaches, but is fairly non-descript as far as the actual island goes--flat and scrubby. I find food on GC to be expensive, yet very mediocre. On the other hand having Pizza Hut, KFC and all that stuff can be useful for kids who may not enjoy a long sit-down meal. For adults or kids who are culturally uncomfortable outside the US, GC is a great choice.

For adults, I recommend SXM. Much prettier island, and the food is fantastic--still expensive yet much, much better than GC (this is a generalization, of course, but a strong one). Most importantly, on SXM, one actually feels like he's in the Caribbean, not in Florida.
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Old Mar 18th, 2003, 06:43 PM
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I have been to both and would not say that St. Martin is anti-american. I stayed on the french side and had a lovely time. The food is outstanding and cheap. Crime is not bad, just use common sense as you would anywhere at night.
Caymen Islands was beautiful but very expensive. It all depends on what you are looking for. There are parts to St. Martin that you don't want to walk thru at night but that is true anywhere.
The charming thing about the Cayman's is that the week of 9/11 when folks were stuck on the island, the government actually paid for the tourists extra nights/food in their hotels. I was very impressed with that story, they are very accommodating.
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