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-   -   UVI or Cayman Island? (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/uvi-or-cayman-island-505443/)

TLK879 Feb 20th, 2005 12:21 AM

UVI or Cayman Island?
 
Hi, I am going on vacation the first week of May, but I havent decided on an island yet. I would like more info on the Virgin Islands (US and British) and Cayman Island. I am looking for a lush, tropical island with a lot of greenery, flowers, possibly rainforests, good beaches, good nightlife, lots of watersports, good food, outdoor adventures (such as horseback riding, hiking) and a place to kick back and relax. I have been to Bermuda, Bahamas and Jamaica and I think I want to try somewhere new. I love all three of them, especially Bermuda. I have heard good reviews about St John and also the Cayman Islands. Which one is better? Which one is more tropical and more to do?? I would like to do snorkeling trips, dinner/booze cruises, stuff like that. I also dont want to be at a resort that is packed with people. I am flying from Newark, NJ. Do you have any recommendations/opinions on those islands or any others?? Any opinions will help. Thanks!

KVR Feb 20th, 2005 08:47 AM

We've been to Grand Cayman Nov. 2003 and are scheduled for St. Thomas in May.

There is still a lot of Grand Cayman that has not recovered from the hurricane. The island is not lush nor does it have a rainforest. 7 Mile Beach is excellant. Snorkling and scuba diving is a must. Swimming with the Sting Rays is a must also. We did an Island tour that took us to all the tourist spots. We didn't find much nightlife. We were told Novemer was the "slow" season. Not much happening until the spring/summer months.

For our May trip to St. Thomas, we booked an Island tour of St. Thomas and St. John. We also booked a boat tour on the New Horizons II for a 4 Island tour of the BVI. I understand that USVI has several great beaches and some nightly entertainment. We plan on going to Paradise Point for their live band on Wed.'s nights.

We've been to the Bahamas also and thought Grand Cayman had nicer beaches and more things to do. From your description, it appears that USVI would be the best fit.

CaribbeanSoul Feb 20th, 2005 09:24 AM

TLK: St. John is the jewel of the Caribbean....definitely as tropical a paradise as one can find. Unfortunately, the secret has been out for some time as building and development have hit STJ hard over the past few years. I still think it is a top choice, however, as 2/3rds of the island remain a US Nat'l Park with tight restrictions on development.

TLK879 Feb 20th, 2005 10:50 AM

Hi, Thanks for the advice. I am definately interested in St John, but I dont know which place to stay for the best deal, what there is to do in St John, etc. Would it be possible to spend $1500 or less p/p for 7 nights. I wanted something that includes airfare, hotel and at least one meal, if not all and drinks. I will be flying from NJ. Do you have any recommendations on where to find good deals?? I am going the week of May 1. Also, is there any type of nightlife or things to do in St John besides go to the beach? I am looking to relax, but I also dont want to be bored or sit in the hotel every night. I will be going with my boyfriend and we are in our mid 20's. Any recommendations/tips/opinions would be great!! Thanks

CaribbeanSoul Feb 20th, 2005 01:28 PM

I think STJ is a perfect choice for you! There are several "lively" bars in Cruz Bay. I'd suggest checking out Gallows Point Resort which is about a 5 minute walk from town. That way you don't have to worry about driving back to a villa after an extended Woody's Happy Hour! You are traveling during low or "shoulder" season so rates are much more affordable. From Newark you can easily fly non-stop to STT and ferry over to STJ. Lots to do on STJ....trust me! Take a day trip to Jost Van Dyke....snorkel the Indians off of Norman Island....check out Willy T's in the Bight of Norman Island and see if you can win a free t-shirt! You will not be bored on STJ. I think you can do if for $3K which would include airfare ($500/ea), lodging ($250/night) and a rental car ($350/wk). You may need to come up with a little more for spending money. But there are some very reasonable places to dine and good grocery stores. Drinks are cheap in the VI, as well....especially during the many Happy Hours places have. Let me know if you need any other info!

TLK879 Feb 20th, 2005 10:02 PM

Thank you so much for all the info and recommendations. When did you go to St Johns and where did you stay? Are there any excursions in St John or St Thomas, such as snorkel trips, dinner cruises, stuff like that?? Where do you recommend making reservations? Are there any good websites that have good deals? Thanks again!

brenandg Feb 21st, 2005 04:28 AM

For websites, bookitvi.com is a good one. Also do a search for cruz bay watersports and low key watersports st john. I not sure their exact website address, but easy to find.

KVR Feb 21st, 2005 05:03 AM

Try vinow.com

Good info with a message board strictly for USVI and BVI

CaribbeanSoul Feb 21st, 2005 07:39 AM

the best I have found is www.usvi-on-line.com. The most active St. John travel forum on the web.

TLK879 Feb 21st, 2005 08:17 AM

Thank you all for your help! I will definately check out all those websites. I am trying to look for a deal that has the airfare and hotel included in the price. Is that possible when staying in St John?? I could not find anything at all. I typed in St John and most websites dont even have any hotels to choose from in St John...only St Thomas. Since I am going in May, I am hoping that prices are lower. But, so far they still seem really expensive. Am I better off staying in St Thomas and just visiting St John?? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


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