What is your FAVORITE island and why?

Old Dec 20th, 2012, 07:01 AM
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What is your FAVORITE island and why?

Hey all, I am starting to plan an upcoming trip and I thought this would be a good way to find out about destinations as opposed to asking for recommendations!

What is your FAVORITE island and why? What is your LEAST FAVORITE island and why? If you have any pictures you want to share, that would be nice too!

Thanks
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Old Dec 20th, 2012, 07:25 AM
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Eve island has fans. So actually best to ask for recs based on YOUR tastes.

So the best way for us to recommend:

BUDGET. Most important
Time of year
For how long
How many going and from where
Need quiet and relax, or active
Need nitlife? Shopping?
Excursions, exploring?
Foodies?
Luxury or laid back?
Have you been to any and what did you like?
Scenery or long "corona commercial" beaches
Activities?
All inclusive or live like a native?

To answer your question, whichever island I happen to be in, as long as I'm on a beach!

8-)
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Old Dec 20th, 2012, 07:58 AM
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I’m pretty easy going and have enjoyed every island experience I have had so far, that is why I am not asking for recommendations I’m more interesting in finding out what everyone’s fave/least fave island island is and why.



I’ve done both the AI and the self catered thing and have enjoyed both experiences
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Old Dec 20th, 2012, 08:07 AM
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Blamona's right - there's no one "best" island and very few of the contributors on this (or any other travel forum) have been to EVEREY island so it's almost impossible to pick a "Favorite" island. One can perhaps only choose a "favorite" from among those they have visited, The problem with doing that is there might be many other island that would become a "favorite" once they are visited but if you've never been there you won't really know if they are or are not. You can ask 100 people what island is their favorite and you'll get 100 different answers and you still won't know if any of them are right FOR YOU.

FYI - The regular contributors on the forum fall into three basic categories: 1) Those who have been to a lot of islands (say, 20 or more - they are the Caribbean junkies and rarely find an island they don't like), 2) Those who have only been to a select few so they'd be speaking only from limited experience and 3) those who are proponents of just one island.

Now, if you include the Bahamas and all its Out-islands (technically not actually in the Caribbean) there are more than 1,000 islands in the Caribbean so it stands to reason you'll find a wide selection of "favorite" islands. So, heed Blamona's advice and tell us more about what type of island vacation you are seeking. That way, we will be able to steer you in the right direction.
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Old Dec 20th, 2012, 09:31 AM
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I just returned from almost two weeks on Bonaire. It's my second favorite island, my favorite is Ambergris Caye Belize, but, that's because I live there part of the time and have a lot of friends there.

Anyway, Bonaire. I love the clear blue water, and the fact that there are literally dozens of places that I can just wade in and snorkel. No boat trips, no need for a guide.

I also love the amazing variety of restaurants for such a small and relatively unpopulated (about 15,000) island.

It's easy to drive on, not much traffic. We stay close to town, it's also safe to walk at night.

Not much for beaches, but, we spent a couple of afternoons on Lac Bay, toes in the sand, with cold beer, and nice views.

Not for those who want long beaches. Or lots of shopping.
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Old Dec 20th, 2012, 10:00 AM
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Thank you! That’s the kind of response I was looking for.

I had never even thought of going to Bonaire but it sounds quite relaxing. I am going to look into it. I actually prefer smaller beaches/bays to mile long beaches so it sounds up my alley. I will definitely keep Bonaire in mind.
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Old Dec 20th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Since you asked, my favorite destination (not an actual Island) is Mexico. We LOVE all inclusive vacations, but have done a few self catering.

I love Mexico because it very inexpensive and a short flight from Texas. It has the best AI resorts, tons of things to see and do off property, and great snorkeling. Have been to the Carribean side x 9 and the West side twice. We just returned from Cabo San Lucas a couple of weeks ago and we loved it there. The best food we have ever had on vacation anywhere. The pools are heated in the winter, which is a huge plus.

My second choice would be Aruba. We are very active on vacation. Not into plopping on a beach for a week and calling it a vacation. Lots of things do see/do to keep us busy. The Eagle Beach area is very nice. Ton of bars and restaurants to try, which is part of the vacation experience.

Grand Cayman - Excellant snorkeling. 7 Mile Beach is gorgeous. The Island has just the right amount of things to see and do without getting bored.

My least favorite would have to be Curacao. Too far, too expensive, beaches are made of crushed coral, snorkeling not as good as reported and difficult to get around without a car. We are glad we went though and had a very nice trip. The intro scuba dive at the Aquarium was by far the highlight.

Though cruising is not one our favorite ways to vacation, we are looking at Celebrity for this year to pick up a few Islands we haven't been to yet that are too expensive for us to travel to for a weeks vacation. Since Celebrity is now offers an AI alcohol plan, we thought we would try it again.

I did have a pic site with Webshots that had all of our vacation pictures posted since 2000 when we started. They had since changed formats and deleted my 5,800 pictures. I am in the process of adding the back to Shutterfly. I have 16 vacations up currently. It will take me another month or two to get the rest on there. They can be found at:

http://kvrlvnphotogallery.shutterfly.com/pictures

I have all my reviews and corresponding pics posted on TA under KVR also.
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Old Dec 20th, 2012, 02:30 PM
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Not tagged in you selections, but Virgin Gorda in the BVI is at the top of my list. It is one of my favorite places. Beautiful, unspoiled and still has a genuine island feel, with only a bit of the tourist feel. Beautiful beaches, nice locals, sunny and small.

One of my favorite blogs (along with the caribbean, I also love Run) just posted a bit about their travels there:

http://rumtherapy.com/2012/12/rum-th...-virgin-gorda/
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Old Dec 20th, 2012, 11:54 PM
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Definitely no favourites & no islands that I dislike either, I take each one as they are and enjoy them.

Islands still on my list to visitbr /> Saba
Dominica
T&C
Virgin islands
Grenadines

Island that I wouldn't rush back to
Puerto Rico but would consider Vieques

Island with lowest expectation but turned out to be much better than expected
Aruba, great fun, great restaurants, beaches and interesting scenery

Most interesting island
CUBA by far with Havana the best city I've seen in the Caribbean area

Place to go if I'm desperate & nothing else is available but hoping to be wrong
Mexico
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 05:41 AM
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SO FAR my favorite island is Bermuda (not in the Caribbean though). Also, my boyfriends favorite islands so far are Bermuda/Hawaii. Neither in the Caribbean

Bonaire, as someone mentioned before sounds really nice. I am going to check it out.

High on my list to visit are the USVI, Antigua and maybe Aruba. I have heard mixed things about Aruba though.
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 11:53 AM
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We spent two nights in Aruba on our way to Bonaire a few weeks ago. Unlike our usual travel habits, we opted to stay right in the middle of 'the action', in the high rise hotel section at the Radisson.

Nice hotel, lovely property. Fun bar (not park of the Radisson) off a pier right beside the property.

Otherwise, it sort of felt like we were in Florida. Chain restaurants, chain hotels, lots and lots of Americans.

I realize we didn't get out and see the rest of the island, so my observations are obviously skewed. We did walk the length of the low rise hotel section. We liked it better, but, would probably want a car if we stayed there.

As a general rule, we avoid beach vacations where there are high rise hotels and US franchises.

I do understand why people love Aruba. Lots of lodging and dining choices. Nice beaches. Nice water. Good weather. Just not our travel style.
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 12:38 PM
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I Love St.Lucia! It has a beautiful lush landscape and just a really nice island vibe created by the friendly people and creole restaurants. It's just the overall feeling of the place I personally find uplifting.
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 12:41 PM
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Opp of course I love Barbados too. I love the beaches, some of the islands best restaurants and the scenery on the East Coast
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 12:53 PM
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I have been fortunate to visit quite a few island in the Caribbean, and the one that stands out in my mind as the perfect fit for my likes....St John.

My favorite thing to do is snorkel from shore, and St John offers this and then some. It also has those smaller cresent shaped beaches that are uncrowded, and turquoise waters that belong on a magazine cover (and many are). It's easy to & safe to drive around the island and explore on your own, and the town of Cruz Bay offers many excellent restaurants, and just enough nightlife to keep me occupied. It's not built up and americanized, and 70% of the island is a reserve that can't be built on. It's quiet, it's friendly, it's safe, and it has great snorkeling.....heaven to me!!
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Oh...and my least favorite....(even though I had fun)...was Ambergris Caye Belize. The beaches were sub-par at best, you need a boat to snorkel, and there is too much garbage everywhere. I will say however, that Ambergris Caye also has by far the most warm and friendly locals that I have experienced anywhere in the Caribbean, and it was the people that made it a nice vacation for me. The rest, just wasn't my cup of tea.
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 01:29 PM
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I've only been to the Caribbean 6 times (and now that I live on the West Coast probably won't get back too often).

3 of those times, spread out over many years were to Negril Jamaica (in the 70's, 80's and 2010). I love the rustic tropical feel to it there. It's a truly special place.

USVI (St Thomas and St John) only one trip and didn't really do much for me.

I enjoyed 2 trips to the Domincan Republic (Sosua and Puerta Plata) but it's also not a place I'd rush back to. And I really don't care for the looks of how Punta Cana has been build up (Cancun-style) which seems to be most popular there right now.

From my current Seattle location, honestly my beach destinations are most often either Mexico or Hawaii.
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 02:44 PM
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JeanH - that's exactly why I'm on the fence about Aruba. I have a feeling it's too "Americanized". I could just go to Miami for that type of environment. A couple of my friends love it though and are always convincing me to give it a try.
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 05:55 PM
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Maybe try Aruba as a combination with either Curacao or Bonaire. The flights between the islands aren't very expensive.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2012, 05:00 AM
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I have been to Aruba twice, most recently last year. While Palm Beach felt like Florida to me, the rest of the island does not. The interior has an interesting landscape and the north coast is nothing like what you would see in Florida. In addition, it's a lot warmer than Florida in the winter. I enjoyed Aruba but mainly because it was a family trip. If it was just adults, I would choose something else.

I liked St, Martin better but there are many people who do not like St. Martin. I really enjoyed the wonderful restaurants and the French influence. Also, I prefer islands that have hills and mountains to flat islands. The flat islands have the whiter sand and more turquoise water, but to me the beauty is seeing the hills and mountains in contrast to the beach. Many will think I am crazy but I find staring at water and sand boring after a while. To each his/her own I guess.
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