Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Caribbean Islands (
-   -   Where to go for our 10th Anniversary? (

drake Apr 9th, 2003 08:01 PM

Where to go for our 10th Anniversary?
My wife and I are planning a quick get away for our 10 anniversary. Our 5 year old is not one to stay without us so we are hoping to be able to squeeze out 3 nights. Also I recently became unemployed but did not want to let that stop our trip. To save money we can use frequent flyer miles and thereby be able to stay at a nicer resort. We like a nice resort (entertainment, nice pools, nice rooms, on the beach, good beaches, not run-down, etc.). We do not do the all inclusive deals. With only 3 nights/4 days, we need to not waste too much time in travel to and from our home in NC. We have thought about the Florida Keys but are open to Caribbean islands that would be easy to get to and from and that would not be too expensive. Have done the Bahamas, St. John, St. Thomas (also Cancun). We like to be active and have sightseeing things to do. Any suggestions on beach places we could spend our 10th anniversay ??? Sounds like a lot of factors but basically we need to be able to get there quick, have a place where there is fun stuff to do, not be overly pricey (like I hear Bermuda is overall) and provide a good memory for our 10th. Please provide a destination and resort suggestion there. Thanks.<BR>

ejcrowe Apr 10th, 2003 06:40 AM

Tell us what airline you intend to use your miles on--that way we'll know which islands have non-stop service from the NYC area. Bermuda isn't necessarily more expensive than much of the Caribbean--there are ways to get good meals and lodging at good prices. And since it's only a 1.5-2 hour direct flight from New York, it may be your best option for only having 3 nights.

penny Apr 10th, 2003 07:54 AM

Bermuda is a wonderful island! Its a short hop from NC(did you mean North Carolina). Lots of things to do! In a beautiful setting. It is one of my favorite islands. It also has a large range of moderate places to stay and dine! I have to agree with the last poster! It is a great choice!

GoTravel Apr 10th, 2003 03:00 PM

How close are you to Charlotte? USAir has a monopoly on the caribbean so if that is who your FF miles are in (or United which code shares), you are in luck. While I love Bermuda, I would go with Anguilla.

drake Apr 10th, 2003 04:49 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. Our miles are with USAir. And now they have joined with United. There are no direct flights from our departure (Raleigh) so it seems we will end up wasting at a minimum about 2/3 of a day each way in travel. I would love an island with things like a rainforest, the caves like I saw listed for Bermuda, good snorkeling, etc. We like a lot of active stuff...not the historical, museum..buildings-type sight-seeing. And great beaches are a must. And not to sound like a snob but we have been a little disappointed with some of the other islands with the rundown sections you see among all the tropical beauty. Is there a close cost affordable fun island that is going to meet a lot of these criteria. We do like a nice resort....nice pools, swim up bars, possibly on-site entertainment, etc. Being parents of a 5 year old who will not let us leave him you can see we are a little ready to blow it out and power vacation. Any help appreciated. Why the suggestion for Anguilla?? What's there that you are suggesting?

Tango Apr 10th, 2003 05:25 PM

What about the Cayman Islands? We just came back from a cruise - we didn't have good weather so we didn't see the beaches, but they supposedly have amazing beaches. Also the &quot;swim with the stingray&quot; experience - which we looked forward to (and missed due to weather) is supposedly amazing! They have the lowest unemployment rate and is the richest island (there are like 600 banks on the island) - so no run down sections, etc. There are also underwater caves and lots of other interesting things there - which again, we missed!

GoTravel Apr 11th, 2003 03:35 PM

Drake, Anguilla just has the most gorgeous beaches I have ever seen. For what you are looking for, have you thought about Mexico? The closest would probably be Cancun. I hate to suggest it but there are a lot of outdoorsy things to door such as diving, tubing in caves, the ruins and it is lush with nice beaches and beautiful water. The biggest plus is that it is only a 2 1/2 hour or less flight from Charlotte.

drake Apr 12th, 2003 03:52 AM

GoTravel...we have done Cancun and really did like it. We really prefer to go to places we haven't been since there are so many places we are yet to explore. Does anyone have any comments on the Florida Keys????

Maureen Apr 12th, 2003 06:11 AM

You might consider Super Clubs Grand Lido Braco located near Runaway Bay Jamaica--we loved the long white sand beach and the resort center is built like a jamaican village. The shuttle will take about 40 mins from the airport. There is a very large swim-up bar, several restaurants, a bakery and a place to order jerk meats. At night there is a piano bar and other island entertainment. Must be over 16 to stay here.

Dreamer2 Apr 13th, 2003 07:52 AM

Drake,<BR>Are you still looking? The Keys won't have the long beautiful beaches you're looking for, but would be easier to travel. If you like nightlife, I'd consider South Beach with a (long) day trip into the Keys. There are some nice options in Anguilla that don't have to break the bank if your first priority is great beaches (such as Frangipani and Redezvous Bay Resort). Also, don't forget about Puerto Rico for easier travel and rain forests, lots to do, etc., but it tends to be on the more expensive side for the nicer resorts. I still think your best bet (travel time, atmosphere, beaches, activities) is Bermuda. I'm sure you can find a good deal if you do some more hunting. Did you take a look at the Sonesta and Grotto Bay? A perfect match for your preferences is The Reefs; check out what kind of deal they might be able to offer. Let us know what you decide!<BR>

drake Apr 14th, 2003 05:05 AM

Thanks so much for all of these suggestions. We are still debating. My wife has basically left it up to me. As long as it has a beach she is fine. Any comments from anyone on the Florida Keys. That had been the place my wife had been suggestings since we had always had that on our list. Comments? And if so what are the NICE resorts to stay at (including some on the beach). Thanks. Still shopping around.

scs Apr 14th, 2003 01:43 PM

If you really want to go to the beach, I would not suggest the Florida Keys. The water is so full of sea life (including sea lice while we were there), swimming in the ocean is not pleasant. We stayed in Islamorada at the Cheeca Lodge and enjoyed it there, but I was not impressed with the Keys overall. We have been to many islands, and the Keys seemed run down. If you can find a good price in Bermuda, you will not be disappointed. It is beautiful!!

cybertraveler Apr 14th, 2003 08:24 PM

We went to Bermuda for our honeymoon, our 10th anniversary, and 3 more times. If you can find a bargain, I think it would be your best bet. It is a short flight, and it is beautiful! <BR>Try the Newstead-it's a nice hotel, which had dining privileges at other places when we last stayed there.

Michaelpl Apr 15th, 2003 01:34 AM

How about Provo in the Turks and Caicos. I think there is a direct flight from the East coast. I would not call the island &quot;lush&quot; in anyway, but WOW! Grace Bay beach is to die for. We just returned and found it to be delightful. Great food and people.<BR>Consider a one bedroom ocean front condo on the beach. In the off season<BR>(which is soon) you'll find a great deal. Ocean Club West or The Sands might be a nice choice. Have fun!!

drake Apr 16th, 2003 04:51 AM

I think our choice is Bermuda. Suggestions on nice resorts that we may be able to get a deal for the 3 nights through some PriceLine type service, etc. And what are some of the best sights, activities, attractions to do there? Thanks.

ElaineSB Apr 17th, 2003 10:10 AM

Drake, if you haven't booked your trip yet, go to and click on compliments of bermuda. Click on your gateway city to get prices for 3 or 5 night stays. Airfare is included. Promotion is being touted as companion flies free. Also saw the advertisments on the Bravo channel the other night.

drake Apr 17th, 2003 12:42 PM

We are using US Air frequent flyer miles and have narrowed our hotel search to the Sonesta, Grotto Beach, and the Fairmont Hamilton Princess based on cost. We like a nice hotel that is (not in need of renovations, has nice pool(s), beach, bars, on-site entertainment would be nice, pretty grounds, nice rooms, and upbeat festive atmosphere/lively). Any suggestions from the 3. I have negative things about the beaches at both the Sonesta and the Grotto. Does anyone have information on that. And does one location clearly put one over the top considering everthing else. Thanks. I need to book this tonight.

Dreamer2 Apr 17th, 2003 01:29 PM

Drake:<BR>When are you going? <BR>I've topped some previous posts about your hotels for you.<BR>As I said, I haven't stayed at any of your possibilities, but have been on-site at the Sonesta. It looked like a fabulous, easy access beach, although I did not swim in it. The lobby, cocktail lounge w/entertainment, and spa were great. I've read complaints about the rooms. I also like the location of the Sonesta, as it is near the So. Hampton Princess and The Reefs, and you could hop over for dinner or evening entertainment.<BR>Both Fairmont Princess properties are lovely. However, the Hamilton is in the city, not on the beach, which your original post stated as high priority. The South Hampton is high above a super beach, and you take a short shuttle down.<BR>I can't comment on the Grotto, as it is in a different area and I didn't visit it.<BR>Why don't you check into to see what some of the high end resorts have recently gone for. I wouldn't use Priceline - you have to purchase something non-refundable without knowing what it is. THere's no &quot;proposal&quot; first!<BR>Please post your impressions when you return.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:37 PM.