Which Island is your favorite and why?

Old Apr 14th, 2010, 11:49 AM
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Which Island is your favorite and why?

Thinking about the Caribbean next Feb for my 65th b'day - not a cruise. Cosco has some great deals to several places in Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia Virgin Islands, Aruba. Was in Jamaica 30 years ago but need up to date info from all of you. We like snorekling, good food and wine; beaches, historical places. Please let me here your favorites and things I might want to avoid.........
Shar is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2010, 11:52 AM
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Without knowing you, it's impossible to say.

Why don't you tell us what you like about vacations, what is important to you, whose traveling with you, what your budget is? That we can suggest and narrow it down for you!
blamona is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2010, 01:19 PM
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Our favorite is Mexico; Cozumel and the Riviera Maya because there are so many really nice AI resorts that are reasonably priced. Also there are so many things to do off the resort. We also love authenic Mexican food and their culture. Easy to get to.

Second choice is Aruba. Beaches are fabulous. It's very safe. Love that the hotels on Palm beach are across the street from resturants, bars, shopping and entertainment. The bus system is inexpensive and easily.

Third choice is Grand Cayman. Great snorkeling, very safe. Georgetown is fun. It can be rather expensive though.

We also enjoyed Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, and St. Lucia. All for different reasons.
KVR is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2010, 03:10 PM
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blamona's right - asking which island is someone's favoite won't really find the best island for you.

Make a list of the 10 or 15 things YOU want from a Caribbean vacation (include your budget, when you plan to travel, where you are travelling from, your willingness or lack thereof to take multiple flights and/or ferries to reach your destination and any other information you wish to shre. It will make it much easier for us to help you narrow down your choices.

In the meantime, go to the "Destinations" link at the top of this page, click through to the Caribbean and read the summaries/descriptions of the different islands. By simply doing that you should be able to make your "shot list" more managable.
RoamsAround is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2010, 06:21 PM
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Thanks for the tips.....We (husband and me) enjoy snorkeling, swimming, historical sites, good food, spas....We tend toward the high end in resorts. We will be coming from California. Not into taking lots of flights and/or ferries since we will only be able to go for about 6 days so don't want to spend all that time on transportation. I Know that we will more than likely fly from CA to FL and then on to somewhere in the Caribbean. Mexico is out as we are going there this year (Tulum) and really don't want to go again so soon. I'm open to any and all suggestions so I can check them out....We have used Costco in the past for Big Island and got a good deal at th Fairmont Orchid which we really enjoyed

Costco offers the following..know anything about these?
Aruba - Occidnetal Grand Aruba; Marriott Resort Aruba
Dominican Republic Paradisus Punta Cana,
St. Lucia Coconut Bay Beach Resort

Please suggest some resorts.....Thanks
Shar is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2010, 05:00 AM
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It depends! They each have their THING.. I was not impressed with Puerto Rico, but that might have been the area I was in.. We stayed at the Hyatt El Dorado- AWESOME hotel.. but beach was CRAP... but we enjoyed the Rain Forrest and also a visit to Old San Juan to the Forts..
I also love the Radisson, Hyatt in Aruba! Beautiful beaches.. GREAT food.. don't do AI in Aruba.. I would in Mexico though.. but after 4 days you get a little tired of it..
You didn't mention Playa del Carmen- Mexico, but we stayed at RIU Palaca, gorgeous hotel, beach not much, Aruba beats them hands down, but it was a STEAL of a deal!
Cayman Islands, different things to explore, they had some nice beaches, but some are pretty rough you need shoes..
St. Lucia, different as well..
I know Punta Cana is a nice area in DR...
It ALL depends.. they are ALL different experiences..
CaribbeanChick is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2010, 05:00 AM
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Forgot to mention, in Mexico we did a day trip to see Chichen Itza.. Mayan ruins... so that was really neat.. so different experiences wherever you go!
CaribbeanChick is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2010, 05:07 AM
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I can elaborate on Aruba..
Occidental is AI.. not so upscale... but they have a great strip of beach...
The Marriott are more popular.. great grounds... love their casino... not sure about the beaches there...I believe the Marriott has better class than the Occidental.. Occidental has more shops right accross the street.. if you have google earth, check them out..
Depends on which Marriott property, there are several next to each other.. one has a nice river pool! They are at the end of the hotel "strip"
Not sure you would want to do AI for Aruba.. some people LOVE it.. but like my husband said, when we went to Playa del Carmen, that was a great place to have AI, but not Aruba.. there are plenty of great places to eat and safe to drive to.. if you love to drink, then AI might be the best option.. if you get a GREAT deal at the AI, you can still choose to eat out a few nights.. but you GOT to try the different restaurants on the island if you choose to go to Aruba.
Good luck!

PS. When you go to TULUM you might want to check out Xcaret eco park.. and also a day trip to Chichen Itza or so.. Amazing..
CaribbeanChick is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2010, 05:12 AM
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If you like a gorgeous 12 mile beach, beautiful condo resorts and the most amazing turquoise water - then check out Turks and Caicos and the main island of Providenciales.
You can do great snorkeling right from the beach or take an excursion to other reefs and even explore some of the other islands by boat.
We have traveled to over a dozen islands and keep returning to TCI.
sunblockstock is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2010, 05:28 AM
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If you are still open to suggestions for a destination - Grenada is a great place for all that you are looking for .. lovely beaches, waterfalls, dive/snorkelling, a range of restaurants including 5-star, many historical sights - forts, museums, Carib's leap, rainforest, old plantation/spice estates, rum distilleries, etc. Take a glimpse of the island on www.grenadagrenadines.com. You wont regret it!
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Old Apr 15th, 2010, 07:57 AM
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provo in turks & caicos might suit you. good snorkeling, great dining, plenty of upscale resorts with good spas. short flt from MIA, under 2 hrs - then 20 min ride (car no ferry) to grace bay beach where the resorts are. this is an arid island - not at all lush/hilly, but that's true of most good snorkeling islands in the caribbean.
grand cayman is similiar but somewhat more crowded.
none of the 3 costco islands boast good snorkeling, and aruba & st. lucia are longer flights from miami.

you will love tulum. we were in the area for 3 weeks and loved it. tons to do/see if you're interested. also good place for beach time. plenty of places to snorkel, yal-ku lagoon in akumal is worth the drive up from tulum.
virginia is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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I'm really liking Puerto Rico these days. You have to do a little research about the beaches though. We stayed at the Marroitt Courtyard in Isla Verde and loved the beach there. There is a Ritz Carlton right next door to this property. (You said you like high end properties.) The one amenity that we loved about this Marriott was the casino. You will find a lot of hotels in Puerto Rico have casinos. I'm not a big player but this was such a nice treat for my husband. He entertained himself in the casino while I got dressed for dinner every night. I just love Old San Juan. The food in Puerto Rico was excellent no matter where we ate. The people were also a highlight for me. Everyone was very friendly. We went for 8 nights in 2008 and are returning again for 8 nights in Sept/Oct.
Also - it will be a short flight from Florida. We live in NY. We flew NY to Philly (1 hour) then Philly to San Juan (3.5). Having been to Hawaii many times this was such a treat to be there so quickly.
May I ask what time of the year you will be visiting the Caribbean?
annikany is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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I am looking into renting an upscale home/pool on one of the following Islands for 2 weeks. I have children under 10 going and am not sure which Island is the safest and has a lot to do for kids. We are not looking for a "tourist" adventure, the beach, private pool at the house, shopping and funky places to eat is more our speed!

Can someone recommend the which Island in the Caribbean would be best? Also, how easy would it be to get a boat to take us to other Islands? Help, not sure.
Blondee1 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2010, 07:04 PM
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Blondee - I travel to the Caribbean with my child (recently became children) I have been to (with children) Barbados, St. Martin, St.Kitts / Nevis, Jamaica and Grenada...

For me the safest are Grenada and St.Kitts hands down! I have made a choice not to return to other islands with my sons because i worried about my safety so they are not even on the list...Jamaica was safe not at all a concern but as I was under excrutiating stress in my life I did not leave our AI resort...not for fear simply for inability to lift my butt off of my beach chair.

We are considering St.Lucia or Antigua this year (Antigua even with recent news as we believe the island has been safe and likely overall is still safe despite recent tragedies)...

If you don't choose a villa or upscale home there are some great hotels that have that condo feel but with the prime locations!

For Shar - my favorite islands are Grenada and St.Kitts...safe, stunning, beaches, culture, friendly people, activities and history!!
Caribheart is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2010, 09:23 PM
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wow...lots of tips...thanks so much. Still thinking about it.....
Shar is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2010, 09:24 PM
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forgot to ask what is AI...mentioned twice in these tips
Shar is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2010, 03:57 AM
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All Inclusive. It basically keeps you on the hotel property because your meals and drinks are included with your stay.
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