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Which islands to avoid in the Carribean?

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Sep 4th, 2000, 07:02 AM
  #1
K
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Which islands to avoid in the Carribean?

I'm asking in terms of cleanliness, crime and "not as impressive as others" beaches. Thanks for the info!
 
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Sep 4th, 2000, 09:41 AM
  #2
Louis
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I think is best to put it the other way around. i.e. Which are best on those terms. I would put on top of the list the following as being among the best.

Any of the British Virgins.
Anguilla
Harbor Island
Culebra
Vieques
St. Barts
Perhaps St. John

Other will add to this list of top places.

I have included only those islands where we have stayed once or more.
 
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Sep 4th, 2000, 12:53 PM
  #3
Joel
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Echoing Louis Dameson's comments, and based only on islands I have visited and would visit again:
1a. BVI Tortola
1b. BVI Virgin Gorda
2. Bermuda (not really the Caribbean)
3. Cuba
4. St. John
 
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Sep 5th, 2000, 06:23 AM
  #4
Jack H.
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In terms of cleanliness, safety, and "just average" beaches, I'd definately AVOID St. Martin/St. Maarten, the island of Hispaniola, and the Mayan Peninsula.

Alot has been said on this and other boards about crime in St. Martin, but the cleanliness is the real issue, in my opinion. Junk everywhere. Crime (or the discomforting feeling of not being safe) is also a major issue. My rental car was broken in to my first day there last spring.
 
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Sep 5th, 2000, 10:58 AM
  #5
Carol
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Based on 20/20 last night - top of the list - Jamaica
 
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Sep 5th, 2000, 01:54 PM
  #6
ohliz
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It would be sad to miss Jamaica becasuse one tourist has gone missing...no one knows exactly what happened to Claudia yet but I'm willing to bet if it was something bad it's something easily avoided - don't go off with strangers, don't walk the beach alone at night, etc.

You might be interested in the State Dept's travel list which sums up crime on each island - it's surprising to many I bet that Jamaica's crime description is not very different from the ones for the other islands...

http://www.armchair.com/info/ctry.html
Liz <--going to JA for the 6th time this fall
 
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Sep 5th, 2000, 04:52 PM
  #7
Chas
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In response to jack's assesment of the cleanliness of St martin, I would put an asterisk next to that.

I admit that it has been 'run down' with abandoned cars and the like, but they are aware of the situation and have been making an effort to clean it up. There is an organization that has been formed, St Martin Pride, which is actively working to clean up the island and the government is working to remove the abandoned cars. This should be listed as a wait and see topic. It is improving.
 
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Sep 5th, 2000, 07:33 PM
  #8
Karen
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Not based on your criteria but I would not return to Aruba (big time WIND, blowing sand, Americanized and commericialized) and Tortola (very disappointing beaches!). I would most definately return to Pine Cay in the TCI, Anegada, Cooper, Guana, Virgin Gorda, Peter in the BVI's (actually any other than Tortola), probably not STX because the beaches were rough (x2 - might have been just where we stayed)and I prefer St. John or St. Thomas in the USVI. Wasn't excited about Antigua but there aren't many that I would not recommend other than the above two and Cancun! I loved the Mayan Coast and found it very hospitable, clean and I was impressed with the history and culture and those beaches in spots! Awaiting my first trip to Anguilla (and SXM - blown out by Lenny last year!) and the Grenadines this year and hopefully all will enjoy spots on my Top Ten list!
 
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Sep 5th, 2000, 08:56 PM
  #9
judy
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Just came back from St. Maartin and St. Thomas. St. Maartin a no-no. St. Thomas beautiful and great beaches. Also have been to the Dominican Republic recently and was scared silly from the airport where I and another woman were surrounded by 30 or so very hungry young males and had to be rescued by the rental car agent to other places where I was perceived as a victim waiting for a crime. Only felt safe in the resort. Loved Isla de Meujers off the coast of Cancun. Been there 3 times and would go again in a NY minute. Lovely beaches and pleasant, calm, friendly, hard working people.
 
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Sep 6th, 2000, 05:53 AM
  #10
Heidi
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I must agree with Jack and Judy -- St. Martin is a dump and I wouldn't return. Maybe the island is making an effort to clean up the junk cars, filthy buildings, and pot-holed roads, but until I read about significant improvements, I won't recommend it to anyone.

Also Jack is right -- whether or not the crime is as bad as everyone says or not, the truth is that I never really felt comfortable outside our resort.

Plus the beaches were so-so by Caribbean standards (unless you're a nudist, then Orient is your nirvana).
 
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Sep 6th, 2000, 06:07 AM
  #11
Aurthur
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I'd avoid Aruba. Let's face it, most of the island is a friggin flat dessert. You want to go to the beach, you stay around the resorts. At that you have to get up at 0-dark-thirty to get a good spot.

If I wanted an existence like that, I'd vacation in a prison compound.
 
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Sep 6th, 2000, 06:55 AM
  #12
Emily
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I've been to just about every island in the Caribbean, and Aruba is one of my absolute favorites.

It's south of the hurricane belt, so you never have to worry about a vacation being ruined.

It's a very safe an clean island.

The beaches are the best in the Caribbean (and are rated as such by numerous magazines etc).

MANY MANY fantastic restaurants, and the nightlife is also great.

The culture is alot of fun. Aruba is Dutch, but it's only 20 miles from Venezuela, so the South American culture also is strong.

The people are super-nice.

Yes, the island is arid, but it's beautiful nonetheless (like the US southwest). Why is it arid -- BECAUSE IT NEVER RAINS!!! If you want rain, go to a "lush" island.

Aruba!

 
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Sep 6th, 2000, 07:34 AM
  #13
Marilyn
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I agree with Aurthur about Aruba. I don't think it has that much of a Carribean atmosphere to it. And no Emily, I don't want rain, but if I wanted an atmosphere like Aruba I'd go to Vegas; dry, arid, great resturaunts, great nightlife. So Aruba has a beach!

Besides after reading the crime posts on Aruba with the hotel breakins, I don't know how safe I'd feel. I'd rather someone break into my car, not my room.

 
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Sep 6th, 2000, 01:19 PM
  #14
Jennifer
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Which islands to avoid?

Jamaica (unless you're sequestered in an all-inclusive resort and don't leave its grounds)

St. Barts

St. Martin/Maarten

Grand Bahama (especially Freeport)

The best islands, in my opinion: BVI, Cayman Islands (Grand, Little & Brac), Aruba, Bonaire, and Eleuthera

Avoid all but the ABC's (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) during hurricane season.
 
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Sep 6th, 2000, 02:00 PM
  #15
Sandra
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I would recommend St. Lucia. I just returned from my honeymoon in July and we absolutely loved it there. It's not as commercialized as other Carribbean Islands from what I hear and I didn't hear much about crime either. A great island for sure!
 
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Sep 6th, 2000, 06:12 PM
  #16
Wendy
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To each his own. I never thought I'd see St. Bart's on a list of islands to avoid. You really have to be careful about what you hear on this forum. MOST of the information is very unreliable. It either reflects a hidden agenda or a very narrow perspective such as a person judging St. Martin on just Philipsburg(which is a dump on an otherwise very nice island).

PS
Orient Beach is a beautiful beach whether you choose to go natural or not. Magen's Bay is a nice beach but I can name 10 beaches in Mass. nicer. This top ten beaches award is just marketing hype.
 
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Sep 6th, 2000, 07:56 PM
  #17
wendy
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I read St. Barts as being listed among the best places in the Caribbean. What gives?
 
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Sep 6th, 2000, 11:48 PM
  #18
Mike
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Wendy: You are 100% correct in your assessment! MOST of the advice on this board IS misleading, and I would also venture to say that MOST of the people on this board (and others) have HORRENDOUS taste in islands AND hotels!!
 
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Sep 7th, 2000, 03:04 AM
  #19
Scott
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I agree with the last set of general comments about the reliability of most of the messages on this board. St Barts as a place to avoid? Maybe only because most people can't afford it.

It seems that this board is dominated more by people who have had a bad vacation, for one reason or another and then want to blame it on the island. Almost no island has escaped this wrath. What's worse is that these people will vent their frustrations for months afterward.

I tend to ignore those posts because they don't offer much concrete information ('it's a dump, I didn't feel safe). All just vague nothings.

As for islands that I would reccomend, St Martin, St Barts, Anguilla and Eleuthra. Aruba is OK, just nothing special to me. Maybe it's because I like to get ot and explore the whole island and not just hang out at the resort and casino. Experience a little different culture that's what I say.
 
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Sep 7th, 2000, 07:54 AM
  #20
Anon
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It's all a matter of taste and personal preference. Thank heaven everyone is different. What I think of an island and what someone else thinks may not be the same, but that doesn't make either of us wrong does it? Or right for that matter.
 
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