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Linda Sep 15th, 2000 07:55 AM

Would you do Young Island around Labor Day?
Considering a week at Young Island around Labor Day '01 (it sounds heavenly! - especially the resort/sail option). Never been to the Carribean. My concerns: (1) weather (humidity) and bugs: is late Aug./early Sept. a stupid time to travel that far south?; and (2) travelling from midwest: how difficult is it going to be to get there? Don't want to have to lose days of our "trip of a lifetime" with travel time/hassle. Any thoughts? Thanks so much.....

Louis Sep 15th, 2000 10:37 AM

Labor Day is in the peak month for hurricanes. If you have never been to the Caribbean I don't think Young Island is the place for you to start. I suggest that you get your feet wet closer to home at places such as BVI or Saint John. Unless you are an avid sailor I think you are glamorizing the sailing bid. Sailing in the Grenadines is not that interesting. Sailing in Drakes Passage in the Virgins would be better for a first timer. While weather problems are less the further south you go, there is still a good chance of poor weather as far south as the ABC islands. I would move the trip to July or Feb. Sept in not a good month to travel to areas in the north and many of the better places are closed. Bugs and humidity are about the same all year including the temperature which follows closely the ocean temperature. To get to Young Island you need to make a connection in a hub such as Puerto Rico or Miami. Saint Vincent is not a major destination for airlines. Young island does have a lot to offer depending on your personal tastes. Some like it others do not. You will not get much breeze on the units along the water. The ones high on the hill are ok.

joan Sep 15th, 2000 06:53 PM

Linda: I agree with Louis. I have been to both Young Island and the BVI. St. Vincent is wilder and more remote. We traveled from Fla and arrived after dark at Young Island (connected in San Juan and I think Barbados); you reach the BVI via Miami or San Juan also, but it is several hours shorter, say 2 in the afternoon. That goes for both directions. Either way, you lose most of a day traveling. But arriving in the afternoon, you can still make an evening of it. <BR> <BR>After we got to Young Island, we decided NOT to do the sailaway. I get seasick easily, and after hearing stories of cramped bunks versus luxury bedroom, we decided to stay on YI and explore St. Vincent, a gorgeous lush island with volcanoes and waterfalls and NO tourists. <BR> <BR>However, for a first-timer, I think you would find the island of Tortola enchanting. Just the right mix of beach and development. We stayed at Long Bay Resort once, and next time rented a villa. The villa was so cool, and slightly less expensive, with its own pool. However you do it, you will have a great time! <BR>Re: time of year, sept is definitely a hurricane risk. How about November? Still bargain time but after the rainy/storm season... <BR> <BR>P.S. Don't worry about the bugs...they're always around at dusk anyway (no-see-ums). Just use DEET and drink enough rum! <BR>

Louis Sep 15th, 2000 07:49 PM

The last post hit the sailaway on the head. Their boats have little space. Under calm sea conditions the seas in that area for a small boat will be a definite problem for a persons prone to seasickness. Last July we sailed for an about 2 hours to get to Tobago Cay and one young lady aboard could not take what I would call calm seas. This is not a way to spend a first trip to the Caribbean. It is true, Young Island is an outstanding base from which to explore St. Vincent.

Linda Sep 16th, 2000 09:20 AM

Thanks for the info! For our 1st trip should probably scrap the sailing idea (we have no idea if we're prone to seasickness or not). Will move travel dates to Nov. (don't have to go ON our anniversary - it's a 25th wedding anniversary "trip of a lifetime".) Any more suggestions for an easy-to-reach island suitable for first-timers? Maybe a great AI? Thanks again.....

Penny Sep 16th, 2000 09:45 AM

Hi Linda-Where are you traveling from,it does make a diffence some islands are easier to get to than others. I started reseaching in l992 and have gone to several islamds. Are you looking for flora,white beaches,no crowds etc,price range etc. You will get lots of help and options from this forum.

Louis Sep 16th, 2000 07:53 PM

Novemeber up to Dec. 16 is a good time to go. Rates go up after then. Out of interest I checked fares between Kansas City Mo. and both St. Vincent and Tortola BVI. The RT fare to BVI around $605 on American and it is about $400 more expensive to fly to St. Vincent. It appear that a day flight is possible with to changes to BVI and you can get there in about 9 hrs. As expected flying to St. Vincent is a nightmare. Most likely you will tak a night and most of the next day. Your don't need that on your first trip. The 7 day lover's package at Young Island is around $4,000 and with the 17% tax and service it is $4,680. If you went to the BVI and added the $800 air savings for two you would have $5,480 budget for 7 days for room, meal with service and tax. With this I have three top recommendation for you in the BVI. Each is different and are listed as follows with web addresses. <BR> <BR>Guana Island--- <BR>Biras Creek---- <BR>Peter Island--

Louis Sep 16th, 2000 08:16 PM

I did not mean to post it so soon as I was not finished. <BR> <BR>The site as reviews on both Guana and Biras Creek and perhaps Peter Island. <BR> <BR>Guana is a unique private island that is sort of a nature preserve. It has flora and fauna there that are not found in other nearby islands. It is informal and lovely. <BR> <BR>Biras Creek is a favorite with many including honeymooners. It has the best <BR>dining room in the BVI. It has a Sailaway program that I would recommend for you if you are still interested or if budget is not a major problem you could be taken out without another couple for $750/day for a minimum to two days. The boat is 44 foot which is way larger than those used at Young Island. The sailing area in the BVI is much calmer and you are always in sight of land. You have all kinds of nice stops available. <BR> <BR>Peter Island is owned by Amway Corporation and is more typical of what people from the USA expect in a resort. Many like it very much. <BR> <BR>For our tastes we would choose either Guana Island or Biras Creek. However, you can't go wrong with any of them and I feel certain that it would be a great 25th. There is enough into on the various sites and on Fodors for you to match your tastes. <BR> <BR>I left Little Dix out on Virgin Gorda as I think you might need another $1,000 or so to go there. However, if there is not a budget problem, then check it out also. <BR> <BR>Little Dix Bay -- <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>

Louis Sep 17th, 2000 07:29 AM

Please excuse the typos. I just read my postings.

Linda Sep 18th, 2000 05:12 PM

(Louis - typos forgiven!) Thanks once again to all for all the help. Okay: so I move trip to T'giving-ish for weather (and still okay on budget of $4-5K). New Conde Nast says easiest travel to Turks/Caicos, Antigua, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, USVI, maybe Ambergris Caye. Wish list: beautiful very accessible beach w/palm trees; lush surroundings; air-conditioning (for hubby) in a nice room/suite; privacy, yet availability of socializing (a selection of bars/restaurants?)in the evening; decent food (we appreciate good food but we're not gourmets); very casual (hubby's idea of dressing up is clean shirt w/his overalls); availability of good beer; friendly staff/islanders and sense of safety. As you may sense from wish list, we wouldn't fit in at a posh "dress for dinner" resort; but still want the romance and ambiance that they have. (I'll give up the sailing idea and settle for a day-sail or sunset cruise wherever we end up - more sensible). Any more ideas? Thanks again.....

joan Sep 20th, 2000 03:25 AM

Linda: Conde Nast is wrong re Ambergris. You have to fly into Belize City and HOPE da plane will take you (or the ferry) or you wait til next morning. My sis-in-law goes there frequently and says its a pain. PLEASE go to BVI! You will love it. I'm also surprised Turks & Caicos was on the easy-to-get-to list, however the beach there is supposed to be gorgeous. Try to think like my husband and I do: our vacation begins the moment we lock our front door. We try to bring snacks and good reads and make the actual travel time enjoyable -- such good people watching in airports!

Louis Sep 20th, 2000 08:02 PM

If your hubby requires A/C that does limit a lot of your choices. Many top places depend on the trade winds and ceiling fans. As long as he has a collared sport shirt and a pair of light weight casual pants he can go to most of the top resorts at dinner, especially before high season which is after Dec.16. By the way, you want to covered with light weight cottons at dinner as many places are in the open. You need as much protection from mosquitoes as possible. Your hubby would not be comfortable in overalls as they would be too warm. There are only a few places that might request jackets but I have not been there. Women can wear most anything except shorts and bathing suits. Of the places I mentioned, Biras Creek and Little Dix have A/C rooms plus Caneel Bay, Guana does not. I don't know about Peter Island but it may be too stiff or him as people there are apt to be more conventional. I think Bira Creek may be the place for you both and book it in the first part of November as I think rates go up a little later. It has a lot of varied activities as part of their package that I think you both would like. Also, the Bitter End Yacht Club is in easy walking distance and it is a different world there. The bars there are bound to be fun for him since most there will be boat people dinking beer. Remember, if you want lush growth, you will find things more humid with more mosquitoes. The area around BVI is not as lush as the places near South American. From what you have said, your hubby would not like Young Island and Ambergis Caye is not a place for either of you based on what you have said. I would think that Antigua would be too British for him and I am not that familiar with the Turks and Caicos. The USVI are only a trifle easier to get to than the BVI since they are almost next to each other. <BR> <BR>All inclusive might be a good alternative for you as they cater more to the US market. I have no experience with any of these. Beaches in the Turks and Caicos and Sandals in Jamaica are mentioned a lot. These are more or less fenced in places where you don't have to worry about a lot of things, so I hear. <BR> <BR>You keep asking about a place that is easy to get too but you don't say where your starting point is. That does make a difference. How many hours do you want to spent getting there and how many stops do you want to make. The main carrier is American Airlines with their associate American Eagle. Beyond Puerto Rico and USVI there are few islands where major US carriers have direct schedules from the US.

Penny Sep 21st, 2000 04:08 AM

Hi Louis-once again you are wonderful. I really enjoy your infrmative posts.We like air-cond. too-now Caneel Bay has ac.,they still have fans,so the choice is optioanl.I am curious,you have been to so many islands,what island was you first caribbean visit? Thanks for all your info.

Louis Sep 21st, 2000 11:05 AM

This is for Penny. <BR>Forgetting the Bahamas where I first spent a month on a work related mission, the first island we visited was Cozumel in the Caribbean. The next trip included Caneel Bay, St. John, Little Dix, Virgin Gorda, Dominican Republic, and Haiti. We will always remember our exerience in Haiti and we have two paintings on the wall to remind us of the trip, not primitives but done by a trained Haitian artist. From San Diego of course we stop in Puerto Rico. This list gets very long since we have gone most every year to snorkel in warm waters somewhere in the Pacific or the Caribbean for about 35 years. My favorite island is Guana in the BVI and my wife's is Matangi in Fiji. It is earier and faster for us to get to Fiji or French Polynesia than the Caribbean. <BR>With senior coupons the fare for the two of us RT to San Juan Puerto Rico is only $600 which tends to push us in that direction more often.

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