Young Island or Couples Swept Away

Jul 16th, 2003, 07:45 PM
  #1  
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Young Island or Couples Swept Away

My fiance and I are planning a honeymoon for first week in December. Trying to decide between these two locations in the Caribbean. Young Island seems to be at least $1,500 more than SA. Is it worth it? Are there any resort auction sites that might offer a better deal? Thanks for input.
tjnowak is offline  
Jul 16th, 2003, 09:41 PM
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I know nothing about Young Island, but you will not be disappointed at Swept Away. We found it to be the perfect honeymoon spot. What do you want your honeymoon to be like? IOW, what are your qualifiers?

Congratulations on your impending nuptials!
atticus is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 05:55 AM
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Atticus - Thanks for feedback and kind words. I mention Young Island and Swept Away since we're looking for seclusion. Specifically, we like the fact that both offer beach cottages instead of a large hotel. Also we prefer the options of all-inclusive, scuba, etc. Young Island offers a 2 day sail away during the stay which is very enticing. Would like to keep the total cost around $4,000 though.....
tjnowak is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 09:42 AM
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The sailing thing sounds enticing but I think it is hard to beat Swept Away for the money - based on what you are looking for.

We looked very carefully at many high end properties in the Caribbean and couldn't justify the cost of most of them and 17% service charge at all of them. Swept Away fit our needs and our budget and we were very pleased with the value.

Scuba is included at Swept Away and they do a nice job. Diving is not the best in the world in the Jamaica region - but the water is clear, 85 degrees and there is some activity on the reef at several dive sites. We saw rays, turtles, barracuda and tons of other fish.

Good luck with your decision....but I will reassure you that if you do chose Jamaica and Swept Away - you will very much enjoy it.
JohnPH is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 10:25 AM
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Well, I just had my honeymoon at Young Island- and I don't think it can be beat! It is wonderful and totally romantic and secluded. Most importantly, St. Vincent is completely safe and even though we went into the main market in town on Sat. morning- not one person tried to sell us anything or harass us in any way. Jamaica is also physically beautiful- but the extreme poverty and high crime rates definitely affect the experience you have there- if not confine you to the resort. Also, you have to understand that Young Island is a private island that offers a really distinct experience- it is not just another resort- it only has about 25 little cottages. For example, upon our arrival the manager met us at the ferry dock with a bell man to take our bags and a waiter to give us our tropical drinks. The service was impeccable from the first minute we arrived. They even packed us a lunch the day we departed! We went sailing, scuba-ing, snorkeling- it was a terrific trip. I have travelled far and wide- and I really think Young Island is a uniquely romantic and relaxed resort. Check out www.luxurylink.com- they often have auctions and specials for Young Island. Good lucK!
sarajkl is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 11:42 AM
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Yeah, Jamaica has such a bad rep for crime.....last week our driver who took us into Negril for the day left his van unattended, with the engine running for at least 20 min.. (so it would be cool when we got back to it) Crime is so much worse in Jamaica that as we were driving through the environs of Negril there were tourists in bathing suits walking along the road carrying shopping bags and purses.

I was alot more concerned about safety once back in the US. Yes, there is crime in Jamaica, and, no doubt, alot more so than on Young's Island or St. Vincent, but that is no reason to write off Jamaica. I haven't researched it yet, but I doubt that even those two islands have been 100% crime free year-to-year.

Are there places to avoid in Jamaica because of high crime rates? Yes(eg. parts of Kingston). Are there places to avoid in the town here in the US, where I was born and raised, because of the high crime rate, yes.
atticus is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 12:10 PM
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A quick reply to Sara above.

Everyone who commits to a location for their honeymoon seems to believe that that location can't be beat.

I think this person's focus right now is the additional cost of $1500 and whether the Young Island experience can justify that cost.

First, my wife and I would not have made the decision to visit Jamaica if it was unsafe. Kingston, Jamaica is threatening like any big city. But saying Jamaica is unsafe because Kingston is unsafe is like saying there is a threat to safety in Lake Placid because the Bronx is unsafe.

As far as being harassed - it's not an issue. You may be approached a few times - but a nice "no thanks" with "respect" sends them on their way.

I am sure Young Island is very nice - and has it's own character - but I personally do not see the attraction of an island that is a stone's throw from another, larger island.

7 mile beach in Negril is worth the trip in itself.

JohnPH is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 12:37 PM
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I've been to Young Island and I've been to Couples Negril, also Couples Ocho Rios (a long time ago for that one). They don't really compare. Young Island is more intimate and more exotic, and I believe much smaller, with the main island of SV much less touristed than almost any other island in the Caribbean. If it's seclusion you value, then YI is your place. But I must tell you that when we went, others there talked us out of the sailaway option - cramped cabin and queasy sailing was all I had to hear - I couldn't be dragged away from my stone cottage with the outdoor shower, secluded patio, and giant bed! Not to mention the food - although the food at Couples was quite good also.

Have you checked out Luxury Link? I've seen YI on there several times. Be wary, though - low season lasts in the Carib usually til the second week in Dec, so you may be better booking directly with the hotel.
joan is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 05:09 PM
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Hey there--I just wanted to second the suggestion of looking at Luxury Link. They almost always offer a week at Young Island, and I think the price usually hovers around $1800. The last time I checked, Swept Away was much more expensive than that. Granted, the Young Island cost doesm't include alcohol, but it does cover airport transfers and 3 meals a day. (Not sure that the sailaway option is offered in this particular package, though.)

You might want to check out an indepth review with LOTS of pictures at www.scubamom.com. Just follow the Caribbean Gateway link from the homepage. Whatever you decide on, have a great honeymoon!
ejcrowe is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 08:48 PM
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Wherever this young couple visit for their honeymoon will not be regrettable to them. Swept Away was undeniably the most romantic place I have visited...but it WAS my honeymoon.

I am sure that Young Island is at least that and maybe more so. But, if they decide that the cost of Swept Away is less, I guarantee they will never feel like they shorted or cheated themselves. And I am sure the opposite is true, if they decide to do Young Island, I doubt they would then wish they had gone to Swept Away.

There is no wrong choice, it seems. A win/win situation!
atticus is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 05:35 AM
  #11  
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Thanks everyone for the quick and thorough feedback.

EJCROWE - I did look at the Young Island option off Luxurylink.com and you're right, the sail away option is not included. Oh well....

Thanks again and feel free to toss out any other "secluded" options you might think of....

tjnowak is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 06:18 AM
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My wife and I have visited Jamaica on numerous times staying at all of the Grand Lido Resorts and a few Sandals. We really enjoy Braco and Lido Negril but are looking to try something some place new and SA sounds like a good option. One concern I have is the limited evening entertainment. I would like to know if any of the local night spots are within walking distance down the beach, if yes which one's and is the walk safe. Would greatly appreciate any response to my questions.
GVal is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 10:01 AM
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I have stayed at Swept Away twice so obviously I like it. Now that I know Negril better, I stay at the smaller non AI's closer to town and walk everywhere. There is not much nightlife within easy walking distance of Swept Away. Walk as far as you want to walk during the day and check things out - you may see signs for live bands. It is safe walking along the beach at night. You can always walk to a place and then call a cab for the trip back. You may want to take a taxi to the cliffs one night. Everyone hears about Rick's but it is too touristy for me - I suggest drinks at Xtabi or Rockhouse at sunset. When it is closer to your departure time, post on www.negril.com and ask if any of the locals who post there can recommend nightlife for that week. They can also give you recommendations on transportation and you can arrange it ahead of time or call when you arrive at the resort. I have taken many cabs in Negril with no problem. Some place provide free transportation so call first. I would suggest that you do one dinner off site to get a feel for other places. Dinner at Xtabi would be nice. Kuyaba is also nice. I know Kuyaba provides free transports - then you can check out the nightlife from there. If you want authentic Jamaican jerk, try 3 Dives on the cliffs - looks like a shack but great, local food and take in the sunset. Don't forget to try a patty from the patty man on the beach if you see him - they are great! The ladies who sell fruit at the stands along the beach also have homemade banana bread and cookies - great snack.
cartera45 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 11:08 AM
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To Atticus and JohnPH
Look- I didn't recommend Young Island solely because it was where I spent my honeymoon. I have travelled all over the Caribbean and in my opinion- it beat Jamaica and many other islands hands down for a number of reasons- not just the crime. I don't appreciate the sarcasm in the responses- and I don't think anyone does. The reality is that Jamaica has huge unemployment and crime- that is a reality. It doesn't make its beaches any less beautiful or the people less friendly or all areas of the island unsafe- but it is a factor, which I greatly considered. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to go to an island - St. Vincent- which has not yet built up a tourism industry. Who wants to be harassed on vacation? As a young woman- I felt like I was constantly on guard when outside of the resort. Maybe you didn't- but that is your opinion. I spent time at one resort in Jamaica where there were armed guards at night- I just didn't want to deal with that on my honeymoon. That being said- there are lots of great things to be said about Swept Away. But the original poster asked for opinions and that is what I am giving- my educated opinion. Until you have been to both island to compare- I don't think you should be so critical of another persons posting.
sarajkl is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 12:48 PM
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Hey Sara,

Although we researched Young Island as a possibility for our honeymoon - we have not visited the island.

We primary reason we did not choose it because it has an inadequate beach. One of our priorities was a fantastic beach and Negril has that. In fact, 7 mile beach is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. The watersports, beach life and the atmosphere the beach creates was one of our top wishes.

Being on a small island and having the convenience of showering outside was not on our list of priorities. We also did not see the point of getting on another boat to go to an island 100 yards away from St. Vincent.

For some reason you keep coming back to the crime in Jamaica. I would be interested to know if anyone who has visited Negril has had any incidences or problems in that area.

As far as harassment, we had one guy ask us if we wanted to buy some beads. And guess what....we bought some. What a huge problem!!

Thanks for great laugh today - saying that a a tiny little island like Young Island beats the most geographically beautiful island in the Caribbean hands down is very amusing. You obviously have not traveled to the south coast of Jamaica, hiked the mountains, paddles the rivers or swam in any of the gorges with waterfalls running into them.

After all your posts - I'm also feeling fortunate my wife and I made it back home alive - and missed that "huge" Jamaican crime problem.

Keep those educated opinions coming!

JohnPH is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 01:07 PM
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John
It is people like you who ruin this board. Why can't you accept that someone might disagree with your perception/opinion? Facts are facts- Jamaica has high crime- it makes some people uncomfortable to be pressured all of the time by vendors to buy tours, trinkets, food, drugs- you name it. Jamaica clearly DOES have one of the highest crime rates in the Caribbean and about 25% or higher unemployment. Why do you find it necessary to deny these facts?

I am from NYC- I know what crime is. I am a young woman and I am saying that I didn't feel safe in parts of Jamaica and that the armed guards at my resort reiterated that fact. Why are you so defensive? I did love parts of Jamaica but it wouldn't be the first island I would recommend to someone. Relax - you don't have to agree with me- but don't read/post on this board if the only opinion you want to here is your own!
sarajkl is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 03:09 PM
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Sara, neither myself or John have said anything like quips you post, eg. It is people like you who ruin this board....

Get off the high horse. I have not read the first post disparaging Young Island. You should rethink this sensitivity/defensiveness issue. I understand you are from New York and are therfore more paranoid about crime. If you do not feel safe in Jamaica, so be it. Nothng lost there. Other people, like myself, have never had an unsafe moment in Jamaica....not that it can't happen.

Like John said, it is your concentration on the unemployment/crime issue that I find curious. Your original post painted Negril and Jamaica with a broad brush of negativity. Based on my experience there, and other places in the Carribbean, I felt it unfair and offered a different opinion. I never wrote anything close to a personal attack as you have made upon John (and to a lesser extent me).

You do not like Jamaica. Other people love Jamaica. Don't ever go there again, we will and nothing will be any different. Fine and dandy. Thankfully, there are lots and lots of islands to visit. Enjoy one or all of them, but don't let this board (or any other) raise your young blood pressure so. It ain't healthy.

What part of my statement:
"I am sure that Young Island is at least that (equal)and maybe more so. But, if they decide that the cost of Swept Away is less, I guarantee they will never feel like they shorted or cheated themselves. And I am sure the opposite is true, if they decide to do Young Island, I doubt they would then wish they had gone to Swept Away.

There is no wrong choice, it seems. A win/win situation!"

did you not understand?

Irie
A
atticus is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 03:57 PM
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Ahem, back to the question: Yes, you can walk along the 7 mile beach from Swept Away but most of the live music on the beach is further down towards town. If you like to walk, great....I'd take a taxi back though (and that's easy because they all line up in front of the music places). Negotiate a fare before you get in and it's helpful to have exact change (in JA$). I'd pay about $250J ($5) for 2 to get to and from SA to most nightspots, perhaps $400 ($8) to the cliffs.

"Armed guard" sounds pretty scary but if you think about it, there are armed guards all over the US, in hotels, businesses, etc. I wouldn't worry about it. In fact I've never seen an armed guard at a Jamaican resort, security certainly but not armed. The police are armed of course, and highly visible in the tourist areas, and some of them wear uniforms that might be mistaken for a guard's and they may well hang around in front of the big hotels.

In terms of hassle, people in Negril will occasionally approach you to buy things (or more often, simply call out from where they've set up a table or something), as is the case in MoBay and Ocho Rios and probably Runaway Bay by now, there are enough big hotels there.

If you'd like to avoid that "no thanks" routine you can still go to Jamaica, in fact my favorite areas are ones that are even nicer than Negril in terms of geographic beauty (Port Antonio and the area east of it, for instance), and Treasure Beach on the south coast (darker sand beaches but deserted and lovely for swimming), or St. Mary around the Port Maria area (where Noel Coward's home Firefly is).

...or you can get into the vibe of the place and enjoy it...maybe even buy something

We recently returned from 2 weeks in JA and were not approached in those less-touristy areas to buy anything ONCE, not once...because they are the less-visited, less developed areas of the island and people are just working and doing what they do, they are not there to get you to buy stuff. I was approached a few times to talk though, about the war (going on at that time) and other things...I very much enjoyed the opportunity to talk with people about things, to hear their viewpoint and share mine.

Still, in many trips to Jamaica (12 or so), with and without our kids, and only once to an AI resort, (usually we stay in a cottage, villa or small hotel) we've never been the victim of a crime.

Jamaica is a very big island, please don't judge it by it's 3 main tourist towns (or it's big city, Kingston), MOST of the island is nothing like that. Travel around a bit and you'll meet poor Jamiacans, middle class Jamaicans, and rich Jamaicans most of whom have no financial connection to the tourism industry.
liza is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:05 PM
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PS: there was a big crackdown on unlicensed vending in Negril (and MoBay too), if you haven't been in the last 2 years or so, you'd see a big difference now. This lady I like to buy fresh OJ from on the beach had to duck into the trees when the police came by or be arrested for not having a license to sell. Kind of a bummer for them but i must admit even in a week in Negril this spring, I was rarely asked to look at wares on my walks.
liza is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 08:10 PM
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Cool posts Liza. What kind of beach is there in Port Antonio?
atticus is offline  

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