Hawaii v. Caribbean for 10 year anniversary?

Aug 28th, 2008, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 18
I would encourage you to try the Caribbean - about the only thing it has in common with Hawaii is that they are both beautiful, tropical and islands... the culture,history and food of the Caribbean is worth experiencing. Yes, the Caribbean is "third worldy" but also has a rich history and culture that is very accessible -- and on most islands you will be in a foreign country which is always fun, anyway.
besozem is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 05:16 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 44
Since you have been to the Hawaiian islands many times over the last ten years I would say try something new.

You will find some many wonderful places throughout the Caribbean and Mexico. I would recommend that you make your decision based on what you like to do while on vacation.

We love the less traveled parts of Hawaii - so we usually rent a house on the beach away from the crowds when we visit. Lately we have been spending our time in the British Virgin Islnds when we visit the Caribbean.
KimberlyO is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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I've also been to both and prefer Hawaii. Maui is my favorite island. And how can you beat whales in the middle of February. Hawaii would be my only choice. I've been there over 10 times and keep coming back because there is no other place I feel so serene. Good luck with your final decision and Happy Anniversary.
Andy12 is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1
The REAL carribean: Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago etc. is VERY different from Hawaii. It is THIRD world. If you want the comforts of Hawaii, you will be disappointed. If you want a different experience, adventure and unique people, see the carribean. If you need American style food you will need all inclusive high end place. If you want romance go to Bora Bora stay in an over water bungalow! It is well worth the time and the expense.
Ljanhowell is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 8
I will be as brief and informative as possible. First, I love Hawaii and would love for my husband and I to live there but I will not be biased - I like all these places. IF you go back to Hawaii would you consider the island of Hawaii? Of course: see the volcanoes - stay a night in Hilo and tour that area. We stayed also on the Kona side and stayed at a very nice remodeled small hotel on the coast right across from a bay FULL of turtles. Didn't know if you want to swim or snorkel but we lived in Australia for some time as teachers and scuba dived there. We found the waters here just as enjoyable (eventhough different) and thoroughly enjoyed the snorkeling. It is the Kona Seaspray (small pool)with totally self contained apartments (very clean and new). For information: www.konaseaspray.com. There was my husband, myself and our good traveling companion and it was a total of $175/night including tax. We have been to all the islands several times but this is just one idea. The north coast of Oahu is also fantastic. Kauai is spectacular - many good sights. On to the next suggestion. If you choose the Cayman Islands: first, the island (vegetation) is NOT at all like Hawaii. It is a relatively flat island without the beauty of Hawaii - the draw is the water - it is a gorgeous torquoise and plenty of snorkeling - the best, believe it or not (if you stay just off shore and not on a boat) is right off the shopping area in town! Be sure and go on a tour to stingray bay - my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it and our friend also (although she was scared at first). The people are very nice and there are small, friendly restaurants all over and it is clean. We stayed at the Turtle Nest Inn which we only later found out is one of the top ten small inns in the Caymans or maybe all of the Caribbean. It is beautiful - see the internet - it REALLY looks like the pictures (even better). turtlenestinn.com
They are very new and very clean small apartment-type units - about 8 total. You can get room AND car for about $879 - $1,299 per week depending on ocean unit or front unit. The pool is so beautiful you will sit out there so you really don't need to spring for the ocean unit if you want to save money. It is a great place if you don't want a typical "hotel". Again, I don't know if you want to go that far but consider it sometime in the future maybe. Closer of course, would be Cancun or Cozumel. Going to an all inclusive there is fine - the town areas my husband and I do not find as interesting as any of the other places people have mentioned - and "yo hablo my bien el espanol" (I speak Spanish well - am actually part Spanish) but I put that last on the list for actual beauty and things to see and water sport, etc. If you are going just to stay in an all-inclusive resort with pool, etc. then I would say fine.
Next: someone mentioned the Virgin Islands. They are beautiful. If you go to St. Thomas there is a lot of shopping - a beautiful bay - I think Magen's Bay??? - and then the boat or ferry over the St. John - the snorkeling is good and the island is very pretty - definitely worth the trip over if you go to the Virgin Islands (only about 15 or 20 min. from St. Thomas). Lastly, if you want to really have a unique adventure go to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. There are specials leaving from L.A. (maybe S.F. also???). Stay on Rarotonga and take at least the day flight or stay a night or 2 in Aitutaki - this is what a tropical island paradise is like. Again, I don't know if you can go that far at this time but definitely put this on your list if you like Hawaii. I only mention this because someone had mentioned going to Bora Bora and/or Tahiti - forget them - go to Rarotonga and Aitutaki if you want "real people" and yet safe and totally something to remember. To end this, after all I have said - you cannot go wrong by choosing Hawaii. If you have not been to Molokai, Kauai, etc. try one of those if you have time. Good luck, Happy Anniversary and I hope this is helpful. Also, in summary: if I had to stay close to (or in) the U.S. I would definitely choose Hawaii over Mexico. If I could choose far away: in order - #1-Rarotonga/Aitutaki #2 Virgin Islands #3-New Zealand - south island #4-Cayman Islands
Then again, there is Puerto Rico... and a million more.
hula is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 741

I liked your comparison.

AND, I looked up the places that you went to in the Cook islands and my jaw is still on the floor! wow!!

I'm counting my FF miles...maybe they will stretch that far!

I too LOVE Hawaii. I want to go back but feel like there is a whole world out there to check out!

I wonder which direction znstravels is leaning??

beachkomer is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 20
Definitely try the islands! I just got back from Hawaii and think in many ways the Carribean has as much if not more to offer. St. John does not have much of the third world issue that the other poster mentioned, but I think the rural nature of some of the islands is interesting.

On St. John we stayed at the Westin Hotel---you could get a upstairs/downstairs villa on the resort for $160/night. I'm sure it is more now but it was a very nice hotel with lots of amenities.

Tortola is a great island and my personal favorite. We googled it and found a fabulous house called Sunset House but it is more house than you need. Try www.areanavillas.com and put in your criteria.

I went to Jamaica last year with a very skeptical attitude and was pleasantly surprised. It was beautiful and the people were so friendly. The villas are very affordable and often come with staff.

Hope you enjoy your stay wherever you may go.

swblouisiana is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 10:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 120
I too am from California and have visited Hawaii many times, and love all the islands, especially Kauai.
However, I have also visited Moorea (Tahiti), New Zealand, Cancun, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Providenciales (Turks and Caicos), Bahamas, Bonaire, Jamaica, and Barbados. Most of these Caribbean trips (and Tahiti) have been for scuba diving - Hawaii (with the possible exception of the Big Island), can't compare to the water clarity, convenience, fish variety, etc. of the Caribbean. That being said, each island is different - dessert (Turks and Caicos), fancy (Cayman), third world hovels outside of luxurious all-inclusive resorts (Jamaica), etc. and most are a lot more "foreign" than Hawaii - different currency, language, foods, etc. Some people would find that more of a reason to visit somewhere, some would like it less. New Zealand is a great sightseeing vacation, but the beaches are not the reason to go that far.
Bottom line - try something different this year!
fb is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 12:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1
I live in Hawaii but my wife and I vacation in the Caribbean. St Barts is small but nice. Many good suggestions in comments below so will not repeat. Make it special and go somewhere different. February is a "rainy" month here so think it best to go elsewhere, unless the rain does not bother you. Bill
bmont is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 06:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
well, count me among the few on this list who have been to both but prefer the Caribbean. I loved Hawai'i and would very much like to return one day, but when I land in the Caribbean, I feel like I've come home. There are more opportunities to get off the beaten path in the Caribbean, I felt, so if that's your thing, by all means go for it. Comparing the cultures, beaches, and ameneties of the two island chains for me was both fruitless and impossible. I love the West Indian flavour of many of the islands, but I also really, really liked the Polynesian and Asian fusion that I saw around Hawai'i, for one example. The Caribbean is, by and large, homophobic, whilst the islands of Hawai'i seemed much more inclusive on that front. Hawai'i seems to specialize in only three types of accommodations: condos, B&Bs, and large beachfront resorts, while the Caribbean seemed to have more range in both price and type of accommodation.

One thing to consider is that February is high season in the Caribbean. Condos aren't widely found, at least not on the islands I tend to prefer, but there are tons of private rental villas that might appeal to you.

If you do decide to go the Caribbean route, please post over on the Caribbean forum at Fodor's and we'll give you tons of suggestions. If you do decide to return to Hawai'i, you'll be in good hands here. Either way, my congratulations for your anniversary!

ejcrowe is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,832
Hello ZNS,

We also were married in Hawaii and have been back since then (Kauai is our favorite!)Our future plans include a trip to Maui in February. We spent our ten year anniversary in Bermuda. Great for us, but too cold in February for you.
We have also been to been to about a dozen Caribbean islands. We loved Jamaica, but some people don't do well with the poverty. Additionally we didn't care for the commercialism in Aruba. We have had 2 marvelous trips to Barbados. So, it really is all about what you like and can or cannot live with.
My favorite place is Palm Island in the Grenadines. Their attention to detail and high level of service was much appreciated. Our cottage was so private and wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed the relaxation and the fine dinning.
Good luck with whatever you choose!
Knowing is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,344
We have been to Hawaii 4 times (been to Oahu, Maui, BI, and Kauai at least twice each) and have also visited the Caribbean (Bermuda -- although not technically the Caribbean --, Aruba, Anguilla, and Turks and Caicos. We love both Hawaii and the Caribbean for different reasons. We are from the East Coast, though, so Hawaii is the farther flight for us. I would suggest looking into Anguilla. It's an amazing island that is calm, peaceful, quiet, and the beaches and restaurants are out of this world...perfect for an anniversary.
beachgirl86 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 741
AWWW, Anguilla is on my "list", I'm a foodie! Did you go to the Blanchard's restaurant?

Thank you for posting your thoughts, can you expand on them a little and tell us what you find different~

Hawaii vs. Caribbean? Thanks!


beachkomer is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 07:16 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,903
We liked Bermuda, St. John, and the BVIS, but loved Hawaii. St. John has some of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen.
volcanogirl is online now  
Aug 31st, 2008, 09:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 45

Thank you all for such wonderful advice! I have been off celebrating my birthday for the past few days. I haven't made any decisions yet...it will definitely come down to a matter of economics. With sincere graditude....and will keep you posted on what I decide!

znstravels is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 741
We will all be sitting here waiting for your decision~!

Happy Birthday!
beachkomer is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Been all over both places for me

www.konavillage.com Big Island

most romantic feel



Caneel Bay

would also be good.
qwovadis is offline  
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