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jimnest
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Joined: 02/13/14
Posts: 1
Caribbean newbie needs help finding destination
      #1566956 - 02/13/14 10:41 AM (173.48.186.20)

I would like to take my family to the Carribean area (I know, its big, that's why I'm posting) for Chistmas holiday 2014. Never been and would appreciate advice on best destinations. We went to Maui and loved it, but too far for this trip, ideally looking for a "mini-Maui" that offers:

Good SCUBA for certified divers, and a chance for non-certified divers to join us
Nice beaches
Reasonably priced
Accomodations with kitchen so we can be self-sufficient
Activities - water and land (sailing, snorkeling, hiking, biking)
NOT looking for luxury accomodations, just a place to sleep.
Good restaurants and shops a plus

Any advice from some experienced caribbean travelers? I'm also open to Dominican, Mexico, etc. but decided to start here.

Thanks!


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toast
Traveler


Joined: 07/19/03
Posts: 1137
Loc: Bucks County, Pa.
Re: Caribbean newbie needs help finding destination [Re: jimnest]
      #1566980 - 02/13/14 11:43 AM (68.81.19.194)

St John USVI would definetely fit your bill, many villas to rent, best from the beach snorkeling and 2/3 of it is national park.

BVI is similar too, but may not be the extent of biking and hiking as you would definetely get in St John. Plus no worries about passports if you do not already have. see destinationstjohn; caribbean villas.com for some choices of vacation homes.

--------------------
Toast.......to Life; White Bay...heaven on earth.
Diane


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Joined: 08/01/00
Posts: 63836
Loc: Central Florida!
Re: Caribbean newbie needs help finding destination [Re: toast]
      #1566983 - 02/13/14 11:50 AM (71.101.47.199)

I agree with St. John as being a great option. The 'fly in the ointment' is the traveling during Christmas. Many or most villas double their rates for Christmas week!!

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pat
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Joined: 04/18/01
Posts: 11322
Loc: Brookfield, CT.
Re: Caribbean newbie needs help finding destination [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1567025 - 02/13/14 02:05 PM (76.252.201.61)

Coupled with the fact the water is a tad chillier at that time of year than the islands further down the chain in the Caribbean, or at least we thought so the year we were there at Christmas, and the breezes were stronger, too, so when you put them both together, I don't know if it would be the best choice for a family water-based Christmas trip. A wonderful place for sure.

I'm thinking anywhere you travel during that time of year the costs will be way up there.

Have you considered Turks and Caicos? I haven't been there myself but my daughter and her family were there around the Christmas holidays and they all loved it - the parents and the kids - twenty-something and a teen-ager. Just another possibility....

--------------------
Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Caribbean newbie needs help finding destination [Re: pat]
      #1567040 - 02/13/14 03:07 PM (71.101.47.199)

Pat--gotta say, if the criteria includes water temperature, T & C is going to be even chillier than St. John...

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NutmegModerator
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Joined: 09/15/01
Posts: 5884
Loc: St. Thomas, USVI
Re: Caribbean newbie needs help finding destination [Re: jimnest]
      #1567096 - 02/13/14 04:57 PM (204.11.157.92)

If you have never been to any island in the Caribbean, I would suggest starting with one that is fairly easy to get to and allows you to do a bit of island hopping. Also, look for condo or villa rentals so you will have a kitchen to keep the food expense down.

One suggestion is St Thomas (cheaper accommodations than St John) but with the ability to visit several other islands. I happen to think the easiest snorkeling and diving are available in the Virgins.

My first Caribbean experience was St Maarten-Saba-St Barts in 12 days. French, Dutch, mountains, flats. You could also put Anguilla in that mix. It has been many years since I was in Cozumel and Cancun, but they had great beaches and snorkeling at one time.

These three areas are kind of entry destinations. You can get a taste and see if you like it.

--------------------
NUTMEG
Today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday.


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pat
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Joined: 04/18/01
Posts: 11322
Loc: Brookfield, CT.
Re: Caribbean newbie needs help finding destination [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1567254 - 02/14/14 08:46 AM (76.252.201.61)

Carol,

You're probably right. I've not been there myself - T&C that is, but having done StJ over the Christmas holidays, we thought the water and the breezes were COLD. And truthfully, since the family just did T&C this year and didn't complain about water temps, as well as my boss and his wife who just returned from two weeks there, I drew the conclusion it was warmer there.

That being the case, if I were the OP, and depending on where they're coming from, St. Maarten/St. Martin might be a great choice for them. It has all they're asking for and it's definitely warmer water temps than StJ, no?

--------------------
Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Joined: 08/01/00
Posts: 63836
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Re: Caribbean newbie needs help finding destination [Re: pat]
      #1567265 - 02/14/14 09:16 AM (71.101.47.199)

T & C is quite a bit NORTH of both St. John and SXM, so in GENERAL, water would be colder there. And as between SXM and St. John, should be about the same. There are always variations, but I am talking about on average.

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sailorjane
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Joined: 01/24/10
Posts: 79
Re: Caribbean newbie needs help finding destination [Re: jimnest]
      #1567277 - 02/14/14 10:02 AM (74.103.117.222)

Agree that both St. Thomas and St. John would meet your needs. Christmas is going to be expensive and St. John is more expensive. The water temps at that time of year are cooler but I would not say they are cold. There can be the Christmas winds but hey they keep the bugs away and make for comfortable sleeping at night. You may want to also consider St. Croix USVI as there is great diving, a variety of accomodations avail, nice beaches, dining, shopping and some hiking. Good luck and have fun planning.

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jphart
Traveler


Joined: 05/23/11
Posts: 709
Loc: JAX
Re: Caribbean newbie needs help finding destination [Re: sailorjane]
      #1567745 - 02/15/14 11:34 PM (66.176.232.238)

Mexico.
Just did it in Playa for xmas 2013, and it was great for a three generation family.


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