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whammy
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Joined: 12/12/10
Posts: 1001
Loc: Cape Cod
Another Island next Year?
      #1723456 - 02/18/17 11:20 AM (24.60.209.248)

After 7 wonderful trips to St Maarten, we're wondering about taking a year off and exploring another island next year. Any good suggestions? We spend a few hours a day on the beach, enjoy exploring and a little shopping. We generally eat dinners out. Thanks in advance!

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JohnandBev
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Joined: 05/01/12
Posts: 560
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Re: Another Island next Year? [Re: whammy]
      #1723466 - 02/18/17 12:25 PM (69.157.56.39)

Hope you get some responses, we are considering the same idea. So far interested in Negril or Grenada [ I know, those 2 are very different!]

J&B


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pat
Traveler


Joined: 04/18/01
Posts: 11268
Loc: Brookfield, CT.
Re: Another Island next Year? [Re: JohnandBev]
      #1723474 - 02/18/17 01:51 PM (75.133.113.202)

I was going to offer both Grenada and Barbados as possible options. Both are totally different than St. Maarten/St. Martin and each one is lovely each in their own way.

Both islands drive on the 'other' side if the road but if you can get beyond that, both islands are great and both are on our 'must go back someday' lists.

I don't think you'll find any other island in the Caribbean that has food that equals that of SXM although there are a few island's we've missed so maybe you might, but we found the food on both of these islands to be good though of the two, I think I enjoyed the food in Barbados more than in Grenada.

The people of both islands are very friendly, or such was our experience in all our encounters. Both islands are throwbacks to their earlier heritage and I think we found Barbados to be the more proper of the two - British leanings I guess. No nude beaches although I know it's done, at least on Barbados, but I don't think it's the norm like it is in SXM. Not really sure about topless as we spent most of our time in Grenada on Grande Anse Beach and didn't notice any topless bathers, but this was a few years ago. While in Barbados, we really only frequented Crane Beach and we were generally the only ones there so who knows?!

As far as shopping, I'm not much into it - just not my thing - but I'm sure Bridgetown is good, it's a huge and fairly modern city atmosphere as I recall, and I know there's a huge marketplace in Grenada and I'm sure they have a shopping hub as well.

My favorite activity in new places is exploring and both islands offer a wealth of different things to see, from rocky coastlines complete with the requisite lighthouse, to inland rain forests and mountain lakes and waterfalls. What you see is mostly dependent on how adventurous you are. We drove all over Barbados and it has a wealth of places to explore but we weren't as optimistic/daring on Grenada and chose to go the private tour guide route. I had studied my trusty Fodors before we went to Grenada and our driver took us everywhere we wanted to go including a stop outside his home to view his love pointsettia bushes. It's a truly beautiful island. For that matter, they both are.

One really nice aspect of Grenada, or so we felt, was that the islanders truly liked and appreciated the American visitors and were still appreciative for having been saved from the plans of the would have been evil dictators there who had their own plans for that island destination.

It's been a while, probably fifteen to twenty years, since we vacationed on either island and sadly, the older we get, the easier it is to keep returning to the places we know the best but if the island's are today even remotely what we experienced when there, I can't see how you could miss with either one.

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

pat



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


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LBI2SXM
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Joined: 06/02/08
Posts: 2115
Re: Another Island next Year? [Re: pat]
      #1723479 - 02/18/17 02:31 PM (69.141.55.60)

Curacao! We always manage to visit this island at least once every year or two. Caribbean's best kept secret. I will not even try to compare it with SXM, totally 2 different islands. What Curacao has are friendly islanders, very cosmopolitan with a European vibe. Many Dutch visitors, not many Americans (which is nice in a way). Good food, not really expensive, beautiful beaches with water as clear as gin, great snorkeling and abundant sea life. Beaches not sugar sand type but some coral at waters edge. Best sunsets I have ever seen and did see the "green flash" many times (sans alcohol) LOL. It is a safe island, we never worry but like anywhere we keep up our guard. You will not find 4 to 5 cruise ships in any given day maybe a few per week which is a big plus. Grenada and Barbados are okay but they are not islands I wish to return to.

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pat
Traveler


Joined: 04/18/01
Posts: 11268
Loc: Brookfield, CT.
Re: Another Island next Year? [Re: LBI2SXM]
      #1723482 - 02/18/17 02:43 PM (75.133.113.202)

Curaçao is one Caribbean island we've always meant to see and yet somehow, never gotten around to. But if the green flash is that common there, we might just have to because still, over all our years and all our trips to the Caribbean I've yet to see it and have only heard others describe how beautiful it is. Isn't Curacao also known to be a great destination for both snorkeling and diving? One of these days maybe.....

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

pat



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


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islandgem
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Joined: 01/22/08
Posts: 12419
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: Another Island next Year? [Re: whammy]
      #1723493 - 02/18/17 03:24 PM (174.116.44.201)

Having visited many other islands just last year, I would recommend Nevis, St. Kitts, or Grenada. They all have a great island atmosphere and are not so commerialized. I found Barbados to be disappointing as there are a lot of big highways and seemed to be very busy there now. I love spending the day on the beach and Nevis, St. Kit's and Grenada all fit the bill. You won't find shopping as good as on St. Marten and perhaps the dining is not as good either. It is always nice to try something different, but there is a reason why people keep returning to the island we all love!

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whammy
Traveler


Joined: 12/12/10
Posts: 1001
Loc: Cape Cod
Re: Another Island next Year? [Re: islandgem]
      #1723496 - 02/18/17 03:56 PM (24.60.209.248)

Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I see we have some research to do! :) We'd love to fly direct from Boston, do you have to fly through Aruba to get to Curacao? Nevis and St Kitts have been on our maybe list! Please keep the ideas coming!

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pat
Traveler


Joined: 04/18/01
Posts: 11268
Loc: Brookfield, CT.
Re: Another Island next Year? [Re: islandgem]
      #1723498 - 02/18/17 04:23 PM (75.133.113.202)

Elizabeth,

It's been a while since we vacationed on St. Kitts and while there were some things we loved, like the Fort Brimstone historical site with its incredible views of much of the Caribbean, the thing that stands out most memorably to me is that the beaches weren't remotely as nice as those of SXM, (much nicer than those here in CT, however....) but at the same time, the few beaches we visited on Nevis were gorgeous and you do have the easy convenience of two island's for the price of one. But again, it was so long ago, I can't even recall where we stayed. I do remember the batik factory was interesting and the island itself was very tidy.

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

pat



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


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TravelHat
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Joined: 04/15/14
Posts: 686
Loc: Middle Tennessee
Re: Another Island next Year? [Re: pat]
      #1723516 - 02/18/17 10:05 PM (68.52.42.38)

Martinique is a good place to research. Check it out. Lots of history, exploring, and great resorts.

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phillygirl7
Traveler


Joined: 10/21/09
Posts: 600
Re: Another Island next Year? [Re: TravelHat]
      #1723518 - 02/18/17 11:21 PM (75.100.85.251)

No one ever mentions Virgin Gorda, we were there once on a cruise ship stop, it was pretty, but I don't know much about it.

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