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Guadeloupe or Martinique? #143920
09/19/2017 10:50 AM
09/19/2017 10:50 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 33
Annapolis, Md
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bviicatter Offline OP
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bviicatter  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 33
Annapolis, Md
Hi, we are booked into BVIs October and are being offered a switch to either Guadeloupe or Martinique.

Anyone have any suggestions as to which one? We are experienced bare boaters. BVIs is our Happy Place. Loved St Vincent Grenadines- but prefer BVIs.

Anyone who has been there and done either or both- what is the best choice for the same kind of relaxed bare boat cruising, supermarkets, cruising bars and restaurants?

THANKS!!!

JAM
Annapolis, Md

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Re: Guadeloupe or Martinique? [Re: bviicatter] #143921
09/19/2017 10:52 AM
09/19/2017 10:52 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 694
Portland, ME
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maineskier69 Offline
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maineskier69  Offline
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Joined: May 2005
Posts: 694
Portland, ME
I would take a look at Hurricane Maria's track. Might need another choice.


If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will...
Re: Guadeloupe or Martinique? [Re: maineskier69] #143922
09/19/2017 11:45 AM
09/19/2017 11:45 AM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 106
Denver & Breckenridge, CO
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BreckSailor Offline
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BreckSailor  Offline
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Denver & Breckenridge, CO
Obviously, things could change with hurricane season including today's Maria.

With that said, earlier this year my family sailed from Tortola as far south as Iles des Saintes, spending much time there and up the west coast of Guadeloupe. We absolutely loved Guadeloupe for its great cruising, variety of activities while sailing, culture, diversified beauty, and food. We'd have gone down to Dominica (and possibly on to Martinique), but we needed to turn back north at some point so the Saintes was our southernmost point (before ultimately returning to Tortola).

So, I've not been to Martinique but have heard from many others cruisers that it is fantastic as well. Frankly, my next "normal" week - 2 week (vs 2 months as earlier this year) will likely be cruising between Guadeloupe - Martinique which is very doable (particularly for a 2 week plan).

I should tell you - for perspective - that while I have been chartering and sailing for over 30 years - with a great portion of those in the BVIs (including my own wedding at JVD while sailing) - the BVIs have personally grown out of favor for us as a cruising destination for several reasons. So, I would have picked your destinations as preferential to the BVIs even before the horrible destruction there. (Our trip started and terminated in Tortola only because that is where we had to pick up our catamaran - we prepped the boat there and immediately went south.)

I'm happy to provide more specifics on Guadeloupe in direct contact, if you'd like.

Good luck in your search and trip plans!

Kevin

Re: Guadeloupe or Martinique? [Re: BreckSailor] #143923
09/19/2017 11:59 AM
09/19/2017 11:59 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
I'm not sure either of those will be so good after Maria. Just have to wait and see.

Two comments though.

1. Hope you know French or at least make an effort to learn a little.

2. We stopped at Ilse De Saints in Guadeloupe and loved it. If we have a chance, we'll go back there in a second. And could easily spend a few nights.


Matt
Re: Guadeloupe or Martinique? [Re: maytrix] #143924
09/19/2017 12:39 PM
09/19/2017 12:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 373
dayhiker Offline
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dayhiker  Offline
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Posts: 373
I have been looking into Guadeloupe for maybe 12-18 months or so. I see a 2019 trip there as a strong possibilty

Re: Guadeloupe or Martinique? [Re: dayhiker] #143925
09/19/2017 12:40 PM
09/19/2017 12:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 44
Charleston, SC
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CHS_JDE Offline
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CHS_JDE  Offline
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Charleston, SC
Would it be an option for less experienced bareboaters?

Re: Guadeloupe or Martinique? [Re: CHS_JDE] #143926
09/19/2017 01:06 PM
09/19/2017 01:06 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,889
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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sail445  Offline
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Posts: 2,889
VI,GA,AZ
Guadeloupe is a great island with excellent restaurants.
The only problem now is it was slammed by Maria with Cat 5 winds.
It will probably be awhile before the island is operational.

Re: Guadeloupe or Martinique? [Re: maytrix] #143927
09/19/2017 01:23 PM
09/19/2017 01:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
aarpskier Offline
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aarpskier  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
Quote
maytrix said:

1. Hope you know French or at least make an effort to learn a little.


Our crew of six adults has been chartering in the Caribbean since 1995, visiting most of the islands from the BVI to Grenada during our dozen trips. We visited Martinique, chartering out of St Lucia in 2003 (before Moorings moved out of Marigot Bay). It was our least favorite destination. Scenery was great, but the people (shop keepers, wait staff, etc) were just rude. One of our group was fluent in French, so she did the talking for all of us. It didn't help. We routinely sat in restaurants, ignored for 30 minutes or more before any initial contact. When we finally got some attention, it was brusque and cursory, with no followup. Meanwhile, the French tourists around us were catered to like visiting royalty. Maybe the atmosphere has changed in 14 years. We don't know, because although we have returned to several islands more than once, we will never go back to Martinique.

As an aside, when we were in Alsace-Lorraine in 2015, a local told us that in 2016, the French government was going to distribute a million little cards to teach Parisians how to be nice to tourists. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />

Re: Guadeloupe or Martinique? [Re: aarpskier] #143928
09/19/2017 03:06 PM
09/19/2017 03:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
We found everyone in Isle De Saints to be great and friendly. We didn't spend much time on Guadeloupe itself although we did try to go eat at a restaurant and sat for a good 10 minutes or so before anyone acknowledged us at all. We ended up just walking out..


Matt
Re: Guadeloupe or Martinique? [Re: maytrix] #143929
09/19/2017 04:17 PM
09/19/2017 04:17 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,197
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,197
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Found the "Saintes" folks to be absolutely charming and helpful.Must say they weren't as warm and fuzzy on Martinique when I was there with the Beswicks on "Jeannius" but we didnt experience any rudeness. I was speaking some French..


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