(Closed) Honeymoon – Caribbean Help Needed

posted 7 years ago in Honeymoons
  • poll: Honeymoon Location leaving from Southeast?
    St. Lucia : (24 votes)
    43 %
    Jamaica : (17 votes)
    30 %
    Cayman Islands : (6 votes)
    11 %
    Other (please comment if you choose this) : (9 votes)
    16 %
  • Post # 17
    Member
    23 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    From experience I will tell you that Jamaica is beautiful but dirty in some places. I just got back from a cruise in October, we went to Jamaica, grand cayman and Cozumel. Grand Cayman is beautiful but extremely expensive. I would choose St. Thomas or St. Martin I have been to both and they are lovely. St. Thomas is American owned so it would be a little like the Bahamas. It would be a bit foreign and familiar. Aruba is a beautiful place my parents went there on their honeymoon and loved it oh and plus side its never been hit by a hurricane. 

    Post # 18
    Member
    195 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    Do yourself a favor and check out Couples Resorts in Jamaica. They were highly recommended by our travel agent, and after extensive (you really have no idea how OCD I was about making sure we absolutely picked the best resort in our budget) we decided on Couples Swept Away. All inclusive, adults (technically, Couples) only. And it looks beautiful!

    Post # 20
    Member
    11 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @SavBride:  We decided on Couples Tower Isle in Jamaica. My cousin just did her honeymoon there and she LOVED eveything about it. The country itself is highly impoverished (maybe not so safe), but as long as you stay on the Couples property or go on tours booked through them, you should be fine. We booked our stay through Costco Travel which came to just at $3500 for a full week on the island plus round trip airfare from Houston. 

    Post # 21
    Member
    8686 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I’ve been to Jamaica 21 times and we are going for my bachelorette but I would do St Lucia for my honeymoon.

    Post # 22
    Member
    1293 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2018

    @bretonvirgniia:  What about Sandals La Toc? Did you have the chance to see that resort? It’s the one we are considering.

    Post # 23
    Member
    9950 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    TO @BoxerLady:  we sailed past Sandals La Toc in January when our Cruise Ship was in port in Casteries, and we were aboard a small boat to check out some snorkelling beaneath the Pitons at Jalhousie Plantation Beach (where the Sugar Beach ~ Viceroy Resort is).

    La Toc looked gorgeous set up on the hillside. 

    But be sure and do your homework… because not all Sandals Resorts are created equal !!  (Know what you are getting for your money… not just the Sandals name)

    TripAdvisor is a good source I find for info & Reviews.  Good advice is to throw out the best and the worst that you read.  And look to the Stats more than anything else when comparing places… as that info is static, and consistent… in that it compares the same values for all venues… one against the other (Customer Satisfaction)

    As of today (Saturday ~ March 23, 2013), Sandals La Toc is rated on TA at # 20 out of 62 Hotels & Resorts in St Lucia.  It is a 4 Star Resort (based on Amenities) and gets 4 HOOTS (TA Circles) out of 5 for Customer Satisfaction.  With most Guests who have written a Review on TA giving it an Excellent (1,717) out of 3,159 Total Reviews written as of now.

    TripAdvisor – St Lucia Hotels & Resorts = http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotels-g147342-St_Lucia-Hotels.html

    Hope this helps,

    PS… We LOVED St Lucia (despite it being an island that is a bit rugged / moutainous, rustic and a jungle / rainforest).  We would definitely go back… and would probably stay at an AI.  Sandals looked nice from what we saw from the Dive Boat, as did the resort we were at at Jalhousie Beach.  (The latter has been featured here on WBee with some great Pictures & Videos by Blogging Bee Mrs. Beanstalk… worth checking out if you haven’t already = http://www.weddingbee.com/2013/03/11/honeymoon-planning-tips/#axzz2OPn2BH1c )

     

    Post # 24
    Member
    543 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Puerto Rico!  A jetblue flight to San Juan from Florida is incredibly cheap. Not to mention because it is a US Commonwealth, no passports required! Plus its pretty easy t take a day trip to the the Virgin Islands. I have heard really good things about the W retreat and spa in Vieques…

    Post # 25
    Member
    9950 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    TO @NaijaPuertoDorian:  Puerto Rico is nice (San Juan anyhow… haven’t been anywhere else on the Island)

    BUT it also is a pretty expensive destination from what we experienced, when it came to Hotels, Restaurants etc.

    And airfare wasn’t cheap (Miami to Puerto Rico return was over $ 400 per person with American Airlines, once we tacked on Luggage Costs).

    (I checked into JetBlue for flights to San Juan in June for the OP out of Jacksonville Florida… and pricing was similar… coming in at $ 450 return per person… first suitcase free)

    Blowing close to $ 1000 for 2 people just on airfare is a good chunk of change, before the Honeymoon even gets underway.

    All that said tho…

    Hubby & I did have an amazing time in San Juan… we stayed at the Caribe Hilton and it was very much as wee bit of paradise.  We would certainly go back another time.

     

    Post # 28
    Member
    9950 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    TO @SavBride: We went on a Caribbean Cruise… 7 Nights / 8 Days… and 6 Ports of Call (counting the starting & ending city of San Juan, PR). We booked our cruise directly with the cruise line (as return customers we got preferred rates / offers) and also after doing some research, we also booked our airfare thru the Cruise Line as well (because the prices were competitive… BUT the travel insurance component made it the right thing to do… they would GUARANTEE we’d make the ship flying in and make our connections flying out… OR they’d pay the extra to make it happen)

    As well we bought our Travel Insurance for the Cruise, from the Cruise Line (just the trip insurance portion as we both have Annual Health Insurance coverage from another company… as we are Semi-Retired and travel out of country a lot)

    Don’t know how much travelling you’ve done in the past… so perhaps I’m telling you some things you already know… but just the same, here they are.

    Unless you book directly with your Travel Provider… you are going to pay some sort of “price” if you use a Travel Agent (be that a 3D one or an on-line service company… such as Expedia, Hotwire etc)

    Real Life Travel Agents make their money off of either REAL Mark Ups on Price or Commissions from the companies they sell for… or a combo of both.  So you won’t always get the best deal from a 3D Travel Agent… and chances are they are only going to showcase to you companies that they are getting a kickback / commission from.  So might not be the truly best choice for you (you’ll hear about this often on Travel Websites… I went in to the place to book a stay at All-Inclusive XYZ and they sold me AI TUV)  Do your research yourself on-line… lot of great info out there… ask Questions (like here on WBee as well as over on TripAdvisor’s Forums) and read the various Review Websites (like TripAdvisor, Frommers etc)

    YOU decide what it is you want out of your vacation… not have a Travel Agent sway you to change your mind… they can have good info for sure… but more often than not they are trying to sway you so they’ll make more money.

    On-Line companies like Expedia, Hotwire, Hotels.com, Travelocity, even things like Groupon etc… are all the same thing as a 3D Travel Agent… they just are on-line.  They sell products in bulk, so they can offer better pricing IN SOME CASES (not all…  Again do your research)

    The thing with on-line Travel Companies are they are resellers… middle men if you will.  And many of these companies offer cheaper deals because they are buying in bulk… BUT more importantly you as the Consumer are buying an item AS IS.  In that if you have a problem with the item purchased you have very little recourse (it’s all there in the fine print if you read it)

    So if your flight has issues, or your Hotel room sucks… you are usually told to go back to the Reseller to resolve the problem.  Not a big deal if we are talking one night in a Hotel room (5 Stars for the price of 3… even if it is the worst room in the hotel… the one the Hotel has problems selling as it is next to the noisy elevator) BUT can be a HUGE ISSUE if you are on a week long holiday somewhere… or need to work thru specific Itinerary issues (can’t risk having your flight cancelled… or your being bumped onto another etc)

    The offerings by these companies are great IF you are an easy going travel, with low expectations looking to save some money.  Maybe not so great for a trip of a lifetime or a honeymoon.

    Strangely enough… oftentimes the best deals can be found right from the source… be that a Hotel, Cruise, AI etc.  Check their websites.  Check the competition (theirs as well as the on-line resellers) and price shop.  Don’t be afraid to ask the company what they can do for you as you’ve found a price of XYZ on-line from so-and-so Reseller.  Often the company will meet or beat the price you found.

    The advantage here is if there are any problems… you have more recourse (legal rights).  Be that taking something as minor as getting your Credit Card company to withhold payment or a bigger issue like taking the company to court.

    And if you are looking to book anything… BEFORE you do so, check to see if the company has a Loyalty Program… and enrol in that (its usually FREE and takes 5 minutes on-line to do).  Guests that are Loyalty Members tend to get better service (it is a policy usually for the Company).  So you might get better rates, an upgrade, etc.  And when you check in… be sure and show your Loyalty Card (or mention it) with your Credit Card & ID.  This is when oftentimes the “unseen” perks are given.  In that you’ll get the best available room in a Hotel etc.

    Loyalty Programs aren’t just to earn free air miles / trips… or hotel stays… they can often make for quicker rewards right from the get go.  Besides the stuff that happens when you make a Reservation or Check In… you’ll often get stuff like Late Check Out, Complimentary Newspaper, or maybe some FREE Stuff like FREE Parking, FREE Wifi, FREE Welcome Drink etc.

    And even with just a few uses of your Loyalty Card… there is the opportunity for MORE FREE STUFF as points don’t just equal Trips or Stays… but might be transferable to say a Gas Card, or a Gift Certificate for your favourite Restaurant / Store (and for a lot fewer points than a Trip or Stay would need)

    As well… when you are making bookings for your Honeymoon… or anything else on the trip.  Be sure and tell EVERYONE it is your Honeymoon.  Hotels, Restaurants etc… have the power to grant upgrades and perks to people for special occasions.  It might not happen everytime… but it will happen enough to make it worth your while.

    Hope this helps,

    PS… if you need more info just ask.

     

    Post # 29
    Member
    1131 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I found Jamaica to be very boring and not really safe enough to leave the hotel a lot. I much preferred Dominican Republic 🙂

    Post # 30
    Member
    543 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    @This Time Round:  wow that is insane! My husband and I flew from ft. Lauderdale to san Juan via jetblue for $150 each. But we also went during the off season as far as vacations go. I think going during the off season is what made it so affordable for us. After flights, car rental and hotel,  we paid around 1500. We spent 3k total after excursions and whatnot.

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