First and foremost I see that this is one of your first postings on WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “The Hive”
I have been to both islands… albeit via cruises. We gone snorkelling between the Pitons inSt Lucia, and made 2 trips to Sint Maarten /St Martinwhere we have done the Sightseeing / Shopping thing.
These two islands are VASTLY different…
St Lucia is much more rugged… one of the most mountainous islands in the Caribbean and it is was formed by volcanic action (there are dormant volcanoes on the island).
Because it is soooo mountainous it is difficult to get around here… add in the fact that it is also a rainforest and very tropical and there is a distinct rustic island feel (some would say it fits their ideal description of what a Caribbean Island should be based on fiction or movies… has a real almost deserted in paradise feel to it)
Being so mountainous makes getting around by land difficult… and many a person gets car sick due to the crazy roads. Most of the resorts are along the ocean, and have good dockage facilities… and a good deal of transit is therefore done by water. IF you have a choice… water is the best way to travel.
This island is quite south in the Lesser Antilles… so as I said quite tropical. They get a fair bit of rain and the island is very hot and humid (particularly Spring thru Fall). Therefore best visited in the Winter Months.
Consequently due to the geography…St Luciais not nearly as developed as the flatter islands in the Caribbean. So there is an element of poverty etc. But the island is generally regarded as safe and familiar (it has a British history… and became independent in 1979).
St Lucia has a good collection of All-Inclusive Resorts… including a couple of Sandals properties. You can find Reviews for them on-line (TripAdvisor is a website I highly recommend for finding out info about potential Destinations. TA has Reviews of Accommodations – Restaurants – and Attractions. As well they have Forums … which are like the Boards here on WBee where you can ask Questions and get answers from Destination Experts and Locals who know a place best. I personally won’t make plans to travel any more without consulting TA first)
Wikipedia is also a great source of info for when you are first exploring a Destination.
Wikipedia – St Lucia= http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lucia
As is a Map… I like GOOGLE MAPS because they have so many cool options like GOOGLE EARTH, Satellite View and Street View
And of course most Destinations also have Official Tourism Websites as well.
St Lucia Tourism = http://www.stlucianow.com
Sint Maarten / Saint Martin is an island in the Northern Caribbean. And it is a large commercial island that is jointly owned by The Netherlands and France. Sint Maarten is the Dutch side, andSt Martinis the French side. Both countries get along well. And travelling back and forth between them is no problem.
Both sides of the island are gorgeous… although most Tourists do tend to prefer the French side and the bigger resorts found there (Orient Beach area is world famous). But there are pleasant cities, towns & villages on both sides of the island.
Being Dutch & French, the island is well managed… and relatively safe. English is a second language on both sides… but known by just about everyone.
Being in the northern Caribbean, the weather here is warm to hot… but certainly less humid than in St Lucia. The flat to rolling terrain is easy to navigate. And transportation be it a rental car, bus or taxi is easy to come by and navigate.
The island weather wise is pretty good year round. Although just like the rest of the Caribbean, it can be affected by the Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1 to December 1) so something to take into consideration when making your plan.
As always, Travel Insurance – Health Insurance as well as consulting your Government Travel Advisories and paying heed to any necessary precautions is HIGHLY recommended. So that if an issue does come up, you are protected.
Again you can find out much info about this Destination Islandby taking a look at TripAdvisor, Wikipedia, GOOGLE and the Official Tourism Websites…
Sint Maarten Tourism = http://www.vacationstmaarten.com/
Tourism Saint Martin = http://www.stmartinisland.org/
— — —
All Inclusives are all over the Caribbean. They tend to be most popular and cheaper in islands that have either economic or political issues (as a way to attract tourists). Because otherwise an island doesn’t need to depend on them so greatly to survive.
St Lucia has a lot of All-Inclusives mostly because it isn’t a HUGE island… and perhaps not as wealthy as some of the others… PLUS the geography is a huge challenge there.
High End All-Inclusives are not cheap… but you get what you pay for for the most part. The Reviews on the Internet will bare that out.
When it comes to a Caribbean Vacation a large portion is going to go towards airfare. And the smaller the island the more remote the location the more you are going to pay. Perhaps because you can’t fly their directly… but have to island hop on a smaller plane.
Both St Lucia & Sint Maarten / Saint Martin have international airports… but there are certainly more flights going into and out of the latter than the former… and as I said earlier the island isn’t as far south, so flights will be cheaper.
— — —
Mrs Beanstalk… one of the Blogging Bees here on WBee spent her Honeymoon recently in St Lucia… at the Jalhousie Plantation AI (now known as Sugar Beach)… be sure and check out her Blogs as they are truly an incredible way to see this resort and to view some of the Island (see has several blog entries)
Mrs Beanstalk = http://www.weddingbee.com/author/beanstalk/#axzz2NcSjEYq7
Jalhousie Plantation – SugarBeach= http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/sugarbeach
— — —
In the end as I said in the beginning these Islands are VASTLY different… it will come down to what Interests you have, and your Budget. I have been to both and enjoyed both. And like all Caribbean Islands they have that unique mix of Pampering, Rest & Relaxation, Turquoise Waters, Wonderful Snorkelling, Marvellous Beaches, Warm People, and Cool Drinks & Beer to offer. So it is hard to go wrong. The Caribbean is a great Destination for a Honeymoon !!
Hope this helps,