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all experienced caribbean traveler's please!!

Portland, OR
Level Contributor
24 posts
2 reviews
all experienced caribbean traveler's please!!

Hi all,

Looking to go to Caribb. in May 06. Trying to decide between Grand Cayman, TCI & St. John, (Ive' finally narrowed it down HAHA) Anyway, looking for the vibrant turquoise water/white, white sand. We are newbie's to the Caribbean, so am doing LOT'S of reading, etc.... Any comments, suggestions are soooo helpful, as you all who have been to these places can give honest advice. Is GC really crowded? Good calm water for swim? And what part of 7 mi. beach is the best, Hubby and I are looking to relax and just "hang out" tour around, etc. And last, which island is safest to go to?

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

Louisville, kentucky
Level Contributor
371 posts
1 review
1. Re: all experienced caribbean traveler's please!!


We went to St. John September 2004 and loved it. We flew into St. Thomas and were relieved that we chose to stay on St. John. It is a true "island experience" We stayed at Estate Lindholm which was very quaint. It is a bed and breakfast and the couple that owns it lives on the premises. We ate breakfast on the stone patio that overlooks the bay. www.estatelinholm.com.

There is a book called St. John Off the Beaten Track that we used to choose where to snorkel. We rented a Jeep and explored the island. There are some breathtaking views of beautiful beaches and turquois waters. We had many beaches to ourselves. The water was as calm as a swimming pool and very clear. We were there as hurrican Ivan was leaving and Jeannie came in so we did have two solid days of rain but that is to be expected in Sept.

St. John is very laid back and if you are looking for any nightlife you will need to ferry over to St. Thomas. There are two ferries, one that goes into Red Hook on the east side of St. Thomas which takes 15 minutes and the second ferry which goes into Charlotte Amalie which takes a scenic 45 minutes.

There are plenty of good restaurants on St. John.

If you have any specific questions feel free to ask. We are now planning a "family vacation" and are considering Atlantis [the kids suggestion} Bermuda {my good taste} or the Caymans. I would go back to St. John in a heartbeat but without the teens.

Let me know what you decide

San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
2. Re: all experienced caribbean traveler's please!!

I just got back from Grand Cayman and had a wonderful time there relaxing. They are still recovering from Hurricane Ivan of last year so the island isn't in tip top shape yet. I have gone to the caribbeans once before this to Jamaica and I just have to say that I loved Jamaica more because it was so beautiful, but like I said before, Caymans is still recovering from the hurricane so that's why. It's just too bad that Jamaica isn't as safe as the Caymans because in the Caymans, you don't have to worry about anything; it's very, very safe there. I recommend that you do choose another island than the Caymans because it definitely did not look like paradise to me when I was there a few weeks ago and I highly doubt it will be by the time you go. Either way, you can't go wrong with the Caribbeans, no matter where you go, it will be absolutely beautiful with their turquoise waters and white sand beaches.

Rochester, Michigan
Level Contributor
43 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: all experienced caribbean traveler's please!!

Grand Cayman is a very busy island with lots of things to do. Seven Mile Beach is very pretty but can be crowded, depending on when you go. There is a ton of shopping,sightseeing, etc. I would suggest checking out Little Cayman for a time if you have the time. There are flights from GC which are not very expensive. We were there last year at Christmas, stayed at Little Cayman Beach Resort and absolutely loved it--going back this year! I love Grand Cayman for its vitality, but Little Cayman is SO relaxing! However, if you want nightlife and things to do, Little Cayman is not the place to go. We had good snorkleing at a couple of the beaches there and only went to lunch once outside of the resort. The Island is tiny and there isn't much there but it is beautiful and not at all crowded. Also, it was not affected by Hurricane Ivan so it still has the lush island feel. It all depends on what you are looking for--read through these forums. They give you a very realistic feel for the islands.

George Town, Grand...
Level Contributor
763 posts
43 reviews
4. Re: all experienced caribbean traveler's please!!

to add to the last post.. the Seven Mile Beach area of Grand Cayman is very busy... but if you look beyond that, it is a lot more tranquil, and without the need for an extra flight to get there.... whether you look at Cobalt Coast (in West Bay), Turtle Nest Inn (Bodden Town), The Reef (East End... disclaimer... I run The Reef !).. Cayman Kai etc.... the outer districts definitely have their own appeal too... and lots of beaches and snorkelling where you will most likely will not see another soul !

Greensboro, North...
Level Contributor
13 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: all experienced caribbean traveler's please!!

We have been to St. Thomas, Bahamas, Grand Cayman and St. Maarten...and I must say, we love St. Maarten best. Cayman is absolutely beautiful (pre-Ivan, anyway, haven't been since Ivan) and has many beautiful beaches and some great snorkeling on Seven Mile Beach near the Governor's house. Be prepared to spend some money, because it isn't cheap. St. Maarten is equally beautiful, and we met so many people who now live there and have businesses, whom we keep in contact with. Was there for two weeks and didn't want to leave. Very easy to get around island (rent a car) and so much to do, great dining. Crime rate is very low, but you would apply the same caution there as you do at home, i.e. do not leave any valuables in your car or trunk. Driving around St. Maarten/St. Martin, you go around a bend on a mountain and the view will take your breath away....

Portland, OR
Level Contributor
24 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: all experienced caribbean traveler's please!!

Thanks everyone for the great reports. I love this forum, everyone is always so nice and helpful. Such a lifesaver when planning a trip to a place you have never been, so far away from home.


Tulsa, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
1,652 posts
35 reviews
7. Re: all experienced caribbean traveler's please!!


Mike in Tulsa

Destination Expert
for Curacao
Level Contributor
5,427 posts
147 reviews
8. Re: all experienced caribbean traveler's please!!

I'll be in Grand Cayman Oct 11-16,ooohhhh can't wait.Cancelled my trip to T&C,been reading there is nothing to do there. Cayman has so much,I'll post a trip report when I return.