Come and advise me on The Caribbean. Please.

(29 Posts)
clam Sun 01-Mar-09 16:58:32

Thinking of 2 weeks on one of the islands in the summer. Thoughts? DD is mad keen to swim with dolphins, and DH will get bored after the first week, so would want things to do other than lazing around with a book.
Which are the most beautiful? Which are more reasonably-priced? Any recommendations?

Lulumama Sun 01-Mar-09 16:59:34

i think you need wotzy for this !!

escape Sun 01-Mar-09 17:15:01

Turtle Beach Hotel, Barbados.
Bahamas for dolphins

MrsMattie Sun 01-Mar-09 17:18:51

St Lucia? Good water sports, small enough to hire a car and drive around or take a bus/boat tour for the day. Lots of organised stuff for tourists and the kids, but still quite small and sleepy.

squeaver Sun 01-Mar-09 17:20:52

Not cheap but can definitely recommend Carlisle Bay in Antigua.

Also the Turks and Caicos are nice.

Agree with St Lucia too, although it's long time since I was last there.

scienceteacher Sun 01-Mar-09 17:22:52

What kind of things does your husband like to do to keep him from getting bored?

clam Sun 01-Mar-09 18:33:57

Well, after a few days on a sunbed with a book, he starts getting twitchy. Anything sporty - one or two excursions (although they add to the cost quite significantly), so I s'pose a place where water sparts are on tap included? The trouble with the all-inclusive complexes is that they're often quite self-contained and away from towns....

PestoMonster Tue 03-Mar-09 10:05:23

Clam we went to

Almond Beach Village

The kids club is fab (they can dip in and out of it), the restaurants were good (particularly the adult-only Italian) and the watersports are all included.

My DH & I like taking the catamarans out and the DDs were thrilled by the waterskiing and banana boat. There is even a 9 hole golf course in the grounds.

I don't know about swimming with turtles, but when we were there we took a short boat trip down the coast and swam with turtles. It was absolutely the best thing ever, and cheap!

If you do go, I would also highly recommend the trip on the Atlantis submarine. Very very good. My DH is never that enthusiastic about trips, but he raves about it even now. Says it was the best ever trip he's ever ever done grin

We went with Virgin Holidays, but I guess other operators probably go there. Check out teletext, you can usually get a deal.

Good luck! smile

noddyholder Tue 03-Mar-09 10:06:34

Quick hijack hello pesto!have been house hunting with my parents for 2 weeks in your area Any advice on where to avoid etc Hope you are well xx

PestoMonster Tue 03-Mar-09 10:12:52

Hi Noddy! The best side of the village is the North really. Um, as you know, I'm opposite the Nuffield and it's quite tranquil up here. I don't know what they're after, but
this road is very nice

and close to me!

noddyholder Tue 03-Mar-09 10:16:13

They are a bit new money blush and after a bit of a showstopper!

PestoMonster Tue 03-Mar-09 10:21:14

Have given you

your own thread

apoligises to Clam for hijacking grin

wotzy Wed 04-Mar-09 09:43:35

There are a few dolphin interactive parks, you will find most of these in places like Bahamas, Mexico, Anguilla, Tortola and possibly the Cayman Islands. Funnily enough these are also very popular destinations with the US market, so there may be a reason there.

You won't find interactive parks in Barbados, Antigua or St Lucia for instance, but you can go on boat trips to see marine life, up close and real, but you will see turtles or stingrays instead. Keep off the reefs, swim over them, do not touch them, they die.

I don't like these parks myself, so if you do decide go to a park to swim with dolphins, do it somewhere there is a medical and research facility/institute/university affiliated with the swim with the dolphin program. This way you know you are giving your money to a program that takes care of their animals.

Dolphins and other marine mammals have been displayed in captivity for over a hundred years for the purposes of human entertainment, research and, more recently, for direct physical interactions such as "swim-with-dolphins" programs. While those who have experienced it might say that touching, feeding or swimming with a dolphin is one of the most captivating experiences of their lives, others, including environmental groups such as the UK-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), have expressed grave concerns, supported by scientific studies, about the health of marine mammals in captive facilities.

Most of the Caribbean is about lazing around. If you DH has any interest in excursions to waterfalls, rain forests, snorkeling and swimming, kayaks and hobie cats sailing, I'm sure he'll enjoy it. Many hotels do not offer motorised watersports anymore due to the insurance and maintenance costs. You still get jet skis and other power boat fun and games but normally these are payed for locally and are privately run by the beach operators.

There are many operators offer Almond Beach resorts and there are 2 Almond Resorts in St Lucia. Rex resorts have hotels throughout the Caribbean and offer good value, slightly more basic (more Caribbean) and in my opinion are on lovely beaches, the one is St Lucia is in a great location if you are not on all inc as it is near Rodney Bay village with many bars and restaurants. There are some really nice hotels in Grenada too.

PestoMonster Wed 04-Mar-09 13:50:25

To further Wotz's reply, we have stayed at Rex's too. The one in St Lucia and the one on Grenada and the former one on St Kitts. So if you have any questions about any of these, please feel free to ask. smile

mullercorner Mon 09-Mar-09 08:59:06

Be careful as our Summer isnt briliant time to venture to carribbean -take yr brolly!

Rindercella Mon 09-Mar-09 22:47:10

Agree that the Caribbean is mostly about lazing around doing as little as possible, so maybe not the best choice for your DH. I love Barbados, but it's not the most beautiful island. It also offers much more in the way of gourmet dining than loads of exciting activites. And it's very expensive (especially at the moment as the Bds $ is linked to US$ - actually, I should imagine that is true throughout the Caribbean). Turtle Beach is AI. Haven't stayed there, but looks nice & is just a stroll from St Lawrence Gap, which is where most of the nightlife is on the South (cheaper) coast.

I personally think that the Rex hotels in St Lucia would be a heck of a trek with a small child - transfer from the airport is a good 1.5 hours of bumpy roads. Having said that, the Rex Royal St Lucian is lovely, if a little dated (wouldn't stay in either of the AIs though, however lovely the beach is). Once you get there, the location is great - good beach, and right in Rodney Bay, which has some fab restaurants.

Believe Sept/Oct to be the wettest months in the Caribbean, so if you go July or August you should be safe (and hot!).

PestoMonster Tue 10-Mar-09 11:27:12

I agree with Rindercella about the drive from the airport to the Rex's in St Lucia. My poor dd2 was so sick the whole way (due to winding roads through the banana plantations and stop/start type driving by the mini-van driver. It was one & half hours of misery for her. I wouldn't put her through it again, so we booked a helicopter transfer for the return journey. Much better. Only a 15 minute drive to the airport in Castries and then a jaw-dropping flight over the Pitons to the Hewanorra Airport at Vieux Fort where our Virgin Atlantic plane was waiting on the apron. It was brilliant. Can't recommend highly enough smile

Blackduck Tue 10-Mar-09 11:32:00

St Lucia - wonderful. stayed in an amazing villa (auguset time) does rain but only really briefly (usually eary morning, late evening). Went swimming, snorkeling, diving, visited plantations, more swimming, drove round the island - got to go I'm getting envy

Rindercella Tue 10-Mar-09 11:37:04

Yes, the helicopter transfer back to the airport was amazing! (we couldn't face drive back either) grin

clam Tue 10-Mar-09 19:00:23

Sorry everyone for not acknowledging all this. Been frantic at work. Thanks all, very interesting.

Nezzi Sun 22-Mar-09 14:44:42

Last I heard, the dolphin park thingy in Anguilla had closed down.
It's a beautiful island but a bit of an arse to get to from UK, I don't know how old your DC are but it might be a bit much for them; lots of changes etc. shock prices too. One of the resorts was *$5000 per night* last time I was there!! I've been lots of times but I have family there so almost free for me grin
I'm desperate for some hot sunny weather, I'm very envious!

Alibobster Wed 25-Mar-09 20:39:28

Jamaica is great - helicopter trip round island, climb dunns river falls, visit crocodile fatm where James Bond was filmed

MarsLady Wed 25-Mar-09 20:46:20

If you do decide on Rodney Bay (the Rex is lovely and well priced. They've been decorating and are very proud of their wicker furniture) as you go onto the beach turn LEFT. At the end of the beach is Marie's Fish Shack. Fresh fish, veg and salad prepared every day. She has no menu, just what she's cooking that day. Sometimes she'll do chicken and if you ask nicely in advance (a couple of days) she'll prepare curry goat (yum!) for you. Tell her Trouble Daughter sent you and she'll treat you well. smile

surreylady Wed 25-Mar-09 21:05:38

Grenada is very nice, as is Tobago IMO - can hire a car and drive to see the coves and wildlife, swim the waterfalls etc. Have stayed all Inclusive at Crystal Cove in Barbados - I think it is same group as Turtle Beach - it was on a calm beach with a shoreline reef so tropical fish, and turtles swam around - liked Restaurant as it was Waiter service not buffet which you so often get, room was a suite of two rooms and two bathrooms and lovely sea view - not blown away by Barbados as an island and we did hire a car and travel quite extensively.

SoupDragon Wed 25-Mar-09 21:09:05

St James Club, Antigua. We liked it so much we bought a timeshare.

fuddlepuck Thu 26-Mar-09 20:38:50

Did you have a nice time Mars?

<<wotz that hinding behind fuddlepuck>>

fuddlepuck Thu 26-Mar-09 20:41:38

SoupDragon
Can you tell me what you can use at St James resort if you have a timeshare or, are on room only and not on the all inclusive. Can you use their complimentary watersports, kids club etc? I'm confused - possibly old and confuzzzed.

SoupDragon Fri 27-Mar-09 15:41:02

You can use everything! It's only food & drink which is included in the AI option.

SoupDragon Fri 27-Mar-09 15:41:37

We've never gone all inclusive.

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