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Caribbean - which island?

(16 Posts)
MyAngels Tue 08-Jan-13 10:44:12

Hi all

In the Christmas raffle at work I won enough airmiles for 2 tickets to East Coast USA or Caribbean, so we are planning a family holiday to the Caribbean in April 2014. I'll need to buy 2 extra tickets for the kids (who will be 7 and 4.5 at the time of travel), but haven't been to the Caribbean before so am a bit lost on which island to choose.
Criteria are
- BA must fly there
- have some reasonably easily accessible local colour (towns, restaurants, tropical environment, architeture, history) - ie don't want to be stuck in a hotel miles from anywhere or completely surrounded by other big hotels
- Nice beach
- Hotel with good pool (not too bothered about kids clubs, or all inclusive)

To be honest am clueless...please help narrow down my options!

ResolutelyCheeky Tue 08-Jan-13 12:03:42

Barbados is very popular for the reasons you stated (something to look at do etc). Can recommend Barbados Beach Club for location and lovely beach. Have also stayed at Almond Beach Resort if you want something bigger. You can go all around this island and see something different wherever you are.
Mexico also popular but can be a bit in your face depending on where you go.
Cancun too busy for my liking especially if the American students are on holiday as they like to party.

Grannylipstick Fri 11-Jan-13 21:27:46

Been to a few Caribbean islands. Loved Cuba, we stayed in guardalavaca. Also been to Antigua. Loved that also , especially our trip to Barbuda and Montserrat. Been to Aruba , lovely beach but not much else. Too small for us. I would like to try Grenada

AlwaysOutnumberedNevaOutgunned Fri 11-Jan-13 21:53:44

Grand Cayman is lovely, you can hire a car mega cheap and the island is only about 30m long so easy to get about without getting lost. Sunset House is reasonably priced ( a dive resort but very easygoing just ask if you aren't happy with room or anything and you will get moved) and no beach is far, you can get them to pack a lunch for you then drive up the coast 5 min and lie under a tree drinking beer whilst the kids ocean frolic. Rum point is stunning but a bit of a drive from everything else

i go look at this link whenever i miss it!

You can take a boat trip out to stingray city, there is a turtle farm, loads of good eats, potter about the shops in Georgetown, jeez I miss cayman!

EnglishGirlApproximately Fri 11-Jan-13 22:11:24

Grenada is my favourite, very unspoilt, laid back and truly the best beach I know of. There isn't loads to do but I would be happy to go on a family holiday. Plenty of water sports, a few excursions, really cheap to eat and drink rum punch on the beach grin
I'm not keen on Barbados tbh, it's not Caribbean enough for my taste.
St Lucia is probably the prettiest and is a good mix of beach life, excursions and bars / restaurants. You can go into a volcano, rainforest, visit rum factories and banana plantations. There's something for everyone. I love Grand Turk but not much to do other than beach and water sports. I really love Aruba but it's very expensive in comparison to other islands. It's more of a shopping and nightlife place than the others but kids are well catered for. Just make sure your dates don't clash with the spring break in America because it gets really manic.

Sorry, not really helped to narrow it down have I?! If I had the choice I would be booking Grenada smile

Chewbecca Sun 13-Jan-13 17:42:48

Well congrats on the win.
I hate to put a dampner on it but is it BA air miles you have won?
If so, you will find your options are very limited, they offer very limited number of airmiles seats to popular destinations at popular times (e.g. Caribbean at Easter).
Or do you have the option to go where and when you want or are you limited to air miles seats availability?
I collect air miles and find it incredibly difficult to spend them.

middleagedspread Sun 13-Jan-13 18:05:10

Just to agree with Chewbecca.
We have zillions of BA air miles & can never find any availability in the school hols. Well, not to the destinations that we fancy.
Rather than Carribean/Indian ocean it might be worth looking at US where there are many more flights, although I think you would be lucky to find them over christmas.
I have a feeling that you can only book 365 days in advance so you might need to be online at exactly the right time.
Good luck, though.

Binfullofresolutionsfor10thjan Mon 14-Jan-13 00:11:23

I think BA go to Turks and Caicos too don't they?

St. Vincent have upgraded their airport to more international flights. I loved St Vincent, and sailing around the Grenadines. Beautiful. <sighs>

To be honest, you could fly in to a main Island and get a boat or connection to another island if you wanted a few experiences. I've never been a cruise person but it is very popular to cruise round and take in a lot of Islands. Each had a different personality so it is quite difficult to pick a favorite for someone else.

The best family holiday we had was St Lucia, very lush interesting Island.

I want to go to St. Kitts next though.

MyAngels Mon 14-Jan-13 12:06:04


Thanks for the ideas - I'll definitely look at Grenada and the smaller places - I definitely fancy some of the less commercialised places.

I have won points through BA OnBusiness - which can be used for business trips so I hope there won't be too many restrictions. I don't think they are standard airmiles. Colleagues have used them in Easter and October half term before now with no trouble. But I'll be booking early anyway, as we need to get another couple of tickets.

Ooh, the anticipation...

EnglishGirlApproximately Mon 14-Jan-13 13:02:17

I will be envy if you go to Grenada. Lucky thing!

strandednomore Mon 14-Jan-13 14:29:45

Just be aware that if they are air miles you will still have to pay tax, which means the tickets will be almost as much as normal. This is why we have zillions of the things which we have yet to use....
Otherwise I would recommend Jamaica or Florida.

JoanByers Mon 14-Jan-13 14:32:19

I think you need to be careful with this.

They are OnBusiness miles, which means you pay taxes and surcharges, which will be about £250-£300 per return ticket to the Caribbean or US.

This is the same as the normal BA miles, with the exception that availability is MUCH better.

But you still have to pay the £££.

It's generally considered better to upgrade with miles, but you won't have enough to upgrade from WT+ to CW, and you can't upgrade from WT to CW (only one class upgrade).

If it was just the two of you then it would make sense to book flights at peak times, but as you have to pay for two further flights, that's not really such a good idea.

Here's some ideas:

Grenada, in early December

PassengerFareTaxes, fees and carrier charges per personTotal price**
Adult£ 326.00£ 341.11 £ 667.11
Child £ 244.00£ 341.11 £585.11

So you pay
£341.11 * 4
+ £244 * 2
= £1852.44

compared with £2504.44

which is a saving of around 26%

While this is reasonable it is not exactly free flights.

We went to Grenada 5 years ago and paid £635, total for 2 adults, 1 child and 1 infant. The airline in question went bust shortly afterwards, but not while we were on it thankfully...

Grenada is lovely but expensive, we went to a restaurant there that was previously in London, the owner said he charged much higher prices in Grenada than he had in London because the rents were so much higher.

You can ask here:

for ideas about how to make good use of your points.

It may be possible for you to sell them.

LizaTarbucksAuntie Mon 14-Jan-13 14:41:09

I loved St Lucia, stunning place, lovely people we were really wll looked after.

strandednomore Mon 14-Jan-13 14:45:14

The Caribbean is expensive unfortunately. St Lucia is ok but not much culture. And the food isn't that great either.

Fluffy1234 Tue 15-Jan-13 16:44:26

I took my DC to St. Lucia when they were a bit older than yours and had a fab holiday. We stayed in two places and did a trip in a gondola through the rain forest and went on a Pirates of the Caribbean style boat and visited the Pitons and a plantation and a volcano and Marigot bay which is gorgeous. So much to do and so beautiful.

givemeaclue Wed 16-Jan-13 13:43:29

Love st Lucia, Grenada, Antigua, Barbados.

Perhaps see what the prices are like?

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