Originally Posted by jdl xstar
Old thread but I have same questions for a Summer vacation... Looking at places in the carribean. I prefer all inclusive but doesn't have to be if the price is right and there are good restaurant options near hotel.. The Sandals in St. Lucia - the big Sandals there, not sure of the name, has caught my eye. Anyone ever been?
One thing I love is Caribbean island travel (and other international destinations). That being said, I’ve been to Maui, Cozumel 8-9x, Jamaica 2x, Grand Cayman 2x, Punta Cana, Puerto Rico 2x, Cancun 3x, Bahamas 2x, Mallorca, and all over Spain and Israel.
As far as the A/I resorts, I have been to Breezes and Royal Decameron in Runaway Bay in Jamaica, The Allegro in Cozumel 2x, two Palace resorts in Cancun, and the NOW Lorimar in Punta Cana. Some of these resorts were 3 star, some 5 star...
I just got back from Ambergeris Caye in Belize and that was not A/I... I had a privately owned condo I rented for 10 days and it had a full kitchen in it.
Simply put, all I can say is, the food and drink at the A/Is suck... Just plain suck...
My suggestion is that you find where you want to go, get on www.vrbo.com
and find an affordable condo rental and go a-la-carte. You can buy local beers and liquors and make your own drinks just as easy and BETTER IMO. I’m not one of those that eat a full American breakfast each day, so a trip to the local convenience store for cereal, milk, OJ, water, fruits and snacks is just fine, plus I eat in privacy in my own room if I so desire.
If you’re a scuba diver, there is no better bang for your buck than Cozumel. However, I will say the fact that I was able to scuba with 10 ft sharks and see dolphins and whales on my trip the The Great Blue Hole was freaking AMAZING... Plus on my last dive I was actually able to touch a spotted eagle ray.
If you want gorgeous beach, this is my top list in order of beautiful beaches in order of preference:
1. 7 Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
3. Wailea, Hawaii
4. Mallorca, Spain
5. Lucillo Beach, Puerto Rico
6. Tiberias, Israel
If you want awesome scuba, I suggest Cozumel, Ambergris Caye and Maui.
Re: Waterskiing vacations, IIRC, Gordon Rathburns only sold week long packages, and it was not cheap. I know personally, I can not ski 2 sets per day in a slalom course. By day three, I would need hand and back replacement surgery... So all that skiing money I paid for would go to waste. Also, if you’re thinking house boating vacations on Lake Powell, I’ve done it and I hated it. Too much work for a vacation – I just want to relax... Plus the waterskiing really sucked there, my .02 cents.