Travel

Caribbean all inclusive recommendations - many islands to choose from

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 28th, 2018 4:32 pm
[OP]
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May 23, 2017
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Caribbean all inclusive recommendations - many islands to choose from

So the wife and I are looking to go on a 7 day trip to one of the following islands...

Aruba
Bahamas
Bermuda
Cayman Islands
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Jamaica
Turks and Caicos Islands

My wife is just getting her PR and we are looking for a place that she can go without a visa, which is the above places. We are looking to spend around $3000 - $4000 on the trip for both of us and are looking to go in april.

I am not sure about the rainy seasons on those islands but I hear aruba is nice all the time. I would be looking for all inclusive as we just want to relax, this is our first vacation in years.

Thanks
22 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2594 posts
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Mississauga, ON
Bermuda is not in the Caribbean.

Cayman Islands and Turks have very few all inclusives- much better destination to go without all inclusive.

Costa Rica I wouldn't do all inclusive- rent a car and see the country. To plant yourself at an all inclusive would be like going to Rome and just sitting at your hotel.

Aruba, Jamaica and DR (Punta Cana) would be a better fit for all inclusive.

It's also not rainy season in any of these places.
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2003
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Nunavut
riseagainstthemachine wrote: So the wife and I are looking to go on a 7 day trip to one of the following islands...

Aruba
Bahamas
Bermuda
Cayman Islands
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Jamaica
Turks and Caicos Islands

My wife is just getting her PR and we are looking for a place that she can go without a visa, which is the above places. We are looking to spend around $3000 - $4000 on the trip for both of us and are looking to go in april.

I am not sure about the rainy seasons on those islands but I hear aruba is nice all the time. I would be looking for all inclusive as we just want to relax, this is our first vacation in years.

Thanks
With the travel websites it's pretty easy to search and compare prices, have you done that yet?

I'm pretty sure once you do it will rule out a few of those islands based on your budget alone and lack of all inclusive hotels, depending on the star level you are comfortable with, but I always go with a min 4 star

For April you shouldn't have to worry about rainy season
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
16543 posts
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Eastern Ontario
riseagainstthemachine wrote: So the wife and I are looking to go on a 7 day trip to one of the following islands...

Aruba
Bahamas
Bermuda
Cayman Islands
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Jamaica
Turks and Caicos Islands

My wife is just getting her PR and we are looking for a place that she can go without a visa, which is the above places. We are looking to spend around $3000 - $4000 on the trip for both of us and are looking to go in april.

I am not sure about the rainy seasons on those islands but I hear aruba is nice all the time. I would be looking for all inclusive as we just want to relax, this is our first vacation in years.

Thanks
Like your list... except for the DR & Jamaica... too many issues on those Islands for my likeing ... political - economic - health - safety... but the tempting trade off for many is they are relatively CHEAP to go to (for me as a season traveller, cheap usually means if you do your homework, and scratch the surface it quickly becomes apparent that cheap is not always better, and comes as a result of something else... ie health & safety )

https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

Until things change, we won’t be going back to either DR or Jamaica

Rainy Season in the Caribbean corresponds with Summer / Fall & Hurricane Season (June 1st thru November 30th)... so weather wise no worries.

April is a fabulous month... fantastic weather, and a nice time to travel from Canada and get over the last hump of Late Winter weather here.

Prices are usually good, as it is not Mid Winter, but more of a shoulder season.

Even Bahamas which can be unpredictable in the coldest months (when the jet stream dips low), is AWESOME in April.

Bermuda is a star in April... one of their best months all year ... ya not technically in the Caribbean (as in Caribbean Sea) but we get what you meant.

Aruba is your farthest destination... in the ABC Islands of the Netherlands off of South America... so cause of flying distance, and guaranteed amazing weather all year round (its climate is arid desert) and progressive politics / economy (1st world Destination) it is not a cheap place.

We have been to many / most of the islands on your list. And agree with the Reply by @BrunetteGirl as they are mostly safe destinations you really don’t have to be looking at AIs at all (AIs are most popular in countries that HAVE ISSUES... the more issues = the more AIs). You can be looking at a wider variety of choices ... either thru buying a Vacation Pkg (ie AC Vacations / WestJet Vacations etc) or creating your own via Hotels, Motels, Homestays, B&Bs, Vacation Rentals etc. Lots of money to be saved with some reasearch & planning going the DIY route
Last edited by PointsHubby on Feb 21st, 2018 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
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May 23, 2017
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ummm. I am totally rethinking this now after going through that link above, seems like the risk of zika virus is pretty big in all of those places and my wife and I are planning on trying to start a family soon. I don't think its worth the risk.
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
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Mississauga, ON
riseagainstthemachine wrote: ummm. I am totally rethinking this now after going through that link above, seems like the risk of zika virus is pretty big in all of those places and my wife and I are planning on trying to start a family soon. I don't think its worth the risk.
There are some places then others that are worse/better for Zika. To be really safe you would have to wait 6 months when you get back.

I travel to these areas all the time for work. My employer gives us Zika testing on request. I have had at least 6-8 tests done and so have my colleagues. None of us have Zika.
Sr. Member
Nov 3, 2002
972 posts
93 upvotes
Riviera Maya in mexico has some beautiful AI adult only resorts.

Great food, drinks and relaxation.

But I see mexico was not on your list.
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May 25, 2009
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I wouldn't recommend the Bahamas. It is a pretty awful place with considerable crime.

If you can find something in your price range in Cayman that would be my chouce. But consider that everything in Cayman is expensive so if you plan to do anything off resort it will cost a lot.

Turks would be my second choice and I think they have some really nice Sandals/Beaches resorts there but I'm not sure that those places will hit your $4000 budget.
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Feb 7, 2017
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calgaryhhr wrote: I wouldn't recommend the Bahamas. It is a pretty awful place with considerable crime.
Hmmm... sounds like you’ve only been to 2 Islands / places (Nassau & Freeport = https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/bahamas )

When in fact there are more than 700 Islands

There are some great spots once ya get away from the maddening crowds
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Jan 4, 2007
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Drop domincan.. played out...too busy and beaches are poor.

I'd pick Cayman(u have to go non ai) ..then Turks then Aruba then Roatan. (One of my favs)
Bahamas are great..id skip Nassau..but exuma is amazing or one of the smaller islands.

P.s I've been to most of the islands in the carribean.
Jr. Member
Dec 16, 2010
141 posts
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Toronto
If Zika is a concern both the Caymans and Bahamas are Zika free for now. It's "interrupted", with no new cases for over 6 months. If you wait another month or more to book another island may also hit the threshold to go into interrupted status. We're in a similar situation, we do Hawaii to avoid Zika, but want to do an all inclusive next so we're closely following the situation.
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May 25, 2009
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PointsHubby wrote: Hmmm... sounds like you’ve only been to 2 Islands / places (Nassau & Freeport = https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/bahamas )

When in fact there are more than 700 Islands

There are some great spots once ya get away from the maddening crowds
When you consider more affordable resorts and want options in the Bahamas you are essentially limited to New Providence and Grand Bahama. The smaller and outer island resorts get pretty ridiculous in price and exclusive.
Member
Mar 24, 2008
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Halifax
Only two AIs in Turks & Caicos: Beaches and Club Med. But given how good the non-AI accommodation options are, and considering the quality and variety of restaurants on Providenciales, I think it's a great option (and more realistic, price-wise) to look at a regular resort.
Newbie
Jul 18, 2012
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BRAMPTON
I'm pretty much in the same boat as you OP. We've never done a non all-inclusive resort and are looking for another place for our 10 year anniversary. We've decided not to go to Mexico or DR because we've been there a few times and Cuba because of the food. Have you looked at St. Lucia? Looks pretty nice.
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May 25, 2009
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Gamblors wrote: I'm pretty much in the same boat as you OP. We've never done a non all-inclusive resort and are looking for another place for our 10 year anniversary. We've decided not to go to Mexico or DR because we've been there a few times and Cuba because of the food. Have you looked at St. Lucia? Looks pretty nice.
Have you considered a cruise? It is pretty similar to an AI but at sea instead of on land. I actually think that cruises are better than AI because the food is usually better.
Newbie
Jul 18, 2012
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BRAMPTON
We've never really considered a cruise for just the two of us. The only cruise we plan on doing is the Disney cruise next year with the kids. We want to just relax and do nothing. I assumed that cruises were busy port to port.
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Feb 7, 2017
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calgaryhhr wrote:
Have you considered a cruise? It is pretty similar to an AI but at sea instead of on land. I actually think that cruises are better than AI because the food is usually better.
Modern cruising is indeed becoming more and more of an AI experience. Now that so many of them have introduced Beverage Pkgs.

Our favourite for couples is Celebrity with their Big, Better, Best AI Pkgs
(we usually pick Better, and choose the Beverage Pkg & Gratuites
Foregoing the Internet Pkg, putting tech aside ... cause wifi service is pretty awful at sea
And it gives us just one more excuse to relax and unwind / disconnect)
Gamblors wrote: We've never really considered a cruise for just the two of us. The only cruise we plan on doing is the Disney cruise next year with the kids. We want to just relax and do nothing. I assumed that cruises were busy port to port.
Cruises are as busy or not busy as you choose them to be. Sure you can book a cruise with a port everyday (Southern Caribbean Islands) or choose one that has a lot of Sea Days ... perfect for relaxing.

Heck we even have been known to go on cruises where we opt rarely to get off the ship at all... when it’s itinerary goes to Islands we’ve been to several times before... nice having what feels like the whole ship to ourselves on Port Days. Plus if you just get on and off at the port for a quick look see (lol buy the required souvenir) then you aren’t spending oodles of money away from the ship... which is the AI Vacation you already paid for Smiling Face With Sunglasses
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Gamblors wrote: We've never really considered a cruise for just the two of us. The only cruise we plan on doing is the Disney cruise next year with the kids. We want to just relax and do nothing. I assumed that cruises were busy port to port.
I don't find cruising to br very busy. It has already been mentioned but you can do as much or as little as you want on a port day. Most ports are a short distance from some decent beaches so you can get off the ship, walk to the beach and lay on the sand all day. Or you can stay on the ship and lounge at the pool or in the spa.

Sea days can be a bit hectic especially on the bigger ships. People are always fighting over pool side loungers and stuff.

I actually like cruises better than AI resorts now because I find they have more activities, better food and better facilities for kids.
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Mar 8, 2002
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You left out St. Lucia ;)
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Jr. Member
Oct 18, 2014
152 posts
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Toronto, ON
Just curious. Why all inclusive? What is it that you like from all inclusive and not like ?
I went to mexico for all inclusive and was great but not so much in DR same chain resort but everyrhong was different. Reallly disappointing

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