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Old 07-09-2012, 10:23 PM
 
38 posts, read 87,223 times
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I will be going to one of these destinations during the winter months this year. We will be flying with JetBlue, and our options are limited to the following destinations (all prices will be round trip, per person):


-Santo Domingo: $297
-Kingston: $271
-Cancun: $245
-Nassau: $214
-San Juan: $138

I'll be travelling with my sister and her very attractive college friends. I'm a very tall muscular guy and I don't want to get into any trouble as I'm very protective of them. I know, it's not like we're going to the middle east but still, I've heard of the very high crime rates of Saint Croix and the kidnappings and such of college girls in Mexican spring break destinations and some dangerous parts of Jamaica.


Which of these destinations would you recommend? Thanks!
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,536 posts, read 8,122,145 times
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I would say Cancun by a large margin, but not to stay in Cancun. Use it as a jumping off point to see the Mayan Riveria and the Yucatan Peninsula.

Basically I wouldn't recommend staying in any of the places you've listed. Other than Cancun and Nassau the cities have pretty significant crime problems (especially Kingston). However you could fly into any of them and then get a car or taxi out of town to some of the nicer, safer and prettier areas nearby. That said, in Jamaica outside of the resort towns (not just the resorts themselves but the resort towns like Mo Bay and Negril) you would need to watch your back most of the time. I honestly think the safest of all the areas by far is Cancun and the surrounding areas. Check out Playa del Carmen just down the road...great little town!
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,104 posts, read 24,877,263 times
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I would cross Kingston off the list lots of crime not as nice as Ocjo Rios, Negril, Montego Bay
Me...Cancun or Nassau

If the price of Punta Cana in the DR is about the same as Santo Domingo I would add that to the mix of choices
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:24 AM
 
Location: N26.03 W80.11
326 posts, read 827,924 times
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Is there anything specific you're looking to do? More city stuff, nightlife, beaches, all-inclusives, lots of variety? Are you looking for a resort environment or are you looking to be more independent?

I, personally, would choose San Juan. Mainly because of the wide variety of things you can do in and around the city. It's a very historical city as well as having great shopping, casinos, good beaches, golf, sailing, a rainforest about an hour away, fantastic food and the island is small enough (about 100 miles from east to west) that you could rent a car and see a lot of it. Of course, safety should be a concern, but you just have to use your common sense like you would anywhere within the States.

If you have never traveled in the Caribbean, please be aware that there will be frustrations that you may not encounter in your everyday life. Delays, confusion, "island time", language barriers (even in the Bahamas and Jamaica where the language is English) will be the norm.

I've lived and traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and Mexico and whichever place you do end up choosing you'll probably have a very good time as long as you mind your p's and q's and remember that you're the foreigner.

I'd choose Cancun secondly mainly because of what mdp_az said. Don't stay in Cancun unless it's an all inclusive trip you're looking for. Playa del Carmen is great as is Isla Mujeres which is just off the coast of Cancun.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:18 PM
 
Location: La lune et les étoiles
17,611 posts, read 19,031,172 times
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Out of your choices I vote for Nassau. Safe and clean.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:29 PM
 
38 posts, read 87,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp_az View Post
I would say Cancun by a large margin, but not to stay in Cancun. Use it as a jumping off point to see the Mayan Riveria and the Yucatan Peninsula.

Basically I wouldn't recommend staying in any of the places you've listed. Other than Cancun and Nassau the cities have pretty significant crime problems (especially Kingston). However you could fly into any of them and then get a car or taxi out of town to some of the nicer, safer and prettier areas nearby. That said, in Jamaica outside of the resort towns (not just the resorts themselves but the resort towns like Mo Bay and Negril) you would need to watch your back most of the time. I honestly think the safest of all the areas by far is Cancun and the surrounding areas. Check out Playa del Carmen just down the road...great little town!
Thanks for the advice! However, as college students will be attending this trip , we don't really have the money to be "hopping" around mexico. This will be a relatively short trip, not an excursion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
I would cross Kingston off the list lots of crime not as nice as Ocjo Rios, Negril, Montego Bay
Me...Cancun or Nassau

If the price of Punta Cana in the DR is about the same as Santo Domingo I would add that to the mix of choices
Unfortunately, Jetblue doesn't fly to Punta Cana. I have a rewards program with Jetblue, plus I can't stand flying with any other airline. I have heard great things about it though. Have you been? Do you know how it compares to Santo Domingo?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ForTheSea View Post
Is there anything specific you're looking to do? More city stuff, nightlife, beaches, all-inclusives, lots of variety? Are you looking for a resort environment or are you looking to be more independent?

I, personally, would choose San Juan. Mainly because of the wide variety of things you can do in and around the city. It's a very historical city as well as having great shopping, casinos, good beaches, golf, sailing, a rainforest about an hour away, fantastic food and the island is small enough (about 100 miles from east to west) that you could rent a car and see a lot of it. Of course, safety should be a concern, but you just have to use your common sense like you would anywhere within the States.

If you have never traveled in the Caribbean, please be aware that there will be frustrations that you may not encounter in your everyday life. Delays, confusion, "island time", language barriers (even in the Bahamas and Jamaica where the language is English) will be the norm.

I've lived and traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and Mexico and whichever place you do end up choosing you'll probably have a very good time as long as you mind your p's and q's and remember that you're the foreigner.

I'd choose Cancun secondly mainly because of what mdp_az said. Don't stay in Cancun unless it's an all inclusive trip you're looking for. Playa del Carmen is great as is Isla Mujeres which is just off the coast of Cancun.
Thanks a lot for the insight. We would be doing more "collegey" things, like drinking, clubbing, nightlife during the night, and probably renting mopeds and exploring during the day, and going to beaches and snorkeling and stuff like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calipoppy View Post
Out of your choices I vote for Nassau. Safe and clean.
The simplest choice, and the closest to Fort Lauderdale. I think its like an hour flight, and cheap. I'll look into it; thanks.
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,536 posts, read 8,122,145 times
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I found Nassau to be an overpriced cruise ship destination with very little charm. Food there is just as or more expensive than in the States and the quality of the food sucked.

You will find in Mexico, particularly the Mayan Riveria, it is cheap, safe and easy to get around. Rental cars are not overly expensive and the bus system is quite good and very cheap. I think you can take a bus from the Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen for just a few dollars. If you head away from the big resorts and look for some of the places frequented by the locals you'll find some affordable and very tasty food, too. Taxis around town will generally run you a few bucks max.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:52 AM
 
Location: N26.03 W80.11
326 posts, read 827,924 times
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So, it's like a spring break, but in the winter then? Definitely Cancun. You can do all of those things you listed and then some. Most likely with a lot of other people your age. Lots and lots of clubs and bars and Cancun is used to catering to college aged people. If you do want to get away for a little bit then there are plenty of excursions you can take for not a lot of money. I think you would probably get the most for your money here as well.
Even though Cancun is in Mexico as long as you stay within the beach area/resort area just about everyone speaks English and there is a sense of "American-ness" about it. It's also easy to travel around with public transportation and taxis.

Nassau is nice enough, but I think it might be a little boring for what you're looking to do.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,189 posts, read 13,347,698 times
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Nassau's weather is similar to Florida...could be less than warm in the winter!
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:16 AM
 
8,184 posts, read 11,902,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forty six & two View Post
The simplest choice, and the closest to Fort Lauderdale.
Let me throw another suggestion your way. Since you're willing to spend up to $300pp just for airfare, how about taking that money and using it for a Caribbean cruise out of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, or even Port Canaveral (if you're willing to drive 3hrs) instead? When you add up what you'll spend for a hotel and food in addition to the airfare, a cruise could actually turn out to be as cheap if not cheaper, especially if you book "last minute," which in cruise-speak is anything within a month or so of sailing. By taking a cruise you could visit a couple of different islands, plus have free nightly entertainment on the ship itself (other than the cost of your liquor).

For example, I just checked Royal Caribbean and they have "last-minute" four-day cruises in August out of Port Canaveral for $269/pp for an outside view cabin. The cruise goes to Nassau and Coco Cay before returning to Pt. Canaveral.

You can even find some deals that aren't last minute. I just checked Carnival for your time-period and found a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise departing Miami on January 26, 2013 for $369/pp (+$98 taxes/fees) for an inside cabin. This cruise goes to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize City, and Roatan, before returning to Miami.

Just a little something for your consideration.
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