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St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

Massachusetts
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41 posts
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St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

Hey all,

We (13yr old son, 10mo old daughter, prego wife, and I) are trying to figure out what will be the best destination for us in February. 

Looking for a great beach, pools, family oriented property. Trying to decide between the marriotts on st thomas and grand cayman, or the hilton in montego bay. 

We will likely go into tow a bit, but will most likely stay at property most of time. If we do end up doing st thomas we may head to st john for a night or two. 

Any thoughts / recommendations you may have would be greatly appreciated!

Powell, Ohio
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159 posts
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1. Re: St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

Cayman. Mobay scares me St. Thomas is ho-hum.

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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2. Re: St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

Ditto

Knoxville, Tennessee
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3. Re: St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

There's a reason the vast majority of properties in Jamaica are AI's - traveling outside of a resort on your own isn't the best idea in most cases. St. Thomas is too commercialized, is overrun by cruise ship passengers on most days as stopping there allows passengers to increase their duty-free allowance since it is a US protectorate. St. John will be much nicer, less crowded, great beach (Trunk Bay) and far less commercialized since most of the island is a National Park. It will not offer you the wide variety of restaurants that you will find on GC nor the unique experience of Stingray City, though snorkeling at Buck Island off of St. John is nice.

Trophy Club, Texas
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for Cayman Islands
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4. Re: St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

You'll have to be a really, really good swimmer to snorkel Buck Island from STJ, as it is off the coast of STX. :)

Ohio
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for Cruz Bay
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5. Re: St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

Buck Island is off of St Croix. You cannot get there from St John without flying out of St Thomas and into St Croix. Then catamran to Buck Island. Not exactly a day trip. St John does have great snorkeling though just off most of the numerous beaches.

There are plenty of restaurants on St John in every price range, but not a single fast food joint. YAY!!!

Knoxville, Tennessee
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6. Re: St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

Yep, got my USVI islands mixed up. Maybe a little too much New Year's celebration!

Massachusetts
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for East End, Grand Cayman
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915 posts
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7. Re: St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

"You'll have to be a really, really good swimmer to snorkel Buck Island from STJ, as it is off the coast of STX."

Yet more lunchtime laps in the YMCA pool...sigh...

Eastern US
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3 posts
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8. Re: St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

St Thomas was nice place to go to. The terrain is markedly different. Lots of hills on St thomas. The open air, converted truck taxi ride was scary at times on St thomas hills/mountains. Not enough guard rails.

Maagens bay is a nice stretch of beach.

I liked atmoshpere and beaches on St John.

Marriott on Cayman has an artificial reef very close to shore for snorkeling.

It also has buffets twice a week.

Though there has been a small increase in crime in Cayman from my first visit 10 years ago, I feel safer in Cayman.

I would recommend Cayman over St thomas. You can visit Rum point with the baby and sit in the water without any fear of waves knocking you over.

The water is very shallow there.

At the marriott on cayman, you can walk to your hearts content north on a continuous sandy beach,

Mountville...
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9. Re: St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

Does anyone know of an affordable way to get from St. Thomas to Jamaica? By boat or air!

PA
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10. Re: St. Thomas / Grand Cayman / Jamaica?

I'm in agreement with the others....have been to all three and St. Thomas is largely about shopping deals...and some beautiful ocean views....Jamaica is darn frightening on your own...we did ONCE only and were offered drugs by a cab driver and when we stopped at the Craft Market, several of the vendors kept trying to separate my husband and I....this was shortly after that one female travel agent went "missing" there and so we hurriedly left the market....the returning cabbie said he had no change from a $20 bill for a short cab ride, and wanted to cheat us out of all the change. Cayman, on the other hand, has some of the best snorkeling and beaches and restaurants and people you'll find. :)

Celine