Honeymoon Discussions

Need recommendations for all-inclusive, Caribbean honeymoon!

goblue111315goblue111315 member
5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
edited March 2015 in Honeymoon Discussions
We're looking to go on a honeymoon in December, 2015, preferably the week before or the week after Christmas (whichever is cheaper).  FI is a student, and that's when he'll have time off.  I've been doing a lot of looking, but it's all so overwhelming!  We seem to have St. Lucia stuck in our minds, but I'm pretty sure that's from watching too much Bachelor (they seem to go there a lot, and it always looks so romantic)!  Unfortunately for us, St. Lucia seems to be on the higher end of the Caribbean prices.  I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations; here is our wishlist:

 - All-inclusive
 - Adults only (would like a "younger" feel, but not a requirement)
 - Good food and non-watery alcoholic beverages ;)
 - Nearby excursions (but where we still feel safe)
 - Budget $2500 (could probably swing $3000)
 - Nice beach

Any suggestions?  Thanks!

ETA: We're planning for a week, and will be flying from Detroit.

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Re: Need recommendations for all-inclusive, Caribbean honeymoon!

  • edited March 2015

    You will absolutely have to travel the week before Christmas with your proposed budget. the resorts charge a hefty premium for holiday travel (Christmas/NYE)and often have minimum stay requirements.

     

    Check out the Secrets properties in Punta Cana, Jamaica, or the Riviera Maya/Cancun area. You'll probably be limited to 4-5 nights, unless you rethink your wish list.

    ETA: Also check out Breathless Punta Cana. It's a younger vibe.

     







  • Another vote for Secrets. That's where we went for our HM (Secrets Maroma) and loved it! They had amazing food, although the drinks weren't very strong. I doubt you'll find any all-inclusive with "strong drinks". But you can easily order a drink with an extra shot and mix it yourself.

    Depending on what kind of atmosphere you're looking for, our travel agent told us that Secrets is more for couples that keep to themselves (more focus on a romantic atmosphere), whereas at Sandals, people are willing to meet/hang-out/converse with other couples more freely. Although I can't say that for sure since we've never been to a Sandals resort.


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  • Another vote for Secrets. That's where we went for our HM (Secrets Maroma) and loved it! They had amazing food, although the drinks weren't very strong. I doubt you'll find any all-inclusive with "strong drinks". But you can easily order a drink with an extra shot and mix it yourself.

    Depending on what kind of atmosphere you're looking for, our travel agent told us that Secrets is more for couples that keep to themselves (more focus on a romantic atmosphere), whereas at Sandals, people are willing to meet/hang-out/converse with other couples more freely. Although I can't say that for sure since we've never been to a Sandals resort.

    The bolded is absolutely true of Secrets Maroma. But, I've also been to Secrets Silversands and it's way more active and lively with people chit chatting. Plus, Sandals is truly couples only, whereas Secrets is adults only. So, you will find non-couples traveling to some Secrets properties.

     







  • Jells2dot0 said, check out Breathless in Punta Cana. We went last June (that's where we got engaged!) and it was really nice. Its adults only but not all couples, definitely a young, fun vibe. And I'm betting much more affordable than Secrets. We're doing Secret Maroma for our HM & it is double your budget for the week including flights 
  • Thanks for the suggestions!  Sounds like we may have to rethink some things!  And I was (sort of) joking about the watery beverages!  Wouldn't be a dealbreaker ;)  We'll be looking into Secrets resorts and Breathless.

    Do you all think talking to a travel agent may be useful in this situation?  Don't know why that didn't really occur to me until now...

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  • If you don't travel very much and don't have a good idea of where to go, then a human travel agent is a good option. In most cases (not all) a human agent is a good option just because you have a single point of contact to assist you with everything before, during, and after the trip. Plus, there is the customer service aspect that you don't get from an online agency.

     







  • I've booked my first all inclusive vacation through cheapcaribbean.com.  I liked that site because it provides lots of pictures and reviews. It was super easy and I was able to arrange for airport transfer and some excursions during the booking process. After that I booked through hotels.com because they offered a discount for booking flight and hotel together. Totally not necessary to book with a travel agent. I would look up what kind of perks the resorts you are interested in offers for couples on their honeymoon.  And of course bring a copy of your marriage certificate.
  • haleyk620haleyk620 member
    First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited March 2015

    You will absolutely have to travel the week before Christmas with your proposed budget. the resorts charge a hefty premium for holiday travel (Christmas/NYE)and often have minimum stay requirements.

     

    Check out the Secrets properties in Punta Cana, Jamaica, or the Riviera Maya/Cancun area. You'll probably be limited to 4-5 nights, unless you rethink your wish list.

    ETA: Also check out Breathless Punta Cana. It's a younger vibe.

    My FI and I just booked a trip to Secrets Royal Beach in Punta Cana, and we booked through Apple Vacations (I cannot say enough good things about all of the people we spoke with that answered our countless questions before booking).

    We are traveling the last week of June and are staying for seven nights. It cost us $4,201 (includes all-inclusive hotel accommodations, flights and cash back vacation security).
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  • If you don't already subscribe to Travel Zoo I'd sign up for their emails, they send out good deals on packages and we've used info from them to book trips twice (and now just use a company we learned from them on our own). we really like Vacation Express, we were a little skeptical the first time we used it since it's like a vacation airliner company but we've had great experiences the last 2 times and have our HM booked through them. They focus on Cancun/Riviera Maya, Punta Cana and Jamaica for the best deals but you could definitely get one in your budget.


    In my search I've found Punta Cana to be more expensive than Riviera Maya not sure if it is the same from Detroit but we are in Indy but fly out of Cincinnati due to Indy not having nonstop flights (now they do but it is a 6 night package and not 7)

  • @HaleyK620 e booked Secrets through Apple Vacations too! It was the exact same price as booking directly through the resort, but Apple let us pay it off which really helped! Everyone I have talked to has been super helpful too
    haleyk620
  • Also wanted to chime in that a travel agent is the way to go, not only for pricing but because they will have knowledge that you won't find online. My mom is an agent who specializes in Caribbean, so she's been to practically every resort on several islands and Mexico. Just last week, I looked up a hotel on tripadvisor and it had great reviews, and then I asked her about it and she said "Oh- no! That's a major party hotel, and I know you and your husband like quiet resorts!" But see, I never would have known that from reviews because the people who like to stay there like to party so their reviews would have all said "It's great!". And I would have hated it. So an agent who has been to these places or at least has knowledge about them will definitely steer you in the right direction for what YOU are looking for. What might be right for others on tripadvisor might not be right for you.

                                                                     

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  • TripAdvisor isn't always the best place to go for reviews.  Since anyone can review, people who work at the hotel can talk it up, and competitors can talk it down.  I try to read the middle of the ground reviews because the 1 star and 5 star reviews could be fake.
  • Oh by the way, one of the best resorts that I saw (since our airport shuttle stopped at so many hotels before ours) in Riviera Maya is the Valentin Imperial Maya.  Adults only.  My friend went there for her honeymoon and loved it.  Lots of special treatment for honeymooners and lots of excursions near by. I highly recommend Riviera Maya because the resorts are larger and offer a lot to do without leaving, but you are close enough to Playa Del Carmen and plenty of activities. 
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