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Couples? Secrets? Sandals? Help!

My FI and I are getting married in May 2013 and are looking for honeymoon spots. We want someplace with a nice beach (no seaweed!), no kids (I'm a nanny), and all-inclusive. Ideally we'd like to go somewhere neither of us has been, so that takes Aruba, Jamaica, and Mexico out of the running. 

There are so many brands, I'm having a hard time narrowing down the options. So I'm basically coming to you to ask where YOU'VE been and what you liked. We want a resort with a lot of activities and restaurants as well as relaxing downtime. 

Am I asking too much? :P
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Re: Couples? Secrets? Sandals? Help!

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    If you want to avoid Jamaica, then you won't be going to Couples. They are only in Jamaica. There are a few nice adults only resorts in the Dominican- Excellence, Secrets, and Iberostar Grand. You will be able to stay at these for MUCH less than any Sandals. You get the most for your money in the DR and at these other resorts. I'm not sure what your budget is, though, so check these options to see if they fit within your budget,

     







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    In general I think Sandals tends to be the most expensive. We ended up going with Palace. Their resorts range from family-friendly to couples only. We went with a couples only in Isla Mujeres and absolutely loved it.
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    We were thinking about staying at a Secrets resort. Does anyone have any experience with them?
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    I've been to several, but all in Mexico (Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos). I have favorites (Capri, Maroma) and dislikes (Silversands). Mexico is pretty big, so if you have only been to the Cancun area, I do recommend looking into Cabo, as it's completely different. However, if you want to avoid Mexico as a whole and Jamaica, I'd look into Secrets in the Dominican Republic.

     







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    I took your advice on Mexico, as we'd both been to Cancun only. We've narrowed it down to Maroma, Punta Cana and Puerto Vallarta.
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    By the way, cwaggoner I'm so jealous you had a rainbow at your wedding! That is AWESOME!
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    If you can afford Maroma, do it! It's amazing and gets nothing but rave reviews on here.

     







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    We went to the Excellence Playa Mujeres and LOVED IT.

    Maroma was our second choice, but Excellence was a little cheaper, hence why we choose it
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    Does anyone know if you can swim in the water (as in, the beach) at the Secrets resorts? I saw a review on TripAdvisor that said you couldn't. That would be a total bummer.

    Also, does anyone know the difference between the "standard rate" and the "best available rate"?
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    The only AI I've been to that meets your qualifications is the Sandals royal bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas.  I would recommend it.  DH and I have been twice and it's really nice.  Sandals is more pricey than other AI's but they do a great job there.  There's many choices of restaurants on the property.  There's a nice beach and many pools/hottubs.  You can take the public bus into town if you'd like.  
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    Sandals is pricier when you pay full price.  I grabbed them on a black friday deal and got it for less than couples was going to cost, for a much nicer resort.  If you are at all interested in them, watch their website - some of their deals are great.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_honeymoon_couples-secrets-sandals-help?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:11Discussion:0b62578a-f962-43bb-ae74-7231c8503c2aPost:45ed680b-8c69-4d84-8ce3-db0288144970">Re: Couples? Secrets? Sandals? Help!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Does anyone know if you can swim in the water (as in, the beach) at the Secrets resorts? I saw a review on TripAdvisor that said you couldn't. That would be a total bummer. Also, does anyone know the difference between the "standard rate" and the "best available rate"?
    Posted by CourtaniaLynn[/QUOTE]

    Which Secrets has an unswimmable beach? I believe that is probably true in Cabo, but that is true for almost every resort in Cabo. The tides there can be quite strong and the coastline is a little rocky. Also, "standard rate" is more like their full price rate, without any specials, and "best available" is the rate that may have a special applied to it and would be cheaper.

     







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