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Advice on Cap Juluca

philadelphia
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Advice on Cap Juluca

Hi All - My wife and I are planning a trip to CJ in the next few months and had a few questions:

- Best way from Philadelphia (through San Juan or St. Martin)

- Is booking for Jan-March worth the premium (versus lower prices in April)

- Is there an update on when room renovations will be largely complete, and is it worthwhile to wait?

Thanks in advance for the help!

Maryland
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1. Re: Advice on Cap Juluca

I can answer your first question. Take USAir nonstop from PHL to SXM. It may not run every day, but it's worth it for us to drive from Baltimore to take this flight. Then it's easy to take a boat over to Blowing Point. Cap Juluca can arrange that for you. They have a boat to pick up guests for a fee.

It's hard to answer your second question for you. It's a personal choice. We prefer going in the winter when it's cooler on the island (low 80's), but go again in other seasons, too, so it really is your choice.

It's been a while since I was on their sales tour to know the plan for renovations, so someone else will have to chime in on this. BTW, we're going in a few weeks, so we're not waiting for all renovations to be finished.

Anguilla
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2. Re: Advice on Cap Juluca

It can vary depending on the hotel, but high season (and high rates) is usually 15 December to 15 April. The higher rate may also apply to Thanksgiving Week. If you have the flexibility to visit before or after high season, I don't think you'll miss much except crowded restaurants.

It appears to me that room renovations are being done villa by villa, so some are done while others wait. If what you're trying to avoid is being near a lot of construction noise, I suggest you tell them that and I think they'll try to accommodate you. The staff at Cap Juluca has always been notably accommodating.

Islander

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Advice on Cap Juluca

Being that I too use US Air from Philly, I certainly concur with ALR that Philly-SXM is the way to go.

However, something very important for you to consider with your second question is that US Air does NOT (repeat NOT) fly non-stop to SXM most of the time. This means that off-season you will end up transferring to another flight in Charleston for a trip equaling close to 8 or 9 hours instead of 4 if you include weekday travel in your plans.

For this reason, we had to stop coming in the early part of December because they stopped the weekend non-stop with a return during the week that had always been available before this year.

In fact, "in-season" doesn't even consist of most of January anymore either.

The only non-stops are Saturday and Sunday mornings.

However, if you plan to leave and return on a Saturday or a Sunday, you will be able to swing it.

3rd question: No it is not at all necessary to wait for new room renovations. Cap's accommodations right now are just fine. If you never knew, you'd think you walked into a newly renovated room. Not to worry on that score.

So the bottom line seems to be, if you find that you can do US Air non-stop both ways in April, (which would likely mean the weekend days travel), then go for the lower price. Otherwise, stick to the times we're stuck in -- middle of February through March. (unless they change something at the last minute that I know nothing about.) Just like they stopped those during-the-week non stops in early December -- you never know.

Of course, Christmas week offers top non-stops many more days.

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: Advice on Cap Juluca

Correction:

In the above post, I goofed.

Charleston = Charlotte(sorry)

Philadelphia
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5. Re: Advice on Cap Juluca

You've gotten some good advice above about days and timing, so here is another perspective.

There really are advantages and disadvantages to both the nonstop into St. Martin and the AA through San Juan. We have done each of these a couple of times now.

AA generally gets you to the island quicker than you can get there with US Air, allowing time to get in the water and a couple hours of sun on your first day. On your last day you can enjoy a leisurely swim and lunch and still have time to catch the late afternoon plane. It would be a good deal if there wasn't a 2.5 hour lay over in San Juan involved which because of late planes has turned into a 4 hour delay the last two times we went this route. Still we would do it again for more time on the island on our first and last days.

US Air nonstop would be perfect if you could figure out how to get a shuttle or ferry to get you to Anguilla right after you deplane. We have so far been unable to do this and seem to arrive in Blowing Point with the sunset and no chance of enjoying the water on our first day. I do prefer the airport shuttles to the American Eagle though and I swear next time I"m bringing earplugs on that flight. While it is fun to try to identify the Virgin Islands by air, the water shuttles from St. Martin are for the most part enjoyable and relaxing, barring ground seas and problems with seasickness.

So in my book its a toss up, We usually take the least expensive which can be either AA or US air depending on the quirkiness of the airline pricing. Just don't forget to add the cost of the St. Martin transfer to you US Air plane ticket before you compare it to AA's fare.

Just back from Cap a week now and the rooms are in good shape. Definitely don't let that be a reason to postpone your trip. We prefer going in low season not just for the better prices but because the water is warmer and its usually less windy than in high season. Also less people on the island which makes it more peaceful, not that its ever really crowded, but for us the less people the better.

Pennsylvania
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6. Re: Advice on Cap Juluca

If you are close enough, check out Continental out of Newark. 3 of our couples from Montgomery County flew them last week because they were $250 less per ticket than Usair. The other 2 couples flew Usair with miles. Also, Continental had a non-stop return on Friday which Usair did not. Continental had food on the plane, individual screens for movies etc., and free first checked bag.

I like the heat so I don't mind low season. More money to spend on restaurants!! We did go in Feb. 2008 and the water was a little chilly for us.

New Jersey
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7. Re: Advice on Cap Juluca

Take I-95 to Newark airport, then Continental non-stop to SXM. You are there in 3 1/2 hours ( If on time), take the ferry from Marigot over or whatever boat you choose and you should be in AXA way before sunset. We find Continental has the best prices to SXM and no extra charges (food, beverages, etc.) We gave up on US Air years ago, prices are way too high.

Philadelphia...
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8. Re: Advice on Cap Juluca

This last is excellent advice.

If it were not for the fact that we cannot use our US Airway air miles to upgrade to First Class we would be doing the Continental route in a ding-dong minute.

philadelphia
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9. Re: Advice on Cap Juluca

Thanks for all of the helpful responses - Can't wait to get going!!!

Mystic, CT
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10. Re: Advice on Cap Juluca

USAir is running a daily nonstop from Philly from February 11 to May 8. Hope this helps your planning.

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