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Torn between TCI and St. Martin

Los Angeles
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Torn between TCI and St. Martin

Planning a Christmas/NYE vacation and it's a toss up between St. Martin and TCI. TCI seems a little more chill and laid back, with beautiful beaches. However, seems like there's not much excitement at night. St. Martin, on the other hand, has nice beaches as well (TCI's look a touch better), more night time activities, and the option to travel to St. Bart's.

Which would you choose?

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1. Re: Torn between TCI and St. Martin

Keater, your up.

Staten Island, New...
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for Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
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2. Re: Torn between TCI and St. Martin

Comparing apples to toasters. All about what you want to do. Provo beach is much more than a touch better. St Martin got the great dining and nightlife and the proximity to st barts and anguila. Provo got the beach.

Fairfax, Virginia
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3. Re: Torn between TCI and St. Martin

There's no comparison between the beaches. Grace Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The sand is as soft as flour, not as heavy as St. Martin. The water is more clear in Grace Bay and snorkeling is better on the 3rd largest reef in the world. I'd also suggest that the restaurants are just as good in Provo. The only thing better would be the night life in St. Martin. I was there some years ago and never got the urge to return. It gets pretty crowded. I've been to Grace Bay three times and will be making my fourth trip next fall.

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4. Re: Torn between TCI and St. Martin

Copied and edited from a previous post I did.

My family and I take 2 Caribbean trips per year and have always chose TCI, Well this past May when we went away they, my family, wanted to try another island destination and we decided on St Maarten. Prior to the trip my wife kept saying to me, please don't compare everything we do in St Maarten to TCI. I agreed and left it at that. Well the second day we were in St Maarten my wife said to me, you were right this place is not for us.

There is ALOT of traffic and moreso when the cruisers are in port. On our arrival day it took us well over an hour to get from the airport to the villa we rented on Dawn Beach. Additionally when we went out to dinner and a casino one night we were stopped at 2 different police roadblocks. When we asked a restaurant attendent about this they said that there was a sharp increase in crime on the island and the roadblocks were designed to catch folks with drugs and guns. When I'm on vacation laying on the beach I do not like to be bothered, but each day there were folks on the St Maarten beaches peddling their stuff, including weed which was offered to my kids.

Overall we have found TCI and will continue to return there for the beauty of the island, beach and people.

There are several restaurants/bars that have music and nightlife, including Caribbean music. We just get more of a Caribbean island feel in TCI.

If you are looking for a beautiful beach, great restaurant/lodging options, snorkeling and a place to relax and recharge TCI is the place for you. If not then give SXM a try and see if you like it or not

Edited: 12 November 2011, 19:04
Los Angeles
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80 posts
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5. Re: Torn between TCI and St. Martin


I'd probably spend 3-4 days at the beach out of the 8 days total (parasailing, napping etc). I'd like to shop, explore the island (excursions), and have the option of going out at night for a drink and a little dancing...nothing too crazy.

As far as dining....it doesn't have to be super fancy 4-star menus. I like to try new things, eat local foods, and splurge maybe once or twice.

What's there to do for NYE?

Island hopping possibilities?

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Torn between TCI and St. Martin

Samba, we have spent lots of time on SXM French side, it is a ferry ride away from St. Bart's and Anguilla lots to do but we will not go back until the island is cleaned up...

We have spent 2 holidays in Provo, like it but a little lacking in entertainment and we are not party people...but would go back, beautiful beaches and did feel safe....

We have just come back from Grand Cayman...lots to do and see, there is just more to do...food is excellent at all price points.... beautiful beach 7-mile but Grace Bay is better...lots of shopping if you wish...and felt very safe...

Finger Lakes Wine...
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7. Re: Torn between TCI and St. Martin

Ditto to what keater said......

We would never go back to St. Martin even with the great dining options in Grand Case.

It just was not for us. (Too much traffic, cruise ships and the crime on the island).

And....the beaches are NOT in the same class as Turks and Caicos.

That is why we have returned OVER a dozen times......it just feels RIGHT to us.


Washington DC...
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for Turks and Caicos
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8. Re: Torn between TCI and St. Martin

I've been to both numerous times.

I have fun in St. Martin, but love TCI.

St. Martin has traffic, nightlife, cruisers, chain restaurants, shopping. It takes a while to go from one place to another. The French side is definitely, well, French. There is nudity. The restaurants are excellent. The shopping is the best in Caribbean. Great excursions to Anguilla (which is more like TCI) and St. Barth. Actually, once you lay eyes on a beach like Anguilla's, it's hard to go to a beach in St. Martin. Fun places like Sunset Bar watching the airplanes land over the beach, Bamboo Bernies is fun, Kon Tiki is great for lunch, excellent people watching (nudes walking by).

Once you see the beaches of TCI, it's hard to go backwards to lessor beaches. TCI has excellent restaurants and the most neon turquoise water you'll ever lay eyes on. You can island hop, but only within the chain, no other foreign country islands. There are plenty of water excursions and good snorkeling. There is parasailing, banana boats, scuba. Very conservative island. More upscale than St Martin, nicer resorts. Low crime. Te nightlife is light, but the week you're going will be more lively, block parties in the hub area, and live bands in places, but other than nye it shuts down earlier than other islands. There is a small casino, and you can always get a night pass to Club Med.

Nye, actually in Provo is quite spectacular. Bonfires on the beach, pig roasts, live music at different places. But the best? With a 7 mile long beach, fireworks are shot out over the water in 7-10 different places. It's magical!

9. Re: Torn between TCI and St. Martin

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