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St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

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St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

My wife and I are planning a Caribbean vacation for Thanksgiving time. We love beaches.. We went to Anguilla last year for our honeymoon and fell in love with the clean, white sandy beaches, and clear blue waters.

We are trying to decide between St Croix and Negril, Jamaica for a 5-6 day trip.. Has anyone been to both of these places and tell us the Pros/Cons? We are looking for a relaxing beach vacation with just a couple of things to do at nighttime or away from the resort.

Clarks Summit,Pa
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for St. Croix
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1. Re: St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

We have never been to Jamaica but have hit lots of other islands over the years. I do have relatives and friends who went to Negril and liked it a lot. They all stayed at all-inclusive places in Negril. I've read up on Negril because I thought that someday we'd like to go there. There are no AI resorts on STX. My impression of AI resorts is that if an island does have them it creates "mass" tourism. STX does not have the huge tourist infux of places like St.Thomas, Cancun or Jamaica. I did stay at The Moon Palace in Cancun 2 years ago and was just not wild about the experience. A very nice place, but a completely different experience than being on STX. I am positive that Negril vs. St.Croix is like going to a Walmart vs. a small family run store. They will be completely different experiences but will both have their advocates. I have been to Anguilla. It's probably much more comparable to STX than to Negril. The atmosphere on STX is a little more active than Anguilla was when we were there. There is a larger population on STX, therefore more cars,stores,restaurants etc. It is by no means to be considered hectic. I do have to warn you though that STX does not have the sparkling white sand that that you found on Anguilla. I do think that you willl find the same type of blue water that you like. STX is far more scenic than Anguilla in that it is mountainous and Anguilla is just plain old flat. Anguilla does have the most beautiful beaches that I've ever seen. One big plus though is that STX is a more affordable option than most other islands. Good Luck.

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2. Re: St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

My wife and I went to an all-inclusive Negril Beach resort about 25 years ago. We both got sick there and had to cut our trip short.

We also went to the Buccaneer in St. Croix over 25 years ago and just returned from our 26th visit there. It is still, in our opinion, a fantastic beach vacation. Great staff and wonderful beaches, plus no shortage of excellent restaurants nearby and a variety of things to do at night. We hope to return next year and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing beach vacation.

Phoenix, Arizona
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3. Re: St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

St Croix without question. We have been to Jamaica and St Croix.

In Jamaica we stayed in a villa at SilverSands which is on the ocean between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.

In St Croix we stayed in a villa at Judith's Fancy.

Huge difference between the two islands in my opinion. In Jamaica you really need a driver to get around the island, roads are horrid. In St Croix it is very easy to rent a car and drive the entire island and also the restaurants are fantastic. Way prettier island also.

Just my opinion.

Monte Rio...
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4. Re: St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

I was in Negril About 20 years ago, and loved it. I'm sure it's changed immensely in that time, but probably the beaches there are still just as beautiful. I think that Negril is now mostly big AI resorts, which is not for everyone. One thing you have to know about Jamaica before going there is that it is very much a 3rd world country, and you will be faced with begging, filth, and abject poverty. None of that ever took away from my vacation experience, however.

That said, I have now lived on St. Croix for 18 years, and love it here, too. I believe that STX is probably much less touristy than Negril, and while the beaches may not be up to Anguilla standards (none ever are!), they are still very beautiful and uncrowded. You will also find great restaurants, shopping, world-class golf, SCUBA and snorkeling, museums, history, and culture. I really believe that the place I call home is one of the hidden gems of the Caribbean.

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5. Re: St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

My husband and I have been twice to Couples Swept Away in Negril on the seven mile beach. It is not a huge resort and the grounds and beach are beautiful.

It is all inclusive, including the catamaran sail and snorkeling. It was very relaxing and we enjoying hanging out there on the beach everyday so much that we did not leave the resort except to walk up and down the beach. The food was great and there are some activities in the evenings.

I can't think of any CONS about this place!


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6. Re: St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

I just spent the last few weeks trying to decide the same question for next April. I have been to Jamaica, but not to Negril, but STX is one of my all time favorite island destinations (along with the BVI). The reason we were looking at Negril was that it appeared to be cheaper, but, all in all when we looked at everything we decided to go back to STX.

We like to get out and about and just did not want the hassle of everyone trying to sell us stuff. In addition, renting a car to get around is not a good idea in Jamaica (but you can get a driver pretty cheap). Plus, we really miss Kendricks! The food on STX is, in my opinion, some of the best in the Caribbean.

There is poverty on STX as well, but it is nothing like what you will find in Jamaica.

Can't wait to go back!

Jersey City, New...
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for Anguilla, St. Lucia
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7. Re: St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

I've been to all three, and if you loved Anguilla and want to travel away from the resort at night then it would have to be St. Croix. Negril is beautiful, not a fan of all-inclusives, I love Couples Swept Away in Negril. Really good food, and an amazing water sports progam, I got my PADI scuba certification there last year. You can go off the resort at night, Rick's Cafe, Margaritaville is a short walk down the beach but other than walking to Rick's you'd want to have a taxi take you anywhere. Jamaica is just not really safe at night for tourists.

St. Croix has lots of restaurant options like Anguilla, though it's a much larger island and so things are more spread out. In St. Croix you can do a splendid day trip to Buck Island, truly unique wonder in the entire Caribbean. There's much more to do in STX than Anguilla. Five days is not a lot of time to go off site in Negril to travel to locations where you can climb a waterfall (Dunn's River)or go rafting down a river (Martha Brae).

Just a suggestion, have you considered St. John? From there even for a 5-6 day trip you could travel to at least one of the British Virgin Islands like Virgin Gorda and experience The Baths?

Washington DC...
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8. Re: St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

If you don't mind all-inclusive places, Negril's ok. But to me the all-inclusive in many places is simply a necessity...most folks don't venture off the property. If you do go to Jamaica, expect abject poverty in many places and constant harassment from vendors selling lots of stuff you don't want on the beaches (good reason to stay at an AI where you aren't hassled).

The Buccaneer is a beautiful resort with fantastic views and nice beaches, golf course. Also 10 minutes from town where you'll find several excellent restaurants.

Still, you cannot compare Anguilla and St. Croix. If you like gorgeous beaches, a huge selection of good restaurants, a relatively secure environment, you might want to go back to Anguilla -- or perhaps the Cayman Islands, St. John, or St. Barts.

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9. Re: St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

I do love St. Croix but read my recent post on the violence there. I have been to Negril (Riu) and it was fine for 5 days, but I do like St. Croix more. I'm sure there are some other places on Negril to try. Have you thought of St. John ? I think the beaches there are the best in the Caribbean. There are only a few resorts, however (The Westin and Caneel Bay) and they are quite expensive. You could try a villa though. Go to vrbo.com and check them out. Have fun.

10. Re: St. Croix or Negril, Jamaica for beach vacation?

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