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Carambola vs. Buccaneer

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Wellesley, MA
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60 posts
26 reviews
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Carambola vs. Buccaneer

I know this topic has been adressed before, but I am still undecided...

My husband and I are planning a trip (without our children!) for January 2009. We are in our early 40's, he loves to golf, and I love serene, beautiful beaches. I also like to walk/run, and be active. We are casual people and like to eat in laid back places. Also enjoy some sort of beachside or poolside bar for afternoon cocktails. Not big on nightlife. Feeling safe is a big deal, as we often do our own thing in the morning hours. We have been to Aruba many times, and Jamaica (Half Moon, Montego Bay) once. Love Aruba, but it is very American, and loved Half Moon, but did not like Montego Bay for the crime and poverty.

So...Buccaneer vs. Carambola? either way we will rent a car and do some adventuring offsite. Better beaches at one vs. the other? Better golf?

Any suggestions or insight are welcomed!

NJ
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63 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Carambola vs. Buccaneer

Wow, you described my wife and I perfectly !

We just got back from the Buccaneer and it is everything you mentioned - Beautiful golf course on the resort, gorgeous jogging/hiking trails throughout the resort (while overlooking the sea!). Very casual and laid back. Sure The Terrace asks that men wear "collared" shirts but I sure saw many without and no one cared at all. It's a very casual, do as you like place. Serene beaches? you got three right on site. We were all alone for hours at Whistle beach with our complimentary champagne. You really can't beat the three beaches at the Bucc -in fact outsiders pay to go on them!

We did rent a car but only used it twice - to go to cane bay (nice, but not as nice as mermaid/whistle/grotto on the Bucc).

I don't know anything about the Carambola, and maybe it's wonderful too but I really can't imagine it being more perfect than the Bucc was for us.

Estero, Florida
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1,253 posts
5 reviews
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2. Re: Carambola vs. Buccaneer

Carambola has bigger rooms but spring for the upgraded rooms, it is worth the difference. They have enough of a kitchen that you can save on breakfast and lunch if you are so inclined. Carambola golf club vs Buc is no contest, Carambola is much better, award winning Robert Trent Jones course.

Buc is higher service level and will probably be busier. Buc has much nocer tennis courts and grounds are larger. Buc has bettter swim beach but Carambola has bigger beach. Carambola grounds are much more lush and tropical since it is on the "wet" end of the island. Winter winds in January will probably make surf a little high so not the best swim beach at Carambola but you can swim in the pool which is larger than the Buc.

I stay at both and prefer Buc for service and proximity to town/restaurants but stay at Carambola for short stays when business is on that end of island. Both are safe.

If you are getting car and do not mind driving, you may like Carambola better or you could do both and give us your thoughts when you return. You will love St. Croix based on what you have included in your post.

Knoxville, TN
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99 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: Carambola vs. Buccaneer

I haven't stayed at The Buc but have stayed at Carambola. I like the proximity of the beach at Carambola...just steps from the pool, restaurants, and rooms. If you are in the greathouse at Buc it appears you have to walk quite a ways to the beach. Carambola has a spectacularly beautiful beach with cliffs rising straight out of the sea on one side...the buc beaches appear much more tame, although also quite beautiful. Carambola is also close to Cane Bay, which has a couple of Jimmy Buffet kind of beach bars, if that's to your liking. The Buc is closer to Christiansted, more choices in fine dining, and retail shops. I think it depends more on if you want posh surroundings and resort-style service (the Buc) or a deserted-island paradise kind of place (Carambola). If money is a factor, Carambola is quite a bit less expensive, too, although as another poster said, definitely spring for the recently renovated rooms at Carambola to get granite counters, marble floors, flat-screen tvs, etc.

NJ
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63 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Carambola vs. Buccaneer

In defense of The Bucc (lol), if you have a room in the greathouse it is really not a long walk at all (i'd say 3 minutes and you're on Grotto beach, 5 minutes and you're on Mermaid). It's a beautiful short walk down hill - and they also have golf carts guys willing to drive you if the few minutes walk is undoable (medical reasons, etc).

I had a room near the Grotto (down the hill from the greathouse/lobby) and it was ON the Grotto beach.

It was only slightly higher in price, only about 150 more for the week? But the greathouse is also an ideal room because of the proximity to the General Store, conceirge, front desk, Terrace restaurant, computer, bar, etc..

I just thought i'd mention this because quite a few times i've read that people think it's a long trek to the Bucc beaches, it really isn't !

Wellesley, MA
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60 posts
26 reviews
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5. Re: Carambola vs. Buccaneer

Thanks so much to all who weighed in...sounds like either the Bucc or Carambola are going to be great. Half the fun of taking this trip each year is doing the research and deciding where to go. There are just so many beautiful beaches in the world, and so few vacation days!

Any more suggestions or opinions are welcome. By the time we go on this trip the temperature here in Boston will be way below freezing and I will probably be thrilled with anywhere that's warm!

boston
Destination Expert
for Christiansted
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2,522 posts
137 reviews
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6. Re: Carambola vs. Buccaneer

Dear Travelbettie,

I've been watching this post for a couple of days and had originally thought not to reply as I am biased about the Buccaneer. But then I noticed that you live in Wellesley, and I had to pipe up.

We go to the Buccaneer every year with our kids during winter vacation. There are often several families from Wellesley at the resort when we are there, including some who visit annually. And we have become very close friends with a family we met at the Buccaneer five years ago who moved to Wellesley from NYC area just two years ago. Our boys are such close friends that they even went to sleepaway basketball camp together this summer.

So clearly the Buccaneer is popular in Wellesley. Maybe you see that as a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, you won't go wrong at either hotel.

Gulf Shores, Alabama
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1,150 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: Carambola vs. Buccaneer

We are JUST back yesterday from Carambola. We had an oceanfront deluxe unit and were hanging over the water. Very large units with large bathrooms and large walk in showers. Full kitchen and large SCREENED in terrace which was great for not dealing with bugs if they were out. Pool was very large and resort was beautiful with the mountains surrounding everything. Took long walks each day above the ocean and very few cars to deal with. Cane Bay being so close was great. Ate dinner at the Buccaneer at the Terrace and thought that was nice too. But LOVED being away from it all at the Carambola hands down. Ask for oceanfront deluxe. We were in building #1 unit 16. Write to Ike Taylor at the resort for a room choice and he will help you...he did us. Write to us and we will give you some more pointers about dining, snorkeling etc. We made a couple of dining errors and don't want you to do the same. Bonnie and Gary

michigan
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313 posts
40 reviews
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8. Re: Carambola vs. Buccaneer

Stayed at both during a 10 day stay last Thanksgiving. Check my forum postings for that time period for a comparison. Don't think you can go wrong either way.

Evanston, IL
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360 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Carambola vs. Buccaneer

bogieman, you had a couple of interesting points. We're going to be there in January in a 1 BR timeshare. Is that what you had and described? If so, I'll definitely contact Ike Taylor.

I'm interested, too, in the pointers you may have for dining.

Anyi tips will be much appreciated.

Thanks.

New Jersey
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44 posts
2 reviews
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10. Re: Carambola vs. Buccaneer

Evanston, We have been to Carambola twice w/ our RCI timeshare. There is only one building that is "timeshare"and that is building #9 and there are 6 units.

When we were there last December it wasn't renovated yet and from what I understood it would be the last to be done.

Just wanted to let you know that it is a little different than other resorts. You can't call and request an oceanside room since those are not timeshare units. By the way Blding #9 is in a very nice location. It is not set far back as some units and you have an ocean, pool and garden view.

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