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All inclusive Wedding Gift

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plainfield, il
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All inclusive Wedding Gift

We are giving our son and future daughter-in-law their honeymoon all expenses paid to wherever they want to go all-inclusive. I think it might be Sandals in St. Lucia. Any suggestions? I am concerned about hurricane season. Their wedding is 8/26/06, and that is in the center of the hurricane season. We are from the Chicago area, and I'm trying not to have anything spoil their plans. Any website info would be appreciated for them to look at. Probably will book reservations in February.

Thanks for any advise. They are 24 and 25 years old

Sanborn, NY
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1. Re: All inclusive Wedding Gift

JohnK may chime in here if I'm wrong (or he may just chime in anyways...hehehe) but I don't think St Lucia has taken a direct hit in about 25 years or so.

NORMALLY.... it's too far east and too far south to be in the hurricane tracks. This year was really odd for having hurricanes farther south than normal and it STILL didn't get whacked.

I personally liked Sandals Grande. It's got the best location and beach of the 3 Sandals resorts on the island. I'm not sure if Stonefield has an all-inclusive plan, but you may want to look at that as a possible alternative or companion to a Sandals stay. Stonefield is in the south of the island and Sandals is in the north of the island. It may be kind of nice to split their stay. Look and see how it works out for pricing. Sandals is more ... resort-ish... and Stonefield would be their own private little villa with their own pool. So 2 very different types of properties.

These are just a couple of suggestions. You'll probably get many. There are lots of nice places on St Lucia.

Rocky Mountain...
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for St. Lucia, Castries
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2. Re: All inclusive Wedding Gift

Sandals are nice. I've stayed at 3 of them and was married at Sandals Halcyon in St. Lucia. Another option would be Windjammer Landing which offers all-inclusive and they can have their own villa with a small pool. It is not limited to just couples though. My husband and I are going to Windjammer in 2006 for our 5 year anniversary. I also stayed at Stonefield Estate during the same trip that I got married. We split our time 3 nights at Stonefield and 7 nights at Sandals. Stonefield does not have all-inclusive but does have an on-site restaurant. They would need to hire a taxi or car to get around as that end of the island is less inhabited and much more isolated. Another all-inclusive idea would be East Winds Inn. With their ages (I'm assuming they are more partying types) they would most likely enjoy the larger Sandals properties versus Halcyon. If that does not fit their personalities then they will enjoy Halcyon.

Ottawa, ON
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3. Re: All inclusive Wedding Gift

What a lovely gift for the newly-wed's. We were marrried at the big Sandals Resort (Golf & Spa)in St. Lucia five years ago, and loved it. Ultra-all-inclusive, with several restaurants - french, carribean, japanese, tex-mex, and international buffet. Their weddings are so well-organized, we were able to just relax and enjoy it. Some of the young couples had their families staying at the other Sandals Resort(s), and had them brought over for the wedding. The resort also had a first-class spa, hair salon, and excellent golf course, and nightly entertainment. We had access and transportation to the other Sandals Resort, and toured around Castries to the market and shopping areas. The resort offers snorkelling trips, and we splurged on a helicopter ride, which was amazing. There are different price levels of accommodations - from standard to ridiculously luxurious, depending on your budget. Hopefully, things haven't changed too much in the last five years, because I would like to go back someday, for an anniversary. Hope this helps. If you need more info, let me know.

Cape Cod, MA
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107 posts
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4. Re: All inclusive Wedding Gift

owww.. What a fantastic gift!!

I would recommend a Sandals because of their hurricane guarantee. You can check their website for specifics, but I believe that if a hurricane hits at any time of your vacation, they give you an entire vacation including airfare for free. Also, Doesn't seem like St.Lucia is in many hurricane paths.

There are three Sandals resorts and from what I've learned about them:

The Halcyion is the smallest and maybe a little outdated. (from what I've read anyway)

The Regency is the largest is part on a bluff also includes a shuttle to get from one part of resort to the other, (Also heard they have rought seas so watersports are cancelled often).

The St.Lucia Grande which is on a pennisula doesn't have the problems of the rough seas and watersports cancellations.

We are going Feb. 5, so if there is any information I can get for you, please let me know!

Chicago Burbs, IL
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for Soufriere
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5. Re: All inclusive Wedding Gift

If anyone is vacationing during hurricane season with concern, should buy a cancel for "any reason" vacation insurance policy.

Sandals Hurricane Guarantee, is just about useless, unless you are willing to put your life and limb on the line.

Sandals Hurricane Guarantee did cause distress for many folks this past hurricane season. Sandals guests, that are going to rely on this guarantee as their insurance, should, your vacation, be interrupted by extremely bad weather, you may experience due to a hurricane in the area, must read and clearly understand what this guarantee is.

The key words here are "hurricane force winds" "directly hit" the resort.

Many guests at the Sandals resorts, this past season, experienced, extremely terrible frightening weather conditions, with most if not all, the included activities shut down, and pretty much had to be bunkered up for the duration of their trips. But ... as defined by the US National Weather Service, it was said that the hurricane force winds DID NOT DIRECTLY HIT the resorts. There is a very fine line here, to that "direct hit" of resort.

One of the hurricane's that did make a direct hit in Jamaica, this past season, some of the guests, did make good on the guarantee. But...then again, some didn't. For example, one of our employees, was going to be honeymooning at one of the Sandals resorts, in Montego Bay this past summer. A few days before they were scheduled to leave, it was predicted that one of the hurricanes, would hit Jamaica. They were concerned, and wanted to cancel, but COULD NOT without losing ALL money spent. Since it was still JUST predicted to hit, they went ahead hoping for the best. Well, from the time they arrived, at the resort, it was very evident, that they had put themselves in a dangerous position. Measures at the resort were already, being put into effect, for the hurricane, everything was being closed down, the weather turned frightening and everyone was scrambling to get home and off the island. They asked if they also could leave immediately, and get a flight home. They were told all fights out were booked and that it was not possible for them to leave. They called home and had family, try their best to find them any kind of flight off the island. They did, find them a flight out, to an alternate city in the states, this was to be the last fight that left the island before the airport was shut down. Now the hurricane force winds did make a direct hit at this resort, and the unfortunate folks that were not able to get a flight out, did get their vacation replaced, but any guest that, was able to get a flight off the island, was, frightened for their life and limb, was DENIED ANY REFUND!!! Recieved NO compensation. Even though, they too had to endure days, and some many days of awful weather no activities and frightening conditions.

Just be careful with what you think you might be buying into as far as a "GUARANTEE"

This is from the Sandals site:

"In the unlikely event that hurricane force winds (as defined by the U.S. National Weather Service) directly hit the Sandals or Beaches resorts while you are a guest, interrupting the use of all the included activities, Sandals or Beaches Resorts will offer a free replacement vacation to be taken at any Sandals or Beaches Resort of your choice."

"The replacement trip must commence within one year of your original holiday and is exclusive of air. Dates will be subject to availability, and may also be subject to Sandals imposed blackout restrictions."

Sandals also uses a kind of a tricky play of words here, for the air part, of guarantee. It is not inclusive of air, but exclusive of air.

Definition of...

"exclusive"

excluding much or all;

Chicago Burbs, IL
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6. Re: All inclusive Wedding Gift

I want to clarify here, that I was talking about the Sandals resorts in Jamaica, in regard to the hurricanes this past season, NOT St.Lucia.

lincoln park, mi
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7. Re: All inclusive Wedding Gift

Flowers, that is really a bummer for your friends that went to Jamaica. Which hurricane was that? We were in Negril when Emily was nearby (not Sandal's), the airport closed on the day we were to leave and had a heck of a time getting off that island. I wouldn't put much stock in Sandals policy either.

That said, and just IMHO, when traveling during hurricane season, it is best to get travel insurance through a reputable company. Even then, you still have to read the fine print. We had to stay 3 extra days in Jamaica and were compensated appropriately. We used Travel Guard. I unfortunately have to make a claim with them again for a trip I cancelled in November due to family illness. It gives us peace of mind to have the insurance.

Chicago Burbs, IL
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for Soufriere
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8. Re: All inclusive Wedding Gift

brenda-2004, It was during hurricane Dennis. They were very happy and thankful to make it home safe and sound before the brunt of the storm. Very disappointed that leaving the island voided any kind or possibility of a refund. A complete wash of a honeymoon, for a couple of miserable days at the resort, and then the remainder of days they paid for but lost. Plus, having to pay extra for their air to get home.

Thanks for the recommendation of Travel Guard. So sorry to hear you had to cancel do to a family illness, though, it is good to hear of someone that has had successful claims go through with a company. You never really want to have something unfortunate change your plans, but, things happen sometimes, and if anything, this hurricane season unfortunately has taught us, just how dangerous a hurricane can be.

Chicago Burbs, IL
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for Soufriere
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9. Re: All inclusive Wedding Gift

I guess I need to clarify again as it sounded like the hurricane made a direct hit on Jamaica. It was the hurricane winds that were said to have been strong enough, to activate the Hurricane Guarantee for some.

North Myrtle Beach...
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10. Re: All inclusive Wedding Gift

We just left St Lucia January 16. I specifically asked a cab driver about hurricanes and he said they have not had one in 25 years. The good news about hurricanes and St Lucia is that it appears that the majority of the storms seldom build to the horrible hurricane strength down that far...seems they only get a few depressions. Just an observation as we live on the coast of SC and watch those storms closely every year! I agree about insurance...we always buy trip insurance. There are just too many things that happen in life to risk losing that much money!