I've never been to St. John, so can't comment. We've been to T&C and GC.
Beach - both 7mb and grace bay beach are beautiful
Snorkeling - I found GC to have better off shore snorkeling
Things to do - GC has the edge with stingray city, Georgetown, etc
Food - definitely GC has better food for the money
Condos - both have nice condos, but T&C has restaurants and bars in condo buildings. I found that very convenient.
Cost - both are expensive
My son was bored in T&C. He was around 12 and complained there were no kids to hang with. We stayed at Ocean Club West and loved it. But, the kids there were younger.
But I have to say when we stayed at Villas of Galleon in GC, there were hardly any kids there either.
If you've never been to T&C, it's worth a visit. Places like the Sands have complimentary unmotorized water sports to keep the kids happy.
Dian, when was the last time you visited T&C? The restaurants have come a long way. I have to disagree with the more value for your money comment. There are great restaurants on both islands, and both are generally expensive, but I can't say that you get more for your money on GC at all.
There are probably more activities on GC for kids what with the turtle farm, but T&C has plenty to offer.
I do agree with Dian's comment about condos. Lots of great condos to stay at on Provo.
We've been to St. John once and to Turks and Caicos three times (heading back for a fourth in April) with our kids. We absolutely loved St. John. The island is lush, hilly and beautiful. The beaches are cove like and stunning (though narrower than Grace Bay beach in T and C). We'd love to go back someday. The downside of St. John for us was that travel there was a little more difficult (must fly into St. Thomas and take a boat over) and that there are not many resort options. We stayed at the Westin which was fine, but the beach on property is not the nicest. In order to see the best beaches (Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Caneel Bay) we had to drive to them. If we went again, I'd stay at Caneel Bay which fronts a stunning beach, though I am not sure how kid friendly it is.
The reason we keep going back to T and C is that it is a very short nonstop flight from NY and then a 15 minute or so cab ride to the resort area. Could not be more family travel friendly. Most of the resorts are condo style which is terrific for family travel, and most are set on the stunning Grace Bay Beach- no need to drive around to get to beautiful beaches.
St. John is a stunning island. I think it is much prettier than T and C and certainly worth a visit. But Grace Bay beach is also stunning and keeps us coming back. We have yet to find a beach destination that tops Turks anc Caicos for our family. I have not been to Grand Cayman but would like to try it someday.
I was at T&C about 4 yrs ago. We thought the beach was beautiful, but were very dissapointed with the food. Actully, we liked Tiki Hut the best. I have to say, though, we had the meal plan at OCW, so many of our meals were at OC or OCW. We did go to a few other restaurants and none of them thrilled us. Maybe things have chsnged, but I really liked the food at Grand Cayman better.
I have been to Grand Cayman a few times so I can compare it to Turks and Caicos. Grand Cayman has more people on the beach and in my opinion Turks has a much better beach. Grand Cayman has chain hotels like Hilton, Marriot, ect. you will not find that here except for Comfort Suites. Turks does not have fast food chains like Grand Cayman. We also do not have cruise ships on Provo.
The beach- Grace Bay
Resorts/ Condos(most places are resorts with condo units)-
(only named a few from each category)
Have been to all three.
Love St. John for what it is.
Love the T&C for what it is.
Found Grand Cayman too developed and "Americanized" for our tastes. Just our personal preference.
Have had numerous, very good meals at all three destinations. However, it's also been our experience that you're not going to truly enjoy all an island has to offer, while on a resort meal plan -- no matter where you visit.
Provo has several resorts that I would describe as "luxurious," i.e., Grace Bay Club, Somerset, Palms, etc. However, Caneel Bay is not on the same level of luxury -- it's a different kind of resort experience.
Someone once described Caneel Bay as "summer camp for wealthy vacationers." That's basically what it was when Lawrence Rockefeller opened it, many years ago. The atmosphere / amenities have basically remained true to the original concept.
i have been to all 3. Caymans twice, St. John about 4-5 times, T&C never counted.
T&C is more like Caymans. St. John completely different.
Good discription, T&C like Caymans WAS.
The beaches are the best in T&C. T&C has a relaxing de-stressing atmosphere. It's all about the water, and the water it does well-it's the most beautiful in the world. Weather is consistently sunnier and drier in T&C, it is (besides deserts) one of the driest spots in the Caribbean, maybe the world.
No cruise ships, no real town. But there are things to do with kids: Whereas Caymans has Stingray City, turtle farm and Hell, T&C has Iguana Island, Conch Farm (only one in world) and cool caves with pirate carvings at West Harbor Bay and caves with bats at Middle Caicos. I feel also that off-the-beach-snorkeling is much easier in T&C than Caymans. In Caymans, you need to go by car to the snorkeling spots, T&C is much easier to walk if need be. T&C still has banana boats, parasailing. You can even ski, or have a jet ski safari, or kayak mangroves, or take boat excusions looking for sand dollars and dive (in shallow water) for conch. There are what seems like endless beaches to have :survivor" type adventures, and explore.
St. John being hilly and lusher, great sailing and island hopping, probably gets more rain; and I have had plenty of overcast days in Caymans. T&C for me, has always been pretty sunny. Of course, I can't predict the weather though.
T&C has the best condos, of all price ranges, there is not a bad place to stay.
Restaurants: with more than 50 restaurants in a small sq area, if you confine yourself to the resort restaurant, you'll miss out--- (especially at Ocean Club, among the average and not great) restaurants: I would say that the top 15 restaurants in Provo rank among the absolute best in the entire Caribbean. I feel they rank with Anguilla, St. Martin and St. Barth, which have reputations for the best. With my experiences, the restaurants in T&C blow away the ones in Caymans and St. John.