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Thread: Jamaica, Cuba or Dominican?

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    Default Jamaica, Cuba or Dominican?

    Looking to go somewhere around November of this year. Wondering what everyone's thoughts are between Jamaica, Cuba or Dominican? 2 adults and a 1.5 year old. Want all inclusive and looking to spend around $1500/ea or less ($3000 total, kids under 2 are free as far as I know).

    We've been to Cuba twice and really liked it, but I would also like to try out other places. Jamaica and the Dominican Republic have packages around the same price range. Or is there somewhere else we should be considering? Wife doesn't want to go to Mexico.

    Also how far in advance is the best time to book in people's experience? We are not really flexible with dates.
    Last edited by ExtremeSi; 01-03-2017 at 11:56 AM.

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    Been to Cuba and Dominican 3 times, Mexico 3 times. All different resorts. Cuba is a nicer country, Dominican and Mexico had better food.

    I haven't been to Cuba since the USA opened up trade, so it may have improved in the food department. I also was at cheaper 4 star resorts in Cuba, so higher end ones probably are still really good.

    I'm looking to go too, and Cuba is cheaper than anywhere else I have checked for a 4.5 or 5 star well known/highly reviewed resort (like Iberostar or Blau) so we'll probably go back there.

    It matters less if you aren't leaving the resort, but Mexico always is really easy to get direct flights, best food, most choice for resorts, similar price to anything else, and way more excursion opportunities especially for families with kids if you do end up leaving the resort.

    In my experience 1-3 months prior has the best pricing, I've been watching a few resorts for over a year now, but I suspect that depends on a lot of different factors including the CAD which has gone to shit.

    Also the nice thing about Cuba is probably much fewer Americans, which I have always found to be by far the most rude/loud/annoying but it could just be coincidence and obviously bad apples come from all countries.

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    My opinion is go to Jamaica, I would go back in a heartbeat.

    Been to both Cuba (Veradero @ Barcelo Solymar X-Mas 2004) and Jamaica (Montego Bay @ Iberostar February 2013). Although I loved both, I thought the food was much better in Jamaica, in fact it was the best all inclusive food I have ever had. Both Cuba and Jamaica have a lot to see and do (distilleries, breweries, cigar factories, plantations, scenic tours, historical tours, ATV, water sports etc.) but why not check out something new?

    Never been to the DR, but I've heard some good things about it.

    Edit: sentence revision.

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    Loved Cuba...went when it was all Canadian though. Beaches and pools were great. Food was not super great though.

    Hated Jamaica (I think we stayed at Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton). Just couldn't stand the type of crowd on the resort (too many loud, drunk, obnoxious Americans). We did an island tour which was fun, took us through water falls, Appleton factory etc which was cool. Beach was not super great. Food and service was much better than Cuba for sure.

    Dominican - stayed at Bahia Principe in Punte Cana (Adult only side). This was one of my favs. Food was wicked. Service was excellent. We didn't venture off resort and had a blast the whole time. Beach was really good too.

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    isn't November storm season down there?

    I have been looking at an all inclusive as well and that turned up in my stumbles.
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    November is the tail end of storm season and is normally just fine, it is off season and cheap deals to be had.

    I have never been to cuba but i hear a lot of hit and miss about it.

    I have been to jamicia and DR multiple times, i really like both and would go back to either in a heart beat.

    Jamicia pros: everyone speaks english, spicy food (jerk chicken mmmmm) great beaches , diving and snorkeling. The best nightly entertainment i have exp at any country, lots to do


    DR very euro feeling and lots of europeans at the resorts, not many americans, if you go to an adult only resort the beachs are VERY euro (this could be a pro or con good food lots to do

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    Originally posted by Thaco
    isn't November storm season down there?

    I have been looking at an all inclusive as well and that turned up in my stumbles.
    August to November is Caribbean hurricane season (peaking around September), so it would be on the tail end. Probably pretty cheap too.

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    Been to mexico, Jamaica, and DR a few times, although Cuba might be cheaper as stated before, I would go to Jamaica in a heartbeat if money was no problem. Just got back from mexico in a short/budget trip and had a blast of course I was there just to party. but tons of kids in mexico, the Hotel zone in Cancun is awesome but make sure you pick a nice hotel with a great pool, my hotel was great but the pool was tiny, not fun.

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    Is it best to book straight on the resort site or use one of the million travel sites.

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    Originally posted by Crazyjoker77
    Is it best to book straight on the resort site or use one of the million travel sites.
    Depends on where you go/what level of room you book/what hotel chain/what flights you can get there.

    I have seen circumstances where you save up to $500 and gotten better rooms by booking with the hotel and flights separately.

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    Having been to Jamaica once, Cuba once, Dominican twice and Mexico probably 15 times, Jamaica would be my first choice if it's in your budget.
    Food at the all inclusive was awesome, so much better than the others, though the 4 Iberostars in the Mayan were pretty good too. Food at the all-inclusives in DR was quite disappointing, Cuba as well, though venturing out in town in Varadero and Havana found some decent restaurants.
    Going back there this year to the new resort in Montego Bay.

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    haven't been to DR or Cuba, but Cancun and Montego Bay and MB was by far the best food and service I've had at any resort in any country I've been to.

    the beach was awesome as well and great little food spots scattered all around the beach....as well as anywhere you go, weed is readily available super cheap lol

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    I've been to DR, it was ok, but I'm not in a hurry to go back.

    My husband, daughter (under 2 at time of travel), and I are going to Cayo Coco in April, we are going to the Pullman. Trip advisor has been really kind with reviews. We spent $4000 all in for beachfront rooms.

    Jamaica, I loved. Granted my husband and I stayed at Couples Swept Away and it ruined our expectations for our next vacation. It was amazing. I'd love to go back but I'm not willing to spend money on a Beaches resort.

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    Thanks for all the info so far everyone. I am leaning towards Jamaica at this point and it's good to hear so many positive reviews on it. Is Montego Bay the best destination in Jamaica to check out?

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    Originally posted by ExtremeSi
    Thanks for all the info so far everyone. I am leaning towards Jamaica at this point and it's good to hear so many positive reviews on it. Is Montego Bay the best destination in Jamaica to check out?
    I'm reading more and more recent reviews for Cuba resorts in Varadero and the theme seems to be average food, mosquitos, and renovations - so I think I will probably look elsewhere too.

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    I went to Negril.
    Not ideal when travelling 7+hrs on a plane and then 1.5hrs to Negril from the airport with a small kid (one reason we are not going back). But, your kid may travel ok - you know them best.

    I was looking at Montego as they are right by the airport - but couldn't swing the prices.

    Edit: I've been told that the Franklin D Resort in Jamaica is a great family resort, the best part of it is you have a dedicated nanny the whole time you are there. My husband didnt want to go as it's a little old & outdated and he's a picky traveler.

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    This new resort is getting great reviews, friends of ours were there recently and we're heading there in the not too distant future.
    http://royaltonresorts.com/en/blue-waters.aspx

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    I vote for Jamaica. Been there many times. I always go to Negril. By far the best destination in Jamaica.
    "if you disagree with my views are cannot adequately my criticism then ignore my posts." - Nusc

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    Originally posted by nickyh
    I've been to DR, it was ok, but I'm not in a hurry to go back.

    My husband, daughter (under 2 at time of travel), and I are going to Cayo Coco in April, we are going to the Pullman. Trip advisor has been really kind with reviews. We spent $4000 all in for beachfront rooms.

    Jamaica, I loved. Granted my husband and I stayed at Couples Swept Away and it ruined our expectations for our next vacation. It was amazing. I'd love to go back but I'm not willing to spend money on a Beaches resort.
    curious as to why you won't stay at a beaches resort? that's my next go to in Negril I'm hoping. I even ever been to one but I've heard nothing but good things.

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    Its $$$$$$$$ as far as I know.

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