Jamaica, Turks and Caicos or Maui???

Updated on January 23, 2012
K.D. asks from Frisco, TX
9 answers

We are trying to decide where our next family vacation is going to take place this July. As of now, we have considered Jamaica, Turks and Caicos and Maui, HI. It will be 3 families (all family) traveling together and we want a 6-8 bedroom villa/house, preferably beachside with a pool. I would love to hear anything and everything you have to offer about any of these locations. We are traveling with mostly women (2 adult males and 8 women/children), so safety is definitely something I am concerned about. Any advice of specific locations to go or avoid are greatly appreciated, as well as advice on things to do when we get there. Jamaica seems to be where we can get the most bang for our buck, but I can smooth scare myself to death reading the government travel website. Help me decide!!!

Can't wait to hear from you! Thanks in advance!!!

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So What Happened?

Okay...advice taken! We are going to Maui!!! Everything is booked and we are chomping at the bit to get there. Thanks for all your wonderful advice!!

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B.C.

answers from Tampa on

DR beach front and private pool villa twice a day housekeeping including laundry and onsite chef. Work hard, play hard!

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A.M.

answers from Detroit on

If I were going to Jamaica, I would only do it at an all-inclusive, gated resort. I absolutely would not stay anywhere else. If food matters to you, stay at one the most expensive resorts. We stayed at a Riu at Ochos Rios. Riu is a VERY nice resort, but not one of the most expensive. The breakfasts were fine, and the jerk chicken on the beach was unbelievable, but the dinners were not at all what we would expect for the price. We often ate nothing but bread for dinner, and I am NOT a picky or snobby eater. The problem was that the main entree was OFTEN leftovers from the previous night recooked as something else to the point that it was either so tough you couldn't cut it with a steak knife or that it was a casserole like thing with nothing but fat and bones in it. Not exaggerating here. AND, we had it great compared to what we heard from the people at the other resorts. They were miserable. Otherwise, our resort was beyond fabulous, especially for the price, and there are MANY great excursions to do in Ochos Rios. I would stay away from Montego Bay for certain, and I don't know about Negril.

If money matters, your other two selections are probably the most pricey places you could have picked. I don't know about Maui, I'm sure it's amazing, but I have heard amazing things about Turks and Caicos and really wish I could go, but having been willing to pay the price.

I suggest this: think about the type of activities you are most interested in and then look in guide books to see which place best fits your interests. For example, awesome snorkeling/diving in Turks and Caicos, not so much in Jamaica. Weather/temperature patterns are also something to consider for each place. If you're looking for the safest place, obviously that is Maui. I have even read scary stuff about Turks and Caicos, but NOTHING like what I read about Jamaica!

If you are on a tight budget, though, and don't mind the blah food, Jamaica isn't that bad, as long as you choose a higher end resort and the right city. I would plan on only taking organized tours, though, if you go there. No exploring the local culture on your own in Jamaica, especially not with kids.

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K.B.

answers from Dallas on

It's been many years since I went to Jamaica, but I will never go back. After listening to the travelog by the cruise director, I was scared to death the whole time we were on shore there,. It may have changed since then, but I won't go back to check it out! I personally would go to either of your other choices. Flight to Turks & Caicos would be faster, I think, than flight to Hawaii, but either would be a good place to go.

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C.W.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Well, you can absolutely get the most weed in Jamaica, I have never taken my daughter.

I love Maui...I love all of Hawaii!! I must get back in the next six months!

My tennis pro worked in the Turks and Caicos and LOVED it!

1 mom found this helpful
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B.G.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I loved Costa Rica! Tico Tours took really good care of us! Zip lines, horseback riding, waterfall propelling.....fabulous houses to stay in!

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N.C.

answers from Dallas on

As with Travel anywhere you don't have a bubble around you so you need to be aware and cautious. In Jamaica I can only say that I would stay in a resort type setting like Beaches where you would have security.
Turks and Caicos is beautiful and the island is friendly. It is tricky to get to so I would need your airport to see if flying with that many kids is a good idea. Of course the best and safest choice is Maui but again a long flight with kids.
I will be happy to help you with any of your travel arrangements. My email is [email protected]____.com.
N. Cox
Mom of 7 and Grand Mother of 13

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

I adore Jamaica, and I've taken my daughter every year since she was three years old, BUT we stay at the same kid-friendly resort every year. I don't know if I would rent a house there. Maui is beautiful, probably quite safe, but be careful with the ocean. I've never seen waves like I saw in Maui, and I was appalled to see so many people out up to their waists in strong waves with their children! I don't know anything about Turks and Caicos, but my friends went there with their three boys and loved it.

P.S., the food at our all-inclusive resort in Jamaica is great, and always has been.

K.R.

answers from Dallas on

I have been to all three places, and if safety if a concern, I would definitely say No to Jamaica. That is unless you stay at a nice all-inclusive resort and don't really venture out anywhere else.

I absolutely love both Maui and Turks&Caicos. T&C is growing. If you are looking for untouched natural beauty and not too much hustle and bustle, this is the perfect location. There are some touristy things to do there, but it is also the perfect place to just relax. Maui is also gorgeous with a little more to do. Maui has the beauty of Hawaii without the tourist traps of Honolulu. Also, Maui is a bit more pricey than T&C. Airfare and food can get quite expensive.

I think you and your clan will be thrilled with either of those locations. Have a wonderful vacation!

L.G.

answers from Eugene on

Jamaica is so beautiful. Nothing is far away. You can go to the native markets or to the Blue Mountains hiking. Water sports of all kinds are available.
I'd stay in Ocho Rios or outside of Montego Bay.
My nephew and his wife went to the Turks and Caicos on their honeymoon four years ago and said it was boring.

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