Honeymoon Suggestions

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Dynasty90
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Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:34 pm

Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by Dynasty90 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:26 pm

Hello,

We are looking for some suggestions regarding honeymoon destinations. My fiancé and I will get married in June 2018. We will be departing for the honeymoon after our wedding (end of June 2018) for a 7 day trip. Besides Canada, neither of us have traveled outside of the USA. We are looking for a honeymoon that fulfills most of the following:

Budget: $3,500 including airfare

1. All inclusive resort (we have heard of places that place a wristband on you when you arrive and as long as you show the wristband when ordering food and beverages, no out of pocket money is required...basically food and beverages are pre-paid in the package)

2. Safe (we are only interested in staying on the resort. We will not be venturing off into nearby cities and experiencing the country's true culture)

3. Variety of activities (we are most interested in relaxing and enjoying the weather with some beverages in our hands, but we would like to do some actives such as snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, spa relaxation, kayaking, etc.)

4. Variety of food (we are plain eaters for the most part. We are not seafood lovers. We prefer burgers, wings, ribs, steak, pasta, tacos, burritos, etc.)

We are good friends with newly wed couple our age. They went to the Moon Palace in Cancun and loved it. They highly recommend it. We looked into their suggestion and like what we see. It is within our budget, but figured we should post on the forums to see what other Bogleheads recommend. As mentioned earlier, we have never traveled like this and do not foresee us taking a similar trip anytime soon. We are not familiar with how all inclusive resorts work. We are trying to get the most bang for our buck when it comes to our $3,500 budget.

We appreciate your time and help.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:33 pm

Dynasty90 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:26 pm
We are good friends with newly wed couple our age. They went to the Moon Palace in Cancun and loved it.
DW and I went to Cancun for our fifteenth anniversary and loved it. However, that was almost twenty-five years ago. The news I see coming out of Cancun these days makes me want to give it a wide berth. In addition, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning back in August regarding the greatly increased level of violence in Mexico.

It's up to you, but I've decided that I never want to go back to Mexico.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:42 pm

http://www.bestallinclusive.com/best-al ... -dolphins/

The first choice is apparently an ethical resort, though I have my suspicions about such places. Also try to settle on a place you can reach easily by a nonstop flight. You don't want to waste time dealing with connections and/or lengthy drives.

123
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by 123 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:10 pm

Just go on a cruise. No complicated arrangements. You just show up (fly to) and get on the ship.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

BUBear29
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by BUBear29 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:01 pm

Dynasty90 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:26 pm
Hello,

We are looking for some suggestions regarding honeymoon destinations. My fiancé and I will get married in June 2018. We will be departing for the honeymoon after our wedding (end of June 2018) for a 7 day trip. Besides Canada, neither of us have traveled outside of the USA. We are looking for a honeymoon that fulfills most of the following:

Budget: $3,500 including airfare

1. All inclusive resort (we have heard of places that place a wristband on you when you arrive and as long as you show the wristband when ordering food and beverages, no out of pocket money is required...basically food and beverages are pre-paid in the package)

2. Safe (we are only interested in staying on the resort. We will not be venturing off into nearby cities and experiencing the country's true culture)

3. Variety of activities (we are most interested in relaxing and enjoying the weather with some beverages in our hands, but we would like to do some actives such as snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, spa relaxation, kayaking, etc.)

4. Variety of food (we are plain eaters for the most part. We are not seafood lovers. We prefer burgers, wings, ribs, steak, pasta, tacos, burritos, etc.)

We are good friends with newly wed couple our age. They went to the Moon Palace in Cancun and loved it. They highly recommend it. We looked into their suggestion and like what we see. It is within our budget, but figured we should post on the forums to see what other Bogleheads recommend. As mentioned earlier, we have never traveled like this and do not foresee us taking a similar trip anytime soon. We are not familiar with how all inclusive resorts work. We are trying to get the most bang for our buck when it comes to our $3,500 budget.

We appreciate your time and help.
Sounds like you are looking for a resort in Riviera Maya. Many to choose from. Check Tripadvisor ratings and photos. Enjoy!
There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.

destinationnc
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by destinationnc » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:22 pm

We had a great time at Occidental Grand Xcaret in the Riviera Maya. Good rooms, pools, food, and plenty to do. Being next to Xcaret Park is the biggest perk. We went with kids, but we saw honey mooners there and I think it's still a good mix of ages. We booked through Costco Travel and everything was great for the flights and transportation - the only complaint we could find would be they have an attendant at each building that hassles you upon check-in and when you come back to your room for excursions. Hammock beds at the beach with drink service is what I miss most. Cost wise it was the same or cheaper to a comparable cruise. For us a low end cruise with ports are not worth seeing so we would prefer an all-inclusive.

PS - I love these recommendation posts. I do search the forums and appreciate the honesty & good suggestions the locals or seasoned folks can provide for areas.

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Watty
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by Watty » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:33 pm

It would help to know what part of the country you are in.

If you are thinking about having kids you should also research what the current status of the Zika virus is where you are going. It has not been getting a lot of press recently but it is still a concern.

The area south of Cancun is called the Riviera Maya and is typically a lot less "party hardy" than Cancun. The ocean at Cancun tends to be real rough and drownings regularly occur there so there are better places to go if you want to actually go in the ocean.

There are a lot of all inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya, I don't have any specific recommendations but we have stayed in the area around Akumal and the snorkelling off the beach was real nice and there is a sea turtle sanctuary there. In addition to seeing sea turtles while snorkeling we also just happened to see sea turtles hatching right next to the beach restaurant where we were having diner. That was in the fall so late June might be different.

You need to take the crime warnings with a huge grain of salt since even if you went to someplace like South Florida there would be some level of crime that could very well be worse than on the Yucatan peninsula. There are a lot of high crime areas in Mexico that I would highly advise not going to but the resort areas in the Yucatan is not one of them.
Dynasty90 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:26 pm
We are trying to get the most bang for our buck when it comes to our $3,500 budget.
...
(we are plain eaters for the most part. We are not seafood lovers. We prefer burgers, wings, ribs, steak, pasta, tacos, burritos, etc.)
Places like Expedia will frequently have airfare and hotel bundles that are good deals.

If you are not heavy eaters and drinkers then an all inclusive would likely be a lot more expensive than just getting a hotel or apartment.

Someone mentioned a cruise which would be an option. I am not a "cruise person" but I once got a discounted cruise here;

http://www.vacationstogo.com/

The Cruise Critic web site is often mentioned as a good source of information when people ask about cruises.

If you go to Mexico be sure to take plenty of sunblock. The sun is strong there and for some reason sunblock is very expensive even at a place like Walmart.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:39 pm

Hapuna Beach Resort - Big Island, Hawaii.
j :D

detroitbabu
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by detroitbabu » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:46 pm

Cancun/Riviera Maya in June will be hot and humid.
I would suggest Hawaii.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:46 pm

https://www.google.com/search?q=dominic ... 4717935875


Dominican Republic all paid resorts.

kjvmartin
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by kjvmartin » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:50 pm

Coworker used to go to Mexico once or twice a year.

Switched to Dominican Republic and prefers that now. May want to check into that.

kjvmartin
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by kjvmartin » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:54 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:39 pm
Hapuna Beach Resort - Big Island, Hawaii.
j :D
I don't recommend Hawaii for anyone with a budget constraint, or looking for an all inclusive.

delamer
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by delamer » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:02 pm

123 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:10 pm
Just go on a cruise. No complicated arrangements. You just show up (fly to) and get on the ship.

While I am a fan of cruises, they aren't quite as all-inclusive as some resorts. Alcoholic beverages are extra and the shore excursions for activities will be an added cost. Plus there are service charges (not sure if that is true for all-inclusives).

You should be able to find a cruise that fits your budget, but you'd need to leave a few hundred dollar cushion for the items above, or you might get a good package that includes them.

mega317
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by mega317 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:03 pm

What's the point of leaving the country if you're not interested in doing anything you can't do here?

Phineas Gage
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by Phineas Gage » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:24 pm

The Hyatt all inclusive in Jamaica is pretty nice and probably fits your budget/interests for the week. Many options around Cancun but availability of direct flights would greatly influence my choice of location especially if not planning to leave resort.

whanaumark
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by whanaumark » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:34 pm

If you can get good flights (~$700) might I suggest Bali. Plenty of great hotels for a budget, familiar food from all the Australians visiting and great prices for drinks and excursions

BusterMcTaco
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by BusterMcTaco » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:49 pm

mega317 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:03 pm
What's the point of leaving the country if you're not interested in doing anything you can't do here?
My thoughts exactly. Go to Hawaii. It is so much simpler and you can venture out of the hotel in confidence and safety.

If you're more adventurous, Southeast Asia had affordable luxury, and your biggest personal risk is usually getting ripped off to the tune of a few dollars.

smitcat
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by smitcat » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:17 am

Dynasty90 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:26 pm
Hello,

We are looking for some suggestions regarding honeymoon destinations. My fiancé and I will get married in June 2018. We will be departing for the honeymoon after our wedding (end of June 2018) for a 7 day trip. Besides Canada, neither of us have traveled outside of the USA. We are looking for a honeymoon that fulfills most of the following:

Budget: $3,500 including airfare

1. All inclusive resort (we have heard of places that place a wristband on you when you arrive and as long as you show the wristband when ordering food and beverages, no out of pocket money is required...basically food and beverages are pre-paid in the package)

2. Safe (we are only interested in staying on the resort. We will not be venturing off into nearby cities and experiencing the country's true culture)

3. Variety of activities (we are most interested in relaxing and enjoying the weather with some beverages in our hands, but we would like to do some actives such as snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, spa relaxation, kayaking, etc.)

4. Variety of food (we are plain eaters for the most part. We are not seafood lovers. We prefer burgers, wings, ribs, steak, pasta, tacos, burritos, etc.)

We are good friends with newly wed couple our age. They went to the Moon Palace in Cancun and loved it. They highly recommend it. We looked into their suggestion and like what we see. It is within our budget, but figured we should post on the forums to see what other Bogleheads recommend. As mentioned earlier, we have never traveled like this and do not foresee us taking a similar trip anytime soon. We are not familiar with how all inclusive resorts work. We are trying to get the most bang for our buck when it comes to our $3,500 budget.

We appreciate your time and help.
OK - your target goals above are pretty clear and that is always a good sign that you will be able to get what you are looking for.
Based upon the above I would stick with the larger 'resorts' in the DR and Jamaica. They will have numerous pools, maybe 8-10 restaurants each, they will have many activities on site, shows on site and the ability to easily go on your excursions(s) offsite as you prefer(dolphins, etc).Your budget will work well for the larger resorts and maybe one excursion for two with a moderate to good room , all inclusive and airfare (at least from the NY area anyway.
Normally I would include a number of other options like St Martin, St Johns, St Thomas etc but I know that they have been affected by the recent storms and the re-openings/condition of many of the places we visited is still not so good.
At this time I would skip Mexico unless/until you hear that both the alcohol issues and violence have been resolved - if you do search in Mexico again the larger resorts are a better fit for your specs above and limit your exposure to the current issues.
Do your research and look at the size and options at each resort as well as the reviews - look for a large variety of pools, beaches, bars, restaurants and check the google earth maps. Booking your flights and vaca after some research can give you a decent discount on pricing as well
We have stayed at a couple of larger resorts in Punta Cana, Bavaro, Ochos Rios and other locations that worked out real well for your goals - if you want some specific resort names just give a yell.

edit - almost forgot, congratulations and have a great time.

Daisy Dog
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by Daisy Dog » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:47 pm

Best place hands down, is where your fiancee (soon wife!) wants to go... (smile, smile).

Daisy Dog

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gunn_show
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by gunn_show » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:50 pm

Dynasty90 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:26 pm

Budget: $3,500 including airfare

We are good friends with newly wed couple our age. They went to the Moon Palace in Cancun and loved it. They highly recommend it. We looked into their suggestion and like what we see. It is within our budget, but figured we should post on the forums to see what other Bogleheads recommend. As mentioned earlier, we have never traveled like this and do not foresee us taking a similar trip anytime soon. We are not familiar with how all inclusive resorts work. We are trying to get the most bang for our buck when it comes to our $3,500 budget.
The budget, while it looks nice, is frankly a big constraint here, especially if you want to live the "all inclusive resort" life type trip. That doubles the cost of the hotel stay. And all inclusive typically points to destinations that cost on the higher end of flights, vs. a $200 trip down to FL. So, as others pointed out, I think we need to understand more background of where you live, what airports and airlines are you closest to, to understand what all you can get for your $3500.

FWIW we did our honeymoon in Cancun as well, and loved it. Stayed below Cancun (don't recommend the actual core Cancun City, that is tourist trap) in Riviera Maya, at the ERC - Excellence Riviera Cancun. Hands down recommend it 110% if it fits your budget. Great huge room, excellent food from 10-12 restaurants of all types (and I too am not a fish eater), awesome property with several pools and bars, and there are some off-campus excursions I would suggest like the XPLOR adult fun park with zip lining and that sort of thing. If you hit their website, there is always a box touting up to 35% off, that is what we used to book ours, but it is still $300-400/n if I recall, since it is a super-luxe all-in resort. If you go much cheaper you are likely compromising on the quality of food and amount of free booze available. We never went thirsty (pro tip - bring your own 30-40 oz refillable water bottles / jugs / pool sippers). From CA we flew Southwest for a moderate price, if you plan ahead and get the SW Chase VISA you can get 40k points right now and that would cover one ticket alone. If you're in CA and sign up now, you can get the companion pass free for 2018 + 40k points, then you are both free. Using the CC game for points to cover the flights would be one way to save big on this trip so you could spend more on the lodging.

https://www.excellenceresorts.com/resor ... ra-cancun/
kjvmartin wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:54 pm
I don't recommend Hawaii for anyone with a budget constraint, or looking for an all inclusive.
I would also recommend Maui, but even if you are west coast, the flights are $650+ each plus 6 hours flight each way, which eats up a huge part of your budget and time allotted. It is a zero decision option if you are mid or east coast, too far, would waste a day on front and back end just getting there, even if you could make the budget work. Maui for a honeymoon is not a place to go on a budget, IMHO.
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

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Toons
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by Toons » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:01 pm

Outer Banks Of North Carolina.
Hatteras Island and South.

:mrgreen:
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dowse
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by dowse » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:15 pm

Just back from a 2-week trip to Hawaii - Maui and Big Is. Spent roughly $6k for 2 people, and that was with air fare mostly paid for with miles and some economizing on meals by having a lot of breakfasts in (stayed in condos), mostly on-the-go sandwiches for lunch and a few evening meals in on leftovers. Although it would be be a spectacular place to spend a honeymoon, I think it would not be possible to do it with a $3500 budget.

quantAndHold
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:24 pm

If you just want a resort where you won't be culturally challenged, stay in the US. If you're on the west coast, go to Hawaii. If you're on the East Coast, Hilton Head. No reason to deal with security or customs. Get the Costco catalog, pick something that looks nice and is within your budget, and be done with it.

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gunn_show
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by gunn_show » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:26 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:24 pm
Get the Costco catalog, pick something that looks nice and is within your budget, and be done with it.
great option.. did that for Greece and Trafalgar tours, worked out great... and they have tons of intra-US options like Hawaii etc...

similarly I would look at Marriott vacations and other related package deals, but Costco Travel is probably the best bet price wise..
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

StlIllini
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by StlIllini » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:55 am

My now wife and I had the same decision to make earlier this year with a somewhat similar budget. Zika concerns eliminated a lot of places we had been discussing. Decided to go to Maui and would do it again in a second! At least weekly we mention going back for our next trip.

TRC
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by TRC » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:23 am

Another vote for maui. But for a week, I would budget $7-10k.

an_asker
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Re: Honeymoon Suggestions

Post by an_asker » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:52 am

Daisy Dog wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:47 pm
Best place hands down, is where your fiancee (soon wife!) wants to go... (smile, smile).

Daisy Dog
+1! You won't thank us tomorrow, you might not thank us next year. But 15/25/35 years later, you will!!

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