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Caribean in the Fall?

CMF

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Caribbean in the Fall?

Hello all.

Looking for suggestions for a Caribbean resort to trade into in the Fall. I'll be something right on the beach would be great. We'll be traveling with preschoolers. It has to trade through II.

Let the suggestions fly!

Charles
 
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JACKC

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With the terrible 2005 hurricane season freshly in mind, I'd suggest Aruba which lies outside the hurricane belt. Beaches are great and island is safe. Trades are hard to come by but somewhat easier in Fall season. Marriotts are considered the nicest exchanges with II, but there are others on Aruba that are great, also.

Do a search on this board and in the archives for more advice on Aruba and other islands.

Jack
 

Kal

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Fall ends on December 21st so that provides lots of dates. I wouldn't go near the Caribbean until after Oct. 1st. However with the global warming in full swing and hurricanes in Year 2 of a 6 year period of very high activity, I wouldn't go until maybe the end of October. Islands in the south "might not" be hit, but the storms cover a very wide swath so weather could be overcast and wet anywhere. Besides that the transportation routes are almost always impacted so getting there could be a real challenge.
 

quiltergal

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Anytime But Fall

As has already been mentioned hurricane season runs from June through November. Why risk it? You're much better off to wait until winter, say January/February. We were in Cancun in November several years ago and while not technically considered part of the Caribbean it gets the same weather patterns. It rained really hard every single day we were there and it wasn't a particularly bad hurricane season that year.

If you want beautiful weather and a warm climate try exchanging into Hawaii. It's fabulous in September/October. ;)
 

Carolinian

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If you're trading a blue week, that is probably the only time it will pull much in the Caribbean. It you're trading a red week, go for a better season. Hurricane season is off season in the Caribbean for a reason.
 

Judy

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I really like the Caribbean in the fall. It's a great time for SCUBA diving because the weather isn't too hot and the water is warm and calm. Unless, of course, there's a hurricane.
Yes hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30. But nobody told Mother Nature :eek: Hurricane Epsilon was out in the Atlantic until December 7 this year. Don't be afraid of the wind ;) Go in the fall if you want; it's easier to get a trade then. If we've made you nervous, it's possible to buy travel insurance that covers cancellations due to weather, but be careful where you buy it and read the fine print.
 

GrayFal

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CMF said:
Hello all.

Looking for suggestions for a Caribean resort to trade into in the Fall. I'll be something right on the beach would be great. We'll be traveling with preschoolers. It has to trade through II.

Let the suggestions fly!

Charles
I agree with Aruba for the Fall - pretty much out of the hurricane belt (never say never) and you should easily trade in with FXR...also a good time for airfare sales.
Besides the Marriotts, I would also consider a 2BR at Casa Del Mar - not as upscale as Marriott but a nice spacious unit, shares facilities with Aruba Beach Club so 2 pools, a nice beach and very kid friendly.
 

akbmusic

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Don't be scared of trying the fall!

We have always traveled with two kids in the fall and buying airline tickets for 4 people to the caribbean can be costly if you go when everyone else wants to go in February/March. It is also less crowded and easier to keep track of the little ones on the beach.
Just be realistic and know you may have to cancel! (Our Grand Cayman trip went down the tubes last fall, but we still went to St. Thomas on an exchange made later). Or wait until 30 days or so and look for one of those great fall airline sales! (We could've all flown to Nassau for under $1000 this fall and checked into a 2 BR at the Harborside at Atlantis if my hubby wouldn't have been already going hunting that week!)
As far as resorts go, the Marriott resorts in Aruba would be good. The Harborside at Atlantis is rather nice, I've heard. There are lots of resorts right on the beach on St. Martin/St. Maarten. I'd also look at Cancun/the Mayan Riviera. It has been our kids' favorite place to go and the flight isn't quite as long as it would be to some of the other islands.
 

CMF

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Why the Fall?

. . . because we are trying to spread-out our vacations across the year. We are in Orlando in January, then we have the TUG Alaska cruise in the summer, and the Chief of Staff [I hope Alan doesn't mind my borrowing the term] wants the next vacation to be in the Fall and wants a beach vacation. Hawaii is just too far away for the kids, e.g., to many hours in the air from the East Coast.

I'll pitch the Aruba suggestion. Any other ideas? I'm thinking that Hilton Head Island may not be bad in August or September. But don't I run the same hurricaine risk there as well? Not as risky?

Charles
 

Dave M

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CMF said:
I'll pitch the Aruba suggestion. Any other ideas? I'm thinking that Hilton Head Island may not be bad in August or September. But don't I run the same hurricaine risk there as well? Not as risky?
As stated above, Aruba is outside of the hurricane belt. Also, the climate is extremely dry, almost assuring a great week for the beach. Thus, the hurricane risk should be nonexistent.

Hilton Head has been surprisingly free of hurricanes over the years. Sure, the side effects from hurricanes hitting other areas can cause a day or two of rainy, windy weather during a stay, but it's unlikely you'll have to cancel your vacation, at least based on historical experience.

Some HHI locals claim that the island has never been hit full-force with a hurricane. However, there have been a few hurricanes to hit HHI in the past 40 years, but the emphasis is on "a few".

From a practical standpoint, historical weather statistics indicate that you have less than a 1 in 50 chance that a hurricane will hit your vacation spot along the coastal southeastern U.S. during any chosen week in the hurricane season. That seems like a risk worth taking, especially if you get travel insurance.
 

Kal

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Look carefully at the frequency of tropical and hurricane storms this year. Throw statistics out the window as global warming is here and obviously very disruptive for the whole year. Never say never. Yep, we can't predict when the winds gonna blow, but don't mess with hurricane season ...period. Just look at all the very unhappy campers at southeast US gateway airports. Flight disruptions are a real pain. And gray, drippy skies during vacations are no fun.
 

Dave M

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Fortunately, Kal, Charles doesn't have to worry about disrupted airline schedules if he chooses HHI. He can drive there in about 10-12 hours.
 

vicdreyer

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Yes, Aruba & Curacao is pretty much out of the Hurricane belt, but I would also suggest some of the Caribbean Islands farther east...like Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent (even St Maarten & St John). Most of the tropical storms don't turn into significant hurricanes until after they pass these islands...(note that I said 'most'...)
 

Kal

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Dave M said:
Fortunately, Kal, Charles doesn't have to worry about disrupted airline schedules if he chooses HHI. He can drive there in about 10-12 hours.
Actually it takes a bit longer as we always stop for lunch on the way.
 

Kal

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vicdreyer said:
...like Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent (even St Maarten & St John). Most of the tropical storms don't turn into significant hurricanes until after they pass these islands...(note that I said 'most'...)
HUH???? Tell that to the residents of ALL those islands as each and every one knows what hurricanes are like up close and personal. Is the term "hurricane alley" capitalized?
 

gmarine

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vicdreyer said:
Yes, Aruba & Curacao is pretty much out of the Hurricane belt, but I would also suggest some of the Caribbean Islands farther east...like Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent (even St Maarten & St John). Most of the tropical storms don't turn into significant hurricanes until after they pass these islands...(note that I said 'most'...)

All of those islands are right smack in the middle of the hurricane belt and in the past have had significant damage from hurricanes, several in the last 12 years or so. Even Barbados, as far east as it is has gotten hit. The last two years has spared these islands but that likely wont be repeated if another season is as active as this year was.

Tropical storms will ruin vacations as well so the fact that some may pass these islands as tropical storms is no consolation.
 

vicdreyer

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Yes, I'm aware that each of these islands have experienced a hurricane up close. What I said in my post is:
"Most of the tropical storms don't turn into significant hurricanes until after they pass these islands...(note that I said 'most'...)"

Check this page out:
http://www.hurricanealley.net/Images/natl05hw.jpg
http://www.hurricanealley.net/natl.html


This maps you see of areas affected by hurricane force winds only applies to the year 2005 but I've looked at previous years and they are similar... you'll notice 'most' of the hurricane force winds are north and west of the islands I mentioned.

I apologize if you misunderstood my post as saying that these islands never get hurricanes....


Kal said:
HUH???? Tell that to the residents of ALL those islands as each and every one knows what hurricanes are like up close and personal. Is the term "hurricane alley" capitalized?
 

quiltergal

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2006 Still Higher Than Average

The national hurricane center is still calling for a higher than average number of storms for the 2006 season with 5 likely to become hurricanes. The airfare may be lower but if you have to bag your trip you haven't really saved anything.
 

Kal

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vicdreyer said:
What I said in my post is:
"Most of the tropical storms don't turn into significant hurricanes until after they pass these islands...(note that I said 'most'...)"
You really do need to recheck your facts. Unless you only consider a hurricane if it is a Cat 4 or 5 where anything less doesn't matter the Cat 1-3 events are still hurricanes. Take a look at 1995 for example:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995.html

Luis, Marilyn, etc were disasterous to the Virgin Islands and the Lesser Antilles.
 

vicdreyer

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I stand corrected...... Your map shows 2 hurricanes out of the 19 that hit in 1995 (category 1 or greater) in the areas I mentioned.

Kal said:
You really do need to recheck your facts. Unless you only consider a hurricane if it is a Cat 4 or 5 where anything less doesn't matter the Cat 1-3 events are still hurricanes. Take a look at 1995 for example:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995.html

Luis, Marilyn, etc were disasterous to the Virgin Islands and the Lesser Antilles.
 

CMF

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The question may be moot for the moment because . . .

. . . although I'm still new at the searching exchanging game, I see no availability in Aruba for the fall and flights from the DC area seem to be very pricey (I know that cost is a relative thing - but this would not be a cheap vacation) and I'm not familiar with the airline seasonal sales that akbmusic mentioned. So the ball seems to be swinging back to Hilton Head Island.

Charles
 

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Did you check Cancun - despite Wilma and earlier in the season Emily, Cancun doesn't seem to get as many hurricanes - ranked 42nd out of 60 on this page of historical hits and misses.

As to the earlier post:
Antigua - 11th
Barbuda - 33rd
Barbados - 50th
St Lucia, -54th
St Vincent - 55th
St Maarten - 18th
St John - 16th
 

CMF

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Not really.

So the ball seems to be swinging back to Hilton Head Island.

Charles
Hilton Head is going to be too cold in October - the target travel month. We are now thinking of Sanibel Island. Cancun may have to wait.


Charles
 

Dave M

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How about late September for HHI? That's fall (technically) and you'll still have great beach weather. Many of us prefer September for our HHI beach days because much of the stifling heat and humidity from the summer is gone. But you'll still have average highs in the low 80s and ocean temperatures close to 80.
 

TomCayman

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Funny how everyone is an expert weather forecaster these days... and those of us living in the Caribbean are just as guilty.. but the reality is that nobody knows when and where Hurricanes will hit, and statistically the chance of your one week vacation in one of over 40 Caribbean basin tourism destinations being disrupted are minimal. You could get knocked down crossing the road.

The fall is a great time to dive, plus things are not as crowded as at peak season, airfares are great deals etc..... and with the money you save from off season deals, why not consider buying trip insurance ?
 
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