Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Honeymoon Advice?

Tim and I haven't decided on our honeymoon locale yet, and it's in fact one of the things we're having the hardest time deciding. We've got the venue, caterer, photographer, dj, florist, and we're close to settling on a baker. But the honeymoon! We can't figure it out.

I need tips.

Here are our thoughts...

One of my girlfriends told me that people have been recommending all-inclusive to her because the honeymoon is the last place you want to restrict spending or limit drinks or nice food because of cost.

So the all-inclusive I've had my eye on?

Sandals La Toc in St. Lucia. Anyone gone? Know people who have? Thoughts?

What other all-inclusive spots have you been to or heard about that would be good for a honeymoon?

Another option that isn't all-inclusive is to do something smaller like go to NYC and eat at nice restaurants and see some shows and then take a major trip next spring once the sticker shock of the wedding has worn off.

Thoughts on that idea? If you did it or like it, what are some other places besides NYC?

And the last option that I've been toying with? Going ahead all out right now and heading to Italy...although I don't think this is going to happen.

What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages to this? Did you go big?

I would really want to go to Greece, but most people laugh and scowl because of their economic state right now...so I guess that one can wait until the world settles down.

What do you think? I'm honestly asking for your help here, because I definitely trust your opinion! What I would like the very very most is some more all-inclusive non-Carribean or Mexican ideas. Do those exist?

Where did you go on your honeymoon, or where would you like to go?

And a quick peek at where we're going for flowers (or where I hope we're going)...

source
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I can tell you early on that February hasn't been great for me...

34 comments:

Ashley {hudson's happenings} said...

Eeep! So exciting. :)

We went the all inclusive route, and stayed at Sandals Halcyon Beach in St. Lucia. We loved it there...it had a very secluded and Caribbean feel. :) We also visited La Toc while we were there...it's in a totally different area of the island, and offers some great views of the ocean, especially where the cruise ships come in, which was neat! Also, it's very close to the rainforest, which I would definitely visit. I guess I would especially choose La Toc if either of you planned on golfing. And they have a really tasty Caribbean restaurant there, too. ;) ALSO, I will say that the 3rd Sandals resort, Grande St. Lucian seemed to have the most amenities/best pools. Whew. That's a lot of info. Hope that helps. :)

p.s. if you do choose St. Lucia, make sure to take the excursion that has the horseback ride on the beach. SO romantic and fun. :)

Ashley {hudson's happenings} said...

oh one more thing....when is the honeymoon? We were there in July and the water wasn't as clear as it is in the photos. :( Summertime is their rainy season from what I understand. And while the ocean was still pretty, it was more of a deep blue color.

Meghan said...

My husband and I aren't beach people at all. I really wanted to go to Europe, but he is more of a homebody, so we decided to stay in the states, but went big! We went to San Francisco, Napa Valley and Las Vegas. We ate at some amazing restaurants and stayed at hotels we wouldn't normally stay at. Plus, we had family and friends join us in Vegas for the final leg of our trip!

jillian :: cornflake dreams. said...

italy!!!!!!!! or the beach! just stay away from mexico.. it's still a little scary down there. i would wait on going to greece too, my greek friend's parents went there a few months ago and said it isnt exactly stable right now. good luck! im sure you will find the perfect place! xo

Maria said...

The flowers are so beautiful! I know my cousin did an all inclusive trip when she got married and she said she wouldn't have had it any other way!

Melissa said...

We went to an all inclusive just oustide of Cancun, and it was amazing! It was a completely secluded resort called Excellence Playa Mujeres. I did a lot of research beforehand, and it had great ratings. Plus, two of my best friends had gone earlier in the year for their honeymoons and had great experiences. We figured first hand recommendations were the best to go by, so we booked it and didn't regret it for a second. It was the perfect fit for our budget, super nice, and we had a great time! I would definitely recommed it! :)

The Sweetest Thing said...

We recently decided on our honeymoon spot and we went with {Sandals} Jamaica. We would have loved to go to Europe but thats not exactly a budget friendly trip for newlyweds! Like your friend, we wanted to do all-inclusive. Additionally, we have a ton of married friends who have gone to numerous places and everyone says St. Lucia is the best for the money. We are HM'ing in July so the travel agent said that hurricanes/bad weather come in July and that Jamaica was the safest bet.

Goodluck! Can't wait to hear what you decide.

April Westerhold said...

We went to the Excellence Riviera Cancun in October and it was phenomenal. All-inclusive, ADULTS ONLY!! 7 to restaurants, 5 star hotel. It was AMAZING. When you book as a honeymoon/anniversary, you get special things like champagne/fruit in your room, breakfast in bed, etc. We can't wait to go back.

Their sister resort is the Excellence Punta Cana and was rated one of the Top 10 All-Inclusive resorts in the world. That's where we are headed next. Can't wait to hear where you decide!

april@Party of Five

megan said...

Ooh I can't wait to stalk these comments! haha. The all inclusive resort in St. Lucia sounds awesome! Can't wait to see what you pick!

April Westerhold said...

One other thing about the Excellence Riviera Cancun . . . they literally did whatever they could to make us happy. It was during the World Series and we really wanted to watch the Cardinals. They pulled a TV out in to the quad and set up tables/chairs for us. It was AMAZING! We were watching the World Series on a beach in Mexico and had a waiter bringing us drinks all night! We all agreed that since we weren't at the game it was definitely the next best place to be!

On the night that they had something set up and couldn't watch the game in the quad area, they found us a private room. Definitely above and beyond.

Football and just started so on that Sunday they had a whole football viewing area with apps, football-type decorations, etc.

We really loved that place.

http://www.excellence-resorts.com/caribbean-and-mexico-destinations/excellence-riviera-cancun

Lauren @ A modern day wife's journey said...

Beautiful flowers wow! We went to an all inclusive for our honeymoon, Sandals Ocho Rios in Jamaica and LOVED it! It was seriously so so perfect and we had a blast :-) Def recommend!

Katie said...

What we discovered is that it was hard to find all-inclusive outside of the Caribbean or Mexico. But, it wasn't a problem for us because we wanted something warm and tropical. (Well, we really wanted Paris, but that wasn't happening.)

Ultimately, we went with Secrets St. James in Montego Bay, Jamaica and got a great deal. It was a lot cheaper than Sandals, but still had all the perks and is gorgeous. We also looked at the Zoetry resorts, which I personally loved, but he really didn't want to go to Mexico.

Good luck! Oh, and I love love love those flowers!!

Heather said...

I've stayed at two Sandals resorts and have LOVED it both times. I can't wait to try out another.

smk053078 said...

Girl, you need to head to an all-inclusive on the beach!!! Cabo San Lucas is amazing...That St. Lucia picture gave me the travel bug! Regardless of where you go, it will be the BEST time of your life!!

Because Shanna Said So

Calley said...

Wherever you go, you will have fun! If I were you, I would do the honeymoon right away, and not wait for it. You'll want to relax after the wedding, and the best way to do it is to get away!
I've never done an all-inclusive, and one of the reasons is that I love the experience of going out to eat at local restaurants - and if it were all-inclusive I think I would be less inclined to do that. I definitely see the appeal though, because going out to eat can be EXPENSIVE!

Kelly said...

Okay, so as I just came back from the Riviera Maya coast in Mexico, I would MOST DEFINITELY say that if you're going to do a resort, make sure to do all-inclusive. We've been to 2 and it is SOSOSOSOSO nice not having to "worry" about the bill at the end of dinner/the trip!!!

I know you didn't mention a cruise, but don't go on one of those. That was our honeymoon all the way back in 2003 when we were just poor college kids and although we had fun, it was kind of yucky.

Good luck making your choice!! My best friends honeymooned in Jaimaca and thought it was very dirty (but they might have gone to the wrong area?) I LOOOVE the Riviera area of Mexico. LOVE the flowers :-D

Sarah said...

We went to greece for our honeymoon....amazing! We went to excellence playa mujeres this past summer and cannot wait to go back. Check out my travel reviews on my blog under the top heading that says we love to travel.

Meagan said...

I think of those options you should do st Lucia. A honeymoon is one of the most amazing trips you will ever take. You will be on a natural high from happiness and you will want some serious relaxing time after all the wedding craziness. We stayed at the four seasons Santa Barbara and had great food and massages and went on a bike ride and wine tasting. It was amazing! I know my bil and sil stayed at an all inclusive place in cancun. Let me know if you want details.

Breanna Hohenstein said...

I am not married yet, but i've been to a few all inclusives in mexico with my boy and let me tell you it was amazing. Iberostars are always a nice way to go and is who we stayed with the last two times. Iberostars are all over as well.. Jamaica, dominican, bahamas, cozumel... We stayed at parisio beach which is in riveria maya right outside of cancun :) I love all inclusives for the mere fact everything is payed for ahead of time and its nice to drink and eat whenever you want without paying right than and there. Hope this helps :)

Emily w/Amazing Grapes said...

hhmmm, so many great ideas in the comments!!

I'm not a mexico person, especially with what's going on right now, so I'd avoid them...but that's just me. And I'm more for relaxing on the honeymoon than the crazy NY feel...but I wasn't a fan of NY when I went, either. (so that might be moot. haha)

I wanted to go to Bora Bora and I think it was all inclusive...but not sure, but it was pricey. I hear all inclusive is the way to go, no worries about anything.

But I'm also a lover of HI, and seriously LOVED LOVED LOVED the Four Seasons in Maui. I would HIGHLY recommend going if you want to splurge. I'm not sure they're all inclusive, but you'll be pampered above and beyond there and wouldn't be disappointed!!
Emily at Amazing Grapes

Nikki said...

My main recommendation is ADULTS ONLY!!! It provides the relaxing atmosphere, you are going to need after planning the "Best Day of your Lives!" I'm newly married (11/5/11) and we went to Secrets Silversands in Riveria Maya, Mexico...it was FABULOUS!

Enjoy every bit of planning, you are going to miss it, when it is all over!!!!

Suze said...

Mateya at robbieandmateya.blogspot.com went to an all inclusive resort on their honeymoon ! She liked it what I recall ! I would email ask her which one she went to!

Allison said...

We went to the USVI's for our honeymoon (no passports required US owned!) and it was so so so beautiful! We did not do all inclusive bc neither of us would eat/drink enough to make it worth it. We booked with a travel agent, which I would req since she hooked us up. We got an upgraded room on the beach at no charge, a $150 food credit at the resort (that covered our dinners, drinks, and breakfast. ) The make Cruzan Rum down there so the rum punch was free at a lot of places on the islands (we even got free shots as soon as we got off the plane!) We stayed at the Marriot Frenchmans Reef. I would go back in a heart beat! My advice is go somewhere you really want to go and have never been before. That way it will be a trip to remember!

MCM Mama said...

Beautiful flowers!

I don't have a whole lot to add to the discussion though as we were married a long time ago (17 years ACK!), so I'm sure places would have changed + we went to Alaska which is not at all like going to the beach LOL.

Ashley said...

such great pics for honeymoons! are you guys more of the exploring type or do you want a really relaxing trip? if you're a mix, I say choose Italy. If you want to just chill, I'd do the all-inclusive. I think NYC is great but I think you guys could do that for a first anniversary for pretty cheap. EEK let us know!

aaand all this coming from a nonmarried, never engaged, single girl! haha

Kristin W said...

Well we eloped in Aruba (which is actually an amazing, cheap place that I would totally recommend!), but all-inclusive would definitely be awesome for a honeymoon. We've never stayed at at top tier all-inclusive, but I've never been unhappy at one either!

Good luck...and I'm sure you'll enjoy it no matter where you go!

Megan Stroup said...

Hi Meghan,

I don't know anything about St. Lucia (sorry! it looks gorgeous!), but I just wanted to let you know I nominated you for The Sunshine Award today! :) Check it out here: http://megancstroup.blogspot.com/2012/03/sunshine-award.html

Happy March!

Amber said...

I've always thought about where I'd want to go on my honeymoon someday, and part of me wants a tropical vacation, but then the other part of me wants to go see Europe. Ahhh, tough decisions. But, I have heard that St. Lucia is amazing.

lww. said...

definitely recommend an all inclusive!- its totally the way to go for your honeymoon. we went to a secrets resort in mexico, and have gone back to one in the dominican.
http://secretsresorts.com/

i didn't know things this nice existed! we felt like we were in heaven!

lww. said...

definitely recommend an all inclusive!- its totally the way to go for your honeymoon. we went to a secrets resort in mexico, and have gone back to one in the dominican.
http://secretsresorts.com/

i didn't know things this nice existed! we felt like we were in heaven!

Kari said...

I got married in June, and we chose to honeymoon at the Sandals resort in Antigua. It's a huge resort and there's a lot to do there, but I've heard that the resorts in St. Lucia are amazing too. We had wanted to go to Italy to visit my husband's family and tour around, but the all-inclusive resort was less expensive and the travel was easier. There are so many great all-inclusive options out there, if that's the way you're leaning. I hope you guys have fun choosing your honeymoon location!

Elizabeth James said...

I'm a little late in the game- a new follower but long time reader :) all inclusive is def. the way to do- you spend so much money all the way up to the day before and day after your wedding day- traveling to your destination, wedding costs, etc- you'll be glad you went to an all inclusive- care free. We went to The Royal in Playa del Carmen. I know its mexico- but have recommended it to other couples that went and its amazing. No children and 9 places to eat and to choose from. It's cheaper than Sandals at St. Lucia (our second choice) which we had friends who went there and loved it but also thought it was a little overpriced. Hope this helps! I'm sure wherever you go will be beautiful and relaxing!

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