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Dream Honeymoon or something more sensible

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Fancy605

Brilliant_Rock
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So, I am currently facing a delima and want some outside perspective. My fiance and I would really like to have a nice honeymoon in the caribbean. We want to stay in a really nice hotel and have a few nice dinners. We will be able to pay for the trip without creating any debt of any sort, but I am starting to feel hesitant because that''s a chunk of money that we could use for purchasing a home/furnishing or save for emergencies. I really want to have an amazing honeymoon because, I mean, it''s our honeymoon, and it''ll be the first real adventure we have as a married couple. I know that your mindset is what makes a honeymoon "perfect" and that the actual location isn''t nearly as important as being together, but I sure would love being in the place of my dreams with the guy of my dreams. But the frugal sensible side in me is begining to pipe up and say, "but think of all the other stuff you could do with what that one week would cost."

My question is (If you don''t mind me asking), which route did you take? Would you do anything different looking back on it now?
 

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Trelala

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Jul 12, 2006
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Think about it this way then... Ten years later, when you''re still living in a cardboard shack, will you be irritated with yourself for spending so much on your honeymoon? Or you''re living in a gorgeous mansion, will you think, "darn, I sure wish I went to the Caribbean for my honeymoon instead of _____."

I know what you mean! Spending money on the wedding, on the honeymoon and on housing is enough to make anyone gasp. We have our hearts set on a honeymoon in Italy and will probably delay our trip for up to a year.
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
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Sep 21, 2006
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335
We could only afford a weekend in Chicago, but had a riot. We then bought a house a year later. Now is such a great time to buy a home in so many parts of the country too. We looked at it this way-we have our whole lives together to take great trips. We have good memories of our honeymoon, but I have memories of other trips we''ve taken since then that were just fantastic even though they weren''t our honeymoon. At the time, we really wanted to take a cruise and just couldn''t afford it. It seemed so important then, but looking back it is no big deal. I guess it depends how much you want to spend and if you can be happy with that . I wouldn''t change a thing.
 

diamondfan

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I can see both sides. There is no reason to over extend and stress and end up not enjoying the trip.

BUT, now might be the time since I have learned that once you get married there will be no end to the other uses for the money. Once you own a home there are home repairs and such, cars break down, etc, and then you have kids and money and time are frequently tight then...

so I would say have the nicest poshest time you can have without incurring debt that freaks you out the minute you see the bills, but take advantage of the time and freedom you have now...I think it is nice to look down the line and say you have all the time in the world, but I know couples who kept thinking that and there was always something that cropped up, so I say do it NOW, enjoy, don''t break the bank, but really have fun. Then, in life, if you can, you will continue to have great trips...but you won''t look back and say you wish you had done it then too!
 

Cheekyprincess

Shiny_Rock
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Oct 30, 2006
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Having just booked my honeymoon, I have gone through the same dilemma- I went with the honeymoon. When all you have left is memories it will hopefully be one of your fondest- stuff the furniture! Plus if you plan on having kids you may not get a chance for another romantic getaway for a long time. I did make compromises- but I wanted Borneo and a 5 star resort. Thankfully we are expats living in Singapore and a flight to borneo is hardly anything, the resorts there are excellent value as well. Advice I got time and time again was ''it''s your honeymoon- you only get it once'' and of course the voice in the back of my mind- I am only going to live in SE Asia once- make the most of it.

I think the honeymoon is really important- as much as the wedding is for your friends and family the honeymoon is all yours! Your chance to celebrate your love and union.
 

njc

Brilliant_Rock
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We went for the big honeymoon (2 weeks in Hawaii)… we had never taken any kind of vacation together, so for us it was a must. I certainly have no regrets and I don’t think DH does either… we constantly talk about it 15 mos later! We bought our house the spring before we got married and neither of us thought twice about spending 1 1/2 months mortgage. We also haven’t done anything extravagant since, which is fine with us too. I agree with Diamondfan and Cheeky... there are always other uses for money, I wouldnt trade our honeymoon for a fully furnished house and of course (if you want) there comes the kids!

I have never been to the Caribbean, so I could be wrong, but I think they are some REALLY nice places to stay that are reasonable, or maybe you just don’t go for a really long time. Had a friend take her honeymoon in Jamaica at a RID-IC-U-LOUS all-inclusive resort and I don’t think they spent more than $3K for a week. You could also try and save a little by doing research and booking it all on your own! GOOD LUCK!
 

eks6426

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Money comes and money goes through out life. Houses come and houses go. But you''ll have your honeymoon memories for the rest of your life. Besides, you only get ONE true honeymoon. You can always buy a house a year later.
 

diamondfan

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I agree, you will have your memories, and no one can take that from you. Also, not that you need a fancy honeymoon, but after the stress of a wedding, (all can be even if everything is great) it is your time with your new hubby to really relax and rejuventate...priceless in my book!
 

eleguin

Shiny_Rock
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You might regret not going on that dream honeymoon but you probably won''t regret waiting a few months for that dream couch
. We went with the honeymoon and booked 2 weeks in the greek isles. At the time our dilemma was whether to go with budget hotels or the 5-star honeymoon hotels. Budget hotels would be comfortable and the outdoor scenery is the highlight of the greek islands anyway. But after a lot of back and forth, we kept thinking we only have one honeymoon in our life and having the memory of the gorgeous honeymoon suite overlooking the aegean sea would be so much more amazing than having furniture or something practical! (not that those things aren''t very important) Our honeymoon is going to end up costing more than 10k (way more than what we originally planned) but we are looking forward to it so much and have no regrets.

I think you can find some great deals on nice resorts in the Caribbean, depending on what month you are thinking of going. I find that if you look for these travel deals yourself, they are usually much cheaper than going with a travel agent. Look at different websites, like http://www.virgin-vacations.com/site_vv/index.asp. Also, if you use your credit card to charge wedding expenses, you can rack up points to redeem for your honeymoon.
 

Independent Gal

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I''m a big fan of getting the very best for the price of something budget... usually possible if you know where to look. There are FABULOUS last minute deals on gorgeous resorts for a fraction of normal prices. Why not pick a day, go to the travel agent or look online and find a last minute deal? The spontaneity of not knowing where you''ll end up going will make it more fun, too (unless you''re a hard core planner and you''d find that stressful).

Another option: the craziest most luxurious hotels I''ve stayed it have been in Asia, and they usually cost less than a fleabag in NYC. If you can find a deal on airfare, why not go somewhere else with idyllic beaches: Thailand or Malaysia or Viet Nam and really live it up? And everything else is so much cheaper in those places too. Three course dinner for two, with wine, at the very best restaurant in Ha Noi will run you about $16. If you figure it would be more like $100-$150 for a decent place in the US, after four dinners, you''ve already saved a good chunk of your airfare.

Just a thought!
 

Jaders731

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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First...

My FI and I arent taking a honeymoon right away, as our job wont permit taking the time... as we are in the middle of building a resort... we are taking three extra days after the wedding.. but the real honeymoon will come next year... 3 weeks in Europe!!!

Another good reason for doing it this way.. is it will allow us to recover from the wedding.. LOL, at least allow our wallets to recover...

Fancy... may I ask where you are thinking of going in the Caribbean.. seeing as how I live here.. I have lots of ideas and useful information that may help you with your decisions!! Let me know if you need some ideas... and especially money saving ideas!
 

AmberWaves

Ideal_Rock
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We aren''t taking our honeymoon right away, which is good because after paying for the wedding, we really won''t have the money for it. Since we''ve been very good about our money lately, my cousin has offered to help us pay for some deposits and parts of our honeymoon. I''ve always imagined our honeymoon in Hawaii, so we''re hoping for at least 5 nights there, possibly in a condo.
We''re prepared to spend our own money, though, not relying on family.
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
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In most cases, I''d say "house" but a week in the Carribean isn''t THAT expensive for the memories you''ll make, and $3 or $4k isn''t much towards a house, really... trust me, once you have the house, you''ll never have spare cash for trips to the Carribean! You''ll spend them on furniture, new cabinets, whatever... Houses suck up your money and time. They''re worth it, but your honeymoon is too! Go for the honeymoon!
 

mercoledi

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 20, 2006
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2,822
We took the middle path on our honeymoon, we booked the smallest room a really fabulous hotel and happened to mention that it was out honeymoon. We didn''t get the penthouse, but we did get upgraded a few levels for free. It''s not something I would count on, but it''s good buisness for the hotel; from now on I''ll reccommend them to everyone I know who travels to Montreal. Of course I''ll also tell them about the dinner we had that cost more than three nights at the hotel did...
I always get caught up in the cost of things, I never go on vacation without counting every little penny we''re spending, but when I arrive home I''m always happy to have done something new rather than acquired new things.

I think it comes down to scale. Are we talking about a few thousand dollars, or are we talking about tens of thousands of dollars cost difference between what your mini-moon and dream honeymoon would be? I think the Caribbean isn''t too pricey these days, unless you''re starting from the west coast.

And what''s more important to you, experiences and memories of travel, or stuff?
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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1,082
We took our honeymoon 3 months after our wedding due to work and school schedules, it was great because we were fully recovered from the wedding, yet still very much newlyweds- I wouldn''t change a thing w/ regards for timing. We got married Memorial Day weekend and the night after the wedding we stayed at a nice B&B at a beach town where some of our friends were staying as well, so we went out the night after the wedding w/ friends- sort of extending the celebration, then on Tuesday we went back to work.

When are you getting married?

We went to Costa Rica during the "green" season and this allowed us to save a little $$ and as a result we stayed in really nice places. I know that the Carribbean is less expensive in the summer than it is in the winter, also you can shop around for "deals" even at high end resorts.

Do you think that anyone would give you a portion of your honeymoon as a wedding gift? I know someone who''s BIL gave them the flight, others who have gotten certificates for dinners, etc.
 

Jas12

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2006
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2,330
take the honeymoon--you''ll have lots of time to slowly ''build'' your home. So many married friends told me that they were unsure whether or not they should have a honeymoon and all of them said they were soooo glad they did. They all noted how that time to just relish being married and start their married life on high note was important to them.When I was trying to decide on this issue my mom made a good point--we are planning on starting a family shortly after marriage, meaning no major vacay/alone time for a least a few years! Something to consider if you want kids right away...

Also, all my friends who said they were going to wait and go on a honeymoon the next year or whatever, have yet to follow through with that.
 

firebirdgold

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
2,216
We''re having a mini-moon due to time constraints. I wish we could have a longer honeymoon, but that''s just the way life is. Fortunately we''re getting married in Hawaii and then staying an extra 4 days so at least it''ll be a nice mini-moon. I''m in charge of budgeting so I did a lot of research and found us a decent hotel that''s a good value and near a town so we don''t have to pay hotel prices for food. We''re paying extra for a good ocean view, but it''s still less expensive then a room at a luxury resort.

We''re hoping to go for a longer honeymoon sometime in the next year and a half to Greece. Again I''ll do a lot of research to make the most out of our money, but I definitely would pick spending extra on our honeymoon over a couch.
I''ll live with his ratty old futon and grad student level furniture for another couple of years in exchange for a memorable adventure and wedding trip!
 

codex57

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
1,492
In this part of the country, a nice week in the Caribbean isn't going to make any difference as to whether you can afford a downpayment for a house or not. $3000 is more than adequate for a week of some REALLY nice living down there, including airfare and some shopping. You can either do an all inclusive resort or a cruise trip (with a balcony cabin). I've even done a week in Hawaii for about $3000 that included activities almost every day (tho you should budget in time to just simply relax) and Hawaii is more expensive in general. You just gotta search for deals. If you are interested in cruises, I can give you the name of a cheap travel agent I use (she does it part time so she takes less commission) and some websites to find good deals.

Would I do anything differently? Absolutely not. We have a nearly empty house. It's ok. We're together, we've got fantastic pictures and memories of our wedding and honeymoon. Even a hilarious story (check out www.bearvoyage.com - they were on our trip - *** WARNING - NOT SAFE FOR WORK - but no nudity ***). We're just taking much longer to fully stock our house and had to stretch out any vacations and such. Totally worth it. It's a once in a lifetime thing.
 

Fancy605

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
1,446
Wow! Thanks, you guys have given great advice for me to take in! I really do want a fab. honeymoon. We have money saved for it. I guess the side of me that has learned to save all this money by contemplating every purchase is making me rethink evn the purchases that we are saving money for in the first place.

We are getting married in July, and actually rates are great for the Carribean at that time (If only the whether will be nice for us). Has anyone ever been in the summertime?

You guys are right. We will only have one "real" honeymoon. It may as well be EXACTLY what we want it to be.
 

gailrmv

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
3,136
We did the middle road - went to our dream destination and rented a condo while we were there, which was very nice but cheaper than most hotels. We enjoyed some fabulous meals and entertainment, but other days we ate on the cheap and went for hikes, went to the beach, etc that was free. Staying somewhere not so expensive will help a ton. Going to the grocery and getting things for breakfast and lunch meansthat you don''t have to eat out every meal (I''ve heard that restaurant food in the carribean is really expensive!). Also, consider booking your trip during the off peak season, if it''s feasible!
 

Jaders731

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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527
Fancy..

I am in Turks and Caicos.. and the summer here was really nice... July was warm... but if you are vacationing here (the caribbean) I assume thats what you want. Our July was in and around the upper 80s lower 90s.. not too bad.. and there was a breeze.
The ocean is calm and beautiful.. you will beat out all the crowds.. as they will have left around early may and wont return until late October...And.. everyone drops their prices!

Let me see if I can track down a picture....
This picture is from one of the local restaurants looking out on the beach.. sorry.. its on my cell phone (all my REAL pictures are too big and need to be resized


I''ll work on resizing some of the beach ones if you would like!

Hemingways.JPG
 

aquarius_ser

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Messages
269
Go for the HONEYMOON! I had that dilemma for a split second, and quickly decided on the Honeymoon. If I don''t do it now, it probably will never happen because me, you and everyone else will ALWAYS have something else to spend your money! ... whether it''s a house, a furnace or air conditioner, new carpet, furniture, etc. There will always be SOMETHING, so I''m using this opportunity to go to the carribean since I''ve never been.

Don''t get me wrong, I''m not spending $10,000 on the honeymoon, somewhere around $5,000..... location TBD...
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
honeymoon, honeymoon, honeymoon.

I did not get to take mine, as we had to stay and hang out with friends and family who paid so much to get here. I don''t regret it, but all my life I wanted to go on a real honeymoon to some place fab (never dreamed about the wedding itself). We still will take a good trip sometime, but it is not the same as leaving it all behind after crazy wedding stress and just enjoying each other before mundane life sets in again. The memories are so important and I a lot of people I know like looking at their honeymoon photos over the wedding ones!
 

codex57

Brilliant_Rock
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1,492
Date: 12/12/2006 10:14:22 PM
Author: Fancy605

We are getting married in July, and actually rates are great for the Carribean at that time (If only the whether will be nice for us). Has anyone ever been in the summertime?
It''s hurricane season. Beautiful when there''s no storm. Can be complete devastation if it''s hit by a big one. Rita hit right before our wedding. That meant, the week before the wedding, I was panicked cuz I was wondering if I would have to plan a new honeymoon on top of doing all the other last minute wedding prep stuff. Wedding was on Sat. Airport opened on Wed. Cruise port opened on Thur. VERY nerve wracking.

Missed one stop completely (we''re flexible so it didn''t bother us too much, but if you''ve got specific plans, it can really screw you up). Damage could be seen at most other stops.
 

Jaders731

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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527
ahhhh yes... the ever dreaded HURRICANE SEASON...

OK... so in beautiful Turks and Caicos (ughh not to sound like a travel agent or anything.. I just love sharing with people about where I live...)
Turks and Caicos has not had a direct hit from a hurricane in over 26 years... The island is situated in just a position that if a storm were to form near it, the storm would be drawn either North East into the Atlantic or North West into the Gulf... even when tropical storms are near... there is minimal rain and/or wind... I believe we''ve seen more rain and wind in the last month than we did with the two possible storms we faced this summer COMBINED!!!

this little string of islands is very lucky as far as hurricanes are considered... just a little something "extra" to think about!
 

Fancy605

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 12/13/2006 8:22:08 AM
Author: Jaders731
Fancy..


I am in Turks and Caicos.. and the summer here was really nice... July was warm... but if you are vacationing here (the caribbean) I assume thats what you want. Our July was in and around the upper 80s lower 90s.. not too bad.. and there was a breeze.

The ocean is calm and beautiful.. you will beat out all the crowds.. as they will have left around early may and wont return until late October...And.. everyone drops their prices!
Wow! Thanks for the great info! I really do love the sound of Turks and Caicos. People keep saying that there isn''t a whole lot to do there/ a lot going on at night, which makes me even MORE eager to go. I am a kick back and do as little as possible kinda girl. I can take or leave the nightlife scene. I am SO looking forward to a nice vacation. And Turks and Caicos has some really nice sounding places to stay too. (I have become a tripadvisor.com junky lately). Anyone have recomendations?
 

ellewoods

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
328
We haven''t gotten married yet, so I can''t say officially what we are going to do in terms of spending a LOT on the honeymoon versus spending less and having money for other things. But I can tell you what we''re thinking and what we''re most likely going to do.

We have credit card debt, student loan debt, and we rent...but we''re slowly but surely getting on our feet. We will end up spending a good chunk of money on our wedding (we''re paying for it ourselves), and so it is a real dilemma whether we should take a more expensive honeymoon (being more extravagent, or traveling farther away, or taking a longer honeymoon) versus going on a budget friendly honeymoon so we can put more money towards other regular "life" expenses (saving for a house, etc).

But -- we''re going to end up spending a LOT on our honeymoon. For one thing, we''ve travelled quite a bit together, but we usually do it in a very budget conscious way and then have various splurges (a night in a super fancy hotel, dinners at amazing restaurants). So for this one time, I''d like us to treat ourselves to a honeymoon that''s different -- not necessarily always choosing the most expensive hotel or restaurant, but just not worrying over every expenditure as much as usual.

The other big reason -- we will probably take somewhere between 2 and 3 weeks for our honeymoon. This is because we''re both lawyers, and we work a lot. Most law firms seem to give you a free pass when it comes to your wedding and honeymon -- in terms of taking a long amount of time off, consecutively. In a regular, non-wedding yeat, there''s no way I''d be able to take 2 weeks off in a row. Or even 10 days. And its pretty hard to schedule 7 days as well. So even if I get 3 weeks vacation a year, I''m never going to actually get to take it, until I''m older and have more authority to do so, and/or have something like a wedding/honeymoon planned. So I''m going to take the honeymoon and enjoy it as much as I can, instead of being more practical. That''s also the reason we''re going somewhere quite far away (probably a 10-15 hour flight). The year after my wedding I can save the money I won''t get to spend on a vacation, and then put it towards the practical things.
 

Jaders731

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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OK.. if you are looking for an all-inclusive: there are two here.. Beaches (which is a family resort, so there will be kids around) but there SPA is phenomenal... also there is Club Med.. which in my opinion is known as a party place... its an 18 an over resort.. I am going there for their New Years celebration. so I''ll make sure to give a full report.. I''ll take pics to if you would like.

Now... some other really nice places here... Grace Bay is the area that is kind of the Hub of provo.. the tourist section if you will...
1. Grace Bay Club (spa just opened within the last month or so)
2. Point Grace (also another fab. spa)
3. The Palms (beautiful, great spa, but expensive!!)
4. The Sommerset (this property is beautiful!!! Its my FI''s favorite, and man is he picky)

There are also three places I would recommed in the Turtle Cove area:
1. The Yacht Club (no spa, but BEAUTIFUL pool)
2. Queen Angel (fairly new, just opened a gambling parlor that is gorgeous!)
3. Miramar (not sure about the type of rooms or quality, but the restaurant is one of the best I''ve been to on island)

Of course this list is not exhaustive. There are so many resorts here that range in uber-affordable to outrageous-no-one-on-this-earth can afford expensive.. LOL.. just depends on what you are looking for...

Also.. like I said.. July would be a great time to come.. quiet, warm and calm!!! and cheaper prices... If you are looking for a place to just veg!!! this is it... you are right when you hear that there isnt much to do!! but isnt that what a vacation or honeymoon should be about...

Also, are you and your future hubby divers?

Let me know what you think!!
 

codex57

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Date: 12/13/2006 5:56:59 PM
Author: ellewoods
Most law firms seem to give you a free pass when it comes to your wedding and honeymon -- in terms of taking a long amount of time off, consecutively. In a regular, non-wedding yeat, there''s no way I''d be able to take 2 weeks off in a row. Or even 10 days. And its pretty hard to schedule 7 days as well. So even if I get 3 weeks vacation a year, I''m never going to actually get to take it, until I''m older and have more authority to do so, and/or have something like a wedding/honeymoon planned.
Ha! I noticed that too. At the firm I was with, we weren''t allowed to take vacation until you''d been there at least a year. They let me slide even tho I still had a month to go or so. Didn''t let another girl do it even to get ready for the bar. I''m sure politics played some part in it, but it does seem vacations get approved more easily if they''re wedding/honeymoon related. Both of our plans were well known to the partners far in advance and the general attitude to me was "Have a fun time when you go" while the girl was "We''re still deciding how much time to give you... if any".
 

Fancy605

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Joined
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Date: 12/13/2006 6:00:37 PM
Author: Jaders731

2. Point Grace (also another fab. spa)


Also, are you and your future hubby divers?


Let me know what you think!!
Oh, I am SO glad you mentioned Point Grace because that is the one my Fiance are really liking the sound of based on what we have read so far. It seems pretty fantastic. The palms looks great too, but it is a little too pricey for us.

I am so excited to get this trip planned now.
 
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