(There is no wrong answer.)
Question 1: What is the name of the collection of islands that stretch from the southern coast of Florida to the northern coast of South America.
Question 2: How do you pronounce it?
Question 3: How do you spell it?
Answer 1: It’s the Caribbean Islands, and we are including the Bahamas in here, sorry purists.
Answer 2 & 3: Who cares.
For pronunciation and spelling tips you will need guidance from some place other than the Caribbean Islands, because caring about things like that is not something that happens down there. The Caribbean is a place to come and leave all your cares behind.
Now, simply because this is an overarching island truth, that is not to say that all islands are the same in any other way, because that surely would be an island falsehood.
Should you choose to go, and you should, there are scads of earnest blowhards and know-it-alls all over the information superhighway vying for the expert tag on the daunting Caribbean Island decision—“how to select one?”. There are 700 islands in the Bahamas alone, there are 28 island nations In the Islands and about 7,000 Caribbean Islands.
The crowd wisdom online can be overwhelming. Here’s what you’ll find: The natural beauty, the stuff to do, the beaches, the weather, the people, the vibe, the water, the activities—wind and kite and just surfing, diving and snorkeling, dancing and drinking and fun for the whole family is pretty much everywhere, some places more than others. You are going to have to find a cheap flight and find out for yourself.
Here is the basic 411. As much as all the photography looks pretty much the same — trim, tan, smiling and active people in loving and adventurous relationships with happy, happy children. There is a range of experience and in my opinion it is in some part geographical. I will start with the northern experience and contrast that with the southern experience, as illustrated by two properties on two islands.
For this first part of a two-part epic Caribbean insight, let’s focus on the northern option.
The Bahamas represent the lowest commitment getaway in the collection. English is spoken everywhere, the U.S. dollar is very welcome and Americans are aplenty. If you are generally happy in your regular life, but would just like to live it in a seaside natural paradise, you can pack all you need in your briefcase and set your brain to standby and then just freeze your smile to your face – this is the place:
Lighthouse Pointe at the Grand Lucayan Resort, Grand Bahamas.
If you happen to possess the mythical optical powers of a former beauty queen and Alaskan Governor you could almost see Lighthouse Pointe from Miami. You can’t of course, but it seems reasonable that she might be able to, i.e. it’s closer than you think.
And Lighthouse Pointe in the past has been operated exclusively as an all-inclusive resort — that is to say, a place where you get the smorgasbord deal in advance and then have the run of the joint while you are there — umbrella drinks out the wazoo, unstoppable dining options, dynamic nightlife, unlimited golf, spas, the works all to your Turkish delight. You can still get all that at Lighthouse Pointe, but you can also choose to stay as a traditional hotel guest, and just pay for what you use. The key is, you get the Full Monte treatment of an all-inclusive resort with the extra added ala carte approach of a hotel, with all the goodies you can imagine.
Here’s the important point that I strategically stuffed at the conclusion of this Part One blog so you had to read the rest to get here, it’s this: even after you stop doing all those things and finally just get around to doing exactly what you had hoped to do -— break out your nasty flip flops, lucky ball cap, good sunglasses and comfy beach chair -— you are always dressed perfectly. There is little formality in the Bahamas, it is a popular, clean, warm refreshing daydream that will last as long as your vacation days and savings account will take you.
Part one Caribbean primer conclusion: You can not go wrong with a Bahamas selection, it is a no-risk choice and the Lighthouse Pointe and the Grand Lucayan is a perfect example of just how close paradise can be.