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Need some help – $10k max in April/May – should we get more out of that $10k than what our planner recommended?

My fiance and I have a max budget of $10,000. We feel like that's a very healthy amount that could get us a great honeymoon. We hired a local honeymoon planner who specializes in the Caribbean, which is where we thought we initially want to go. I'll list below what they sent us, none of which seems to really get us much for our money.

What we are looking for:

  • Adults only or minimal children
  • Early April or Early May
  • 5-7 nights
  • No more than 8 hours travel time (willing to do more in Business class though, but not as far as Asia/Africa, etc)
  • We are laid back people, and we like more quiet scenery. As far as resorts in the caribbean, the boutique places appeal to us much more than the large resorts. (We stayed in Galley Bay in Antigua (liked it) and I've stayed on harbour Island in the Bahamas – that kind of vibe).
  • We would like a mixture of relaxation as well as some activities. We are a bit adventurous.
  • low stress. I don't want to be responsible for lining things up and planning. It would be nice to have most things taken care of for us
  • Good food. We absolutely love quality food.
  • The trip does not have to be on a beach, although if it is, I'm pretty picky about the water. It needs to be pretty clear. I'm open to non-traditional locations, like someone had mentioned staying in castles in Ireland and I thought that sounded really romantic.

We gave our travel planner a lot more information than this and this is what she came back with:

  • La Casa de la Playa in Mexico – 5 nights (I'm really not a fan of Mexico, and I can't really get past that feeling, even though this place looks okay, but only 5 nights for $10k???)
  • Ladera in St. Lucia (maxed budget for the stay which left no money for food and activities and no thanks on the mosquitos)
  • Jade Mountain – just the room alone maxes out our budget and does not leave any extra for food, drinks, or activities. I'd stay here if it was in our budget.
  • Halcycon Sandals – This feels too commercial to me and our room wouldn't even overlook the water.
  • Sugar Beach – not adults only and can only be split with Ladera
  • Hammock Cove in Antigua – Seems decent but the view of the cove seems a bit underwhelming.

The only two I'm considering is the Mexico option and Hammock Cove in Antigua. What I keep wondering is this: could we get a lot more bang for our buck elsewhere? It doesn't have to be a beach vacation at this point, but the options are dwindling. I want something romantic, adventurous and relaxing. I feel like our budget is pretty good and I want to make sure we spend it wisely.

Iceland, Ireland, Alaska, South America….any other suggestions? Maybe I am being too picky and we already have good options? I feel like we should really love our choice of honeymoon for this amount of money, but we both felt disappointed at the options.

submitted by /u/Those_Lingerers
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