My girl and I just did a Canadian road trip and got her US visa renewed. Given this advantage, I'm looking at airfare from NYC during our spring break and I'm wondering which Caribbean destinations are /trv/ approved. We have backpacking sensibilities but it's a bit hard to tell which country is the best value overall.
Which places offer the opportunity to wander? We certainly won't be doing package resorts but it seems that some islands offer an utter brutality for locals. I'd prefer to keep my kidneys and she'd prefer not to get gang raped if I'm not filming.
Dominican Republic (Punta Cana)
Jamaica (Montego Bay)
Antigua & Barbuda (St. Johns)
Late season skiing looks more appealing than Florida/Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands - fresh visas beg to be used.
jamacia's awesome, just don't stay even one night in montego bay-it's a fucking shithole tourist trap cruise dock where you'll be endlessly bombarded by people trying to scam/guilt you into buying their garbage, services, or just giving them free money. jamaica has many wonderful, beautiful places to visit, but mobay is not one of them. ocho rios was shitty, too, but slightly less so. negril was great and chill when we went, but i've heard it's started down the same path as the main north coast port/resort cities. re: rape/kidneys, my tiny blond wife and i took the bus to kingston, where we were literally dropped off in a burnt out building in trenchtown, and no one gave us a second look. people in the south live real lives not reliant on tourists, so they didn't give a fuck about us, and jamaica's astronomical murder rate is a result of gang bloodfueds, and we are pretty clearly not members of a jamaican gang.
In terms of safety, Jamaica can be sketchy, its not "stay on the resort" sketchy, it's more "careful who you trust" sketchy, probably a 6/10 on the danger scale.
Cancun is a resort city surrounded by a terrifying country in the grips of a decades long gang war, its as lawless as Somalia and your life is in danger the second you are out of private security's eyesight. Only go if you enjoy swimming in drunk tourist pee to get a shitty cocktail from some underpaid bartender at some rickety swim up bar. The surrounding area is absolutely not safe.
The rest of the options you listed are safe to the point where you'd literally have to be going in random back alleys asking strangers for coke to get yourself into any trouble.