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2 old ladies need advice

mass
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2 old ladies need advice

2 50+ ladies looking for a place to go this spring. We've been to Mexico and the Dominican. Want to try something different. We like AI's and big places on the beach. We're from New England and looking for an easy trip. Thinking of Jamaica or Aruba. Please help need advice...

North Cape May, Nj
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1. Re: 2 old ladies need advice

Jamaica shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence with Aruba. I suggest that you check out the Hyatt in Aruba for starters and go from there.

mass
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2. Re: 2 old ladies need advice

o.k. I'll bitee why not mention jamaica and aruba in the same sentence?

Astoria, New York
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3. Re: 2 old ladies need advice

Aruba and Jamaica are very different vacations. If you go to Jamaica you will stay at an AI and stay there because it is not very safe to roam around especially at night.

Aruba is a different story, you can be out and about just as you would at home. AI wouldn't be recommended in Aruba as there are so many fabulous restaurants, choosing which ones to go to is the fun part.

I agree with Tony and the Hyatt also check the Radisson. They are both big and beautiful on Palm Beach and in the middle of everything. Many, many restaurants, casinos, and shopping walkable from both.

mass
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4. Re: 2 old ladies need advice

I understand; however, our main reason for an AI is all inclusive booze and the ease of not having to find a restaurant. That being said(honestly), what would you recomend and do you know what flight times are like from Hartord?

Astoria, New York
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5. Re: 2 old ladies need advice

If you want to stick to AI look into the Riu and the Occidental both on Palm Beach as well.

For less expensive on Palm Beach the Holiday Inn has an AI option.

Sorry can't help with the flights.

maryland
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6. Re: 2 old ladies need advice

i don't know what the flight time would be, but it's a MUCH longer trip to aruba than to jamaica.

the islands are totally different - jamaica is lush & mountainous, aruba's dry & flatter, but beautiful in its own way.

in jamaica, you need to be prepared, any time you leave your resort, to be pestered to death by hucksters trying to sell you SOMEthing! we were only there for a few hours on a cruise stop & omigosh, i couldn't even COUNT how many. we had a particularly persistent one - ricky....who when we said we didn't want a tour, just wanted to walk & stretch our legs, said "oh yes, very healthy!" & kept walking with us - well, we kept our sense of humor & actually ended up enjoying his company, as we bought him several beers, he smoked most of our cigarettes, caught us a gypsy cab that over-charged us for the ride back to the dock, & rode with us, STILL trying to sell us ganja the whole time LOL...AND asked for money for being a "tour guide".

but he was an interesting person...conversed intelligently on a wide range of topics, so we were ok with it.

but you won't have that in aruba!

mass
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7. Re: 2 old ladies need advice

Thaks, will check those out. Been anywhere else that might fit the bill? on another note, how windy is Aruba really?

New York City, New...
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for Aruba
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8. Re: 2 old ladies need advice

I live in NY and we are going for our 6th time to Aruba this December. Flight time to Aruba is 4.5 hours for a non stop. Not a bad flight at all.

I have only been to Jamaica once and if you are OK with staying at the resort then Jamaica is really nice. Unfortunately the island is not the safest which is why most people stay at the all inclusive and rarely venture out of the property.

In Aruba there is little poverty, the people are really nice, the restaurants are great, and it is safe. On the beach in Jamaica you will be bothered constantly by the locals (unless you are at your resort) while in Aruba all beaches are public and virtually nobody will bother you, try to sell you anything, etc.

As you investigate Aruba more you will find that most hotels are either in town (really one 2 there), on Eagle Beach (low rise section) or on Palm Beach (high rise section). There is no beach in town so the hotel has a private island with a shuttle launch that takes you there. I have only stayed in the high rise section and my thought is that I would prefer to stay right on the beach vs. taking a launch. In all honesty, having been to Aruba a few times I would, if the price were right, try staying in town but I would recommend the beach for your first time.

If you do go the Aruba and beach access route make sure your are comfortable with the exact location of the hotel. On Eagle Beach a number of the properties are not directly on the beach and you have to cross a not busy road to get to the beach. A few of these hotels are far enough to make the walk tough. On Palm Beach only a few hotels (The Mill Resort and Brickel Bay) are not on the beach. Again, my preference is to be on the beach.

It is windy in Aruba but you are so far south (12 degrees lattitude) that you need the wind or else you will fry. The temperature is usually in the high 80's, maybe low 90's but the sun is intense. without the wind I don't think anybody would go there. The temperature is virtually the same year round and it is out of the hurricane belt.

Most do not recommend all inclusive simply because of the number of great restaurants that are reasonably priced. Along Eagle Beach there are less restaurants and you would need to take a cab, bus (easy and inexpensive) or rent a car for some evenings to get to some restaurants. Along Palm Beach you can walk to dozens of restaurants.

All inclusive in Aruba is not as all inclusive as in Jamaica. Most AI in Aruba have very limited, if any, water toys or other included "stuff" other than all included food and drink. If you do drink a lot you can go broke if you don't stay at an AI as a beer (they are small 10 ounce or so cans) is usually about $5-$6 and a frozen drink is $8-$10. Many people bring a collapsable cooler and then hit the supermarket to stock up on drinks to save some $$.

The only AI that I have stayed at is the Riu on Palm Beach. This is one of the newest and largest AI's in Aruba. The place was gorgeous, the food very good but not gourmet, the pool large and beach nice. The drawbacks would include that the foliage (trees, etc.) are still a little sparse as they need some more years to fill in. Also, the pool is not a lush, landscaped pool as the Hyatt, Radisson, and others are. There is no waterfall and no slide. The beach is typical of Palm Beach and like many other hotels getting a Palapa (those straw umbrellas) on the beach (needed for the shade) is tough. In many hotels you have to line up at 6am or 7am to get one. Some charge you (Riu does not), some allow you to reserve the day before (Riu does not), some take your name on the line and then assign the Palapa (the Riu did not, you basically waited behind a security guard and when the clock struck 7am you ran to the Palapa you wanted to claim it.

For some reason the beach near the Riu which includes the Westin next door are windier then the rest of Palm Beach. The design of the Riu also has wind funneling between two buildings (the Surf Club has this problem also) and the wind is so fierce in that area that you can't put up a poolside umbrella. Even around the pool, where the wind tunnel effect is not felt, the wind was pretty high and on most days the umbrellas could not be put up.

I have had great success in bidding on hotels via Priceline as long as it is not high season. This Dec. we are paying $90 per night for the Marriott Stellaris Hotel on Palm Beach

Chester, United...
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9. Re: 2 old ladies need advice

I think first you need to look at postings on this forum on Palm Beach versus Eagle Beach. There are many and both beaches are very different, just depends on personal preference.

You can then decide where you would like to be and take it from there.

There are also postings on all inclusive versus non all inclusives and how much you should plan to spend per day if you go the non all inclusive option.

Astoria, New York
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10. Re: 2 old ladies need advice

Reading her original post tells me that they will NOT be happy on Eagle Beach. Palm Beach has what they want FOR SURE.