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First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

Minneapolis...
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First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

Hi all, we usually travel to Mexico but are considering the Caribbean this winter. We like all-inclusives, laying by the pool all day, then going to fun bars/clubs at night that are a short walk or cab ride from our hotel. I have also heard there are casinos in the Caribbean so that would be fun as well. Thoughts??? Thanks!!!

Massachusetts
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1. Re: First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

I think Aruba would meet most of your criteria. The hotel areas are not what I would call a hotbed of nightclub activity in the evenings, but there is some evening entertainment to be had.

Most major hotels will have a casino on premises. This is especially true of the high-rise properties.

Recommended all-inclusive properties mentioned on this site are the RIU, Divi and Tamarijn properties.

IMHO, if you spending money to go to the Caribbean, spend some time at the beach and marvel at the sea! Pools can be found anywhere.

Minneapolis...
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2. Re: First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

Thanks for your response Arubamasc! Is there a "town" area in Aruba to bar hop?

Minneapolis
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3. Re: First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

Town would be Oranjestad, which is the same area where the cruise ships port. The bus runs up and down this main road that takes you to town all day long... you can get on the bus about every 10-15 minutes.

There is another area by the high rise hotels (Palm beach area) that has tons of bars, restaurants, and casinos to hop around to. My wife and I loved the atmosphere so much last year, we are heading there again this winter

Like you, I'm from the Twin Cities area, and I think you'll like the calm waters of Aruba beaches that are similar to the ripples in lakewater.

Massachusetts
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4. Re: First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

Most of the bars in downtown Oranjestad do not start 'hopping' until after 11 p.m. Too late for my forty-something bones, but if you have the energy, go for it!

The Palm Beach strip (as mentioned above) offers much in the way of restaurants, bars, casinos and shopping. It makes for a nice walk after dinner. If you decide to stay in the low-rise area, the Palm Beach area is only a 5-7 minute taxi ride away.

Connecticut
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5. Re: First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

We go to Playa del Carmen each April and Aruba each July. RIU and Occidental are the two A-I resorts most like Mexico. You will however, pay much more.

The Palm Beach area where both resorts are located, will meet your expectations. An easy walk to stores, bars, casinos and clubs or a short bus or cab to downtown. There are also a couple of Party Bus/Bar Hop deals you might like.

Minneapolis...
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6. Re: First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

Yes we have been to AI's in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo. I am seeing that the few AI's in Aruba are much more expensive. So now we are looking to stay as cheap and clean as possible and venture out. We are looking at Brickell Bay but are concerned that the lack of a "view" of the beach when we are on property will bother us (although I do realize the beach is only a block away).

On a side note, has anyone been to Mexico, Aruba, and the Dominican?

Connecticut
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7. Re: First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

You might look into the Holiday Inn, non-all inclusive for a good price and right on Palm Beach. Short walk to reasonable food and drink. You can also find an owner's rental at Occidental with optional all-inclusive. Several dining/drinking plans available at a good savings or choose to dine out. On Eagle Beach, Manchebo or Amsterdam Manor could work, but a quieter area in general and a bus to Palm Beach for activity.

While we love the bargains in Mexico, (going to Royal Playa del Carmen this April,) we don't feel the DR offers enough savings to balance the negatives. Safety and heath issues as well as inconsistant quality have kept us away.

Hull, Massachusetts
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8. Re: First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

We've been to Mexico, Dominican and we're timeshare owners in Aruba. You can't really compare Aruba to those vacation spots. For one, the resorts in Aruba are generally on the smaller side in comparison, mostly because you're not restricted to just that one place. The restaurants in Aruba are excellent and you'll be able to walk to them, take a bus or a cab at night without worry. It's not as lush an island and smaller and more compact. We love to travel, but Aruba is the one place we return to every year.

Minneapolis...
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9. Re: First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

Thanks for the insight. It does seem that Aruba will be a good choice for us this year. Dogwriter, we stayed at the Royal 2 years ago... by far, the best AI we've done. Right on the beach but also right off the main ave for restaurants/bars/shopping, 24 hr room service, beautiful rooms, no reservations at the al a cartes, a nice smaller property!

Connecticut
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10. Re: First trip to the Caribbean... suggestions of where to go?

Skilz,

You will love Aruba, but not for the same reasons you love Mexico. It is a really unique feeling of "Bon Bini" that makes folks want to return.

(We were also at the Royal about 2 years ago and could not believe the service and attitude. We say that they mistook us for somebody important.)

Aruba is smaller, safer and wonderful for ala-carte as well as all-inclusive trips. You can rent a car, take a bus or cab or walk to many venues. You can budget or splurge and still get that feeling that there is "something" about Aruba.

Enjoy