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Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

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Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

Trying to do my research for my 30th birthday. I plan to vacation for 6 days in either Aruba or St. Maarten, but having a difficult time figuring out which one I would like to go to. I'm thinking about splitting the St. Maarten trip up between St. Barts and St. Maarten. But then, I'm also liking what I'm researching about Aruba. Here are some of the things I'm interested in doing on vacation which may help in your suggestion:

1. Beach - beautiful, clear water, great weather

2. Water sports

3. Nightlife

4. Shopping

5. Excursions/Tours

6. Food/Dining/Drinks

I'm looking for something different and I've never been anywhere in the Caribbean. Which would you suggest between Aruba and St. Maarten. I really want to have a fun but relaxing time and experience different cultures. Also, I like to be in the middle of the action.

Beverly Hills...
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1. Re: Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

I am sure that most everyone on the Artuba Forum would suggest St. Maarten.

North Cape May, Nj
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2. Re: Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

The answers to your questions are subjective. Here are my opinions:

1. Beach - Slight edge to Aruba

2. Water Sports - Tie

3. Nightlife - St. Maarten

4. Shopping - St. Maarten

5. Excursions - Tie

6. Food/Dining - Tie

Not mentioned:

1. Safety to explore - Aruba

2. Friendliness of people - Aruba

3. Public transportation - Aruba

4. Weather - Aruba (no hurricane season)

My choice is Aruba. Have been to Sint Maarten/St,.Martin twice. Aruba about a dozen times.

Niskayuna, New York
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3. Re: Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

Tony's nailed it.

White Plains, New...
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4. Re: Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

Get travel books then decide. Both places are wonderful.

You decide

We have been to both , enjoy the and the beautiful weather, food, shopping. Great people, culture,

Edited: 20 November 2012, 22:27
Niskayuna, New York
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5. Re: Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

Teach, I love books, too. You can't swing a cat in my house without knocking over a stack of them.

BUT! When we started to research Caribbean vacations back in 2006, I bought "Caribbean For Dummies." I love the "Dummies" books for background.

I have learned, though, that books are NOT terribly au courant for hotel and restaurant information, since the hospitality industry is notoriously transient. The most current edition of our book had recommended hotels that no longer existed, and restaurants that had been shuttered for months.

This forum is anyone's best bet for up-to-the-minute information about hotels, excursions and places to eat. Books are wonderful for stuff like history, topography, landmarks, but not much else in this Internet Age.

Edited: 20 November 2012, 23:05
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6. Re: Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

Thanks for the suggestions. I absolutely hate travel books so that wouldn't work for me. I enjoy hearing others input, particularly because its the best way to find out the "gems" of a travel location.

I'm still a little stumped but I do like the fact that Aruba's weather would be better during the time I'm going, but I hate that the shopping isn't as good. I've read several places that it's not good for shoppers. I love to bring back unique stuff from places I visit, particularly clothes.

Any other suggestions or thoughts...keep em coming.

Niskayuna, New York
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7. Re: Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

You can find unique stuff, you just have to be willing to dig---and to realize, clothing-wise, that we all pretty much dress alike these days!

(I teach English as a Second Language in a community college and I have students from more than 20 different countries in my classes this semester--from all the continents except Australia (b*stards all speak English!) and NOT ONE OF THEM ever, EVER wears "traditional" or "national" clothes. The jeans, T-shirt and sneakers have, sadly, taken over the world.)

Edited: 21 November 2012, 00:34
Dublin, oh
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8. Re: Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

Ditto on Tony nailed it!! My husband and I have been going to Aruba and St. Maarten/ St. Martin every year for the last several years. We love them both. We stay on the French side of St. Martin. In my humble opinion - the Islands are very different - the reason we go to both! If I would challenge one opinion of Tony's - it would be food. The food on French St. Martin is incredible. Aruba has wonderful food as well. But, Aruba in general feels safer and the people are wonderful. You won't loose either way. We leave on Saturday to AUA for ten days - can't wait! Have a fun trip - happy 30th!!

North Cape May, Nj
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9. Re: Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

This is what I mean by subjective, you listed 6 items of interest and I added 4. For me, shopping would be number 10 on the list. Another thing, I much prefer St. Martin to Sint Maarten. Less traffic congestion and less crime. I believe the dining choices are also better in St. Martin. JMO. Good luck with your decision.

Edited: 21 November 2012, 00:44
Beverly Hills...
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10. Re: Aruba or St. Maarten for 30th birthday

Wow Lori...English is my 2nd language too....Is that why ya are always making me speel gooder?

I agree with Tony...I go with the island with only one "a", cause it is much more mellow.

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