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Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

Minnetonka...
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Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

Hi

I was trying to decide where to go for our family vacation. We're looking for good beaches, but also other stuff to do. We are interested in All Inclusives or main American hotel chains

Thanks

Willemstad, Curacao
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1. Re: Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

All the things you are asking can be found on all the islands you are mentioning. When are you planning to go

Minnetonka...
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2. Re: Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

June-July of 2012

Bonaire
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3. Re: Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

Aruba...has the chains and Americanized All Inclusive Experience you want...

Maryland
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4. Re: Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

I've been to Aruba, Curacao and Grand Cayman. I prefer to stay in condos, so I can't comment on specific AI or hotels, but all 3 have great restaurants, so you would miss them with AI. Aruba and Curacao are below the hurricane belt, but Grand Cayman would have some hurricane risk, although June is probably safe. The trade off is that it takes longer to travel to get below the hurricane belt. Grand Cayman is British, so you drive on the left, which is a consideration. Grand Cayman has incredible snorkeling, Curacao has great snorkeling, and Aruba - not so much. In Aruba, you can stay on busy Palm beach with a lot of activities, or quiet Eagle beach. Both are nice, depending on what you want. Curacao has many beautiful beaches that you drive to, and there are varied choices on where to stay. Grand Cayman is mostly condos on 7 mile beach, which is nice. For AI and major American chains, you will have more choices on Aruba. Aruba has a much more American feel than the other islands.

Salem, New Hampshire
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5. Re: Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

I have been to Aruba, Grand Cayman, Barbados and Curacao - my opinion and my opinion only - Curacao - hands down!!!!!

Wantagh, New York
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6. Re: Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

Though I personally like Aruba the least, becauses it is too Americanized, I would suggest that for what you are looking for.

Curacao
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7. Re: Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

I would have to agree with Soup ER; Aruba is too Americanized for my taste. Less authenticity, culture but really caters to the American tourist. It does sound like this is what you are looking for.

It's like home away from home for the American tourist but then with palm trees, one large sandy beach and hot weather. Everybody speaks English, you can pay with US currency, and several American hotel chains.

I've been to Grand Cayman, it's really nice, loved snorkeling with the stingrays, but in two days you've seen all there is to see and done what is to be done. But if it is your intention just to hang out at the beach and relax Grand Cayman would be ideal. I've been to Barbados, truly disliked it there. I did not meet anyone halfway friendly. You could not even pay me to go back there.

rochester, il
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8. Re: Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

I've only been to Barbados (of those choices) and for 2012 was deciding between cayman and curacao for our family trip. Curacao won out for having some european feel, snorkeling and having a resort feel at the Marriott vs a condo on Cayman. I think Grand Cayman suits someone who wants a condo best. Barbados has terrific food, wonderful beaches, but realize it is highly developed. It has the highest density of people in the caribbean and has a few major highways plus traffic jams-not my idea of a tropical getaway. You can snorkel with the turtles, see Harrison's cave, go to crane beach with its cliffs, play golf (if you have the big bucks) and generally chill on the beach. The beaches were lovely and well-tended. Some all-inclusive options are available- maybe look at Accra, has a swim-up bar and great beach, a few others are more expensive and very exclusive. We stayed at Little Arches, a boutique hotel I would highly recommend for a couple, but not a family. South beaches are larger and more active, West beaches are smaller, quieter and more exclusive. Coincidentally, we are staying on the west coast for two nights before a cruise in January since our prior stay was on the south coast.

9. Re: Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, or Barbados?

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