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Grand Cayman or Aruba??

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Grand Cayman or Aruba??

Looking for a special vacation for our 30th wedding anniversary next summer or fall. Our 25 year old daughter will probably be with us also. We have been to Mexico and Hawaii many times but are looking to venture out to somewhere new. We love, love Hawaii if that helps.

I am looking at the Hyatt on Aruba and the Westin on seven mile beach on Grand Cayman. We love beautiful beaches and big, beautiful pools to lay by during the day. Don't necessarily need a lot of nightlife but like nice restaurants to go to at night and places to have drinks before or after dinner. Maybe some shopping also.

I have done a lot of research on both islands but I just can't decide!! Both islands look beautiful but I know they are totally different. Can someone give me some comparisons between the two.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

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1. Re: Grand Cayman or Aruba??

I have stayed at both in the past. In truth, we much prefer Grand Cayman over Aruba. At Hyatt Aruba one needed to grab a poolside lounger by 7 AM and the pool area was very crowded and hectic....not my idea of peaceful relaxation desired when vacationing! IMO Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach in central and Northern SMB areas far surpasses Aruba's Palm Beach in respect to beauty of both the sand and the sea.

Have been to Maui and love it, have no desire to go to Mexico.

With a 25 year old along you might want to consider renting a 2 bedroom condo vs hotel rooms. MANY nice ones to chose from on terrific beachfronts in central SMB that are close to restaurants, shops, hotels, etc.

Northern SMB, a short drive from same perks, also has many condos.

We always have dinner in a restaurant but it sure is nice and convenient to be in a condo with fully fitted kitchen for breakfast, snacks, juice, other drinks and pre-dinner cheese/wine:-) And the added plus of in unit laundry where we rent means never having to check luggage and no laundry to do immediately upon returning home!

Due to being so close to the Equator, wind is constantly strong in Aruba. That did not bother me, but does bother some people. Aruba has casinos, Cayman does not. Both are clean, safe, friendly.

Note that late summer/fall is hurricane season for Caribbean but NOT for Aruba which lies below the hurricane belt. Even absent hurricane activity, October is generally a quite wet month in the Cayman Islands.

Hope this helps:-)

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2. Re: Grand Cayman or Aruba??

Both islands are very "American" feeling. We went to Aruba in November and it is very breezy. We spent a lot of time snorkeling and in the water and sometimes when we came out I felt chilly.I think we may have just caught a few cooler than normal days. We stayed at the Marriott which was a nice hotel with a nice beach. We felt safe there traveling around. Which was great because that's what we like to do. Lots of Restaurants. The people were friendly and when we went to the market they were not pushy like on some other islands. The last 2 yrs we visited Grand Cayman island. My favorite. In fact I've never been to the same place twice before. One of the main reasons was the snorkeling which is awesome. Another is the ability to get around the island easily in a car and the safety we felt while doing so. There are tons of great restaurants! The island is noted for the quality and quantity of their restaurants. We stayed on the north side, but if it's a nice beach you want, seven mile beach it is. I also think GC has a more laid back feel.that being said It's not a cheap place to visit. I also recommend a condo. There are many on 7MB. It's great to have specs and also you don't have to eat every meal out. We like having a quick breakfast at the condo and then hit the road! Grand Cayman gets my vote.

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3. Re: Grand Cayman or Aruba??

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4. Re: Grand Cayman or Aruba??

Hi and congratulations on your upcoming anniversary!

We have been to Aruba, grand cayman, and Maui, amongst other islands. We have enjoyed all of them, but i agree with travelgal that GC and Aruba are nothing like Hawaii. If you want an island with lush vegetation, I would suggest St. John.

But if you're set on GC or Aruba, I would have to vote for GC. Aruba is pretty much a tropical desert island and the landscape and vegetation are not attractive. The wind drove me crazy, with its never ending really strong breeze. That's why the divi divi trees are all bent at about a 45 degree angle.

Having said that, we have good friends who love Aruba and go back every year.

Edited: 04 August 2013, 23:08
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5. Re: Grand Cayman or Aruba??

Hi and congrats on 30 yrs. We have never been to Aruba and our first trip to Grand Cayman is in July of 2014 but we did go to Curacao which is part of the ABC Islands (Aruba,Bonaire,Curacao) It was absolutely amazingly beautiful!!!! Great place for snorkeling and diving. After doing a lot of research the islands all seem very different and they all seem to offer something wonderful. It seems to me you can't go wrong with any of them. Good luck and enjoy your research. Planning the trip is half the fun.

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6. Re: Grand Cayman or Aruba??

Aruba is nothing like the other 2 of the ABC's as far as underwater. Not very good.

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7. Re: Grand Cayman or Aruba??

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