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AI in Sept - DR, Jamaica, Other?

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Jun 20th, 2011, 08:13 AM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2008
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AI in Sept - DR, Jamaica, Other?

Hoping to book about 5-6 nights at an AI in Sept 2011. We're going with another couple who have never traveled anywhere and want to try an AI. We've gone to a few AI's in Mexico and a Sandals and really enjoy the vacation in a vacation of not having to carry money every where and sign credit cards slips all day. My wife and I love to relax on the beach or by the pool, read books, swim and have some drinks. The couple that is going with us wants to see clear water like they've "seen on TV" and they do like casinos so if that was included would be nice but not a deal breaker. Price range is probably about $2,500 per couple. I've found some places in DR Punta Cana (Excellance, Majestics, Dreams, etc) that seem like they fit our budget at approx $900-$1200 pp. Also found a few older Sandals resorts in Jamaica that were much less than I expected based on our previous trip. We'd be flying from Huntsville, AL....also we're not set on Sept...it works well with our work schedule but if there is a better "more off season" time then we're open to suggestions. Thanks
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Jun 20th, 2011, 02:17 PM
  #2
 
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No ... go to Aruba.

September to October is the height of hurricane season. While Aruba doesn't have as many AIs as other islands, it's still your best bet to avoid a hurricane. And that's the last thing anyone who has never traveled anywhere would want to encounter.

Plus, the water there can be crystal clear. Plus Aruba is very Americanized and safe. They will probably freak out if you take them to either Jamaica or the DR because of the poverty in the DR and the crime rate in Jamaica.
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Jun 21st, 2011, 06:31 AM
  #3
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Thanks for the advice....any specific resorts in Aruba that you would recommend (or not recommend for that matter)?
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Jun 21st, 2011, 10:53 AM
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Although I love Aruba it doesn't really have a caribbean feel to it. It is an arid desert island and your friends will not get a true idea of what the lush caribbean islands are really like.
The resorts you mentioned in Punta Cana are all very nice. Also look into the Iberostar Barvaro complex in Punta Cana. It has a casino and the Iberostars are great resorts,
I don't think your friends would "freak out" in Jamaica or the DR or Mexico. After all...they understand they are going to another country.
If you want to stay in an Americanized place you might as well go to Florida which is much prettier than Aruba.
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Jun 21st, 2011, 11:16 AM
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September is rainy season in much of the Caribbean. Plus very hot and humid. Can't you go some other time?
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Jun 21st, 2011, 11:17 AM
  #6
 
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Oh I see your dates are flexible. It's not about going "more off season" its about having better weather. You might want to take a look at typical weather in various islands various months before stewing too much over your decision.

Negril Jamaica in Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar is lovely (just as one example).
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Jun 21st, 2011, 11:19 AM
  #7
KVR
 
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I don't agree that Florida is prettier than Aruba. I much prefer to spend my vacation time in Aruba than in Florida, but to each there own. I also don't completely agree that Aruba is so "Americanized" as people who didn't care for the Island tend to want others to believe. Yes, it does offer more options for resturants, bars, shopping and entertainment than some of the poorer Caribbean Islands, but that doesn't make it Americanized or a bad thing.

Actually, for September, Aruba is an excellant choice and offers everything you stated you are looking for. If you want AI look at the Divi, Tam, or the Manchebo on Eagle Beach. There is a RIU and Occidental chain on Palm Beach, but you'll get a better section of beach and less crowding with the hotels on Eagle Baech. However, there is a strip area across the street from the hotels on Palm Beach is that is imporant to you to be close to. Otherwise, you can take the bus from Eagle Beach to Palm Beach.

We usually travel the first week of December for better weather, prices and lower crowds. We did go to Aruba the first week of a September and it was perfect. Can not wait to go back.
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Jun 21st, 2011, 05:22 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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I will be following this post as I too am looking at Jamaica (Negril) and DR (Punta Cana) and am curious as to what others have to say.
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Jun 22nd, 2011, 06:41 AM
  #9
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thanks for the tips.....and thanks for getting in on this KVR. I always try to read your posts if they are on any topics i may be interested in. you always seem knowledgable and shoot straight.
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Jun 22nd, 2011, 08:44 AM
  #10
 
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KVR has given you some good advice on Aruba hotels, and I agree completely. Take that advice.

Anthony, if you want a villa experience in Punta Cana, I think the only place you're likely to find it is PuntaCana Resort at the Tortuga Bay Villas. They're super expensive but lovely. It's not an all-inclusive resort, but you can buy meal plans, and the beaches are expansive.
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Jun 22nd, 2011, 11:30 AM
  #11
KVR
 
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jcarroll, thank you so much. You're welcome to e-mail me anytime. It's listed in my profile.
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