Aruba, Bermuda, or Cayman Islands

Old Mar 12th, 2009, 03:23 PM
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Aruba, Bermuda, or Cayman Islands

My husband won a trip through work and the list is quite extensive. I have narrowed it down to Aruba, Bermuda, or the Cayman Islands. We are in our early 40's and enjoy beaches with snorkeling, hiking, and my husband would like to try scuba diving. We also enjoy some night life. It's been a long time since we have gone on a trip without the kids for a week. Does anyone have an oppinion on what sounds like the best fit for us? We are coming from San Diego, CA.

Kellyann16
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Old Mar 12th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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Perhaps this will help you narrow it down further. What month are you travelling? Bermuda is just off the coast of Georgia and will only be warm enough for ocean swimming in May through September. There are three Cayman Islands, which one are you thinking of? Grand, Little or Brac? All three have nice beaches, Aruba and Grand Cayman for scuba diving, and there is one small mountain in Aruba for hiking. They are all nice, but all different.
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Old Mar 12th, 2009, 03:49 PM
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Hi ShirleyK,

We have a year to use take the trip so the month will depend on the season of the location. The hotel offered is the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman. Aruba is also a Hyatt. You seem well traveled. Is there any other destination you prefer? It may be on my list.
Thanks!
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Old Mar 12th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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The Hyatt Regency on Grand Cayman and Aruba are both great properties. You really can't go wrong with either one of those properties or either one of those two islands. I would say they are both my favorites. We also like Provo, Turks & Caicos Islands but Provo is not as Americanized as Grand Cayman or Aruba. But the beach and calm, warm clear water is stunning. Take a look at Provo if you want a very relaxing, quiet, romantic island. Grand Cayman and Aruba are busier. More traffic, more people, more water sports, more hotels, etc. etc.
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Old Mar 13th, 2009, 08:09 AM
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I have been to all three islands.
1st Bermuda is my favorite. What hotel would you be able to stay at there? Nice beaches, good snorkeling and scuba diving, very pretty island, low-key nightlife, good food.
Aruba-Sunny and hot. White sand beaches, desert like (the rest of the island). Hyatt is nice. Go when the schools are in session. January is a good time. Good food, gambling and some nightlife. Snorkeling and scuba are not as good on Aruba.
Cayman-Last time we were there, the Hyatt was closed for renovation (june o7). Did not know they reopened. Island has beautiful water, white sand, great snorkeling and great scuba diving, good food, friendly people, little nightlife.

Of the three, my fave is Bermuda because it is pretty and it has most things I would want in a vacation. But I had a great time in Aruba and on GC and would go back to all three. We are mid 40's and have teens. They have been to all three too and would go back to all three.
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Old Mar 13th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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I have also been to all 3. I have been to Aruba and Bermuda both 3 times. None of them has what I would consider any good hiking. If you like snorkelling and scuba diving, then Grand Cayman is the place for you. GC has alot of great restaurants as well. (So do the other 2). The only thing negative I would say about Bermuda is that you can't rent a car (mopeds aren't for us) so getting around to the beaches and restaurants can be a bit of a pain (even for a small island). I think you would get more out of Grand Cayman or Aruba for this trip.
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Old Mar 13th, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Lucky you! Everyone needs a break to reconnect with their spouse. I have been to all three of the places you mention.
I found Bermuda to be the most exciting.
We thought an Aruba vacation sounded like a good idea. It turned out to be an ok idea, at best.
Grand Cayman is a fairly well sought after travel destination. We loved the restaurants there.
All three have nice beaches.
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Old Mar 13th, 2009, 01:31 PM
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Caymans has the best snorkeling and diving, good restaurants, and excellent beaches. You could always walk to dinner one night for the "hiking" experience, otherwise, there's none!

Aruba's snorkeling/diving is not that great. Curacao or Bonaire are much, much better. As far as hiking see above...great beaches and restaurants.

Haven't been to Bermuda. They tell me it's nice, It's just not on the top list for me.

Peace, Greenie

Peace, Greenie
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Old Mar 13th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Aruba snorkeling is poor to fair though there are a few good diving spots. It is very commercialized (but that does mean a number of casinos and lounges with combos and on our last trip a few fairly good restaurants-but expensive). The island is flat like a sand bar as is Grand Cayman and it's 2 sister islands are not much higher though GC has a very "little" hiking opportunity and many hotels around the Hyatt with lounges (some with music) and several fairly good restaurants-but expensive ($125/couple with a drink or two). The snorkeling is still fairly good but a lot of the coral for snorkeling down to 15ft. has been damaged by brutal hurricanes, pollution and global warming but there are still several excellent places and diving is still very good. The little Caymans are better for snorkeling and diving but NO social life and very limited hotel choices. Bermuda is the one beatiful island with several lush areas and from late April to mid-May before kids out-of-school or late Oct/early/Nov. weather and water and air temps pleasant. But there are only a few very good snorkel spots and you take a 1/2 day tour boat in order to access them. The off-the-beach snorkeling is just o.k. The diving is pretty good. You can find a number of nice hotels but I would avoid those right in Hamilton or the Southhampton Princess (just so big and not on the beach). We have not been there for 11 years so cannot comment on dining though it was expensive then and getting around on rented scooters with the risk of falling off is in my opinion not fun and taxis were fine but a bit expensive but rental cars were not allowed. As mentioned the Turks in April-June and very late Oct. to mid-Nov. are very nice with good snorkeling, not great, good socializing, very nice beaches, several good restaurants and nice hotels. We stayed at the Sommerset (medium priced) and Parrot Caye (very expensive) and enjoyed both but Parrot was out-of-the-way and "affected" though gorgeous with superb food. Lastly Curaxao has it all but hiking but T&C does not either. Chech Curacao thread. It's a different kind of place.
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Old Mar 13th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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In Grand Cayman, the Mastic Trail is a fantastic hiking experience, with or without a guide.
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Old Mar 14th, 2009, 05:59 AM
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We've been to Grand Cayman twice and Aruba once. Have not been to Bermuda. Next to Cozumel, our favorite Island was Grand Cayman until we went to Aruba. Grand Cayman is wonderful if you are an avid snorkeler or diver. 7 Mile Beach is great and the water is crystal clear. The cost of food and drinks are much higher than Aruba. We didn't find much nightlife except a few resturants and bars. Margaritaville was lively. Stay away from the downtown area or beach when the cruise ships are in. You would really want to rent a car to get to the many shore snorkeling areas, Rum Point and other tourist attractions. There is a public bus/van system that we found pretty reliable to get from the 7 Mile Beach area to downtown.

Aruba is more built up than Grand Cayman. Palm and Eagle beach are nice. The water clarity is more cloudy than Grand Cayman, but in now way bad or a deterant. We found the snorkeling pretty good. Now where near as good as Grand Cayman. We enjoyed the atmosphere as we like to be busy and active on vacation so we found the numerous resturants, bars, beach bars, casinos, evening entertainment and shopping complexes to our liking. They have a great bus system that takes you from Palm Beach to Eagle Beach and Downtown. We never noticed when the cruise ships came in with their many passengers like in Grand Cayman. It all depends on what you are looking for. Both Islands are great and hold thier own charm. I think Grand Cayman will be a liitle more relaxed than Aruba, which is why we liked Aruba a little more. We are headed to Curacao, but will eventaully return to Aruba.
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Old Mar 14th, 2009, 11:32 AM
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Of the 3 you mention, definitely skip Bermuda. It is a high priced overrated destination IMHO. Someone earlier referred to it as "exciting". This would be the last word I would use to describe Bermuda. Stodgy and snobby would be more accurate. Bermuda is a destination locked in a time warp. It used to be a playground for upper crust rich North Americans. But it doesn't know how to adjust and as a result you will be overpaying for mediocre EVERYTHING: accommodations, service, food, shopping etc.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 03:46 PM
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We have not been to Aruba nor the Caymans, but Bermuda is one of our favorite vacation destinations. I would describe Bermuda as friendly and civilized. We feel safe walking around anywhere day or night. The main business in Bermuda is banking and insurance (not tourism). As a result, the city of Hamilton has become surprisingly cosmopolitan. We stay just outside the city limits of Hamilton when we go, so we can walk to the restaurants. Although you can't rent a cary, we find the bus system to be more than adequate.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:33 AM
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We love Bermuda. It's slow and relaxed no casinos. beautiful water. Friendly. My 20 yr old daughter road the bus everywhere. Cool in winter. Aruba is a desert island sand and scrub. Casinos. Shopping. Hot.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:06 PM
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We've enjoyed some wonderful snorkeling in Grand Cayman. Consider Barbados as well. But for beautiful, safe, clean friendly island vacationing, nothing beats Bermuda. Relaxed yet civilized. It is, however, quite expensive.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 07:02 AM
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Cayman Brac Reef Resort has some of the best diving I have ever done, and I have have been all over Africa, Maldives, Caribbean, etc... they are reopening after a 100% rebuild, should be very nice, and their diving outfit is awesome for all levels! Check on their website to see when they're reopening, when are you traveling?

www.bracreef.com
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