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-   -   aruba or cancun (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/aruba-or-cancun-676094/)

heelfan Feb 2nd, 2007 12:13 PM

aruba or cancun
 
Trying to plan summer trip for family of four (two teens, ages 16 and 18). Have to use FF miles and have narrowed available choices to Aruba and Cancun. Have to go in July, yes I know it will be hot.
On the one hand, Cancun looks to have more activities and shopping (my daughter loves to shop). But Aruba is out of the hurricane belt and weather might be a bit better.
Any recommendations, including good resorts, would be appreciated. (I have scoured reports here and on Trip Advisor and am getting a headache from all the information and changing my mind so much!).
Pam

heelfan Feb 2nd, 2007 12:17 PM

Well, husband just called and says most people in his office recommend Aruba way above Cancun. Interesting.

girlonthego Feb 2nd, 2007 12:19 PM

I like Aruba better. It has tons of watersports for the kids. Dining is great. Water is not an issue. You can drink right from the tap. Palm beach would be my suggestion on where to stay. The nicest hotels are the Marriott, Hyatt and Radisson. I believe the Westin has taken over the Wyndam there. Not sure. A cheaper hotel would be the Holiday Inn. It has a great beach, but I believe the rooms are very Holiday Innish. Aruba's weather is the same year round. It is always very hot!!
I have been to Cancun and it was a fun trip, but not a place that I am dying to go back to. I was also concerned about the water. I was extremely careful.
I am not a shopper, but I know Aruba has a downtown shopping area. Cancun, I didn't leave the resorts that much.

Travcarib Feb 2nd, 2007 12:24 PM

haven't been to aruba yet... will be going there in the next few months. But have been to Cancun. Cancun is more of a party scene for the most part. Don't get me wrong we loved Cancun and think it is really nice especially if you go down to the Playa del Carmen area. Cancun is very touristy IMO and definitely caters to the American crowds. (When we were there it was hard to find a place that even played traditional music because everywhere played Top hits from the US) Yes the water is really nice and some of the hotels are really nice too. But I would assume (from my research) that Aruba is a bit more upscale and may not be quite as touristy in the nicer areas.
That being said your 16 and 18 yr old would probably love Cancun- but they would love Aruba too! Guess it just depends on what you are looking for in the total picture....

I'm sure you will have a great time either way!

mnm113572 May 13th, 2007 07:34 PM

tell me, did you decide? What did you plan? I am doing the exact thing with Aruba or Cancun. can't decide. Have concerns about being bored at nigt with our 15 + 17 yr old Need shows or something.

thit_cho May 14th, 2007 09:34 AM

I have been to both, although hever as a teenager, and I would think there is MUCH more to do in Cancun than Aruba: access to ruins at Chitzen Itza and Tulum, many more restaurants, better golf and tennis, more watersports, including speed boat rides through the mangroves, better and easier snorkeling, easier to get around by public transport by bus so kids can have freedom

patsfan1 May 14th, 2007 10:32 AM

Been to both several times, 2 very different vacations.
Aruba - more laid back, nicer beaches,
better restaurants, more geared toward couples & families.
more relaxing atmosphere, more upscale,
friendlier people.
Hyatt, Radisson & Marriott are the top resorts in Aruba.
Cancun - more active, more geared toward young adults seeking party atmosphere, bar hopping,nightlife.
nicer variety of resorts with the best being Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott, Fiesta Americana GCB, Le Meridien & Gran Melia to name a few.
your kids will enjoy both but more oppt'y to meet kids their own age in Cancun AND not get bored.
more local culture, more things to see & do with unlimited fun activities.

I would lean toward Cancun BUT only because of the kids ages, but would choose Aruba otherwise.

mnm113572 May 14th, 2007 11:22 AM

patsfan1: Thank you! Exactly the info I was looking for. Most helpful. I am a big fan of TripAdvisor, usually pick hotels based on favorable reviews. Presently looking at Rui Palace Las Americas, The Royal Cancun, Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach and Marriot Casa Manga. Any input?

patsfan1 May 14th, 2007 11:42 AM

out of those mentioned the
Fiesta Americana Grand coral beach is the nicest by far followed by Casa Magna, Riu palace and lastly the royal properties.
also look into JW Marriott next door to Casa Magna and a much nicer property IMO.
Fiesta Americana GCB is really nice, rooms are suites and it is arguably one of the top 2 or 3 resorts in Cancun along with Ritz & JW.
Fiesta GCB has a huge pool, the location is very convenient as it's located close to the downtown area and is on the protected side of the ocean so the water is much calmer but the beach length is smaller than JW or Ritz.

KVR May 14th, 2007 02:14 PM

mnm113572,

I believe the Royal Cancun is an adult only property. Even if it's not, it's not a hotel geared for kids or teenagers. The Rui Palace Las Americas is also not a kid friendly hotel. The RIU Cancun would be a better choice.

We've been to both and with kids would recommend Aruba over Cancun. Aruba is more family oriented. However, if you still want Mexico, look at the RIU's or other resorts around Playa del Carmen. That area is closer to the Mayan Ruins, Maroma Beach, Xel-Ha, Xcaret, cenotes and other activities that your kids would enjoy.

pmuzzy17 Jul 25th, 2007 07:32 AM

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