aruba or hawaii?

Oct 28th, 2003, 09:35 AM
  #1  
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aruba or hawaii?

Has anyone gone to both Aruba and Hawaii? We have been to Hawaii several times and just love the beauty of it as well as the stunning beaches. From the posts i realize that Aruba is much more arid and desert like, but still tropical. Could anyone make comparisons to the beaches in Hawaii? How do people dress in the casinos? Is the dress code laid back and casual, resort wear, or dressy? Also I read one post that said topless sunbathing is prevalent, I have concerns since we'll be with our children. Also I was wondering if the constant wind is bothersome or welcoming due to the heat. Any feedback would be welcome.
bettie is offline  
Oct 28th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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AAAhhh Hawaii, lounging by the pool at the Grand Wailea in Maui is hard to beat. We were in Hawaii in 2000. Covered Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai and Maui. Your post reads that you have gone to Hawaii several times so I guess you would agree that Hawaii is just stunningly beautiful. We spend the day in Aruba off of a cruise last year. I had NOT done my homework, and was expecting a tropical island...at first I was shocked but after spending the day there, I realized Aruba has it's own desert-like beauty. We did a snokeling trip that covered a sunken ship, something you don't see everyday. My husband and I love to snorkel, but I have to say I haven't snorkeled anywhere that compares to Hanauma Bay on Oahu, and the Napali Coast off of Kaua'i. I would return to Hawaii in a heartbeat, but for me anyway, here are the winners for Aruba. 1. Cost- I don't know where you are from, but from KY I can go to Aruba twice for the cost of one Hawaii trip. 2. CALM WATER-I am not a strong swimmer. While in Hawaii, I enjoyed the floatie assisted snorkeling, but to just play in the surf off of the beach. WAY TOO STRONG. Palm Beach Aruba is unbelievable. The water is so calm and clear it's like being in a pool. As for the winds. Keep in mind we were just there for the day. Mostly near the water with a little time in town. We really didn't notice it that much. Hawaii and Aruba are the only two places where my husband and I were BOTH comfortable, usually I'm too cold or he's too hot. The breeze kept him cool and I was comfortable. We found Aruba to be very clean, very friendly, wonderful beaches...in fact we liked it so much we are scheduled to go back for 8 days in three weeks. I know this was a little long, but hope it answered some questions.
winnie is offline  
Oct 28th, 2003, 11:52 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Winnie,
Do you remember the name of the company you did your snorkel trip through?
bettie is offline  
Oct 28th, 2003, 12:02 PM
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Aruba is not pretty, so if in your definition of 'tropical' you're thinking of vegetation, that's not Aruba. There's very little terrian. It's kind of a big flattish rocky/sandy spit of land.
The beaches are pretty, with relatively small grains of whitish sand in many parts of the island.
But the prevailing winds do have a tendency to whip the sand around and it can sting. The week we spent in Aruba there were several times we chose to stay at the pool to avoid the stinging sand. This is not a constant phenomenon, but I've never been to another island on which I've experienced this.

As for attitude and dress, Aruba is like the midwestern United States in the south Caribbean. Extremely casual. Shorts and loose clothing. There are always a few people who choose to bring nicer clothes for dinner or the casino but they're definitely in the minority.

Aruba's strong points are that it's easy/casual/low stress, it's cheap, it has great beaches, food options are plentiful and good quality is available, and the temps are always warm. Risk for hurricanes in season is small. It's a very Americanized island (complete with many US chain food outlets and stores). It's also very safe with little crime or poverty.

Its weak points are that it has almost no unique character, it's not pretty to look at, and in many ways it doesn't feel like you've left the US. You can find the same feel in Arizona or Southern California (but without the nice beaches and warm water).
Depending on where you stay, Hawaii can have a very romantic feel to it. Aruba din't impress me that way at all.
BTW I hardly noticed any topless bathers. Certainly less than 5% of the beachgoers when I was there.
TedTurner is offline  
Oct 28th, 2003, 06:15 PM
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Does anyone happen to know when Aruba's windy periods are? Do they have a "windy" season? We are scheduled to go in December and we are beach lovers so that could put a bit of a damper on things.

Thanks!
nicc is offline  
Oct 28th, 2003, 06:43 PM
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Aruba is always windy. I disagree with Ted about the character issue. Aruba is Dutch and has a Dutch feel as well as architecture. The people are uniquely friendly in their own right. Also it is, unlike Hawaii a duty free port and has great shopping. As for the terrain it is not in any way like Hawaii or other islands of volcanic birth whose terrain is lush. However it has its own beauty. See the natural bridge and the rugged north coast. It is beautiful in its own way. We have been to Aruba twice and loved it. It is windy but we did not have any issue with "stinging sand" as described. The beach is shallow and one can wade out quite a ways. There is toplessness but the times we have been there it has not been tto prevelant. Actually I would recommend going there. It has its own unique charm that always makes me smile. Bon dia, Larry. BTW bon dia is "lazy Spanish" and is part of the local dialect or Papiamento.
jacketwatch is offline  
Oct 28th, 2003, 06:51 PM
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wow
 
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We went to Aruba for Christmas & it was not windy! So, w/ all due respect to "jacketatch" it is not "always windy"!!!
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Oct 28th, 2003, 06:52 PM
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wow
 
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Jacketwatch...missed that "w" thinking about all that wind!
wow is offline  
Oct 28th, 2003, 08:33 PM
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Winnie and Ted Turner have given you terrific descriptions of Aruba, with the exception that we did not see any sand kick up while there. We were there for 12 days and found the wind to be wonderful and most welcome because of the heat. As for the beaches, you can see lots of great photos and judge for yourself at www.arubabound.com. The tradeoff for the lack of inland scenery is the almost guaranteed perfect weather, the terrific restaurants, and the reasonable prices. Aruba has a totally different feel from that in Hawaii. There's definitely a lot less to do, but it's a terrific beach vacation destination.
gabriele is offline  
Oct 29th, 2003, 04:28 AM
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To wow: with all due respect your encounter was a bit atypical. And always should be considered a relative term not an absolute. Cheers, Larry!
jacketwatch is offline  
Oct 29th, 2003, 06:18 AM
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Ok guys I found some very helpful meteorological info about Aruba. The ave. wind speed is 13.9 m/sec. In Dec. it is 12.6. The high is 15.5 in June and the low is 11.8 in Oct. This should help. Cheers, Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Oct 29th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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As for the wind factor, I'm usually the first to point out that most rules have exeptions, but the following quotes are from travel resources about Aruba:

"...the constant breeze also makes play (golf) comfortably cool most of the time". from arubatravelinfo.com

"...windsurfers love this island because it is inexpensive and always windy". from windsport-travel.com

"...tradewinds provide a constant breeze." from vacationexpress.com

"...The constant breeze in Aruba is something I wasn't sure I'd be too happy about before going but it is so pleasant you don't notice it but would miss it sorely if it were not there..." from visitaruba.com

I'm sure it's not breezy 100.00%, but I'll bet it's over 90%.
TedTurner is offline  
Oct 29th, 2003, 07:08 AM
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cdt
 
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We've only been to Aruba once, for a week, and it was just breezy, not unpleasantly windy. Maybe we were just lucky. We have encountered windier conditions on Cape Cod and the north shore of Jamaica.

Toplessness is more common at the south end of Eagle Beach, near the Manchebo and Bucuti hotels. It is less common, but seen occasionally, in the Palm Beach area.



cdt is offline  
Oct 29th, 2003, 09:37 AM
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I have been to Aruba 3 times, most reciently in early Oct. We have stayed twice at the Marriott and once at the Radisson. It was breezy for all three of our trips (2 Oct / 1 May), however, we never experienced the sand kicking up. I have heard many people complain about this and I have to say that I think it depends on what hotel you are at. Or where on the beach you are. I have never heard of anyone complaining about the sand at the Marriott or the Radisson, I have heard them complain at the Wyndham. I love the breeze as it is a little hot for me without it, we had one day this trip without breeze and it felt much hotter than the other days we were there.
francot is offline  
Oct 30th, 2003, 03:06 PM
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Have been to Hawaii a couple of times (different Islands) and to Aruba once. Different islands, different geography, different climates. Both islands have their own unique charm. Why not venture out and try somthing different?
ps we stayed at the Sonesta Resort which is now the Renaissance. Their main beach is accessible by launch and is separated by nature into two sections in a way that you cannot see from one to the other. There is a good distance between the two areas. The family side has a restaurant and has almost no topless sunbathers. The other side when we were there was 30% to 50% topless. I cannot comment about the other hotel beaches.
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