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Aruba or Kauai

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Sep 17th, 2013, 06:55 PM
  #1
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Aruba or Kauai

We are torn between marriott in Kauai, HI and marriott in Aruba. Have 2 and 4 year old so desire nice beach, 9 days. Or if you know of a better alternative, I am open to ideas. I look at flight time, marriott (using points) and cost of food and access to restaurants off site. I'm having such a difficult time deciding.
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Sep 17th, 2013, 07:04 PM
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I have never been to Hawaii, however, Aruba has beautiful beaches and my kids enjoyed them greatly. If I were traveling with a 2 and 4 year old, I would choose the destination with the shorter flight ( assuming from where you live one place will be much closer than the other)
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Sep 18th, 2013, 04:45 AM
  #3
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I've been to both. They are polar opposites. Kauai is gorgeous,lush, QUIET, one side of the island sunny, the other rainy. Aruba is very commercial, cruise capital of the world, lots of shopping, tourists. Both have good food, beaches.

All that being said, choose the shortest flight possible if you're going with kids!
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Sep 18th, 2013, 07:03 AM
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I have also been to both--Aruba we own a time share and is only a 4 hour flight for us from East Coast. Kauai only once as we were on a cruise of the Hawaiian islands. Kauai was my favorite island the lush side. It was rainy off and on which could have been the time of year. (summer) Personally I like Aruba the beaches are great for kids--not so sure about the beaches in Kauai-we did go but it was not like the Caribbean at all. Again I guess I would choose the shortest flight with kids, and I would lean more towards Aruba but again I am partial to Aruba--
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Sep 18th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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I have also been to both. For me, I would choose Kauai over Aruba anyday.

Aruba was nice and we had a great time. Nice beaches and nice town, but it doesn't compare to the beauty and mystique of Hawaii. I've been to Hawaii 6 times. It's my favourite vacation destination. We've seen all kinds of kids in Hawaii enjoying the beaches and sites. You must keep your eyes on your kids at all times when they are near the water as they waves can and do come up very quickly.

Kauai would be my pick - handsdown.
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Sep 18th, 2013, 10:37 AM
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Well that is why they make chocolate strawberry and vanilla ice cream--I was going to say the waters are hardly what I would call safe. Keep your eyes on the kids would be an understatment. Check the drowning stats!
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Sep 18th, 2013, 06:02 PM
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Kauai, easily. More to do beyond the beaches, much more scenic, spectacular. We've been to both more than once.
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Sep 19th, 2013, 04:28 AM
  #8
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I really prefer Kauai to Aruba in so many ways, but if I was planning a trip with little kids, I'd take the shortest/easiest flight possible!
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Sep 19th, 2013, 06:02 AM
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Aruba = Flat arid desert island, that is very americanized. The beaches are very good, and there are plenty of resorts to choose from.

Kauai = Mountains, waterfalls, beaches, giant surf, simply epic. The Waimea Canyon looks like the Grand Canyon but lush with waterfalls everywhere...looks like a land that time forgot. The Napoli Coast is beyond words...seriously. It was one of the most incredible landscapes I've ever seen.

To me, Kauai blows Aruba away in every sense of the word. But you in your case you have to think about the young kids, and that may mean Aruba for now.....MUCH safer water. Do Kauai when the kids are older....and you'll be glad you did.
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Sep 19th, 2013, 08:40 AM
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If your goal is to enjoy family time on the beach every day, and generally "do nothing" then pick Aruba. If your goal is to be more active and take hikes, see sights, drive around the island, then pick Kauai. Since your kids are young, Aruba might be the better choice for now, and Kauai the better choice a few years from now when they are older.
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Sep 19th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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I have been to neither (my disclaimer). But there's nothing similar about the two islands (besides being islands). i'm not sure you could find two more different places to ask about!

With such young kids, I'd also probably suggest the shortest flight time destination.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 06:56 AM
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Suze, you are so spot on. The diversity of these island is like oranges to apples.

I find it hard to believe Aruba being such a boring island with "nothing to do" has the highest repeat visitors of any Caribbean Island was voted number 1 family vacation spot by some traveler magazine.

The Marriot is a lovely property. The people of Aruba are friendly, helpful and extremely warm. You can even a rent a car and drive there and 'see the island." I am sure no matter what you choose both are good options and you will have a great time with your family no matter where you go.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 07:33 AM
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I don't remember Aruba as an island with nothing to do. I don't consider it overly Americanized either, whatever that means.
Kauai has some beautiful areas but alot of it is also dry and dusty, the beaches are not great for swimming. It is not gorgeous lush and quiet everywhere on Kauai.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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Just to clarify, I didn't say there is nothing to do on Aruba. I meant that you can "do nothing" in the most positive sense... It's a great place to just sit on the beach, enjoy a cold drink, watch the sunset, etc. Some people really want that in a vacation. Others want to do more sightseeing, hiking, exploring etc. Both are good, just different. And just to be clear, there is plenty of active stuff on Aruba too. But if I were looking for a quieter sit-on-the beach type trip. I would select Aruba over Kauai.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 12:34 PM
  #15
 
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Been to both.

As others have said it depends on what you want.
With such little kids I would look into flight times.
In general beaches in Aruba would be safer than Kauai.

However hands-down when the kids are older, I would go to Kauai. It really is gorgeous. And the snorkeling is superb.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 01:51 PM
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You can do that in Hawaii just as easily as in Aruba.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 07:55 PM
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You can't get shave ice with macadamia nut ice cream on Aruba.
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Sep 25th, 2013, 06:47 PM
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I have been to Kauai -- LOVED IT!
I have not been to Aruba -- no desire, too many other more appealing Caribbean islands in my mind.
I also have young kids (2 yrs and 3 yrs).

All that said, I hope to some day bring my kids to Kauai because I truly love it there, however I plan on doing that when they are a lot older... The beaches are much rougher than any I've ever seen in the Caribbean. Again, I can't specifically comment on the conditions in Aruba, however I felt overwhelmed by the surf in Kauai. Minus the beaches, there is still plenty to do there, but I wouldn't go if swimming in the ocean is at the top of your list. Furthermore, the hikes on Kauai, again while gorgeous, aren't necessarily the best for little kids. As for restaurants, you'd find plenty of family friendly options on Kauai, but price is higher than the mainland.

I would definitely take flight time into consideration as well as their pool options at both hotels.

My first recommendation is Grand Cayman. I haven't been to the Marriott, but 7-Mile Beach is almost ideal for little kids. It's calm (at least when we were there in May) and clear and beautiful. Plus, miles to walk on soft sand, etc. And the island itself offers plenty of child-friendly activities (turtle farm, semi-sub...) as well as plenty of dining options.

Best of luck, have fun!
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