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Booked trip to Aruba this Nov. but think I should have chosen USVI instead.

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Aug 10th, 2013, 11:42 PM
  #1
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Booked trip to Aruba this Nov. but think I should have chosen USVI instead.

I booked a trip with my wife and 3 children Thanksgiving week 2013 to Aruba; never been there before. However, I think I made a mistake and should have booked the trip to USVI(also never been) simply because it is US territory and since we are from the US we would feel more comfortable there; we would not feel like "foreigners". I assume there would be less of a communication barrier, navigating the island(s) would be easier since everything is in English, and we would not need passports. I know that Aruba is further south, but not sure if the weather or water temp would be much different between the two destinations at that time of year. Feedback? Should I cancel Aruba and go to USVI instead this November for the reasons I mentioned?
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Aug 11th, 2013, 01:27 AM
  #2
 
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Don't worry, there is no communication barrier in Aruba. You do need passports for Aruba but if you think you want to travel again, it's worth it. We never felt like foreigners in our travels to Aruba. You'll see many American restaurants there, but eat locally for better food. The beaches in Aruba are some of the best we've ever seen.
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Aug 11th, 2013, 04:07 AM
  #3
 
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NO! You should certainly not cancel a trip to somewhere because you may end up "feeling like a foreigner." You realize, of course, that folks in the USVI drive on the left, do you not? That a lot of the people who live there probably don't look much like you do and many are originally from other islands.

I can tell you from experience there won't be ANY "communications" problems anywhere on Aruba and once you arrive and see all the other off-island visitors you may begin to wonder if you went to New York.
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Aug 11th, 2013, 04:50 AM
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Trust me...You will NOT feel like a "foreigner" in Aruba. It is VERY Americanized. You will think you are in the US most of the time. There will be no communication issues.
Aruba will feel more like "home" to you than many of the USVIs.
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Aug 11th, 2013, 07:28 AM
  #5
 
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Frank: Don't panic. You can always come to the USVI on your next trip!;-) I agree with schmerl- Aruba is very Americanized and easy to negotiate. I'm not sure how Dukey knows what you look like, but I believe once you get Caribbean fever, you will want to see all the various offerings- French, Dutch, Spanish, American, etc.

We rented a jeep and drove through the desolation area in the west part of the island. Very different from most of the Caribbean.
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Aug 11th, 2013, 08:02 AM
  #6
KVR
 
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Some people don't like Aruba because they feel it's too Americanized. They compare it to being in Florida. There are tons of restaurants and bars in all price ranges. Most everything in the Palm Beach area is within walking distance and their public transportation system is easy and convenient. There are no communications barriers.

When you leave Aruba to go home, you will clear customs there and not at your US airport. So convenient especially if you have to take a connecting flight in the US.

There are many people who love Aruba and return often. Personally, I have been to all the USVI's and I would never return. People rave about St. John, but I didn't get what all the fuss was about. You will actually feel more like a "foreigner" there than in Aruba. Just because the USVI's are a part of the US, don't not assume they are like the US. They are actually quite different. I did not feel "more comfortable there". I actually felt more comfortable in Aruba. It's a very safe and clean Island compared the USVI's.
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Aug 11th, 2013, 08:36 AM
  #7
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Thanks for the insight everyone. I have very limited travel experience(partly because I am deathly afraid of flying) so I appreciate the feedback. The fact that USVI is much closer from where I am(NJ) is also giving me second thoughts, but I think maybe I should just keep well enough alone. BTW, is the weather and overall water temperature warmer in Aruba in November as compared to USVI? Thanks again all.
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Aug 11th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Frank: The tropics have very little variation in temperature. I don't know that you would feel a difference between the USVI and Aruba. The one thing that Aruba is known for is fairly steady wind, which always helps to keep one cool.

One thing about the Caribbean is that there is something for everyone. KVR has some specific preferences,and has figured out what destinations meet those needs. His/her needs will probably be different from yours. Go and plan on enjoying Aruba. Come to the VI next, so we can help you feel like a foreigner. ;-)

P.S. Just take nice deep cleansing breaths when you get on the plane. And maybe a Valium... LOL!
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Aug 11th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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Frank,
Aruba is wonderful! It is a 5 hour flight from Toronto. Don't know what it wld for you. From where do you fly? ( you live in NJ but where is the airport? Newark? NYC?)

As stated upthread, Aruba is Americanized. Where are you staying?

Aruba is out of the hurricane path so that may be another factor for you to put on the plus side for Aruba in November. (Don't know what the hurricane status is in USVI in Nov).

Enjoy Aruba!

OB1
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Aug 11th, 2013, 05:48 PM
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Sorry..to clarify, I mentioned Toronto b/c we fly from Toronto to Aruba.
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Aug 11th, 2013, 06:19 PM
  #11
 
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Aruba has more repeat visitors than any other island. The US Virgin Islands are nothing like the U.S Aruba is very Americanized and most people do not like it for that reason. The weather is typically the same year around but last year December was very wet and rainy. Do not second guess your decision. November will be fine I am sure weather wise. There is a constant trade wind and as a result Aruba never feels hot or warm. It is the one island I would drive around on all the time. The people are the most warm friendly people I have ever met on any other island. You won't regret your decision.
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Aug 12th, 2013, 05:38 AM
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Also....do not judge the "Caribbean" by what you experience in Aruba.
Aruba is a scrub island. It is not lush with foliage like most other islands.
If you are a golfer, there are a couple great courses in Aruba.
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Aug 12th, 2013, 06:25 AM
  #13
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Thanks everyone for all of your input.

I will be flying out of JFK in New York. Hope flight is not too long; not sure how long Valium will last. I am already sick to my stomach just thinking about the flight.

Regarding the surroundings, I am mainly concerned with the quality of the beaches and water. I want clean, clear, warm water. I hope Aruba has some of that. I hope it is different than the murkiness of the Jersey shore.

Thanks again.
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Aug 12th, 2013, 06:56 AM
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Your flight from JFK will be about 4 hours---have you not ever seen pictures of the Caribbean? There is a great site www.aruba.com

There is a forum on there in which you can learn a lot about and things to do. Many pictures etc. to give you an idea about activities etc. on the island. The Caribbean is hardly the Jersey shore--I am in Pa. I know the Jersey shore quite well. Where y u staying in Aruba? Please relax. You will be fine and your family will have a great time. Trust us!
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Aug 12th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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The beach and water is nothing like the Jersey Shore. It does tend to get windy in Aruba.
The water should be nice and warm for you. We have been there during the end of December and the water was warm.
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Aug 12th, 2013, 02:12 PM
  #16
 
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Try to relax. Maybe all you need is some Garvol if you are nauseous. Have some pix of the spectacular Aruba beaches & the turquoise Caribbean waters with you on the plane. Look a those pix. That will calm you down. Now... I have no clue how to calm you down for your return flight but let's not worry about that now!

Where are you staying? Palm Beach or where?

OB1
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Aug 12th, 2013, 02:28 PM
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Frank, it's almost the exact amount of flying time to Aruba and the USVI. In fact Aruba might be marginally closer. It's further south, but the USVI is almost at the easternmost point in the Antilles. You'll like Aruba better. At least you drive on the right there. In the USVI you drive on the left.
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Aug 13th, 2013, 02:24 PM
  #18
 
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Dear Doug: I am not sure how you can say someone will like one place "better" than another. And I am not sure how driving on the left makes a place unlikeable. Aruba and the USVI are two different experiences. I say, let Frank and his family enjoy and let them decide.
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Aug 13th, 2013, 04:24 PM
  #19
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eastenderusvi, I say quite being so defense about other peoples comments about the USVI. Not everyone likes that destination and is not willing to recommended it based on their experience. We are responding to the best of our knowledge and experience based on what the OP is stating what they are looking for. In this instance, the USVI does not really met the OP needs based on their comments. Your responses are obviously bias because your reside there. Please open your mind and respond based on the OP is wanting, not what you want for the OP.
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Aug 13th, 2013, 04:24 PM
  #20
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eastenderusvi, I say quite being so defense about other peoples comments about the USVI. Not everyone likes that destination and is not willing to recommended it based on their experience. We are responding to the best of our knowledge and experience based on what the OP is stating what they are looking for. In this instance, the USVI does not really met the OP needs based on their comments. Your responses are obviously bias because your reside there. Please open your mind and respond based on the OP is wanting, not what you want for the OP.
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