Curacao or Grand Cayman???

Apr 29th, 2009, 06:35 AM
  #1  
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Curacao or Grand Cayman???

Am planning a trip with my sister (we are aged 25 & 29). These are the two islands we've narrowed it down to for this trip and we would be staying at the Marriott in whichever we decide on. I have been to many of the Caribbean islands before but am looking for something new. I want a destination where we can laze on a beautiful beach with white sand, aqua water, cocktails, and bars to visit at night (preferably on the beach or open-air). Any suggestions? It'll be her first trip to the Caribbean and we'll also be visiting Jamaica before this trip. I like the idea of Curacao as it seems to have a more distinct culture with dutch/spanish influence. We are from Queensland, Australia so are used to pristine beaches and don't want to be disappointed with something average, or somewhere that is dead and dull at night. Any advice for or against either of these destinations??!!!
nunnles is offline  
Apr 29th, 2009, 06:52 AM
  #2  
 
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My take would be GC. I think this island can provide you with the beach you would prefer. It doesn't offer a ton of bars, but there are plenty of great places to eat where you can stay and have drinks at.
Anguillagirl is offline  
Apr 29th, 2009, 07:08 AM
  #3  
 
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I think you will really like Curacao. It does have a unique culture and history - dutch influence . The downtown is very different from that of other Caribbean islands.

From your research you know it is an arid desert island. There is not the lush green foilage like many of the other isalnds.
The Marriot there is fabulous!! We stay at Marriotts aroudn the world and this one has fabulous service, such friendly people and the pool is beautful. It has its own private beach. YOu are able to snorkel right there as well. There is a mini reef so to speak and offers an abundant array of fish to see!!
The restaurants are all very good too! The bars at this property are quite nice. That said, you cannot walk to other bars from here. You would have to take the Marriott shuttle, taxi or rent a car to go to town.
There are rental cars on the Marriott property too.

We were very happy at this property and would go back in a second.
I have never been to Australia so I dont have a frame of reference for the beaches. It is not going to miles of sugar white sand.

Have fun where ever you go!
annesherrod is offline  
Apr 29th, 2009, 09:07 AM
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Been to many places in the Caribbean including Cuarcao but have not been to Grand Cayman. Curacao is one of our least favorite destinations. Reason being it did not have the islandy feel...we did not like the big oil refinery in the town. The beaches are ok not spectacular and crowded in general. The interior is dry/scrubby.(sorry I know many of you love Curacao but I am being honest). It does have some very nice restaurants, nice architecture and the Marriott is quite nice.
mnag is offline  
Apr 29th, 2009, 09:59 AM
  #5  
 
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I have been to both islands and prefer Curacao. It's famous for Curacao liqueur (take a tour and do some sampling) as well as it's sunny climate and secluded beaches. Curacao has a rich and diverse history. The Mariott there has superior service. The ocenafront is better than GC'S. We enjoyed the bar down by the water and there are places around Curacao that offer a good nightlife.
GC's Marriott is located on Seven Mile Beach, but it's not as nice as the Marriott in Curacao. GC can boast of some really great restaurants, but Curacao also has restaurants we really enjoyed. We were really ready to leave GC at the end of the week. Just not enough to do.
Neither island is really "tropical".
Knowing is offline  
Apr 29th, 2009, 11:07 AM
  #6  
KVR
 
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We've been to Grand Cayman twice and going to Curacao for the first time in 10 days. We really enjoyed Grand Cayman and it was our favorite Island next to Cozumel until we went to Aruba. GC has really great snorkeling and we loved 7 Mile Beach. However, food and drinks are really expensive and we didn't find the nightlife, entertainment and beach bars like we found in Aruba, which we totally loved.

Don't know much about the Marriots, except there come highly recommended and are quite family friendly, which we tend to stay away from. We chose the Lions Dive in Curacao, which sits on the Sea Aquarium/Mambo/Kontiki Beach, where there are many beach bars, restaurants and evening entertainment. Can give you more when we return.

Good thing you are not from the US, because trying to get decent air fare and schedule to Curacao is a true test of patience. It took us 2 years to get this trip booked because the price was so outragous and the schedule to get there was ending up in an overnight in Miami. We are having to go through Aruba and taking a smaller plane to Curacao, but at least we get there in one day.
KVR is offline  
Apr 29th, 2009, 11:32 AM
  #7  
 
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The Marriott on GC is a smaller property than the one on Curacao. The beaches in GC are much better, but the one in front of the GC Marriott is narrow.
If you want nice beaches, with green waters and nightlife, look at the Aruba Marriott. Aruba has more nightlife and the Marriott there is huge. GC does not have much nightlife outside of a few beach restaurant/bars.
I have not been to Curacao. I have been to GC and Aruba and would return to both.
girlonthego is offline  
Apr 29th, 2009, 12:31 PM
  #8  
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thanks - we are only planning a four night trip so shouldn't have too much time to get bored...
nunnles is offline  
Apr 29th, 2009, 01:00 PM
  #9  
 
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Having visited both we prefer curacao. Cayman is expensive; although the beaches are beautiful. We found much better snorkeling in Curacao but you have to go way out in west punt area. Some of the beach clubs are fabulous porto marie, cas abao,play kalki, etc. Porto Marie had the best food! Rent a car and drive to the western end, the beaches are fantastic.

As far as nightlife, I'm old and dont really seek that out =} but I would think either would have some fun bars you could visit.

Peace, Greenie
greenie is offline  
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