Dominican Republic? Aruba? St. Lucia?

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Jan 5th, 2004, 12:07 PM
  #1
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Dominican Republic? Aruba? St. Lucia?

My wife & I are looking to take a Caribbean vacation (without the kids!) in April '04. We have each travelled throughout most of Europe and the U.S., but have never taken a "sun" vacation together. For this trip, we are looking to RELAX, soak up the sun at the beach and pool, snorkel a bit, and eat & drink to our hearts content. I have narrowed our choices down to the Dominican Republic, Aruba, or St. Lucia... I'm told All-Inclusive is the way to go for a trip like this. 5-star luxury pampering on a 3-star budget has us leaning toward the Dominican Republic, but we're certainly open to suggestions. Help?!
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Jan 5th, 2004, 12:46 PM
  #2
caribtraveler
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are you planning to visit the island or do you just want to stay at the resort?
i'm asking because i don't think you should go to st. lucia and not see the island.
there are also things to see in aruba but not as many as on st. lucia.
enjoyed both aruba and st. lucia but those 2 couldn't be more different.
to me st. lucia is what i picture a caribbean to be..lush, picturesque fishing villages, folks who speak creole, etc... water is darker and not the crystal-clear water you see on magazine covers.
aruba is very touristy in my opinion with lots of tourists, hotels, casinos, dry and flat. water is clear, beach very nice.
never done dominican republic but most people seem to be more comfortable staying at the resort there because of the poverty level. beaches look beautiful there too.
i know how hard it is to decide on an island! so many of them, so little time! good luck.
 
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Jan 5th, 2004, 01:57 PM
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Gosh, 3 good choices...St. Lucia is my favorite island by far, but what you just described I also did in Punta cana Dominican republic, and Aruba. Punta Cana has the most beautiful beaches I have seen IMO, but you won't get a "town' experience...Aruba is clean and friendly, but their All Inclusives are not that great in my opinion as they are really a culinary destination and a desert island. St. Lucia is lush and beautiful, you can do all of those things and see some gorgeous sites.
This is a hard choice....Check out the Barcelo Bavaro Palace complex in Punta Cana, they have the oldest beach miles long and have golf, casinos, watersports, and dozen + restaurants on property. The rates are similar to Cancun...Aruba tends to run higher and St. Lucia is alot because of the airfare....Good Luck choosing !
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Jan 5th, 2004, 03:03 PM
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Forget Dominican Republic,Aruuba's the place to go.Yes the all inclusives do suck there as they do anywhere.Believe me you dont need all inclusive in Aruba.
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Jan 6th, 2004, 09:02 AM
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Spent my honeymoon this past October in Aruba. We did all-inclusive at the Tamarijn. Would not do it again. We liked the hotel but the food was not very good, very average. There is a lot to see on the island, it is very safe. The island is all desert and coral. Must sees: Natural Bridge, Gold Smelt Ruins, Natural pool. Do not visit the caves (rip-off) or do the jee/horse/bike tours. Rent a jeep and do it yourself, it's an adventure.....oh, yes: drive from the lighthouse to the ruins......
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Jan 6th, 2004, 09:29 AM
  #6
caribtraveler
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jedivader..isn't it interesting how people have different experiences? we did a jeep tour and a horse tour in aruba and loved it. although i wouldn't recommend the horse tour if you're not an experienced horse rider!
but you can't go wrong if you rent your own jeep i think..please make sure it is a jeep and not a car. we saw people who got a car and tried to drive on the rough coast and got stuck!
we stayed at the all-inclusive next door to the tamarijn. their food was good and their beach was nice.
 
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Jan 8th, 2004, 06:43 PM
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Dear Ray
compare your prices on AI and non inclusive. If you stay at a hotel or resort that has a refrigerator in the room, or kitchette, you can prepare simple breakfasts and lunches and then splurge on nice dinners. I've only been to one Caribbean island (St. Lucia and stayed at the Windjammer Landing and loved it) and this is what we did. We kept lots of fresh fruits and yogurts in our fridge. There was something nice about starting breakfast out on our patio, then hitting the beach for the day. If you really want to relax, check into the Windjammer Landing resort and get a villa with a plunge pool if you can. AAVacations sometimes runs special deals.
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Jan 9th, 2004, 07:09 AM
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If you want the most bang for your buck and just want to chill out then an AI in the DR is the way to go. Punta Cana seems to be a great place for this and as long as you intend to stay on the grounds of the resort you should be fine. One concern I have is the time of year. It is spring break. I am not sure if spring breakers go to the DR in great numbers if at all. Cancun, Cabo, PV and Padre Island are popular. However one would think the DR for econ. reasons would be popular with them. If so that may not be the best set up for a relaxing time. An alternative would be Aruba or the Mex. Riviera. The breakers get off in Cancun and you proceed south. Good luck, Larry
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