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July 14-22 2007 - FS Nevis Mountainside vs Marriott Aruba Oceanfront for same price w/12 y.o.? Any shopping at all at either?

July 14-22 2007 - FS Nevis Mountainside vs Marriott Aruba Oceanfront for same price w/12 y.o.? Any shopping at all at either?

Oct 19th, 2006, 06:48 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,121
steve,
Unless you stay at the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino...you will not be near shopping.I know that Marriott owns the Renaissance which is located in a nice shopping mall.Check with Marriott and see if it's an option.

As for Aruba in general,I prefer other islands (I agree with Atraveller).

Maybe look into Grand Cayman which has lots to do for people of all ages.We went there this past May with our 3 boys and had a wonderful time!

We stayed at www.discoverypointclub.com , we stayed in a 2 bedroom condo for $280 and night and the 5th night was free.You could easily stay in a 1 bedroom,if it has a sleeper sofa.

Things of interest in GC are:

The Turtle Farm-you get to hold the turtles.
Stingray City-Capt. Marvin's is great.
Botanical Gardens
Butterfly farm-my kids learned alot about butterflies and really enjoyed it.
Rum Point
7 Mile Beach
the blow holes

also offers great snorkeling around the island.

Good luck choosing a destination!

Christie
christiegr is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 06:50 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,121
Forgot to mention that GC has a couple of Marriotts there..the Courtyard and reg. Marriott.
christiegr is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 01:19 PM
  #23  
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 965
Thanks christiegr: We already have been to the Cayman Islands in a horrible hotel, the Hyatt that was desperately in need of renovation. They weren't the nice beachfront rooms but the ones across the street. We definitely don't have any interest going back to Grand Cayman but the beaches sure were killer.

Looks like it's definitely St John, then. We have buy 4 nights get the 5th free on points, and have even an extra night paid for at this point. We need to save up another 24000 pts for another 2 nights by next June . Then all 8 nights will be free. Yehawwwwww.

Can't wait. Hope this all works out. Just booked the room.

Steve R
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Oct 20th, 2006, 02:46 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,121
You will enjoy St John (been there twice) it has some of the most beautiful beaches.

I feel that St John is a much better choice than Aruba.

Have fun!
Christie
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Oct 20th, 2006, 06:39 PM
  #25  
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Thanks Christie. Just got the confirmation tonight for our 6 nts stay and we still need to spend another $24k on credit card by next June or so to get the other 2 nights free .

Showed our daughter the pics of the hotel and she's psyched. It's strange that all the Westin website pics of the rooms only show the Timeshare/Villas rooms and not any regular rooms. Guess they're selling them pretty hard right now.

Steve R
stever is offline  
Oct 21st, 2006, 06:53 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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steve,
Thought that I would mention..if you are planning on doing some shopping,take time to shop around in St Thomas while there.Although St John has SOME shopping, it is not as selective as the shopping on St Thomas.

If you are interested in stuff made by the locals,they set up stands in Cruz Bay park (I think only on weekends)and sell neat jewelry,paintings and other stuff for much cheaper than the Boutique type shops on the island.

I would also spend the day at Caneel Bay Resort on there beaches oneday as they offer some great snorkeling and swimming and are open to the public.

My kids enjoyed Caneel's main beach while we were there.My 12 year old son found a starfish while snorkeling there and had fun playing with other kids.

Have a great time!

Christie
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Oct 21st, 2006, 07:20 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 226
You can read a recent review of The Four Seasons in Nevis at www.myislands.myeyez.net

Nevis is a beautiful, laid back and safe island with lots of friendly and helpful locals.

If you go, you must visit Chevy's Beach Bar located on Pinney's Beach and order their famous "Stinger" drink.

skbfan is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 12:48 PM
  #28  
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Thanks folks. I will read that Nevis report of your and hope to go there next year. Just spoke to a lady today that's been to the FS Nevis 3 times with her kids and they all love the place.

Christie: Great recommendation for shopping. I'll file that one away. I just had to pay $299 a nt for the last 2 nights on St John as we don't have the Starwood pts yet, and might not even accrue them by next year in time to use them. Is 8 nights too many anyway? Maybe we should just do the 6 we have for free and maybe one more...
If we stay 8 nts, we'll come back on Sunday night and I have to work that Monday, but not too much work...


Thoughts?

Steve R
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Oct 22nd, 2006, 01:07 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
You mean you're not sure whether it's a good idea to spend $24,000 to save $600? Maybe you're using that new math I've heard so much about!

Seriously, since you're already getting those other nights for free, I'd suggest that you go ahead and book the last two night for the trip. You're going to waste close to two full days just in transit anyway, so why not maximize your time away? You may well find that you're enamored of this new vacation style of being laid-back, going with the flow, and where your most stressful decision lies in which beach to visit that day.
ejcrowe is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 02:40 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I think Steve has one of those credit cards that matches travel points for dollars spent. I've never understood how that works ;-)

But if Steve uses that credit card for gasoline and heating oil for his home, it's possible that he could spend $24K by next July.

My advice would be to *splurge* for the extra two nights, and relax and enjoy the nights that are *free*

Marion
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Oct 22nd, 2006, 07:20 PM
  #31  
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Excellent info. Thx again! I thought... 8 days? That's probably too much in one hotel on one small island. But, you're right. Travelling to get there will take a whole day and back home a whole day.

Yes, the AMEX Starwood credit card gives you a pt for every dollar. We did alot of renovations to our house these past 5 months so we earned 67K point, enough for 6 nights. We'd have to charge $3k a month for the next months to earn those last 2 nights.

I think instead we'll just pay the ridiculously low rate of $299 a nt and do it that way. I'm sure that rate will go back to around $435 a night when their alottment of AAA rooms is gone. They said all we can get using pts is a Garden View room, but the hotel tells us that there won't be any gardenview rooms next July anyway as they're converting them to Timeshare units.

Guess that means we might get our oceanview or poolview for the price of the cheap gardenview. Not bad...

I really appreciate your perspective. 8 nights sounds perfect now. Besides, one day will be spent on the day trip to Virgin Gorda to see The Baths, and another in St Thomas shopping tell they drop.

Steve R
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