Negril or Aruba?

Mar 30th, 2005, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I have never been to Aruba, but I was in Negril last year and had the best time. The food was wonderful, the beaches are great and the people are the best. Yes, people will offer you stuff, but i have been offered alot worse at different places in the us, you just say no and they'll leave you alone. I have a friends who will only go to Negril, I myself have always been a Mexico person, last year went to Negril, this year I went back to Mexico and the whole time I wished I was in Negril. I am also in my mid twenties and we partied down there and had a blast.
jb1923 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 05:26 PM
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Okay, I have never been to Aruba, but, have visited Jamaica several times & we are returning again in about 5 weeks. Several friends love Aruba & that's great, for them. The one glaring difference I have noticed is visitors to Jamaica almost always comment on the people they have met & befriended, while visitors to Aruba comment on jeep safaris, booze cruises, arches, casinoes, etc. Safety, of course, is important in traveling & a culture that is familar to their everyday lives is comforting to some. I have been enamored with the culture of Jamica & its beauty. How much do you hear about Aruban culture? Where is its music, philosophy, diversity? By no means am I bashing Aruba; I just feel Jamaica has so much more to offer. Does it have crime? Of course, where in the world doesn't? Wherever you decide to go, enjoy; there's room for all of us.
superdan is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 06:46 PM
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Thanks Superdan for those remarks, we stayed on Aruba last year and really enjoyed it, the Arubans we met were extremely friendly and helpful. Having said that, we're going to Negril for 6 nights and then on to the Jamaica Inn for 5 nights in late April. The main thing I'm looking forward too is the interaction with the 'Locals'.

Actually I didn't care for the Jeep Safari on Aruba, 8 people per Jeep and they didn't check if the drivers had a Drivers License. Our driver was from LA and did a good job but one driver was rather hesitant and we kept having to wait for him to catch up - then again he was driving his family not a bunch of total strangers!
alya is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 10:38 AM
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Aruba is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean..however,I agree with superdan..I bet that Jamaica is a ALOT more beautiful than Aruba..with alot more culture too..Aruba is not anywhere to go if you want culture,beautiful scenery,nice marine life,things to explore.

If you like to relax on the beach..drink..and party ALL NIGHT..than Aruba would be great.
christiegr is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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Sorry if I offended anyone by my initial remarks. I think Jamaica is a very beautiful island and I will most likely return there someday. I was only considering my audience -- two females in their mid-twenties who seemed to be looking for a place to party with nice beaches. If I was still in my mid-twenties looking for a place to go party with friends, I would not pick this island. I was only listing facts based on my experience in both places. In Jamaica, I was approached by (I will avoid the term 'sketchy')people trying to sell illegal substances; in Aruba, I had no such experience. In Jamaica, I was told my my hotel staff that it was not safe to walk outside the resort at night; in Aruba, I walked around at night without being approached by anyone. In Jamaica, I was approached by a "cab" driver with an unofficially marked plate and midnight dark tinted windows who mentioned that he was replacing the cab driver who we paid to wait on us around the corner. Luckily, we did not take that ride because we found our original cab driver right where we left him. In Aruba, we rented our own car and drove around. When we did get a cab, we did not have to worry about its legitamacy. If you want to call me "uninformed", then maybe you should provide your source. Beware of people who post statistics and "facts" on the internet without posting the source. Here are some valid sources on crime in Jamaica:'

tobster is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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Also, to the divers out there, Aruba has wonderful marine life. I didn't see much more than sand in Jamaica, but it was my very first dive, so maybe there is more to see. In Aruba, there are awesome shipwrecks and reefs. On our most recent dives in Aruba, we saw several large green and spotted moray eels and two octopus (which are sometimes hard to spot). Of course, Bonaire is a plane hop away
tobster is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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I have been to both Aruba and Jamaica.

Aruba is very Americanized/commercialized/touristy and reminded us of being on a beach in the U.S. There are lots of high rise hotels, American fast food chains and restaurants and it can be expensive for drinks and food. It is basically a dry, flat, constantly windy desert island and lacks any real culture of it's own. We found the water clarity lacking and the beaches themselves had lots of cigarette butts and other litter on them.

Jamaica is the total opposite and is lush, mountainess and has waterfalls and tropical forests. It has a lots of culture and history and a real Caribbean feel to it. Jamaicans are warm and friendly, but can be aggressive, but a friendly no thank-you they will leave you alone.

Personally if I had to pick one of these two destinations, I would go with Negril. Of all the islands in the Caribbean we have been to so far, Aruba was our least favorite island.
ONZGO is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Been to both. Honeymooned in Jamica and frequently to Aruba. In my opinion, and it is only my opinion. Both were beautiful. Jamaica more lush, green, hilly landscape. Aruba flat and desert like the other quest mentioned. We were in Jamica right after hurricane season so I am sure this is why but the water was choppy and not as clear as I thought it would be(this was my first Carribean experience about 16 years ago). Aruba on the other hand the water lthough in Jamica my husband and I were approached right at the airport after we arrived. I was offerewasabsolutely beautiful and calm. I too was offered drugs at both islands, aI have an 11 year old daughter
debfoglio is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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Me again, sorry my mail sent w/ out me finishing. Anyway, I have an 11 year old daugher and if she was your age and planning a trip I would, with out a doubt, feel more comfortable with her going to Aruba. That is not to say Jamaica is not safe or beautiful. I personally, and again just MY opinion, just felt MUCH safer and more AT HOME in Aruba. Have a wonderful time were ever you go. I am sure that you will not go wrong whatever you decide.
debfoglio is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Totally agree with ONZGO. Aruba is very Americanized. Jamaica has that island in the Caribbean feel. Aruba did not for me.

I love the desert and really like Aruba but I like Jamaica more.
Dec 30th, 2006, 05:14 PM
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Regarding the litter on the beach, did it include things like used condoms and needles?
Swaying_Palms is offline  
Dec 31st, 2006, 10:46 AM
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Thankfully there was no used condoms and needles, that we could see, but there were a lot of used cigarette and cigar butts, more than any other Carribbean/Mexican beach we have been on, along with lots of disposable plastic cups and other paper products that the constant Aruban winds pick up and blow around. It is a real shame about the litter on the beach in general along with the used cigarette and cigar butts, because people cause this problem by not disposing of their butts and other litter in the proper garbage receptacles and it is a shame that they do respect nature more and try to preserve it's beauty.
ONZGO is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 02:54 PM
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It's disturbing that people are so inconsiderate and ill-mannered as to litter.

The reason I asked about the condoms and needles is because I have this disturbing memory of seeing used condoms strewn about on a beach. This was a number of years ago when I was around 13 on a trip to attend a family celebration. I can't recall the details but it was one of two such trips I had taken at the time. Either somewhere in Texas or somewhere in FL (if not Ft. Lauderdale, then not terribly far from it) It may have even been both places. It very well could have been during spring break.

While I don't specifically recall having seen the needles, they came to mind because of having read and/or heard a reference to used needles on a beach somewhere.

*- I'm not saying how many years ago, so as not to reveal my age!
Swaying_Palms is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 03:32 PM
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ONZGO Wrote:

Regarding Aruba:
"It is basically a dry, flat, constantly windy desert island ..."

These characteristics have specific advantages, though.


1. little rain and greatest chances of having sunny weather during one's vacation.
2. This also means less-favorable breeding conditions for mosquitoes and perhaps other nuisance insects as well.
3. Lower relative humidity of air.
4. Outside of hurricane belt, so very low risk of going during hurricane season.

"Flat": Easier to navigate; lack of treacherous hairpin turns on roads.

"Constantly windy":

1. Mitigates heat; as Aruba is one of the islands closest to the equator, the heat would often be unbearable if not for the winds.
(Beware, though, that this can mask the very real danger of sunburn)

2. Controls mosquitoes and other flying insects.

Regarding Jamaica:

"...lush, mountainess and has waterfalls and tropical forests."

Which usually means more insects and more dangerous driving, as well.

How would you compare your experiences on both islands in _these_ regards?

As always, pros and cons to everything!

"Jamaicans are warm and friendly, but can be aggressive, but a friendly no thank-you they will leave you alone."

How did you find the Arubans?
Swaying_Palms is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 04:22 PM
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I have not been to Negril yet, but have been to Aruba.

I personally did not care for my advice would be to go to Negril.I have heard some wonderful things about Negril and have seen some pictures.It looks like a beautiful place.

I was offered drugs in Aruba (think about how close it is to Columbia).So according to other posts,I guess that you could be offered drugs at EITHER place.

OOPS! Just noticed that this is an OLD post and that I already replied to it. Well I wonder where this person ended up going?


christiegr is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 02:23 AM
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Swaying_Palms, in reply to your question on how we found the Arubans. We found they ignored us on the most part. We found we had to tip to get service of any kind. We don't mind tipping, but don't like having to tip to get service.

Swaying_Palms, have you ever been to Jamaica?
ONZGO is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 12:31 AM
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Sorry to hear of your experience. I have neither been to Jamaica nor to Aruba* but I find it interesting how polarizing Jamaica is; seems like most people either love it or hate it.

The only islands for which I have seen _only_ positive comments with regard to safety and the friendliness of the people are the Caymans and Anguilla. Every other island - to varying degrees- gets mixed and often conflicting reviews in these areas.

*Lest anyone criticize me for posting what I have without ever having been to either island, I would suggest first re-reading what I actually wrote; I merely cited well-documented, verifiable _facts_.
Swaying_Palms is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 02:55 PM
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Not a problem Swaying_Palm and thank-you for your answer, I thought you may be one of the many timeshare owners on Aruba, as Aruba has more timeshares than any other Caribbean island and sometimes the timeshare owners can be very biased towards "their" island and most 'Aruba only forums' are frequented by these timeshare owners.

Yes Aruba is a dry, desert island, but it is not outside the hurricane belt as commonly believed and is in fact in the southern fringes of the hurricane belt. Check out this website from the "Meterological Service of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba" for a report about this misunderstood fact.

In 2004 there was a hurricane warning out for Aruba when hurricane Ivan went through the area. Luckily Ivan just missed Aruba, but there was beach errosion, damage to some hotels and major flooding. If a hurricane actually hit Aruba, because the island is so flat and so small (19.6 x 6 miles), there might not be many places to seek refuge or hills to go to, with the exception of one called Hooiberg (Haystack Hill) and I don't believe there is a building on it, but I am not sure.

Yes, hurricanes are less likely to happen in Aruba, as with Barbados, St. Vincent, The Grenadines, Grenada, Tobago, Trinadad, but hurricanes still are a possibility anywhere in the Caribbean.

Mosquitoes and other bugs are seasonal and if you go to the Caribbean islands during the drier winter months you will be less likely to encounter many bugs. This goes for Aruba as well. Bugs are in abundance during the rainy season and Aruba does have some rain and a rainy season. Here is a website for historical weather averages that includes percipitation for each month of the year.

I have found that usually when it rains in the Caribbean, that very rarely is it an all day rain, but in short heavy downfalls. If it rains, the bugs will come out, even in Aruba and there will be humidity.

Yes, Aruba is flat, and there are less treacherous hairpin turns, but that makes for less interesting and tropical scenery in my opinion. It is quite easy to get loss while driving in Aruba, even though the island is very small because of lack or good road signs. We got loss in Aruba when we rented a car because lack of road signs and because the scenery basically looks the same no matter which way you turn. We did not rent a car in Jamaica and took tours and taxis.

Yes, Aruba is very close to the Equator and yes it is windy in Aruba and the wind does lessen the heat and and yes with the wind you don't notice you are getting sunburned by Aruba's strong sun, but the winds can also sandblast you while you are on the beach, plus there are no good hair days in Aruba (L0L).

I have been to Jamaica in March (drier winter season) and we encountered just a few bugs, but nothing of any importance.

I have been to Aruba, both in March and in May. Both times we encounted a few bugs, but the winds were much stronger in May, than in March, but the winds were there both times. I have read other trip reviews where people went to Aruba during the fall rainy months and they were complaining of being bitten, so a lot depends on the time of year you go in regards to bugs.

We found that between our two visits to Aruba, that it had gotten so Americanized/commercialized/touristy now that it has lost it culture and history and we felt like we were on a beach in Florida. When we go to the Caribbean we like to feel we have gone to the Caribbean and not a beach in Florida. This is our own personal opinion and many love Aruba and made love Jamaica and many hate Jamaica and it all depends on what YOU want in a vaction.

May I ask what Caribbean islands you have been to Swaying_Palms or are you doing research for your first visit?

ONZGO is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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Sawing_Palms, if you do a search on Google for "Hurricane Ivan + Aruba" you will links to pictures, the actual hurricane warnings for Aruba, and forums discussing the damage, etc. that was caused to Aruba by Ivan.
ONZGO is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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Posts: 245
negril or aruba...???
If these are only 2 choices...negril.

but---i'd send my sisters to st john.
St. John Virgin islands and stay safe.

plenty of upscale places...

marbleheadguy is offline  
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