St Marten or Aruba?

Old May 7th, 2001, 12:06 PM
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Well, heading to Aruba will get you lots of people!! St. Croix is not as popular a destination but it is a lovely island. Not sure which resort you've picked but Carambola (Sunterra)Beach Resort is one timeshare there. It is lovely and the units are wonderful each with their own screened porch! The resort is isolated and getting to either Christensted or Fredericksted is a ways! You will want to rent a car. There is the new Divi Resort/Casino and I am hearing good things about that. Excellent dining options (but not as good and as many as Grande Case) and some snorkling off the island beaches (not at Carambola tho). Best bet for that is the boat trip to Buck Island.
Old May 7th, 2001, 10:31 PM
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Lisa, if I've said it a million times, I'll say it again: Grand Cayman and St. Barts are the ONLY places to go in the Caribbean because of their standard of living! All other places are downtrodden, slummy and crime-ridden!!!
Old May 9th, 2001, 10:18 AM
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Thank you Karen! Great info without bashing!Are you familiar with other timeshares? The Sapphire on St Marten really caught my eye because of the private hot tub on every patio/porch.But I'm wondering about the beach it is on.Also the flights are at least 200$ more to fly there, but if it's worth it,it's worth it.Any other info would be appreciated, especially on timeshares! <BR>Thanks, <BR>Lisa
Old May 13th, 2001, 06:38 AM
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I stayed at the Sapphire. It's a very nice place and I had no problems, although periodically it's timeshare owners have complained about a roach problem (I had no problem) on the property - supposedly now resolved. It's beach is miniscule. There are much nicer beaches a short drive away. <BR>I also stayed in a timeshare in Aruba, on Eagle beach. Costa Linda, Playa Linda and Casa del Mar, all on this beach, are all excellent timeshares, and Eagle beach is huge and beautiful. <BR> <BR>Both St. Martin and Aruba are, arguably, overdeveloped for western tourists. There are lots of good restaurants, casinos, beautfiful beaches and crowds of tourists. Both islands are arid and lacking in natural beauty except for their beaches. If you want the comforts of home, both have them. If you want to have a true feel for a Caribbean culture, many islands other than these two are better choices. <BR> <BR>St. Martin has more of a persistent crime problem, although any individual's experience with this might be good or bad on either island. Aruba, in my opinion, has better snorkeling, definitely superior for scuba, and friendlier people. It is also under the hurricane belt - a major advantage if you'll be going between June and November. <BR>
Old May 13th, 2001, 10:44 AM
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Yup, probably will cost you more to fly to any of the many islands than it does to Aruba since they seem to have lots of "bargains" wrapped around the airfare! Don't know nuthin' about timeshares other than there is RCI and II. I know that some timeshare people do find a "bargain" package for a minimum stay on the island that includes air, stay there a couple of nites (usually three is the minimum) and then go to the time share for their week. Overall, the extra time is just dollars more than paying the Saturday to Staurday high air many times and they not only have "saved" on airfare but have been able to max out their time on island since the air is such a big part of the price! Let's say the fare is $1400. You might be able to find a "bargain" package for two for less than that that includes air. So, you get the three extra nites in the "package" for what you might spend on air alone or for just dollars more!!! Hope I was clear in trying to explain it but that weekend air is the most expensive! You might also find that switching in SanJuan or another connecting airport (MIA) might get you a cheaper fare than a non-stop flight!
Old May 14th, 2001, 06:15 AM
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I think those who responded are correct. Selecting a vacation spot depends on what suits you. However, there is a certain quality of vacation travelers would want to experience. I visited Aruba and enjoyed it. In St. Maarten, I was disappointed with poor customer service, stray dogs roaming the beach, stray cats roaming the streets and trash in many different areas. (There was a woman on my return flight who tried to bring back one of the many stray cats, but she was stopped in customs and the cat was taken away.) Of course, there were some wonderful things, too, but I would still select Aruba.
Old May 14th, 2001, 10:33 AM
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I've never been to Aruba but I'd stay home before I would go back to St. Martin. Pick any other island but not that nasty place. Just picture this: dirty beaches- trash everywhere & quite smelly.Rude people- you ask a question & get ignored. Yes, I am talking about the French inhabitants. Stray animals- they are everywhere, it's really sad since they look to be starving. Crime- gangs out on the streets at night, need I say more? Traffic- took me 2 hours during LOW season to drive from Grand Case to just outside Marigot. I can stay home & sit through traffic. Barren-not many trees, flowers, etc. Does not look "tropical" like it does in the tourism mags. Even the grass is brown & scraggly. Swingers- if your into that along with total nudity on the beaches. I strongly suggest that you don't bring small children with you. It can be an ugly sight. <BR>Alot of people rave about how great the food is. In my opinion that's only if you like french cuisine. I don't so the food did not impress me. <BR>Save your money & go somewhere nice!! <BR>No, I did not expect the amenities that we have big resorts in the US because I have been to several islands much less developed that St. Martin. I know what poverty is all about on these islands & that is no excuse for any of what I saw. <BR>
Old May 14th, 2001, 12:30 PM
Karen & David
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We've been to both islands for exactly what you're looking for, and it is NO CONTEST. ARUBA WINS! <BR> <BR>Admit it or not, St. M/M is a dirty island that left us both feeling uncomfortable much of the time. The loiterers are disconcerting and the aggressive panhandlers (who get right in your face) are awful. Unfortunately, hurricanes are to blame for much of the trash/dirtiness, but not all -- the people are also to blame. <BR> <BR>Aruba, on the other hand, is an extremely clean, SAFE island. NO HURRICANES either because it's well south of the hurricane belt. Aruba has fantastic, friendly people, great restaurants (NOT FRENCH), and incredibly beaufiful beaches. The snorkeling & scuba diving is also much better than in St. M/M. <BR> <BR>Our impression is that diehard St M/M people are either 1) not well-traveled or 2) Orient Beach (nude) enthusiasts. <BR> <BR>Aruba is the clear choice. Enjoy! <BR>
Old May 15th, 2001, 08:26 AM
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By reading these last posts, one is to assume that Aruba is a perfect place with no problems?
Old May 16th, 2001, 04:57 AM
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The poster who described St. Martin as "barren" but hasn't been to Aruba ain't seen nothin' yet. <BR>Aruba is VERY barren, and very Americanized - but those are the only two negatives, in my opinion, to be weighed against a dozen or so positives. <BR>Still looking for the perfect island - will let everyone know when I find it (assuming I return to my computer). <BR> <BR>

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