Will I like Barbados

Old Jul 24th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Will I like Barbados

In the past we have stuck to off the beaten track type islands. Our fav so far are the bahama out islands (eleuthera and long island), Virgin Gorda, and Anguilla. Visited St John last year and was a fit disappointed w/the number of folks on the beach (we visited spring break week and so maybe that was a factor). Also have visited Abacos, Exuma (the water is spectacular), Turks and Grand Cayman in the past which were all nice. This Nov we are doing a trip with some friends and we've been told to stick the more popular islands. One thing that will impact where we go is flight times and airfare. At the moment, direct flights to Aruba are in the mid 700s and fligts to Barbados are priced reasonably in the mid 500s. I have never considered Barbados for past travels (and don't know much about the island) so would like to throw the question out to you? Also if you had a choice between the two which would you pick and why. Your input is much appreciated.
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Old Jul 24th, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Been to both several times. Given the choice, I'd go to Barbados.

Aruba---extremely busy, great night life, big properties with casinos. OK water and so-so snorkeling. Great party island if you are into that sort of thing.

Barbados---another busy island. West coast beaches are gorgeous with calm turquoise water and a little better snorkeling. South coast beaches are wavy. Smaller properties and good entertainment at most places. IMO, more upscale.

Completely different than the islands you mentioned above(and I've been to most of those also) except maybe close to Grand Cayman. Not anywhere close to Anguilla, St. John, Virgon Gorda, etc. If you thought St. John's beaches were busy, wait until you see Aruba!
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Old Jul 24th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Although we didn't spend anytime there we did connect on our flights in Barbados. Based on the places you've stayed prior you may want to do a little more research. Barbados appears to very much be a very busy, bustling island. It is too big w/too many people for me. I prefer islands w/fewer inhabitants (Barbados has nearly 300,000), while more than 10,000 is 'crowded' for me.
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Old Jul 24th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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The reason why we picked Aruba for one of our vacations is because it's commericalized. Lots of restaurants, bars, shopping and entertainment. Plenty of things to keep us busy. Reminded me of Las Vegas with a beach except the gambling was not as good.

We want to go to Barbados for the same reason. Lots of dining opportunites and plenty of things so see and do.

I have been to most of the Islands you mentioned. Compared to Aruba and Barbados, you are talking apples and oranges. If you thought St. John was crowed, you will definately not like Aruba or Barbados.
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Old Jul 24th, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Love Aruba. But you won't. Too busy for you. We stay @ Marriott & the beach is crowded. We go in February. I have this ability to focus on the turquoise water, the sun, the spectacular sunsets, the warmth, the sand & the salty surf & ignore the crowded beach. Others in my family do not have this ability so we may be going somewhere else this year! I have heard that The Radisson section of the beach is not as crowded as the Marriott section which comprises the Marriott Hotel, and 2 timeshare properties: Marriott Ocean Club and Marriott Surf Club all located on Palm Beach.

I can't comment on Barbados. Haven't been.

Perhaps you shd just go back to one of the places you know you like.

IN November you have to be concerned about hurricanes. Aruba is out of the hurricane belt....at least that is what I have heard.

OB1
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Old Jul 24th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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We like both islands for different reasons: Aruba, dry, flat island with good beaches, lots of restaurants, nightlife, commercialised and very American: Barbados has a more English feel, less commercialised than Aruba, not as busy (perhaps due to the time of year we usually go, have never found the west coast beaches crowded), has a more upmarket feel esp on the west coast, more suited to AI although plenty of dining options exist in the south around the Gap which is not the nicest part of the island, of course dining options exist all over but can be pricey and requires car rental or other transportation, interesting excursions esp to the windy east coast.
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Old Jul 24th, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Mnag, we have the same tastes in islands!

Aruba was fun when I was young, but I have no desire to go back.

Barbados was nice, beautiful resorts, but huge island! I didn't expect it to be so big. There are vendors on the beach that try to sell you stuff all day. Capital is bustling and crowded, and traffic infested. The golf course that we saw was stunning. Beaches were nice but nothing like the ones you're use too. There was one beach that I really liked, used for all their promotions, Bottom Bay. Crane looked really amazing too, but it is far from the main hubs. I liked it, but again, have no need to go back.

How about cheating? Stay in St. Martin, which is a lot of fun and amazing restaurants, and sneak away to yur favorite Anguilla a couple of times?

8-)
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Old Jul 24th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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blamona,
I love that idea! We may try that one: Stay in St Martin and sneak away to Anguilla.
Can you recommend an upscale place to stay in St Martin w/in walking distance to good restaurants?

OB1
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 06:38 AM
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thank you for the honest feedback...I think we'll have to get new friends ...at the moment I am not super excited about either island...not sure where we will end up. The search continues

Blamona - I like your idea but not sure it will work out practically speaking (plus I'll regret not going to Anguilla to begin with...)
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 02:40 PM
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Aruba is a commercialized madhouse in my opinion except for a few very high-ebnd resorts outside the busy zone.
Yes Barbados is larger but not a madhouse just because of it's size. There are not as many restaurants but the number of fast food-type places in Aruba can be overwhelming. The beaches in Barbados can be lovely and less crowded if you do not select a hotel with 300+ rooms. There is snorkeling in a few spots by sailing swith Calabazzi Sail (spelling off a little) where there is zero in Aruba. The lushness of the Barfbados is more impressive and while a little costly a taxi taking you around or a car rental will show you it has areas like St. John.Maybe you can tell we no longer enjoy Aruba. For the under 35 set it fits.
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 04:55 PM
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Stan,
You make Aruba sound like Ft Lauderdale in the 70's!
We are over 35. So are 99% of the people who stay at any of the Marriott properties on Palm Beach in Aruba. While the beach is crowded, I would never describe it as a "madhouse".

We have had some wonderful dinners on the beach at the Marriott's Simply Fish restaurant...white linen table clothes, tables set on the sand a few feet from water's edge. We are not gamblers. Never go to the casino.

Just out of curiosity, where did you stay the last time you went to Aruba? What time of year?

OB1
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 05:32 PM
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Didn't see Grenada. It's not Barbados, but if you like "off the beaten track type islands", I can't think of a more perfect location. I've read review after review of people that have been to multiple islands, and many say it's their favorite. It was my 7th island and by far the best trip I ever took. The food. The people. The diversity. You have beautiful beaches, waterfalls and rain forests all on one island. It's one of the few unspoiled islands left.

Check it out.
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 07:23 PM
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I would not call Aruba a "mad house" either, and we stayed on Palm Beach during a Labor Day weekend. Depending on the time of year and where you stay makes a huge difference. The Eagle Beach area is way less crowded than the Palm Beach area.

There is decent snorkeling in Aruba away from the resort area. I have pictures to prove it on my site. Go to Baby Beach, Rogers Beach, De Palm Island or the Mangel Haltos. Also, a snorkeling trip to the Wreck and Arashi Beach. It's there.
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 07:29 PM
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PS. We are WAY over 35 and Aruba is one of our favorite destinations. I just wished it wasn't so expensive so we could go back. I have several interent friends older than us that love Aruba. On the contrary, we found the island diverse enough for all ages who enjoy lots of activity and great dining options. However, it appeared to us that either the more mature set or families with children made up a good majority of visitors. Aruba is one of those destinations of you either love it or hate with no in between.
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 08:11 PM
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KVR,
Yes, that's been our experience too: Older people ("mature set") or families with children. We usually go in February.

Still can't figure out why Stan has recommended Aruba for the <35 crowd.

OB1
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 11:46 PM
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I agree with Stan about Barbados, I have never been on a crowded beach there but then I don't stay in the south or south west, which is where maybe the assumption of Barbados being a crowded busy island is coming from. Another incorrect perception is that all west coast hotels are expensive, I cannot understand why Aruba & Barbados are even considered as being remotely similar.
I don't agree that Aruba has no snorkelling, we spent time on Malmok beach and it's pretty good, not the best in the world but a lovely uncrowded spot and scuba was not bad either (Antilla for example). I never sat on a crowded beach in Aruba, having a car meant we got away from the crowded beaches.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 12:41 PM
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Wow! If you thought St John was crowded, there probably aren't a lot of choices. Hmmmm. What would your friends think about some place like Nevis? I can't say enough good things about it. In fact, the only negative thing was they don't make a good rum punch. Check it out with your friends and see what they think.
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 08:18 PM
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thank you knowing....great sugggestion...I looked into airfare and it looks like flights out of Neward that week are at a min 10-11 hrs each way...hard sell to my friends. Nevis is on my list of islands to get to...so we'll eventually make it there.
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