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  1. #31
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    I have been to
    St Maarten= enjoyed St. Maarten, not as friendly as Aruba but still nice..

    Martinique= dirty and I have to agree with Andrea, scary.

    Bahamas= found it dirty, residents not friendly, just didn't like it .

    Cancun= been there many times in the past. was great till spring breakers discovered it. Great shopping

    Cozumel= agree with Andrea here.

    Antiqua= people very friendly, nice beaches, pathetic casino, zero shopping, zero to do at nite, St.John dirty.
    Montserrat= was gorgeous with very very friendly people but unfortunately it is not to be.
    Barbados= stayed for two weeks. is overall dirty (we stayed in an apt, not a resort). people are 50/50 friendly, have no real desire to ever return

    Grand Cayman= expensive, expensive shopping, clean, did I mention expensive.

    Aruba= LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT.
    I know its obviously not in the Caribbean but if you want a beautiful island with great beaches, the friendliest people on the planet, then I have to say go to Tahiti. I was able to handle the flight when I was younger, don't know I can do it now but Moorea is my favorite of all time islands. Been to the Canary Islands, very nice. Been to the Greek Islands, (Santorini, the most beautiful island in the world). All in all, Aruba is close by, the people are super nice, it is very clean, the shopping is great, there are tons of restaurants. It is expensive but if you rent there instead of staying in a hotel, it is a great bargain.........And it has a nite life.

  2. #32
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    torontoguy........my opinions are not based on the opinions of this official site/aruba tourism. i take offense that you imply otherwise.
    my experience with barbados is from a 12 hr cruise port of call which i disclosed. we took a tour, saw lots of the island and talked with people.
    my opinion re: barbados is what it is.

    just as your opinion on aruba is what it is and i would never undermine/criticize your opinion on aruba.

    Quote Originally Posted by TorontoGuy View Post
    I have only been to Barbados and Aruba, but reading this it doesn't seem andrea has many nice things to say about any of the islands other than the one hosting the site. I know from experience that Barbados is nothing like she describes it, and I suspect she might have had one unfortunate experience like a brush with crime and based her entire oppinion on that, so that may be for the other islands too. My honest oppinion was that Aruba was beautiful, food was outstanding, scenery was different, people friendly, easy to get around. Too many American fast food joints though, and high rise hotels stabbing the horizon. In the end I would have to say the lack of tropical foliage was my deal breaker, and why I would chose Barbados as my fave.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    torontoguy........my opinions are not based on the opinions of this official site/aruba tourism. i take offense that you imply otherwise.
    my experience with barbados is from a 12 hr cruise port of call which i disclosed. we took a tour, saw lots of the island and talked with people.
    my opinion re: barbados is what it is.

    just as your opinion on aruba is what it is and i would never undermine/criticize your opinion on aruba.
    I have been to Barbados as well and HATED it!!!

  4. #34
    Senior Member charles's Avatar
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    My take on it

    TORONTOGUY
    Just so we are clear on this - I live here and my family has "Tap roots" on this island that make it highly possible that when going to a movie or church, someone close by is related to me. OK? I just wanted that out of the way.

    Living in the Caribbean and then when in the USA, travelling extensively throughout the Caribbean I have been asked this question more times than I can remember.

    First of all, I suggest that reversing the issue might be a more productive way to look at it. For example: "I Mr. TORONTOGUY" love to vacation and my perfect vacation would include XXXXXXX (put down what you are looking for) and the perfect time for me to vacation would be (put down date) and continue that way. I feel sure you get the picture.

    Why do I suggest this? Because coming to an Aruba Bulletin Board is going to get you biased responses (at best and even if we don't want too). So - that would be my approach to your very legitimate question.

    That said, it might be very interesting for you to consider the following:

    • Aruba, in spite of a few incidents, is so very safe.
    • Aruba is not beautiful to the eyes, yet it overwhelms the soul - even that of those that are sightless.
    • Aruba has little history that is factual written about her, yet has more poems, stories and vignettes written about her than any other island.
    • The world just discovered what Aruba always knew, "we have a wealth of sports talent on this small little stone".
    • The beaches on Aruba used to be the very utmost best and now are not, time has been cruel - YET - there is not a Sunday that the oceanside grains of sand are not covered with beach towels and families watching their children in the water - and most of the tourist that come here say that they love the beaches.
    • We watched our natural bridge fall and instead of crying over it, thanked nature for availing it to us all those years. It was so nice to enjoy.
    • Our Northern Coast reminds me of the wildest parts of Monterey California as the land battles the sea. it is breathtaking.
    • We have sand dunes that are magnificent. Our nature park ARIKOK was taken so seriously that is covers a very significant part of our island and will remain that way.
    • We have Nature preserves that host wild birds. These birds dwell in reeds so tall as to hide a standing man. It is a pure joy to see.
    • Even though they have been recently beaten up by the unforgiving rain, our roads and their infrastructure is in the top of the Caribbean.
    • Our medical facilities are incredible.
    • We have +/-100,000 steady residents and they can choose to read from about 10 newspapers, at least 15 full sized magazines, many radio stations, three television stations that all communicate in four languages (Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamento < our local dialect that has become an official language) and all of this media is in an area no larger than about 44 miles long by 5 miles miles wide.
    • Our airport hangs in there with the better ones in the Caribbean and is constantly growing to meet the growing visitors demands (especially those from Canada).
    • Then of course, there are the people. People who have grown in a service to others without being slaves and have learned along the way that the visitor loves to return to a smile and a simple and earnest recalling of the name rather than a glitzy hotel lobby.


    Aside that, well .... we are no better than anyone else.

    When are you coming to see us?

    be well
    charles
    THERE ARE PLACES TO SEE - STORIES TO TELL
    IMAGES TO HARNESS - AND MORE STORIES ON caribbean.tv
    be well
    charles

  5. #35
    Senior Member charles's Avatar
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    Regarding barbados

    Toronto guy

    If you loved Barbados, you amigo are going to go GA-GA over Aruba.

    Short story:

    Working associate from Barbados was transferred to Aruba. He cam with the full package of family -including 3 kids, dog,, cat etc. and lived here for about 3 years.

    When they found out that they would be returning, the entire family cried. The kids cried in school and the wife was heartbroken. Dogs and cats didn't give a darn.

    I was never told if the tears were tears of joy.

    be well amigo and let us know when you are going to visit us.
    THERE ARE PLACES TO SEE - STORIES TO TELL
    IMAGES TO HARNESS - AND MORE STORIES ON caribbean.tv
    be well
    charles

  6. #36
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    I will throw in my two cents worth....My husband and I have travelled extensively and have lived in many countries. We are British by birth and now live in Canada.
    We kept looking for somewhere to live during the Canadian winter months when we retire. We looked in Spain, Portugal, Barbados, Grand Cayman, Belise, Saba, St Maarten to name just a few countries.
    Three years ago we came to Aruba for the first time for a week's vacation. Before the end of that first week we bought a house. It is everything that the Aruba-lovers have mentioned. It just felt right. The weather is perfect, the people are friendly and although it is a bit more expensive than some of the other places we looked, we felt that the people here were paid a decent wage which allowed them a reasonable standard of living. Unlike some of the other Caribbean Islands, the locals did not resent us and that meant a lot to us.

  7. #37
    Senior Member charles's Avatar
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    That is an excellent observation and great point.
    c

    Quote Originally Posted by BillStellaR View Post
    I will throw in my two cents worth....My husband and I have travelled extensively and have lived in many countries. We are British by birth and now live in Canada.
    We kept looking for somewhere to live during the Canadian winter months when we retire. We looked in Spain, Portugal, Barbados, Grand Cayman, Belise, Saba, St Maarten to name just a few countries.
    Three years ago we came to Aruba for the first time for a week's vacation. Before the end of that first week we bought a house. It is everything that the Aruba-lovers have mentioned. It just felt right. The weather is perfect, the people are friendly and although it is a bit more expensive than some of the other places we looked, we felt that the people here were paid a decent wage which allowed them a reasonable standard of living. Unlike some of the other Caribbean Islands, the locals did not resent us and that meant a lot to us.
    THERE ARE PLACES TO SEE - STORIES TO TELL
    IMAGES TO HARNESS - AND MORE STORIES ON caribbean.tv
    be well
    charles

  8. #38
    Senior Member jeffnev's Avatar
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    We have enjoyed great vacations in St. Thomas, Bermuda, St. Maarten, Cabo, San Juan, Puerta Vallarta, and Hawaii but Aruba is the place we chose to buy a TS at. The difference between Aruba and most of these other beautiful places are the Aruban people. Aruba is the only place where the people have always been great to be around and make us feel like they want us to be there. Can't wait to see our Aruban friends again in 2011!!

  9. #39
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    Well, Charles has really summed it all up as to why so many of us really "Love Aruba."

    I, for one, have not been to all the many islands mentioned... The only one that I have visited, I have to admit, is Aruba. My thoughts, for what they are worth, is that when you find the perfect Island, as close to "Paradise" as one can get on this planet; why..other than than being curious, would I want to go elsewhere. Finally, Andrea, has expressed her opinion...not because she is one of the monitors of this website; but, because she, as many of us, find Aruba the perfect place.

    Sorry this is so long; but wanted to express my opinion.!

    Happy New Year

    Ed

  10. #40
    Senior Member arubaislove's Avatar
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    I personally don't think any other island comes close to Aruba. My favorite thing about Aruba is how nice everyone you meet is, weather it's fellow vacationers or locals. Everyone is very welcoming. And Aruba has the best food out of any island I have visited. We went to Dominican Republic, food was disgusting. Cancun, food was disgusting. And the Bahamas, the people were just pain rude acting as if you are bothering them, and we stayed in a very nice resort.
    So that is why we really on go to Aruba when we go on vacation. We have never had a bad experience there, and they certainly know how to keep you coming back : )

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