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Cabo, Aruba, or Montego Bay?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Big Tip, Dec 28, 2012.

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  1. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    I have lots and lots of Southwest Airline points. AirTran is integrated with Southwest enough now to have started to take Southwest points towards reward travel on AirTran.
    We want to use some points and go to one of the cool places that AirTran goes. Beach, water sports, hopefully a casino.
    So, which place is the most fun to go? We are thinking an all inclusive resort regardless of which place we go.

    Any input would be appreciated. We have no idea right now.
     
  2. hillwood24

    hillwood24 High-Roller

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    I've been to both Cabo and Aruba on cruises and both are obviously beautiful places. Not sure what the casino scene is like but I'm sure you can't go wrong with whatever place you choose. I'm sure someone on this board knows more than me. Enjoy your trip!
     
  3. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    I dont believe there's a casino in Cabo or Mo Bay

    If there is one in Mo Bay I dont think its really anything decent.
    Aruba is the place I would go hands down ,lots of casinos,nice beaches.
     
  4. Huddler

    Huddler VIP Whale

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    I have been to all 3 and Aruba gets my vote by a mile!
     
  5. danfed

    danfed Tourist

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    Been to all three places over the last handful of years and most recently Aruba earlier this month.

    A few comments/observations:

    1. Not sure on the gambling at any but I'm thinking that Aruba has more options than the other two.

    2. Aruba has the least "hassle quotient" as compared to the other two. I wouldn't venture out of the secure gates of my all inclusive in Montego Bay and not sure how many times one has to say "no gracias" to all the requests for your name written on a grain of rice, a sombrero or a blanket from beach vendors. Aruba seems to have the highest quality of life amongst the three and you just don't get the feeling that you're getting the normal shakedown that's prevelant in the other two places.

    3. Closer to the equator must mean better weather? While all three are good, Aruba seems to have the best weather.

    4. You mentioned an all inclusive and in some Caribbean islands, this is a sound choice given the limited outside of the resort dining options. In Aruba, there are good restaurants so having to do an all inclusive isn't a necessity. OTOH, doing one in Montego Bay is the only way to go. I would say that Cabo falls somewhere in between these two. If you're adamant about all inclusive, Aruba would personally be my last choice of these three.

    My official ranking FWIW.....

    3. Montego Bay
    2. Cabo
    1. Aruba

    The reality is that if you choose a nice resort with good food options, you're going to have a good time.

    We too converted SWA to AT points and this made a relatively expensive ticket to Aruba a freebie. Easy online conversion and booking process as well....no outside intervention needed.

    Good luck and have fun.

    Dan
     
  6. IowaRyan

    IowaRyan Low-Roller

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    Been to Mo Bay 2x and Aruba 2x. Aruba by a country mile
     
  7. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    I prefer the caribbean islands

    Cabo is very nice for us west coast people because we are so close to it.

    The ocean is very cold even during the summer and can be dangerous with
    their under-tow. Cabo is a very small town as far as I am concerned.

    Jamaica is not a fun island. It is only fun if you stay at an all inclusive resort.

    I have never been to Aruba but if you stay within the tourist area I am sure
    you will have fun. The ocean is warm and beautiful in all of the islands.

    I prefer St. Thomas, Virgin Islands because it is American. St. Johns has a beautiful beach. I would stay at an all inclusive resort hotel at St. Thomas.
    I think their main city is Charlette Amalie (mis-spelled) I think.
     
  8. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    After seeing the input here, I started to research Aruba more closely. I have 19 and 17 year old boys. I read that the legal gambling and drinking age is 18 "but it's not enforced usually."
    That about sealed the deal as far as the boys were concerned! :evillaugh

    We are in Austin, so of course Aruba is the most difficult to get to. sigh
    But it looks like there are other things to do besides beaches and casinos, not that we need anything else besides that.

    Thanks for the posts folks.
     
  9. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    Re: Your teen sons

    My advise is that nomatter where you choose to visit.... your two sons will be harrashed by people trying to sell them drugs. So keep an eye on them
    because they could end up in jail. Those places have strange laws and most
    likely hardly any protection from the law if they choose to buy drugs.
    Sometimes drugs are put in their drinks. Keep an eye on them.
    Nervous Nelly
     
  10. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Thanks for that.
    We have traveled a lot, so they are fairly worldly, but you are right. You can never be too careful.
     
  11. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    You know the shame of it all

    We've been thru Mexico and Jamaica and we've met a lot of decent people who really could not have been nicer and more helpfull. Sad that theres so many criminals that give these people and gorgous places a bad name. Not only do these people live in fear of the bad guys but also in fear of those who are supposed to be protecting them.
     
  12. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    JerseyGuy is right about the laws in other countries

    I go on cruise ships a lot to Mexico and the Caribbean Islands. I try to stay clear of any problems. I try to remember not to get into an argument with any local vendor or person because sometimes the law is on their side even if it is not your fault. There have been times when I have just chosen to run back to the safety of the Cruise ship.
    Sometimes we Americans forget that we are not in our country with our American laws. So we have to be careful.

    When I took my two teens on a cruise to Alaska.... I gave them the freedom to explore the towns on their own. They carried walkie talkies to stay in touch with eachother. I felt they would be safe in American towns.
    Hawaii also feels safe because it is American.

    I don't live in fear of traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean Islands. I just wouldn't want anything to happen to a loved one while having a good time.

    Some people say that crimes happen everywhere which is true but it is sad when you pay so much money to travel to a fun place and something bad happens. But if people follow their intuition it helps to stay safe while traveling. I love to travel a lot. Lucy
     
  13. Vegas Twosome

    Vegas Twosome Tourist

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    St. Thomas also has a beautiful beach, Megan's Bay. We try to go to St. Maartens once a year. We stay on the Dutch side, Simpson Bay. Small community, non tourist feel, although there are a lot of American's living there.
     
  14. Buckeye Bob

    Buckeye Bob Low-Roller

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    Joining this late but would absolutely choose Aruba. Only one of the three to have casinos. Great restaurants. People are very friendly. Water is very beautiful and if you like snorkeling/diving, definitely best of the three. You will feel very safe there and feel good exploring the whole island.

    Cabo is also cool but water is not great for snorkeling. Also, current issues in Mexico scare me a little.

    On another note, we were there with an 18 and 19 year old and they never had any issues with people pushing drugs, etc. Different than when we were in Jamaica and they kep trying to sell my 6 month pregnant wife any narcotics she could want.

    Hope this helps.

    Buckeye Bob
     
  15. buckeyetodd

    buckeyetodd Low-Roller

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    here is another huge thumbs up for aruba. love the place. will be there in about 3 weeks. lots of casinos, although i would say they are on the small side. water is incredible, snorkeling was the best. people are friendly. only disagreements i've ever seen there involved, you guessed it, americans. we've done lots of activities in aruba and have even used the public bus system, which seemed very safe to us.
     
    gonna be a two royal trip!!
  16. Dutchguy

    Dutchguy Low-Roller

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    I was in Cabo Several a few years ago, and Aruba just last year. Although beautiful, I have no plans to return to Cabo. As a matter of fact, I'm not going back to Mexico until they get their s**t together and take care of the crime/poverty problems. My idea of a vacation doesn't include having staying within a fenced resort protected by armed security guards, or being constantly harassed by locals selling trinkets, drugs, gum, soda etc. Aruba was our Mexico alternative. No regrets! We 'explored' the entire island and NEVER felt unsafe! There for a week and not once were we confronted by a begger or someone trying to sell us Chiclets gum! Average temperature, 82 degrees. Their 'rainy' season tends to run from October-December. And, Eagle Beach has been rated one of the best beaches in the world! We've already started planning for our next trip to Aruba later this year!
     
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