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Aruba, St. Thomas or St. Kitts?

Phillie

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Hi,
I am looking for opinions on the four properties. We have stayed at both Aruba and visited the St. Thomas while on a cruise but have no idea about St. Kitts. Is there much for two boys 11 and 14 to do there? I hear it is a sleepy island which is not bad if you want to relax all day but what about activities for the boys? Anyone stayed in the three bedroom units in St K? A down side also of St K is the flight availability is always a connection so up to 8 hours to get ther via CLT or MIA. Aruba is non stop and St Thomas has more flights. Lots of pros and cons so hoping you all can give some personal experiences. Thanks.
 

amanda14

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Hope this is helpful. We have been to Aruba 2x and wouldn't return. It was nice, but flat and the beaches at the Ocean and Surf were just a little too crowded for us. If we were to return we would stay at the Ritz probably.

I looked closely at St. Kitts and the reasons you mentioned are why we didn't go. Mainly the airfare but I have also seen a wide range of reviews about the island in general which for all that money and time to get there seemed risky compared to the impending experience.

Huge fans of St. Thomas. Plenty to do- St John's as an example, Frenchman's Cove is awesome (stayed 2 years ago and will be going back next year. Lush scenery and attentive staff. You can take a shuttle to the Morningstar resort to change it up a bit and the scenery is pretty lush.

Not sure if that helps?

Good luck!
 

bazzap

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We own in St Kitts and love the "sleepy island" as you describe it.
Really, it is not the best place to go for activities.
Having said that, things are changing quite a lot, so if you search for it you can now consider
ATV adventure
Catamaran adventure
Zip line excursion
Rainforest Hike
Volcano Hike
Deep Sea Fishing
Snorkelling
Scuba Diving
Snuba Excursion
Segway Tour
Helicopter Tour
Skydiving
Fly boarding
Kiteboarding
Paragliding
...
Is that enough for you?
Check out Liz Pereira Tours
https://lizpereirastourstore.shutterfly.com/availabletours
The 3 bed villas are all on the top floor, with huge balconies and mostly excellent views.
 

falmouth3

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I've been to Aruba twice. I don't have kids and never did so maybe I'm not the best authority. But I was referred to this website and manual on what to do on Aruba so I thought I'd pass it on to you:
http://arubakid.com/

I stayed at two different Divi resorts and the beaches were almost empty. Literally. I have visited the Marriotts in Aruba and as a person who doesn't like crowds, I would never stay at either one because the beaches were filled with people upon people, so I agree with a previous poster about that. Most beaches were great when I was there and not overly crowded.
 

Padad

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Hope this is helpful. We have been to Aruba 2x and wouldn't return. It was nice, but flat and the beaches at the Ocean and Surf were just a little too crowded for us. If we were to return we would stay at the Ritz probably.

I looked closely at St. Kitts and the reasons you mentioned are why we didn't go. Mainly the airfare but I have also seen a wide range of reviews about the island in general which for all that money and time to get there seemed risky compared to the impending experience.

Huge fans of St. Thomas. Plenty to do- St John's as an example, Frenchman's Cove is awesome (stayed 2 years ago and will be going back next year. Lush scenery and attentive staff. You can take a shuttle to the Morningstar resort to change it up a bit and the scenery is pretty lush.

Not sure if that helps?

Good luck!

Been to Aruba and st Thomas. Aruba spring break 2015. We actually cut the trip a day early, kids hated it (15 and 17). Too touristy.

St Thomas, was there with a cruise, but also twice for a vacation. Much better as a vacation. Lots to do, St. John's is great, day trip snorkeling, etc. would HIGHLY recommend it. Btw, kids love it.
 

dioxide45

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We have been to St Kitts ande St THomas on cruise stops and have been to Aruba twice. We love Aruba, even with the crowds in Palm Beach. They key is to get out of the Palm Beach area some and explore what the island has to offer.

I don't know if I would want to go to St Thomas to stay for a week. We love St John and could probably spend a week there. St Thomas does seem lovely with great beaches too, but I think the cruise ship crowds would get to me. Not nearly as many cruisers make it over to St John. Though on two of our stops we have gone to St John. Trunk Bay each time with the second time also hiring a taxi to take us on a tour of the island. I think though St Thomas is worth a try to be able to go over to the BVI.

We only snorkeled on St Kitts, but I think it would be a great place to go. Not the most popular island nor the easiest to get to, but I think it would be worth the trip some time.
 

bazzap

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andrea t

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Great little video. Thanks for posting it! If I can tear myself away from Aruba one year we shall try it!
 

pt95

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We have stayed at St Kitts twice and St Thomas twice most recently last year in St Thomas and the year prior St Kitts. We are headed to Aruba Ocean Club in 12 days!!! :cheer:

St Kitts - the units are beautiful. We loved the island and the people. As far as activities...not much. we pretty much sit by the pool or beach - we did an island tour and we went to reggae beach but there is not much for your kids as far as activities on St Kitts. IMO.

St Thomas - ugh - I am not a fan. the units are nice - I don't think the island is that nice or that there is a lot to do for kids. The resort is noce. We spent time snorkeling on st John and did some shopping but our experience was not that great - our dishwasher broke in the unit and they blamed us and spent our entire vacation and beyond defending ourselves against charges that we broke a dishwasher by loading it. No one really did a great job and the customer service there was poor. This might influence me some but overall St Thomas is meh. Our first experience on St Thomas was much easier and we were there during a hurricane. To me... again this is just my opinion - the beaches were not that great on St Thomas. I witnessed an obviously drugged out individual screaming in the faces of people who were trying to enjoy themselves on the beaches and it was a little scary. Our best times were off St Thomas and on St John or chartering a boat and heading to the Baths and soggy dollar - not sure how the kids would be with some of our activities. Also I feel like St Thomas is becoming dirty and there is a larger drug element there than previously when we visited. ( folks on St John discussed an increasing drug element on St Thomas.) This was the general observation from the adults who were on both trips. Also - I came home with chik-v virus - it is pretty terrible. I wore mosquito repellent and everything. So that is another thing that is not as widely publicized as it should be. I think the incidence of this virus is WAAAAAAY underreported.

Aruba-I have been to Aruba before - heading back to stay at Marriott this time. As far as activities for kids I think this is probably the best option - they have snorkeling, horseback riding, water sports. I just think you have more options for the kids. I can give a better report about the Marriot in about 3 weeks.

Again this is just my opinion. for kids I think Aruba, St Thomas and then St Kitts. for me personally I LOVE St Kitts. Aruba is nice - lots of people love it I'm not in love with it - DH wanted to go - last time I went we were not married so I'm fine to go back - we will probably never go back to St thomas - if I did I would stay on St john - I am immune now that I have had chick-v. trust me it is not something you ever want to get.

Best,
pt95
 

Marathoner

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If my kids (pre-teens) did not come with me during a vacation, my trips would be far different. I would go climb Mt Rainier and Kilimanjaro, I would go hiking in Yellowstone and Zion parks, and I would sail down the Amazon.

But I do have have kids and they would not enjoy those types of vacations at their current ages. So, we go to Disney, the beach, and Aruba.

Aruba is similar to Disney in my view. Aruba is generally safe, there is alot of activity and decent restaurants, it is convenient, and the kids enjoy the experience. And like Disney, they enjoy the experience repeatedly.

Also, like Disney, Aruba is crowded and does not have adventurous experiences.
 
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joewillie12

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If my kids (pre-teens) did not come with me during a vacation, my trips would be far different. I would go climb Mt Rainier and Kilimanjaro, I would go hiking in Yellowstone and Zion parks, and I would sail down the Amazon.

But I do have have kids and they would not enjoy those types of vacations at their current ages. So, we go to Disney, the beach, and Aruba.

Aruba is similar to Disney in my view. Aruba is generally safe, there is alot of activity and decent restaurants, it is convenient, and the kids enjoy the experience. And like Disney, they enjoy the experience repeatedly.

Also, like Disney, Aruba is crowded and does not have adventurous experiences.
The Kilimanjaro climb might not be as "adventurous" as trying to lay claim to lounge chair at the pool or beach at the surf club:rofl:
 

Fairwinds

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Here is a good overview from us Brits on St Kitts.
It should help you decide whether it will really appeal to you (like us) or not (like some others)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=orG7C...eller-_-20150821-_-TimesTraveller-_-221809280

Just went to St. kitts for the first time this year and had a great time. Different feel than St. Thomas to be sure but all the same activities can be found as mentioned above. I'd go either place and never look back. I could go on and on about it but bazzap said it all. If you go don't miss the volcano hike. Can't wait to go back.

I've been going to MFC since it opened and love it. If kids can't be entertained there they are high maintenance. There are 2 beaches at the resort (MFC & Hotel) snorkeling, swimming, water climbing toys, pool, and all the usual pay activities from snorkel / dive trips, para sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking (at resort and off) ocean aquarium, fun restaraunts, a variety of beaches around the island, the "udder delight" and more.
 
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flyboy0681

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I have stayed at all three resorts several times. I found Aruba to be on the expensive side and the two towers house an awful lot of people. As a result, the beach is overly crowded and you have to go down early in the morning to reserve a space under a hut. The properties themselves are quite nice and the location is great. There are also some really great restaurants on the island.

St. Kitts is a very sleepy island with not much to do. The Marriott property, as mentioned by others, is very nice and on the same grounds as the Marriott resort. The beach needs a little mentioning since the waves can be rough, even though there are rocks to control the break. There are a few restaurants within walking distance but not an abundance. Prices are fairly reasonable, except for airfare, which can be very high since there is limited service there.

I like St Thomas the most. Lots of great restaurants, entertainment and plenty of shopping (so my wife tells me). Best of all, no immigration or customs, the local cell provider is AT&T so no roaming charges and the currency is the dollar. The island has some really nice beaches and mountainous areas, and of course, St John is right next door. I find airfares there are reasonable, and if you can tolerate Spirit, they fly there too. The property is very unique in its looks, is very comfortable and the location is excellent.
 

bazzap

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St Kitts Beach Palapas/Loungers

Whatever faults we may all find with St Kitts, finding a free palapa/lounger (at just about any time of day) is very unlikely to be one of them.
 

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dioxide45

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I like St Thomas the most. Lots of great restaurants, entertainment and plenty of shopping (so my wife tells me). Best of all, no immigration or customs, the local cell provider is AT&T so no roaming charges and the currency is the dollar. The island has some really nice beaches and mountainous areas, and of course, St John is right next door. I find airfares there are reasonable, and if you can tolerate Spirit, they fly there too. The property is very unique in its looks, is very comfortable and the location is excellent.

Well, there is customs when returning to the mainland USA, but no immigration.
 

flyboy0681

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Well, there is customs when returning to the mainland USA, but no immigration.

Technically yes, there are customs on the St Thomas side but all it consists of is an ICE agent taking your filled out blue card. On my last trip in December I went from check-in to the gate area in less than five minutes. Once we arrived in Miami I went straight from the plane to the garage.
 

Wally3433

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I have been to all three, and I think you should do the same. That in and of itself is the activity - visiting those three islands on separate vacations, and finding out for yourself what each person in your family found interesting at each location.

It sure is nice to make an informed decision, and you have plenty of great replies above that can help you. Sure I have things that I can complain about with regard to each island and property. But I also explored each island and found some beautiful things and have great memories from each vacation. I am sure you and your family can do the same no matter where you go.

I cannot fathom how a child could get bored on an island in the Caribbean - and since my brain cannot process that, I will leave that topic alone.

It's hard to make the wrong choice here. More importantly, once you are on vacation, I hope that you and your family find something special on your own, so that possibly it will have more meaning.
 

ibcnu

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We've been to St. John and we stopped on St. Kitts during a cruise destination.

LOVED LOVED LOVED St. Kitts! There is so much do to on the island: take the sugar cane railway, visit Brimstone Fort at the very top of the island, take a picture where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic, shop Caribelle Batik and explore the gardens, etc. etc. We would love to return to St. Kitts for a land vacation.

I'm not a fan of St. Thomas but loved St John. Never been to Aruba and have no desire to.
 

DKT

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We are St. Thomas owners and love it there, we have also been to Aruba and would not go back....that being said it really is what type of vacation you like.

St Thomas is tropical hilly, the resort is more isolated, private and we usually rent a car. The resort is smaller with all ocean view, the beach is a cove, but there is another beach at the Marriott next door. The pool is smaller but nice. There is tons to do if you want, kayaking, sailing to the BVI, St. John's day trips and water island. There are also some of the best beaches on the island. If you like jewelry, great shopping. The food has come up in the last couple of years.

Aruba dry, flat, great resort, but for us to crowded and the chair tagging I hated. The beach is nice and long, and we really enjoyed the pool. You can get by without a car, because there are tons of things in walking distance and you can take the bus into town. The food was amazing there, and we enjoyed walking down the beach and stopping at an open air bar. The rooms were pretty much the same as St. Thomas, but we had ocean view and it was really only from one chair on the much smaller balconey.

We found the staff to be great at both resorts.

We still need to try St. Kitts.
Denise
 

Old Hickory

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I've been to all three and own at St. Thomas. Since you have the two boys, I'll answer Aruba because there are three properties in one (kind of) and it's a short walk to a strip area that reminds me of a Daytona Beach strip or Panama City Beach strip area. In other words, not sleepy.

I said "kind of" because one of the Aruba MVC properties isn't open to other Marriott guests.
 

budnj

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Just back from Aruba

Just back last night from ninth (Marriott) Aruba trip, so I guess i like it!
People: very friendly, virtually without exception. Everyone speaks english. Cabs are regulated by zones, so no surprises.
Weather: we had to go in mid august, not my first choice of vacation planning, but the weather was almost the same as fall and spring trips. If you're travelling in hurricane season, I think aruba has the advantage (especially this week!)
Food: great restaurants. I think prices are not extremely high. Also, many of the restaurants serve large portions, so it's lunch the next day.
Beaches and pool are crowded, but I've always been able to find chairs or palapa. (This was the most crowded I've seen, with no Surf Club palapas available one day by mid morning! )
For us, another plus is reasonable n/s flights from EWR.
 

mclyne

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St. Thomas Hands down

We own in both St. Thomas and Aruba.

My preference is St. Thomas because of the ability to go many places off premises. Our children love Aruba for it's restaurants and night life. They do admit there is not much to see and do if one wants to venture off and sightsee.

Our grandchildren (all 7 of them) love St. Thomas because there is so much to do and see, when they want a change of scenery. They range in age from 15 down to 7 yrs. They always get sad leaving St. Thomas. I do too.


People are friendly and island scenery is unmatched compared to Aruba or St. Kitts. Went to St. Kitts once many yrs. ago and the only off sight thing to do was visit the Batik factory. I am sure it has changed but not enough interest for us to go back and see.

Hope this helps/
 

myhrse11

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Stayed on St Kitts and just came back from Aruba. St Kitts is off the list. No much to do, especially for the ages you mentioned. As adults we found it lacking in activities. The island is self has lots of issues with sanitation and infrastructure. The Marriott there was nice but again not much to do.

Just came back from the Aruba Surf Club. Yes, very crowded when school is not in session. Lots to do though. All kinds of ocean activities (SUP, kite surfing, snorkel and scuba, wind surfing, banana rides, raft rides, kayaking) all available on the beach in front of the Marriotts. Lots of ATV, Jeep, horseback riding, tours etc. also available with pick up at the hotel. We're currently thinking of a resale week at the Ocean Club which seems quieter. Palapa issues but we found it pretty easy to get one. I refused to get involved in the fray of the feral mothers reserving and protecting the pool chairs. People, you are on vacation!:wall:

Only been on St Thomas a couple of times during cruises so I can say what's available if you're there for a week.
 

Steve A

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Just back from our first timeshare vacation ever in St. Thomas. MFC was wonderful. However, we did not rent a car because I could not bring myself to drive on the other side of the road. At my age, my brain is hardwired to drive a certain way. We go to Aruba for two weeks, at the Ocean Club, every other year. We always rent a car there. For that reason alone I would recommend Aruba.
 
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