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pntnnc

St Kitts St Maartin VS Bonaire Aruba

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Hi there we are trying to decide between 2 Thanksgiving cruises and would appreciate any input.  One going to St Kitts, St Maartin P Rico and Grand Turk  the other Grand Turk Bonaire, Aruba and La Romana.  The places we havent really been to are St Kitts,  St Maartin  ------Bonaire , Aruba so its between these 2 pair.  Mostly we like snorkeling, beaches, town tours and casinos.  Bonaire one is about 200.00 more for flights but dates etc are the same. So my question for our likes would it be worthwhile to pay more for Bonaire/Aruba.  Thanks so much for any advice or point of view.

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10 minutes ago, pntnnc said:

Hi there we are trying to decide between 2 Thanksgiving cruises and would appreciate any input.  One going to St Kitts, St Maartin P Rico and Grand Turk  the other Grand Turk Bonaire, Aruba and La Romana.  The places we havent really been to are St Kitts,  St Maartin  ------Bonaire , Aruba so its between these 2 pair.  Mostly we like snorkeling, beaches, town tours and casinos.  Bonaire one is about 200.00 more for flights but dates etc are the same. So my question for our likes would it be worthwhile to pay more for Bonaire/Aruba.  Thanks so much for any advice or point of view.

I would pay more for Bonaire and Aruba. 

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I would choose St Kitts and St Maarten.  Aruba is beautiful, but Bonaire is an arid, dusty little place without good beaches.

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Go to www.cruisemapper.com you can see each port and the available things to do at each. nice pictures also.

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I had a similar debate. I ended up booking a different one this winter. Then booking one of those for next year and the other for the year after. The prices and room selection are much better booking that far out.

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St Maarten is one of my favorite places in the Caribbean.  Maho Beach is ridiculous! St Kitts/Nevis is pretty cool too. 

 

Havent been to Bonaire/Aruba but we're going to the ABC's in near future.  I don't think you can go wrong either way. 

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48 minutes ago, mdsgu said:

I would choose St Kitts and St Maarten.  Aruba is beautiful, but Bonaire is an arid, dusty little place without good beaches.

 

But Bonaire apparently has some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean!

 

We went on that Grand Turk, San Juan, St Kitts, St Maarten itinerary last December - we really enjoyed it - went zip-lining and horseback riding in St Kitts and St Maarten, respectively.

 

We have a cruise booked for Aruba, Bonaire, and GT for Dec 2020 (no La Romana).  We'll probably snorkel in Bonaire - haven't decided on anything for Aruba yet.

 

If I were the OP, I'd look at the relative frequency of sailings to the ABCs, and the ships involved, to see if it is worth taking that cruise "now" - because Eastern Caribbean cruises to St Kitts/St Maarten etc will be available far more often, from more ports, with different ships.

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If you like snorkeling then Bonaire (there really isn’t much more to do there other than water sports). 

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I would choose Bonaire and Aruba. I did a snorkel excursion with woodwindbonaire and the owner was talking about how the government regulates and only allows so many cruise ships a year. It's nice because it is not overly touristy as some of the other islands. So the number of cruises there is more limited as opposed to St.Kitts and St.Martin. Aruba has lots of beaches to choose from and typically with Carnival you are there for a long day. You can rent a jeep and easily spend the day driving around the island. Truthfully you can't go wrong with either decision though.

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Book Aruba and Bonaire this year and enjoy the beaches on Aruba and the snorkeling in Bonaire.

 

Next year book St Kitts and St Maarten, give the French side of St Maarten (Orient Beach) more time to recover from the hurricane.

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4 hours ago, pntnnc said:

Hi there we are trying to decide between 2 Thanksgiving cruises and would appreciate any input.  One going to St Kitts, St Maartin P Rico and Grand Turk  the other Grand Turk Bonaire, Aruba and La Romana.  The places we havent really been to are St Kitts,  St Maartin  ------Bonaire , Aruba so its between these 2 pair.  Mostly we like snorkeling, beaches, town tours and casinos.  Bonaire one is about 200.00 more for flights but dates etc are the same. So my question for our likes would it be worthwhile to pay more for Bonaire/Aruba.  Thanks so much for any advice or point of view.

I have been to both. Definitely St Maartin and St Kitts .Aruba is overrated !!

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Hi pntnnc

 

While I would prefer the St. Martín, P.R., etc... itinerary, I would suggest that you go to Bonaire, Aruba. The reasoning is that if prices are similar at this time, you should go. The more southerly route is generally more expensive and harder to find.

 

You will get to go on the other itinerary some other time, and I am sure you will enjoy it as well. My feeling is that these sort of dilemmas would only really be considered something to really worry about if it were the last trip you were able take.

 

have a great cruise

 

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Bonaire is one of my favorite islands.  I'm scratching my head over the post that said they don't have good beaches.  Jibe City at Lac Bay is a place I have to be dragged away from.  Plus, Bonaire has some of the best diving/snorkeling in the Caribbean.  Needless to say, I recommend the Bonaire/Aruba route. 

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Another vote for Bonaire and Aruba (been to both twice) versus St. Kitts (been three times) and St. Maarten (once).

 

We've snorkeled all over the Caribbean and the Hawaii and snorkeling in Bonaire (and we second the recommendation for using Woodwind) is right up there with the best we've ever done (two steps in Hawaii).  On our second visit we rented a golf cart and drove all around the island including a stop at the donkey sanctuary.  It was a lovely day.  On our first visit to Aruba we did a general 'see the island' excursion and on the second we did an excursion with Aruba Trikes that was great fun.

 

On St. Kitts we've done a general 'see the island' excursion with Thenford Grey and the railroad ride through the sugar cane fields.  The third time we stopped we stayed on the ship.  We really enjoyed our single visit to St. Maarten because the America's Cup Race excursion was a hoot.

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We stay on St. Maarten a couple of weeks every January and obviously love the place, but the island still has not recovered and for snorkelling/diving Bonaire cannot be matched. St. Kitts doesn’t attract us for another visit, so I would advise OP towards Bonaire.

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If you like beaches, Aruba is hard to beat! I have been there three times, first time for two weeks (in my opinion the island is to small for two weeks) and two times during cruises (and we have another cruise booked to the ABC-islands). We just love the beaches on Aruba. It's easy to get there, just take the (very nice and clean) local bus Arubus. You will find the bus station just across the street from the dock.

 

Bonaire are famous for it's snorkeling but doesn't offer much more. Been there two times.

 

I do like St Maarten and have been there five times (two times this year). They still have a long way back after the hurricane but I will still get off the ship and go to Orient Beach the next time we dock there.

 

St Kitts.. I have been to St Kitts two times and both times I felt that it's an dirty island. If we ever go back there I'm not sure that I will get of the ship, but if I do I would go to an all-inclusive resort.

I don't feel the need to go back there.

 

Like others have said, both St Maarten and St Kitts are ports of call on A LOT of cruises, you will end up there sooner or later if you keep on cruising.

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Posted (edited)

If it weren't for your reference to snorkelling I'd have said St Maarten and St Kitts hands-down.

 

St Maarten is half-Dutch & half-French (but no border), with different cultures. Philipsburg is a super little town, backed by beaches, and a short walk or waterbus from the ship. And google Maho beach for a big surprise over your heads.

St Kitts is a small but interesting island, you can tour it cheaply by van from the line at the port in mebbe 60 - 90 minutes, followed by time on a beach. If you want to ride the sugar-train you can only do it thro the ship cos ships block-book. It's seriously over-priced and the route is pretty-well the same as the road you'd take in a van, but those who've done it say it's worth it for the fun atmosphere.

 

Aruba is more like Florida than the Caribbean, America's playground. No signs of its history, just an arid landscape and a biggish port town with lots of shops (seems like every one of 'em is a jewellery shop) and a "hotel area", with its excellent but quite crowded beaches with all the toys, just ten minutes away with buses every 2 - 3 minutes. Sorry, but I found it bland & unworthy - but I'm not a beach or shopping person.

Bonaire is small, arid & featureless. But a short ferry-trip (10? minutes) from close to your ship across to Klein Bonaire for some of the Caribbean's best snorkelling.  

 

Despite very different opinions, everyone on this thread seems to agree the facts.

So it shouldn't be too difficult to decide which best suits you. :classic_smile:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

Edited by John Bull

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We love st Maarten but I am not sure if it recovered from hurricane a couple of years ago we always go to orient beach, great island for shopping also. Also like st kitts

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21 hours ago, pntnnc said:

Hi there we are trying to decide between 2 Thanksgiving cruises and would appreciate any input.  One going to St Kitts, St Maartin P Rico and Grand Turk  the other Grand Turk Bonaire, Aruba and La Romana.  The places we havent really been to are St Kitts,  St Maartin  ------Bonaire , Aruba so its between these 2 pair.  Mostly we like snorkeling, beaches, town tours and casinos.  Bonaire one is about 200.00 more for flights but dates etc are the same. So my question for our likes would it be worthwhile to pay more for Bonaire/Aruba.  Thanks so much for any advice or point of view.

 

If snorkeling and beaches are the key, then the Aruba/Bonaire is better, though there are some great beaches and snorkeling on St. Martin. I like walking in town in St. Kitts better than any of the other ports, though Old Town San Juan is great.

 

Tough choice but I think I would do the one that goes to St. Martin.

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For snorkeling -- BONAIRE! You are not going to beat Bonaire for snorkeling in the Carribean.  Klein Bonaire, in particular, is fantastic for drift snorkeling. No excursion required - just take the water taxi over, put your gear on, and wade in.

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3 minutes ago, Bizmark'sMom said:

For snorkeling -- BONAIRE! You are not going to beat Bonaire for snorkeling in the Carribean.  Klein Bonaire, in particular, is fantastic for drift snorkeling. No excursion required - just take the water taxi over, put your gear on, and wade in.

 

Ah, yes.  Klein Bonaire.  Another piece of heaven on Earth.  I love it over there as well.

 

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