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showcat June 17th, 2005 04:44 AM

Aruba tourist missing
Just wondering if you people are following this story, did they ever find out what happened to her? Do you feel Aruba is a safe place for travel? Any places you did not feel safe in?

Cruise Cynic June 17th, 2005 05:28 AM

Re: Aruba tourist missing
I don't feel safe in my own bed. A plane could crash on me. Or a meteorite.

MaryLou June 17th, 2005 05:54 AM

Re: Aruba tourist missing
When we were in Aruba, I never felt as though I was not safe. This is truly a tragic story and yes, I have been following it. I cannot image the pain the family is feeling.

kimmiegirl June 17th, 2005 06:52 AM

Re: Re: Aruba tourist missing
I agree. When we were in Aruba, we also felt compleely safe and not at any risk. I think this story could happen anywhere - it seems to be more about teenage drinking and sexual attraction - too much drink, dancing - it happens the world over and obviusly whatever happened, spun totally out of control - most probably boils down to rape or attempted rape and in the course of that, a young girl could have possibly lost her life.

Now talkinga bout a country that you do not feel safe in - I can name that place in one - THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - a real hellhole if ever there was one.

Back in 1998, hubs and I stayed at the beautiful 5 star Riu Merengue resort right up in the north of the Island. The resort itself was superb but was encaged in electronic wire fencing. Yes, to keep the locals out.

We went for a cruise from Santo Domingo the Capital, which is right down in the south of the island, and to get there, we had to take a 7-hour coach drive. That is the time when you experience the REAL Dominican Republic and oh what a hellhole it is, dead dogs by the roadside, families suriving in one ramshackle hut, people getting run down and thrown into the back of trucks, beggars clambering on to the side of the coach whenever you had to stop at traffic lights etc. Our coach driver warned us all not to get off the coach as he would not be able to vouch for our safety and whilst we were there, a group of tourists were hijacked by locals with machettis for their personal belongings, and these tourists were on a paid organised excursion!!!!!!

It is truly the worst place I have ever visited and I have done a lot of travelling.

Please take heed, and avoid it. Many brits go there as they see it a cheap way of visiting the Caribbean - it may be, but in all things in this world, you only get what you pay for and believe me, the Dom Rep. is very cheap and nasty!!!


Jen Young June 17th, 2005 07:14 AM

Re: Aruba tourist missing
I too felt safe in Aruba. Tho' I did recall one time when I had to go back to the room from the beach. I ended up alone in the elevator with a local man, who kept ogling me and making comments about my breast, and making gestures. I was uncomfortable, but just ignored him and made sure he didn't follow me off the elevator.

You always have to remember that, just like at home, you have to be safe, aware of your surroundings, and not to put yourselft at unnecessary risk.


PapaBill June 17th, 2005 08:13 AM

Re: Aruba tourist missing
This young lady , her friends , her chaparones and her parents all displayed terrible judgement. Probably to a horrible and tragic ending. The place just happened to be Aruba.
That said Aruba is probably one of the two or three safest places that one can visit in the Caribbean. No where in the world is 100% safe. Aruba, Curacao, Bermuda and the islands of the BVI are probably tops on the "safe" scale. This type of crime is a nightmare for an island that teaches children in grade school to be polite and helpful to tourists as they do in Aruba.
Because of the levels of poverty, places like Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic , Haiti, Panama and Columbia CAN be more dangerous when one steps away from the typical tourist areas. Beautiful places all, there can also be a side to these ports one does not want to explore unescorted.
Charlotte Amoile in St Thomas has a very seey side to it at night once the cruise touists are gone . This is primarily due to a very small minority of the population involved in drug use and trafficing.
Pick pockets and petty theft can be expected on almost any crowded city one visits and on almost any beach one can go to.

JeanS June 17th, 2005 09:05 AM

Re: Aruba tourist missing
Hopefully no one will ever ask those people to be "chaparones" again!!

showcat June 17th, 2005 01:58 PM

Re: Aruba tourist missing
I did not feel safe in Jamaica, we were warned by locals in Montego Bay to stay away from certain areas at night, therefore there was not too much to do at night unless we went to a private resort such as Beaches for the day. I made the mistake of not booking an all inclusive resort, and boy did I learn my lesson, we stayed at the Quality Inn which was a dump. A very lazy work ethic to most of the locals they sent us in a private cab to the airport and told us it was our free shuttle, then the cab driver chased us through the airport demanding to be paid, my ex told him to take it up with the hotel since it was their mistake. They almost put us on a bus to Negril instead of to Montego bay also. 40% unemployment in this country makes for a lot of poverty, its very sad. I did however also go to Panama I felt the locals there were very friendly and kind, people waved at our bus but we stayed with the tour from our ship. I hope they get to the bottom of this thing in Aruba, and that they find out what happened for her familys and justice sake.

Jim Bragg June 17th, 2005 02:47 PM

Re: Aruba tourist missing
Yes they are still working on solving this mystery and yes I am many others are following it and praying for an outcome better than we fell will happen. I do think Aruba is safe and probably one of the safest places in the Caribbean. There is only one place in the Caribbean that I feel is unsafe for tourists and that is Santo Domingo. St Croix is also another place that they often pray on tourists so you must be well aware. Jamacia might con you out of money but I have not heard of but a very few stories where tourist were actually placed in danger, it was just how they felt. That is a legitimate feeling but I have not seen any physical threats that actually were carried out. One must always be aware of their surroundings no matter where they are or how safe the island is proported to be. Just be aware and use your head.

Emilka June 17th, 2005 06:04 PM

Re: Re: Aruba tourist missing
I feel very sorry for the family of this girl, but I honestly feel that whatever happened to her was her own fault. I mean, she was there with 124 of her classmates, why did she have to wander off with three strange guys? Being a college student myself, the point of graduation trips is to have a great time with your classmates, especially when there are so many to hang around with. It's the last time they'll all be together. And to go off with strangers when your drinking? It's just stupid. It also makes me wonder if she had any friends though. Cause I know if I was in the same situation, I wouldn't want to leave my classmates on our last night together and they wouldn't have let me leave, especially if if I was drunk.

And it's making life harder on all of us teens who want to go places. I had been planning a cruise for next may with some friends to celebrate their college graduations, but now our parents are thinking twice about letting us go, even though we're all experienced travellers who would never go off by ourselves. My parents even gave me a hard time about me going into New York City with friends (something very common for us Jersey kids) cause of what happended to that girl in Aruba.

I feel extremely bad for her famil, but it was her own stupid mistake, and it's just going to give great islands, like Aruba a bad name. My next door neighbor is from Aruba and met his wife of over twenty years when he was a waiter at the hotel that she was staying at. This incident is just going to give wonderful people like him a bad name.

Sorry for the venting, but this whole thing has definitely made me a little angry.


WeLove2Cruise June 18th, 2005 04:33 PM

Re: Aruba tourist missing
I'm with Emilka ..... I have to admit that everything I've heard about this case makes me believe that she did herself in when she went off by herself with three unfamiliar boys while drinking. No one knows whether she was drunk so I can't assume that she was but her friends did admit that she had been drinking. I believe the boys they have in custody know her whereabouts and it's only a matter of time before one of them cracks under pressure. Our oldest son wanted to go on a cruise for his graduation a few years back and we told him he could go as long as someone WE KNEW PERSONALLY was going to chaperone them. Needless to say it never happened. Last year our youngest graduated and we took him and his best friend on a cruise with us. They shared a separate suite and had a wonderful time. We kept a watchful eye on them from a distance.

As far as Aruba being a safe place ..... Jean and I were there a few years back and felt as safe there as any other place we've been. The only place in our travels we ever encountered what I deemed 'trouble' was in Jamaica. When we got off the ship as we walked into town a man approached us, opened his trenchcoat and offered us a myriad of different drugs he was carrying. At the end of the street we could see police officers talking with another local so we pointed this out to the fellow in the trenchcoat and he closed his coat and kept walking. That was it. We didn't really feel threatened by him we just felt uncomfortable.

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