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Thread: First Time in Aruba 6/19-6/25

  1. #1
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    First Time in Aruba 6/19-6/25

    My husband and I are going to Aruba for the first time in June!

    I'm REALLY excited. We were trying to plan a trip for this summer but couldn't figure out where to go or what to do. We were thinking of taking a cruise but couldn't find ANYTHING until Septemeber and we didn't want to wait that long. So I suggested Hawaii, we'd been to Oahu once before in 2004, but my husband said he'd rather go somewhere we'd never been so we started looking into the Caribbean. Originally we were thinking maybe St. Thomas or St. Croix but kept reading things we didn't really like about them, and I kept remembering that a friend of the family had gone to Aruba and loved it last fall. So we picked up a book on the Caribbean from the bookstore (we love buying actual books you can hold in your hand even though we both have iPads and iPhones) and started reading up on Aruba. I was instantly obsessed with the idea, my husband eventually came around to my way of thinking.

    We were originally thinking of staying at the Hyatt but eventually decided on doing the Marriott Stellaris Casino Tradewinds Club "thing". Frommer's gave the Hyatt a little better review but said if you want a balcony you can actually sit on, Marriott has the best balconies and I don't really understand my obsession with balconies but they're a must have with me. I just have this idea built up in my mind of ordering room service for breakfast and sitting on my (ocean view) balcony eating it, no idea if I'll actually wind up doing that or not but want the balcony just in case, lol.

    We do not intend to rent a car so I'm wondering what the best ways to get around are. So far the activities I have planned are horseback riding, visiting the lighthouse, shopping, and of course eating and laying around at the beach or the Adults Only pool at the resort, they have Cabanas which I've always wanted to use although I hear in order to reserve one you have to get up really early in the morning. Shouldn't be a problem, I'd just go back to sleep in my cabana. Also if anyone has any ideas on the best places to shop for souveniers and stuff, let me know. I definitely want to take a day to walk around downtown Oranjestad.

    My husband and I aren't really into watersports like kyaking or windsurfing but we've been considering snorkeling, I've never been, he's snorkeled once but wasn't too crazy about it, said water kept splashing up into his breathing tube. Both of us are decent swimmers so I'm not at all nervous about the swimming part, I'm actually more nervous that I might meet a fish that could hurt me like a jellyfish or stingray...I don't know ANYTHING about fish so that might be a ridiculous fear. Although I live on the West Coast, I haven't actually swam in the ocean in years.

    I LOVE food but I'm not really all that adventurous when it comes to trying new things and I also have a fear of seafood (haven't found any fish I can tolerate yet other than tuna), so if anyone has any ideas on great places to eat that aren't seafood only, let me know.

    I'm really looking forward to this trip, and hope it will be the first of many. We are also going to Punta Cana in August with my boss but somehow I'm not nearly as excited about that trip even though the resort is supposed to be amazing and the best in the Dominican. We've already decided if this trip is awesome, we'll have to plan another trip for this Winter or next Spring.

    I'll be glad to hear any suggestions on shopping, dining, or any must-see's while in Aruba.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    welcome to the aruba.com community forum.

    i encourage you to check out this thread (see below) of what folks consider top three dining/restaurant experiences.
    If you had to pick three...

    i also encourage you to read and read lots on this forum and to ask the questions that you want answered in the appropriate category.

    if you go to the hotel category and read about marriott.
    go to culinary /culture to read of restaurants and activities and sports for activities. spend much time looking in getting around aruba section too.

    we are all here to help.

    the 2 most important pieces of advice i can give is:
    spend much time looking and reading this forum
    and
    do not schedule too much stuff to do for this your first visit.
    leave plenty of beach/pool time to do nothing!

    Quote Originally Posted by MAOverlund View Post
    My husband and I are going to Aruba for the first time in June!

    I'm REALLY excited. We were trying to plan a trip for this summer but couldn't figure out where to go or what to do. We were thinking of taking a cruise but couldn't find ANYTHING until Septemeber and we didn't want to wait that long. So I suggested Hawaii, we'd been to Oahu once before in 2004, but my husband said he'd rather go somewhere we'd never been so we started looking into the Caribbean. Originally we were thinking maybe St. Thomas or St. Croix but kept reading things we didn't really like about them, and I kept remembering that a friend of the family had gone to Aruba and loved it last fall. So we picked up a book on the Caribbean from the bookstore (we love buying actual books you can hold in your hand even though we both have iPads and iPhones) and started reading up on Aruba. I was instantly obsessed with the idea, my husband eventually came around to my way of thinking.

    We were originally thinking of staying at the Hyatt but eventually decided on doing the Marriott Stellaris Casino Tradewinds Club "thing". Frommer's gave the Hyatt a little better review but said if you want a balcony you can actually sit on, Marriott has the best balconies and I don't really understand my obsession with balconies but they're a must have with me. I just have this idea built up in my mind of ordering room service for breakfast and sitting on my (ocean view) balcony eating it, no idea if I'll actually wind up doing that or not but want the balcony just in case, lol.

    We do not intend to rent a car so I'm wondering what the best ways to get around are. So far the activities I have planned are horseback riding, visiting the lighthouse, shopping, and of course eating and laying around at the beach or the Adults Only pool at the resort, they have Cabanas which I've always wanted to use although I hear in order to reserve one you have to get up really early in the morning. Shouldn't be a problem, I'd just go back to sleep in my cabana. Also if anyone has any ideas on the best places to shop for souveniers and stuff, let me know. I definitely want to take a day to walk around downtown Oranjestad.

    My husband and I aren't really into watersports like kyaking or windsurfing but we've been considering snorkeling, I've never been, he's snorkeled once but wasn't too crazy about it, said water kept splashing up into his breathing tube. Both of us are decent swimmers so I'm not at all nervous about the swimming part, I'm actually more nervous that I might meet a fish that could hurt me like a jellyfish or stingray...I don't know ANYTHING about fish so that might be a ridiculous fear. Although I live on the West Coast, I haven't actually swam in the ocean in years.

    I LOVE food but I'm not really all that adventurous when it comes to trying new things and I also have a fear of seafood (haven't found any fish I can tolerate yet other than tuna), so if anyone has any ideas on great places to eat that aren't seafood only, let me know.

    I'm really looking forward to this trip, and hope it will be the first of many. We are also going to Punta Cana in August with my boss but somehow I'm not nearly as excited about that trip even though the resort is supposed to be amazing and the best in the Dominican. We've already decided if this trip is awesome, we'll have to plan another trip for this Winter or next Spring.

    I'll be glad to hear any suggestions on shopping, dining, or any must-see's while in Aruba.

  3. #3
    jaw
    jaw is offline
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    Would suggest a private tour by Cerry. His contact is info@pitaruba.com. Some friends were on a cruise and arranged to have Cerry pick them up at the dock and take them on a tour.

    This is a great way to see the island and obtain information about the island.

    There are others that do private tours, but my friends were very complimentary about Cerry.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum

    In my 12+ years of following the Aruba forums I have never heard of anyone being injured by any type of sea life while snorkeling or diving. The worst that has happened is jellyfish stings. They happen rarely and are easily treatable.

    In case you consider snorkeling
    http://www.aruba.com/forum/tags/snorkeling.html

    http://www.aruba.com/forum/tags/taxi.html

    http://www.aruba.com/forum/tags/restaurants.html


  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    and jellyfish are rare, very rare.
    i bet in the thousands of threads on this forum there may only be a few mentions of jellyfish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    Welcome to the forum

    In my 12+ years of following the Aruba forums I have never heard of anyone being injured by any type of sea life while snorkeling or diving. The worst that has happened is jellyfish stings. They happen rarely and are easily treatable.

    In case you consider snorkeling
    http://www.aruba.com/forum/tags/snorkeling.html

    http://www.aruba.com/forum/tags/taxi.html

    http://www.aruba.com/forum/tags/restaurants.html


  6. #6
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    getting around aruba

    Hi, my fiance and I visit Aruba twice a year and always take the bus to get around. It's cheap and very safe. Have a great time!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAOverlund View Post
    We do not intend to rent a car so I'm wondering what the best ways to get around are. So far the activities I have planned are horseback riding, visiting the lighthouse, shopping, and of course eating and laying around at the beach or the Adults Only pool at the resort, they have Cabanas which I've always wanted to use although I hear in order to reserve one you have to get up really early in the morning. Shouldn't be a problem, I'd just go back to sleep in my cabana. Also if anyone has any ideas on the best places to shop for souveniers and stuff, let me know. I definitely want to take a day to walk around downtown Oranjestad.
    Quote Originally Posted by chelejens View Post
    Hi, my fiance and I visit Aruba twice a year and always take the bus to get around. It's cheap and very safe. Have a great time!
    Do be aware that the bus does not go every where you may wish to go and stays on the main roads.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jpsphr's Avatar
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    Boca Catalina Beach Marriott properties Mangel Halto for Snorkeling
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    A few thoughts....

    The Marriott is a beautiful hotel and the balconies are terrific. You should love it. It is also well situated on the beach and near lots of great dining.

    We snorkel every day when we're there and have NEVER encountered jellyfish or anything that looks remotely dangerous.

    Check out Aruba Bob's snorkeling tour (see this thread). It's a great time.

    ARUBABOB's (aka kent) SNORKEL adventure

    You can also do a three hour (or so) snorkel / sail trip for very little cost. We've gone with Roberto's Watersports (table right in front of the Marriott) and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Welcome to the forum. Have a terrific trip.

  9. #9
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    Hello!
    You made the best choice with Aruba. I have not been anywhere out of the USA except Aruba. My second trip is in 9 days! I could have gone to Hawaii or come other Caribbean destination. But I wanted to go back to Aruba. I love it that much and I am usually the party pooper!
    Please dont worry about the water...this coming from me, who on my first and only trip thus far had something swim between her knees...lol.
    I totally agree with you on the balcony thing. Stellaris has awesome balconies. Divi Phoenix had a great one too...when we went to Stellaris Tradewinds Level 8 I believe, I wasnt that impressed. Idk why, it just wasnt really fun...I would rather be on the beach.

    Please please and I beg you goooo snorkeling on Baby Beach...I am a lil city girl that was raised by country folk LOL but was like you...a little fearful of snorkeling. It is a fear that is nonsense only because you never walk outside everyday and think "am I going to run into a robber today?"...you just go out an about and enjoy your day, right? Well do that in Aruba. Leave your worries behind, breath, meditate, wash those worries away and please truly enjoy your vacation. The brain needs a break just like the rest of the body!

    Have fun, you will be there for my birthday, while I am back in Michigan!
    Next Aruba trip in

  10. #10
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    Welcome to the "Forum." How wise you and your husband are to join us and ask the questions that you asked. Not only are the Monitors a great source of information; but, as you have found out already; other members are pleased to help you in any way they can.

    In added note; once you visit "Aruba," aka "One Happy Island; "Paradise," I venture to say you will return time-and-time again. I have stayed for many years at the Marriotts and they treat you as honored guests; and also remember you each and every time you return.

    Have a wonderful time...of course, there will be no way you won't.

    Ed

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