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Thread: First time visitors to Aruba

  1. #1
    Junior Member mandms's Avatar
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    First time visitors to Aruba

    Hello everybody
    My wife and I are from the UK and due to visit Aruba on 27th August. We will be staying at the Tamarijn.
    I have not heard anyone say anything bad about Aruba itself, everybody on the forum appears to be very positive about the place and very polite (unlike some UK forums.)
    Can anybody advise what you would bring from home that is either unavailable in Aruba or very expensive. I have got the impression from reading other threads that Aruba is not the cheapest place to buy things.
    Thanks in advance for any advice given.

    Martin and Mandy

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    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    Martin and Mandy,
    Welcome to the forum....
    If you are staying at the Tamarijn, unless I am mistaken it is an all inclusive..so technically you do not need to bring much of anything since food and drink are provided. However, if you have a preference for shampoo, soap..that kind if thing I would bring that along, but the hotel also provides that for you...
    I would however bring a camera and lots of film...it is not cheap in Aruba..
    As for watersports...you can rent everything you may need in that area...
    the only thing you really need to pack are clothes...and unless you have an overwhelming need to dress up for dinner you only need shorts and shirts. If you choose to eat out somewhere other than your hotel, only a few restaurants ask that you "dress" for dinner. However, IMO the best restaurants don't, so you need not pack dressy clothes at all.
    For females, dressy shorts or a skirt or summer dress is acceptable anywhere...males, same goes...docker type shorts and polo or tee shirts are okay for dinner...
    But the real must is bathing suits...a few each...you will spend the vast majority of the day in them...
    The last thing I can think of is a sweater or some sort of light coverup...if you plan on going into the casinos in the evening sometimes it gets cool with the air conditioning, you may need it for dinner at the restaurants if you eat inside also....you will not need it for any other reason...
    So finally....take lots of pictures, and then post them when you get back so we can see how much fun you had !!!!!!
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sgroi135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danadog56 View Post
    Martin and Mandy,

    I would however bring a camera and lots of film...it is not cheap in Aruba..
    Film??? Whats that?? LOL.

    I agree tho at an all inclusive you really don't need to bring much. I tend to overpack all the time.

    Bunch of bathing suits, short and t-shirts. I bring a few golf shirts when we go out for dinner.

    OH!!! Bring SUNSCREEN!!!! I paid like 6.50 here for a bottle of SPF30. At the Radisson the same bottle was $27. If you think that you will need 5, then bring at least 8. Better to bring extra and bring home, then having to pay the astronomical price there for it! Sunscreen and Aloe gel is like gold.
    Decided to take down my timer!

  4. #4
    Junior Member mandms's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for your replies Danadog56 and Sroi135.
    I have just unpacked the Tuxedo.
    Our last holiday was a P & O cruise which was quite formal so it will be a change to dress casually.
    I am off to buy more sunscreen and afternoon tomorrow.
    Cheers
    Martin and Mandy.

  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    welcome to the forum.
    what everyone has said is true.
    toss aside the tux and pack extra bathing suits and tee shirts.

    women...........NO stocking, sun dress, shorts, tank tops, short or culotte sets.
    men.....nice shorts and golf shirts

    both..........bathing suits, sun block

    have a blast
    andrea

  6. #6
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandms View Post
    We will be staying at the Tamarijn.
    Welcome to the forum. Our family will be returning to the Tamarijn for the 4th time over Christmas. It is one of our favorite resorts on the island.

    Couple of tips...
    Bring clothes pins (clips?) to attach your beach towel to your chaise lounge. Aruba is very windy and this will keep you from having to chase your towel down the beach. Yes, the resort supplies beach towels.

    Bring twice the amount of sunscreen you think you will need. Aruba is close to the equator and the sun is extremely strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by danadog56 View Post
    if you have a preference for shampoo, soap..that kind if thing I would bring that along, but the hotel also provides that for you...
    The Tam supplies an all in one shampoo and conditioner. If you are at all fussy about your hair care products bring your own. OR you can purchase Aruba Aloe shampoo and conditioner right there at the Tamarijn's sundries shop. Better yet, if you walk to the end of the Tamarijn property, there is a supermarket across the street which sells Aruba Aloe products at half the price of the sundries shop.

    I would however bring a camera and lots of film...it is not cheap in Aruba..
    I hope you will return and tell us all about your trip and show us some wonderful photos as well.

    For females, dressy shorts or a skirt or summer dress is acceptable anywhere...males, same goes...docker type shorts and polo or tee shirts are okay for dinner...
    Unlike cruises, the Tamarijn IS very casual. When eating at the breakfast and lunch buffet you can wear a swimsuit, but you must wear a coverup and shoes. Otherwise in just a swimsuit, you can have lunch or a snack at Pizza per Tutti.

    Nightime, dd and I wear sundresses and dh wears a nice pair of cotton twill shorts with a short sleeve button down shirt. You will see men wearing t-shirts.

    The last thing I can think of is a sweater or some sort of light coverup...
    Absolutely! The Paparazzi Restaurant at the Tamarijn is probably the coldest restaurant in the entire Caribbean.

  7. #7
    Junior Member mandms's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for all the advice.
    Arubalisa, the fact that you are going to the same hotel for your fourth visit is enough recommendation in itself. I am very jealous that you will be in Aruba for Christmas. We are in Maya Riviera from 5/12 to 20/12 so will be back in raining, cold, dark, miserable UK for Christmas. Yuck.
    Some review sites have people complaining about the fact that you have to be up early to book a particular restaurant each day.
    If true, this is no hardship for me as I am a dawn riser in the UK so add in -4 hours jet lag and I will be up before the staff have come to work and probably before the nightowls have gone to bed.
    Looking at the web (not just this site), I don't think I have ever seen such positive reviews of any place to those that Aruba attracts. I have not seen one bad review of the island itself.
    I am really looking forward to going in 4 days times and am not sleeping at night with excitement. It is like waiting for Santa to arrive as a kid - time seems to be standing still.
    Anyone who sees a white haired fortysomething guy with a British accent on the island from 27/8 to 10/09 please say hello. Can't be that many of us on the Island. I get the impression that the vast majority of visitors to the island are American. No bad thing, good not to have to worry about British lagerlouts ruining our holidays and embarrassing us.
    Will post pics when we return.
    Everybody enjoy your trips to Aruba whenever that may be.

  8. #8
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    mandms
    your quote "It is like waiting for Santa to arrive as a kid "
    perfectly describes most everyone's feelings of anticipation of their aruba trip.

    maybe you should contact the ata office (parent of aruba.com) and put in your quote.....
    someday you may see an ad "Planning an Aruba vacation? It's as exciting as Santa's arrival" or something like that. ;-)

    andrea

  9. #9
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandms View Post
    Thanks very much for all the advice.
    Arubalisa, the fact that you are going to the same hotel for your fourth visit is enough recommendation in itself. I am very jealous that you will be in Aruba for Christmas. We are in Maya Riviera from 5/12 to 20/12 so will be back in raining, cold, dark, miserable UK for Christmas. Yuck.
    Funny we considered MR for Christmas but went with Aruba instead. We would have been arriving as you were leaving.
    Some review sites have people complaining about the fact that you have to be up early to book a particular restaurant each day.
    This is true. For the best selection of restaurant and dining time, you want to be on line early. If you want to take your chances or don't mind eating at the buffet, then this is not a problem. Others here have said you could just call the concierge from your room to make the reservation, but we have not had any luck with that and were flat out told not to bother. It may depend on "who you know" not "what you know". Some of us are just luckier than others.
    Looking at the web (not just this site), I don't think I have ever seen such positive reviews of any place to those that Aruba attracts. I have not seen one bad review of the island itself.
    Imo, those who do not like Aruba are those who are: 1. not "beach lovers" and do not find Aruba interesting or exciting enough and 2. those who are expecting Aruba to be a lush tropical paradise only to find a semi-arid desert like island with beautiful white sand beaches.

    Anyone who sees a white haired fortysomething guy with a British accent on the island from 27/8 to 10/09 please say hello. Can't be that many of us on the Island. I get the impression that the vast majority of visitors to the island are American. No bad thing, good not to have to worry about British lagerlouts ruining our holidays and embarrassing us.
    I think you will be surprised at the number of Brits. The past two times we have been to the Tamarijn there have been a fair number. This past June we had a lovely retired couple from Liverpool as our neighbors. Lots of nice chats.
    Will post pics when we return.
    Will surely look forward to seeing them. Especially the beach and it's condition.

  10. #10
    Junior Member mandms's Avatar
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    Arubalisa.
    Thanks for the info. Strangely we both work in Liverpool and live on the Wirral. Not far from Liverpool, just over (or under) the river Mersey.
    Will definitely get plenty of photos of beach and post them on our return. Any particular part of the beach you are interested in?

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