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Thread: 1st Timers to Aruba - our family trip report

  1. #1
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    1st Timers to Aruba - our family trip report

    Here is day one!

    Aruba Day 1 - Monday Oct 8 – We left our house at 6:09 am, ontime for us! Drove to Smartpark JFK (great company), arriving at 9:00 am. Thank goodness for Columbus Day – no traffic! Took the shuttle to the airport and was checked in by 9:45 am. Not much in terminal, but thankfully they had an indoor playground for Jackson! Boarded at 11:15 am and left ontime. Arrived at 4:10 pm to Aruba! The landing was nice, and the run way was huge compared to other islands we have been to!

    Went through Aruba customs in about 15 minutes, and grabbed our bags. Was in rental car by 4:45 pm and on way! VERY easy to drive around – just one main road. Arrived at Marriott Surf Club at 5:15 pm and checked in quickly. Was given amazing 14th floor room overlooking ocean and lighthouse! Doug grabbed a Balashi on the way up – first one of the trip!

    Timeshare is AMAZING – honestly best we have been in. We have a 2 bedroom lockout (1 bed and studio connected in living rooms to each other). I love the internal connection, much better than Wyndham common hallway. Two balconies overlooking ocean and lighthouse and ocean club complex.

    We quickly unpacked and headed to the amazing pool! Jackson immediately made friends and we swam for an hour. Back up to the room for 7 pm, quick change and to dinner at Moomba Bar and Grill.

    Brought the life saver aka the Ipad 2 for J! We ordered him the kids hamburger and French fries with applesauce ($8) but of course, all he wanted to eat were the dinner rolls . Doug and I split the special 3 course meal and added on a huge salad ($27 and $9). Shrimp and tenderloin on crostini for appetizer, red snapper in creole sauce with steamed veggies and rice for main dish, and watermelon mousse with strawberries for dessert, and chopped garden salad. One word – AMAZING. The red snapper was fresh, caught today and it tasted it. Ya cant get fish like that in upstate NY! Add 4 glasses of wine (don’t judge ). And bill came to $60 (which I thought was incredibly reasonable). $72 after tip.

    Since J was a great boy at dinner (again – thanks Apple – youre my new best friend!), we took him to Marriott Arcade and played a few games. Back to room for 9 pm, all of us exhausted. J watched Madagascar til 10 pm then we all passed out. Cant wait for tomorrow!

    First impressions – resort is simply amazing. Too many pools to count, waterslide, zero entry, playground, swim up bars, in pool volleyball. Cannot wait to try it all out! Havent checked out beach yet, as it was dark by the time we got down there, but love that you can walk from resort to resort on path in front.
    Also, the little “town” behind high rises looks nice too, looking forward to walking around today/tonight to check it all out!

  2. #2
    Senior Member DANNYO's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Marriott Surf Club
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    Enjoy your vacation,yes the Surf Club Is great.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2011
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    What a great start! I love reading the day 1 adventure, makes me excited 4 my return to the island! Have fun and enjoy!

  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    enjoy and thanks for taking the time to post while you are there!!
    Quote Originally Posted by krmlaw View Post
    Here is day one!

    Aruba Day 1 - Monday Oct 8 – We left our house at 6:09 am, ontime for us! Drove to Smartpark JFK (great company), arriving at 9:00 am. Thank goodness for Columbus Day – no traffic! Took the shuttle to the airport and was checked in by 9:45 am. Not much in terminal, but thankfully they had an indoor playground for Jackson! Boarded at 11:15 am and left ontime. Arrived at 4:10 pm to Aruba! The landing was nice, and the run way was huge compared to other islands we have been to!

    Went through Aruba customs in about 15 minutes, and grabbed our bags. Was in rental car by 4:45 pm and on way! VERY easy to drive around – just one main road. Arrived at Marriott Surf Club at 5:15 pm and checked in quickly. Was given amazing 14th floor room overlooking ocean and lighthouse! Doug grabbed a Balashi on the way up – first one of the trip!

    Timeshare is AMAZING – honestly best we have been in. We have a 2 bedroom lockout (1 bed and studio connected in living rooms to each other). I love the internal connection, much better than Wyndham common hallway. Two balconies overlooking ocean and lighthouse and ocean club complex.

    We quickly unpacked and headed to the amazing pool! Jackson immediately made friends and we swam for an hour. Back up to the room for 7 pm, quick change and to dinner at Moomba Bar and Grill.

    Brought the life saver aka the Ipad 2 for J! We ordered him the kids hamburger and French fries with applesauce ($8) but of course, all he wanted to eat were the dinner rolls . Doug and I split the special 3 course meal and added on a huge salad ($27 and $9). Shrimp and tenderloin on crostini for appetizer, red snapper in creole sauce with steamed veggies and rice for main dish, and watermelon mousse with strawberries for dessert, and chopped garden salad. One word – AMAZING. The red snapper was fresh, caught today and it tasted it. Ya cant get fish like that in upstate NY! Add 4 glasses of wine (don’t judge ). And bill came to $60 (which I thought was incredibly reasonable). $72 after tip.

    Since J was a great boy at dinner (again – thanks Apple – youre my new best friend!), we took him to Marriott Arcade and played a few games. Back to room for 9 pm, all of us exhausted. J watched Madagascar til 10 pm then we all passed out. Cant wait for tomorrow!

    First impressions – resort is simply amazing. Too many pools to count, waterslide, zero entry, playground, swim up bars, in pool volleyball. Cannot wait to try it all out! Havent checked out beach yet, as it was dark by the time we got down there, but love that you can walk from resort to resort on path in front.
    Also, the little “town” behind high rises looks nice too, looking forward to walking around today/tonight to check it all out!

  5. #5
    Senior Member elisabeth_nj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    106
    Hope you continue the day to day events!!! Love it! already! Enjoy!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2010
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    krmlaw, Thanks so much for the trip report! We love reading fun ones like yours. We also like the Moomba Beach bar. Keep the reports coming.

    Sean and Susan

  7. #7
    Senior Member DiviDiviFan's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Pelican Pier at sunset with a bucket of Brights! Sunsets at Bunker Bar LG Smith Steakhouse, Paddock
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    Enjoy the rest of your trip. Hopefully this will be the first of many trips to Aruba like the rest of us lucky people.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Eagle Beach, Glitz Casino, Manchebo Beach Resort
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    3,898
    Sounds like you're off to a great vacation! You're gonna love the island. I look forward to your next post! Thanks!

  9. #9
    Member
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    Feb 2010
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    Baby Beach and the Marriott Ocean Club smokey joes and happy hour by the beach
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    97
    enjoy your stay there is plenty for Jackson to do. The activities hut on the beach usually has sand toys the will let the kids use

  10. #10
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    Jan 2009
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    Day 2 and 3 - we are having the best time and I think we found our new home!

    Tuesday – October 9
    Got up early, around 600 am and started coffee for hubby. Went down to the beach hut to reserve our palapa (got #400, 4th row from back but still great view!). Went to ling and sons for groceries, and was shocked by prices – they were EXTREMELY reasonable! I was used to SXM, STT or GCM prices. For example – a case (24) of Aruba’s beer (Balashi which is great!) was $14. Bread, $2. Chips $3. Next time, I wouldn’t pack dry groceries but buy here. One exception – liquor was very expensive (wine cheap). Next time buy liquor in the airport in duty free.
    Back to the condo by 830 am. Had to buy milk in the Marriott store as Lings wasn’t getting their shipment til Tuesday ($8 for ½ gallon, thanks Marriott!).
    Around 9:30 am we ventured down to beach. Its simply beautiful. White sand for as far as you can see. One thing I don’t like – the water is not clear (sandy) on palm beach here because there are boats going in and out to take people on trips, tubing, etc. Im told its clear further down on eagle beach as there aren’t any boats to stir it up. But its beautiful Caribbean blue.
    We spent a perfect day on the beach. Sand castles, swimming, and sun! At 1200 pm we went up to pool to swim for an hour before lunch. we hit the lazy river, which is awesome, and the water slide, which jackson loved. They have 2 zero entry pools which is great for jackson. Up to the room for lunch on the balcony at 1.
    Took jackson for a walk and he quickly feel asleep. Doug and I (with stroller in tow) went back to the beach til 330 pm when he woke up. Then we all stroller back to the pool til 530 for more swimming. I LOVE not having to drive to the beach, having an amazing one right here. it provides so much more freedom and saves tons of time.
    We drove down to Eagle Beach, which looks beautiful as well. Went to Matthews for dinner, which is at Casa del Mar and just a beautiful setting. Watched the sunset from our table. We had a huge salad and their bread was great, then both got ribs with rice and coleslaw (which was so good), which were great. jackson got spaghetti and meatballs. Bill came to $88 including tip, including a half craf of pinot grigio. Again, very reasonable.
    Back to resort and we walked over to ocean club and Marriott to explore. Had ice cream in the ocean club and sat and played in the Marriott lobby, which is beautiful. Another great Aruba day!
    Oct 10 – Day 3 in paradise
    Up around 645 and down to grab a palapa. I made pancakes and bacon for breakfast which were a big hit with jackson. We planned to go down to the beach but J wanted to hit the pool first. He made a new friend and played with him in the main pool and kids pool all day! Went on the lazy river, waterfountain area, just had a blast. J didn’t want to water slide today. One thing, its always slightly breezy which is great as it never gets too hot (even though its 90). Around 1:00 we came up for lunch on the balcony. Then walked Jackson to sleep and Doug and I (stroller in tow) headed to the beach. We were able to grab a palapa in the front row, which was great! We swam and laid in the sun til J got up at 330 pm, then back to pool. His other friends were at pool, so we played til 530 and had a blast. All the kids and parents are so nice – and everyone is from NY!
    Up to room for appetizers and wine then to dinner for 630 at Madame Jeanettes. Honestly – it was the best meal I have EVER had in my life. Filet and lobster medallions with augratin potatoes. Doug got prok cordon blu with rice pilaf and steamed spinach. We had a huge salad (note all the salads here are huge and enough to split) and J had spaghetti and butter with cheese. Bread was again great. Madame Jeanettes was the most beautiful setting, not on ocean, with trees and lights, all outside. They had great musicians playing the ‘classics’ – billy joel, eric clapton, etc. We had chocolate mousse with fresh whipped cream for dessert. Bill came to $125 including tip, and was worth every penny. Best meal we have had.
    Back to resort for 8:00 movie in the kids club, which J loved. After we walked around the “strip” which is just lovely. Music everywhere, beautiful fountains, restaurants and shops. We haven’t found a place this nice to walk around in all the islands we have been to.
    Back to condo for 10 and to bed for J! Another perfect day.

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