So, after 16 hours of airports and flying, we landed at about 1:15 pm on the 19th! We stayed at the Renaissance marina. Customs took 30 minutes and we found our cabbie Bully waiting for us. Heís very helpful! We were first timers so he talked to us about the basics of getting around, whatís what, and just useful info. After an 8 minute drive we got to our hotel. Orbitz is who we booked our trip through and they gave our confirmation to someone else. It only took the staff 5 minutes to get that straightened out so that wasnít even a speed-bump in our trip, besides our room wasnít ready because we were 2 hours early for check-in time. We tried our first Blue Martiniís and they were wonderful. We checked back an hour later and our room was ready.
After check-in, I surprised my wife with the Spaís royal romance treatment. Itís a full body massage then dinner at LG Smiths (which was wonderful). That was the perfect way to start our honeymoon (and much needed after all the flight time)! Try the Blue Martini and the Aruba Ariba. Good drinks that I'm now making at home : ) Let me know if anyone can find out what kind of "Fruit Punch" they use in the Aruba Ariba as mine differe due to that.
THE OUTINGS: We relaxed a lot during our trip, we only planned a couple outings and the rest was spent on the private island. We went on the Jolly Pirate Sunset Sail one night and it was perfectly clear that day. That was a fun couple hours and pretty cheap entertainment. The rope swing is pretty fun. After that we ate at Moombaís. Really slow as they were understaffed, but wonderful food and great view from the beach. There was live music playing in the next bar over. I recommend the Steak-cabob appetizer!!! We also took the bus to Palm Beach one day and played on the beach. We played in the water in front of some new construction and there was no one out there. Very peaceful and fun. We walked to the DePalm pier and had nachos (cheapest thing on any menu anywhere at $3.50) and a couple drinks. We walked that beach and it was very nice. Our last outing, I rented a car for the day and drove to Eagle beach, it has the best sand and beach by far in my opinion. Itís like walking on sugar and the water is so beautiful it looks like we are in the pool in many of our pictures. Pelicans diving all around us and again hardly anyone near us. We drove to the light house took some pictures, then we drove to Arashi beach to snorkel. Very good snorkeling. Bully says itís the best on the island near where the Jolly Pirates stops. We were a bit further north, but still great. We then drove to Baby Beach, where it is severely overcrowded and the water was less clear. The snorkeling was great though. You have to go out where the channel opens up a bit. The current is rough, but amazing amounts of fish. Best thing in the world is to buy some bread rolls and keep one in your pocket. Once it is soaked you can shake it to a hundred pieces and fish from every direction come and go nuts over it. The last thing we did that day was go to the Flying fishbone in Savaneta. They had great food, and the nicest restaurant we went to by far. We got seats in the water. We were literally calf deep where we sat. I fed most of my bread roll to the fish in the water at my feet. The waitress got a kick out of it and brought us some more rolls to feed the fish. Great sirloin steaks and great lobster there. That was it for our traveling away from downtown.
THE PRIVATE ISLAND: The private island was great. The adult side was nice as there was a lot more wildlife to interact with. Feeding fish and flamingos was fun, and the iguanas want to climb in your lap sometimes if you have food J We didnít play in the water so much here as there were a lot of rocks and coral. The family side was where we spent most of our time since we were in the water so much. The beach there and the sand has no rocks, itís very nice. We only saw 2 or 3 kids on the island the entire time we were there. We spent the best part of 5 days there so even though itís for families, it was still pretty much all adults. Neither of the beaches was crowded at all. We always got there around noon and you could always get chairs wherever you wanted. I kept a roll in my pocket just like I did when snorkeling and I was feeding giant angel fish out of my hand, it was really cool. They followed me and swam around me the entire time my wife and I threw the Frisbee in the water. We never ate at the restaurant we just had drinks there. We brought lunch with us every day. People got in trouble for small coolers and we never got in trouble since we disguised ours as our beach bagJ. We kept some large Ziplock bags and filled them with ice. I put beers in them and packed our lunch around them. They stayed cold the entire day. We saved a lot of money by having cereal for breakfast and making PB&J sandwiches nearly every day. The private island is great and I liked it much more than Palm Beach. Iíd definitely like to check out Eagle beach again though. We were bummed that the shuttle was closed at the Marina pickup due to them cleaning the canal and pickup area. That lasted about a week. Itís a short walk to the Ocean Suiteís pickup though, so no problem. It was a very short ride to the island and was fun. If you sit anywhere near the back you will get wet as they haul arse to the island.
THE FOOD: Food on the island was great, but spendy. Eating breakfast and lunch on the cheap allowed for more dinners out. Again Moombaís was really good and Flying Fishbone was awesome. The Italian place across LG Blvd from the Ren was nice, but their business looked slow. They had so much staff that one guy was our personal water glass filler. It was funny how many times he refilled our glasses. I had to give him a better tip than our waitress whom took our order and disappeared till she gave us our bill. We just had pizza there a couple times and the view of the marina was great as you are just above the water. It was a spendy place, but we know how to work the menu in our favorJ. Rumbaís was pretty good for lunch, but the chicken in my sandwich was the fattiest chicken Iíve ever had. My wifeís was much better and she had chicken too. I was just unlucky that meal. I enjoyed El Gaucho the Argentinean steak house. They were really busy and expensive, but my wife and I shared the plate that had 5 different kinds of meat, were both full, and had leftovers. It cost $5 for the extra plate, but was delicious. I tried fried cheesecake as Iíve never heard of that before. It was different and pretty good, but I like normal cheesecake better. The paddock had a pretty good breakfast/lunch menu and pretty reasonable prices. SeŮor Frogs was a pretty lively place for lunch and had some fun games and such to try and get you sauced. Expensive lunch, but worth a trip. What is that stuff they pour down everyoneís throat? It was pretty good. Iím sure Iím forgetting more restaurants, but they are all worth a try.
We had Bully pick us up at our hotel to take us to the airport (the 28th) and he talked our legs off again. Heís very nice. Customs was a breeze and the airport wait was not bad. We brought back some rum and cigars and had no trouble at the airport (I always worry about bringing things back from other countries). In all we had a great vacation and honeymoon and want to visit again someday soon. The weather was great, we only had 2 or 3 days of clouds, the rest was clear skies. The breeze is always appreciated. The people there are nice for the most part and are very helpful. I think anyone could have a good time in Aruba and would probably want to come back too.
Where's the Post Icon for two-thumbs up? Aruba was great!
Last edited by beastnatch; 06-02-2008 at 03:57 PM.
Thanks for that great report. I love to hear that eveyone has had a good time. I especially liked hearing about the private island. That makes this whole trip worthwile. Congrats on your wedding. cindyo
It really doesn't take much to ask me to look at my pictures again and again, so I added a few more to the gallery.
I also remembered a couple other things:
Yep, we made a trip there during our stay. My wife got sick and my insurance company said to take her to the ER for the best care. A cab from downtown cost $12 each way. We got there after 11:00pm and the wait was about an hour. There was dried blood all over the floor in front of the check-in window. Kinda gnarly, but the rooms were more sanitary than that. Don't expect your nurse to speak much english. They do their best though. The doctor spoke very well and was very helpful. Just a stomach infection of some sort and after the first day of anti-biotics she was all better. There is almost nothing open on Sundays, so there was only one pharmacy open and it was about a $15 cab ride each way from downtown. Just in case anyone was wondering, the cost of the ER visit was $148 and the medicine at the pharmacy was about $48. It's always good to know what to expect.
We read that there was a movie theatre at the Renaissance complex and we thought to ourselves, we would never go see a move in a place as wonderful as Aruba! Well, we saw the new Indiana Jones movie on it's opening night. The theatre was 1/8 full, it was in English, and it was pretty nice. People in Central Oregon are still having trouble getting tickets to showings on the weekend so now we are really glad we went. Not to mention their tickets are half what ours cost in the states!
Anyhoo, I thought I'd mention a couple of other "events" during our stay.
Beastnatch.. congrats on ur wedding.. we are also heading to Bucuti Beach in Aruba for our upcoming honeymoon in August this year and thanks to this forum ive learned so much about the island already..Your photos are lovely.. we cant wait.. would just love to experience the flying fishbone as ive read alot about it here but not sure should we book it in advance???
Iíd definitely book in advance. I booked through their website. They require a credit card to make reservations so they can ding you if you happen to not show up, but this will ensure you preferred seating. Iíd make reservations for 5:00 (according to them thatís the best bet for preferred seating). That way you will be done around sunset and they give you the option to stick around if you get done with dinner before that. The place fills up pretty good by then. Iíd say this is a must while you are on the island. I rented a car the day that I went there and it cost barely more than a taxi round trip would cost. We explored the island for the whole day so it was well worth it. Have fun!!!