I just got back home 45 minutes ago. I had such a wonderful vacation. Everything was great from the perfect weather, flight, restaurants, beach, pool, casino etc,
I traveled from 5/25/13 to 6/1/13 and stayed at la cabana.
Day 1 5/25 Arrived in Aruba at 1pm. Customs, baggage claims and duty free took 30 minutes. I found the prices quite expenses at the duty free in aruba after going through customs. The prices are cheaper when going home at the terminal but some items quite expensive on the arrival duty free. Example, Courvosier liter $72 at arrival duty free and at the gate going home $46.00. In Ny going to aruba it was $48. I ended up buying some bourbon for $36 a littler which was a steal. Woodford Reserve was the brand and it tasts just like Makers Mark if not even better.
It was too early to check in at La Cabana so I took a cab ride to Casa Vieja for lunch. I had the bandeja paisa which never disappoints. Cab ride from airport was $18 but its really close bye..
I arrived at La Cabana at 3:30pm and my room was not ready so I went to the new superfoods to get some groceries. I was able to find everything I needed and only made one other trip during the week for some more bread and cold cuts. I like the convienance that I can walk there but I purchased a lot so I took a cab back to la cabana.
Arrived at la cabana at 4:30 and room was ready.
I unpacked, relaxed and went to the pool at 6pm. Came back up around 7pm and I just had a sandwich and a few amstel brights for dinner. Watcher reruns of pawn shop and called it a night at 11pm. I was tired!!
Will write more later..
PS I wanted to write everyday while at la cabana but I couldn't even log on to this forum. I would get script errors as well as on some other stites..
Day 2 got up at 6am and went out for a 20 minute walk at 630am. Breakfast in room, beach at 10am, lunch in room at 1pm. I had dinner at the islander grill which was just ok. I had the beef tenderloin and my mother had the chicken parm made with gouda cheese. The chicken parm dish is very good. I had it last year. I love Gouda cheese! You get a really large portion of chicken and a lot of pasta. My mother ate half and the rest for lunch the next day. Afterwards the Glitz casino to make a $100 donation
Day 3 it was raining in the morning 7am so I went to the gym. I worked out on the treadmill for 45 minutes doing interval training. This is when you run or walk faster than your pace for 30 seconds to a minute follow by regular pace for 2 minutes. You keep repeating the process. When I was done my muscles felt the burn. Breakfast in room and then hit the beacg at 11am. At the beach I swam up to rope and I swam accross from La Cabana to Chalett Suisse and back. My shoulder muscles were burning! Got a great workout. Lunch at 230 in the room and for Dinner I went to Matthews at Casa Del Mar around 730pm. I had the mixed seafood platter which was excellent. I love this restaurant.. Dessert was flan. My mother had the pina colada shrimp which was also excellent. Afterwards we went to alahambra casino to donate $100.00.
Day 4. Woke up at 6:00am. Felt very tired! I guess the treadmill and swimming did me in so I decided to take it easy. I took a walk to superfoods at 7:30am but found out they open up at 8:00am. They let me in though at 7:50am. Back to room with groceries and had breakfast. One thing I like to do after breakfast is read the daily aruba papers they give out for free at the resort. After breakfast I just sit out on the balcony and read the paper. At the beach I like to read for an hour and then I only go in the water once but I stay in the water on average 1 1/2 hours once 2 hours. Anyway, off to the beach I went at 10:15am and I left at 1:30pm.
I walked over to the tropicana to buy a pizza from Pizza Bob. I love their Mexican Pizza. If you like a cheesy pizza this one is it! They put mozzarella, cheddar and jack cheese, black olivies, diced up onions, peppers. While I waited for the pizza to be made I had a few amstels bright and chatted with the bartenders there. I've read that you have to be a native to get work in Aruba but a lot of the waiters, bartenders, cleaning people seems to come from Haiti, Dominican Republic and a lot from Colombia..There were 2 females bartenders there one from Aruba and one from colombia. They were really nice to chat to while my pizza was being made.
7:00pm dinner at las ramblas at la cabana. On trip advisor someone wrote that this is one of the best kept secrets.I disagree. The food is a hit or a miss and the service is slow as hell. They usually have only 1 waiter for around 12 or 15 tables that are set up. Last year I had a steak I asked for medium rare and it was burned. I spoke up and they just appoligised and said next time it will be better. Since I was lazy and didn't want to go out I reserved dinner there. This time I had the paella because my mother had it last year and it was excellent. Well, this time it was loaded with green peas which were undercooked. They were very chewy. I told the bartender and he said he would tell the manager. cook or something but I never got an appology or anything. Never again will I eat there again. I rather go to busters for a burger!
The only positive thing I can say about Las Ramblas is the out door al fresco dining. It was a very nice cool breezy night overlooking Eagle Beach accross the street. They also have a guitar player who plays mostly background music but he is very good.
Afterwards we went to Glitz casino and my mother won $600.00 on a dollar machine putting in just 1 play at a time or $1 at a time not the maximum bet. Minus the $200 she lost the previous days she was up $400.00. They also gave out raffle tickets and the winner was awarded $200. This person had lost $150 that night so winning the raffle came in handy..
Day 5 up at 6:00am, sat on balcony overlooking pool and just enjoying the morning cool breeze. Off to the gym at 6:45am for 45 minutes on the treadmill. Back to room around 8:00am for coffee and breakfast and off to beach at 10:15am. Lunch at 1:30pm in room and I went down town for shopping around 5:30pm. Dinner was at Cubas Cookin at 7pm. I start off with the free mojito. I always use the coupon in the tourist broucher. 1 coupon entitles everyone in your dinner table for a free mojitos and they are refreshing. Love that mint and cuban rum Havana Club...For dinner I had the fried pork bites which is actually an appetiser but its a big portion so I order it for dinner and either rice & beans as a side dish or this time I order the stuffed yuca (casava) as a side entry. My Mother had the stuffed roast pork which is always perfect. They had a duo playing cuban music and we sat outside. It was a nice cool breezy night. Afterwards we went to the rennasance casino and donated around $50.00. Back to la cabana and had some carvel ice cream in the lobby. Called it a night around 11pm..
Day 6 woke up at 7:30am. I was soooo tired from the previous day workout. However, I took a 30 minute walk along LG Smith Blvd towards Costa Linda Resort. I hit the beach at 10:45am. All the cabanas were just about taken except for 2 in the back by the vollyball court. I was lucky to get one! The chair guy said people were coming down at 6:00am. I was back in the room for lunch at 2:00pm. I was so sore from previous day work out that I decided to go to the hot tub at the pool at 5:00pm. There I met a young couple from California who were very friendly. We had a nice conversation. It made me regret that I didn't hit the pool more often so I could mingle and meet people. However, I was low key and with such a beautiful beach I find it hard to spend time at the pool.
Dinner was at Madamme Janet at 7pm. It was my first time there and now I see why this place is highly recommended. I had the almond crusted grouper which was out of this world.. My mother had the coco rasta jumbo shrimps. They gave her 5 giant shrimps and she was full with 2 of them. We had the other 3 for lunch the next day with some amstel brights...
One thing i noticed about the aruba restaurants was that the drinks are usually very reasonable. The dishes at MJs were on average $30 and up but a glass of wine only $7. Same thing at Chaelet Suiise, Matthews etc...
We went to the Glitz casino afterwards at La Cabana and my mother lost $50.00 initially but just when we decided to go she put in a $5.00 on the $1 slot and made her money back.
Day 7 up at 6:30am. I still can't get over how early I got up everyday on vacation. This is the time i usually get up to go to work. Anyway I took a 40 minute walk pass Costa Linda and back. Back to room for breakfast and hit the beach at 10am. Lunch in room at 2pm. Started packing for my return and had dinner at Chalet Suisse at 6:30am. I had the early bird special which is a great deal. For $31 you get a choice of an 8oz sirloin steak which I had, red snapper, salmon or chicken Milanase made with the Gouda cheese, you get soup and coffee and dessert. The dessert was apple struddle. I love the place, service, food. This is by far my favorite restaurant and I will have to make 2 visits on my next trip. They are so accomadating from the host, waiters, assist waiter. They all work as a team! My waiter got really busy tending to tables that had large groups so someone else made sure we had enough bread, drinks etc. When we were done our original waiter came back to make sure we were taken care of. He then asked me if I had a car or needed a cab. I told him I needed a cab and so he called me one. They take very good care of you. They also make great drinks! I always have a martini to start and a glass of wine with dinner. They have good tasting wine. I had a pinot noir which was very good..
At 8:30pm we went to the Glitz casino and donated around $150 but we had a lot of fun. There was a lot of bar maids serving up free drinks, karioke, raffles etc. We hung out until 10pm. I went to bed around midnight.
Day 8th I left to the airport at 11:00am for a 2:00pm Delta Flight to NY. When I got to the US Customs there was a sign there stating to enter only if your flight departure is in 2 hours or less. It was around 11:30am so I had to wait 30 minutes. At 12pm I entered US Customs and it took around 20 minutes to get to an agent. They were very well organized. It was actually a good thing not letting people in if their flight was leaving more than 2 hours because it would have been really crowded. It started to get crowded once i got up to the custom agent.
My flight boarded 45 minutes early and we left around 20 minutes earlier. We arrived in NY around 30 minutes earlier so it was great flight. The Delta Business Class seat to me was any bigger leg room than the jet blue extra leg room but I did enjoy the champagne while people were boarding, food, snacks and lots and lots of drinks..The flight attendants were very accomodating serving me double bourbon drinks.. When I landed in NY my luggage came out first as part of the business class priority service.
My advise is to sign up for the frequent flier programs with airlines and enjoy free upgrades, trips ect. I needed a flight to Puerto Rico for thanksgiving and I was able to get a cheap fair $266 but then I realized I had 17k points with jet blue which qualified me for the free round trip plus a $5.00 tax fee. I then upgraded for extra leg room for $70.00 so the whole fare cost me $75.00..This is for thanksgiving week too! So get those perks!!!
I'm looking forward to go to Aruba again next year either in May or September or maybe both months.