We had such a fun time in Aruba- December 7th thru the 14th. Hans from Tropic made the rental car as easy as ever. Trees at Aruba Discount Cell is great. Phone dropped off and picked up at ABC front desk without a hitch. Aruba Beach Club was fantastic and everyone there were so helpful. Our main theme in Aruba is the beach and water. We would get up early to watch the sun rise and grab a papala for the day. We had a couple very relaxing massages at Spa Del Sol next door at Manchebo Beach. What a way to start and end a vacation! Went to Scotts Brats twice for Bloody's and breakfast. So delicious and we thanked them for making us some fun souvenir licence plates to bring back home. We like to walk the beach by Scott's in the AM before the crowds come. For those of you that stay in the High Rise area and have never gone to the low rise-Eagle Beach area you are really missing out. Wakling by Baucutti, Manchebo and ABC is quite a difference. We hit the Bunker Bar walking up to the Tam and Divi. The beach was washed away but comes and goes all the time. Zeerovers and fishing in Savaneta was a trip high light. We had the West Deck and Matthews cook up our grouper and barracuda for three nights-such a treat eating the fish you caught that day. On a couple of our many walks we ate a Mama's truck across from Chalet Swissa. A $7 lunch is so tasty there, grab a picinic bench on the beach and enjoy. We loved Pinchos another cool place. We picked up duty free booze to bring and made frozen lemonades to walk with. Ling and Sons filled in the gaps with tasty cheese and Balashi's and such. Did some 4 wheel driving by the California light house with the rental. Very scenic place and a beautiful ride. We checked out the Ritz- not our kinda of place. We heard a rumor that Ritz is taking back the name. Not a good enough beach and what not. We always check out 3 or 4 hotels when we go and do a little pool hoping to get the feel of the place. Sunsets in Aruba are the best thing we enjoy. The Black Pearl was the most romantic sunset we caught. Those guys really know how to please their clients. As we have said before Aruba is many things to many people. Shopping, gambling,getting dressed up and having elegant dinners at some great restaurants. We are the poor people that come after saving for a year to enjoy that turquoise blue water and flour like beach sand. A homemade cocktail on the beach with some good local rum. The locals know how to enjoy Aruba without spending a ton so we ask and take all their advice we can get. This forum has helped us get so much out of so little.
Tips: Duty Free from where come from. Happy hours are 2 for one & all over the island. But $23 a bottle of absolute goes a long way.
Mathews and Scott's for breakfast about $7
Ask for discounts: We got 10 % off at matthews and Abc because we were a guest there.
$$ tipping: most places add 15% to bill for a gratuity. leave a little more and that solves the watered down drink problem & you get better service
Mama's truck for lunch $7 with chicken, rice and french fries and pasta- yes that's some combo.
Zeerovesr $16 Barracuda, shrimp and french fries for dinner cooked on the deck in front of you-great local hot sauce.
Bring some tumblers and make you own drinks! No better place than drinking on the beach and in the water.
Papasons for for floating the day away. Float down the beach a mile or so and drink your way back to the papala-Repeat process!
Vacation vault- no worries about wallet, sunglasses, room key ect. as you float away.
Rental car-$175 for the week! We go where and when we want without the $25 each way expense.
West Deck a small dish tapas like place on the water- great potato salad too, around $12 for lunch
Use the coupons you get at the airport in lobby's and local free papers. We printed a bunch online before we left.
Flight $425 round trip non-stop from Newark- shop around! We used United airlines.
Check your credit cards for freebies. We used Amex and got $200 free to use for food, drinks and movies and no foreign exchange fees. United Explorer card. We got 2 President lounge tickets and free baggage check on.
Water- buy a few bottles and re-fill. The water is great and safe in Aruba. Expensive to keep buying bottle of it.
Aruba Forum; read this forum and check tips, budget and off the beaten track past posts to save even more.
We love Aruba and the people. If you find a place you like, go back. They will remember you and give you better service. They like to talk and hear how happy you are, on their island. They are not in a rush. Jeez, its 90 degrees and you feel they took to long to get you a drink. Bring a cocktail with you and relax- no worries. Your trip will be so much more fun. We always talk about places we loved on the island and ask for a recommendation from them. One place leads to another and before you know it you caught the island beat! You have found " One Happy Island". Thanks so much for all your help here on this forum. We will be back next year!
"We are the poor people that come after saving for a year to enjoy that turquoise blue water and flour like beach sand. A homemade cocktail on the beach with some good local rum." "Bring some tumblers and make you own drinks! No better place than drinking on the beach and in the water."
As are we! Thanks for sharing your trip and tips. A little known secret, DW and I are two of the best bartenders on the island during our stays.
Thanks for the kind words about our trip report. Two of the license plates we got made at Scott's Brats were "SNDBAR" for a fun place we got to in LBI. The other was "BRADYS" a great local Irish Pub in Ramsey NJ. Both places hang plates so we are assured a prime spot and some cocktails. Another way to bring a little of Aruba home with us when we visit them. Thanks again to Scott and Leslie. Another great place for those on a budget right on the beach!
One more Tip: We did buy some nice shrimp from Zeerovers. We boiled it up and iced it down for some cold balashis and shrimp on the beach at our papala. You can buy it peeled and divined if you want -we didn't for better flavor. We paid about $15 for a couple dozen huge ones. What a treat on the beach we had for a couple days for very little money. P.S make your reservation online for the Black Pearl sunset cruise and save about $20.00
Sean and Susan
We have a Amex charge card. After reading some fine print under benefits, we read that you get a $200 a year travel benefits. Never noticed it or used it before. The benefits only pay for airline club passes, checked bags, food and drinks. Its a total of $200 per year-who knew? We got free movies, food and booze all the way to Aruba and back. You must pay with your Amex card and charges are taken off card if they show up as proper charges without you doing anything. We even got a few airplane bottles to go to take with us off the plane to our room in Aruba. Tip: save the empty bottles and fill with local rum or what not. Bring with you at all times just in case you come across "that watered down drink" problem other guests have noticed. Pour extra bottle in drink and problem solved! Save empty bottle and fill for next problem. That sounds so cheap and terrible now that we are back home in NJ. But somehow in Aruba it felt so right and good. It seemed no matter where we went as our Aruba trip went on, we needed to "fix" every drink we came across. Thank God for those little bottles of joy! Aruba is truly "One Happy Island". We miss it so much.
Sean and Susan