Left New York at 6:50 am and had a smooth flight down to Aruba on Jetblue, arriving at noon. We were the first flight of the day to land and we breezed through immigration and were swimming in the pool at the Renaissance by 12:45 pm. Relatives arrived around 1 pm and we headed over to the private island for the afternoon. It was very hot and humid today as there was almost no breeze. The ocean was nice and warm, and the visibility snorkeling at the private island was excellent. Walked over to Iguana Joe's for dinner and food was good. Fajitas were excellent (beef $17 and beef/chicken/shrimp $20) and blackened grouper sandwich was very tasty, although the portion of fish was very small. Kids loved the Mac and Cheese which remains the best they have ever had. Walked around the Renaissance Seaport Mall on the way back and there are many new restaurants since our last visit (2 years ago). We are going to hit the sack exhausted from the travel. We'll keep you updated.
Sounds like a fabulous first day! We are due down Dec 9 Are the sides of the adult half of the private island built up so you can put chair out there. Last Dec they were washed away :/ Happy glorious vacation. we loved Cuba's cookin. They have instruments so you can join in with the band. Great fun!
We had another great two days in Aruba. Saturday we started with breakfast at the Dutch Pancake House. The crepes there were amazing as always, as were the poferrites (sp?). Picked up some groceries downtown and then headed to the pool for the afternoon. Enjoyed happy hour from 4:30 - 6 pm. Headed to El Gaucho for dinner. I know this restaurant doesn't always get the best reviews on this site, but the food and the service were exceptional. Everyone in our party had either the Gaucho Steak (tenderloin) or the 20 oz. Ribeye which were all cooked perfectly. I love a good steak and this restaurant serves the best steaks in the world (IMHO).
Sunday were slept in a bit and had breakfast in the room. Walked to the Flea Market and there was a good selection of gifts/souveneirs at reasonable prices (haggling is encouraged). My girls picked up some nice bracelets and necklaces. It was very warm again as there has not been much breeze. We took a cab back to the Renaissance Suites and had lunch in the room...Gouda grilled cheese sandwiches...yummy. We then spent the afternoon at Renaissance Island. I snorkeled for hours outside of the rocks and the water was incredibly clear. We went as far as the sunken barge and saw many beautiful fish and a large eel. There were a few showers during the day today but none lasted more than ten minutes. My kids actually started to run out of the water...yelling "we're getting wet" - to which we replied "really?" Dinner tonight at Driftwood. As CindyO mentioned, they are offering a fixed price meal for $26 including an appetiser, a regular size dinner portion (with many good choices), a dessert and coffee. A good deal considering most of their meals alone are more than the $26. We had shrimp in garlic butter, wahoo in garlic butter, and fried shrimp, all of which were very good. The french onion soup was also excellent.
Forgot to mention that Bully has been driving us around and he has been great, often responding to my e-mail requests on short notice. There is not a nicer cab driver on the island.
The internet service at the Renaissance remains the same. No WI-FI in the rooms. Wired service in the rooms with daily or weekly rates ($70 for the week). The room card says you can use the WIFI at the lobby or pool areas after you buy the wired service. Spoke with a few people who indicated they were able to use the WIFI for free from the lobby. Not sure how, since you need a code to login.
The adult side of the private island has been restored fairly well. There are certainly chairs available to sit on that side. Trees on the whole island have been thinned out so there is not as much shade as in the past.
Very nice my friend! We will be there in 4 days. Do you leave on the 25th or will you still be there? You will know when I am there once I get to the hotel I run through the lobby screaming and do a huge cannonball in the pool with all my clothes on. Only kidding, lol heck maybe I will try that this year.lol
We will be leaving on the 25th late in the day so we will probably be hanging out by the pool. Look for the really big guy with the girls who never leave the water. I imagine we'll see you before we head to the airport.
P.S. Don't know if your kids like grilled cheese sandwiches but we have been making them with Gouda cheese for lunches and they are AWESOME!
We spent the days on both Mon and Tues at the private island and then the pool. Snorkeling has been incredible due to the relative lack of wind. Took my 10 year old out to see the sunken barge today and she loved it.
Dinner last night at Casa Tua, at the end of the Renaissance Mall (Ocean End) was excellent. Pizzas were good thin crust pizza ($14 - 16 each) and the dinners were all good, including gnocci, cheese ravioli in an alfredo sauce and the grouper in a zesty red sauce was excellent. Nice dining while listening to the live music. Headed back to the room relatively early to put the kids to bed and then to watch the Patriots game.
Heading over to Zeerovers tonight in Savanetta to see what that is all about, after reading the great reviews on the forum.
So the water has been clear on the private island? That's good since both my kids want to try snorkeling this year. Where's the sunken barge past the rocks by the sunken plane? I'll keep my open for you when we get there.