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Thread: Aruba: July 2010

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sgroi135's Avatar
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    Aruba: July 2010

    Well I will start out my thread for my Vac now, will give me something to do.

    We are renting a time share this year at the Occidental. An Ocean Front 1 BR. It is our 10 year anniversary so decided to upgrade a little. We will probably do the AI this year. Last year my kids did not get to enjoy all the frozen drinks and stuff like that (at $7 a piece there was no way that they were getting them). We are not really picky eaters so the AI will be fine. The food is great all over Aruba, but is nothing really any different than we get at home.

    We will definately goto El Gaucho tho, that was my favorite. We will not be able to goto Passions this year since we won't have anyone to watch our kids. Last year we traveled with another family and we watched each others kids.


    I booked our airfare on Jet Blue. Prices are basically the same as last year. I am a little annoyed becuase I cannot use my JB free R/T ticket, it is blacked out for July. Could have saved almost $600 for the airfare. Its funny, I chose our seats, and they are the EXACT same seats from last year, and it was on total accident, just picked the best available. $2346 4 tickets JFK>AUA

    Now to buy travel insurance. Found a policy for $149 Dollars. No charge for the kids and has a WORK cancellation clause.

    Now to just sit back and wait, which will be hard. Then eventually I will get the car service and such, and one of the most important things not to forget EMAIL BULLY!!!!!
    Decided to take down my timer!

  2. #2
    Senior Member sunworshipperII's Avatar
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    Sgro135 how did you get that ticker on......help








    url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/]

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Sgroi135's Avatar
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    Click on my Ticker and it will take you to the site.
    Decided to take down my timer!

  4. #4
    Senior Member nikko's Avatar
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    we will be there (hubby, 14 yr old son, and myself) at La Cabana on the 11th-18th. maybe we can all do a meet up? we are leaving out of newark....we did jfk last year and finding a ride to the airport from where i live was a nightmare. lol

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sgroi135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikko View Post
    we will be there (hubby, 14 yr old son, and myself) at La Cabana on the 11th-18th. maybe we can all do a meet up? we are leaving out of newark....we did jfk last year and finding a ride to the airport from where i live was a nightmare. lol

    For us the ride is about 20 Minutes more, but I was not able to find the direct flights on Jet Blue out of Newark. And the prices for Continental were actually a little higher, so the longer ride to the airport was a trade-off, plus we like JB better.

    I couldn't imagine a Sunday would be bad to get to either airport. But then there is also the YOU NEVER KNOW factor!
    Decided to take down my timer!

  6. #6
    Senior Member tangy003's Avatar
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    Hey,Enjoy your stay at the Occidental.We too stay there.We have a timeshare there.

    We are renting a time share this year at the Occidental. An Ocean Front 1 BR. It is our 10 year anniversary so decided to upgrade a little. We will probably do the AI this year. Last year my kids did not get to enjoy all the frozen drinks and stuff like that (at $7 a piece there was no way that they were getting them). We are not really picky eaters so the AI will be fine. The food is great all over Aruba, but is nothing really any different than we get at home.


    What do you mean?It sounds like you didn't care for the AI at the Occidental?You are right though.At $7.00 for a drink,it can get pricey real quick.That alone would make the AI worth it.IMO

    I think they have some fine restaurants at the Occidental.
    We do however go to one place to eat outside of there just to change it up a little.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sgroi135's Avatar
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    Well hate to say that I got home last night! We had a great week. My full report will be following!!!

    I posted my pictures for my Island Tour with Bully on Facebook!

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=71286&id=1447356402&l=99b2e0ec68
    Last edited by Sgroi135; 07-18-2010 at 01:55 PM.
    Decided to take down my timer!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Welcome home. We look forward to hearing about your trip.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sgroi135's Avatar
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    July 10-17, 2010....

    We started out at 3:45 am for pickup at home to JFK airport. All went smoothly other than a small delay on the runway taking our turn to take off. We hit the air and nice flight. We get to the air above Aruba and we get a notification from the pilot that the there was a problem at the airport and we would have to circle for a while. We later found out that a small plane went off the runway and there had to be an investigation. This delay was great for us. We were the first plane to land, there were NO lines at all anywhere. We flew through customs with no problems.

    We picked up our bags and saw the smiling face of Bully! He was awaiting our arrival and ready to take us to the Occidental. We rented a timeshare unit from a user on the forum "horse1119" she was a pleasure to work with, if you are interested in the Occidental contact her. I actually believe that she has units at other locations.

    We arrived at the Occidental and since there was the problem at the airport the lobby was empty, we were escorted directly to the TimeShare waiting area where the kids had some cold driks and DW had a mimosa (sp).

    We stayed in rooms 2225/2226 which was an oceanfront unit. There was HUGE bedroom and a HUGE room with pull-out bed, dining table, and kitchenett. The unit also had 2 full baths.

    The rooms were cleaned daily, and towels replaced without any problems. I read on TripAdvisor that people complained about room towels.

    We chose to get the All-Inclusive which was great. We visited all the resturants on the resort.

    All the food was great, no complaints at all. The Mexican resturant was OK, if i return to the resort I will probably not go back there. There is a dress code at the resturants, men have to wear closed toe shoes and long pants (yes jeans are fine).

    For breakfast and lunch we hit the buffet. They had your standard breakfast foods. Everything was very fresh and plentiful.

    The beach was beautiful, I did get up early in the morning to get a palapa, and got one each day. I was upset on the last day that we were on the beach because my palapa was taken. But, not because someone else beat me to it, people pay the Beach worker "Johnny" to save them a palapa. I did report this to the front desk, and it was denied that it happens. This bothered me because this action effects the people who get up early to get a spot. Some of these palapas that are saved by "Johnny" sometimes went unused for hours and hours. I know that tipping gets you things, if you want to tip the room attendant, or the bartender to get better service, that is fine. But when the resort has an actual rule about saving palapas and then it is obviously broken by a worker, that bothers me. (ok off my soap box)

    On Tuesday Bully picked us up and took us on a tour of the island. Bully is a wealth of information and can't wait to go back to get the other half of the island coverd. You can see pictures of the tour here.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=71286&id=1447356402&l=99b2e0ec68

    Each day we hit the beach in the morning, then lunch, then the pool until dinner. My kids are not late sleepers in the morn, so we were in bed kinda early. While the DW read her books while the kids slept, I hit the casino. I have to say that the Casino was probably the worst part of the resort. Tiny, dark, outdated games. They had a craps table the was in the corner of the room and looked like a storage table. The roulette table does not even have the number board to see what numbers were rolled previously. They had one 3-card poker table, and 2 black-jack tables. I was un-impressed. I did goto the Radisson Casino the last 2 nights. The one good thing is that the one day I went to the Casino and it was closed. I was told that they were renovating it and that it would be open in about 3 months. The owners of the Casino at the Radisson were taking it over. So hopefully they will do major upgrades.

    Unfortunatley the last day had to come.... We got a 1pm check-out. Hit the pool in the morn, then showered up, checked out and had lunch. Bully was at the hotel at about 2:45 for our pick up. We arrived at the airport and was ready for long lines and waiting. We walked into the terminal and only the JetBlue counters had a line. I was wondering why. We checked in and got our passes and walked to Aruba Customs. I was shocked that there were NO lines. There was an immigration officer just sitting there waiting for us. We walked right through security and picked up our bags and went to US customs where again there was an officer waiting for us. I was shocked how fast we got through. The reason for this was that were were on the last flight of the day at the airport a 6pm flight. I guess I will always take the last flight if I can.

    I did get patted down and my bags searched before boarding the aircraft, which is not a big deal make me and my family safe. I am usually on the other side of pat downs so I know what a pat-down is. I have to say that they should not even have bothered to do it. I could have hidden anything that I wanted on me if I really wanted to. If they are going to pat you down, then do it right. A pat-down is an "upclose and personal" thing.

    Unfortunatley the week had to end, but we can't wait to plan the next trip to "One Happy Island"........
    Decided to take down my timer!

  10. #10
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    thanks!!
    appreciate you taking the time t post your report.
    that crummy casino should be renovated.

    andrea

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