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Thread: Divi AI Trip Report

  1. #1
    Senior Member katherine's Avatar
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    Divi AI Trip Report

    Unfortunately we arrived home Sunday evening from another wonderful week in Aruba. This was our 9th trip - but our first stay at the Divi AI. We stayed at the Hyatt the previous 8 trips. We were a little nervous about staying at the Divi, but all in all we had a very nice time.

    We arrived the day before Easter and were immediately checked into the rooms of our request by a very friendly front desk clerk. We had 2 rooms connected on the lower floor of the Vista 1 Building. Having read many reviews i knew what to expect of the rooms. They were more like motel rooms, outdated and had that cheap cleaner smell but they were clean and the beds were very comfortable.

    Our first disappointment was that we could not get reservations in the a la carte restaurants for that evening (which i expected) or the next evening which was upsetting. Being Easter sunday we did not want to eat buffet food. We did end up eating the buffet our first night and were surprised that it was better than expected. It was Mexican night and there was a fresh fajita station as well as tacos and quesadillas. The salad bar was pretty good, however the desserts were not great.

    Easter morning I checked at the towel hut about the Easter egg hunt for the kids, the lady there did not know about it but assured me that someone would be in at 9 am for sign ups. I checked back throughout the morning, but nobody ever arrived. This was just the beginning of the disappointment in the activity department. Most of the events for the week never happened and when we questioned anybody about them they either did not have info or told us the activity was cancelled. It became the joke among our group to check the activity board to find out what was not going to happen that day. They did have bingo a couple of times and provided the SOCA dance lessons only after i questioned some employees who then called the activities manager. He acted surprised that the activities were not happening. I am not sure if this is the norm - we were told that they had were unexpectedly short staffed this week so maybe we just had bad luck. The evening entertainment did happen as scheduled, and the kids really enjoyed the limbo and dance shows. Karaoke was pretty sad and poorly attended.

    Easter dinner we went to the Screaming Eagle. The food was good, however we waited for about an hour to be served. I do not know if i would go there again. The food was good as i said, but for the price i have had better.

    Monday we went on the jolly pirate sunset sail which was fun - however it was more entertaining last year - the crew did not do the flips and stunts on the rope swing that they had the previous year. After the cruise we ate at Smoky Joe's - food and drink were very good as usual, but we waited a lot longer than the 30 minutes the hostess had originally told us. If we had known we would be waiting an hour for a table we would have just taken a cab back to the Divi and eaten the buffet.

    For the remainder of the week we just hung around the Divi. The weather was not as nice as we usually get. A couple of very overcast days and some rain at times. The waves from what i understand were rougher than usual - one day my friend and her daughter got caught in a rip tide - she had to yell for help. A nice man heard first and tried to help, but he got stuck as well. Finally my husband became aware of the situation and was able to get in and get them out. It was scary, but luckily ended well. Later in the week the waves calmed down, but it was still pretty wavy for us being used to palm beach.

    As for the food we were pleasantly surprised that it was for the most part pretty good. The breakfast was standard buffet fare - I stuck to the fresh egg station and toast. I found the pancakes and waffles to be pretty good as well since they were being continuously made. Lunch buffets were decent - we enjoyed the salad bar and the hamburger station. If you got the burgers and fries fresh they were very good. We also enjoyed the pizzas at the bar and the kids loved the popcorn. The ice cream machine was a big hit, although one day it was inedible - the mix seemed as if it had gone sour. For dinner we tried the Red Parrot, Paparazzi and the Palm Grill. The food was good but not great, and the service was very lacking. By the end of the week we stuck with the buffet, you do not have to deal with reservations, you can eat whenever you like and the food was not any better at the ala cartes. Also with the kids it was easier not having to wait as long. Other than the ice cream machine, there was not very good dessert to be had.

    The beverages were pretty bad a lot of the time. I was not sure if the staff was not aware how to make certain drinks or if they use low quality alcohol and mixers, but most drinks i ordered could have been better. Some were undrinkable. However the kids loved ordering their own frozen drinks and sodas all day long and we did not have to worry about how much it would cost!!

    Service overall was lacking. Again not sure if it is always this way or if they were understaffed this week. It was hard to get good service and we are good tippers - most of the time there would only be one bartender at each bar and the wait for drinks would be pretty long. Some of the bartenders seemed pretty upset and not friendly even when tipped. We did enjoy Gil, Raphael and Curtis. Service was also pretty bad at the restaurants If you were lucky they would bring you drinks, but even the better of the servers never checked back to see if you needed refills.

    Overall we were pretty happy at the Divi and are talking about returning again next year. The convenience of being steps from the beach far outweighed the condition of the rooms. The resort was clean and the food was good. For the price it was a good vacation. I figured that to stay the same week at the Hyatt and to pay for all meals and drinks would have cost us twice as much money. People who complain about the condition of the rooms and level of service received should take this into account. They would be the same ones complaining if the resort upgraded and the price went up.
    katherine




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  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    thanks for posting
    boy that week went by fast :-(
    Last edited by Andrea J.; 04-15-2010 at 10:36 PM.

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    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Gosh I was thinking the same thing, "she is home already?"

    Just thinking out loud, I am very curious if your experience with the kid's activities would have been more positive if you were staying at the Tamarijn...

  4. #4
    Senior Member katherine's Avatar
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    the week in Aruba is always the fastest week of the year. I did sense that the activities people must have been focusing their attention at the Tam - the kids had a great time, and did not need the activities, we just felt why even post them if they really are not going to happen. We did have a few good laughs over it!! Some of the excuses given by employees were pretty funny.

    In re-reading my review i realize it sounds more negative than positive - We really had as good a time as we always have in Aruba - the level of service is just less than we are used to which was not shocking. We always felt comfortable at the resort and were sad to go home - the beach was by far better than Palm Beach and I loved the proximity of the room - if we go to Aruba next year I am sure we will return to the Divi.
    katherine




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    Senior Member lrealnurse's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review as I will be staying at the Tam/Divi...
    Lisa
    First trip to Aruba down; many more to come

    Lisa

  6. #6
    Senior Member sunnysmiles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katherine View Post
    the week in Aruba is always the fastest week of the year. I did sense that the activities people must have been focusing their attention at the Tam - the kids had a great time, and did not need the activities, we just felt why even post them if they really are not going to happen. We did have a few good laughs over it!! Some of the excuses given by employees were pretty funny.

    In re-reading my review i realize it sounds more negative than positive - We really had as good a time as we always have in Aruba - the level of service is just less than we are used to which was not shocking. We always felt comfortable at the resort and were sad to go home - the beach was by far better than Palm Beach and I loved the proximity of the room - if we go to Aruba next year I am sure we will return to the Divi.
    When I got to the end where you said you'd definitely return I thought I missed something LOL I know what you mean though - you found out the buffet was the way to go and being that close to the beach is a major bonus!! I'd hope that the activity thing was because it was Easter break but I know our experience with the Divi resorts this year was much worse than 2 years prior when we were there. It was almost impossible to find a shuttle this year and when we did we would be told they weren't going that way. No, the walking didn't bother my dh and I but it did bother my father-in-law that has a bad hip!
    Sorry to ramble!
    I'm glad you had a good week overall! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

  7. #7
    Senior Member hockeymom's Avatar
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    I was kinda surprised reading your report too. We stay in Vista II and love it. I would have assumed Vista I was the same. I found the buffet to be very good also. I enjoyed the ala carte restaurants too. Yes, service is slow, but that's island time. We were never in a hurry, but then again, we didn't have children with us!! We were there in March and there were a few activities, but you are right, not all that were listed. Everyday there was pool volleyball and bingo. I did see people playing horseshoes. I didn't care to partake so I wasn't really watching. We never experience any problems getting drinks and I thought the quality was great. My boyfriend has been to many island resorts and thinks the Divi bar one of the best.

    We love the Divi for the following reasons - the beach, the relaxed atmosphere, the drinks and the availability of food whenever you want it. Always gain 5+ down there!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member dividiviprincess's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you had a good time, even if there were a few downfalls. We leave for the Divi in 11 days ! Cant wait to get there. We have never had a bad experience, and have stayed there many times over the past 6 years. I do know there are a few grumpy bartenders. But I just get my drink and walk away laughing. Poor babies have it so bad having to work on a beautiful resort, looking over an amazing beach all day LOL I think it's funny ! I would love that job ! We try to stick to Curtis. He always smiles and treats us well And for the most part most ALL of the employees are fantastic ! If you took any pics that would be great !!

  9. #9
    Senior Member katherine's Avatar
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    We actually had a good experience with the shuttles - the times we used it they were readily available and very friendly. The walk is actually very easy for able bodies - we only took the shuttle sometimes because the kids got a kick out of it.

    To Hockey mom - I actually had no problem with the room - just a warning to others who go there expecting something that it isn't. I have read so many reviews of people bashing the rooms - i think they go there with no research and are then disappointed. It was clean and comfortable, just not luxurious, and the proximity to the beach was great.

    I also am used to slow service in aruba - we are never in a big hurry - the service at times was non-existent - we would go to the buffet and sometimes not be approached once during our entire meal. I do not think it is the fault of the servers - they appeared to be stretched thin. Having served many years in hotel/restaurant business i can appreciate grumpy employees who maybe have to many guests to accommodate - even in a beautiful setting it can be taxing at times!!
    katherine




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