Hello all. Longtime listener, first time caller. Reading your posts here convinced me Aruba was our next vacation. As expected, we are back and already planning the next trip there. Our vacation was perfect, so I need to give back and write something for those reading in anticipation like I was doing a few weeks ago.
Flew out of the midwest early in the AM, flights were actually early to both our layover and the island. Went through customs quickly, only took about 10 minutes. Taxi line was short, and ride to Divi Golf Resort was quick. Checkin at the Golf Resort, and then a tram (golf cart) ride over to our Divi Dutch Village room. The tram driver whistled bird calls perfectly during the ride over, funny how even the small things become the most memorable. He explained where the restaurants were located, where to grocery shop and their hours, etc. Divi Dutch was perfect for us, we went non-inclusive, it had a full kitchen, separate bedroom, full living room, we were on the top (3rd) floor so the balcony had an open-air roof to view the stars. Swim suits on within a few minutes and then walked straight to the beach which was only about 200 ft from the room past the Tamarijn. The water was breathtaking, crystal clear, turquoise, sky blue, deep blue, absolutely amazing. Swam until the sun went down. Pelicans and seagulls were flying and diving for fish around us. Changed clothes, went grocery shopping ($). Went to the Tam buffet for dinner ($$), the buffet was large and very good. Walked by the night beach on the way back. Started a diary of the vacation (highly recommended, reading it now to help with this).
Woke up early, saw a small gecko on our ceiling (we took it as good luck, he was tiny). Breakfast at the Tam buffet again ($$), we had groceries but this is a vacation after all. While walking to Tam saw a nice sized iguana just roaming the grounds outside, it was a beauty. Spent the whole day at the beach. (So few words in that sentence, it does not do it justice sitting back here at home now, sigh.) Made sandwiches in the room for lunch. Tested out our masks & snorkels in the water (we are amateurs but brought our own equipment). Towards the end of the day we saw small beach crabs digging their way back to the sand's surface, it was like a tv documentary, heh. Taxi ride downtown, dinner at The Old Fisherman ($$). Back to room, gecko from ceiling was on our swim fin when we got back, gently placed him outside the room.
Made breakfast in the room, Divi had full stock of pots, pans dishes, etc. Used Google translate to identify the dutch lunchmeats from the grocery store (we had guessed right, they were turkey and chicken). Taxi to DePalm downtown, arrived early and walked around, several street market vendors setting up for the day, shopped a little. Went on the Atlantis submarine tour, it was fascinating, went 130 feet down, too many things to describe here, their webpage describes all of the sights. It was a little crowded but not uncomfortable and the a/c kept it cool. Tried to have lunch at the Hard Rock but it had moved locations, so lunch at 7 West ($), food was excellent, there were only two other couples in there for lunch. Back to the beach for the rest of the day until dark. Taxi to Texas de Brazil for dinner ($$$$), food was excellent (and plentiful). Restaurant was located by the high-rise area so walked around the shops afterwards.
Made breakfast in room. Picked up rental car (small Chevy Spark), drove to Baby Beach for the day. Drive was about 35min but we were taking our time, got to see small towns and resident homes along the way. Rented a shaded canopy and chairs for the day ($). Very calm water in front, and further back areas for snorkeling. The snorkeling was amazing, fish were right there as soon as we put our faces in the water. Also beautiful coral all over. This was a perfect place for us to snorkel for the first time (aka amateurs). Rested between dives, lunch at Big Mama's ($), food was good. Drove back, detour around construction in front of the airport, still easily made it back to hotel. Tram to Divi Aruba, did all of our souvenier shopping. Did not have reservations anywhere so could not get a table at Divi or Tam. Back to room, got room service from Mulligans ($$), it was very good. Tired after day, watched tv for a couple hours (the only tv time on the whole trip, wow).
Got up early for snorkel tour, leftover room service for breakfast. Went on the Red Sail Luncheon Snorkel & Sail tour, it included pickup and drop off. Ship was the Goza, a mid-sized catamaran. Crew was very nice, I know they have done it a thousand times but still had smiles all around (remember those little things). Snorkling at three separate stops, Catalina bay, Antilla shipwreck, and Arashi reef. Deeper waters than we had been in so far so many more fish were seen. Lunch served on boat, surprised how many items they had, all were very good. Dropped off back at Tam, and yes, we went back to the beach again until sunset. Got dressed up and went to our one romantic dinner, Passions By The Beach ($$$$). Beautiful presentation, table for two, open air, right on the edge of the beach. Food was delicious, setting was lovely, staff was wonderful, everything you would expect for a romantic dinner. Taxi back to hotel, packed up for travel home the next day.
Slept in a little, breakfast in room, down to beach by 8am for the last swim of the trip. Out of the water, packed up last items, taxi to the airport. *Several* thoughts of just ditching the tickets and staying in Aruba for the rest of our lives. Lunch at Sbarro's ($) in the airport, long flight back to the states (or maybe it just seemed that way). Home around midnight, could not wait so reviewed some of the pics on a big computer screen, many smiles.
We could still feel the motion of the waves for a couple days after returning home. On day three at home, we began checking prices and looking at vacation schedules for 2013. We will be back, soon.
We have posted several of our pictures in the gallery, check my profile for them if interested. Happy to answer any questions about Divi Dutch Village, there are not many reviews for it around and we could not have been happier there.
thanks for posting
and welcome to the aruba.com community forum
hahahahah long time listener, 1st time caller!
love your photos and your aruba story
re: hard rock cafe
did u see the sign for hard rock on a building downtown near the cruise port?
if so, that sign is misleading.
many people think that the hard rock cafe is there.......it isn't, never was .
the hard rock is up in the hi rise area........very close to where you had dinner..texas dbrazil
your photos were wonderful
yes indeed, start making plans for 2013 and tomorrow cyber monday the divi/tamarijn is having a big sale see their site online.