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Thread: My Aruba visit - 14 to 21 May 2011 (Part 1)

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Smile My Aruba visit - 14 to 21 May 2011 (Part 1)

    Hi Everyone, Well here it is a little over 3 months down the track since I got home and I still haven’t written my review on Aruba. Was it really that long ago? I may have to split this into a couple of parts as it’s going to be long! So here goes.....
    I left Australia on Monday May 2 bound for Toronto (Canada) after flying out of my home airport (Melbourne) and 3 airlines later I passed through Brisbane, Los Angeles and finally landed in Toronto around 6pm, After seeing some friends I hadn’t seen in 2 years before I knew it 6 days had passed and on the morning of Sat May 7 my travel buddy Letitia and I were up at the crack of dawn, heading down the freeway through Missisauga on our way to the Park N Fly and from there took the shuttle to Lester Pearson Intl Airport,
    As it turned out we hadn’t been able to get on the same flights (She decided to join me after I’d already booked) so her flight was at 8am to Newark and then on to Aruba with continental, and mine was Air Canada flight 1294 leaving at 11:50am. After we’d parted ways with a “See you in Aruba” I managed to get lounge access (Air Canada) and whiled the time away on the internet, breakfast etc
    My flight was called and I ended up on a window seat (Yay!) 4 hours and 50 mins later the captain announced we were descending and I could see the Palm Beach area as we landed, it was more beautiful than pictures could show. After clearing immigration I ended up having to wait in the arrivals hall for an hour as Letitia’s flight was delayed. She finally came through and we raced over to DAE and caught our connecting flight to Curacao (if anyone wants my thoughts on Curacao feel free to ask me), A week later Sat May 14 after a fantastic week in Curacao we flew back to Aruba and after clearing immigration again we found people handing out brochures and coupons (Unfortunately some had expired in 2010!) and headed to our hotel (The Westin) in palm Beach via a cab. The cab driver was friendly enough and passed out restaurant/activity cards he recommended. We get to the hotel and the lobby looks nice and full of life.....then it starts “We’re so sorry Cameron but we only have a King Room will that do? (We had requested 2 double beds as we’re just friends nothing more....) after I told them very politely no that wouldn’t do they agreed to comp us a cot and move us the next morning. So we get to our first oceanview room on the 6th floor. It’s run down, stains everywhere and for a supposedly 4 star hotel room we were dumbfounded, (Especially when we were paying $250 AUD a night!) however we figure we’re only in this room overnight let’s just enjoy ourselves! So off we went for a walk down the beach and ended up having dinner at the beachside “Gilligans” at the Radisson Resort (In between the Hyatt and Westin). The staff were friendly and the meals were really good! I highly recommend the “Chicken lasagne”. After that we wandered back to the resort talked to the birds (Letitia fell in love with the cockatoo Rosy) and then decided being a Saturday night we were going to head out. We ended up walking into the main Palm beach precinct and found “Senor Frogs” (Not far from Soenchi, Hard Rock etc) to drown our sorrows a bit let’s just say we had a few too many tequila shots and stumbled back to the hotel around 2am (hahaha!) great and fun bar by the way!
    The next morning (Sunday 15th May) we got up and went back downstairs to change rooms, They told us to wait 5 minutes and they’d issue us a new room, 30 minutes later we’re still sitting in the lobby!!! And they keep telling us 5 more minutes... 5 more minutes, Anyway an hour and a half later!!!! Of us sitting in the lobby they finally say to us “Oh why don’t you go off and come back in an hour” wish they’d told us that earlier, Letitia manages to get the room number they think we’re going to be in and we head to “The terrace” restaurant which is a restaurant in the resort. The fish tacos are AMAZING!!! After we finished lunch and were amused by an iguana and 2 birds fighting for food we went up to the “Pelican Tours” desk and booked parasailing. We head back to reception and pick up our bags, keycard and head to our new room which is on the 7th floor and also has an oceanview. The room is a little less run down but still quite worn. We were also disappointed that after all that not one person at the Westin even said sorry for the inconvenience.

    After getting changed in the room we head down to the pelican beach hut. (In between the Westin and Riu palace) We meet Glenn who is a REALLY nice guy and we wait for the boat. The guys who picked us up weren’t overly friendly and gave us very quick instructions, before we know it we’re strapped in and away we go!!! Parasailing was amazing!!!! I highly recommend the views and we were blown away by the different colours of the water once up there.
    After parasailing we head to the pool and spend a couple of hours vegging out, That night we end up at “Hard Rock Cafe” in palm beach and then checked out the water show at the paseo herencia mall.
    The next day (Monday 16th May) we decide to do the Wave Runners, We book that tour again through Pelican Tours and have lunch at the Westin restaurant “Blossoms” the food was good and I recommend the sweet and sour pork. Then it’s off to meet Glenn again at his hut,
    We get picked up by boat and are taken to manchebo beach where (And no I’m not kidding) a child of no more than 10 comes running up to me , puts on my life jacket and explains how to use the wave runners/jet Ski’s) We are then told not to go past where the sea goes from cobalt blue to dark blue (Easier said then done when you’re out there) and 2 markers on the beach. After 30 minutes of speeding up and down the beach we are then taken back, We had opted to use our own jet Ski’s although you can do tandem, Letitia asked them to take a photo of her on her jet Ski and allegedly got a bit of attitude from them, Again not the friendliest bunch.
    Then it was on to Amsterdam manor, I had spoken to Aruba Amy prior to leaving and I had told her we would try to drop by the beachside bar to meet some of the Aruba board crew. I met Amy and letitia and I got talking to her and her husband Mike for awhile (Lovely people by the way) and then everyone parted ways, We ended up walking back to the hotel and along the way met a british Couple on their honeymoon. We got talking and then we decided to go to Soenchi Aruban Cuisine on palm beach, The meals were extremely slow but I had the Grouper which was average, however I ordered the “Tear Drop” for dessert which is basically a huge ice sculpture with exotic fruits and meringues carved into it, Something I’d never indulged in before and I’ve got to say it was pretty good!
    Last edited by Aussiecam; 09-01-2011 at 12:39 AM. Reason: Trying to increase text size

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    [SIZE="3"]awesome so far. thanks.
    i am sorry to hear that your rooms were not up to snuff at the westin and you found some of the people not as friendly as you'd hoped.

    could you increase the font size of your posts?
    go yo edit at the bottom of your post and then highlight your post and increase from a 2 to a 3 ?

    ok, i am now off to read part 2!

  3. #3
    Senior Member ~Amy~®'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hi Cameron! So glad we were able to meet you and Letitia for a couple of drinks!
    Looks like Australia is not going to happen for us this year (thank you for all of your advice regarding the logistics of various cities/places of interest.) We definitely need to plan about 3 weeks there instead of the 10-12 days we originally thought so we need to plan this trip a little more carefully.

    Loved reading your trip report!
    "The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts." - - Marcus Aurelius

    33rd trip to Aruba - May 2016
    San Fran/Napa Valley - Sept. 2016
    Barcelona, Mallorca, and Andorra - Nov. 2016

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