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Thread: My Aruba visit - 14 to 21 May 2011 (Part 3)

  1. #1
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    Smile My Aruba visit - 14 to 21 May 2011 (Part 3)

    Friday May 20th Up early and De palm tours pick us up (Albeit about 15 minutes late) once we get to the dock where you catch the ferry its chaos! People are lined up everywhere and a staff member directs us into a line, 10 minutes later she realises shes directed us into a wrong line and 30+ of us are sent to the back of a longer queue!!! Needless to say some people gave her a serve. 20 minutes later we finally get to the window, grab our tickets and board the boat. We get over to the island and a staff member gives us a quick run down on the island. We soon find out a couple of things are out of order (mainly the childrens activities) and we wanted to do the sea helmet trek, We had been advised by De Palm to book on the island..... Well we walk in and this rude woman says Who told you that you should have booked prior and then tells us the sea trek is completely booked out, needless to say I was disappointed. Letitia then decides to go on a Snuba trip, (Half diving half snorkel) as im only a beginner snorkeller Im not as confident and decide to go lay by one of the rock pools, so off she goes and after renting us a locker I go up the far end and lay on a chair near the rock pools, some very tame blue lizards are walking underneath my deckchair and I enjoy the scenery.
    Once letitia gets back we have lunch at the restaurant where as you come off the boat its the first one to the left, not the far left one, its buffet and whilst pretty ordinary food is sufficient enough. We then went on and did some snorkelling (The water was pretty choppy that day but we still saw Pufferfish, Parrotfish etc) and its pretty good from a snorkelling perspective. We then went on the banana boat which was lots of fun, unfortunately no one had prewarned me wed be thrown off, All 12 of us ended up in the water and I came to the horrible realisation once I got off the boat my locker key was now at the bottom of the Caribbean sea! After sheepishly heading back to the gift shop where Id bought it the lady was NOT happy with me but then admits the manager has the original and she will have to get it (Are you kidding me???, surely im not the first guy to have done that!) so we get into our locker, get what we need then she tells us when were leaving to let her know and we can grab the rest of our stuff.

    We end up at the bar and decide to try one of their stomach churning hot dogs, its not even real meat (I shudder to think what it could be) and we literally took one bite and threw them out!
    By then we realised it was nearly time to catch the boat back to get our bus by 4pm so we grabbed our things after getting let into the locker again (I lost my deposit which is fair enough) and got back to the bus, That night it was dinner at Barefoot I cant recommend them enough, Luc is a top bloke, my Vanilla Scallops and Pineapple Chicken were to die for!!!! And we thought it was a great meal where we sat on the beach overlooking a lightning storm. Not something you do everyday!

    Sat May 21 We get to the airport and are both on the same flight (Im heading to New York to meet a friend and Letitia is heading home to Ontario) Continental Airlines Flight 1643 is delayed and we should have left Aruba at 2pm but dont fly out until 4:30pm poor letitia missed her connecting flight. Unbelievably we ran into the couple Letitia had sat next to on the flight down on May 7, They were from new jersey and were a REALLY nice couple! They told us Continental have been delayed out of Aruba a lot recently. Queen Beatrix is a nice airport and even has a casino inside it!

    In summary I definitely preferred Curacao and found them a little bit friendlier and also found the food slightly better,
    Aruba is a place I could take or leave, It wasnt so bad Id never go back, but at the same time its not a place I feel Id rush back too. Its a shame I didnt fall in love with the place but I guess thats where personal tastes come into practice. Id like to thank Arubalisa, Andrea and everyone else for their invaluable advice over the last 18 months and please feel free to contact me if youre ever coming to Australia as im happy to give you tips/advice, as I will check my account from time to time.
    I definitely would say to first timers to stay on Palm Beach, I dont recommend the Westin though, its overpriced and kind of shabby compared to the Westins in Australia or North America. Id say pay the extra $1000 and stay at the Hyatt! Anything else you want to know feel free to message me,
    Best Wishes,
    Cameron

    P.S. Apologies this turned into 3 posts!!!!
    Last edited by Aussiecam; 09-01-2011 at 01:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    thanks for your 3 page report.
    no complaints by me re: the length!
    i love reading people's reports....as do many.

    thank you for taking the time.
    you traveled thousands of miles and did all of your homework and i am disappointed that your aruba visit was not what it should have been.

    i wish that you had eaten at more aruba restaurants instead of the american chains.
    i bet your restaurant/food reviews would have been much different if you had eaten at aruba places........off of palm beach or even tried pago pago at the westin, amadeus or madam janettes.

    thank you so much for sharing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Thank you for detailing your trip and sharing the highlights and downers.
    Some great info there for first time visitors.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gretch's Avatar
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    I really ejoyed reading your posts! I love the little details, it was like I was with you. If Curacao didn't involve taking a tiny little plane I would visit the island. I just don't think I can do it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch View Post
    I really ejoyed reading your posts! I love the little details, it was like I was with you. If Curacao didn't involve taking a tiny little plane I would visit the island. I just don't think I can do it.
    Curacao is an easy, quick 30 minute flight from Aruba. If you use DAE they do have some larger planes than Tiara or Insel if that's a concern for you.
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 -- 36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018




  6. #6
    Senior Member gretch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Amy~ View Post
    Curacao is an easy, quick 30 minute flight from Aruba. If you use DAE they do have some larger planes than Tiara or Insel if that's a concern for you.

    I'm afraid of flying...one of my biggest fears and I wish I could over come it. The scenarios that go on in my head while flying would shock you.

    I've never been on a little plane with propellers but I think i would lose my mind. 30 mins in a car is a quick trip, 30 mins in the air is like 3 hrs to me.

    I assume there is no ferry?

  7. #7
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch View Post
    I'm afraid of flying...one of my biggest fears and I wish I could over come it. The scenarios that go on in my head while flying would shock you.

    I've never been on a little plane with propellers but I think i would lose my mind. 30 mins in a car is a quick trip, 30 mins in the air is like 3 hrs to me.

    I assume there is no ferry?
    No ferry.

    DAE has two sizes of planes. The larger of the two has a capacity of 100 people and has no propellers so it would be like flying on a regular size plane. You can do it!
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 -- 36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018




  8. #8
    Senior Member gretch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Amy~ View Post
    No ferry.

    DAE has two sizes of planes. The larger of the two has a capacity of 100 people and has no propellers so it would be like flying on a regular size plane. You can do it!

    I just checked out their fleet, the pictures make them look big. This is something I am going to have to think long and hard about. Thanks, Amy!!!!

  9. #9
    Aruba since 1979
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    one of DAEs flights is jet service?

    i was able to handle the helicopter ride fine.......and i think now i can do a prop plane......not a teeney puddle jumper, but one a bit bigger.
    Quote Originally Posted by ~Amy~ View Post
    No ferry.

    DAE has two sizes of planes. The larger of the two has a capacity of 100 people and has no propellers so it would be like flying on a regular size plane. You can do it!

  10. #10
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    Yes, DAE has two plane sizes. I saw the larger of the two on the runway that morning.
    http://flydae.com/about-dae/fleet

    This is the plane we took via Tiara Air. It was a nice smooth ride - even got breakfast!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Aruba visit - 14 to 21 May 2011 (Part 3)-20.jpg  
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 -- 36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018




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