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 it’s chaos! People are lined up everywhere and a staff member directs us into a line, 10 minutes later she realises she’s 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 children’s 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 I’m 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 it’s the first one to the left, not the far left one, it’s 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 it’s pretty good from a snorkelling perspective. We then went on the banana boat which was lots of fun, unfortunately no one had prewarned me we’d 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 I’d 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 we’re 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, it’s 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 can’t 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 don’t 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 wasn’t so bad I’d never go back, but at the same time it’s not a place I feel I’d rush back too. It’s a shame I didn’t fall in love with the place but I guess thats where personal tastes come into practice. I’d 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 you’re 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 don’t recommend the Westin though, it’s overpriced and kind of shabby compared to the Westin’s in Australia or North America. I’d say pay the extra $1000 and stay at the Hyatt! Anything else you want to know feel free to message me,
P.S. Apologies this turned into 3 posts!!!!