Our flights were with Jet Blue – direct Boston to Aruba. Both flights were smooth and hassle free. I love Jet Blue and since they are the only option for a direct flight out of Boston we will continue to fly with them each year. Their customer service is spot on each and every time.
Our vacation was January 31 – February 14th; we stayed at Oceania in the Boca Grande building. This year there were three of us; we had a two bedroom, three bathroom condo on the ground floor that I found using VRBO.com. We have been vacationing on Aruba for well over 20 years now and have stayed at many different hotels and timeshare resorts. After having making the move to a private condo (Oceania) three years ago, I don’t see us switching back. We realize that this may not be the choice for everyone but we really appreciate the flexibility of staying in a privately owned property and having such a beautiful location such as Oceania is icing on the cake for us. We thoroughly enjoy all four pools, beautiful Eagle Beach and the ease of finding a hut not matter the time of day at either location.
We time our visit each year to coincide with Carnival because we enjoy attending the Lighting Parade and Grand Carnival Sunday and any other Carnival events we may find our way to along the way. We have a longtime friend who lives on the parade route and are able to enjoy the parades from his front yard while visiting with his friends and family. We are always welcomed with open arms and have known most of his friends and family for many years and have had the joy of watching his children grow up along the way. All of this adds to why we plan our vacation the way we do year after year. This year the added benefit was meeting and seeing Tom and Leslie & Scott while enjoying Grand Carnival Sunday. Boy was that a fun parade – VERY HOT but oh so much fun. Next year is the 60th anniversary of Carnival in Aruba and promises to be a huge event. I can’t wait!
Most days we spent at Oceania in one of the pools or across the street on our little stretch of Eagle Beach. We did force ourselves to visit other beaches every once and a while. We spent some time at Arashi, Moomba and Nikki. We really enjoyed spending an afternoon at Arashi – the beach was quiet because it was the end of the day and the water was clear, warm and beautiful. We spend probably three days at Nikki Beach; we loved the chair mattresses with the sheet service. Jorge and his team of servers were great to us; we did experience several miscommunications due to the language barrier but worked through them with little a little extra work. Surfside beach was “our” beach for all the years we stayed at The Talk of The Town and is a tried and true favorite of ours. I love sitting there and watching the planes come in all day. The water is calm and usually clear to the bottom – very easy entry with very little waves if any.
Now for Moomba beach. I have to start by saying that we really love the beach, the location and all the nearby attractions. However, we really have an issue with the couple who run the Pair-A-Dice chair rental at Moomba. For those of you who don’t know - there are two types of chairs at Moomba – the yellow are free to anyone and the white ones (with umbrellas) are rented by this couple. I have said it before and I will say it again – I have no issue with people trying to make a living renting items on the beach. I have an issue with rude, argumentative people who disrespect the very people they are trying to make a living off of. The day we were there the gentleman owner of Pair-A-Dice picked a fight with a CPV owner after she tried to move her yellow chair. She tried to respectfully disagree with him but he quickly escalated the issue by yelling at her loud enough to draw the attention of everyone on the beach. By the time he was done yelling at her he said and I am quoting here “why don’t you just stay at your hotel”. I posted my thoughts and feelings about this encounter on the Aruba FB page moments after it happened. My issue with this guy is that he continues to be the Bully On The Beach at Moomba. Plenty of people have complained about him yet he continues to harass people who don’t rent from him. The Aruba Tourism Board should sit on the beach every once and a while to actually see how he treats people. I would think that this is not the image they would like people to take away from their stay in Aruba – especially cruise people whose only experience on Aruba may just be with this guy. He is definitely not a true Aruban Ambassador.
Okay – stepping off my soap box now.
I will type up our restaurant reviews separately and post them accordingly. Sorry to make this so long but I have a hard time editing my thoughts and comments when discussing Aruba. ;-)
We were sad and surprised to see two weeks pass by so quickly – but now we can start dreaming of next year’s trip. We should start planning for that by mid-summer. . . just in time for the good weather here in New England.
Have a great day and thanks for reading my review.