WOW! I can now understand the 'why' part of why so many of you return to Aruba frequently. As I write this, my girls are passed asleep from a fun day at Renaissance Island.
The fun 'trek' to Aruba started Friday Morning and it takes 3 planes and all day to get to Aruba. The last flight was the most "eventful" in that we were leaving Miami but the flight was delayed an hour while the crew was LOOKING FOR 2 PAGGANGERS. Hmm... ok let's make an full plane of people wait until we locate these 2 passangers --- I didn't get it. However, the American Airlines employee told me that since the flight was international and the passangers bags were already on the plane then they would need to either locate the passangers or locate and remove their bags off the plane <sigh>. The people finally boarded and alot of people clapped and the back half of plane BOOed.
We had confirmed our pick-up with Bully the Taxi Driver we found on this thread for the initial 9:30pm arrival. He was there waiting at 11pm for us outside the glass doors with his sign. Thank you Arubalisa for a picture of him on the Aruba Bound website because I was able to quickly spot him and started waving frantically -- 'WE ARE HERE WE ARE HERE' ha... ; ) He took us to the Ocean Suites and we were finally here... but ......
After 14 hours 'door to door', with 2 little ones we were READY to get to the room. The computers were down <another sigh> and the guy behind the counter took 30 min to get us checked in while he was looking for a room for us. We finally made it to the room... 4th floor pool & ocean views --- but not a timeshare room. We booked thru Interval International via timeshare exchange and the room we should have received would have been a bit larger, with some burners, fridge, dining table -- etc.. none of those things were in the 'suite'. The kids were passed asleep and we spoke to manager on duty said he would 'switch' us in the morning (mind you I had already unpacked half our stuff ---ugh. <yes another sigh>.
This morning we made the move to a 5th floor room that faces Ocean only and over looks Renaissance Island as well -- WOW -- really really amazing and the room is a timeshare unit! Come to find floors 1, 3 & 5 are the timeshare floors. Anyways -- we re-unpacked and cooked breakfast in the room. We ended up at the Renaissance Island and the only word I can say is HEAVEN!
It was at that moment when I finally thought -- I am now on vacation. ; ) .... Rob/Cindy-O => Guess who came to us as a waiter??? --- Jorge! I told him I had read so many wonderful comments about him on this thread and he was a bit overwhelmed and shy about it all. He was so great -- you are right. He brought the girls strawberry and peach smoothies and we played and had lunch and played some more. Our favorite part of the Island (not that we saw it all) was the section at the 'back' of the beach/water where the beach comes back up and you can stand (near the back rocks). Mom & Dad 'layed out' there while the kids packed us with sand as they stood in 12 inches of water... very very relaxing setting.
One last Jorge comment --- he told his manager what I had mentioned and she came over and asked for the website address so she can see what you all say about Jorge --- Jorge was so happy!
Heading out soon -- will write more tomorrow and download pictures once I return.
The temp. is PERFECT here!
THANK YOU ALL -- for all your comments and suggestions to all my questions. I was able to learn so much from all your advise.
Coqui...We travel with 25-40 people every year. Jorge may be confused as we all tackle him when we arrive...we're the one's ( cindy and rob) who sent him the photo Christmas card that he carried around...He'll know who we are...we're with rick, jen, sherri, pete etc from Massachusetts...
Also, check out the red sail shop and say hi to Innia, she's a peach. She'll also remember us. She sent us an Aruba t shirt when my daughter spilled bleach on her favorite one.
NOW...what did I tell you...love that private island. I think when you get to your next destination you will miss that place !!!!! No fighting for recliners, no general public....keep us posted..and ENJOY !!! cindy and rob
Coqul, Thanks for sharing the start of what we all hope,is a great vacation in Aruba.Yes ,now you will start to see why we all love and call this little island our home away from home.ENJOY your vacation...
Arubalisa--- HA -- ok, I must admit that I am a bit of an over planner. I think it is from all the Disney World Trip we go to. I actually have spreadsheets of what activities, parades, shows, etc by park/day. My thinking is -- 'this is a vacation and I would rather not think about what to do'. For this Aruba Trip I tried to plan the same - hehehehe-- we have an agenda and sometimes follow it -- sometimes don't -- we try and go with the flow of the moment -- but if all else fail --- we have a fallback plan. So... yes agree on there are a ton of 'would like to do's' on our plan -- if we do it great -- if we don't -- great. I am just so thrilled to be here .
This afternoon --- we hit the happy hour! Wow the 2x1 drinks are a steal and I didn't have to do anything. I think we tried 6 different ones and my favorite was the tropical colada. Any suggestions on what else I should try! After getting ready we walked over to Iguana Joes. Again, I think we tried a bunch of different things. My husband got the grouper and I had the Mahi Mahi fajitas -- delicious! The girls shared the Igua-Na-Nachos (YUMM) and the cuban rice and beans (wouldn't recommend this as I am Puerto Rican and have a bit of high expectations on rice & beans and these weren't too good). The Sangria was great too. We ended up with a couple Iguana Joes t-shirts and a full belly for the walk back to the Ocean Suites. WONDERFUL breeze at the restaurant that was outdoors on 2nd floor. My husband is an AC fanatic so was a bit hesitant but when we looked up and I showed him all the other restaurants were open air he thought -- well here goes -- HA! He had the best time of all....
Back at hotel and hubby putting babies down before we have 'movie night' -- I know Arubalisa -- that wasn't in the schedule LOL...
Coqui, don't know if you realize it or not, but you can take the golf cart back and forth to the Marina towers. If you have groceries to pick up there is also hong king behind the marina towers. ALso walking distance is Casa Tua, which has great pizza, and Rumba below it for a great breakfast. Have a blast....I am sure you found Dunkin donuts,right?
I am sure that Jorge will remember us as the Red Sox fans who sent him the Christmas card with our daughters on it. We are always there in April. I do a lot of fishing off of the dock behind the restaurant on the private island....and gave him a good size fish to take home this year.
Try Maracas between the Taco Bell and Dunkin Dounts in the middle of the Seaport Mall for some real cheap drinks!
1. Renaissance private island 2. Sunsets from our room 3. Baby beach 4. Alto Vista Chapel 5. Hiking Hooiberg 6. lighthouse and cunucu exploring 7. all the restaurants 8. Crystal and Seaport casinos 9. charlie's Bar 10. Downtown Orangestad.
Keep those reports coming! We have 119 days till we get back for our 14th year. I can see and feel everything you guys are doing as you detail your trip. THANKS!
You guys might like to try the Dutch Pancake house for a quick breakfast. The Poffertjis are highly recommended. Usually with butter, cinnamon and extra powdered sugar.