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Thread: Trip Report Divi AI 3/26 - 4/4

  1. #1
    Senior Member katherine's Avatar
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    Trip Report Divi AI 3/26 - 4/4

    Another wonderful family vacation in Aruba - the 10th for DH, DD and myself. This was our 2nd stay at the Divi AI - we have previously stayed at the Hyatt for 8 trips. Again i will say that the Divi has its pros and cons - but when comparing the price of staying in the High Rises it is well worth it. A stay at the Hyatt would cost twice as much and that is without food and drink.

    We had a smooth trip down and were met by Bully's friend Ivan. We arrived at the Divi around 2:30 pm and our rooms were ready. We had requested to be in the Vista buildings, which is where we stayed last year, but were put in the Lanai Bldg. At first I was upset about it, but there was no availability in the Vistas so we could not move. The rooms were of equal quality and we were right on the beach, we just liked the proximity of the Vista building to the pool, restaurants etc. especially for the children. If we return next year I would like to stay in the Vista Bldgs again.

    We spent most of our days just hanging out at the beach and pool. We did go out with Cerry for a 3 hour tour one day - after 10 visits i figured it was about time I saw some to the sights!! Went to the Natural Bridge, Gold Smelting Ruins, Ayo Rock Formations, the Donkey Sanctuary and the Lighthouse. I would have liked to have seen more, but 3 hours was about all the younger kids could handle. After the tour we were met at the divi by a rep from the ATA and were presented our 10 year Distinguished Guest Awards. My dd is so proud of this award - she will not let anyone touch hers and was very excited to bring it to school when we returned.
    On Friday Night we went on the Jolly pirate sunset sail for the 3rd time -again it did not disappoint - it is fun for kids and grown ups alike. Hoping when the kids are older to try the longer snorkel and sail outing.

    One night we went to the Magic Show at the Westin. Somebody just posted that they did not like the show, but we had a good time. My kids loved it!! The audience was small and intimate, and everyone got a chance to participate. It was part magic, part comedy. I was not watching super carefully, but i did not think the tricks were easy to figure out as stated by the other reviewer. The show is expensive $40 for adults and $20 for kids, which may be alot to spend for one hour - but i guess that is what vacation is about sometimes.

    As far as meals went we mostly ate at the resort. I would again say the breakfast buffet and lunch buffet are pretty good. There is always something to eat. Mostly I stick to the fresh egg station and toast for breakfast, and the salad bar or cheeseburgers and fries for lunch. Some food was suspect, but that is typical of buffets. My kids liked the pasta station for lunch. We also got pizzas at the bars some days which are very good. Not a fan of the desserts, but got my fill of ice cream at the machine. Dinner is more of a disappointment for us. I am not sure if the A La Cart restaurants are worth it. We only went to Ginger and Papparazzi this year. We could not get reservations for the times we wanted, and when we got to the restaurants they seemed empty. Especially Ginger, there were only 3 other tables when we got there at 7:30 and only one other came in while we were there. In the end the food at both places was not that good. Last year we had a pretty good meal at Papparazzi, but this years meal was not as good. Ginger was very disappointing. The sushi has no fish in it, the tempura vegetable consisted of mostly green peppers and onions which I found odd, and the main dishes tasted like bad, salty chinese food. Although my daughter had the noodles which were pretty good. In my opinion you are better off eating dinner at the buffet. You don't have to worry about reservations, we never had a problem getting a table, even at 7 pm or later. We did go out for dinner 3 nights. El Gaucho was delicious as always and Smokey Joe's again was wonderful - I dream about their Grandmas Lemondade and Ribs!! We did try a new place this year - Daniels on Palm Beach which was disappointing. At 7 pm on a Saturday night it was empty, and while the food was good (other than the sausage on the mixed grill plate which smelled and tasted rotten)- it was way overpriced, even by Aruba Standards. I would not go back there - for the money you can get better.

    I found that the mixed drinks at the resort were not always great. They do offer a good selection liquor and beer however. Randolph and Brendia were the best (and friendliest) bartenders.

    Again the Divi was a good value for us. The level of service and amenities may not be what we got used to at the Hyatt, but for the money we saved it was worth it. I also find that i like the more laid back atmosphere and you can't beat walking right out of your room and onto the beautiful beach. We are definitely going back to Aruba next spring break and will most likely choose the Divi again. On a side note we did notice that Costa Linda looked nice and may look more into this as a possible destination. So if anyone has 2 cents to put in on the CL let me know your opinion.
    katherine




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  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    thank you for your report.
    boy, that was a quick vacation!

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    Senior Member katherine's Avatar
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    Forgot to apologize to hockeymom - we were the people Bully took to the airport an hour before you. I guess our paths may have crossed at the airport as well, but we never realized it!
    katherine




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    Senior Member DANNYO's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report,glad you had a wonderful vacation....

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    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to write a review.

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    Senior Member hockeymom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katherine View Post
    Forgot to apologize to hockeymom - we were the people Bully took to the airport an hour before you. I guess our paths may have crossed at the airport as well, but we never realized it!
    Ha - that's funny. I saw Bully out front waiting for someone when we were going into lunch - had to have one last meal!! I was hoping I hadn't told him the wrong time and went back out to check and he was gone. He was so good to tell the Bellman that someone would be coming for us! Quite a guy - a true gentleman. The woman he sent was very nice too. I've used Bully's service 3 times now and every time - no matter if it was he or one of his representatives - they have been great!! I thought it was funny that everyone at the hotel knew him too - it was like the mayor of Aruba had pulled up when he dropped us off!

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    Senior Member katherine's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention that we really liked the new pool area at the Divi - the wading pool - although it has chairs in it for sunbathing - was great for my 3 year old and other small children to use at times for a play area. The main pool does not have a shallow area, so it is hard for small ones to go in without an adult. The new cabanas provide more shade and seating and the new deck looks nice - although you cannot walk on it barefoot during the day - it gets really hot - I burned my feet a couple of times!!

    DH is also disappointed that I did not mention that he finally managed a full flip off the rope swing on the Jolly pirate ship - after 3 years of trying!! The highlight of his trip!!
    katherine




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    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katherine View Post
    DH is also disappointed that I did not mention that he finally managed a full flip off the rope swing on the Jolly pirate ship - after 3 years of trying!! The highlight of his trip!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member hockeymom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katherine View Post
    Forgot to mention that we really liked the new pool area at the Divi - the wading pool - although it has chairs in it for sunbathing - was great for my 3 year old and other small children to use at times for a play area. The main pool does not have a shallow area, so it is hard for small ones to go in without an adult. The new cabanas provide more shade and seating and the new deck looks nice - although you cannot walk on it barefoot during the day - it gets really hot - I burned my feet a couple of times!!

    DH is also disappointed that I did not mention that he finally managed a full flip off the rope swing on the Jolly pirate ship - after 3 years of trying!! The highlight of his trip!!
    What day were you on the Jolly Pirates? We went on March 30th. I saw a few guys doing flips. We didn't do the rope swing this year. Have done it a few times - enough! Not pretty!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member katherine's Avatar
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    We went on the sunset cruise on April 1 - Hoping to do a day snorkel trip when the kids are older. Right now they are too young to snorkel and two hours is all they can handle.
    katherine




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