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Thread: Trip Report: Divi All-Inclusive 03/05/08 - 03/12/08

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    Trip Report: Divi All-Inclusive 03/05/08 - 03/12/08

    Hey Everyone! Just got back from our first trip to Aruba. And Wow Ö it was amazing. I learned so much from reading trip reports and advice on this forum, so I wanted to share ours in hopes that others might find it helpful or entertaining or at least not a terrible way to kill some time. Iíll try to get the full report done soon but in the meantime Iíll post it in parts as I get each day done. I am doing it all from memory so if I forget something Iíll go back and edit it if I can. Enjoy!

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    Wednesday (03/05/08) Ė Up at 3:15AM after exactly 23 minutes of sleep. Jumped in the shower, loaded up the last minute things in the carry-onís and loaded the car. Decided to skip breakfast and just figured we would grab something at the airport. This turned out to be not such a good idea. Arrived at Logan a little before 4am and had no problems checking in and going thru security. Our flight to Philly was scheduled to leave at 5:30 so we had more than an hour to kill after getting to the gate, which was right past security and the food court. This is where not eating breakfast came back to haunt me. Nothing really started opening until around 5am. So I grabbed some juice and a ham and cheese croissant from Au-Bon-Pain and inhaled it in about 23 seconds Ö 5 minutes before the flight started boarding. Flight took off just about on time. We were scheduled to arrive in PHL at 6:35 and depart for AUA at 7:10am. We got off the plane and started the walk to the next gate. After about 5 minutes of a casual walk we hear an announcement Ö ďThis is the final boarding call for US Airways flight 853 to Aruba.Ē I stop walking, look at Emily, look at the time and blurt out a 4-letter word. I knew we were a little late getting to the gate but didnít know exactly what time it was. Me and someone else immediately start sprinting, leaving our significant others behind. I run and run and run and run. But I am still not close to the gate. I am out of breath and slow down and enter a brisk walk. The guy who started running with me must have done more than just tanning at the gym because he was in much better shape and he ran past me after I slowed down. I finally made it to the gate a little bit after him completely out of breath. Emily was still nowhere in sight. The people at the gate were pretty nice and told me to sit down and catch my breath. Emily finally made it to the gate and we went thru a security search and were the very last ones on the plane. About halfway through the flight 2 of the 4 bathrooms on the plane became out of service. At about the same time I started to not feel so good, and of course there is a line to the bathrooms for the rest of the flight. I think the lack of sleep, not eating a decent breakfast and sprinting through PHL finally got to me. I spent the remainder of the flight with the airsick bag in my hand trying my hardest not to get sick. We landed in Aruba with the airsick bag empty and cannot wait to just get to the hotel and relax. After going through customs we get out luggage and I head to the bathroom to change into shorts and a t-shirt. Outside the first thing we see is a wild dog. I wanted to pet it but after thinking about it for .6 seconds I decided it was a bad idea. My friend told me not to feel bad for the dogs roaming the island. That is just how they are and they learn to survive just fine on their own. There was a line of cabs waiting and the wait went by pretty quickly thanks to a local (Aruba Charlie?) hailing them and loading them. We arrived at the Divi via taxi around 2pm and were able to check in to our room right away. We ended u getting the building requested (Veranda) and we loved it! We were in from 7206 (2nd floor first door at the top of the stairs.) We arrived at the room with them fixing the AC but they were done within 2 minutes and the room was nice and cool. We took a few pictures and I thought we were going to go eat. However Emily said she just wanted to unpack now so she didnít have to deal with it later. I pouted around while Em unpacked 2 months worth of clothes and I ended up eating ice to prevent myself from passing out. While unpacking I made a deal with her. If she wore every single article of clothing for a least 1 hour during the weekís trip she would not have to pay me for her half of the trip. If she didnít she would have to admit she way over-packed and tell me I was right and she should have listened to me while packing. (I EASILY won this bet). We finally made it over to the buffet just before they closed at 3pm. I had a burger, Panini, fries, fish, rice and maybe a few other things. I was very hungry. The food honestly wasnít half bad. I was expecting the worst when it came to the quality. It wasnít the best food ever but it was better than my college cafeteria food. We spent the next few hours on the beach. We walked around the Divi and took some pictures of the different areas until the sunset. (Side note: Iíll try and post all the pictures once I get them on the computer and developed. Em took quite a few with her camera and I have a roll of underwater pics from snorkeling.) We got back to the room and sat out on the patio with a few drinks. Our room was not freezing cold. I tried turning it down but the AC unit would just stay on. After about an hour I finally called the front desk and they sent someone up. I showed them how I was turning the unit down via the panel switch control on the wall right below it but then felt really stupid when he showed the AC remote control on the wall just behind me. Oops. We decided to go back to dinner at the buffet which featured a Greek-ish kind of menu I think. They had lamb, prime rib, potatoes with beef and cheese, meatballs (which I think were more like breadcrumbballs) and a bunch of other things. Again, not half bad. Washed it down with a few glasses of wine. We ate outside on the terrace and there was a band playing at the bar right there. We walked the long way back to the room. And went for a quick dip in the pool. We ended up going to the Alhambra Casino that night. It was much smaller than I expected. I played a few hands of Caribbean Stud but left after about a half-hour after breaking even. The one drawback about the casino was the smoke but oh well, what can ya do? We took the shuttle back to the Divi (I know its close but we were tired and had a long day). Stopped at the Pizza bar for a Quatro Queso Pizza and a drink. We walked back to the room and went to bed around 10:30 or so after a looooonnnnggg day.

    To be continued Ö
    Brandon

    Next Aruba trip in

  2. #2
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    Sounds good so far, can hardly wait to read the rest. 25 more days till the Tam....

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    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Brandon, keep writing, i love it so far......from an ole' Bostonian....

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    Senior Member DANNYO's Avatar
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    Bad start but we know it has to get better,cant wait to hear the rest....

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    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    What a nice surprise! This will surely help the next 90 days pass. Keep it coming.

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    Thursday Ė Our alarm went off at 9am and I think we snoozed until about 9:45. I finally convinced Em to get up first and take a shower while I snoozed a little more. After getting ready and applying sun-block (30 minutes before going in the sun) we make it down to the buffet right before they close breakfast. I had some scrambled eggs, bacon, english muffin and OJ. We discuss what we want to do for the day and get a drink at the bar. We walk around and we take a few more pictures. She wanted to book a massage for Sunday on the beach for her and our friend (who will be arriving on Saturday). It turns out they only offer 50 minute massages because the Spa closes early and they take a 2 hour lunch. We hold off on booking that and go to the concierge. We ask them to make reservations for El Gauchos for Friday night and they are more than happy to do so. We also book reservations for the Palm grill for that night. We head off to the beach and that is where we spend most of the day. I usually hate the water at beaches mainly because my huge childish fear of stepping on a crap while in the water. I am told there are no crabs in Aruba (Which was a blatant lie that I somehow believed). The water was awesome. I floated around on a raft for a while and Em happily read on the beach. After about a half hour of napping I find the tide has drifted me away from our spot on the beach. I casually paddle back to the spot on the beach but realize I am getting nowhere. I finally suck it up, paddle ashore and walk to our spot on the beach. I get bored at the beach quickly and Em would sleep on the beach if they let her. I convince her to go get some lunch. I wanted to walk over to the Tam and she wanted to go to the buffet about 30 steps away. She always wins so I just sucked it up and went to the buffet again. After lunch we started to go back to the beach but heard and announcement for BINGO. We sat around and played BINGO for a while. It was pretty fun and the bingo caller kept it interesting. All the winners were given a t-shirt and a bottle of wine or champagne. There was a group of about 5 older people under one of the tent things by the pool. They ended up winning 3 of the games. I tried to tell Emily it was rigged but she told me to be quiet. We went back to the beach for a while and then did the t-shirt cutting activity. I hated it but she liked it so I sucked it up and helped her. The t-shit came out pretty good and Iím sure Iíll be able to pawn it off as a souvenir to someone. Before dinner we decided to sign up for the Divi Wi-Fi. We got the 4 day package for $35. We liked the idea of being able to use it from our room. I was able to check emails from school and work and she was able to do a little bit of work to lighten her load when we came back from vacation. It turned out to not be worth the money. Most of the time we could not connect to the network. We could connect everything was VERY slow. The few times it was moving at a decent speed it would stop and freeze up. Of the 4 days we had it we probably were able to use it a total of 2 hours. Oh well next time we will try a network card rental or something. Got to the Palm Grill about 10 minutes late for our 5:30 reservations but it was no problem because there was only one other table of people there. The card said we may be seated with another couple but we ended up being alone. I thought the idea of the restaurant and overall experience was awesome. In the center of the table there is a faint ring. Inside that ring becomes your grill. You were given a choice of 2 meats. They bring over stir-fry veggies and your meat and you cook your own dinner. They also bring over French fries, rice and sauces. I had the chicken and beef and Em had the Beef and Swordfish. After dinner we went back to the room and got ready to go out. We took a cab downtown and had no plan of what to really do. She wanted to shop but we quickly learned that all the stores close at 6:30. We ended up at Senor Frogs and got some drinks. It was pretty empty inside but the staff still did a good job of keeping it fun. We were given name tags. She was ďBoss LadyĒ and I was ďYes DearĒ They brought out inappropriate signs and put them behind unsuspecting people. Spray people with the huge carbon dioxide cans and dance on stage. During one song the staff came over and started dancing with significant others. One guy came over and asked if he could dance with Emily and I told him to be my guest and that I would pay him if he wanted me to. They danced and I took pictures. As for the restaurant part of Senor Frogs it seemed to be a little over priced. We looked at a menu but we really didnít see anything that caught out eye especially for the prices ($14 nachos). There were no prices on drinks so when the bill came I was a little shocked to see the total of $30 for only 2 drinks. We each got one middle (ďPalmĒ) sized drink. Oh well at least we got to take out palm trees plastic drink cups home with us (These may end up being souvenirs for my sisters.) We walk downtown a little and find ourselves at the Crystal Casino. We walk around and she sits down at a slot machine. I need to use the little boys room and once I enter I donít want leave. The bathrooms are very nice and I feel like there should have been a guy selling me things at the sink. We lose about $20 each and head out to catch a taxi back to the Divi. We end up at the Pizza Bar before going back to the room. We each try our first Balashi. She isnít a big beer drinker so I end up having to finish hers. I end up liking the beer. It isnít my favorite but given the choice of Balashi, Miller Lite or Heniken, I would take Balashi any day. It seemed to have a little bit of an aftertaste but then again Iím certainly no beer connoisseur. She has a pizza and I have a sandwich and we also order another pizza to take back to the room with our drinks of the day and popcorn. We sit on the patio and try to check some emails but it didnít work. We then head to bed with a nice first full day on the island under our belts.

    More to come Ö
    Brandon

    Next Aruba trip in

  7. #7
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your internet connection. We purchased 12 nights worth at the Tamarijn in December and it was working fine back then. Presumably all on the same network with the Divi, Divi Village, Villas and Dutch Village.

    Keep the story coming...

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    Sounds Great - I Am Counting Down To April 9th!!!!!

    Joanie

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    Hey everyone! Sorry I just haven't had a chance to post the rest of the report along with the pictures. I was swamped with class and work since we got back. I am going to try and get the pictures uploaded, the underwater camera developed and the rest of the report done by tomorrow.

    (Only 354 more days til I go back. I don't know if I should be happy or sad. Hahaha)
    Brandon

    Next Aruba trip in

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    Pictures

    Here are some of the pictures from our trip. I hope the link works. If not, let me know and I will try to post them up on the Gallery on this site. Enjoy!

    http://www2.snapfish.com/shareereg/p...=SYE/otsi=SALB
    Brandon

    Next Aruba trip in

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