Arrived in Aruba on October 5th, a little late because we had to wait in Miami for a plane to come in from NY. AA said there was a mechanical problem but when the NY plane landed there was about 5 passengers they had been waiting for. The passengers were a little bittersweet getting on the plane because they had first class tickets but their seats were given away. They had to sit in coach but were told they could have anything they wanted--just not the first class seats!!
The weather when we arrived was perfect. We met Hans and were on our way to La Cabana in no time. Stopped at Ling and Sons for supplies for our first week there. Because we were late getting in, the store wasn't crowded and we were on our way to check in at La Cabana. Check-in went smoothly and we were headed to the Pata Pata Bar for some refreshments. While there we met a very nice couple who was staying a ABC but walked up to La Cabana for their "happy hour". Apparently, La Cabana's "happy hour" is very popular especially on the weekends. Also was greeted by La Cabana friend Diane from NH. So happy to see so many familiar faces at the pool deck.
We had a bite to eat and then headed up to Marriott's Stellaris Casino. This has always been our favorite casino but not this year. Actually, that was the only time we visited this casino on our whole trip this time. Spent most of our casino time at the Alahambra. I had off and on luck at the tables and Kathy had a few good and profitable nights at the new slots. The casino was always very busy and a fun place to be. Also visited the Cool Casino at the Rui a few times and walked away a winner at least once. Didn't like the casino at the Radisson or the Westin. All in all, we had fun at the casinos and didn't lose too much. Can't wait for the casino at La Cabana to open.
Weather was good for the first two weeks, but the third week was overcast the whole week because of Sandy. Even though, this never kept us off the beach. One day we witnessed a tornadic water spout which did a little damage to some house shingles. Again, the pelicans were pretty active and always entertaining. The beach was pretty quite for the first week but became more crowded for the second and third weeks we were there. The usual breeze/wind was nonexistent for just about the whole time we were there. Surprisingly the water remained calm up till the last few days before we left.
The resort looks great as others have reported. The hallways are 100% improved with the carpet removed, new lighting and fresh paint. The new railings have been installed on most of the units on the ocean side. They are a big improvement over the old ones, much more sturdier. The new casino is starting to look like it may open in the near future. They actually have machines, carpet, chairs all set up. I couldn't tell where the tables were going to be. The last we heard is that it will be open for Thanksgiving, ... this year!!
Because we stay for three weeks in October, we try to eat in every other night. Some of the restaurants we ate at:
Swiss Chalet, I had the rack of lamb, shared with wife Kathy, excellent. The rest of the group had a variety of items and all were enjoyed.
Barney's, had pork tenderloin slices with mushrooms and melted Gouda cheese, excellent. Kathy had wiener schnitzel which was OK. Prices were reasonable and they had a piano player. Matthews, had steak kabobs which were very good, Kathy had the ribs which are always good. Enough left over for lunch the next day.
Hostaria Da Vittorio, had ravioli with walnut sauce, very good, medium size portion. Kathy had spaghetti with sausage and meat sauce, very good, nice atmosphere.
Amadeus, went with a large group and Kathy and I had the Wiener Schnitzel which was excellent. It hung over the plate and was delicious, the best we have ever had. The others in the group and grouper or talapia which they all enjoyed.
Zuzuroh, had Lasagna Bolognese and Kathy had Eggplant Parmesan. Both were excellent. Served with homemade bread with tapenade. I had the Pommodore, which was tomato soup with a basil cream and Kathy tried the appetizer Pita & Tzazili which was warm pita bread and cucumber, yogurt, garlic dip, very good. No room for dessert with this meal but next visit we will try the baklava. This is a new restaurant located on the side street, just around the corner from Screaming Eagle. (Formerly the Dos Locos). Zuzuroh is run by a charming husband and wife team. They couldn't do more for us. They were extremely attentive and friendly. We will be visiting this restaurant again on our next visit to Aruba in June, 2013 and we will be sure to make reservations this time.
Pizza Bob's for pizza, good but I like Casa Tua better. Casa Tua was being renovated while we were in Aruba.
J.H. Yees Asian Bistro, had Classic Pepper Steak, very good. Kathy had Jakarta Sizzling Shrimp which she liked. Hot towels served upon arriving and after meal! Next visit we are going to do the Hibachi.
Rembrant Cafe, I had tenderloin with mushroom gravy, very good. Kathy had a Dutch dish which consisted of a sausage and a mixture of mashed potatoes and sauerkraut which was very good. For dessert we had little creme puffs with ice cream and chocolate sauce, delish!
The Pool Grill, we had hamburgs and fries one Sunday night and then breakfast on our last morning before heading to the airport.
On our second week, on a Friday, we headed to the airport to pick up friends, Larry and Nancy from MA. As we watched the arrival board we noticed that AA airlines wasn't landing. JetBlue was supposed to be landing right after AA. As we watched and waited it soon became apparent that something was wrong. Come to find out the firement pulled a strike just before AA and JetBlue as about to land! Information told us that JetBlue had landed but in Puerto Rico!! When asked when they might arrive in Aruba, we were told maybe in an hour or maybe that night or even the next day. No way to tell. Actually, JetBlue landed 2 hours later!!
I had to make a visit to the hospital because of an attack of the gout. They were excellent and we were in and out in about an hour. They sent me to the pharmacy with 4 prescriptions and I was on my way to recovery. It didn't take long before I could walk again!! Actually, this all could have been avoided but I neglected to take all my meds with me this trip!! Ouch!!
All in all, considering the cloudy weather the last week and a trip to the hospital, it was a very nice vacation. So nice to see all the familiar faces on the beach and all the improvements taking shape. We will be seeing La Cabana and Eagle Beach again in June 2013!!
Pelican Pier at sunset with a bucket of Brights!
Sunsets at Bunker Bar
LG Smith Steakhouse, Windows on Aruba,
Enjoyed reading your trip report, glad to hear the hospital made you feel better. Next trip make sure you bring your meds better safe than sorry. That pork tenderloin sounds delicious I could go for that now :-) Thanks for taking the time to write.
thanks for posting your trip report.
we took a walk thru lacabana earlier today and the updates are terrific and i am happy with how well the interior hallways look! the casino, although small looks great and one of the security guys told me definitely by thanksgiving, and then he winked and said maybe earlier.
sorry to hear gout attacked you, but happy to hear the hospital got you all fixed up!!
thanks for telling us about zuzuroh!!!
we will check it out sometime during the week.