So I am finally getting around to do a trip report. I feel unqualified to do it, but I enjoy reading reports posted by other folks, so I thought I would throw ours out there.
Our group included 4 travelers including my wife Steph, our daughter, and her boyfriend. The purpose of the trip was a celebration of my 50th birthday (that's still hard to say) along with my daughter's 21st birthday. The timing of the trip also coincided with college spring break. It was our 3rd trip to Aruba, the second for our daughter, and the first for her boyfriend. Rather than giving you a daily breakdown, Ill just go over the highlights of the trip by a couple of different categories.
We flew out of Atlanta on Friday the 13th (no bad luck), transfered planes in Miami, and arrived in Aruba about 2:30. The flight down was uneventful, except for a short time to make our connection in Miami that caused us a little bit of stress. Travel back was a different story, our flight leaving Aruba on the 20th was about 90 minutes late, and our layover in Orlando was only about an hour. We were told in Aruba that they wouldn't hold the flight for us and booked us another flight, to make a long story short, once we got to Orlando we were able to catch the orginal flight and arrive in Atlanta reasonably close to our orginally scheduled time.
We stayed at a two bedroom ocean view unit in the Lighthouse Tower at the Marriott Surf Club. This was our second time staying there. I know some people dont like it while others love it. I guess for us it has everything we want, and a few things we dont, but overall it's the best solution for us. Great service and facilities, beautiful grounds, convenient location, and happy smiling people working there. Yes it can seem crowded at times, and yes the beach palapas can be a hassle, but we think the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Food and Dining
We aren't much for formal dining or making reservations while on vacation. We kind of go with the flow and decide where to eat dinner nightly. I know it would drive some folks crazy, but it works well for us. On the first day we also made our trip to Super Food to stock up on breakfast and lunch stuff as well as a some Balashi Chill and an Aruban birthday cake. We ate breakfast and lunch in our rooms each day. We went to Bugaloe the first night, its becoming a tradition. We also ate at Salt and Pepper twice, The old Tomato Charlie pizza place twice, Smokey Joes (Steph's favorite) and Iguana Cantina.
Each day was basically a repeat of the other and that was fine by us! Our groups idea of perfect vacation day begins with getting out to the lazy river early, enjoying the peaceful time before it gets crowded and then staying poolside until around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Somedays I would take a morning walk along the beach to Scotts Brats, be there when it opened, and enjoy a nice refreshing bloody mary as I strolled back to the Surf Club, some days we enjoyed a poolside bloody mary to get the day started. The rest of the time we would alternate between the floating around the lazy river and baking in the sun. Probably sounds boring to some folks, but for us it's paradise! For our daughter's birthday, we sent her and her boyfriend on the Kukoo Kunuku bus followed by dinner at Salt and Pepper. They had an absolute blast on the bus and highly recommend it to anyone of any age! I think Steph and I may try it out the next time we make it back. Also we went on the snorkeling trip with Red Sail one day for the 3 hour option and really enjoyed it. This is our second time on that trip, but it's still such a nice way to spend the afternoon and gain a different visual perspective of the island.
Due to a family medical condition, we rented a mobility scooter from Labco. I would highly suggest that you use their services if you need any medical equipment while on the island. The small mobility scooter was brand new and in perfect condition. Included in the rate was delivery and pick up to the Surf Club. The reservations were made online and they were very efficient in communicating before nad after the rental. For about $125 we had use of the scooter for a week. If any of your traveling party has limited mobility, that is money well spent and greatly improves their ability to see the island.
I hope reading this made you reflect back to your trip to the island and that brought a smile to your face! We can't wait to get back. We have been on several cruises and traveled to several different places, but nothing has compared to Aruba for us. The weather, the people, the culture, and the safety makes it the best place for us. We have made 3 trips their since the summer of 2013 and will be just as excited to go again as we were the first time. It's now the only place we want to travel to, and we talk about a great memory we had there or discuss when we can get back there soon on a weekly basis.
For 'feeling unqualified to write a trip report' you did a superb job! Thanks for sharing and thanks for taking the time to post. Your trip was my kind of vacation... lots of beach and sun time and a drink or two during the day.
thank you for sharing and your idea of a vacation is similar to mine.
relax and be in the water or in the sun.
i am glad that the labco contact worked out for you.
funny (or not) story.
last year at renaissance ocean suites a gentleman drove his labco scooter right into the pool.
the worst part is the front got his legs trapped and a few of us had great difficulty getting him rightside up, off the scooter and onto the steps.
labco was NOT happy.
the scooter was a total loss.
paul and i now laugh about it.