What a Trip!!!!
This was our first visit to Aruba for our 15th Wedding Anniversary, and was everything we hoped it would be. Thank you all for your suggestions as they definitely helped.
Sunday the 29th was really a travel day so there is not much to report. Flights were fine, and customs was no problem. Either was check-in.
Monday we slept a little late, and walked the sidewalk from the Surf Club to the Raddison. We did make reservations for the DePalm Sunset Pleasure Cruise as we walked by their office. After that we played tennis and spent the afternoon by the ocean, and then the pool. That night we had dinner at the Amazionia. The meal was very good, but bring you appetitte. I also wish they had brought the top sirloin our first, because that was by far the best cut of meat. The drinks were okay, but I did not really care for the Brazilian special drink (the name escapes me).
Tuesday, after thinking about it, my wife decided that she would like to try snorkling, so we made a reservation for the 3hr Happy Hour Snorkel with DePalm that afternoon. The boat is beatiful, and the crew was top notch. The water was crystal clear, and the fish were beautiful. My wife said the drinks were fine, but I stuck with the Balashi. That night we ate at the Aqua Grill for another good meal (I had the chilean sea bass).
Wednesday was a pool day. I got up early and got a nice spot a little back from the pool, and we basically sat, swam slept and read all day. Oh yeah, and marveled at the number of iguana's. There were a fair number of kids, but because they were not ours, it was fun to watch. That night we ate at Screaming Eagle (I'm scared to see my Amex bill ). Again the food was very good (Calamari and Grilled sea scallops).
Thursday was another pool day, but not until after we took part in the tennis clinic. There were 12 participants, and Charlie the instructor did a nice job keeping everybody moving. We ended up taking part the next two days as well. Then more swimming, sleeping and iguana's. That night we took the sunset cruise, which was not crowded at all. It was the same great crew as the snorkel. After, acting on a tip from another guest at the the Surf Club we ate Casa Tua. It was a nice thin crust pizza, and jsut big enough to have leftovers for lunch. After that it was off to the Stellaris for a little Craps action, and was fortunate to catch 'Beads' and the East LA crew on their hot rolls of the dice.
Friday was rent-a-car day. We took the 4x4 jeep all over the other side of the island, which included what is probably my highlight of the trip, the Natural Pool. It took us a while to find it (why are there no street signs anywhere ), but it was worth the trip. That night, the other highlight - dinner at Madame Janettes. It was by far the best meal I have had in a long time. The staff, ambiance, and food is outstanding.
Our last full day was spent under a palapa at the ocean. Because it is a change over day, it was easy to get a good spot. That night we did some shopping and ate at a spicey meal at Salt & Peppers.
The flights home yesterday went off without a hitch. Our flight path actually took us over the Natural Pool, so I got one last look from the air.
We left hoping to be able to return with the kids next time, but probably not until our 20th. Hopefully it will be sooner, as that was the best vacation I have ever been on.
The beach, Boca Prins & just about anywhere with my husband!
Marriott Surf club
I have stayed at the Surf club and I don't recall a car rental place there at the hotel. But what I do remember is not to book your rental car via the concierge. My husband and I were at the Ocean Club last August and we booked our rental car & made dinner reservations through the concierge and it cost us a $20 service fee for each. Something we definately could have handled on our own. We didn't know there was a charge until we got the bill under our door on check out day!
There were rental car areas at the Surf Club, but we ended up using Economy over at the Ocean Club. They had their own desk set up there so there was no service fee. Also, if you get the VIP card (no charge) after you check in, there is a 20% discount.
Make sure you get 4-wheel drive if you want to see the Natural Pool.
Sounds like you had such a great time. Aruba is so beautiful! Great Place. I have a question about going to the natural pool. We were thinking of doing the ATV tours which includes going to the natural pool. In your opinion is that a good way to go? We did the jeep tour a couple of years ago, but it did not include the pool, so we thought we'd try the ATV tours. Is it really hairy getting there?? I have never been on a ATV before, but it sounds like fun. We are in our 50's, but in pretty good shape for our age. I have some minor back issues, but it is managable. Did you swim in the pool? How was that??
Thanks for your input, it's appreciated!! Have a great summer!!
The Depalm Tour showed up just as we were leaving and it looked like nobody was too worse for wear. If you are unsure, that is probably the best way to go. It took us awhile, and quite a few wrong turns to finally find it, but it was definitely worth it.
You HAVE to swim in it when you get there. The footing is a little tricky at first, but the water is just beautiful, and the scene is unbelievable.
We just back back from Aruba on Friday 7/18, we took the ABC tours half day jeep tour and it is a good way to see the north side of the island. They took us to some ruins, the natural bridge, the natural pool and the highest peak on the island. It was perfect for us. We got to swim in the natural pool for about 45 minutes (ABC tour supplied goggles and snorkel). The jeep ride was in a land rover and was great. There were 3 jeeps in our group, 1 was driven by the giude and the other 2 were driven by volunteer tourists. A group of ATV's showed up as we left and looked pretty fun, but could be a lot of work getting down there. There was also a group of horseback riders (the horses did not look in good shape and it would have been a pretty rough ride)....my 2 cents.