Warning - long trip report March 28-April 4 at the Divi
We returned last night from our week stay at the Divi - a wonderful vacation! We left Boston on Jet Blue and arrived in Aruba on time. We cleared immigration in record time and our bags were waiting for us. Outside the door was Bully holding our sign. Within minutes he had our luggage in his cab and off we went. He delivered us to the Divi and although we arrived around 12:30, our room was ready - a nice surprise! So quickly to our room and into our bathing suits and on the beach by 1pm. Unbelievable. We had a nice lunch and a cocktail and plunk in our lounge chairs - ahhhh, vacation has begun.
This is basically what we do all week - except for a few outside trips. We sleep, eat, drink, lay on the lounge chairs on the beautiful beach. We had beautiful weather - no rain, contrary to what the weather reports had said - do not read them before you go. You will drive yourself crazy!! They had said weíd have morning showers every day - not one drop of rain all week. They were right that it would be windy, but nothing too tough to take.
We did our annual Jolly Pirates trip which was a blast. We had purchased t-shirts last year and wore them this year. One of the crew decided to make me part of the crew since I had the shirt! I was put in charge of steering the ship out to sea (with the captain at my elbow!!) For my efforts, a drink was constantly in my hand. We saw the best fish show ever this year. Little choppy at the shipwreck, but the second stop had tons of fish. The show the pirates put on is great. Great group of fun people onboard.
Our second trip off the resort was the Kukoo Kunuku Bus. I was a little nervous about this as we are 50-somethings, not 20-somethings, but it was a blast! We had both ends of the age spectrum on the bus. We were lucky to have Mama as our hostess - what a hoot! They picked us up at the Divi to much fan-fare and off we went to the lighthouse to watch the sunset with champagne. After that we drove through the streets of Aruba to our dinner location, the house of a former ambassador I believe. A lovely spot with very delicious dinner and then off to a few local watering holes. A really fun evening. It amazed me how many local people stopped on the streets and danced or clapped along with the music coming from the bus - you would think they would be so tired of seeing and hearing it go by, but many stopped and danced along with us! I would recommend this for anyone - any age.
Sorry to a lot of you, but dinner was at the resort. Like I said, we are slugs when we arrived in Aruba.! Three dinners at the Red Parrot - each very good. The last night the waiter asked if we had a camera and brought us over to the little bridge to take our picture - we didnít even have to ask. One night at Ginger - we wanted to go twice, but didnít know they were closed on Sunday night. One night at Papparazzi, which I thought was much better than previous. All the menus have added a few items which was nice. I have to say we didnít have one meal that we didnít thoroughly enjoy. We had breakfast and lunch at the buffet and never wanted for anything. Now back on the diet!!!! Just a note - every waiter/waitresses, bartender, front desk person, cleaning person, pool/towel hut, concierge, bellman - everyone - was attentive, friendly, helpful, smiling, happy. I have read reviews on other sites about the Divi food and staff not being the best. I know Iím not a fussy person - heck, if I donít have to cook it and clean up after it, Iím good - but I thought everyone was wonderful.
One complaint - which is an ongoing on - is the palapas. We knew the drill that you had to get out there early if you wanted a prime location. However, this year it was crazy. There was one family that sat near us that never took their stuff off the chairs. They left their childrenís toys on the lounges when they left and the next morning it would still be there. Everyone else would come down at 5am or so and put their stuff out - not this family. And nothing was done. The thing that really upset me was a lot of the days, they never came to the chairs until mid-afternoon! They had two small children and one of the moms was pregnant or we would have been more upset. Also, the moms let the kids run all over the place and would sit in their chairs and scream their names. Most annoying. I donít understand why they donít have someone tag the chairs if they are empty and if no one comes back in two hours, the stuff is taken away. I know we are just as bad as we get up early to go out and get our chairs, but would not do so if it wasnít necessary in order to get one and we never reserve on if weíre not going to be there!! Ok, off my soapbox now - and yes, Iím going to note this on my customer survey.
The waves have been mentioned, but it really was unusual for us anyway. 5 out of the 7 days, the waves were kicking. One day I got a nice toss onto the shore from one, but met a very nice lady from Arkansas who helped me up! The waves had created a ledge at the edge of the Divi beach of about a foot and about two feet at the Tam, but the two days that there was no waves, that ledge went away.
We also walked down the beach to see the turtle nest right before Eagle Beach. Not much to see, but read the information provided on the fencing which was interested. The next day we were walking to the Tam, and saw another fenced in area on the beach between the Divi and the Tam - was that there before?? Wish we could have seen them hatch - maybe next year weíll go later? Pretty cool anyway
Unfortunately the week ended too quickly and it was time to go home. Bully was busy, but sent a very nice lady to pick us up. He had been at the Divi an hour earlier and told the bellman to let us know he was sending someone for us. She delivered us in a timely manner to the airport. I was a bit nervous as I only allowed two hours as we had always allowed 3 and spent 2 hours sitting at the gate. This time, however, Jet Blue had announced upon arrival to be sure we were at the airport 3 hours before departureÖhmm, what to do but we decided to take a chance. Dropped off at the airport at 1pm and we were at the gate at 1:35 pm . No one waiting at Jet Blue counter when we got there, sailed onto Aruba Customs, sailed thru US customs - no problem at all. Flight left a few minutes early and we arrived in Boston about 15 minutes early - however then sat on the runway for those 15 minutes - no worries. Back in Boston to 48 degrees - well not too bad I guess!
Sorry this is so long but wanted people heading to Aruba and the Divi to be able to live through us for a few minutes - I know I hang onto every word of these when Iím waiting to go back!! Looking forward to next year!!!
Great report. DH and I were at the Divi from the 28th until the 5th so I'm sure are paths must have passed more than a few times. He was the one sitting at the same corner of the beach bar every day, most of the day, while I was back and forth to the beach/pool, stopping to visit him on occasion. The water was quite rough during the week, but I managed to get into the water most every day. When it was too rough, I just headed to the pool. I did notice how early people would save their spots at the palapas, but I'm one to sit out and bake and was always able to get a chaise, even if I didn't get to the beach until 10:00 am. I find the staff at the Divi, overall to be outstanding, especially Brenda, Randolph, Gilbert, Raphael and Yaeldo (spelling?) Whenever, we ate at the buffet and Yaeldo was working he would always go over to the Red Parrot and bring us back a dessert, apple struedel, pistatchio ice cream etc. I'm not much of a dessert person, and I think when we didn't select something from the case he assumed we didn't care for the choices so he brought us something special. This was our third trip to Aruba and our third stay at the Divi. We've talked about trying another resort, but I don't think we will.