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Thread: Taxi preferences

  1. #1
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Taxi preferences

    We don't have a trip planned or anything, just a random question. I see so many people talk about making arrangements for pick up at the airport with their favorite taxi driver(s) and I am just curious as to why? We have always used the taxi line and never had a long wait, including a Saturday arrival. It just seems easier to me, no worries about running late or finding a specific person. I also wanted to point out to first time visitors that a taxi reservation isn't needed. We use taxis for most of our transportation needs on the island and have never had an issue getting a ride, not once. There are always taxis outside of hotels in the high rise area, and restaurants have always called for us when we need a ride back.


    So my thought is that for some, their favorite driver has become a friend and a welcoming face and that I do understand. Other than that, I really can't see the benefit. What am I missing?
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    great question/comments.
    we rarely take a taxi while in aruba as we rent a car.
    bully and hubert are our friends.

    i am very interested in reading what forum members write re: your post.

    great post tracey

    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyd14 View Post
    We don't have a trip planned or anything, just a random question. I see so many people talk about making arrangements for pick up at the airport with their favorite taxi driver(s) and I am just curious as to why? We have always used the taxi line and never had a long wait, including a Saturday arrival. It just seems easier to me, no worries about running late or finding a specific person. I also wanted to point out to first time visitors that a taxi reservation isn't needed. We use taxis for most of our transportation needs on the island and have never had an issue getting a ride, not once. There are always taxis outside of hotels in the high rise area, and restaurants have always called for us when we need a ride back.


    So my thought is that for some, their favorite driver has become a friend and a welcoming face and that I do understand. Other than that, I really can't see the benefit. What am I missing?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Exclamation Why Our Family Uses "Bully the Taxi Driver"

    From our trip in September 2006

    The Aruban Taxi Driver
    We were in Aruba for 8 nights in September. This was our 15th trip, but the first time for our daughter who we adopted in 2005. We really wanted this trip to be special! Prior to our trip, someone from one of the Aruba forums introduced us to a local taxi driver named Bully.

    For some reason our luggage was delayed getting off the plane and most other passengers from our flight were already long gone. We waited so long for our luggage that a flight from Venezuela came into the carousel next to ours, unloaded all of it's luggage and all of the passengers were gone and out by the time we received our suitcases!

    Dh, dd and I walked out of the door past Aruban Customs and we knew Bully was a "keeper" when he greeted us with our name on a sign. We were absolutely stunned that he had waited for us. Probably an extra 40 minutes.

    Aruba Bound Bully is a credit to Aruban taxi drivers. We used him throughout our trip. He uses a mini-van which was great for all of our luggage. Pleasant and knowledgeable about the island, there were no lectures on politics- local or international (sore point with dh- he does not want to hear it- he is on vacation)- and he was always on time, usually early. There were two nights when we were finished eating dinner and it was getting late. If he had begun driving early in the morning. One night he sent his uncle to pick us up in his taxi and another night his cousin picked us up in his. No problems whatsoever!

    As a matter of fact another little funny story was that we "thought" we had seen "all" of Aruba. Well when we were there in September there was some road construction going on between Palm Beach and Oranjestad. When Bully picked us up at the hotel to take us to the airport at the end of our trip, in order to get around the congestion, he took a detour through the center of the island. We had a mini tour of a whole big section of the island which we had never seen before!

    We liked him so much we have already contacted him for 3 separate pickups for our family members arriving at the airport in Oranjestad from different parts of the US in December and again for departure in January.

    Just wait until he encounters my two nieces and nephew in December! They travel with everything, BUT the kitchen sink. There is no better feeling in the world than having a friendly familiar, smiling face waiting to greet you at the airport at your home away from home.

    From our trip review "Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive Trip Report June 2008"

    We usually use the same taxi driver, Bully, throughout our entire trip. During our stay in Aruba he was off island on vacation with his family. He is honest, dependable and knowledgeable about the island. We have been using him for over two years now. This trip without Bully, our experiences with the 8 random taxi drivers we used, were, with the exception of 2 drivers, disgraceful to the Aruban people and very disheartening for us. In every instance but two, the drivers tried to overcharge us. With no increase in fares since 2002, paying a 12% tax and not being able to pass it on, and the high price of gas, we were faced with a large percentage of drivers with the attitude "let's screw the tourists". Not to say that there are not other honest taxi drivers, but we met 6 out of 8 who were NOT.

    Loving Aruba and her people as much as we do, we were very saddened by their behavior to say the least. Having traveled to Aruba before, at least we know some of their unjustified, in my opinion, reasoning in this situation. I cannot imagine a first time visitor to the island who knows what the fares are "supposed" to be, being charged whatever fare the driver makes up. The Aruban government sets the taxi fares; they need to give these drivers a raise. Hopefully the raise in fares will once again make the drivers honest. Again, to their credit, we did have two very nice and honest drivers, one a woman on Father's Day night and another nice gentleman the night we went to the Promenade.

    Our worst "taxi" incident came outside the Holiday Inn returning back to the Tamarijn from Palm Beach following our day aboard the Jolly Pirates. We walked outside of the lobby at the Holiday Inn and there were 4 taxi drivers seated on benches hanging out. Since our friends were with us we were 7 people total and needed 2 taxis anyway, so this was perfect. Dh asked them what the fare was to the Tamarijn and they eyed up one another and one of the drivers said "$10". Knowing what we were up against, before we even left the Tamarijn in the morning, dh confirmed with our favorite concierge Iris that the fair should be $8.

    Dh politely but forcefully asked to see their fare sheet where it showed the fare was $10. Well don't you know all of a sudden they acted like they could even barely understand English. Dh did not back down and again asked to see it in writing. Finally one of the drivers got up and went to his taxi to get the fare sheet. He came back with it, but then walked away from us to be by himself to eye up the chart. He then came over to us saying indeed it was $10, still not showing us the chart. Dh told all 4 drivers point blank that we would pay the $10, since obviously we had no choice, but we were also going to take the taxi's numbers and report the drivers to the Aruba Tourism Authority.

    Well gosh, don't you know, all of a sudden the taxi driver who had the sheet in his hand, stumbles over to me and points to Oranjestad ($10). Yeah, right, we told them all right from the start that we were all going to the Tamarijn! They do not even come close to sounding alike and I have only been to Oranjestad twice in the past 5 years. SO, clarifying that we were going to the Tamarijn, I showed the driver it was $8. Normally we would have paid him the $8 for the fare and a $2 tip for a total of $10 anyway. Needless to say, we did not tip him and he only got his $8 so he lost out for his foolish behavior. Our friends also did not tip their driver and would have under better circumstances.

    Our final taxi ride of our Aruba vacation began with Bully picking us up to take us to the Tamarijn at 12:15 p.m. He had returned home to the island the day before and called us first thing that morning to confirm our pick up.


    I wrote a letter to the Aruba Tourism Authority detailing what happened with these taxi drivers during our trip and never received a response. One of the local papers did pick up the story and printed what happened.

    Attachment 2875

    As another aside, my parents had an unfortunate experience with a pushy Aruban taxi driver who wanted to over charge them for transportation from the cruise terminal to Palm Beach. When they decided to move on to the next taxi in line the driver started screaming at my parents. I love Aruba as much as anyone else on this forum, but how would feel if your parent were treated in this manner? All because my parents did not want to be ripped off.

    I have been taken to task on various Aruba forums for using the same taxi driver, however "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." I would not walk into a grocery store here in the U.S. and look the other way when a cashier voluntarily charges me extra because they feel like it and wish to pocket the difference. We choose to spend our hard earned money with people who are honest, trustworthy and dependable. Bully and his brother-in-law Hubert fulfill these qualities.
    Last edited by Arubalisa; 12-18-2013 at 11:51 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Wow I am really surprised how many negative experiences you have had. I would feel the same way I'm sure had we had evwn 1-2 of those experiences. Luckily we have not had to deal with that. We had one driver who was a little pushy wanting us to take his number and use him throughout our trip but that was as bad as its gotten for us. We have had some great stories from different drivers and one took a detour to show us Manchebo beach after asking if we had a few extra minutes....worth an extra tip for sure! Your experiences are a great reminder to try to educate ourselves on rates to avoid being taken advantage of, that goes for anywhere, even at home. Or go with the known good guys!

  5. #5
    Senior Member hockeymom's Avatar
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    For me, it is seeing Bully's big smile, as we pass through the airport doors! The first time I booked him, I didn't tell my boyfriend. He was so shocked as we came through the doors and he saw Bully holding a sign with our names on it. He still talks about it when we tell people about Aruba.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Bully is our family and has been for over 10+ visits. We would not use anyone else. He has seen our kids grow up, our entire extending family grow up and we know and speak of his family. He is Aruba to us. He is there for us and we are there for him.
    my husband loves to call him and chit chat , especially now with the Red Sox win!! His brother in law Hubert has pinch hit for him when he can't...again, he is Aruba
    thats our story!!

  7. #7
    Member Mauro's Avatar
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    Completely agree with cindyo and hockeymom....Bully is a great guy, why not reserve him if you can! I was only able to get Bully on our departure ride to the airport and I was actually on my cell phone with American Airlines so I didn't get to talk to him much this year....but I did have a couple stickers for him to put in his van (SF Giants and a California flag). As long as he'll take reservations, I'll be using him when I visit

  8. #8
    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    Four years ago, I booked Bully to pick us up at the airport and to give us an island tour, based on recommendations from this forum. We were so impressed with him that we booked him for other dates while on that trip. He is so friendly and reliable, and has become our friend. Our Aruba vacation starts when we greet him with a hug at the airport. We catch up on what's been going on in our lives on our way to the condo. Every year he drops us off at Arashi or Boca Catalina for snorkeling and sends someone back to pick us up at our arranged time. He always takes us to restaurants, and gives us the latest scoop on what's going on around the island. Besides all of these reasons to hire him, last year there was a couple waiting at our resort for over an hour for a taxi to pick them up and take them to the airport. They had called three times and the resort had also called several times, and still no one had arrived. When Bully pulled up, she frantically came out, thinking that he was there for her. We noticed her and offered to give them a lift to the airport with us. They were so grateful and relieved. I don't know why no one had shown up to pick them up, but they were told that it was because there were so many cruise ships in town that day. That's just one more reason we like having Bully booked ahead of time. We have used other drivers when we have done something spontaneously, and have really enjoyed talking to them. There have been a couple times when the driver has padded the fare by a dollar or so. I assume they think that we tourists don't know what the fares are supposed to be, but when you travel up and down the resort area a few times, you figure it out pretty quickly. I don't argue with them, but I take it out of their tip. If I had planned on giving him two dollars and he ups his price by a dollar, then he's still getting the same amount that I had planned on giving him anyway, so he's not gaining anything by padding his price. These are just a few reasons why we use Bully, but mostly because our trip just wouldn't be the same without him. He is our island connection, and for us being with him is like coming home.

  9. #9
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    The hug, the friendliness, the kindness, reliability and honesty are what makes Bully and Hubert outstanding drivers and friends to many.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rob o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyo View Post
    Bully is our family and has been for over 10+ visits. We would not use anyone else. He has seen our kids grow up, our entire extending family grow up and we know and speak of his family. He is Aruba to us. He is there for us and we are there for him.
    my husband loves to call him and chit chat , especially now with the Red Sox win!! His brother in law Hubert has pinch hit for him when he can't...again, he is Aruba
    thats our story!!
    Mrs O, CindyO speaks for me! Love using Bully, he is so friendly and reliable.....just an outstanding gentleman.

    We generally had good experiences with other drivers, but Bully is "family" now. We first started using him because he has one of the biggest cabs on the island, great for luggage. However, we now use him exclusively.
    Please contact via e-mail at arubarennowner@gmail.com



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