I'm excited to say that my wife-to-be and I are heading to Aruba next Monday (2/15) for a week. It'll be the first time for both of us, and I have no idea what to expect. We've been given some names of places and advice from people, I was wondering if anyone on here wouldn't mind giving me their two cents. We're both late 20's/early 30's, coming from the Northeast US and staying at the Riu Palace.
A couple of the restaurants that we were planning on checking out include El Gaucho, Madame Jeanettes and the Lighthouse. I know there's been some discussion on Flying Fishbones/OMBTS/Passions on the board which I've been filtering through, at this point I'm leaning towards Passions just because of its close proximity to the Riu. Also thinking about trying Smokey Joe's/Iguana Joe's/Iguana Cantina and Wacky Wahoo's.
For nightlife, we've been told about both Sopranos and Mumba Beach. We're not looking for a Spring Break type atmosphere, but something a little lively would be nice.
Along those veins, we were also thinking about taking the Cukoo Kanuku (sp?) and/or Tattoo.
We'd also like to do some water activities during the day, sounds like DePalm is the way to go? Anyone know anything about Jolly Pirates or Pelican Cruises?
And what about money, are American Dollars generally accepted? We're planning on bringing some cash and some plastic (is Amex widely accepted?), and hoping that ATMs are around too. Anyone know anything about it?
Some people have mentioned possibly renting a car and doing some exploring on our own. Is this worthwhile, or should we stick with organized tours? In full disclosure, we don't have the best senses of direction...
Sorry for the length, but I appreciate any help/advice you could provide!