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  1. #1
    Senior Member Shnyda's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    The pool @ Gold Coast Aruba, Holiday Inn Casino, Arashi Beach, Sunset @ California Lighthouse, Baby Beach, Our friends hotels/timeshares when they are on the Island at the same time as us
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    How busy is busy?

    From what I have read, New Year's week is extremely busy down in Aruba. I was wondering exactly what this means.

    Airport/customs - lines?

    Traffic - more than usual downtown?

    Restaurants - need reservations?

    Supermarkets - selling out of staple items?

    Hotels - all at capacity?

    Beaches - all packed?

    Excursions - booked up?


    I kind of know the answers - but want to hear from someone with experience down there during that time period. We will be there right after xmas through Jan 5. We have always been there in October when things are fairly quiet. Any other advice?
    -Eric, Karen and Mia-
    Aruba New Years 2017-18 12/28/17 - 1/3/18 (18th Trip)


  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Any Aruba beach...
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    Airport- going in will be extremely busy. The year we flew in on the Saturday before Christmas there were in excess of 75 flights arriving that day. Chaos at it's best.
    The other heavy arrival days are the 26th & 27th. Because they are AFTER Christmas day. Expect them to be jam packed.
    Delta I know has added an extra flight for those weekends making it a total of three arriving flights.
    Departing on the 5th you should be fine. The holiday partiers will have left Saturday and Sunday.

    Traffic downtown- more people on the island = more traffic

    Car rental- rent now if you have not done so already.

    Restaurants- You could probably get into a restaurant at the last minute as long as you are flexible. From what I understand the restaurants have been among those who have taken the hardest hit with the downturn in the economy. Timeshare owners are dining out less and eating dinners "in".

    Supermarkets - Very limited hours due to the holidays. Andrea remembers the year we were there at Christmas and how hard it was to get fresh milk.

    Hotels - More than likely sold out or pretty full. Below photos, the Radisson's beach on the morning of New Year's Eve 2006. Click on thumbnails to enlarge.




    We have visited other beaches such as Arashi and the small one at Boca Catalina over Christmas week and found those to be crowded as well. Locals enjoy the beach on their off time and also folks who are staying in properties off the beach, apartments, villas and such. Eagle Beach probably your better bet.

    Don't know about the excursions because we did not do any, but considering all else, would expect them to be at least crowded.

    Staying at the Tamarijn, the beach is never that crowded, even when the resort is sold out. The high rise resorts as evidenced by the photos above are not as fortunate.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shnyda's Avatar
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    Wow! Sounds like it should be an adventure! We are arriving on the 27th - I will be prepared for a little chaos.

    I'll soak in the quiet October trip we have planned and get ready for a wild New Year's!
    -Eric, Karen and Mia-
    Aruba New Years 2017-18 12/28/17 - 1/3/18 (18th Trip)


  4. #4
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shnyda View Post
    Wow! Sounds like it should be an adventure! We are arriving on the 27th - I will be prepared for a little chaos.
    I have to tell you, I never saw anything like that little airport on that Saturday that we arrived. There were 3 "major airlines" on our luggage carousel alone.

    To make matters worse there was an American Airlines flight that had come in from JFK about 1 1/2 hours before us and people were still waiting for their luggage only to find they were in Aruba WITHOUTany luggage. It just NEVER made their flight.

    So then we had a crowded ANGRY airport on one happy island .

    Go with the flow and you will be fine. The Ling's fireworks alone are worth it!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shnyda's Avatar
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    I always try to go with the flow and not get stressed. I'll make sure I pack some stuff in October and leave it down there so I don't have to bring much with me in December. Nothing better than traveling carry-on only. A reality possibly for me - just a dream for my wife!
    -Eric, Karen and Mia-
    Aruba New Years 2017-18 12/28/17 - 1/3/18 (18th Trip)


  6. #6
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    lisa is right with her description of christmas airport chaos!

    carry on is a good idea and if i can survive with carry on so can your wife....providing u leave stuff there in october.

    we have never let the busy season and the crowds have any play in our decision to go to aruba over christmas and new years..........never.

    and yes, at lacabana folks do go out to the beach and the pool at 5 am to get good spots. i am one of them!
    i go out there at 5 am , with my coffee, my portable dvd player and pillow.
    i stake my claim and get comfortable.
    dear hubby then relieves me at 7, with his coffee in hand.
    i go back in, go to bed for an hr or 2 and join him at 9 with bagels and more coffee.
    we have a routine and it works well for us.

    we are both typically early risers at home and on vacation, so the early morning routine during the busy times aare no big deals to us.

    if u need milk at the grocery store, buy 2.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shnyda View Post
    I always try to go with the flow and not get stressed. I'll make sure I pack some stuff in October and leave it down there so I don't have to bring much with me in December. Nothing better than traveling carry-on only. A reality possibly for me - just a dream for my wife!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shnyda's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Add 2 more to the Island on that week - my sis and her husband are coming down also - they got a great deal on tickets last night.

    5 am to get a spot on the beach - that is dedication. We stayed at a Sandals resort in Jamaica over New Years one year- the earliest people were out was around 7:30 - 8 am. 5am is just too early for me.
    -Eric, Karen and Mia-
    Aruba New Years 2017-18 12/28/17 - 1/3/18 (18th Trip)


  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2007
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    Palm Beach,and back side of island
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    We have been there in April, October and tried December through the holidays last year. We flew in on Christmas Day and it was complete chaos at the airport. They had limited staff on and the reception hall was packed full. People where still coming down the escalator and there was nowhere for them to go. Finally my son was pushed up against the exit door and all the alarms went off!!!

    Airport/customs - lines? Extremely busy coming in on 12/25 - same as any other time we have visited on the way back on 1/7.

    Traffic - more than usual downtown? Didn't really notice any difference in traffic.

    Restaurants - need reservations? Yes reservations would be wise especially for the places you really want to go.

    Supermarkets - selling out of staple items? We never went without anything we needed.

    Hotels - all at capacity? Hotels were full as well as the timeshares.

    Beaches - all packed? Beaches were wall to wall people and some quite rude!! The pool area was not packed.

    Excursions - booked up? Again, I would make your reservations early for the excursions you are really interested in doing, otherwise just make them a couple of days in advance if you are flexible. Most people that are there this time of year have already done alot of the excursions and are not repeating them.

    While we enjoyed our time there over the holidays, we are going to stick to April and October for our visits to the island!!

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Under a hut, walking Eagle Beach, lunch on the beach, Amstel Bright Beer on the beach, coffee in the morning on the beach, taking a dip in the sea,
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    316

    Thumbs up

    >>> "Traffic - more than usual downtown?
    Beaches - all packed?"
    ---- Some of this depends on what resort, which day, what time.
    A couple of years ago got off a cruise ship on Dec 29 in the middle of the week. There were 6 of us and wanted to go up to our timeshare to use the beach. Got 1 of those small bus type vans to take us as it seems he didn't get anyone to go on a tour that day. There was little traffic(morning now) going out of town. Got to our timeshare in no time as little traffic. Actually found a empty hut on our beach. Had a great lunch at a half empty beach front bar/restaurant. Going back to cruise ship took no time. Its funny getting off and on a cruse ship in Aruba takes no time. Just flash ID and that it is.
    Now I understand if you are staying up on Palm Beach during the holidays it will be packed.
    >>> "Beaches were wall to wall people and some quite rude!!"
    ---- Not at our timeshare.
    >>> "Excursions"
    ---- Check the dates of when the cruise ships are in port. Don't want to go those dates. In the winter cruise ships in port most days so pick a day least number of ships and passengers. There is a site that list what ships are in port by dates and # of passengers on those ships.
    Last edited by TomFrederick; 08-06-2009 at 10:51 AM.

  10. #10
    Member
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    May 2007
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    63
    bz bz bz...we wouldnt have it any other way...2 weeks in paradise!!

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