I'm jealous! I'm constantly scanning prices for a quick getaway to Aruba. I just never find anything that makes sense financially.
Considering we have yet to book our next week long trip to Aruba (trying for April), choosing between not going at all or going for 3 days, I'd pick the 3 days. That's more time in the warmth than we'll get here in November, 3 great dinners if one decides to go out, less money to lose at the casino.
We are using miles, I would never spend that kind of money for a short trip and actually I don't think we have ever paid for out Aruba flights. We are also using Vacation Club points for two of the nights so we are only paying for one night and the Jeep. I we could do more time, DH is so crazy at work right now that two days away for him will be really hard. We actually own 2 weeks at the Surf Club and just did 16 days in Aruba in June/July and will be going to Hong Kong this coming June for 16 days so we are pretty maxed out. DH is also going to England to see his aging Mom the week before Aruba, he is literally going on Friday and coming home Sunday, he does not at all mind travel. Luckily we have a direct to Aruba from Newark but you are right that it is about 8 hours door to door for us but I figure it has taken us that long to get home from Boston when we hit bad road work on 95 so I will stay positive. But don't get me wrong, I do wish it was more time but I am going with it.
The itinerary sounds like I am trying to pack in a ton because I was so detailed but basically it will be arrive on Thursday, eat dinner and swim. Friday drive around until lunch and then back to the pool to hang out until walking to dinner and stopping to see the water show. Saturday will be hanging out around the Surf Club including iguana feeding, pool and walk to the beach. Sunday hang at the pool until lunch, stop somewhere for lunch on the way to the airport.
I dropped a boat ride, maybe when we are at the beach I will do a ride on one of those floats and I will let the kids get their hair braided because I am sure they will want to.
I know it will be crazy but we will have a little Aruba and that will be nice, we are likely not going back until June 2017