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Thread: Thoughts on AI vs condo

  1. #11
    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arubabob View Post
    First a question. What is the point of "Happy Hour" at an AI? You totally misunderstand our use of the condo kitchen. We almost never cook a meal unless you count toasting bagels and making coffee for breakfast cooking. Or if you count making a sandwich and opening a beer and a bag of chips cooking. When you eat breakfast at the AI, you must put something on and go to the restaurant and eat. In the condo we stay in our jammys, take a bagel, melon slices and a cup of coffee out on the balcony and watch the boats and waves in privacy. At lunch we can do the same with sandwiches and beer or take it down to the beach. We do eat a couple of breakfasts and lunches out though most trips. Dinner is always at a nice restaurant except when we do a shrimp boil. The condo kitchen is a coffee pot, toaster and fridge for us, not a workplace.
    I gotta agree. We get up and make a simple breakfast in our jammys and love it. We do get up and get dressed and go out for breakfast a few days during our 2 week stays, but that is work to me. We just like to get up and head to the pool or beach. Not deal with getting dressed, going somewhere, waiting for a table and then waiting for service, etc. It's also nice on the budget to be able to grab a quick snack and a drink in he room at lunchtime and get back to the pool too. It seems that most dinners are enough to have leftovers too. AI has never been a consideration as it seems very boring and restrictive to us. I guess we're too independent and adventurous, and don't consider cooking as work.

  2. #12
    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    ...Now I can ask the question, how can you consider a vacation, just that, a vacation, if you are renting a unit with a full kitchen so that you have to go through the labor of cooking and shopping for some, most, or all of your own meals? Is that truly a vacation? I already know the most common reasons are to save the expense, cater to an individuals tastes in food and not wishing to go through the "trouble" of going out...

    You are right about the reasons for cooking on vacation. We save some money, eat what we want, when we want.

    We like a couple of cups of coffee first thing. That means sitting on the balcony in your pjs sipping coffee. Not getting dressed and going out to get coffee or going out to drink coffee. Breakfast comes a couple of hours later then lunch. We eat in our swim suits. Our room is a few feet from poolside and just a bit farther from the beach. Otherwise, we have to eat at the timeshare restaurants or make an effort to get in the car and drive somewhere. If we eat dinner in, it's to entertain our friends. We can sit around all night and drink and laugh and relax. No driving.

    When we go out for dinner, it's shower, shave and dress. Drive to the restaurant, don't drink too much if you're driving, then off to the casino or timeshare.

    This is a combination that works for us. It's clearly not for everyone. I love to cook and it's a challenge to to do so when I'm not in my own kitchen and forced to use inferior cooking equipment and an unfamiliar stove.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    During planning for our trip this year with friends who were considering AI, I made a spreadsheet comparing what I thought we would spend AI vs non-AI, using actual credit card statements from previous trips. In our case, two adults who like american beer and premium brand liquors, it makes more sense to go non-AI. It gives us more choices on food and beverages and the cost still comes out lower. We like beach bars. We also like to do at least one excursion that includes a meal. This year, we also plan on getting snacks and sandwich fixings from the grocery store. By no means, will I be "cooking" on my vacation.
    For our last few days we move over to Amsterdam Manor and I considered their AI plan just for convenience and we know the restaurants are good, but I really don't want to limit ourselves. I guess for us, it's all about selection and being spontaneous depending on how we feel each day.
    That being said, if I had teens or if I was hosting my parents, I would strongly consider AI, just to have a set cost. Jon and I know what to expect and what we will spend and we know how to keep it under control when we need to.
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  4. #14
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    I don't want to feel "stuck" at a certain place. Being that money is almost always an issue in my life, I am afraid that I wouldn't want to go off property for dinner, feeling that I had already paid for that night's dinner upfront.
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  5. #15
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arubabob View Post
    First a question. What is the point of "Happy Hour" at an AI?
    Happy hour at an all inclusive meant drinking from the time the bar opened until the time the bar closed for people like my EX husband.

    My personal definition of "happy hour" is the one or two drinks pre-dinner at 5 o'clock. Just my own personal choice that I don't drink alcohol during the day.

    For me personally, whether all inclusive or NOT all inclusive, happy hour has the same definition...a drink or two at 5 pm.

    Sometimes they are "pre-paid" as when we stay all inclusive, sometimes they are not such as when we stayed at the Radisson in 2011.

    We all have our own "style" on vacation. You have to do what works best for YOU. It is all good.

  6. #16
    Senior Member burghboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post

    We all have our own "style" on vacation. You have to do what works best for YOU. It is all good.

    That is definitely the key.

  7. #17
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    When I have done all inclusive........from the time the bar opens, it seems that is when happy hour begins for Paul and me.
    We are not big, or even moderate drinkers by any stretch of the imagination...........but those delicious sweet frozen concotions really do go down so nice during the day while out in the hot sun YUM. Hence when participating in all inclusives we partake way more often than we should. Maybe AI happy hours should be called Happy after 11 am?

  8. #18
    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    When I have done all inclusive........from the time the bar opens, it seems that is when happy hour begins for Paul and me.
    We are not big, or even moderate drinkers by any stretch of the imagination...........but those delicious sweet frozen concotions really do go down so nice during the day while out in the hot sun YUM. Hence when participating in all inclusives we partake way more often than we should. Maybe AI happy hours should be called Happy after 11 am?
    Maybe they should be called "Happy Daze"??

  9. #19
    Senior Member AUA1989's Avatar
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    Topic said "AI vs Condo", but what about AI vs Condo vs Hotel/no AI

    1. No condo for us; I do not enjoy cooking or baking at all (that's a story for another day) so having a kitchen area is wasted space. Thank goodness my wonderful hubby did not marry me for my domestic abilities. I'm not one to stay in my jammies in the mornings. I'm always the first one up (around 8/8:30), simply put on my swimsuit in the dark and make my way to the beach. I spend every possible minute with my feet in the sand. Once I get what I call our "daily campsite" set up I head to Scott's for breakfast and usually bring back a sandwich for everyone as they get up and arrive at the campsite. Cheap and delicious.

    2. No AI for us; there are toooo many great restaurants in Aruba and we have found AI would be too restrictive. At some places, they give you the menu saying you can order whatever you want only to find many of the items have a surcharge for AI. Also, some AI locations restrict the type of beer/alcohol that is included. We like filling our cooler with Balashi, Amstel, Malibu Rum and Coke and we are set for the day. No waiting for a server or having to mosey to the bar (lazy, eh?) to get the one selection of beer or bottom shelf liquor included with AI.

    3. Having said I don't like cooking/baking, I do assemble sandwiches either in the room or at the beach. The mini fridge is big enough to hold beer, water, soda, lunchmeat and cheese.

    Back to condos. My friend always rents a time-share off of someone at ABC or Costa Linda. Depending on when she goes, she can get it for a little less than our hotel room. She likes the Eagle Beach area. We like Palm Beach. If there was a Costa Linda like property on Palm Beach, I would stay there. It has been said the low rise beach area is much quieter than Palm Beach. That is true, but on the couple of occasions I went to the beach near Amsterdam Manor, it was almost too quiet. There was no one else at the bar and the beach was close to empty.

    My DH would say his ONLY reason for not doing AI is the abundance of awesome restaurants that we wouldn't get to try if we did AI.

  10. #20
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    I would like to add one more thought about AI. On our early trips to Aruba we were able to stay for only 7days. AI was our answer to being on "vacation" from the moment we arrived. Now that I can stay for 10 days or 2 weeks, I find that timeshare properties are the way to go. I am more relaxed and spend my time at a much slower pace. I think both ways have their place in time, time as in how many days you can be there.

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