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Thread: When, Where and What?

  1. #1
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    When, Where and What?

    Might be fun to do....

    When was your first Aruba trip?

    Where did you stay?

    What did you do?

    What brought you back?

    My first trip was in 1979.
    Stayed at Talk of Town. ....although the friends i was with insist it was a place up on Palm Beach (it was a 1 night stay over pre and post bonaire)
    We walked the downtown, visited the Crystal casino, went to the beach although I am not sure which beach we went to.
    The people, the weather and the beaches were the reasons we went back! (Now at about 40 visits)

  2. #2
    Senior Member act1966's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    Might be fun to do....

    When was your first Aruba trip?

    Where did you stay?

    What did you do?

    What brought you back?

    My first trip was in 1979.
    Stayed at Talk of Town. ....although the friends i was with insist it was a place up on Palm Beach (it was a 1 night stay over pre and post bonaire)
    We walked the downtown, visited the Crystal casino, went to the beach although I am not sure which beach we went to.
    The people, the weather and the beaches were the reasons we went back! (Now at about 40 visits)
    Fun!

    Our first trip was in March/April of 2008.

    We stayed in the model home at Modanza in Paradera - I'd contacted the developer about seeing his development and he offered to put us up in the model home to get a feel for the residency - I think there were about six houses built at that point and no street lighting... it felt VERY remote. It's now a full residency (we drove through it on our last trip).

    We started looking at houses to buy on day 2 - I'm not kidding. We must have looked at 100+ houses over the years. We went to the beach, spent a lot of time in the pool. Our first dinner out (on the first night) was Aqua Grill - we had a bottle of Sileni Sauvignon Blanc and still have sense memory of that night every time we drink it! We hit Flying Fishbone, Madame Janette's and Marandi... other nights, we stayed in and cooked - we shopped at Ling's and Sav-A-Lot... I'm not sure if Superfood was open at that point.

    The weather brought us back... always the weather. Ease of access from Toronto. We almost bought the first house we looked at... little did we know it would take a few years to find the right one but that first house was a winner and we thought we'd see more. There were quite a few near-misses over the years but we eventually found the right one in the right neighbourhood.

    We can't imagine being anywhere else in the Caribbean.

  3. #3
    Senior Member susan.b's Avatar
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    Our first trip was 7 years ago. We stayed at the Riu. We went on the Palm Pleasure for a snorkel/sail. We also rented a car and drove through Arikok National Park, as well as going to Baby Beach. Went to Oranjestad. Spent most of our time by the pool and in the ocean. Couldn't stop pinching ourselves. The weather, the clean water, and the friendliness of the people keeps us coming back. Have been every year since.

  4. #4
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    My first trip was in early August 2010 (08th-12th). Flew in on a Sunday night following a connection through Curacao, it was my first time hearing Papiamento.

    Stayed at Caribbean Palm Village (CPV) out in Noord.

    On arrival my aunt and uncle drove me through the High Rise Area, where I was surprised to see so many people out and about on a Sunday night. The vibe in the air made it feel more like a Friday night than a Sunday night, had my first taste of Sunday Barbecue( been hooked ever since)Did a lot of driving around the island on the first day, spent a huge portion of the second day at Baby Beach where I really embraced the feeling to lay back and enjoy the relaxation vibe. Third day was divided between the submarine tour off of Palm Beach, with the rest of the day spent at Moomba. That night we went into Oranjestad to the mall by the port/marina. Could not believe that my time was almost over. Day four was spent at CPV, packing up and realizing that "Four days was not enough" that I would need more than four days to really get more out of Aruba. The reason why I only stayed for four days was becuase at that time the only days I could get a flight back to T&T from Aruba via Curacao was on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and my relatives were leaving on the Saturday. Did not think about booking an extra night at CPV or at another hotel. On the flight home I began to plan my second trip, that I would stay for seven days and make arrangements with CPV for an extra night stay.

    What brought me back?? Aruba reminded me a lot of the island where I was born, and I just loved the fact that there was a mix of things to do and see, that the people were most friendly, welcoming and accommodating, willing to go the extra mile to make your stay a great one. What also brings me back is that something in the air that not only re-energizes and re-invigorates me, it also adds a much needed boost to my creativity when it comes to my writing. I figure if I were on Aruba full time I would be writing up a storm. Someday : )
    Last edited by vallond; 04-08-2016 at 09:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    I did some extensive research before deciding on Aruba as the best place to relax for a coupla beach people who like great restaurants and an chance for one of them to take a chance at the casinos. With some great input from a coworker we decided on Aruba.

    First visit was in '03. We chose the Hyatt and it was kinda a toss up between the Hyatt and the Radisson. I think what tipped the scales was the pool slide at the Hyatt and we never used it! Our first dinner was at El Gaucho at about 5:30 with no one else in the place and treated like lepers 'cuz we didn't have reservations. After they found us a table it turned out to be fun with the continued loss of power thru dinner!

    Played a bunch at the Hyatt casino and did well enough to treat myself to a wonderful Rado watch and an Aaron Basha ladybug ring for DW. We were treated like royalty at the Hyatt and always had morning coffee in the lovely lobby.... then did some people watching there in the evening before I tucked DW in before I went back to the casino.

    We continued to go back to Aruba because it was the perfect place to vacation with the wonderful people, weather, beaches and all the other good stuff that makes Aruba our home away from home..... Now it's just 80 days to this year's trip!
    Last edited by cpjones; 04-08-2016 at 10:07 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Our first stay was for our honeymoon in June of 1996. We fell in love with the island and promised we would come back again for our 10th year anniversary. We were young and had little money but decided to return on our 5th anniversary and then we took a few years off and we now come as often as possible.

    Our first stay we did all of the touristy things. We rented a jeep and toured the island. We went to the light house, we saw the natural bridge and everything in between. We went downtown to shop/gamble a couple of times. We also did a sunset sail one evening. We dined all over the island and really enjoyed ourselves.

    We continue to come back time and time again. I am going for my 17th trip next week and will be going for my 18th this summer. We return because the weather is perfect, the people are great and the food is terrific.
    Last edited by Aruba4ever; 04-08-2016 at 02:49 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member brady bear's Avatar
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    Our first trip to Aruba was when Air Tran One airline transfer my 2 round trip tickets to Southwest and had to be used...or lose them (May 2015)
    So I decided Aruba.. then I went to price line. I knew by the the hotels which one I would get.. it was the Renn. $125.00 per night
    Then I came here. Trying to find out as much information as possible.... before my trip even started I extended it due to the forum.
    When we got to the airport we met locals..... told me that today was the "Kings Birthday" and the king and queen was going to visit... it was their Memorial Day and we couldn't have picked a better time for first comers. Was so grateful for them and now knew this trip was meant for us..
    Got to the hotel and they upgraded me to an ocean view & pool view room. What a nice room and huge too. Even got 2 free drinks at night.
    This was the far most relaxing and best island we ever been too. Going downtown market every night and having social time with 3 locals men. They were
    so nice. Talked about the island and how lucky I was to see the king & queen and get their pictures since they have been their 70+ yrs... and never had.
    While having coffee at Star Bucks we met and the the honor of having breakfast with their military and told us all about the events that we happening..
    It was one place I been to on vacation where I didn't even want to go home... lol could of stay here for ever and even with the little I had with me.
    Actually called my work and told my DON that I am stuck in Aruba .. all flights were canceled due to the king & queen visit (safety & security reasons)
    so we could stay the extra day. lol She believed me and gave me another PTO so I wouldn't lose my pay but I didn't care. I was in a per place. "One happy Island."
    We are so blessed to go again (thanks to Southwest.. with the points, great rates and most important the Tropicana deal..) in June..
    I do plan on going downtown one night to see if I can locate the 3 men the first time.
    Last edited by brady bear; 04-08-2016 at 11:43 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ArubaAce's Avatar
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    First visit was in the 90s with my 2 brothers and Mother. We stood at Paradise Beach Villas. We did the jeep tour and we also rented a car so we were all over the island baby beach, Arashi, Eagle, Palm. I remember there was a little more night life then. Me and my brothers were in our late 20s and I remember going to a club that had DJ, pool tables, darts, air hockey and there were a lot of people in our age range.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DiviDiviFan's Avatar
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    Our first visit was October of 2001, we stayed at the Allegro AI. It was a bit strange as it was less than a month after 9/11 so the resort was half empty due to cancellations and fear of flying. At the time we were lucky and flew on a Charter flight the first 2 years out of Hartford which sadly is no longer. We fell in love with Aruba and felt welcomed and safe as soon as we arrived. I have a picture of DH and I in our living room enjoying our first cocktail within minutes of arrival, one of my favorite pictures. I believe we just hung around the resort our first year relaxing and meeting people and staff. We returned the next year, and we were shocked that the waitress in one of the restaurants remembered us and welcomed us back!!! Then Allegro was closed for renovations longer than expected so we tried the Divi AI. I loved the Divi even more and have been returning each year since now on Thanksgiving Day and have met so many people there who return the same time each year. One family in particular from the Bronx are like family to us now, we keep in touch during the year until we meet again. We always try to get our picture together with my Red Sox shirt and their Yankee shirts the rest is history, hooked for life on Aruba, as far as I am concerned there is no place I'd rather travel to.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    First trip was Sept. 1996 (have been back every year since then - usually a couple of times per year)

    We stayed at the Aruba Palm Beach Resort and Casino in a lanai room that was just steps from the beach. The hotel was later renamed the Aruba Grand and it's now the Riu Palace. Loved it when it was still a smaller hotel with a huge, uncrowded beach.

    On our first trip we took a sunset cruise (we were on our honeymoon) which was small and only had about 8 people on it (it was wonderfully romantic) and we also took an all day jeep tour with DePalm that included seeing the sights of the island (natural bridge, gold mine ruins, caves, etc.) and ended with snorkeling at DePalm Island. I still remember the grit/dirt I could feel on my teeth at the end of the day from all of the dust that the jeeps turned up. LOL!

    We came back the following year because of the fantastic lanai room so close to the beach and water (we booked the same hotel/room) - also came back because the water was beautiful, it wasn't crowded, the airfares were great, the people were amazing, and there were enough activities to either keep busy or be lazy. We will be going on our 33rd trip next month.
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 -- 36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018




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