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Thread: When, Where and What?

  1. #11
    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Paradise Beach Villas Eagle Beach
    Our first trip was January 2000. DW and I had been together for a year and this was our first real vacation together.

    We stayed at the Manchebo before renovations. The Manchebo beach was amazing. Large and almost empty.

    We took a Jolly Pirates cruise with snorkeling and rope swing. We had to walk/cab to restaurants as we didn't have a car. I remember eating at El Gaucho, LeDome, French Steakhouse.

    It's hard to beat the weather, the water and the sights. A big factor in our wanting to come back was how we felt safe at all times, walking back to the hotel after dark, downtown, etc.

    We were approached on the beach by a timeshare salesman for Paradise Beach Villas and decided to go for the goodies, swearing we wouldn't buy anything. We bought a week in the brand new building so we HAD to come back.

  2. #12
    Aruba since 1979
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    My thoughts same as your re: the Grand/palm beach resort!
    Loved that place too. QUOTE=~Amy~«;295061]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.[/QUOTE]

  3. #13
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Any beach!!
    Tom's first trip was in 1973. That was well before we were in a relationship. He went with a group of mostly women from a local pub. I don't know what he did for fun but I'm sure he made the best of it.

    Many years later in 2009 we went for my first trip. As you can imagine, the island looked quite different from when Tom had been there last. We stayed at the Divi AI. I was totally mezmorized by the beach. We spent all day, every day on the beach. Evenings we walked over to the Alhambra. Other than the casino we never left the resort. Since then we have stayed at the Divi many times. We've done the semi-sub tour; a taxi tour of the island' shopping and more shopping and snorkeling from the Black Pearl. Each and every trip has been great. In recent years we have been staying at the Divi along with a few other resorts. In November we will skip the Divi for the first time and stay at the Bucuti for half the trip moving downtown to the Renaissance for the other half. We talk about going to other places but we always end up in Aruba at least once during the year.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Under a palapa on Palm beach
    When was your first Aruba trip?
    March 2011, it was the delayed honeymoon to our December elopement.

    Where did you stay?
    We originally had booked Holiday Inn from Sunday to Friday, but decided to add on nights to the beginning of our trip. Since it was the weekend of the Grande Carnivale parade, Holiday Inn was either booked or too expensive, can't remember which. So our first 2 nights ended up being at Tropicana, before we moved to Holiday Inn all-inclusive. I didn't know much about Eagle Beach and we really felt isolated that first evening. It was both of our first time about of the country and I remember being shocked at the price of gatorade, but we needed it.

    What did you do?
    Our first full day we did Jolly Pirates and we were hooked! Later in the week we did a full day ABC Jeep Tour to see the sites - including both the natural pool and Baby Beach. We did Holiday Inn all-inclusive this trip so we didn't get out and about as much as we should have.

    What brought you back?
    Later the same year we did a cruise with some friends and the whole trip we were wishing we were back in Aruba rather than on that boat. In fact about 2 months after the cruise we did a make up trip, back to Aruba to recover from a not so great experience. Bahamas made us realize where we belonged - back in Aruba!
    Since then we have made Aruba our choice. Why try something else when we know we love Aruba? One of the things that stood out to us the first trip was how many people we talked to who were repeat visitors. Now we understand why. We learned about renting timeshares and bringing our own drinks to the beach. Of course we loved the Arubans we encountered, and the freedom to walk around safely.

  5. #15
    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    everywhere and anywhere
    First visit was in 1994 and was the last port of call on our cruise. We rented a jeep at the port terminal, drove up towards the high-rise area, only we stopped at a beach to hang out and get some idea which one, I'm thinking it was either the beach at Divi or maybe across from La Cabana. But we loved the people, loved downtown...nobody bothering you to buy trinkets (didn't I just say this on another thread.....) or to braid your hair. Left in peace to shop, eat and of course hit the casino before back on board the cruise ship !!!
    Loved that day so much I rented a TS at Casa Del Mar from a doctor I worked with in surgery and the rest is history......been in love with Aruba ever since !!!!!!

  6. #16
    Member dmconn1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    When was your first trip?
    June 2008 for 2 weeks. Our kids were 15, 13 and 10 at the time. My husband researched extensively and chose Aruba because of the weather, overall safety, and the ease of language and acceptance of the U.S. dollar. We thought it would be the last decent vacation with the family.

    Where did you stay?
    We stayed at the Costa Linda and fell in love with it even though the rooms were tired looking at the time and in need of a renovation.

    What did you do?
    We seemed to do it all as this was to be a one and done trip. We went on the Jolly Pirates, did an ATV tour across the island, did the Atlantis, toured Oranjestad, hung out on Palm Beach, went to Baby Beach, and ate at Madame Janette's, Flying Fishbone, the French Steakhouse, Iguana Joes, Pizza Bob's and what was the Turtle's Nest at Costa Linda. We spent most of our time at the beach at CLBR though. The boys even went jet skiing while our oldest and I got manicures per her request. It was the perfect vacation.

    What brought you back?
    I remember telling the beach attendants that we would be may not be next year but it would happen. We went to SXM the following year for 10 days and kept comparing it to Aruba so finally in 2012 for my 50th birthday we came back with our youngest son, my best friend (who was also turning 50) her husband and my husband's best friend and have been back yearly. We rented a 3 bedroom for two weeks and also exchanged a 2 bedroom for my husband's friend for 2 weeks. We had a blast showing them the island. We now own 3 weeks at Costa Linda in June and come back annually. In addition my friend and her husband have one week there. We came back because of Costa Linda and the people on the island. We now have several friends that we met on the island but we see throughout the year back in the states. It is the only place we have vacationed that my husband and I both said it feels like home. Our oldest came back last year with her fiancÚ and they ended up staying 8 nights past their original week stay; he fell in love with the island. Aruba is addictive.

  7. #17
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post

    When was your first Aruba trip?

    Where did you stay?

    What did you do?

    What brought you back?
    Our first trip was our honeymoon in October 1998. We were advised by a travel agent that Aruba was the place to go because of the possible weather at other island locations during the season. We did as much research as we could for the time. I think there were two whole websites about Aruba back page each, that took 5 minutes to load!

    We stayed at the Aruba Beach Club, a wedding gift from my Aunt, trading her Florida timeshare.

    It was the first time I had ever been away from my daughter, so staying a full week was very difficult, but we survived. We went on a sunset booze cruise (don't have a clue who that was with at this point), we had dinner at el Gaucho & at Ruins del Mar (the only two I remember, lol) We rented a car for two days and just drove feeling completely comfortable. "Found" some caves and the California Lighthouse.

    We were amazed by the beauty and peaceful feeling and the vibe of the island. We said we were going back for our 5th anniversary and were bringing our daughter. It took another 2 years, but we finally made it back and have been going almost every year since.
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  8. #18
    Senior Member __steve__'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    1556.26 miles from Aruba
    When was your first Aruba trip?
    • 4 weeks in May - June 1997

    Here is a picture - 1997?
    When, Where and What?-aruba-1997.jpg

    Where did you stay?
    • Belgiestraat

    What did you do?
    • Had a tour of the Island
    • Climbed Hooiberg frequently
    • Brought a bicycle with me so I did a lot of riding around the island and met many people.
    • Contacted TriBike Aruba, they loaned me an off-road bike to use in two mountain bike races.
    • Heavy rains flooded the streets and we submarined our Nissan Sentra to where water entered through the door jams (car still survived LOL)
    • Spotted huge toads the size of small dogs
    • Picnicked at area east of Baby Beach
    • Dislocated my shoulder climbing a mango tree

    What brought you back?
    • Revisited every several years for awhile. Then during our trip in 2014, after having not been there in over 5 years, I more thoroughly fell in love with the island
    Last edited by __steve__; 06-23-2016 at 03:48 PM.

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    First trip 1991, seven day stay at The Americana.
    We graduated to twice a year and for the past 12 years, we're there 4 times year
    always two weeks minimum.

    From day one, we developed friendships that we still have.

    Upon our arrival, the bellhop, lucas schmidt, brought our luggage to the room
    asked if i would like a drink of whiskey.. Of course!

    Schmidty stayed for over an hour.

    For dinner the first night, we went to the buccaneer.

    Josef munzonhofer the owner went to each table, explained being our first night on the island
    he asked what our plans were.

    He suggested to join the cab drivers who were going bowling, which we did, the cab drivers have always been part of the buccaneer.
    I remember we drank two bottles of mateus at dinner, don't fully remember the rest of the night..

    What brought me back was the culture of the island, everyone was overly friendly.
    Not because they wanted a tip, because they truly enjoy sharing their love of the island and their proud heritage.

  10. #20
    Senior Member CPhT Nancy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Rennaissance private island
    Our first was 2004. We stayed at the Renaissance, marina side and loved it immediately. We picked Aruba after some research into where our UsAir and Marriott points would work to our best advantage. Our eighth trip back to the Ren for 12 days is in another 33 days, and we have yet to pay for the hotel (Lots of business travel in Marriott's has been good to us). I remember our first meal on the balcony over Main St. with steaks cooking on the hot stones at La Petite Cafe, and we were saddened when it moved years later.

    We had a 4 wheel drive rental and saw most places on the island. We snorkeled with a couple of different sailboats. We had massages and then a private champagne dinner on the 10th tee at Tierra del Sol. The pictures from that were incredible.

    We keep going back because the people have always been so nice, the beaches so great, and the Ren private island is always good. We are always comfortable stopping at local places for food and drink, even when we don't speak the language. Can't wait for this next trip.
    The heck with a countdown calendar, we're in Aruba until May 27!!!!!

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