View Full Version : Trip Report June 16- June 23

06-29-2008, 02:54 AM
I just returned with my wife from a fantastic week long trip to Aruba. Here is our trip report from our great week.

On monday we landed in Aruba it took us quite awhile to get through customs in Aruba. The line was very long and they should have had more than three lanes open to help speed up the process. Once we got through and got our luggage we hopped in a waiting cab and off to the Holiday Inn we went. We had no wait checking into our room and we had a fantastic ocean front view on the 7th floor. The view was incredible. We immediately got changed into our swimsuits and went down to the beach for a swim. The water was very warm and felt great. After our swim we got changed and went to dinner at the Buccaneer. The Buccaneer was a fantastic restaurant and not very crowded which was great. My wife and I had the catch of the day which was barracuda and it was fantastic. We had the lobster bisque soup which I highly, highly recommend. We had homemade white sangria to drink and it was great. The owner is currently updating all the fishtanks at the tables and they look great. After dinner we returned to our hotel and spent some time at the casino. After that we retired to our room for the night.

Tuesday we spent the entire day relaxing on palm beach. I got up to reserve a palapa hut on the beach and we laid out relaxing and swimming all day. We went tubing and had a blast. We went on the evening sail through Pelican Watersports and it was wonderful. The snacks and drinks were great and the sunset was beautiful. After the sail we had dinner at the Pelican pier on the ocean and it was fantastic. We had the grilled Mahi Mahi and it was fantastic. After dinner we walked the beach from the Holiday Inn south to the Westin. The walk was great and the wind felt nice and cool. After the walk we returned to our room for the night.

Wednesday we were scheduled for our full day jeep tour with Depalm. The bus picked us up right from our hotel on time and took us to the Depalm headquarters. After receiving some instructions we got in our jeeps and drove to the California Lighthouse. I got to drive one of the jeeps which was great because I don't get to do much off-roading here in Michigan. After a stop at the lighthouse we went off road and to the Alto Vista chapel. After the chapel we saw some great sights along the east coast and went to where the natural bridge used to stand. We saw the Bushibiri Gold Ruins and then went to the depalm island pier and traveled to Depalm island. We did Seatrek which was a blast, but there really wasn't all that much to do. The waterpark is geared more towards children and it's very difficult to snorkel here because it's very rocky. I don't think we will be returning to Depalm island next time, but we definately want to go on the Natural Pool Jeep tour next time. After the jeep tour we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. We went to the Driftwood for dinner and that was wonderful as well. I had the barracuda and my wife had the wahoo. Both dishes were excellent and after dinner we went to the Crystal Casino around the corner and then back to our hotel for the night.

Thursday we decided to walk to one of the other resorts for breakfast and got stopped out front of the Occidental by three people trying to get us to see a time share. We tried very hard to walk away but they were very persistant. Most people get the hint pretty quickly, but these people were different. Eventually I had to get pretty angry for them to get the picture and leave us alone. I hated to do that, but I had no other options. I really wish they would leave tourists alone and let them enjoy their vacations. They really put a sour mood to the start of our day. After we calmed down we went on the seaworld explorer and saw the Antilla shipwreak and Arashi reef. The tour was pretty cool, but after awhile of rocking back and forth in the waves under the water you are ready to get back to land. We got back to the hotel and relaxed before our night on the Kukoo Kunuku bus. This was a fantastic night and my wife and I had an absolute blast. We had Big Daddy as our leader and Slick Vic was the bus driver. The music was playing all night long and it was definately a night to remember. It's amazing that I can still remember that night to be honest. ;) We got back to the hotel a little after 12:30 a.m. and crashed.

Friday was kind of difficult. My wife and I were pretty hungover and it took us awhile to really get going. We went downtown and shopped for a little bit and then went back to hotel to relax a little more. We went to dinner that night at Mirandi and the restaurant was absolutly beautiful. We had a table right on the water just after sunset. The fish in the water jump all the time and it's really neat to see. Dinner was very long as they take quite awhile to bring you your food. That was fine as we were not in a hurry. If you are in a hurry, do not eat here because you will need at least 2 hours to dedicate to dinner. After dinner we went to the seaport casino and then back to the hotel and we walked the beach to the north this time from the Holiday Inn to past the Marriott. After this we went back to our room.

Saturday was pretty interesting because the Netherlands was playing in their semi-finals game in the Euro cup and the whole island was buzzing. Unfortunately the Netherlands lost but it was neat to see the island really excited for the soccer team. My wife and I went rented a car today and drove down to Baby Beach. We spent some time snorkeling and swimming here and then went downtown again today and had lunch at Iguana Joe's and did some shopping. We went back to the hotel and swam for a little bit and then went to dinner at Flying Fishbone. That was a great dining experience and we took our shoes off and dined with our feet in the sand. This was a very unique restaurant and definately worth a visit. After dinner we tried our luck at the Radisson's casino and then walked the beach back to our hotel and returned to our room for the night.

Sunday was our final full day and we decided to spend it relaxing on the beach. We laid out under our rented palapa and enjoyed the sun and breeze. For dinner we went to Tony Roma's acrossed the street from our hotel. The dinner was good and after that we decided to visit a few of the other casino's along the high rise district and then went to the Iguana Bar at our hotel for a few drinks and then back to our room for the night.

Monday we got up and started packing to go home. We checked out of our hotel pretty quickly and got the airport and breezed through customs very quickly. It was much faster for us to get through the U.S. Customs then it was for the Aruban Customs. The trip went by way to fast and I am so glad we got to experience Aruba and everything they had to offer. We will definately be returning in a few years as Aruba has become our #1 vacation spot. Thank you Aruba and thank you to everyone on this board for answering all my questions before we left. It really made our trip go by with no problems. :)

06-29-2008, 09:08 AM
Nice report of a nice trip. Sorry to hear the timeshare folks along your way wouldn't take no...aggravating. Will you be back to the island not that you've gotten the bug?

06-29-2008, 12:45 PM
Thanks for sharing your story.:) I too would have been angry with the timeshare reps. :mad:

06-30-2008, 05:43 AM
The timeshare reps were the worst part of the whole trip. However, the whole Aruban experience greatly outweighed the problem with the timeshare reps. We will absolutely be returning to Aruba, but probably not for a couple of years as it is quite pricey for us to travel here. We spoke with many couples during our week stay and they all said Aruba was by far the best island they have visited. My wife and I couldn't have agreed more.

Andrea J.
06-30-2008, 02:03 PM
digger you can and should report the timeshare harassment to the timeshare itself

i am in contact with a few of the places (administrative offices)

if you remember the name of the timeshare, the location youo were bothered and the time and date..............private message it to me please.


The timeshare reps were the worst part of the whole trip. However, the whole Aruban experience greatly outweighed the problem with the timeshare reps. We will absolutely be returning to Aruba, but probably not for a couple of years as it is quite pricey for us to travel here. We spoke with many couples during our week stay and they all said Aruba was by far the best island they have visited. My wife and I couldn't have agreed more.

06-30-2008, 08:41 PM
Digger,Great report ,glad you had a wonderful vacation sorry to hear about the timeshare people,they usually just leave you alone.One thing you didn't mention.......HOW WAS THE WEATHER.................NICE.............Thanks for sharing.

07-01-2008, 01:14 AM
Thanks for the report. Sounds like you had a great time. What did you think of the HI?

Liz - Aruba Lover
07-01-2008, 03:54 AM
Thanks Digger for your detailed report. I wonder if the aggressive salesmen you encounted was from the Aruban Resort. When I stayed at the Holiday Inn last summer, there was a saleman from the Aruban on the beach going from palapa to palapa. And two months ago when I was outside Paseo Herencia mall, along comes a saleman that jumped off his moped in the middle of traffic and cornered a couple coming out of the mall.

07-01-2008, 01:51 PM
There were two ladies trying to sale the Aruban resort one day when we were on the beach as well.

07-02-2008, 01:45 AM
DannyO: The weather was perfect all week and my wife and I couldn't have been happier.

CoronaCathy: The Holiday Inn was wonderful. My wife and I were nervous after reading some of the negative reviews about the place on other websites, but we were so glad we stayed here. Everything was wonderful and we will definately stay here again.

Liz and Tenn Couple: The people were trying to sell us on the Occidental and the LaCabana Resort. Nobody bothered us on the beach, but I saw them harrassing quite a few people trying to relax in the sun. That made me quite angry at the nerve some of these timeshare reps have. But, like I said in a previous post, our trip was incredibly fantastic that not even the timeshare people could ruin it.

07-02-2008, 02:26 PM
How do you rebuff these people?

07-03-2008, 01:04 AM
Megan8607: Honestly, 9 times out of 10, you tell the people no thank you and they say okay and leave you alone. However, these people I encountered were different. If you encounter them near the Occidental, the best thing to do is to keep walking. That is what we should have done and even if they surround you like they did us, just push on through. If you walk far enough, they won't follow because then you are making them leave their spot to annoy tourists. You probably won't have any problems with any of these people. We just happened to be unlucky that day.

07-03-2008, 07:09 AM
We were "accosted" twice on our last trip. First time was in the evening as we were walking past the Occidental - sales people were standing outside hawking the resort! :rolleyes: They were a bit pushy, but we said "no thank you" and kept walking.

Second time surprised us - we were at the lighthouse when a guy came over and struck up a conversation. Very pleasant, typical friendly local ... or so we thought! About 5 minutes into the conversation he led into his sales pitch by asking us where we were staying. He was selling The Aruban! :( When we told him we were in the process of buying at Gold Coast, he quickly lost interest and went on his way to catch other unsuspecting tourists!

Pretty annoying, but as Digger said, just keep walking and you're all set! :cool: