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coqui
07-02-2008, 06:21 PM
OK, After much research on this forum, in books, and many websites -- this is the plan we have come up with. I would really like input from any of you on 'flow' or order or any other recommendations for the areas we will be at. While staying at Renissance we plan on cooking 1-2 meals in room so you will see 'in room' on those days. Also, we are a family with 2 kids (2 and 5) so you will see mainly family activites listed.



Friday, July 11th – Depart @ noon and arrive in Aruba at 930pm

Bully is Taxi driver that will be picking us up - Airport to Renaissance Ocean Suites = $13
Saturday, July 12th – Renaissance
Breakfast – Paddock’s

Activity – Find a Grocery Store nearby - question - which is closer and are either in walking distance to renaissance ocean suites?



Kong Hing at Havenstraat 16
Ling & Sons at Italiestrast 26



Activity – Check out hotel & hotel activities
Activity – Renaissance Island
Lunch – in hotel room
Activity – Renaissance Island
Dinner – Iguana Joe’s
Sunday, July 13th
Breakfast – in room
Activity – Relax at Renaissance beach/pool
Lunch – in room
Activity – Shopping in Oranjastaed area / Seaport Village Mall area
Dinner – Senor Frogs (Kids/Family Day is Sunday)

Monday, July 14th – Jolly Pirates Sailing Tour
Breakfast – in room

Activity – Jolly Pirates - Sail, Snorkel, Swim & Swing: 9:30am – 2:00pm



Swim and snorkel at three great sites: Malmok, Boca Catalina and 400ft WWII Shipwreck, Antilla,
BBQ, Open Bar, Snorkel Gear & Ropeswing - $53/per person
Departs from MooMba’s on the beach between Holiday Inn & Marriott Resorts

Activity – Renaissance Island
Dinner – in room

Tuesday, July 15th
Breakfast – in room
Activity – Relax at Renaissance Island/pool
Lunch – in room
Activity – Shopping in Oranjastaed area / Renaissance Mall area
Dinner – **Make reservation ** Madame Janette – 530pm
o Madam Janette http://www.madamejanette.info/ (http://www.madamejanette.info/)

Wednesday. July 16th South East Aruba Tour
Breakfast – in room
Activity – Get Rental car (National – Dad only Taxi Renaissace to Airport = $13)
Activity – Renaissace Pool
Activity – Punta Basora/Colorado Point Lighthouse
Activity - Baby Beach
Activity – Rodgers Beach
Activity – San Nicholas ?
Activity – Commanders Bay ?
Lunch - Savaneta – Brisas Del Mar serves lunch 11-3pm
Activity – Spanish Lagoon
Activity – Frenchman’s Pass
Activity – Renaissance Island/Pool
Dinner – in room

Thursday, July 17th - Leeward Coast (Heading North) Tour
Breakfast – in room
Activity - Bubali bird sanctuary
Activity – Fisherman’s Hut ? anything to see here?
Activity – Malmok ? anything to see here?
Activity – California Lighthouse
Activity – Arashi Beach (Snorkeling)
Lunch – Ventanas Del Mar (at Tierras Del Sol Golf Course) 11pm-3pm
Activity – Renaissance Island
Dinner – **Make reservation ** Flying Fishbone – 5pm

Friday, July 18th - Moving Day & South Tour
Breakfast – in room
Activity – Renaissance Island

Lunch – early in the room

Check-out of Renaissance Ocean Suites by noon
Activity – Chapel of Alto Vista
Activity – Bushiribana Ruins
Activity – Natural Bridge
Activity – Andicuri Beach
Activity – Ayo (rock Formation)
Activity – Guidiriki Indian Caves
Activity – Bachelor’s Beach
Dinner – Cuba’s Cookin ** Make Reservations **

www.cubascookin.com (http://www.cubascookin.com/)

Check-in Westin Aruba Resort anytime after 4pm
Westin Aruba Resort
J.E.Irausquin Blvd.77

Saturday, July 19th – Ostrich & Butterfly Farms

Breakfast/Activity - Ostrich Farm

http://www.arubaostrichfarm.com/bar_restaurant.html


Saturday & Sunday

All You can eat Breakfast Special
FOR ONLY $11.14 pp
(incl Coffee, Tea and Juice)



Assorted bread, cold cuts, jam’s, egg (and when in season ostrich omelet)

Make reservation before 10:00 am and receive Ostrich tour ½ price.
CALL NOW 585-9630



Lunch – Tomato Charlie's for Pizza
Activity – Butterfly Farm
Activity – Return Car (After butterfly farm – Taxi Airport to Westin =$20)
Activity – Beach/Pool Relax

Dinner - Buccanear (aquarium inside)



http://www.buccaneeraruba.com/


Sunday, July 20th – Last full day ;(
Breakfast – **find** -- please recommend something in walking distance
Activity – TomCar Tour
o http://www.ranchonotorious.com/tomcar.shtml (http://www.ranchonotorious.com/tomcar.shtml)
o Baby Beach Tour – Morning Tour – 9am-1pm
o $99/adult & $49/child (includes pickup/dropoff, snacks, water, googles & gloves, flashlights for caves & lunch
Activity – Beach/Pool
Late Tapas Lunch – Salt & Pepper
Activity – Beach/Pool
Dinner – Wacky Wahoo's (approx. 15 min. walk from Westin.


Monday, July 21st – Depart Aruba @ 7:35am and arrive home at 6:15pm

Bully is Taxi driver that will be picking us up at 5:15am - Westin to Airport = $20
Well, thats all I have so far -- what do you think? Too much, too little -- not seeing the right stuff? Any and all input is welcomed!

THANKS AGAIN!!!
Coqui

coqui
07-02-2008, 06:34 PM
One last comment -- we were also thinking of the De Palm island for their waterpark, but we are not sure if we should/or should not do this. We have MANY waterparks where we live as well as have a pool in backyard where the kids swim all the time --- so wasn't sure the $93/adult and $47/kid price was worth it. Please correct me if I am wrong on that as I am trying to make sure we don't miss out on anything too fun.

TennCouple
07-02-2008, 06:38 PM
Pretty good plan. I just retruned from Aruba. A couple recommendations:

When going to Senor Frog, even if it is family night go kind early in the evenning.

Also some rental car places will drop off and pick up your car at your hotel. Might be something to look into instead of paying for taxi.

That is all I can recommend.

cindyo
07-02-2008, 06:59 PM
A few thoughts, and don't take this the wrong way....IMOP, you probably will be exausted from this list. While I too am an organized person, once you hit that private island there is no way you will want to leave. IMOP you are over-doing it.
Next thought, you never mentioned your kids ages, so I shall assume they are little. The water park is kinda pricey, you might want to forgo it. Its not that great. If you've been in one, you've been in them all. ( just my opinion).Its small.
Next, looks like you plan on eatting alot in your room. The room has a very small kitchen set up. Could you cook a meal, Yes, however there is no stove, just a range with 2 burners and a micro( that burns all popcorn...). I might suggest that you look into taco bell and subway and take that food over to the island or eat by the pool.( 30 steps away)
Are you suppost to, NO, but we do it anyway. We more than make up for it buying drinks on the island, and our favorite water, Jorge, over looks it. Bring a soft sided cooler..
There is also a dunks( donuts) in the same mall, 30 steps outside the suites. Breakfast, take it to the island.
Hong King grocery store is behind the marina towers. I suggest you take the golf cart over to the marina and walk 2 minutes to the store. BIg asst, no, but has everything you could need including liquor and mixers. Then, take the golf cart back. You will want to load up on snacks and take them also to the island.
ALso, go early to the island, and stay late at least one nite to see the sunset. Last boat is at 6:45 ish.
We are definately Ren experts here....11 yrs of going....

Bill
07-02-2008, 07:30 PM
Anytime in Aruba is good time. We have planned many a vacation while there but never followed the plan. I would use your plan as a guide but (the old but) go with the flow! Trust me, lets say,when you plan on a trip down town but you are laying on the beach that plan might just change (get it"). You are going to have a great time! Enjoy.

Arubalisa
07-02-2008, 08:16 PM
Activity – Jolly Pirates - Sail, Snorkel, Swim & Swing: 9:30am – 2:00pm



Swim and snorkel at three great sites: Malmok, Boca Catalina and 400ft WWII Shipwreck, Antilla,
BBQ, Open Bar, Snorkel Gear & Ropeswing - $53/per person
Departs from MooMba’s on the beach between Holiday Inn & Marriott Resorts

If you have not done so already. Book online in advance and receive a 15% discount. http://www.jolly-pirates.com/ (http://www.jolly-pirates.com/)



Tuesday, July 15th


Dinner – **Make reservation ** Madame Janette – 530pm

o Madam Janette http://www.madamejanette.info/ (http://www.madamejanette.info/)

Why not take advantage of the rental car and dine at MJ's on a night when you have your rental car?



Wednesday. July 16th South East Aruba Tour
Breakfast – in room
Activity – Get Rental car (National – Dad only Taxi Renaissace to Airport = $13)
Activity – Renaissace Pool
Activity – Punta Basora/Colorado Point Lighthouse
Activity - Baby Beach
Activity – Rodgers Beach
Activity – San Nicholas ?
Activity – Commanders Bay ?
Lunch - Savaneta – Brisas Del Mar serves lunch 11-3pm
Activity – Spanish Lagoon
Activity – Frenchman’s Pass
Activity – Renaissance Island/Pool
Dinner – in room
Maybe a long day in the car, depending on how late you get started. The kids may poop out before you on this one. For the area that you plan on covering and if they are in that order, there is a Coco's Bar and Grill at Rodger's Beach may not only be less expensive than Brisas del Mar, but also less expensive.



Thursday, July 17th - Leeward Coast (Heading North) Tour
Breakfast – in room
Activity - Bubali bird sanctuary
Activity – Fisherman’s Hut ? anything to see here?
Activity – Malmok ? anything to see here?
Activity – California Lighthouse
Activity – Arashi Beach (Snorkeling)
Lunch – Ventanas Del Mar (at Tierras Del Sol Golf Course) 11pm-3pm
Activity – Renaissance Island
Dinner – **Make reservation ** Flying Fishbone – 5pm

Activity – Fisherman’s Hut ? anything to see here? There are sure to be at least a few windsurfers and kitesurfers out and about doing their "tricks". Worth a stop for some photos for 10 minutes or so tops. We were just there for some photos and videos, really cool for sure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qByFNd9OGq4


Friday, July 18th - Moving Day & South Tour
Activity – Guidiriki Indian Caves
You may wish to consider touring Fontein Cave instead. http://www.aruba.com/whattodo/caves.php (http://www.aruba.com/whattodo/caves.php) Imo, not nearly as rugged as Guad. and will also be on your tour route (just to the south of Boca Prins).

We toured Guadirikiri Cave in December when it is cooler on the island and were given some pretty stern warnings prior to entering regarding health issues, especially respiratory. It is a longer tour and I could see how a little one could easily become scared by going so deep into a cave. Combined with bats and extreme heat, pardon the pun but it may bring on meltdowns.

Saturday, July 19th – Ostrich & Butterfly Farms
http://www.aruba-travelguide.com/butterflyfarm/ (http://www.aruba-travelguide.com/butterflyfarm/) Visits to the Butterfly Farm are complimentary during your stay on the island so may want to stop by and 'sign up' one of the days that you have the car and then each morning while you are at the Westin you can just walk across the street. From what I understand the bf's are most active earlier in the morning.

Imho, and that only, consider substituting the Donkey Sanctuary http://www.arubandonkey.org/ (http://www.arubandonkey.org/) for the Ostrich Farm. We personally (again just our opinion) were disappointed in not only having to pay admission to the Ostrich Farm, but then having to also pay, if we wanted, to feed "their" animals. :rolleyes:

If anything the Donkeys are native to Aruba and held in the sanctuary for their own protection and cared for by a group of volunteers. Donations are accepted in lieu of admission fees. The kids would learn a little about the donkeys on the island and their history. Be on the look out for wild goats and some wild donkeys while riding through Arikok National Park. ;) :) Surely keeps me busy, never mind the kids. :D



Sunday, July 20th – Activity – TomCar Tour
o http://www.ranchonotorious.com/tomcar.shtml (http://www.ranchonotorious.com/tomcar.shtml)
o Baby Beach Tour – Morning Tour – 9am-1pm
o $99/adult & $49/child (includes pickup/dropoff, snacks, water, googles & gloves, flashlights for caves & lunch

Ditch the TomCar Tour as we did and take an ATV tour instead. We have been visiting Aruba for 12 years and this was one of the best tours we have ever done. You can cut out at LEAST one day of your planned touring/driving the northeastern end of the island, but also get to see the Natural Pool AND have a guide to describe what you are seeing as well as detail the history.

Kini Kini 1/2 Day Tour Double Rider $95.00 Adult with a child. My math it will be less expensive than the TomCar, but now that I have typed all that, can you do either ATV or Tom Car with a 2 year old? :confused: :confused:

http://www.kinikini.com/kk/servlet/Tours (http://www.kinikini.com/kk/servlet/Tours)
Sites to be visited
- California Lighthouse
- Wish Garden
- Alto Vista Chapel
- Bushiribana Ruins
- Natural Bridge
- Natural Pool
- Ayo Rock Formations

Either way, imo, the TomCar is just a duplication of stuff you will have already seen on your own with the car and a great expense!


Dinner – Wacky Wahoo's (approx. 15 min. walk from Westin.A half mile walk http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=12.5683657&lon=-70.0420475&z=16&l=0&m=a&v=2 (http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=12.5683657&lon=-70.0420475&z=16&l=0&m=a&v=2)


Well, thats all I have so far -- what do you think? Too much, too little -- not seeing the right stuff? Any and all input is welcomed!
Too much sightseeing and not enough downtime relaxing at the beach and pool.

One last comment -- we were also thinking of the De Palm island for their waterpark, but we are not sure if we should/or should not do this. We have MANY waterparks where we live as well as have a pool in backyard where the kids swim all the time --- so wasn't sure the $93/adult and $47/kid price was worth it. Please correct me if I am wrong on that as I am trying to make sure we don't miss out on anything too fun.
SAVE your money! DON'T DO IT! You will be extremely disappointed in comparison to waterparks here in the US. The size alone should be a dead giveaway.

Andrea J.
07-02-2008, 09:28 PM
too many activities
you will be exhausted and by mid week, most likely the kids will be exhausted too and cranky

reread cindy's and lisa's posts

you definately should revolve your days around renaissance's private island

all of this is my opinion

either way have a blast
andrea

look at your itinerary and subtract 70%

cindyo
07-02-2008, 11:04 PM
Ah, something you forgot on your list, HAPPY HOUR's.....LOL
OH, by the way, most stores are closed on sunday.
Go and relax, forget the list. Hit the private island and you will be hooked....
Tell Jorge the best waiter on the island, cindy says hi.
Check out my private island photo's in the gallery...now you'll see why we're hooked. ENJOY:)

Graham Flanagan
07-03-2008, 03:35 PM
I would spend most of my time with the kids at the beach. That being said, I don't think that you should plan on seeing all of them while you were there - I would select a few of them to visit and spend some extra time at the ones that you do visit - the kids will not notice a difference between the beaches.

Additionally, I would skip many of the sites that you have planned with your rental car (i.e. condense your Wednesday, Thursday, Friday activities into 1 or 1 1/2 days - perhaps follow a full day itinerary of one of the tour companies and see some of the other sites on another day).

I should also point out that I have been to the Butterfly farm and it is true that they are more active in the morning. You may also want to go into the Radisson to see the exotic birds (great pictures) or go to see the iguana feeding at the Marriott (your kids would probably appreciate both activities and it would not cost you anything).

As for the TomCar tour, I doubt children are allowed in the car and if they are, I do not think that it would not be very safe for them. Stick with a rental car (a 4X4 with a hard top/air conditioning and rent car seats from your car rental agency instead of bringing your own) to see the island/go to Baby Beach.

You may also want to save the Jolly Pirates snorkel trip for when you are staying at the Westin (it is much closer). Also, while it is a great snorkel trip, there is not much cover on the boat to get away from the sun, hence, you should make sure that you bring the extra sunscreen for your kids (or perhaps take the shorter version of the cruise in the afternoon - it is a long time to have a young children on a boat).

A few other thoughts...do the Ostrich farm on a day that you are exploring the island (it would probably cut your day if you were to do it on the Saturday and you do not need to spend much time there), see if they will pick up your rental car at your hotel and the DePalm tour is not worth it, especially for very young children.

:cool:

Red Sox Girl
07-03-2008, 06:00 PM
I read this post last night and didn't quite know how to respond. I agree with everyone. When I read it last night, it was after a long day/week of work. The list exhausted me. I thought maybe because I'm just tired. But I just read it again, and it exhausted me again.:D

It's good to have some ideas of what you want to do, see, eat, etc. Too much planning can be an exhausting vacation. Aruba is a slow paced island. You'll see when you get there. Just go slow - in a relaxing kind of way. Beach, bar, sand, food, family, friends. Nothing more need be done.

Have a blast! A relaxing blast!!

serene56
07-03-2008, 06:18 PM
Monday, July 21st – Depart Aruba @ 7:35am and arrive home at 6:15pm

Bully is Taxi driver that will be picking us up at 5:15am - Westin to Airport = $20coqui



curious question-- is that enough time to get 4 people checked into the airport with customs etc?