View Full Version : Dave & Jodie Continued...

12-20-2008, 09:29 AM
We've been busy since we returned last week so sorry about the delay. Snowed in now with about 10 inches and still counting.

Friday...last day at the Renaissance. Kids took a last dip in the pool while we packed up. Check out was no problem and we were sad to leave our home away from home. On the taxi ride over to the Aruban Resort we saw a few people going down the water slides at Morgan's Island Water Park. At $57 for the day or 57 Florins for residents, I don't think they will do very well. All of the taxi drivers I polled indicated they would go to DePalm Island (with food and drink included) before going to Morgan's Island. By the way, mosquitos are still bothersome in the morning and at night, so don't forget your bug spray when eating outdoors.

The Aruban

We were a little nervous about staying at the Aruban given some of the terrible reviews on the forums...especially TripAdvisor, but we could not find a lockoff unit for the last two nights and the Aruban was a good bargain at $100 per night (Expedia.com). To our surprise, our unit was ready around noon when we went to check in. Staff was extremely friendly and check-in was quick - even received four free drink coupons for the pool bar.

The suite was really large although dated. Once all of the units are updated, this will be a great place to stay. Our unit was relatively clean and we had a ton of space to spread out. These are great units if you are staying for an extended period of time and will eat many meals in as there is a full kitchen with a full size refrigerator. The water slide is awesome and kept the kids busy and the pool was fun as it was deeper than many hotel pools at 5 ft deep. Food options at the resort are somewhat limited with the Blue Marlin (inside the casino) and La Cabana's restaurants across the street. Breakfast Buffet at the Blue Marlin was decent and reasonable at $9.95. Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins right at the Aruban Resort was fun. Renovations are proceeding slowly at the Aruban and the first phase is still not complete. Had lunch twice at the restaurant at the La Cabana pool and food was excellent and reasonably priced.

We all absolutely loved Eagle Beach and spent most of the day Saturday in the ocean. After the last storms, Eagle Beach is one of the largest stretches of beach on the island and the sand is powdery smooth with no coral or rocks. There were gentle waves and for those so inclined, water sports are available (our friends rented jet skis and had a blast). For those of you who love this beach (and we can see why), I would recommend La Cabana or Amsterdam Manor until the renovations at The Aruban Resort are finished.

On Friday night we all ate at Texas de Brazil, which was excellent as always. This counts as entertainment as well as dinner, especially when going with people who have not dined at a Churrascaria (sp?) before. When the Gauchos start coming to the table all at once with the large skewers of various meats and slice them onto your plate it is quite an experience. Probably took 2 years off our lives but you have to live for today because who knows what the future will bring.

On Saturday night we went to try the burgers at Dushi Bagels on the recommendation of members of the forum. A great call as the burgers were truly the best on the island and the steak fries were not far behind. We had a late flight back on Sunday so we had breakfast, checked out early, and spent the day at The Aruban's pool. Check-in at the airport was smooth and our plane actually left early to return home.

As you can see, we had an unbelievable trip! Even though the island is more built up each time we visit, it is still our favorite place in the world. If you have any questions about the Renaissance, The Aruban, or anything about the island, don't hesitate to ask.

Time to start planning the next trip...

Dave and Jodie (pictures coming soon)

12-20-2008, 01:32 PM
Dave n Jody, Thanks for the update....we too are in 10 inches of snow, ugh.
Well, when we go in april you can live it "thru us"....as we can't wait to return the favor...Interestesting about Morgans island. We won't be going either.
Thanks again, cindyo

Linda VH
12-22-2008, 10:39 AM
Better than Bingo's???? I do love Bingo's curly fries, not into steak fries but burgers :D

12-31-2008, 04:04 PM
Thank you for the information on your trip report.

We are reading the November / December reports very carefully for suggestions on things to see and do. I cannot believe many of the changes that have taken place on this island as a result of the construction boom in the last two years, Ex. "The Riu" and other resorts that are nearing completion on their major renovations, [ Divi Phoenix, etc.] , or are new. [ Oceania ?]

We are leaving in 10 days and looking for information on the Divi Phoenix, where we will be staying.

We too, have round trip flights on US Scareways from Boston, but we booked in March and the Boston to Aruba leg is almost full now. I cannot believe how fare prices changed in the past seven months, with a coach seat price going for $475.00 to a peak of $1,000.00,+ and now back to about $560.00.

Does Eddy Croes still conduct "nature sensitive" tours of the island? He is the best tour guide I have ever met, and poesesses a great memory for the history of the island, and its natural beauty. I had the distinct "privilige" of going on one his all day tours two years ago, and was his only passenger, by sheer luck. I got to see some great sights in Arikok Park, and other beach areas that tourists NEVER see, far away from the casinos, learned to pick sea grapes, and met some wonderful people from Venezuela, and Columbia during our beach walks. I would love to do his tour again, if it is available.

I would wonder if restaurant prices in all popular restaurants like El Gaucho, have increased by $7.00 US on average?? What was your impression?

I would also ask if you went to any jewelry shops, and which ones you would recommend. We will be celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary, and would like to get my DW a nice gift.

Thanks again for your report.

Frank Landry
Burlington, MA.

Buried under 8 inches of snow today 12/31/2008

12-31-2008, 04:08 PM
Frank...I highly recommend KAY's jewelry store. We love that store and find them very reputable. With a bad experience with another, I highly recommend them, we use Andy.

01-01-2009, 09:10 AM
Hi Burlingtontownie,

Enjoy your trip! We are jealous. We don't know about the nature sensitive tours as we have not taken one. Prices on the island are up significantly. For example, the "El Gaucho" steak at El Gauchos is still advertised at approx $26 on their website and it was $33 while we were in Aruba. This is mostly true at the higher end restaurants. Iguana Joe's downtown and Iguana Cantina by the new mall were both excellent values.

Relative to jewelry stores, I would agree with Cindy that Kay's is very reputable. I have also done well as Sean Paul's in the past (many years ago). Good luck shopping and have a great trip!

Dave and Jodie

01-01-2009, 04:17 PM
I will be posting starting this week in the trip report section here. It will consist of Planning, trip, and final report. The first report will cover my "yahoo.com" posting and link to over 60 photos taken in 2005-2007. The actual trip this year will be from 1/10/ to 1/24. I will not have a computer or access to a computer, so I will have to run off notes as fast as I can when i return at the end of the month.

This is the link to report and photos:
http://travel.yahoo.com/trip-journal-583510-aruba_vacations_2005_2007;_ylt=Al97Oi9HebCvzVBKwvl PM278xmoA

01-05-2009, 12:02 PM
Does Eddy Croes still conduct "nature sensitive" tours of the island?
Yes. :)

http://www.aruba.com/friends/eddy.php (http://www.aruba.com/friends/eddy.php)
http://www.sensitivehikers.com/ (http://www.sensitivehikers.com/)

I would also ask if you went to any jewelry shops, and which ones you would recommend.
http://www.aruba.com/forum/tags/jewelry.html (http://www.aruba.com/forum/tags/jewelry.html)

My dad bought a beautiful diamond for my Mom at Gold Palace http://goldpalacearuba.net/ (http://goldpalacearuba.net/). They are located across from the bus terminal in downtown Oranjestad.

01-06-2009, 05:13 AM
I would also ask if you went to any jewelry shops, and which ones you would recommend. We will be celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary, and would like to get my DW a nice gift.

We have had good luck with Gemani Jewelers, just beyond Royal Plaza Mall and across from the souvenir huts on the water. We deal with Andy. Bought a beautiful tanzanite ring from them as well as a few other baubles. :)

01-07-2009, 09:26 AM
:pHi there, Just a quick note about Kay Jewelry store. My hubby bought me a great ring there and 5 months later I had a stone fall out and my main stone was loose:eek:. As we go to Aruba every year:), we brought it back and they were wonderful! They took the ring and replaced the stone, tightened the main stone and it was shipped to my home 3 weeks later (no cost, of course!). All in all a very good ending to that story. Would purchase from them again.

01-16-2009, 07:38 PM
Nice pics BurlingtonTowne, I am next town over Wilmington. At the Mill are the dancers there all the time or were you there during Carnival.