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Thread: Bradrobster & Deb - Aruba 2022! June 14 - 24th

  1. #31
    Senior Member phrogg108's Avatar
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    I am a little late on the Diet Coke discussion, but I agree with you 1000000000%. Coke Zero and Diet Coke are not the same thing and when we were there last October, I could not find Diet Coke anywhere. It was terrible! Of course, I made up for it with Balashi but still...

    Your trip sounds awesome and I love the idea of Pre-Vacation! What a concept!!




    Pictures from our Oct 2021 trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZNDCceAbJT5sECfE8

    Pictures from our Oct 2020 trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/TGHm1uumCXGEkEHv5
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  2. #32
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Brad, how do you like the Ocean Club rooms? We were very impressed when we stayed there in November 2020.
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  3. #33
    Senior Member bradrobster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaltVB View Post
    Brad, how do you like the Ocean Club rooms? We were very impressed when we stayed there in November 2020.
    Walt, just got checked in about an hour ago. Rooms are great! Our opinion is they did a great job on the room renovations. Much more stylish and functional. I love the multiple plugs and power options. It shows they are a least trying to pay attention to the normal needs. Appliances are very nice, bathrooms look good. As an owner, I am pleased with the results. All that said, we have drinks in hand and it's only 4pm....we have a palapa and are hitting the water again...life is great!
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  4. #34
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. We have not stayed at the Hilton in years but always loved it. I love Bugaloe! Never had breakfast there but it sounds amazing.
    Just finished trip 36 and have trip 37 Booked.







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  5. #35
    Senior Member bradrobster's Avatar
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    Day 4 – June 17th

    Well, there come those days when you realize either via age or other factors, you are either just stupid or getting old. I opt for the 2nd one hopefully, but I will get to that in a minute.

    Day started early again, up around 7. I went down to the coffee place inside the Hilton and got our two large coffees. Deb slept in a bit but then we decided just to grab the free continental breakfast at the hotel since we needed to check out and move to the Marriott Ocean Club. Went down to the Laguna restaurant there and Deb was happy with the free continental, me, not so much. Luckily, I could upgrade to the full breakfast for only 8 bucks more. It got me all the hot food while she could only stay with the non-hot food. Ok, so this is just code for “Continental means you get no hot meat or eggs”. You can have your cold ham or turkey with your bread and cheese, but don’t touch the bacon, sausage, eggs or omelets.

    Breakfast was fair, but certainly not what we were used to with Bugaloe. We will be trying other options and cooking in the room now that we are here in the Ocean Club. I am excited to try the Chicken and Lobster breakfast that Walt has had, sounds really good. We also love Salt and Pepper for Breakfast and will be going there. Breakfast is your base; it is the singular layer of grease and carbs which provide you with the ultra-protection for increased adult beverage consumption. Without breakfast, you risk not having that thin layer of protection and from there, your gastric ecosystem could be in jeopardy. This is especially true if you practice mixology, which is the practice of multiple layers of Balashi, sugary frozen drinks, a couple hard liquor drinks, maybe another balashi chill here or there, oh and wait, when happy hour occurs, there are 2 for 1. Not that this is the “norm” for me, just stating a use case that seems to be common with Aruba visits.

    Checkout was good, I had cashed in some points for Hilton Gift Cards so I applied them to the bill so that I could get out much cheaper than without them. Hopped in the car and headed for the Ocean Club. It was still early so no one else there trying to check in. I knew the room would not be ready, but I wanted to get the bags checked in there, so they didn’t sit in the car while we went and grabbed lunch before going to meet up with Andrea and Ace.
    Rolled up to the Ocean Club around 10:30. Of course the room was not ready. Played the usual game with them.

    ME: So, I know my room isn’t ready but can you show me on the room map which one/where it is?

    THEM: No sir, someone is still occupying the room, but we have your preferences noted.

    ME: So…wait a minute, if you know someone is still in the room then you already know which room you are going to give me, so why can’t you show me?

    THEM: We have your preferences noted sir and will text you when the room is available.

    ME: {{{{Sigh}}}}

    Since this was still around 10:30, Deb and I headed downtown since there were no cruise ships in town today. We were really just looking around at stuff and after driving for a bit, Deb says let’s go check out West Deck, we usually only do that coming our going out. So, we pulled up and there were only a couple people there, they had just opened at 11. We weren’t starving but Deb got a Margarita, and I got a Bloody Mary. She got the Garlic Shrimp and Caribbean Rice. I got the Balashi Grouper fingers. We were just not hungry for huge platters. Deb’s shrimps were perfect. My Grouper fingers were really good and much different that what I was used to. Instead of being more crispy and harder fried, the batter was a softer more tempura like batter made with Balashi beer. The batter was firm but pillow soft around the fish and was amazing. They had a tarragon dipping sauce and small macaroni salad and that was just enough. Next time, I will get two orders of those instead of an entrée!

    After finishing up, we drove back towards the Marriott. Now for the “stupid” or old part I first mentioned.

    When Ace sent me the PM about meeting, he and Andrea, he said he would be hanging out at the pool bar at the La Cabana. I read it, I heard it but my brain somehow had the Playa Linda in mind. So in my mind, I knew Deb and I would head back to the Marriott after lunch, park and since room wasn’t ready we would walk up to the the “La Cabana” and meet up with them. So, we did….

    Well, we got there (Playa Linda mind you)… and walked around, looking and looking. I went up to the bar and asked the bar tender, “is this the only pool bar”, Yes, it is she said. We walked around more and more, didn’t see them. I sent them a DM saying “hey! We are here, looking for yall by the pool bar”, still nothing. So Deb and I sat down at the bar and thought we would just get a drink and wait. When she came over again, she said, did you find your friend? I said, no, he said he would be here at the bar at the La Cabana. She said, Sir, this is NOT the La Cabana, it’s the Playa Linda! The La Cabana is a couple miles back up the beach in the low rises.

    Deb Looked at me. No, I mean, she gave me one of those looks like, “It’s 90degrees in Aruba, we just walked up past 3 hotels, walked around for 30 more minutes and you got the hotel wrong?”

    Pause -moment of silence for bradrobsters ego……………………………..


    I chastised myself over and over as we walked in the heat (in street clothes) back to the Marriott. I told her the room should be ready any moment and she should just wait, and I would drive up to La Cabana and still try to meet up with Andrea and Paul and Ace.
    I went flying up there in the car, hot as he$$ and got lucky with a parking space and went in to find the pool and bar. I found them at the back of the pool bar! So happy I did that, I would have kicked myself forever if I had missed that opportunity! We had a great chat for a bit and then we all had to get moving. So wonderful to meet such nice folks we have interacted with for years. Deb was sorry not to make it but karma helped us a bit, as I pulled back into the Ocean Club and got on the wifi, before I got out of the car, they texed me that the room was ready!

    Took all our stuff to the room, unpacked. We really love the room renovations. Walt had mentioned he had seen them in 2020 shortly after they were finished and liked them. We agree, very upscale, we like the flooring and appliances, and they replaced the whirlpool tub with a very nice standard one. The appliances are stainless, new subway tile backsplash, etc, etc. Very Nice!

    We were unpacked and on the beach by 3:15, ordered the 2 fo 1 drinks, dumped them into our Yeti’s, grabbed towels from the towel hut, got one of our optimum palapas near the back with more privacy and we were set!

    Much time in ocean and I love going back and forth between ocean, hot tub area and pool and then back out to ocean. Deb would rather read and hit the ocean, which we both did but I like including the other two stops as well!

    Grabbed showers but wanted something simple and close for dinner. Walked over to Nos Clubhuis above Hadicurri. We had eaten bar food here years ago and while it was good, it was not great. This time we opted for the dinner menu. Deb got the Grouper tacos which there were 3 large tacos! I got the grouper platter but got it “Fish and Chips” style. When it came there were many large bite sized pieces of very lightly battered grouper with fries and a salad. I have to say, the grouper bites were tender, flavorful and really melted in your mouth. It comes with their tarter sauce but I asked about cocktail sauce and they brought us some of their “different” as they described it, cocktail sauce which had katsup, mayo and whiskey! It was very tasty, and I used it to dip my grouper pieces and cleaned the container it was in!

    Such a wonderful day. I am sitting on the balcony I love, drink in hand (real diet coke-thank you Superfood). Deb is already asleep in the bed while I write this. Again, so blessed to be back here after two years missing it!
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  6. #36
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    Great trip report! I’m happy you all were able to meet up, albeit you took a “wrong turn” and ended up at the wrong hotel LOLOLOL. We also own at the Ocean Club and love it. I’m looking forward to reading more about your stay this week. We’re right behind you- arrive on July 4 for a two week stay.
    Last edited by Tuckahoe; 06-18-2022 at 01:22 AM.
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  7. #37
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    That was a BUSY day!!

    Glad that you are settled into your new digs.

    Enjoy and tell Deb that we missed her.
    THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind? sidtm
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  8. #38
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    Sounds like a very long day! You made the most of checkout/checkin day since you lose time packing, waiting for new room and unpacking again. Glad you are settled in at the Ocean Club and you got to do everything as planned for the day despite the hotel mishap. Lol lol lol.
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  9. #39
    Senior Member bradrobster's Avatar
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    Day 5 – Saturday, June 18th
    Had a good but not so early start today. Made coffee in the room and headed down to Salt and Pepper around 7:45am, we wanted to grab breakfast and then head to SuperFood to grab our remaining stuff, mainly the cold stuff.

    Parked behind Arawak gardens, if you don’t know the parking is back there, it’s a great and easy place to park while you eat there. Breakfast was good, not great, not as good as I remember. I got the American breakfast. Deb always gets her eggs over easy while I always get scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs vary wherever you go. I feel like most places use some type of egg “mixture”, and while I use Egg Beaters at home for myself about 75% of the time, for some reason scrambled eggs in most places just don’t seem like when I make them from real eggs at home. Oh well, I may have to change to fried hard…lol

    Headed over to Superfoods, it was still before 9am so we beat the big crowds. We picked up mostly breakfast stuff to cover us for a few days, a few of their cheeses, a variety pack of hummus, crackers, some deli meat, a couple different breads, mainly just to carry us over. We did pick up 4 tenderloin skewers, 2 potatoes for baking, some beans and Deb got salad stuff. Out of there for less than $100 so we were happy.
    Back to the Ocean Club, went down to get towels and Palapa. No line at 9:45am, still many choices. Deb and I are not picky about our Palapa’s. I totally get those that are. I totally get those that will stand in line at 7am to get ocean front or as close as possible, it’s just not us. We are also lucky because this timeframe in which we are here, lends itself to our approach. I look at it like this. We are going to be in the actual water for as many as 4+hours during the day. When we are out, we really just like a palapa that is out of the hustle and bustle, out of the crowd and we don’t have any issue in an extra few steps when we do want to get back in the water. It’s also helpful to get back to the pool and hot tub that I like to bounce back and forth to.
    For Lunch, we walked over to Waves at the Marriott Stalaris. We were looking for our old friend Gabriel. We found him but he was working the beach area. He will be back working Waves this week, so we told him we plan to come back and eat then.

    We came back over to Malmok at the Ocean Club. It was really hopping and busy. I have read recent positive reviews, so we got a table. We got the happy hour 2for1 drinks (Margarita) they were 2 for $19, decent size. Deb got the Tuna Quinoa Salad and said it was very fresh and good, Tuna was seared. I got the grilled Grouper sandwich – plain, no veggies..lol. I got a side of their Siracha Mayo to put on it. The fish was super fresh tasting, very moist and flavorful with their seasoning. They have changed their buns over the last two years, more of a softer, mushyable (it’s my word) bun. Wow….this was really really good. I was impressed and happy that our food quality at our home resort had improved so much.

    I know that Tuckahoe had mentioned she is coming back during July 4th and was curious about the Ocean Club changes so I will try to detail out some of our observations so far. I will add more as we discover throughout the week.
    Ocean Club Changes/Observations

    • Interior rooms, halls, balcony’s have all been remodeled (this occurred during 2019 and beyond, this is our first time seeing it)
      • They are beautiful, more modern and upscale.
      • Multiple Charging locations and options.
      • Composite wood flooring is an improvement.
      • Layout and quality of dining table, sofas, chairs, nightstands, chest of drawers, etc. All better than before.
      • Doors on to balcony are great, also the flooring of the balcony has been upgraded. It is no longer slippery smooth, it has texture.


    • Grounds, etc.
      • New chaise lounges at pool and beach, VERY comfortable.
      • New pavers for walkways, around pool, etc. very nice, much cooler on your feet and smoother to walk on. They look really nice. While we are here, they are still working on walkway right in front of Malmok. They still must finish the side next to the Surf Club.
      • Food Quality and options are improved at Malmok.


    Probably more that I am missing but will add later.

    More beach time this afternoon and actually we both had a successful beach nap! Those are the best kind, luckily I had my head propped up so hopefully I didn’t snore..lol.

    Came off the beach, hit the hot tub followed by the Quiet pool (our favorite). We came up and got dinner started and had some appetizers, wine and drinks on the balcony as we watched the sun slowly melt into the ocean.

    We took the kabob’s down to the grills. They are nice infrared grills. It only took about 8 min to cook after warming up (10 min).
    The four kabobs were a total of $11 US. Two baked potatoes, a can of beans and salad stuff. A fantastic dinner for less than $15! I am not sure why people drag frozen meat in their suitcases. To each their own. While shopping at Superfoods, If you just get items that are exactly the same as you get in the states but they are not the name brand, they are imports, you will see that the prices are as good as anything we have in the states. Yes there are those exceptions…like BEER..lol But for us, we can keep our spending very close to what we would normally spend.

    Dinner done; I took a load a wash down to get that going while I wrote this up tonight. Will have a nightcap on the balcony and ready for another wonderful day tomorrow.
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  10. #40
    Senior Member Kent-ArubaBob's Avatar
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    Bradrobster. If they would tell you what room you would be in, some people would go and hasle the maids, so they can get into their room earlier. So they will never tell you a room number until you check in. And also things can change, so if they tell you a room number and then its not that room, some people can really get upset. But glad you are having a great time.
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