This site uses cookies. Some are essential while others improve your browsing experience and allow us to advertise. For more info visit the privacy policy page.

Allow inessential cookies for:

Your preferences have been updated.

Thanks Thanks:  0
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: trip report 1/31-2/7...surf club

  1. #1
    Member buckeyetodd's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like

    trip report 1/31-2/7...surf club

    we had a relaxing trip. hours and hours of laying on the beach with a nap included each day. just the pick me up i needed. now some details.

    flew out of columbus on southwest at 6:20 am on thursday the 31st. this required us getting up at 3:30 am....way too early. anyways, was waiting at the gate, saw the pilots walk by, they got on plane and we began boarding about a half an hour later. we got boarded and started backing away from the gate when the pilot announced there was a problem with the windshield and maintenance was in route. i was a tad nervous since we only had a 55 minute layover in Baltimore. after about 20 minutes the pilot announced that no mechanic was available and we were changing planes. while we were waiting for the mechanic someone on plane mentioned that they had flown in the previous night on the very same plane. can't really understand why the problem wasn't seen the night before. so we get off plane and there is a line with the attendant. when i talked to her she said they were holding our plane in baltimore because there were 25 people on our flight going to aruba. this gave me some relief.

    we get into baltimore and off plane only about 10 minutes after scheduled departure time. we run to the gate and our plane is gone. i ask attendant why they didn't hold and she said they aren't going to hold up a plane for 4 people. i was floored. basically an outright lie in columbus. they (southwest) rebooked us to leave the following day. obviously, spending a day in zero degree weather in baltimore maryland was not a way we wanted to start our vacation. the rebooking had us flying the next morning from baltimore to ft lauderdale to aruba. after some discussion, they agreed to go ahead and fly us to ft lauderdale. as a added bonus, besides paying for a hotel room, they gave both of us a $200 voucher for a upcoming flight. i'm not sure about the rest of you but $400 does not come close to making up for missing my first day in aruba. we made the most of it, had a good meal and rested up for our flights the next day.

    now before some of you think i'm being ungrateful for the $400, i am....haha. the last two times i've flown southwest i've had an issue. i'm one of those people who usually don't complain because things just happen sometimes. i've never had a free meal because i complained or even drinks. i just think this was a avoidable situation. i sent southwest a email and they just agreed to try harder.....whatever.

    now for the pleasant part of the trip

    we arrived, got our luggage and took the $31 cab trip to the surf club. our taxi driver was very nice and i gave him $40 which he seemed to appreciate. my wife (stacy) and i had agreed to be generous this trip when we got good service. we've been blessed so much in our lives, we agreed to pass it on a bit. we married young (at 18) and had many years of extreme poverty and paid our bills and ate with her tip money as a waitress. i'm not looking for any awards or anything, we just wanted to be helpful to others...

    we had rented a lock off unit from redweek. . the room was nice but i didn't like the fact that i didn't have a stove. we only had a microwave and a college dorm sized refrigerator. we got unpacked, had a couple of hours at the beach and went looking for some food. we ended up at iguana joes which we have enjoyed in the past and was not disappointed in this time.

    saturday is a bit of a blur for me. i got up, jogged a bit and we rented some of the "green" bikes down by the stellaris hotel. the reason is because we had to go to the alahambra subway to pick up our numbers for sundays race (which i'll address in a minute). we also rode down to the king hong (?) supermarket to get some essentials. i ended up with quite a bit of weight in my backpack. was a rough ride back to the surf club. we got back and hit the beach. we spent all day lounging, reading, and napping. i think we ended up eating at salt n pepper. as you can tell, we aren't gourmet eaters.

    prior to the trip i had posted about any scheduled 5k races or anything similar and many of you repsonded. i had gotten a private message from elepant_guy and he offered to pick us up at the surf club and give us a ride to and from a 8k race on sunday. the race started at 6am so we were up at 445. elephant_guy (not sure if i can share his name) picked us up and away we go. what a great guy he turned out to be and a fantastic runner. i'm so glad we got to meet him. after the race he even drove us around a little and showed us some sights. stacy always makes fun of me saying i make a new best friend every place we go. i wouldn't go that far but i'm just a windy dude and enjoy talking to people. the race went well, i ran a million times better than i expected to. we got back and did some beach time again. that night we watched the superbowl out by the pool. we shared a table with a very nice couple from connecticut. i'm embarrassed to say that i didn't get their names which is a shame because they made it a very enjoyable evening. we ate the buffet the surf club put out. was typical cookout type foods and was pretty tasty.

    monday we were up early again as we had a outing planned to do a UTV tour. we had never done anything like this in the past so this was a new experience for us. depalm picked us up and took us to their staging area. it was to be around 4.5 hours long. the itinerary included stops at the natural pool (snorkeling included), the gold mine fort, and alto vista chapel. the utv's were very fun to drive and the stop at the natural pool was fantastic. saw some fish and got some super footage with our gopro camera. this turned out to be a very busy day for us. after returning to the surf club, we did a little beach time and got ready for dinner. we had reservations at ruth's chris steakhouse at the marriott stelaris resort. once again, i'm no food snob and i realize you pay for the "ambiance" at ruth's chris. with that being said, i was pretty disappointed in the food. stacy's filet was fantatic but my sirloin was average at best, actually below average. the $12 baked potato was no different that what we make at home. the service was second to none. the wait staff was attentive and super nice. i'm not 100% on this but after doing some thinking, i think they might have added the tip or "service charge" up front. i didn't really look at the bill too closely and left a generous tip. if they did add the tip up front, what we added to it made for almost a 50% tip......guess next time i'll look at the bill. after dinner we had tickets to go to the aruba ray comedy show. we enjoyed ourselves. i'd say 2 of the 4 performers were very good and the other 2 was ok. we finished the evening with a little play in the casino.

    here comes the broken record part of the trip. tuesday and wednesday we did the beach/pool, napped, and read...exactly what i needed. tuesday we took a taxi downtown, did a bit of shopping and ate at the west deck. after several great meals there, this is the first time i walked away disappointed. ribs were tiny and chicken was rubbery. maybe we will skip it next trip. wednesday we ate at daniel's. i got the filet and it was delicious. stacy got some sort of fish and said it was good too.

    thursday we only had a few hours at the pool before we had to get cleaned up. they were nice enough to give us until 1pm for check out. i was surprised when we got our bill as the timeshare fees seemed to be much higher than in the past. we took another $31/$40 cab ride to the airport and off we went.

    here are a few random thought....
    stacy ate at eduardo's behind playa linda almost every day. i also had a couple smoothies but she got some sort of fruit bowl with chocolate and said it was unbelievably good.

    i'm a gambler so we stopped in most of the casinos with very little luck this trip. i think i had one or two winning sessions. most nights it was 30 minutes or so. tuesday night i was alone at the stellaris and was able to win a couple hundred back.

    the entire airport scenario was fantastic. we've never waited less time than we did both arriving and leaving. almost zero lines.

    the rooms and facilities at the surf club were very nice. the beach and pool was waaaaay overcrowded. we were so disappointed in the over crowding at the beach. they have umbrellas right on the water line then 15 feet back the palapas started. not much room in between. we much preferred the beach at the riu.

    so there's the trip. i love visiting aruba. we had no rain and gentle tradewinds the entire time. next year is our daughter's turn to go get a freebie from mom and dad (along with her kids....if she reunites with her pos husband, he can't come...haha). we will most likely try to go back to the riu or try someplace besides surf club.

    thanks for taking the time to read this novel
    todd
    0 1
     

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Any beach!!
    Posts
    5,021
    Post Thanks / Like
    Nice report. Disappointing about your delay but glad your were able to make the best of it. Thanks for sharing!!
    0 0
     

  3. #3
    Aruba since 1979
    Moderator
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    33,661
    Post Thanks / Like
    that you for posting!!
    I cannot believe that you are back already

    that was indeed unfortunate that the plane did not wait.

    you were lucky to have gotten the voucher and an overnight in Lauderdale.

    in the old days, the airlines would even try to get you onto another flight on another airlines to accommodate the passenger.
    I do not think that that would happen today.

    glad the trip was good!!!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sue M.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    1,191
    Post Thanks / Like
    Nice trip report. Sorry you had trouble in the beginning but you did have a great time. I just made reservations with Southwest for August. I hope it will be a good flight. We have never flown Southwest to Aruba but the price was the best. Partipating in a race was awesome. I would think the heat and humidity would make it difficult. Meeting a friend from the forum was great. Thanks for sharing with us. It is always sad to say good bye to such a grand island.
    0 0
     

  5. #5
    Member buckeyetodd's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like
    i asked southwest to put us with a different carrier but they said they did not do that. i'm thinking, of course you don't. with that being said, out of columbus, southwest by far has had the best airfare rates. this trip i used points but dollar wise the round trip cost was about $500. if we could have left on a tuesday or wednesday we could have flown round trip for around $360.

    we met so many nice people this trip. a couple invited us to their home in north carolina on wednesday....a very nice gesture. on our excursion met a guy named dave who recently became a widower. was able to spend some time with him, take some photos for him and he did the same for us. seems like our entire trip was made up of these interactions with nice folks.
    0 2
     

  6. #6
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Eagle Beach, Glitz Casino, Manchebo Beach Resort
    Posts
    4,768
    Post Thanks / Like
    Nice trip report.... bad trip going down.... Looks like you really made up for it. Thanks!
    0 0
     

  7. #7
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Surf Club
    Posts
    3,872
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks for sharing your trip. Sorry about that first day and that you weren't pleased with the Surf Club. One of the reasons we go in late April is the crowds are way less.


    0 0
     

  8. #8
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,079
    Post Thanks / Like
    Sorry about the delay getting started that really stinks! I am glad your trip went well. The people of Aruba are wonderful and Elephant guy is a great example of that.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •