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Aruba Nights Island Guide
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Thread: On your first Aruba Trip..............

  1. #1
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    On your first Aruba Trip..............

    On your first Aruba trip, share with us what you did.........what was it that caused you to book again?
    Was your first trip full of activities that left you exhausted? Or were you settled in on a beach enjoying every moment

    My first trip was almost 40 yrs ago, and was brief overnights Pre and Post a Bonaire scuba trip.
    The whole thing is kind of a blur, but there were goats, and ladies selling pretty cloth dolls at the airport, me hitchhiking (don't ask), buying a pretty ring downtown, visiting a casino for the first time ever and spending way too much money.

  2. #2
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    My first trip was in 2015 (to celebrate my 60th! Ugh!). It was jam packed with activities: horseback riding with Rancho del Ponderosa (highly recommend), snorkeling with Aruba Bob (I know that's the most popular one, but personally I would never book with them again; horrible experience); I don't have my travel journal with me at work so can't remember what else we did that first year. It was great but too much so had no choice but to return the next year to stay longer, do less and veg on the beach more. Just did a couple of activities that year: Blue Melody/Black Pearl (can't say enough about how great that one was); the Wix Tours I wrote about last week; and glass bead making workshop with Marian at Terrafuse [which I really should post more about in the "solo trip to Aruba" thread].
    That first trip was also my first trip to the Caribbean so I was totally blown away by the soft sand, the changing colors of the ocean and the tradewinds. We ate out every night and I couldn't believe how great the food was everywhere we went (Two Fools [when it was still Pauly and Fred]; Flying Fishbone, Bavaria German, Atardi, Papiamento, and more!). I'd never seen sunsets like that. And I was blown away by the friendliness of everyone I encountered. I knew I'd found my new vacation spot! That first year was also when I learned NEVER to leave on a Saturday again! I still cringe thinking about it. LOL!


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  3. #3
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    Well, our first trip was 10 years ago. We were planning on Puerto Rico but that was when they had the dengae outbreak. So we decided Aruba, were going for 9 days. At the time hubby was not retired. Our first day it rained but we got there in afternoon, this was November, day after thanksgiving. The next day it poured so much we saw garbage cans floating down the street. We stayed at a dump called Wacamaya Apts (located down the street from Gold Coast).

    The 3rd morning it was cloudy and my husband said great place you picked (like my name was Mother Nature). Then that afternoon the sun came out, went to Arashi Beach. It was gorgeous the rest of the trip.

    On our last full day we were in the water and I said would you come back again. My husband said not for 9 days, longer next time. And each year we came a bit longer: 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks, and this year its 36 days. We rent from a great guy each year, have made friends that i talk to all year long and who come the same time each year (LaCabana timeshare & house rental).

    I have been lucky enough to be pretty much everywhere I have had a desire to go to so am quite content to go to Aruba for a long period of time. It makes us feel like we live there since its a long time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Our first trip was a timeshare exchange at the Ren during Christmas Break. It must have been 2007 because Paul had his driver's permit and Stu let him drive little on the north side while David complained that he couldn't do it. We rented jeep for a few days and drove around the whole island see as much as we could. We took the bus and did a timeshare presentation at Marriott while boys, then 15 and 16, sat by the pool and ogled the girls. We spent time on Ren island and an iguana tried to climb in the chair with me. We did the Atlantis Submarine. We hung out by the pool and spoke with owners. We were supposed to go on a sunset catamaran but another boat crashed into at the pier and they cancelled it. Paul was old enough to drink there, so he tried different drinks. Stu and I just fell in love with Aruba.




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  5. #5
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Tom’s first trip was in 1973. That was pre-me so I probably don’t know all the details! As I understand it there were 2 guys and a group of 30+ women from Stop and Shop.

    So... on to OUR first trip, which was in 2009. Tom hadn’t flown in 25 years and I was thrilled to be going to Aruba. We stayed at the Divi AI. It was first experience with an all inclusive and it was kind of nice to have everything paid up front. The beach is what got me though. I just couldn’t get over how beautiful the water was and I spent hours in the water. Nothing was more fun than watching the pelicans dive for fish and they didn’t care if you were there. They would just dive in right next to you. It was probably the most relaxed I had felt in years. We never left the resort the whole time but we did return to the Divi 2 more times that year.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Laura in NH's Avatar
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    My first trip was a birthday gift from my then boyfriend, now husband in May 1995. He brought several brochures from Filenes Basement vacation Outlet and told me to choose. He highly pushed Aruba because his elderly gentleman coworker had been going for years and could say enough great things. We stayed at Divi Divi before it was AI. Divi Village was in the process of being built. I think it was mostly done or just done. Coworker, Henry and his daughter, Carol, were there the same week as us and they were in their brand new unit at Divi Village.

    We were on a charter flight since it was vacation outlet. They brought stairs to the plane and we walked across the tarmac into the airport to wait for luggage. Lit up and had a smoke in baggage claim while waiting for the luggage. I remember paying for a cab because we didn't feel like waiting for the bus.

    We rented a safe for the room and also rented a mini fridge for the room. We attended carnival night at our place. I remember they only had goat milk for the coffee in the morning. Our first morning there we all got on a bus that took us to the Tropicana for Aruba orientation. I remember everywhere we went as freezing cold because A/C was always cranked.

    We went to dinner once to Twinklebones - the one where the chef sang and the severs danced and tried to get us to dance.
    Henry and Carol took us to El Gaucho for one dinner. We also ate at Tony Roma's.

    We went to Divi Village and had dinner at Sea Breeze one night before going up to visit Henry and Carol in their time share.

    We went on a snorkel cruise on the Mi Dushi. Hubby couldn't join me because his mustache got n the way...

    We took a cab to Peublo Food Center to buy a few groceries for our room. It was kind of across the street from where Paddock is now if I remember correctly. I remember we told the lady (tried to) what we wanted for produce and she wrapped it to order.

    We took a cab to go see the natural bridge. The cab was a new BMW. I also bought an amethyst ring at Noble Jewelers. I loved that ring but lost the stone in 96 or 97.

    We went to a drag queen show called Jewel Box Revue at the Tropicana Showroom at Royal Cabana Casino. We played mini golf at Adventure golf which used to be up near where Super Food is now. I think.

    In October 1999 we went back for our honeymoon. Divi was AI by then so Henry gifted us one of his Divi Village weeks for our wedding. The airport had been enhanced tremendously and the resorts now had cow's milk. We went to the 1 hour time share presentation in exchange for $50 dinner certificate. We told each other we were just going for the $50 and we were NOT buying anything. But.... never say never. We bought our week 38 unit that day and I have been back at least once per year since. I just bough what is left of a friend's week 39 contract so now I'm guaranteed to go at least two weeks in a row for a few more years.
    ​Laura from NH/Divi Village
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  7. #7
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Stayed at the Hyatt in 2003 after tons of research for Caribbean destinations... a coworker kept going to Aruba.. so we did too! Got caught up in all the wonderful beach days and wonderful dining.... Sunset Grille, Pago Pago, El Gaucho, Amazonia and a couple of others. I loved the casino (DW not so much) and kept winning at the bar playing video poker.... in fact won 1000 5 different times!.... We eventually moved to the Radisson the summer they renovated the lobby at the Hyatt.... stayed at the Rad until it became the Hilton and moved to Eagle Beach...... which with our love of hanging on the beach is probably where we shoulda started! Our first trip got us hooked cuz it was such a perfect vacation!
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Laura, so funny you say "never say never". Our first trip we stayed at the Ren. We took a presentation tour at the Surf Club. The whole bus ride there we kept looking each other in the eye and saying we're just looking, not buying. The only reason we were going was for the ridiculous amount of Marriott points they were offering. Well, we took one look at Palm Beach, the Surf Club grounds (Lazy River) and fell in love. We got back on the bus with Surf Club towels, hats, T-shirts, and paperwork declaring us the proud new owners of a two bedroom villa. Best decision we ever made!

  9. #9
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaltVB View Post
    Laura, so funny you say "never say never". Our first trip we stayed at the Ren. We took a presentation tour at the Surf Club. The whole bus ride there we kept looking each other in the eye and saying we're just looking, not buying. The only reason we were going was for the ridiculous amount of Marriott points they were offering. Well, we took one look at Palm Beach, the Surf Club grounds (Lazy River) and fell in love. We got back on the bus with Surf Club towels, hats, T-shirts, and paperwork declaring us the proud new owners of a two bedroom villa. Best decision we ever made!
    We went to the presentation for the same reason-the points, but did not buy. Eventually, we bought a resale at the Ren and then the condo and sold the Ren.




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  10. #10
    Senior Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    1997 for 4 weeks. I miss how Aruba was then.
    Last edited by __steve__; 09-21-2019 at 06:02 PM.


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