Aruba in Dec

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Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 752
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Aruba in Dec

Post by Wannaretireearly » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:59 am

Flights booked Christmas week.
Staying at eagle aruba resort and casino ( best deal I could find).

Never been to Aruba. Any hints/tips? Looking forward to the trip.

Some questions:
Airport transfer needed? Can I just get a taxi for the family at the airport?
Anyone know the resort/area? Seems good on the travel sites. I guess I could still switch if something better comes up.
Safety in Aruba? Anything I need to be aware of?

What fun activities could/should the family do in Aruba?

Lastly, figuring out whether to get travel insurance. Seems such a pain and quite costly (every trip I go on I look and bail). Different and confusing options etc. Flights were about 750 each (3k total) and about 2k for hotel ( haven't paid that yet). What specific coverage is worth it? Perhaps just medical? Rest is minor risk imo.

Thanks much
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ResearchMed
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:23 am

Wannaretireearly wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:59 am
Flights booked Christmas week.
Staying at eagle aruba resort and casino ( best deal I could find).

Never been to Aruba. Any hints/tips? Looking forward to the trip.

Some questions:
Airport transfer needed? Can I just get a taxi for the family at the airport?
Anyone know the resort/area? Seems good on the travel sites. I guess I could still switch if something better comes up.
Safety in Aruba? Anything I need to be aware of?

What fun activities could/should the family do in Aruba?

Lastly, figuring out whether to get travel insurance. Seems such a pain and quite costly (every trip I go on I look and bail). Different and confusing options etc. Flights were about 750 each (3k total) and about 2k for hotel ( haven't paid that yet). What specific coverage is worth it? Perhaps just medical? Rest is minor risk imo.

Thanks much
At the very least, do make SURE that you have medical coverage for everyone for Aruba (any foreign travel).
Check you own policy very carefully, especially about if bills exceed certain amounts ("normal billing" or "out of network" or "out of pocket" max coverage).
Likewise medevac to a needed hospital, "just in case"...

That could be catastrophic.

RM
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Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by Wannaretireearly » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:32 am

Thanks RM. Any specific company you use?
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ResearchMed
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:41 am

Wannaretireearly wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:32 am
Thanks RM. Any specific company you use?
I'd suggest calling

www.TripInsuranceStore.com

But do CALL; the online summaries are only that - summaries (duh! :wink: ) and the fine print can really matter.

Tell them about your family and travel plans, and ask what they suggest.
They do not "oversell". If you want the "minimum reasonable coverage", then ask for that.
Or ask what else they suggest and *why*.
No extra cost to go through them.

Make sure to consider any pre-existing conditions.

We've had policies from Travel Insured through TIS, and they pay claims.
Alas, we've had several, so we do know from experience.

Enjoy your trip!

RM
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TBillT
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by TBillT » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:53 am

We like Aruba...once in Marriott resort and once in a rental house near the Marriott.
Snorkling is great you can take a tour boat or go yourself off the beach at the end of island there by the lighthouse.
In the latter case get some snorkle gear off Amazon before you go.
Saw a big barracuda looking like he was posing for the movies (Nemo)...fun.
We liked the rugged jeep ride around the island and the submarine tour trip.
I like the casinos good odds so if you play video poker you can last a long time on $20....smokey sometimes.
Friendly people easy to get along with.
I am partial to the Lazy River at Marriott get a drink and go round and round.

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3wood
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by 3wood » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:10 am

We really liked our trip to Aruba. We stayed in the Hyatt and can recommend. I would also recommend hiring a tour guide and exploring the island. We enjoy immersing ourselves in the history and culture of the place we are visiting and our guide was the key. Enjoy.

Modest Man
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by Modest Man » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:13 pm

Bon bini!
Aruba is our family's go to vacation. We love it!

From airport we just get a taxi. Fares are set by the government. I think lowrise area is $25.

Not familiar with your resort, but Eage beach is beautiful!

We have never had a concern about safety. We use the public bus system, and have walked throughout lowrise,high rise and downtown areas.

Another great feature is that you can drink the water! They have a huge desalination plant. Take along your reusable water bottles, Tervis tumblers, etc.

On our first trip we took the island tour; it will hit all the high spots. We loved the horseback riding on the beach to the mine ruins. We have also enjoyed several catamaran cruises and a Jolly Pirates cruise over the years, but honestly whenever we left for an activity, we always wondered why we left our beautiful Eagle/Manchebo Beach!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Aruba - One Happy Island!

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:41 pm

You're going at a great time of the year. The temp doesn't change much during the year, but in the winter, winds are a bit higher which is good because you never feel hot. I've been there a couple dozen times, all at Costa Linda, which is maybe 400 yards from your resort. Eagle beach is a walk for you, a few hundred yards. I have not stayed at your resort. Most everywhere in Aruba is good. You will run into everything being closed if you are there on a Christian holiday. Also, the hospital is maybe 300 yards from your resort.

Aruba is probably the safest place in the world. Certainly safer than anywhere in the US. Yes, you can walk at night, can go on the beach, can be downtown, can drive.

Everyone takes US dollars and credit cards. Everything is imported, so it's a bit more expensive than in the US, but not outrageous. Between Oranjestad and your resort is a cluster of a bunch of supermarkets. Yes, you can take a taxi from the airport. Once at your resort, if you don't want to rent a car, the bus goes everywhere. Just ask. The locals are friendly and helpful. There are rental car places at the airport but also not far from your resort. Econo is also North of Paradise....I can't remember exactly where it is....

What to do. Eagle Beach always has jet ski rentals. North on the highway, Melchor's rents quads, harleys and such. There are Jeep tours around the island or you can rent a Jeep (may be a smaller 4x4 like a Suzuki). They will circle areas for quads and Jeeps and say "don't go there". Go there. They are not difficult offroading and if I remember correctly, you can do it all in 2 wheel drive in a real Jeep. A quad, it's a piece of cake. Down, just south of the supermarkets, in a side ally is George's. They have been the only ones I've found who has offroad motorcycles. They tend to have only one or 2. I've found that these are great for exploring and better than a quad, but I had dirt bikes as a teenager. Some of the cool trails start at the Natural Pool parking lot and go south. Down a steep trail and back up another steep trail. It takes lots of trails and you end up in Ari Kok National Park, where there are some cool caves to visit. Buy your own flashlight and explore the caves. They don't go all that far....maybe a couple hundred yards.

I could go on for hours. I tend to do the non-tourist things there. Go to the Balashi beer hospitality bar at the factory. Go on a weekend night to the Palo Marga drag strip, south of St Nicolas. They don't really get started until after about 9pm.

Things to remember. Aruba is a desert, so you won't see tropical, lush stuff like in St Martin. There really aren't reefs surrounding it, so the fish aren't like you'd find in the Northern Caribbean. You will also find a somewhat Boston slant to some things. If you need a Dunkin Donuts every couple blocks.....you will find that in the high and low rise areas.
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gasman
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by gasman » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:50 pm

Virtually always great weather. I second the airport taxi recommendation.
trike tour was my favorite thing when not lying on the beach.

bob60014
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by bob60014 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:57 pm

Love Aruba! The hotel had a recent renovation, used to be the Tropicana, and is in a good location. Though not on the beach, Eagle Beach is a easy walk, about a third of a mile away. Nearby are some good restaurants like Las Ramblas, Asi Es Mi Peru, Chalet Swiss, plus others farther south near Manchebo and Divi Beaches and north in the high-rise area. If you want dinner on the beach, Passions is nearby.

If you want to explore, the bus the stop is by Passions, will take you back into town or up to the high-rise area. Plenty of shops and restaurants in town, as well as some street markets that cater to the cruise ship folks but can be interesting for everyone. USD is accepted almost eveywhere.

Across Smith Blvd, Super Food Plaza a full service grocery, is great for picking up fresh items or things to make if you dont feel like eating out all the time. Prices are shown in USD and Florins, making price comparisons easy.

Safety, not a issue, but as always use common sense.

Enjoy!

Jags4186
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:41 pm

Aruba is my favorite place. I recommend renting a car. Lots of great restaurants all over the island. If you’re interested in driving through the national park, rent a Jeep.

Not a ton of “stuff” to do which is just how I like it.

A few restaurant recommendations:

Que Pasa
Madame Jeanettes ($$$, amazing rack of lamb)
Dragon Fly
Barefoot
Wacky Wahoo (make a reservation well before you go)
Linda’s Dutch Pancakes (for breakfast)

dekecarver
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by dekecarver » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:25 pm

Very nice place. The island tour taking quads is worth the time, we used Offroad Evolution and it was awesome and I'd go back with them; very personable, hits the spots before the large operators get there, ask you what you want to do, etc.. In regards to food, yeah the food can be really good, but if you come from say, Washington, DC, or any large foodie city, you'll find the quality is no better in my opinion nor is the pricing any different. If you want to save some money hit up the local supermarket and buy beer etc.. there. Eagle beach is beautiful. If the wind is blowing you gotta get down near the water or else it can feel like you are getting sand blasted. And yes, if you gotta have Dunkin, it's there. Enjoy your trip.

Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by Wannaretireearly » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:13 pm

Thanks everyone!
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happyisland
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Re: Aruba in Dec

Post by happyisland » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:38 pm

Christmas is a really fun time of year in Aruba!

Locals really get into it, and there are tons of holiday parties. The local Christmas music, called Gaita, would be fun to check out, so if that sounds interesting maybe ask your concierge for a tip on live performances that are going on.

Another idea is the Cadushi Festival. It's on the 20th of December, and will showcase a bunch of local crafts and food. Should be 'gezellig'.

There's a newish tapas restaurant in town called Maroc that is nice.

If you're in the mood for greasy regional cuisine, try arepas and patacones. Our go-to spot is Tia Rosa, which is in Pos Chiquito.

There's a raspao cart on the side of the road by the airport, run by a Venezuelan guy. He makes an exceptional fresh coconut batido - if you've got a sweet tooth get it with condensed milk and cinnamon.

I must be hungry, now I'm just recommending food. Haha.

Have a great trip!

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