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Tourist Tales What makes you visit? What amazing stories have made you come back?

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Old Tuesday, February 9th, 2010, 02:51 PM
Jimmy B Jimmy B is offline
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Post Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Feb 2010 Aruba Trip Report

We arrived at the Aruba airport on Saturday around 1pm. Bully was there (he is so easy to pick out of the crowd) waiting for us and he loaded our suitcases into his Taxi. Very comfortable taxi ride ! More on Bully laterÖ

Marriott Surf Club (1/30 Ė 2/7)
We stayed in a 2 bedroom corner unit in the Compass Tower (main building) on the 10th floor overlooking the pool. This was a perfect room layout and great location. The kids loved looking down at the pool each morning and the views of the sunset were incredible. It was nice having a DVD player in the living room for the kidís movies and a TV in each room. Internet access (LAN) was also available for free in our room, however the connection wasnít always reliable and was down several days. I could have taken my laptop down to the lobby or pool area for free wifi, but never got around to it.

My wife took on the chair tagging duty and was down at the pool every morning between 7-8am to tag a few chairs for us. Most of the time we were able to get our favorite spot, but it did take some moving of chairs and squeezing an extra chair in here and there. Iím still undecided if the chair tagging system is actually beneficial or not? We saw several chairs that were tagged and sat empty for more than 2hrs (the max allowed) and were not made available. There were also a few fights over chairs that took security intervention to resolve.

Ate at the poolside bar (Captains Galley) the first day and learned quickly that this was extremely overpriced. Kids each ordered a $10 hot dog and the total bill was $93 for the 5 of us. Needless to say, we didnít eat there the rest of the trip. We did buy groceries the next day at Ling & Sons (very nice store) and were able to buy most of the kidís favorite foods.

We did buy the $13 tubes down at the lobby store and the kids spent a lot of time in the lazy river. The tubes did seem a bit overpriced, but finding tubes in the middle of winter in Michigan isnít easy. We ended up deflating them and taking them home with us.

Overall, the kids really enjoyed the Surf Club. It was far more kid friendly than our previous stays with the Radisson. The size of the room, location near the new mall, and activities for kids were the main reasons we will return here in the future.

Dining
This is one of the main reasons we love Aruba so much. We enjoy having so many good restaurant selections and never opt for the all-inclusive environment. During our stay we dined at Madame Janette (2 times), The Flying Fishbone, Casa Tua, Gianniís, Marandi and Amici (2 times for breakfast). Our new favorite place is definitely Marandi ! The atmosphere, food, service and location right on the water are all incredible. We will be making this one of our stops on the trip next year. Probably wonít go back to Gianniís, food and service were average and the place is overcrowded.

One thing we did notice this trip is that the portion sizes at most restaurants seem to be increasing rather significantly. In a way, it is sad to see the American influence all over the island and a big turn-off for us. My wife and I are not big eaters (or big people) and the amount of food served at most places is enough for two people. I would much rather see the prices reduced and portion sizes maintained to one serving, but that is just me.

Car Rental
We booked a car over the internet from Royal ahead of time. The price was good ($222 for 3 days) for an SUV, but the car itself was a piece of junk. The vehicle would shake when going over 40mph, brakes were soft, A/C didnít work and the alignment was shot. I guess it didnít break down and it did get us to our destinations, so I tried not to let this bother me too bad. Seems like most car rental places on the island are hanging onto older inventory. Might be worth it next time to investigate some other rental places.

Taxi
We emailed Bully ahead of time and told him our flight information and lodging arrangements. For those that donít know Bully, he is probably one of the friendliest Arubanís you will ever meet on the Island. He knows everybody and everybody knows him !
When Bully picked us up, he had his son with him in the front seat and it was so neat to see how he just adores him. Bullyís son is a ďspecialĒ child and you can tell he loves being with his dad when he works on the weekends.
Bully is well known for his promptness and in fact was early every time we used his services. For our family, travelling with small children, it is very nice to know that Bully was always there for us. His brother-in-law drove us back to the airport and was extremely polite, what a great company !! We will be using Bullyís services EVERY time we go back to Aruba.

Conclusion
Overall, another great trip to Aruba !! The weather was terrific as always and the Surf Club was a hit. We felt very safe on the island and walking around the new mall area at night with a 5yr old and a 2yr old was no problem.

Warning: Many people have mentioned on this forum and other forums a certain group of people ďtaking overĒ the Marriott during the month of January. We did encounter this group for a couple days at the beginning of our stay. For the most part we totally agree with the general consensus that this group of people were extremely rude, unfriendly and let their children run wild. Why this isÖ I have no idea. The place took on an entirely new identity once they left and even the staff seemed to become nicer (or relieved). Even our favorite lounge singer (Tony) mentioned a couple times in his act how the crowd was much more friendly once this group left.

I canít wait to go back next year, but I will always make sure that we schedule around this particular group of New Yorkers.

So long for nowÖ

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Old Tuesday, February 9th, 2010, 04:09 PM
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ruba4ever ruba4ever is offline
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Default Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Nice report Jimmy....thanks for sharing your trip with us!! Glad you had a good time.
ruba
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Old Wednesday, February 10th, 2010, 10:03 PM
lh2oman lh2oman is offline
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Default Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Thanks so much for your report. My husband and I are returning to Aruba in 73 days for our 21st year. Can you tell me how to reach " Bully" ? He sounds wonderful. Thanks for the resturant info as well.
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Old Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 01:19 AM
sunscreen sunscreen is offline
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Default Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Jimmy - glad you had a great time!!!! Now you got a much better perspective and your 2011 trip will be fantastic.
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Old Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 11:57 AM
Jimmy B Jimmy B is offline
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Default Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by lh2oman View Post
Thanks so much for your report. My husband and I are returning to Aruba in 73 days for our 21st year. Can you tell me how to reach " Bully" ? He sounds wonderful. Thanks for the resturant info as well.
Bully can be reached via email at: bullytaxi79@hotmail.com
Cell: 593.7520 (once you are in Aruba)

His email response to you will be from Amador Lacle.

Have a wonderful time in Aruba and hope you enjoy Bully's services as much as my family did...
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Old Monday, February 15th, 2010, 12:16 PM
Horseshoe Horseshoe is offline
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Post Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy B View Post
Bully can be reached via email at: bullytaxi79@hotmail.com
Cell: 593.7520 (once you are in Aruba)

His email response to you will be from Amador Lacle.

Have a wonderful time in Aruba and hope you enjoy Bully's services as much as my family did...
Have stayed at the Ocean Club and Surf Club many times.

I really enjoyed your report. I am a new member and am beginning to navaigate through the Site.

Horseshoe
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Old Monday, February 15th, 2010, 12:21 PM
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ruba4ever ruba4ever is offline
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Default Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Welcome Horseshoe....enjoy wandering around..and ask questions anytime.
ruba

P.S...Depending on when you go to the Ocean Club...we may have passed each other at some point..
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Last edited by ruba4ever; Monday, February 15th, 2010 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Adding
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Old Monday, February 15th, 2010, 12:41 PM
Horseshoe Horseshoe is offline
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Default Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruba4ever View Post
Welcome Horseshoe....enjoy wandering around..and ask questions anytime.
ruba

P.S...Depending on when you go to the Ocean Club...we may have passed each other at some point..
Thank you. I am definitely sure I will enjoy my journey on the Site.

Keep happy and safe.

horseshoe
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Old Monday, February 15th, 2010, 12:47 PM
Jimmy B Jimmy B is offline
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Default Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseshoe View Post
Have stayed at the Ocean Club and Surf Club many times.

I really enjoyed your report. I am a new member and am beginning to navaigate through the Site.

Horseshoe
Welcome to the site Horseshoe ! There is a ton of useful information around here, just keep reading...

My previous 3 trips to Aruba were all at the Radisson Aruba Resort. This is a beautiful property in the "high rise" section. Very laid back atmosphere and great pool. Now that we have 2 small children we decided to try something new. The Mariott Surf Club seems to cater more towards families with children. A nice pool is always something we value highly and the Surf Club delivered with an A+ in this category as you know.

The 2 bedroom unit at the Surf Club is incredible ! I can't imagine there are many accomodations nicer than this on the Island. We are already making our plans for next years trip in early Feb.

Maybe we will see you there sometime...
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Old Saturday, March 13th, 2010, 11:58 PM
iamromo iamromo is offline
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Default Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

What "group of people" is this in reference to?
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Old Saturday, April 17th, 2010, 09:21 PM
linda, linda, is offline
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One Happy Island Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Hey Jimmy B, I was there at the surf same time....I bet we were in the lazy river together...Yes we ran into 'That Group" also but thank goodness only for 1 day... Yes very very rude and obnoxious and they are there every year same time I am told....Well we will be back next year same week can't wait... will you be back????
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Old Thursday, January 6th, 2011, 01:45 AM
Jimmy B Jimmy B is offline
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Default Re: Feb 2010 Marriott Surf Club - Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by linda, View Post
Hey Jimmy B, I was there at the surf same time....I bet we were in the lazy river together...Yes we ran into 'That Group" also but thank goodness only for 1 day... Yes very very rude and obnoxious and they are there every year same time I am told....Well we will be back next year same week can't wait... will you be back????

Hi Linda, Yes we will be back this year !! Checking in Friday 2/11/2011 at the Surf Club. Can't wait.
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