Thread: Just returned
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Old Saturday, November 3rd, 2007, 12:38 PM
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rdharles rdharles is offline
Join Date: August 13th, 2006
Location: Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Posts: 78
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Default Re: Just returned

Originally Posted by JohnL View Post
I'd like to hear your take on the condition of the rooms/suites and the facility service, food, etc......
let us know,
Hey John, how's it going?
I just sent this same report to the Timeshare Network Group but I'll post it here too in case there are some who aren't on his (Jon K.) email list.

10/12/07 – 10/19/07

(Fri.) USAir from Milwaukee through Charlotte into Aruba.
Great flight down with no problems.

Hans from Tropic met us at the airport as usual. Within a few minutes, off to the grocery store (Ling & Sons) for adult beverages, snacks, etc. and then on to the new RIU construction surrounding what we formerly knew as our timeshare at the Aruba Grand.

Pulled up in front where we were helped with our luggage and our car was parked for us. Went up the front desk to check-in and were told to see Julishka at the desk in the corner for “timeshare” check-in. Received our door keys and off to see our room (formerly #102, now #170) with Ronaldo (bell staff) following with the bags. Only one of the two door keys worked but we were in the room. Ronaldo said he would talk to maintenance for us about the door. Initial impression was that it looked exactly the same as we had left it 2 years ago. No better, no worse. Upon further inspection, there was no toaster, no ironing board and the key card for the door going out to the beach didn’t work. We were happy there was no noticeably musty smell as had been reported by others. Decided to go and enjoy our first night and talk to Julishka about our issues in the morning. Next morning went up to talk to Julishka. Told her about the missing toaster and ironing board and that the “beach door” didn’t work. She said that she would talk to housekeeping about the toaster and ironing board but that they were waiting on a part from the States for our room and room #169 next door.
Meals: Dinner at Salt & Pepper – fish (wahoo) was great.

(Sat.) Spend the day on the beach. Arrived back after dinner to find no toaster, ironing board or fixed door. Saw Ronaldo later who asked if the door had been fixed yet. Informed him it still didn’t work. He told us he would follow up with maintenance.
Meals: lunch at Gilligans (very good as usual), dinner at Madame Janettes (the butchers steak was fantastic, never order anything else).

(Sun.) Ran into housekeeping (Juana). Asked if she had an extra ironing board. She returned in under 5 minutes with one. Extremely nice girl who proved to be very helpful the entire week.
Meals: lunch at Hooters, dinner at Casa Tua

(Mon.) Talked to Julishka again about the toaster and the door. She made notes and said she’d see what she could do. Saw Ronaldo and he again asked if the door was fixed. No, still not working. Said he would talk to the manager of maintenance.
Meals: lunch at the Hyatt beach restaurant, 10th anniversary dinner at Simply Fish (service, food, everything was great.)

(Tues.) Wake up to drips of water falling on the bed. The ceiling was leaking from above. Began to head up to the lobby to talk to Julishka. Ran into housekeeping outside the door. Juana immediately called the front desk to get someone to fix the leak. After a few hours it seemed to be getting worse so went to the front desk to see what they were going to do about it. Talked to a girl named Yumaima who committed to follow up with me and the maintenance people until the problem was solved. A few hours later the ceiling was fixed and everything was fine.
6:30 pm – Came back to the room to find someone working on the door!!! He was able to fix it without any parts. Fixing this door was one of the highlights of the week. Without access to this door, we were forced to go all the way around through the pool area where we are checked by security every time. I don’t mind that there is security checking people without wristbands but the whole reason we bought a timeshare was for the direct access to the beach where we spend most of our week.
Meals: Bought wristbands for the day ($60.00 per person for the AI for the day). Went to the lunch & dinner buffet. Tried to sign up for a “specialty restaurant” for dinner but apparently tried to late in the day. Both buffets were excellent. Had really good meals at both. Every choice you can imagine. Would do it again next trip for at least one day, maybe two.

(Wed.) Doors are working, ceiling not leaking, still no toaster.
Beach, pool, shopping downtown.
Meals: lunch at Gilliagan, dinner at Rumba (First time to Rumba. Excellent food. Would return again.)

(Thur.) Another day spent at the beach & pool and another beautiful day.
Meals: lunch at Pelican Pier, dinner at Wacky Wahoo’s (had the wahoo pan fried Aruban style – excellent)

(Fri.) Checked out at around noon. Our bill had a mistake on it. Had us down for two days of all-inclusive when we only did one. No big deal, told them of the mistake and showed them the paid receipt for the one day and they took the other off the bill.
Lunch at Mathews @ Casa Del Mar on the way to the airport. Nice place for lunch.
We were shocked to see an almost empty airport. No lines at all, anywhere! I guess it was the combination of low season, a Friday and our flight wasn’t until 4:00. From check-in to gate in less than a half hour!

Random Thoughts:

Ran into Carmen (the towel girl from the Aruba Grand). She’s working as the towel girl at the Phoenix. She wants everyone to know that she’s just down the beach and to stop down and say “Hi”.

By Wednesday, had basically given up asking for help from Julishka. It’s too bad because she seems very nice and very receptive to problems, but in the end, simply didn’t take care of any of them.

If you need something done at the RIU, talk to Ronaldo (Bell Staff), Juana (Housekeeping) or Yumaima (Front Desk).

Overall, had a great time. I’m glad we accelerated and were able to stay in our own unit, despite the fact that we had some problems. I really needed to see what everyone was talking about. Our unit was certainly livable but needs updating very soon. We need to continue to push as a group for better conditions. There’s absolutely no reason to have doors that don’t work and items missing from the units at this point, the RIU has been reopened for over three months now. It seems clear that the RIU is in no hurry to accommodate timeshare owners as their focus is on the all-inclusive business and their hotel guests. Hard to say where this is going to go in the next year. Personally, I hope things improve because I want to stay. I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to stick it out and see what happens. I’m not going to let them chase me out that easily. We need to demand improvements or pursue legal action if that's what it comes down to.

R.D. & Cheryl Harles
(old #102, new #170)
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