Aruba vacation and travel information on Aruba hotels, beaches, restaurants and so much more

Go Back   Aruba Forums at Visit Aruba > Aruba Q & A > Aruba in General

Aruba in General All general questions about Aruba.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old Friday, August 6th, 2010, 08:21 PM
elaine j elaine j is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: July 15th, 2010
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 11
elaine j is on a distinguished road
Red face 22 days and I'm in Aruba Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leaving Aug 28th for 14 HOPEFULLY glorious days!!!!!!! Do I really need that convertable I rented for the whole time or should I get a 4x4 for a few days instead? Is it a good idea to get the visit Aruba card for the discounts? Staying at Paradise Villas and need advice on food.......should I take any with me or buy it there? We went to the Bahamas and it was so expensive to go grocery shopping. We have saved for this for a while and i would not say we are on a tight budget but I cannot spend a fortune. Any advise would be gratefully received. I must admit reading these forums has really made me excited about the trip and I hope it lives up to my expectations now
Thanks everyone

Last edited by elaine j; Friday, August 6th, 2010 at 09:19 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old Friday, August 6th, 2010, 09:58 PM
phillyboater phillyboater is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18th, 2006
Posts: 158
phillyboater is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

First, we own at Paradise Beach Villas and love it. I think you will love the rooms, location, grounds and beach. Short walk to the beach. Staff is very friendly and helpful.

Food, with weight restrictions it is kind of difficult to take too much food. We take a few items like small spices. We shop on the island at either Lings, Kong Hing or Superfoods. Prices are a little higher on some items compared to US. Good on others and quite a bit higher on some things.

A convertible will be fun, but make sure to use plenty of sunscreen. A 4x4 for a day is fun to go exploring. Only a few places like the Natural Pool where a 4x4 is absolutely necessary. You should have some off road experience if you plan to drive to the Natural Pool. Very difficult drive.

I am sure you will enjoy your visit and probably like us will still be going back 23 years after the first visit.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old Friday, August 6th, 2010, 10:10 PM
roschone's Avatar
roschone roschone is offline
Aruba Expert
 
Join Date: September 28th, 2005
Posts: 801
roschone is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

A 4x4 is nice so if you visit the wilder side of Aruba, you won't be limited by your vehicle. Some of that side of the island is pretty rugged. But if it saves you $$$ not to get the 4x4, you can still get a lot of good touring in without it. Especially since this is your first visit.

Lots of us bring food with us. Some more than others (we pack a rolling cooler bag). We happen to bring quite a bit and it does save us some money. But we are there for 3+ weeks. We tend to bring favorite foods that we don't want to live without. Whatever we don't have room for, we buy there. These days I'm also pretty conscious of how much things weigh since overweight luggage can be expensive. I'm pretty sure just about everyone on this board will agree that Lings is the place to shop for food. The prices are not that much more expensive than the stores around here (I see you're in NY, so am I). But don't expect sales like they have in Shoprite or the A&P, sales just don't exist, lol. Honestly though, the prices are somewhat higher as just about everything is imported, but not through the roof. They have a lot of great restaurants in Aruba, in every price range too. This board has lots of suggestions. We also bring food with us because we like eating in sometimes, especially at breakfast time when I'm not quite ready to be seen in public.

Beer is very expensive on the island, even the local beer. The Aruban rum is WONDERFUL and I don't even like rum. Pick up some tropical punch, and you're good to go. As a matter of fact, all booze is pretty cheap on Aruba.

The discount card is something I've purchased quite a few times. Frankly, I forget to use it most of the time. But since it's so inexpensive, you can usually make your $$ back just by using it in 1 establishment.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old Friday, August 6th, 2010, 10:20 PM
amarg amarg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: July 9th, 2010
Posts: 61
amarg is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

I'm not an Aruba expert but I can give you my two cents worth according to my research and what I plan to do in September when we go for two weeks.

We are also renting a timeshare (Casa Del Mar) and are traveling with a baby so I had to plan carefully.

I don't know about the car thing but can help with food.Food is more expensive than in the US but not that much more. I went on the Ling and Sons website (google search it) and was pleasantly surprised. However, I have spoken to people who pack food and they swear by it. I was amazed at what people take. Also, since you are going somewhere hot, you don't have to pack heavy clothing and if you plan well, you can use that allowance for food. Since there's laundry at your accommodations (don't forget to pack 3 in 1 laundry sheets since detergent and fabric softener is not included), and no one knows you in Aruba, you can get away with packing very few clothes.

I plan to pack a few swimsuits, swim cover ups, pjs, 3 pairs shorts/capris, 3 tshirts, 3 sundresses, one nice outfit, couple pairs of flipflops, swim shoes, 1 pair of nice shoes for the nice dress in case we go out to a nice place, one pair of pants and that's about it. I can do laundry and I always overpack and end up wearing the same stuff anyhows. If you've been to the Bahamas, you know what I mean.

As for food, pack stuff for breakfast and lunch and think of things you wish you had and don't want to spend a lot on like peanut butter, jam, coffee, block of cheese, tea, spices, condiments (ketchup, bbq sauce, mustard, mayo, etc.,) snacks like crackers, microwave popcorn, cereal, oatmeal, bagels, etc.,

Think of what you'd like to have on hand. For example, I plan to take peanut butter as I don't want to buy a whole jar there when we won't use it all and I have 2 jars in my cupboard here. Coffee is expensive everywhere and more so in Aruba so if you drink it, take it with you. I plan to buy dairy there like milk, butter, cream cheese but a block of cheese can travel well, especially frozen. I read of people taking frozen meats too if they are flying from Miami or Houston or wherever it's only a 3 or 4 hour flight. They take steaks, sandwich meats, sausages, whatever! I don't know if I would but you could depending on where you are flying from. Vaccuum pack it and put it in a collapsible cooler lined with some of those frozen icepacks. Even if it's starts to defrost, that's ok, put it in your fridge on arrival and it's ok to eat for the time there.

We arrive in Aruba late at night so I want to make sure we have some breakfast stuff for the morning and a bite to eat before bed in case my baby is tired and grumpy. Shopping on arrival is out of the question.

I know there are people who say why would you cook on vacation and eating out in Aruba is half the fun but I believe in eating some really good meals there (i.e. Madame Janette's and Flying Fishbone) but also using the money I save eating in on other activities like tours, sailing trips, shopping, and gambling. I'd rather eat food I make and/or bring then Dunkin Donuts or McDonald's (both are available in case you didn't know). Also, eating 2 or 3 times in a restaurant with a 12 month old? No thanks and I'm sure the other guests will appreciate my sentiments.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old Friday, August 6th, 2010, 10:32 PM
amarg amarg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: July 9th, 2010
Posts: 61
amarg is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

Hi, just in respect to Elaine's question on the discount Aruba card, is it worth it to get? I've also wondered and heard conflicting things. Some say I will get coupons at the airport and at the resort so don't bother and others swear by it. If we are eating in a lot, are going to do some sightseeing and excursions (hopefully we get a good babysitter) and are up in the air about renting a car, should we get one? Isn't it more valuable if you eat out a lot and your bills are high? I also read somewhere on this forum that some places charge a surcharge for using the card. Is this still true? And that you can get better discounts on car rentals than offered with the card and you can't combine the card discount with any other discount.

There's so much info on these boards that a clear concise answer from a non partisan would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old Friday, August 6th, 2010, 11:05 PM
arubabob's Avatar
arubabob arubabob is offline
Member
 
Join Date: April 28th, 2004
Location: oklahoma
Age: 76
Posts: 1,403
arubabob is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

The only thing we take in the way of food is coffee and tea bags along with sweet and low. We will be going for the 13th time in October and staying at the Playa Linda 5 nights and Costa Linda for a week. Taking food to Aruba is too big a hassle for us because you dont save much money unless you plan to eat every meal in your room. We dont. We go to lings the first morning after breakfast at Matthews and buy bagels, cream cheese, fruit and melons for our breakfasts and bread, luncmeat, cheese, chips, mustard and pickles for lunch and snacks. Cost is well under a hundred dollars a week for this. BTW Armarg, lings has some really great cheeses from holland.
We eat dinner out every night at some realy nice restaurants. Some of our favorites are Madame Janettes, Chalet Suiss, Blossoms, Matthews, Promenade and El Gaucho. There are many more.
We do rent a car as we feel it is cheaper than taking cabs everywhere and more convenient. Dont know about a convertible though. Sure do like the air conditioning in that heat. As was said below, dont need a 4 wheeler unless you are going to the natural pool. Some of he roads on the east side are rough but still can drive a car on them. Can drive all the way around too.
We have never bought the card because there are no places we would use it. If you arte going to the places listed for the discounts it would be worth it.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old Friday, August 6th, 2010, 11:27 PM
arubabob's Avatar
arubabob arubabob is offline
Member
 
Join Date: April 28th, 2004
Location: oklahoma
Age: 76
Posts: 1,403
arubabob is on a distinguished road
Smile Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

[QUOTE=amarg;101152]



We arrive in Aruba late at night so I want to make sure we have some breakfast stuff for the morning and a bite to eat before bed in case my baby is tired and grumpy. Shopping on arrival is out of the question.

We also arrive on the after 10pm American Airlies flight.
You are staying at Casa Del Mar so you will be 6 palm trees from Matthews restaurant which is at CDM. We eat breakfast there a couple of times while we are on Aruba. You can get a full american breakfast for $6. The restaurant is right on the beach with beautiful views of the ocean. You will also be visited by birds and iguanas there. Look them up on your computer, the menus are listed on their web site.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old Saturday, August 7th, 2010, 01:44 AM
bhoffdhoff bhoffdhoff is offline
Member
 
Join Date: April 12th, 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 548
bhoffdhoff is on a distinguished road
I Love Aruba Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

If you want to save money, rent a car for only a couple of days. The bus runs right past Paradise Beach Villas. We used to rent a car, but I hated paying for a car that sat in the parking lot all day. Take a jeep tour for half a day. It's well worth the money. We had a great time w/ABC. Bring a fold up cooler and take your own drinks to the beach. You'll save a bundle there. Most of all, leave all your cares at home and just have a good time.

Bobbie
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old Saturday, August 7th, 2010, 09:10 AM
dwippies's Avatar
dwippies dwippies is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: April 15th, 2004
Age: 50
Posts: 8,821
dwippies is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

although i am a bit prejudiced on the matter, the visit aruba card has been great for me thru the years. you do have to remember to use it though. most of the time that we found complaints, we also found the person forgot to use the card and of course, that was our fault. if you have a problem with using it, we need to know but forgetting it isn't one you need to tell us about or be angry with us for.

yes, there are other coupons out there but the coupons and the card rarely are a match to one another. between the card and the coupons you can search out you can truly save a lot of money.

and now, off to breakfast, lings, and beach. not sure which order those will be in. ayo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarg View Post
Hi, just in respect to Elaine's question on the discount Aruba card, is it worth it to get? I've also wondered and heard conflicting things. Some say I will get coupons at the airport and at the resort so don't bother and others swear by it. If we are eating in a lot, are going to do some sightseeing and excursions (hopefully we get a good babysitter) and are up in the air about renting a car, should we get one? Isn't it more valuable if you eat out a lot and your bills are high? I also read somewhere on this forum that some places charge a surcharge for using the card. Is this still true? And that you can get better discounts on car rentals than offered with the card and you can't combine the card discount with any other discount.

There's so much info on these boards that a clear concise answer from a non partisan would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old Saturday, August 7th, 2010, 09:30 AM
lizzardo's Avatar
lizzardo lizzardo is offline
Aruba Expert
 
Join Date: May 31st, 2007
Location: Aruba
Posts: 775
lizzardo is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

Good dutch coffee on island everyone likes -
Douwe Egberts

Also i'd pass on the convertible. It's windy in aruba and since
we have had little rain might be a little dusty. If you want
to go off road which is a blast and see the diversity of the
island - get a 4X4.... It is a beautiful place and the
tip of the lighthouse to Alta Vista is lovely as well as
much of the 'windy side' of the island.
__________________
Aruba Kitten Rescue
www.arubakitten.org
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #11  
Old Saturday, August 7th, 2010, 01:51 PM
BeachBunny BeachBunny is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: August 7th, 2010
Posts: 8
BeachBunny is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

During the seven times I've been to Aruba I always stay at the high rise hotels, but I am never without a Jeep. The first time I went, we rented a motorcycle and it was really fun, but there were places we couldn't go exploring with it. Also, the sand on the roadways makes it a little dangerous and takes some getting used to. Anyway, I would definitely grab a Jeep for at least a few days. The more remote, deserted parts of the island can be quite fun
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #12  
Old Monday, August 9th, 2010, 08:48 AM
elaine j elaine j is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: July 15th, 2010
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 11
elaine j is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

20 days 'til we leave @ 6am in the morning! Can't wait to get there. I want to thank everyone for the advise ...I have a lot to think about .......and do.My suitcase is getting things thrown in it as we speak (I like to be prepared you know!)
Is anyone gonna be there Aug 28th ...Sept 11th maybe we could meet up with an experienced Arubva traveller that could be fun.
Thanx again everyone
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #13  
Old Monday, August 9th, 2010, 10:42 AM
BeachBunny BeachBunny is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: August 7th, 2010
Posts: 8
BeachBunny is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

Elaine, you really will have the time of your life. I'm just so sorry that you have to wait 20 more days, lol. Aruba is one of my most favorite places on earth - I actually considered moving there at one time. When you get back you'll have to let us know all about your trip
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #14  
Old Monday, August 9th, 2010, 12:22 PM
seashelldiver's Avatar
seashelldiver seashelldiver is offline
Almost Aruban
 
Join Date: July 21st, 2004
Posts: 1,088
seashelldiver is on a distinguished road
Wink Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

Flying in frozen USDA steaks....yuck !!! Skip that and order a steak n the restaurants like El Gaucho or Texas de Brazil. The beef from Argentina has no antibiotics and wasn't fattened up artifically.....the cows in Argentina are free range cattle and the beef is to die for !!!! I lived in Aruba for 7 years and STILL can't get used to beef here stateside anymore.

Packing food is going to be expensive ith all the weight restrictions now.....and do rent the 4 x4 for a few days of exploring, so worth the time and money !

Enjoy my home away from home, you will LOVE the Arubans !
__________________
Some people get lost in thought because it's unfamiliar territory.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #15  
Old Monday, August 9th, 2010, 12:49 PM
amarg amarg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: July 9th, 2010
Posts: 61
amarg is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

Do I need to make reservations for any of the restaurants in Aruba? I was thinking mainly of MJ's and Wacky Wahoo who I've read great things about. What about any other places? How far in advance and do I call or email? Thanks.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #16  
Old Monday, August 9th, 2010, 05:46 PM
arubabob's Avatar
arubabob arubabob is offline
Member
 
Join Date: April 28th, 2004
Location: oklahoma
Age: 76
Posts: 1,403
arubabob is on a distinguished road
Smile Re: Please help first visit is in 22 days!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarg View Post
Do I need to make reservations for any of the restaurants in Aruba? I was thinking mainly of MJ's and Wacky Wahoo who I've read great things about. What about any other places? How far in advance and do I call or email? Thanks.
You can usually make them a day or 2 before you want to go with no problem at this time of year. Last time we were there in Sept, we went to MJs twice without a reservation. If your planning on going on a weekend though I would call a few days in advance. There were just 4 of us, so needed 1 table.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 2006 -2011 - CaribMedia.com