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LynnS Saturday, October 13th, 2007 05:36 PM

Just returned
Returned from the Riu late Thurs. We own a week in the timeshare units and were anxious to see the resort.
Timeshare units were not upgraded and we were told that as of now there are no plans to do so. My husband did dinner 1 night on the AI-he said it was very good-large selection of food and he enjoyed it.
All the reasons we bought at the Grand are gone. We really missed the staff and quiet beach. I guess it will take time to adjust.
I was in Aruba and on the beach. Life was good.

elfinee Sunday, October 14th, 2007 11:34 PM

Re: Just returned
We have been getting very unfavorable reviews on the timeshare units. Most of the complaints concern the condition of the furniture, musty & moldy smell and missing items in the kitchen-even missing washer and dryer! Did you experience any of this? We really miss Aruba and want to be sitting on our lanai at the Royal Palm Club!
Thanks for and feedback.

LynnS Monday, October 15th, 2007 11:39 AM

Re: Just returned
The washer and dryers are gone-rooms have been put in that part of the building. A few items were missing from the kitchen and on Wed. housekeeping came around with a big cart with new items on it. They checked our unit and replaced what it needed. Our unit-5th floor- had a strong chemical smell-we aired it out and sprayed a room freshner-helped some but I could still smell it. The furniture-especially the sofa-in my opinion-has needed replaced for several years. It is stained but I did not notice a smell. This is just my opinion- The units have been neglected for a long time. General maintenence was never done on them and small repairs turned into large repairs. The carpet on the 5th floor looks like a low budget hotel-2nd and 3rd floor are only slightly better.
We enjoyed our vacation-we were in Aruba- BUT I felt like I was at a totally different resort-I was- the Aruba Grand is gone.
I will be glad to answer any questions.

MacDuff Saturday, October 27th, 2007 05:18 PM

Re: Just returned
We're heading to our time share at the Riu on 10/16. I didn't really expect the timeshares to be upgraded, but I'm sorry to hear that the staff is more Gonzales, Carman, Reny or Antony at the beach?? How crowded is the beach--are we going to be sardines like at the Raddison?
This year we will need to be connected to home--do you have any idea about cell phone usage?

rdharles Sunday, October 28th, 2007 11:31 AM

Re: Just returned

Originally Posted by MacDuff (Post 71258)
I didn't really expect the timeshares to be upgraded, but I'm sorry to hear that the staff is more Gonzales, Carman, Reny or Antony at the beach??

There's no staff on the beach at all. Everyone is on their own to secure a hut for the day. We got up anywhere from 5:30 to 7:00 to put our towels (from the day before) on chairs or hung them from the hook and then went back to bed for a few hours. A strange procedure but it seemed to work OK and I'm not an early riser. Gonzales is now painting for a living. He had an offer at another hotel (Bucuti) but turned it down as it didn't pay enough. Carmen is the towel person at the Phoenix. She's hoping everyone will walk down and say "Hi". She misses all the old "Aruba Grand" faces.

JohnL Friday, November 2nd, 2007 08:14 AM

Re: Just returned

I'd like to hear your take on the condition of the rooms/suites and the facility service, food, etc......

let us know,


rdharles Saturday, November 3rd, 2007 12:38 PM

Re: Just returned

Originally Posted by JohnL (Post 71531)
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)

ssgladden Friday, November 9th, 2007 02:58 PM

Re: Just returned
Hi! We haven't heard anything about the parking garage for those of us who always rent cars. Is it adequate? And what about the casino?
And is it easy enough to get a nice lounge by the pool that's under an umbrella? Thanks. We're going in February expecting the huge difference, but, hey, like you say, it's Aruba, so it'll still be great!

rdharles Friday, November 9th, 2007 03:43 PM

Re: Just returned
Had a car the whole week and the parking lot was never even close to being full.

The casino is decent. Not huge but nice. If I recall correctly, it had 1 craps table, 2 roulette, and maybe 3-5 card tables and a bunch of slots. Also a smaller bar with 6-7 seats with a TV.

Sat at the beach everyday but did notice not a ton of umbrellas at the pool. I'm guessing you'd have to make an effort somewhat early to get one.

lindaspooky Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 12:42 PM

Re: Just returned
We had a car for our stay from 11/2-16, there was plenty of room in the garage. The only thing we didn't like is the access to the garage. From the rooms you had to go up to the lobby and back down the ramp or thru the casino and take the stairs down to the garage. The only ground floor access would be to use the walkway between the Radisson and the Riu that leads to the pier. The guys at the front will also park and retrieve your car for you.


LynnS Saturday, November 24th, 2007 08:22 PM

Re: Just returned
Thanks for the updates. Sounds like things are coming together.

In an email I received from Richard-they are waiting for purple wrist bands for Club members and we will be able to sign at the Pool Bar only.
He said they could not staff the Papiamento Bar since members were not using it. DUH! we tried 3 times- if you can't get waited on you leave. Hope this changes.

MDB77 Monday, November 26th, 2007 03:44 PM

Re: Just returned
We also have week 44 and I was just wondering if the airport was very busy. We tryed to book a flight for our week but was to late for any decent flights. I was wondering if there were less flights or just trying to book so late. We have only missed going there the last 2 years since our first trip in 1989. We have been receiving a lot of mail from the Aruba Tourest Bureau lately and thought things might be slow.

Mark & Donna
old rm 534

lindaspooky Monday, November 26th, 2007 04:09 PM

Re: Just returned
We normally fly Continental out of Newark on the Wednesday before our week starts. Usually we are the first flight in and never had to wait long to go through immigration. This year Continental didn't start their Wed flights until Nov 7th so we left on Thursday. We landed around 1:30, there were a few flights in and it did take longer to get through but I don't think it was that bad.

clbsweety Monday, December 10th, 2007 05:06 PM

Re: Just returned
I am leaving for Aruba Feb 8th. We stay on the 5th floor. Its going to be so sad that its not like it use to be. This timeshare was my gradparents I have been going there since i was 9 years old. I am taking a group a friends and I hope the trip will be a good one. I also hope we don't have any problems. My parents aren't going this year because they are afrade of the changes. I am going to be the Guine pig. I may cry when I see all the new stuff. I miss my grandfather so much and I have such wonderful memories of him there. It will be so sad for me to see that all the places we loved to sit and talk are gone :(. anyway any advice anyone can give me for the trip would be helpful.

lindaspooky Monday, December 10th, 2007 06:02 PM

Re: Just returned
We also were a little concerned whether we would like all the changes. It is very overwhelming at first but after a few days we settled in. There is nothing different about the rooms, they are as we left them. There are some new appliances and all rooms are freshly painted. We have rooms on both the 5th & 3rd floor and had no problems in either.

We kept our usual routine, going down to the beach early and getting a hut. Spent most of the day on the beach with occasional trips to the pool. Some of our friends took the AI for the entire stay, we chose only to do it 1 day as we enjoy going to our favorite resturants on the island.
The food was very good, there is something for everyone and it is worth the money.

It is a hike going up to the lobby, we used the walkway on the beach or between the Rad and Riu to get to the street.

There were days we hated it and days we loved it. In the end, we are very happy with the changes and look forward to returning.

Jelishka and Richard couldn't be more helpful, don't hesitate to go to them if you need anything.

Change is inevitable, it all comes down to what you make of it. Go and have a wonderful vacation, your memories will always be there.


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