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Old Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008, 10:03 AM
pgsoder pgsoder is offline
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Default We're Home Safely

I won't bore you all with a trip report, but I will say here that Paul and I had the best 2 weeks ever on Aruba. We tried "Matthews" and we were very pleased with the service, the food and the prices of our meals. Those "steak kabobs" are to die for. Went to MJ's once and never disappointed there.
We noticed a lot fewer people all over the island. Owners at LaCabana BRC were told that all units were full, but that simply was not true, I would have to say, maybe 1/3 filled. Same at the Aruban. Casino progress is "slow", new opening date is supposed to be in August, but we all know how that goes.
Weather was simply put, perfect. We had one day that we had a 1/2 hour downpour of rain, then cloudy that day. The rest of our days were 88-91, sunny and gorgeous.
I got to see Tina from Sweden again, what a joy she is. And also got to finally meet Liz on my last day there.
Bad things are happening on our island:
Liz had her laptop stolen.
A man was attacked and the guy took his gold necklaces, (2), his watch and all of his money and roughed him up a bit.
A woman had her purse stolen out of her unit at the Aruban.
All of these took place in daylight hours.
One evening a couple was threatened and robbed by gunpoint on their way back to their resort.
I do want to say here that we noticed that LaCabana BRC has beefed up their security during the day, but not at night.
Also, saw police cars patrolling the road in front of the resorts much more often than before.
The police seem to think that these "bad" people are the construction workers that are all over the island. Nothing in "Aruba Today" about any of these crimes.
I came home with $1000 more than I left home with. Casino's were good to me.
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Old Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008, 10:23 AM
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I Love Aruba Re: We're Home Safely

Welcome back, Gina. Glad you had good weather, and came back a winner, but concerned about what's happening. Poor Liz, and all the other people who were robbed.

Is anybody there listening?? Instead of getting better, it's getting worse!

Look forward to seeing you in February.
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Old Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

Thanks for the update, Gina! We hope to return next year, and if so, I will be more careful with myself and my stuff!

I am glad to hear that LaCabana has more patrols. But did you know if the stuff was stolen out of the safe in the room or was it out?
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Old Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

Corrine, the only problem with the "more" patrols is that they are during the daytime and I think they should increase security at night also.
The man that had his necklaces, watch and money stolen was walking to his unit near the Chapel during the afternoon (daylight).
Liz's laptop was stolen in broad daylight, taken from her patio table and no one claims to have seen a thing.
The woman who's purse was stolen had not totally latched her door, somebody observed this and went in her unit and took her purse, around 11 am, not in the safe.
The other incident I remember was an older couple that left their room key (card) in their door and someone got into their unit and stole $1600 in cash, was not in a safe. Also during the day.

We always double check our safe, we make sure I have the key with me at all times, even if it means going back to check again. We leave nothing of value out in plain site and we try to observe those around us where-ever we go. We also always make sure we both have our unit key with us at all times. And, even though on the 4th floor, we lock our balcony door.
I did speak with some Aruban people and they told me they now have to sleep with their doors and windows locked all of the time. They blame the high crime rate on the construction workers. They can't wait for their island to get back to normal.
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Old Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

Afraid to say that the Island will not get back to normal, without the proper action being taken by the authorities. Feel very sad for those that were victimized. As was said must be vigilant at all times. The thefts from rooms can mostly be prevented by using the appropiate caution to insure that doors and windows are locked and valuables put away.

The muggings are of much more concern. Here the safety of the individual is threatened. Increased patrols by police and security would be a deterrent. Everyone needs to get involved by reporting all these crimes to the police. The authorities must take action to involve the community in the effort to reduce this type of crime. With the economy on a slide this type of activity is likely to increase.

The perpetrators could be construction workers as you said, but drug addicts, gang members and yes even tourists could be responsible for some of this activity, especially the crimes of opportunity.

Certainly hope that the authorities see the light before it is too late.
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Old Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008, 03:15 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: We're Home Safely

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyboater View Post
Certainly hope that the authorities see the light before it is too late.
I couldn't agree with you more, philly. As we said in another thread, these incidents are no longer remaining a secret. Somebody better step up to the plate, and do something!
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Old Wednesday, December 24th, 2008, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

That's all very scarey stuff!!! What happened to all the promises Rob Smith had made how long ago about more security, the drug dog blah blah blah....

With the way the US economy is right now - you'd think Aruba would be even "more" on it's toes to make sure every visit is safe and enjoyable. I remember seeing Rob on ATV projecting lower tourism - and how important it is - I guess he doesn't really "walk the walk".

That's my 2 cents..... now back to wrapping presents - today is my mom's 82nd birthday - she wasn't "supposed" to be doing well by now - and she's spry and upbeat as well as healing when she wasn't supposed - my little "wild irish rose" is doing well!! She still loves living in Aruba and considers it her
"real" home.

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

P.S. Don't forget our furry friends in the holiday season - donate to any shelter (local or otherwise) they really need help now.
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Old Wednesday, December 24th, 2008, 10:33 AM
phillyboater phillyboater is offline
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

Appears most of this stuff posted happened at La Cabana. Does LaCabana belong to AHATA. Don't get me wrong not suggesting that AHATA is doing anything. Would seem to me the group that should be most interested is the Aruba Tourism Assoc. and the Government Dept. of Tourism. These issues are island wide not just in the hotels.

Happy Holidays to all. Lizzardo, glad to hear mom is doing so well.
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Old Wednesday, December 24th, 2008, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

As an owner at LaCabana, my guess is that our guard is lower, because we are all owners and "family". But it is a large complex with a lot of people. Security is slack, last year we met 2 guys from Holland doing an internship in Aruba and our security let them sleep on the beach and use the facilities at LaCabana. I have to say though, I expected more of this to happen at the Marriott or RIU, as they are huge with a lot more people and not timeshare owners.

I would love to hear from Liz when she gets back her thoughts regarding LaCabana!
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Old Thursday, December 25th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

Rob Smith is the president of AHATA. And I would think that La Cabana is a member of the association - if it wasn't I'd be shocked. AHATA was the ones that came up w/ the useless "high visability" team who just seem to be joyriding on their ATVs. I do blame AHATA and the authorities for this problem because that is what they are supposed to do!!!!

I know that Aruba doesn't have all the problems as the US... but it seems to be trying really hard to catch up!!! I am really frustrated with seeing all that happens around here and nothing became of it. I recall someone on the boards who actually saw 3 kids steal someone else's bag. A chase ensued and the kids swam out to a dock. When she got security - they said they'd "write up a report" - when she asked them to call the cops because the kids were "stuck" out there - they said no because that's all the cops would do too - write up a report. It just really saddens me because it wouldn't take much out of the budget compared to the millions Aruba spends on advertising (this year they actually hired Lewis Black) - to fix the problem.

I want to see someone step up to the plate and freakin' do something!!! I know the island is "laid back" but it shouldn't be when it comes to this stuff!!!

Season's frickin' greetings to AHATA and Rob!!!!

(GRRRRR)
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Old Thursday, December 25th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

www.ahata.travel/ahata/do/home.html
The website for AHATA. It lists the members as well as the Board of Directors and staff. LaCabana is shown as a member.

I will PM you with an idea.
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Old Friday, December 26th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

Made this a separate thread as well - here is what Rob sent to a tourist
who had problems back in Oct 08 -


"Good Morning Laura,

Thank you for your email and intrusting me with your concerns. Besides being a part of the tourism landscape of Aruba, I am also a resident and parent who has made the conscience choice to make Aruba my home. As you indicated, anywhere supply can meet demand, you will see drugs and illicit behavious, it is a worldwide situation that even we must face here in Aruba. I also serve on the Board of the Hospitality and Security Foundationh; this is a non-profit foundation that works as a public/private effort to thwart petty crime and drug activity in tourist related areas. We are currently refocusing efforts on the Resort Boardwalk in the following ways:
1. Increasing scheduled presence of our visibility team to ensure we have as muchy coverage as possible.
2. relocating our office to the beachfront area between teh Hyatt Resort and the Occidental Resort
3. Working with a brand new addition to our beach patrol, a professional drug dog we just purchased in Europe. The dog and his police handler partner will be patrolling the boardwalk area a minimum of three random times per week.

I regret that yoru phone calls were not met with the greater sense of urgency that they deserve, and i am sorry for that.

All this said I still believe strongly that we are providing a safe and professional vacation experience that rivals most places worldwide. The Tourism Authority motto that a great place to live will be a great place to visit is our guiding principal.

I hope I have informed you of our efforts, and please keep my email handy if i can be of any assistance.

Regards
Rob"
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Old Wednesday, December 31st, 2008, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

First:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsoder@yahoo.com View Post
Casino progress is "slow", new opening date is supposed to be in August, but we all know how that goes.
No surprise there. Thanks for the update.

I'm really sorry to hear about Liz's misfortune. Think about all of the private information we keep on our laptops, too. A bit scary to think of it in someone else's hands. I hope she recovers it.

Sad to hear of the increased crime. The safety aspect is one of the great things about Aruba. Let's hope it changes for the better.
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Old Friday, January 2nd, 2009, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

Liz got her laptop stolen....Sorry to hear this.
Glad you had a safe trip Gina..and very cool on the grand ( coming home with you )
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Old Sunday, January 4th, 2009, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

Hi Gina,

Thank you for that lovely card you got us for our weddinganniversery. It was beautiful. It was great meeting you again. Hopefully we can do it again in december.

Lots of hugs to you and Paul

Tina
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Old Sunday, January 4th, 2009, 03:00 PM
pgsoder pgsoder is offline
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

Tina, you are most welcome. I hope your anniversary dinner was all you wanted it to be. This coming Dec. we really need to work on meeting up for a dinner, maybe at Matthews over at Casa Del Mar. Do keep us posted during 2009!
And it was "super" to see you again.
Hugs to you and Jerry
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Old Sunday, January 4th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: We're Home Safely

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsoder@yahoo.com View Post
Tina, you are most welcome. I hope your anniversary dinner was all you wanted it to be. This coming Dec. we really need to work on meeting up for a dinner, maybe at Matthews over at Casa Del Mar. Do keep us posted during 2009!
And it was "super" to see you again.
Hugs to you and Jerry

Gina,

My promise to you. I will keep you posted. I'm calling my travelagent allready tomorrow.

Hugs to you both

Tina
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