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WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

Atlanta
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48 posts
6 reviews
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WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

Hello and Happy New Year. I am not usually one to complain, and I love to praise good service, but wanted to warn folks about some bad experiences. I will post them separately, as I was almost finished with my log post, and must have accidentally touched something on this laptop and deleted it!

The topics, which I will post as I have time (I am sharing this laptop with the group of 6 I am travelling with) are:

1. No service from Fastphones, despite reservations made in advancewith Sean (the people were nowhere to be found and didn't answer phonecalls)

2. Ripoffs from some taxidrivers at the airport (most cabbies were fine, but a few were not. We were overcharged by a very scary, bad driver!! Many vans that could clearly hold 6 wouldnt-so we had to take 2 cabs.(we were later told they do this, especially at the holidays, to let more drivers get fares). They charged more on Sundays, but should not have charged $5 more (one charged $3 more, one,the bad driver, inisted on $5 despite my having read here by recent posters that the fare should be $20)

3. Fun, but TERRIBLE experience with the ATV Extravaganza people (trip started 1 hr late due to equipment problems so only got2 of the 3 hrs scheduled, equipment broke down frequently, left us on the side of the road for 45' of those 2 remaining hours, second ATV broke later in the middle of the trip and had to be towed back in with a towrope) and NO WILLINGNESS of the owners or staff (Lenoshka, Uka or Lalit)to discuss a price adjustment. People after us wer totally unable to go due to similar problemsw and the company would not refund their money- they were MAD, and slammed a door so hard it broke!)

4. The Marriott Ocean Club is fine (though needs a coat of paint). Didn't really appreciate being awakened at 8 am by them trying to push a timeshare tour. Then got a second call about the same thing. They did stop calling when we told them we were not interested.

5. Moombas beach bar served some awful drink with sweet blue stuff in it when my son asked for a gin and tonic- and then the bartender ignored him when he tried to get this corrected. Granted, it was New Years eve, but still...

We are scheduled today to go on a sail/scuba trip with Red Sail sports. Hopefully that will go well.

More to come....

Atlanta
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48 posts
6 reviews
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1. Re: WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

Please excuse the few typos above. I meant to say I was writing a long post, not a log post!

We were told that the taxis do charge $23 (But not $25) on Sundays. Can anyone confirm this?

Minneapolis...
Destination Expert
for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
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14,906 posts
83 reviews
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2. Re: WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

Here are links to taxi policies and their fare list:

http://www.taxiaruba.com/policy.html

http://www.taxiaruba.com/farelist.html

Atlanta
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48 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

Thanks, arubaAmy. That explains the fare discrepancies. However, the first link you list says the fares are supposed to be posted. Where are they posted? We have yet to see any fare information anywhere, and certainly not in the cabs.

I promised a little more information-- hope I won't lose this post accidentally like I did with the other!

When we arrived at the airport and saw the Fastphones booth deserted, there was a sign to call 2 phone numbers (with what?? We had no local phones!) Some nice local person tried the 2 numbers for us. One just rang and rang. The other was not in service. We ended up renting from another booth at the airport- Setar. The prices were pretty comparable. Glad we weren't required to prepay the fastphones.

The ATV's (rented through watapanaruba.com) were fun, when they worked, which was variable. Our tourguide (Anthony) was great, but unfortunately couldn't fix the equipment. We had alot of fun, but buyer beware with this company. They gave us their phone number and swore they would answer if we'd call at 5 (they were dealing with the really irate people who couldn't get their complete refund when they couldnt go on the trip). Well, we called at 5, the pseron who answered (Uka) said she would check with her manager and asked us to call again in 15 minutes. Then she never answered her phone again.

Wish, with all the research I'd done, htat I knew that everything closes up before the New Years eve fireworks. We'd gone into Orangestad to see the fireworks at the Renaissance and hoped to go into the bars before then. Nope. All closed up 'til after the fireworks. We ended up coming back to the Marriott and watching the fireworks all up and down the beach. Pretty incredible.

Red Sail sports (sail/scuba trip) was a lot of fun today. Well organized, well run. Had planned to go to Le Petite Cafe to cook dinner on stones, but I believe they are closed til after Jan 2. Had a GREAT dinner at Hadicurarri. Highly recommend it!

More later....

Florida
3 posts
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4. Re: WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

A happy new year also for you and family and the rest of the world, we hope that other readers and experts will share this bad experience with you, and guide you to a better vacation planning next time, we understand how it feels to be far away from home, enter the island with a positive feeling and still disapointed.

Minneapolis...
Destination Expert
for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
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14,906 posts
83 reviews
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5. Re: WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

infrequentflier,

Still sounds like you're having a good vacation even with a few disappointments. Travel is always an experience and not always perfect but you sound like you're going with the flow and not letting it ruin your vacation. Travel is always what you make of it! :)

I read that, too, about the fares being posted and in all of the years I've traveled to Aruba I've never seen them posted in the taxis. I've seen them posted in a few lobbies of hotels but that's it. We use a rental car now so I don't pay too much attention any longer.

Happy New Year to you and your family!!!

New Jersey
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2,054 posts
56 reviews
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6. Re: WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

The taxi fares used to be posted on a wall in the airport to the right, before you walk outside - I don't know if they are still posted there, but we're going on Sunday, so I'll check it out.

Sorry to hear of all the problems you had, but it does sound like you are having a great time anyway.

Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip - hope the rest of your time will be fun.

Valerie

Atlanta
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48 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

Thanks Myshock and ArubaAmy!

Yes, we are having a great time-- just some bumps along the way, and wanted to warn others. By the way, the person who told us that Le Petit Cafe was closed read the sign wrong. We had dinner there (the one by Playa Linda) and it was wonderful! The beef, shrimp and lobster cooking on the hot granite stone right in front of you was a treat. The 18 yr olds ordered Long Island Iced tea which were wonderful. The service was "leisurely" and apparently the waitress forgot to put in one of the orders (we really hadn't noticed because of the leisurely pace of the dinner) so the brought another round of drinks for everyone! Then, they accidentally put a Heinekin beer on the bill (which we noticed after they charged our card) which we hadn't ordered. So I suggested they just bring us one to take with us when we left--- they brought us two for our inconvenience. Definitely a classier operation than the ATV rental folks!

Had a great dessert yesterday at The Taste of Belgium in the new plaza across from the Holiday Inn. So, all in all far better good than bas so far, and the weater has been great. Occasionaly cloudy and a rare brief shower or 2, but definitely no big deal so far.

Atlanta
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48 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

Didn't mean toomit thanks to you too, Valerie. YOu must have posted while I was typing. The complimentary internet at the Marriott is a definite plus! The kids and I are on it a lot. My husband is steering clear of the computer-- he is on vacation!

jl
Waltham...
Destination Expert
for Aruba
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6,218 posts
26 reviews
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9. Re: WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

My understanding with Aruba Fast Phones is that they are supposed to send you an email confirmation a week or two before your trip with the phone number you will be getting, so that you can pass it on to anyone who needs it. This is what they did with our reservation last year and will be doing again this year per their confirmation email that I received. Did they do that, or did you never hear back from them after your initial reservation request?

Atlanta
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48 posts
6 reviews
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10. Re: WARNING: A Few Bad Experiences

I got the confirmation of my reservation within 24 hrs of making my reservation. The contact person (Sean) was a little slow in getting the phone #s to me ( attributin it to being busy over the holiday and having a day off) but did finally respond to my 3rd email about 2 days before we left from the US with the phone #s of the 3 phones we were renting. He gave no indication that the booth would be empty when we arrived. To the contrary, I fully expected to see him or someone there with our 3 phones. I had sent out our anticipated phone #s to family and the parents of the boys' friends who are on vacation with us. Fortunately, thanks to the complimentary internet, I was able to easily send the new #s to everyone.