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Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

Boston...
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Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

Here is my trip report. When reading just remember that they are ONLY my views and opinions of the Divi(AI). The trip report is fairly long.

Trip Report Divi(AI) 4/8-4/15

The vacation started off very well. Stayed at the Embassy Suites at Logan Airport the night before. Made a reservation thru Trinity(www.trinityreservations.com). Highly recommend them. One night stay and 14 days of parking $185. In the morning we boarded the hotel shuttle to the airport. Checked our luggage(first bag free) on JetBlue, got our gate assignment and proceeded thru security without a hitch.

Boarded our non-stop flight on JetBlue and departed right on time. The flight was almost perfect. A hour into the flight all tv's lost their signal. I was told that is normal due to the flight path to Aruba so that is why JetBlue does not charge for watching the 3 movie channels. With that said, I reclined my seat , fell asleep and woke up as we were in our final desent into Aruba.

We arrived in Aruba a few minutes early. We got off the plane and proceeded thru customs. No wait, no line, no problem. Got thru customs and went to baggage claim. Waited a few minutes for our bags. Once we got our luggage, we went outside and saw Bully holding a sign with our name on it. I reserved Bully Taxi a couple weeks before our trip. Highly recommend him(bullytaxi79@hotmail.com). Maximum passengers in a taxi in Aruba is 5. No meters in taxis, all fares are a flat rate depending on where you are going. The cost from the airport to the Divi is $22. This includes 1 piece of luggage per passenger excluding carry-on, purse ect.. He took all of our luggage ,loaded the taxi up and we were on our way to the Divi. We arrived at the Divi within a few minutes. Booked our return trip to airport with Bully and proceeded to check-in.

Went to the frt desk and asked if it was too early to check -in(12:45pm) and the frt desk clerk said no it was not too early for check in. She looked up our reservation but could not find it. She asked for our vouchers from the travel agent and I told her that the travel agent told me that they no longer use vouchers and everything know is done electronically. I gave her my payment recent from the travel agency and told me that she will let her boss look over it. Within a few minutes she came back and told me that the room was being cleaned as we speak and come back in about 20 minutes. She put our wrist bands on and we were off to the bar and buffet.

I went back to the frt desk after having 2 Balashis and inquired about the room. I was told it was not ready yet. Went back to the bar and had a couple of more Balashis. Now about 1 1/2 have passed when I first tried to check-in. Still the room was not ready.

Finally at 3.20pm the room was ready. They put us in the Veranda building .The room was spacious but definitely dated. Needed the walls and ceiling painted. The furniture was very worn in spots. As for the bathroom, the bathtub was stained and worn. The grout was either dirty or missing on the tiles surrounding the bathroom. Had to be very thin to fit on the toilet as it was tight up to the tub. Unexpectedly the mattress was very comfortable. Slept sound every night. The veranda had a perfect ocean-view. All in all, the room was not bad but needs a renovation. After a quick rest and shower went down to eat dinner at the buffet

The buffet was excellent. I mixed of different foods. Wait staff were ok. They were not overly friendly. Had to track them down to order drinks. After dinner went to the bar and had drinks and listen the music. There were two guys, one playing the guitar and the other was singing. When they were done, the there was a limbo show. The show was good very entertaining. After a few more libations, I had to call it a night. So I said good night to the other people were we vacationing with and headed to out our room. While walking to the room we almost got rundown by the driver driving the shuttle tram. Fair warning to all....the drivers do not slow down to let you pass. Their trams are quiet so you don't hear them until they are right on your heals. Made it in one piece to our room and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out.

Day 2-Woke up early and quietly left the room without waking the wife. Went down to the pool area and staked out a cabana for us all. While walking down to the pool area , I saw many resort workers starting their day. I said good morning as I passed but was greet with just a grunt or nothing at all. I was very surprised. I thought Aruba was "One Happy Island".

While waiting in the cabana for others to wake up and join me, I decided to check email with the Blackberry I rented for the week. Rented it thru Aruba Discount Cellphone(arubadiscountcell.com). Trees from Aruba discount cell, met me in the lobby of the Divi on day 1 and delivered my BlackBerry. Blackberry was $50 for 7 days which included 58 minutes and unlimited internet use. Blackberry worked very well. I highly recommend it for people that need to be in touch with the rest of the world while on vacation.

While waiting at the pool for my fellow vacationers to come join me, I noticed other people coming down and throwing their towels on chairs to reserve them and then walking off. These people woudl not return for hours. Very selfish and lazy people. At least when I went down to the pool I staedy there until other people in my party join me.

Had breakfast at the Buffet. It was ok. They had the usually breakfast foods. Eggs,bacon, toast, made to order omlettes,ect.. Once again, had to find someone to get a diet Coke. Words of warning.......the birds in the breakfast buffet are awful. They will steal you food when you are not looking.The birds would land on empty tables to pick at the leftovers.They would poop on the chairs, so before you sit down look at your chair. Left breakfast and headed to the bar and was informed the bar does not open till 11:00am. I could not believe it. I wanted a Bloody Mary and I could not get oen till 11:00am. For an all inclusive resort they should change the bar opening time. I had to settle for a glass of water. I was pouring water from the pitcher when it ran out. I asked the person that was setting up the bar area if they could fill the pitcher up with water and their response was "no". I could not believe what I heard. I asked again and the response was again "no". Once again, not "One Happy Island". I had to go to the gift shop and buy water.

For the next couple of hours, we sat by the pool, went swimming and soaked up some of the Aruba sun. Finally at 11:00am went to the bar and ordered some drinks from a very grumpy bartender. Got my drinks and gave a very generous tip to cover the entire day. Stayed at the pool the entire day. Took a few relaxing dips in the ocean.

Went back to the room where we took a relaxing afternoon nap. Woke up and got ready for our dinner at the Red Parrot. Had a delicious prime rib dinner. The food was great. Waitstaff was friendly and very attentive. We had a great time at the Red Parrot. After dinner went and sat at the tables around the bar. Ordered drinks from a waitress named Helen. She was very friendly and attentive. Watched the entertaining show and had a few more drinks. Called it a night around midnight.

Day 3-Woke early again and went down to the pool area. Once again, ran into a few resort workers and they were not friendly at all. As I passed, I would say "good morning". I would get no response from them.......oh well. I sat down under a cabana and decided to catch up on some reading. I sat there and read my book while watching the sun come up. Once again, people would come down and throw their towels on a pool chair and not return for 2 or 3 hours. As the morning progressed, my fellow vacationers came down and joined me at the pool. Had breakfast in the buffet. Breakfast was good.....not great but good. The birds were terrible. I left my plate at the table for 30 seconds to get juice, when I came back I had 4 birds picking at my pancakes. Left the buffet and sat in the sun. We could not wait for the bar to open, so we went to the gift store and bought a six pack of bud lite and began our day of sun, pool, ocean and plenty of drinks.

Went up to the room around 3:30pm and took another afternoon nap. Woke up in time for dinner. We took the tram over to the Tam for dinner at Paparazzi. The ride in the tram was a ride from hell. Had to hang on for dear life. People were walking on the walkway and we barely missed hitting them. Arrived at the Tam in one piece. Had a couple of drinks at the bar and went to dinner. Dinner was good. The Paparazzi staff were ok. The restaurant was good not great. After dinner, we took another ride on Mr. Toads Wild Adventure(Disney World amusement ride) back to the Div.i Had another enjoyable evening at the bar. Had many laughs and libations while watching the entertainment. Again, we had Helen as our waitress. She was very good. Later that evening, I felt hungry so I cozied up to the pizza bar and had myself a nice thick cheese pizza and washed it down with a cold balashi. After that, we called it a night and went to our rooms.

Day 4- Did not wake up early because day 4 is when we rented a car for 3 days to do some sight seeing. We rented from Top Drive Car Rental. They met us at the Divi and we drove to Manchebo Beach to fill out the paper work. It took all of 20 minutes. I rented a Kia Caren. The car was an older model with 45,000 miles on it. The car, I was told fit 6 people. It barely fit 6 people. When we were all getting out of the car, it reminded me of the circus clown car. The car suited us and the price was right. They even gave us a free additional driver. The final cost of the car plus insurance,tax and additional driver was $218 for 3 day rental.

I drove back to the Divi and we all got in the car and off we went. We went to the lighthouse, drove around the Island; visited the natural bridge that is not there anymore. We stopped at the Alto Vista Chapel. Drove downtown and had lunch at The Paddock. Downtown was busy. They had a couple of cruise ships in port. Many people walking around. Stopped in a few shops to browse. . Headed back to the Divi around 3pm. When we got back I was hungry and thristy so I got myself a pizza and washed it down with a few Balashis. Went up to the room when I was done and decided to do more reading, I opened up the doors to the veranda and read for a couple of hours while looking out at the Caribbean Sea. After a couple hours of reading, it was time to get ready for dinner.

Made a reservation at El Gaucho. We decided to take a cab instead of driving. The cost was only $10 plus tip. We had a wonderful time at El Gaucho. The waitstaff were great. They were very attentive and friendly. The food was great. This was the best meal of the trip. Took a cab back to the Divi and had a nice evening watching the dancers and having a few drinks. Once again, started to get hungry as the night went on. Walked over to the pizza bar and got a couple of thick pizzas and a drink. Met a very wonderful bartender, Brenda. She was a trainee from the Netherlands. She was probably the nicest and friendliest bartender at the Divi. So we all ate pizza and drank to end our day.

Day 5- The day started like the previous days with me waking up early and going down to the pool area and waiting for everyone else to wake up. Sat down in a cabana and noticed the thru the night they had erected a stage in the shallow end of the pool. I asked the guy cleaning the pool if the pool would be open and got no response. When the front desk opened, I inquired about the staging but no one knew what it was for. As the early morning progressed, the staff had taken all the lounge chairs out of the wading pool. I still had no idea if the pool area was open. Slowly people began to come over to the pool area and sit on the chairs. You could see a curious look on peoples faces as to why there is a stage in the pool. Later in the morning 3 guys came by with a hug ladder and started pruning the palm trees around the pool. One guy would climb the ladder and start cutting the palms off. Then he started cutting off the coconuts. Now the pool is starting to get crowded with people swimming. As the guy would cut the coconuts, they would come crashing down on the pool deck. A lot of them would split open but some would bounce off the pool deck. A couple of coconuts actually landed in the pool nearly missing a few swimmers. Poor planning of Divi to have this done with all these people in the pool. They should have done this first thing in the morning when there was nobody in the pool.

After a few hours of questioning the staff of the resort on why there is a stage in the pool, I finally got an answer. The reason was that the resort was hosting a dinner for travel agents. The pool area would be closed down at 3pm so that they can set up for a dinner that will be held on the pool deck. Now I knew why they pruned the trees around the pool.

Stayed at the resort for most of the day. Waited until 11am for the bar to open. Once it did the wife and I took a seat at the bar waiting to be serve a cold beer. Took our seats at the bar and saw the bartender had his back towards us texting on his cell phone. He turned to look at us and went right back to texting. When he was done with his business he then decided to serve us. We could not believe that this had just happened. I told my wife that over the last few days I noticed that the employees at the Divi do not act or look happy. They are not a happy bunch. After being ignored, we took our drinks and went back to the pool area. There we stayed for the most of the day. Later in the morning, we took a walk down the beach heading towards the high rises.

I was totally surprised about how much beach erosion had taken place. The beach outside the Vista building has shrunk. We walked further down the beach passing other resorts. The erosion of the beach area is very noticeable. You had to walk in the water in some spots because there was no beach. In other areas, the beach seem it would never end. I saw some palm trees with there roots exposed.

Walked back to the Divi and decided to go swimming in the ocean. The water was warm as bath water. Very minimal waves. Stayed in the water for about an hour. When we got out it was lunch time. Had a enjoyable lunch. Ate a hamburger and hot dog with a Balashi chaser. After lunch we just lounged around the pool area taking in the sights and having a good time. Went back to the room around 2:30pm to take that afternoon nap that I had become accustom to taking.

It was a very enjoyable nap. Woke up and had to get ready for dinner. We made another reservation at Paparazzi. We took the death ride over to the Tam. This time the driver actual stopped the tram and decided to talk to some of his buddies for a few minutes. When he was done talking, he decided to take us to the Tam. Once again, the driver ran a few people off the walkway but we made it all in one piece.

Dinner at the Paparazzi was ok. We all had the Chicken parm. It was actual good. The waiters/waitress were pleasant but not overly friendly. We had a very wobbly table. Any time anyone would cut their dinner the whole table would wobble. One person would cut their dinner while the others had to hold the table so their beverages would not spill. We asked the staff to thave the table swapped out but our wishes were ignored. I guess when you are not working for tips you just don't care.

After dinner I wanted to walk back to the Divi but the wife did not want to walk. I told her that if I have to take the tram I would need to have a few drinks. We had a couple of drinks at the bar and then took the tram back to the Divi. I guess the drinks helped because the ride even though very wild, it was pleasantly enjoyable.

We arrived back at the Divi just in time to see all the travel agents having there dinner at the closed pool side. The had closed off the pool area for them. As for the stage in the pool, they had an opera singer singing on the stage as they ate their dinner.

We took our regular spot and sat at the tables near the bar. The entertainment started late that evening because the resort was catering to the needs of the travel agents and not to the needs of their paying guests. Helen came by as usually and this time she had our drinks already on her tray. Now that is being attentive to your guests. The entertainment started and we all had a good time. We drank into the evening because Helen would come by every 10 minutes with drinks. We did not want to insult her so we drank them. I got hungry again, so I had to get a pizza. Got 2 pizzas this time and brought them back to the table. We ate pizza and drank into the night. When we were done, we walked back to the room watching out out for the tram and went to bed.

Day 6-Woke up early once again . As usually, I went down to the pool area and sat under a cabana. Decided just to sit there and watch as the staff got the resort ready for the day. We all went to breakfast and had a great breakfast. After breakfast, we went back to the cabana and waited for the bar to open. As we waited, the wife and I decided to go for a walk to the Tam via the beach. We walked the beach to the Tam. The beach was great. No signs of erosion. Walked down to the Tam and then back to the Divi. After the walk, we were hot so we went for a swim in the ocean. Stayed in for about an hour. By that time the bar was open. I could not drink anymore beer so I switch to Banana Daiquiris. They were great. Sat under the cabana for most of the day. Occasionally taking a swim in the pool. It was our last day with the car so we decided to drive up to the High Rises. We walked around in and out of the different shops, picking up a few gifts to bring home. Stopped in Senor Frogs and had a drink. When we were done drove back to the Divi and got ready for dinner at the Red Parrot.

Had dinner outside at the Red Parrot. Once again, our dinner was great. I had the prime rib, it was excellent. The waitstaff were great. We had a great time at the Red Parrot.

After dinner we sat down at the tables by the bar and on que Helen came over and had our drinks ready for us to consume. We sat there for the rest of the night. We drank, laughed and watched the entertainment. It was a early night. Went back to the room and fell asleep.

Day 7-Last full day in Aruba. Right on que, I woke up and went to to the pool area. Sat in a chair by the pool and fell asleep. Woke up to the noise of people in the pool doing water aerobics. Luckily I woke up because I had to meet t Top Drive Car Rental in the lobby to return the car. I returned the car and went back to the pool area. Got hungry and went to eat breakfast. . We had a good breakfast. After breakfast, we went swimming the ocean. We had so much fun. All we did for our last day was stay by the pool area, drank and went swimming both in the pool and ocean. We played bingo poolside and tye dyed tee shirts. Later in the day, we went back to the room to rest for awhile. We met everyone down in the buffet area to eat dinner. We had a very casual dinner for our last dinner together.

Took a walk around the resort after dinner and met everyone back at the bar area. We did not see Helen the waitress. Was told she was walking somewhere else night. We actually had to go to the bar to get out drinks. That was ok because we decided we were not going to drink that much as we were leaving the next day and did not want to fly home hungover. We watched the entertainment and had a few drinks. I had to get my last thick pizza of the trip. Walked over to the pizza bar and got 2 pizza and ordered a Balashi from Brenda the bartender. Ate one pizza there and brought the other one back for the others. Had a couple more drinks and then went back to the room to go to sleep.

Day 8-Slept late that morning. After getting up, we packed our suitcases and got ready to leave Aruba. We weren't leaving until noon so we ate breakfast and took another walk on the beach. I had to have my last Balashi of the trip so I went over to the bar when it opened. After my last drink, we went back to room and got our suitcases and met the others in lobby to wait for Bully to pick us up. The taxi arrived right on time. He loaded the taxi and we were off to the airport.

It took about 1 1/2 from the time we arrived at the airport to the time we got to our departing gate. Getting thru customs was not too bad. We had to go thru 3 security checks. Got to our gate with about 1 1/2 hours till we depart. Lucky for use "One Happy Bar" was adjacent to our gate, so we had lunch and one(maybe two last drinks). Boarded our flight right our time and jetted off home.

We all had a great time in Aruba but we decided that if we were to go back to Aruba, we would not stay at the Divi(AI) for these reasons:

1.The staff except for the ones I mentioned in this trip report we not friendly.

2.The rooms we were in, badly need to be renovated.

3. Bar needs to open earlier

4 .For an all inclusive resort, they should stock the refrigerator in the room.

5.Better food at the dinner buffet

.

I just did not feel the "One Happy Island" vibe at the Divi(AI). That is just my opinion and I know many people will disagree with me.

Minneapolis...
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for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
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1. Re: Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

Thanks for taking the time to write your trip report with all of the details. Sounds like you had a great time. I do agree though, the bar should be open earlier (I also like to have a Bloody Mary or Mimosa in the morning when on vacation.)

North Cape May, Nj
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2. Re: Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

Maybe you should skip the AI and book Bucuti, Manchebo or Amsterdam Manor. Will probably cost you more $, but I think you will experience the Happy Island feel.

jl
Waltham...
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3. Re: Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

Nice report with details. Just wondering if perhaps some of the people you said good morning to or asked about the staging did not understand English? Just a thought.

Cornwall,UK
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4. Re: Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

Thanks for the very interesting report. Goint to the Tam in a few weeks and will no doubt be eating and drinking at the Divi quite a lot.

Boy, did you get thru some Balashis!! I take it they are pretty good?

Can't wait to try one or two(or prob a lot more : )

Ramsey N.j
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5. Re: Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

Thanks for your trip report. I see you made the best out of some not so great situations. We bought some drink coupons from the Divi and checked out the bar and grounds for our next trip to Aruba in December. We got the same vibe you got with the staff. Compared to where we stayed everyone says hi and smiles. 11 am on vacation to wait for drinks-shame-shame! Get the guests a beer and say good morning for Petes sake! We enjoyed reading your trip report and thank you for taking the time to share.

Sean and Susan

jl
Waltham...
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6. Re: Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

Is 11:00 common at most resorts? I don't even know, actually.

Boston...
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7. Re: Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

jl,

Before leaving for Aruba I learned the phrase "Bon dia" i(Papiamento) which means " Good Morning" in English and that is what I would say to people in the morning.

jl
Waltham...
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8. Re: Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

Hmmmm...sad really....I can honestly say we have never encountered people not saying hello back when saying hello to anyone in Aruba.

Beverly Hills...
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9. Re: Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

9am at Bugaloe for a Balashi, a bloody mary or a mimosa!

It has been my experience that when staff is consistently rude or surly, it is indicative of underlying management problems.

North Cape May, Nj
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10. Re: Trip report 4/8-4/15 Divi(AI)

Not every hotel worker is Aruban or even Dutch. Bartenders, front desk personnel and all those who would have direct contact with guests are

able to speak English .Maintenance , groundskeepers and other non

customer related jobs may be filled with immigrants or temp workers from another country. I guess some may be grumpy.