This was my 2nd trip to Aruba and my husband's first and my both of our first times at Eagle Beach.
Our first day was a short one. Our flight arrived on time, we spent 45 minutes in the customs line (longer for us coming in than going out on Saturday - more on that layer.) We don't check bags so as soon as we cleared customs we walked out to taxi dispatch and within 5 minutes we were on our way to MVC eagle beach.
LOTS of construction going on in Oranjestad now so as we drove through town we noted we would not be heading back there on this trip. We aren't shoppers so the appeal of just lingering in the picturesque town was negated by the construction equipment.
On to MVC. We arrived at 3:30 so check in was via the restaurant. No problem! We were given a 2nd floor room with view as requested and there was a bottle of sparkling wine waiting for us to celebrate our Anniversary. Very nice. I will do a review of MVC separately but I will say here we would definitely choose this spot again. MVC is definitely located on the prettiest part of the beach (all of Eagle and Palm) and the ease of walking across the street to a palapa and chairs with no hassle and no fee is fantastic.)
Rest of day one: we strolled down the beach to enjoy Passions Beach Bar for happy hour. The BB party started after we had been at the bar for an hour so we met some great folks but most seemed to be from other boards (not TA) and also seemed to know each other so we felt a little shy and opted to stay at our bar position. Still, we had a nice conversation with some lovely folks. I think that BB party is a great idea.
After watching sunset there we strolled back to MVC for dinner at Tulip (fantastic) then called it a night.
Day 2: overcast and absolutely no breeze whatsoever. We decided to walk from MVC to Palm Beach. This was a very easy stroll for us. We walked on the street side until we got to Riu Palace then walked straight down to the beach path. This day we spent entirely on Palm Beach strolling as far as the area past Fisherman's Huts then back just enjoying various bars/restaurants. Our favorites were The Beach Bar, Scots Brat's and Bugaloes. We watched sunset from Bugaloes pier then listened to the band for a bit. We headed back to Eagle Beach on foot - street side again starting just past the Westin - and made a stop at Amsterdam Manors Sunset upper deck bar. Met Vincent, enjoyed the 9pm happy hour then walked back to MVC for the night. The second we hit our room a torrential downpour began.
Day 3: Cloudy, rainy day (still no wind or breeze btw.) we decided to spend a little time on eagle beach then take a walk down as far as we could go to the left (as facing the ocean) which was just under 2 miles. Heading back we stopped at Matthews for lunch and then almost made it back to MVC when the downpour started. It didn't last too long. After a good full-out rain soaking and then a shower to warm up we were back on the beach for the rest of the afternoon with our rum, hammock floats and sunset photo shoot. What I personally learned from our eagle beach walk is the best part of the beach is definitely in front of MVC. I did not find the beach from Manchebo and further south/southeast to be appealing at all.
Day 4: Weather getting much better --- cloudy still but not rain or thunder. We started early at our palapa to enjoy a full day on the beach and then SURPRISE ... Cruise day!! Lol we had so much fun watching the comings and goings. Yes the beach definitely got more crowded but never did we feel like folks were on top of us and never was our little area under threat of being taken over. I will say the jet skis and banana boats were in full force. Stayed here all day reading, floating, people watching. Got lunch from the food truck --- fantastic!! Left only to go back up to Passions Beach Bar for happy hour and sunset viewing.
Day 5: We really planned to do a lot more but this was the day of the most perfect weather - hot sun, no clouds, constant breeze, calm clear water and absolutely empty beach. So this day was total beach chair/beach float immersion. It's why we came. End of day? Happy hour at passions beach bar, sunset viewing from a rock on the volcanic beach area just past passions, a stroll back to "Vincent's" Bar upper deck at AM, stroll back to Tulips for dinner and wine, bed.
Day 6 (Saturday): after a leisurely breakfast at MVC we decided to head on the airport based on all the frightful stories. We left MVC via taxi at 9:30. By 10:45am we had arrived at the airport, checked in at AirTran, gone through Aruba customs and made it to the area just before going through US customs. The sign said not to get in line before 2 hours and our flight was not until 2:09. So, beer time. We had a couple then made it back to the US customs entrance at 11:45. Still early but we headed to the line. We were out of US customs in 25 minutes. There were plenty of agents, the line moved constantly and all was pleasant. We were airside and in the VIP room with plenty of time for some beverages, snack and relaxation before the flight. As I stated earlier in this review, we had a longer wait at customs entering Aruba than leaving. All in all it was a very pleasant airport experience.
Our overall impressions of Aruba: Eagle Beach is lovely, Palm Beach is fun for exploring for a day but we prefer Eagle Beach for overall water/sand, the people are very nice, we would choose MVC again and we had an enjoyable visit with absolutely nothing to complain about. I will say... It does not take the place of Anguilla or St John on our list but there is really no comparison and given the right airfare costs and timing we will definitely return. Thanks to all on this forum who helped us in our planning!