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Where do I begin!?

new jersey
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Where do I begin!?

Hello All!

I'm headed to Aruba for the FIRST TIME on Feb. 22, and I'm so behind on my planning! Usually I'd have at least two restaurants booked by now, some excursions lined up, maps pinned, would know local history, etc., but I feel so lost, because I haven't done anything! I'm so dissapointed in myself LOL. How/when/where do I begin getting some more information on Aruba? What is my first step? Does anyone recommend guide books? I've been reading message boards, trip reports, websites, but feeling a tad overwhelmed and out-of-the-loop embarking on a new country. What are my top 5 must dos/must sees/must eats!? And i'm just looking to chat and get engrossed with Aruba!!! I love knowing all the ins-and-outs of a place before I go there.

A little bit about me at my trip:

I'm 34, married, and have two children, 5 and 3. We are all going to Aruba, along with my parents, 61 and 64, and we're staying at a 3 bedroom penthouse at Oceania. My parents are VERY active, not your typical grandparents, so there are little or no travel restrictions.

My Husband and I have been to the carribean a few times, Mexico, Bahamas, so we're no strangers to the island life...but our #1, hands-down favorite vacation spot is Maui :) I could walk around Lahaina with my eyes closed.

Also, my mom will be turning 65 on Feb. 25th, and I'll be 35 the nex day!!! So this is a BIG, once-in-a-lifetime vacation for us. Any help all all is a plus!

Looking forward to chatting about Aruba with all of you for the next 50 days or so :)

Philadelphia...
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833 posts
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1. Re: Where do I begin!?

There are plenty of choices for restaurants and activities.

A few suggestions:

Screaming Eagle restaurant, which is very close to Oceania. Upscale. Good food.

Activity:

Snorkel with Aruba Bob, who can take your group to Mangel Alto to see lots of marine life.

Photos, videos and more of all this on my blog at bentpage (dot) net.

Bon dia.

44

Staten Island, New...
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2. Re: Where do I begin!?

http://www.aruba-bb.com/index.php

============================

Find out additional information over on the Aruba BB

===========================

Pick up the free "goodies" from Divi and Little Switzerland at the airport arrivals building - there is no obligation - check the local free newspapers - check the hotel activities desk - first time visitors will want to tour the desert - you can arrange this with the hotel.

Lot's of great restaurants to try.....

....we love Driftwood and El Gaucho....

You can rent a car and/or use the bus system to get around.

Have a great vacation.

North Cape May, Nj
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3. Re: Where do I begin!?

http://www.econoaruba.com/home.do

http://abc-aruba.com/

http://barefootaruba.com/

http://www.windowsonaruba.com/

http://www.aruba-latrattoria.com/

Car rental info. Econo has an office right across the street from the airport exit.

ABC has various tour options.

Any of the restaurants listed would be a good choice for special occasions. Lighthouse is a good place for taking photos. Favorite place for sunsets.

Michigan
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4. Re: Where do I begin!?

Ok, first of all, RELAX. You're going on vacation. Aruba is a WONDERFUL island that is very small and easy to get around. Much different than the Bahamas and Mexico. You'll be vary safe there, and most people speak fluent English and are happy to help. Driving couldn't be easier, and you pretty much cannot get lost. The food and water on the island is FABULOUS, so no worries about where and what to eat and drink. Tony gave you some great links, but let me also add http://restaurantsaruba.com/ which gives you descriptions / menus / directions / and contact information for many of the great restaurants you can try while you are on the island. You've got plenty of time to plan. Read the threads here on Tripadvisor, and on Aruba-bb.com, and you'll get all the information you need. Feel free to ask specific questions and we'll all be glad to help. Have a GREAT trip.

new jersey
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5. Re: Where do I begin!?

Thank you for all of the links, that's certainly a good start :)

Forgot to mention that we are renting a car. The Oceania concierge took care of the arrangements for us. The rental is through Royal Car Rental.

About how far in advance should I make restaurant reservations and tour/excusion reservations? My parents got a Passions gift card for Christmas, so one that's just one of the places we're planning on hitting.

I am relaxed, but very excited to plan!

Edited: 07 January 2014, 17:50
Cumming, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
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6. Re: Where do I begin!?

Make your reservation for Passions NOW! They have limited seating and book up quickly.

new jersey
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7. Re: Where do I begin!?

Wow, will do! Thanks for the advice!

SO looking forward to dining on the sand. You cannot dine directly on the beach in Maui due to alchohol restrictions on the island.

North Cape May, Nj
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8. Re: Where do I begin!?

You are going in high season. Do a little restaurant search and reserve ASAP. You can always cancel if your plans change. All of the restaurants mentioned in my earlier post will require a reservation.

Michigan
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9. Re: Where do I begin!?

You can make your Passions reservation through http://restaurantsaruba.com/. I agree with Arubalisa, you should do it RIGHT AWAY.

new jersey
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10. Re: Where do I begin!?

I figured I'd have to make reservations within the next week. Thanks for confirming!