I am currently writing this as I am drinking a Balashi on our patio at Amsterdam Manor. My husband and I arrived last Saturday and are having a wonderful time in Aruba! We are first-timers in our mid 30's and have learned so much in this forum and TripAdvisor in general, so thank you!
Saturday, April 6: arrived in Aruba mid afternoon. Picked up our car from Budget at the airport and made our way to Amsterdam Manor...had a quick and easy check in to our one bedroom suite. We were exhausted from a long day of travel but managed to catch the sunset from a lounge chair on Eagle Beach. Starving, we went to Bugaloe. We were disappointed as the place was pretty much deserted with mediocre food. We left just as they were getting started with karaoke...looks like this place is better suited for drinks and entertainment after dinner. I would like to go back later one night for the entertainment. Went to bed early.
Sunday: slept in and had breakfast at Mangos at Amsterdam Manor. Good omelettes but too many flies. We later went to the huge Superfoods grocery store and stocked up on some breakfast and lunch foods for the rest of the week. We relaxed on Eagle Beach the rest of the day and took a 2 hr walk on the beach. The highlight of the day was our dinner at 6:30 at Passions. Beautiful ambiance and sunset. Great food and drinks. We ordered the dessert trio with sparkler for $17 which was a great photo op ...but the desserts were just average.
Monday: woke up at 7:30 and had a fun run from Amsterdam Manor on the dirt path next to the road which eventually led to the path by the beach in front of the high rise hotels. Lovely scenery...didn't even feel like a workout! I have never sweat so much before in my life! Seeing how crowded the high rise area was made me thankful that I chose Amsterdam Manor. Then relaxed on Eagle Beach. We had a great dinner at Old Canuku House and enjoyed some authentic Arubian food there. We then parked along the strip in the high rise area where all the "action" was taking place.....lively restaurants, shops, etc. My husband hates that area...way too commercialized...I bought a t-shirt and hat. He was glad to get out of there. He gets to walk it with me tomorrow night no matter what...something to do! (I like the action, he likes peace and quiet).
Tuesday: ran again in the am... I dragged my husband out of bed and he came too. Ran all the way down to Holiday Inn before turning around. We then hopped in the car and drove to the lighthouse and the Chapel and took a peek at some of the nearby beaches. I made the mistake of not putting on sunscreen thinking that a few minutes here and there out of the car in a t-shirt and shorts would be fine...wrong! Horrible farmers tan burn. We then stopped at the fisherman's huts to inquire about windsurfing and stand up paddle boarding...and then took a long walk down Palm Beach. Stopped at the Ritz to check out beach/ pool area...was nice but not overly impressed. People were lined up chair to chair by the pool...to each their own. We walked to Mumba Beach Bar and had a drink before walking back to our car at fisherman's huts. I liked how Palm Beach is so shallow, but some parts were so crowded. It was fun to people watch! ...especially the guy being blasted up from the water wearing a snowboard looking thing. We had dinner at Pincher's Bar and Grill....lovely romantic ambience on a pier with extensive drink menu. The seafood skewers were excellent!
Wednesday: Stand up paddle boarding lesson this am with Jereme by the fisherman huts....a lot of fun and a great workout...didn't fall off once. Jereme was a great teacher! Had lunch in the room and relaxed an hour on Eagle Beach....and then went back to Palm Beach to catch the snorkeling/sunset cruise with the Black Pearl...wonderful. Make sure to book a couple weeks in advance as the boat only holds 20 people. Tired this evening so just relaxing around the hotel. Had some drinks and sandwiches on the boat, so we skipped dinner tonight.
Tomorrow: beginner wind surfing lesion at the fisherman huts at 9:30 am....this is the one request my husband had for this trip as I planned everything else:-). Not sure where going to dinner yet.
Friday night: dinner at Flying Fish Bone
Don't even want to think about leaving Sat!