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First Timer to Aruba Questions

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Mason City, Iowa
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First Timer to Aruba Questions

This October we will be heading down to Aruba for our first look at the island. We'll be staying at the Marriott Stellaris Casino Hotel. We'll be renting a car for our stay. Although we use public transportation during a lot of our travels, we thought since this was our first time on the island, that we should strike out and explore it on our own.

Where would you suggest some day/1/2 day explorations? We're Platinum Marriott members...as with most resorts, it doesn't mean much; however, I'm hoping that I might get at least an upgrade from them?

I also noticed on the forum fishing charters have been discussed. We go to Grand Cayman each March, and I haven't seen/heard much discussion about fishing charters there. Sooooo is fishing better in Aruba, and is it worth it to do a half day excursion?

Also, we're not foodies, but would be interested in some restaurants in the Marriott area, or easily reached by car that won't cost an arm and a leg.

Finally, I've heard that there is a lazy river at the Marriott timeshares, next door to our hotel. Would it be advised to bring our own floats? i.e. is that allowed? If not what's the charge for using the hotel's floats.

We're looking forward to our first sojourn to Aruba!

jdmckay

Cumming, Georgia
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for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
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1. Re: First Timer to Aruba Questions

I would split your touring into two separate half days touring in the morning when it is cooler and heading back to the resort for lunch and the beach and pool in the afternoon.

One day you could cover the northern end of the island and the second day the southern end of the island including Arikok National Park. If you wish to stop along the way on your southern journey at spots such as Rodgers and Baby Beaches, you may want to devote a third morning to Arikok.

The lazy river at the Marriott Surf Club is only available to guests at the Surf Club. Staying at the Stellaris Resort you are more than welcome to bring your own floats to use in the ocean, just remember, plastic floats are easily taken away in the wind ;)

Cary, North Carolina
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753 posts
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2. Re: First Timer to Aruba Questions

You aren't allowed to use any pools, including the lazy river. You are only allowed to use those that are at the hotel.

The ocean club can only use the pools at its own resort.

The surf club can only use the pools at its own resort.

That is just the way it is. I know at other Marriotts you can use the facilities of the hotel if you are at the timeshare. Not in Aruba.

Minneapolis...
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for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
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3. Re: First Timer to Aruba Questions

So many good restaurants (casual to high end) both walkable and within a 5-15 minute drive from your hotel. Not really sure what you like so here is a good website to start with:

http://www.restaurantsaruba.com/

We did a 1/2 day fishing charter last Sept. with the Mahi Mahi and loved it. http://www.aruba-mahimahi.com/

Mason City, Iowa
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4. Re: First Timer to Aruba Questions

Great information. I appreciate the touring information and the heads up on the lazy river. I guess we won't bring plastic floaties. I'm looking into upgrading to the Tradewinds level...any pros and cons to that?

Thanks again for your help!

Mason City, Iowa
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5. Re: First Timer to Aruba Questions

Also, is it easy to hook up with other people to share acharter a boat? I see it's $400 for a half day.

Astoria, New York
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6. Re: First Timer to Aruba Questions

many people post on this forum (and others) when looking to share a charter or fishing boat. You can start there, make sure to mention the dates you will be available. You might get lucky. I've seen many people hook up here for that type of thing.

Buffalo Grove...
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7. Re: First Timer to Aruba Questions

Lots of great restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. After many trips to the island, we went to Amuse Bistro for the first time and really enjoyed our meal. Smokey Joe's is casual but has great ribs, pulled pork, etc. Use TripAdvisor for restaurant suggestions as there's quite a bit of good feedback on the site.

Marlborough...
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8. Re: First Timer to Aruba Questions

Don't expect any special treatment, I'm platinum and did not get any free upgrades at check-in. I was offered trade winds for $100 a day. It's marginally better than most concierge levels at other major marriotts. But if you do get trade winds, they give you floats to use for free.

After doing Aruba at the stellaris with trade winds last time, I'm renting a condo this time.

As for 1/2 day excursions...natural bridge drive is a good easy way to see the other side of the island. Then I'd recommend picking out a beach a day. See as many different beaches as you can. Bring snorkel gear if that's your thing.

Edited: 19 August 2012, 12:59
Canada
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9. Re: First Timer to Aruba Questions

renting a condo has been our choice the last 2 times !

Coming again next year !!

pa
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10. Re: First Timer to Aruba Questions

I was going to book the Tradewinds when I book onlione nusing points and it is $175 a day extra. Do you think it would be better to wait and upgrade when we arrive? I saw that VayCay247 paid $100 for the upgrade

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