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Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

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Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

My first trip to PC is coming up a week from Tuesday, Jan 21st, staying at Excellence. I've learned a lot from reading and asking a question or two here on the forum, and via Private Message, and i am prepared for a new experience as i have been a long time Aruba visitor. So i am getting the feeling that this will be a whole 'nother experience for my wife and I.

As i get closer to crunch time, 've got some specific questions....

1. Is there any downside to taking a taxi (pink or beige shirt guys) vs reserving with Globecom or one of the other private companies? Seems to me it would be easier to just hop in a cab and go, rather than looking all over the place for a guy with a sign.

2. Am i really better off buying the tourist card online on the website, rather than when i get to PC airport? I would rather not use a credit card online, but on the other hand if it would save me a lot of time.....

3. At Excellence, i have reserved an Excellence CLUB Garden or Mountain View suite. Any suggestions on a specific building i should ask for in advance? I'd like to be near the pool/beach/restaurants, but also dont want a room with a ton of noise outside. Not sure which buildings are the Club rooms.

4. I'm thinking bring one pair of Khaki's for dinner and some collared pullover shirts, is this ok, and with long pants can i wear sneakers to the dinners? Also do i need to wear long pants in the casino?

5. i eat a lot of vegetables and salad at home, I;m thinking maybe i should avoid this on vacation, because of the water. Also thinking i might start taking probiotics tomorrow (read that on here) will it help? Could it mess up my stomach?

I am sure there is more that i havent thought of.Sorry for all the questions, I'm obviously a neurotic.

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

1. I always take a taxi. It's easy. Walk out there, and you'll be in a taxi in couple of minutes.

2. Sometimes the line to buy the tourist card is short, and sometimes it's quite long. Buying it online can save you 5 minutes or 45 minutes. The luggage comes out pretty quickly, so it can mean that much less time until your first Presidente at the resort.

3. Building 10 is my favorite. It's right by the bridge over the lazy river pool, so it's quick to get to and from your room and the pool or beach. It's far enough away from the action to be quiet, but close enough that you're a minute away from it, including the swim-up bar, breakfast, lunch, etc.

4. Long pants are required in the indoor restaurants. There are 4 restaurants that are indoor only. These are Toscana, Flavor Market, Barcelona, and Spice. There are 3 restaurants that are outdoor / open air only. These are The Lobster House, The Grill, and Oregano. There are 2 restaurants that have options for indoor and outdoor. These are Chez Isabelle and Agave. I'd pack a couple of pairs of khakis just in case.

5. No worries about vegetables and salads. I often eat salad for lunch there, and I've never been sick. Everything is prepared in safe water. I don't take probiotics, but some people swear by it. Don't worry about it. Just take it easy on the coconut drinks, and don't drink the tap water in the room.

Mark

Tenafly, New Jersey
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2. Re: Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

Taxi is easy to take.

Be careful in the airport and look for your luggage everywhere, but be ready for late arrival of it.

We got our luggage after two days of our arrival and they broke our stroller. Looks like nobody speak english there.

I was so frustrated and angry at the same time.

Line for tourist card was ok I guess about 10 minutes.

NY
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3. Re: Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

Thank you for the responses....

Is building 10 the Excellence Club rooms?

Also, what about money? I know that USD is all I need, but how much. I intend to tip for food service, room cleaning, etc. Aside from gambling, and a taxi, it would seem to me, that all i need to bring is a couple of hundred max, is that about right? I dont plan any excursions off the hotel grounds.

So i can wear shorts to any of the outdoor restaurants? And the indoor/outdoor if i plan on sitting at the outdoor part?

OK, taxi it is, from what I've read i should expect it to cost about $70 each way?

How is the gym at the Excellence

Told you I'd have more questions.

Cornwall, Canada
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4. Re: Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

We take probiotics before we travel and while there - should take them all year, but I digress :)

They will not mess up your tummy - if anything, they provide the "good" bacteria and balance out your system, so to speak. We didn't stay at Excellence, but did eat salad and fruit where we stayed and were fine. We also took a pepto bismol pill once a day, just to coat the tummy against differently prepared/new foods.

As Mark says, use only bottled water in your room for drinking and brushing your teeth, and everything in moderation - sun, fruity, sugary drinks, coconut and stay hydrated - that sun/heat can take more out of you than you think...

Enjoy your trip!! :)

NY
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5. Re: Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

Thank you.

Another question, are there any rooms that do not have the glass see through wall that separates the shower/toilet room from the bedroom, or do they all have that?

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

Agree with Mark on his comments.

I believe all the rooms have the window between the shower and the bed. Not really a big deal. If you do not like the view, just move to the balcony, the other side of the room, or the nearest bar.

Getting sick is not rocket science. All the water in the bars/restaurants is purified. They leave lots of bottled water in your room; use it. I personally never order food with any sort of creamy sauce or dressing. Whatever you order, open it up before you eat it to be sure it is cooked. Suggest you do not order anything rare. Things like eggs they tend to undercook; just tell them you want it "well done".

You can wear dress shorts to Grill, Lobster House, Oregeno. You can wear dress sandals everywhere. The outdoor parts of French/Mexican still require long pants.

I budget $15/day for tips. $2 each for maid, lunch, dinner, turn down maid plus misc bartenders etc. Seems to work well. Very disappointing to see so many people not tip at all.

Plus your taxi. Plus always take an extra $1-200 for backup or maybe somebody really doing a good job. I'll tell you, handing $20 to the lady cleaning the lobby restroom will get you a heartwarming thank you and will make your day.

Gym at Excellence is best of any AI I have ever been to.

Take the taxi. Buy your entry card online.

Have a great time.

I am there Jan 25 for a week.

If you have any problems, go to Concierge desk and ask for Roberto Puello. He is a genuine good guy and if he can fix it, he will.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

Roberto is indeed amazing, but he and his family were in a serious car accident just after New Years. As of last Monday, he was still in the hospital, but they tell me he's recovering quickly, but he'll be off work for a while. His assistant, Emely is great. She'll look after you.

Mark

NY
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8. Re: Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

Thanks for the responses guys.

Thats terrible news about Roberto. I got his name here as a reference and had emailed him a while back, he got back to me very quickly with answers to my questions. I was going to email him again. So sorry to hear this though, hope he recovers quickly. I was looking forward to meeting him

Is building 10 far from the gym? I saw the map and it looks like its a very good location, only thing being it looks far from the gym, which i like to get to every morning. But i dont know the scale of the map.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

Doug,

Are you sure about the long pants in the outdoor courtyard for Chez Isabelle and Agave? I always wear long pants for dinner, so I can't say for sure, but I could swear I've seen men in dress shorts eating there.

As for the window into the shower, it starts above the waste. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, just throw a towel over it. You'd have to be standing right at the window to see into the toilet area.

Building 10 is one of the buildings with Excellence Club rooms. I think it's entirely Club, in fact.

Mark

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Upcoming trip first time to PC - Questions

Emely also responds very quickly. I sent an email to her in the evening, and had a response by morning. Use the same email address to contact her.

The gym is about a 5 minute walk from building 10. Maybe less if you use the paths out the front and by the entrance. Check it out on Google Maps.

Mark

Edited: 12 January 2014, 20:45