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Marriott Aruba Ocean Club

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    • #83
      GregT
      Keymaster

      All, I'm here now but definitely not an Aruba expert, but here are some early thoughts: Arrival:Aruba is small island (20 miles long, by 6 miles wide at widest).  Cab from airport is $25 fixed price to Marriott.  Marriott is located on Palm Beach, which is on western side of the island.  Passport control is easy to clear, and didn't take any time at all. Restaurants: Excellent suggestions from TUG are:Madame Janette (reservation recommended)Flying Fishbone (beach-front, approx 30 minute cab ride though as it is on Southern End)PassionsBarefoot  (by the airport -- $17 - $19 cab ride)Simply Fish (which is on beach in front of the Marriott Hotel)Smokey Joe's  (informal, walking distance, in front/near of Playa Linda) Groceries: We took a cab to Ling & Sons (approx $10 each way, with $2 waiting fee for each 5 mins).  This is a U.S. style grocery store that was excellent.  It is pricey -- appearing to be even more pricey because the listed prices are in the local currency (Florins?) that convert back 1.75 to 1 to U.S. dollars.  So, it's not as bad as it appears, but it's still pricey.    Good selections of almost all grocery products.  Excursions:Many great dive locations on Aruba -- most popular is the Antilla, a WWII German freighter that was scuttled by its crew when Germany invaded the Netherlands.  Great snorkeling opportunity about 2 miles north of MAOC at Arashi that can be snorkeled from shore (but haven't done that yet).  Red Sail Sports excursion company will pick you up from the Marriott too. Another good excursions is the Jeep Safari that ABC puts on through the national park.  Natural Bridge (although now fallen down), Natural Pool (beautiful ocean water pool) and a few other sights, is worth considering.Shopping: There is a long street just south of MAOC (but not directly connected, so ask for directions at front desk) that has many jewelry shops, clothing stores etc.  It is also where Smokey Joe's is located.  Kay Jewelers (not connected with Kay in the U.S.) is reputed by knowledge TUGger to have high quality jewelry and prices can be negotiated. Beaches at Marriott:There are palapas that can be reserved for free at 7am each morning.  You can pay to reserve a palapa the day before starting at 10am and they allocate some Palapas for reservations and some for payment.  Palapas are reserved at the towel hut next to the beach bar and it was a great day at the Palapa.  The sand is soft and wonderful (a few shells, so not pure sugar/flour) and the water is a beautiful blue-green.  There is sea grass in the water in front of MAOC -- feels a little funky when you step on it.  Interestingly, not much sea grass (at least this trip) in the beach water in front of Surf Club. Intangibles:This sounds terrible to observe, but Aruba doesn't have the poverty that we have seen on other Caribbean islands.  The people are incredibly friendly and it is a wonderful place to visit.  Aruba is very barren/arid as the island has little rainfall so don't be expecting a lush environment like some of the other islands.  Tradewinds are near constant which keeps the hot humid temperature very pleasant.  Sunset (right now at least) is around 6:30pm. We are staying at the Ocean Club, and the Surf Club is next door.  You can not use the amenities at the adjacent property -- they are independent properties. Helpful website:http://www.arubaoceanclub.com/ I hope a more experienced Aruba visitor will add to this early list -- again the idea is to help the first time visitor with some of the questions they may have. All the best, Greg Edited to add: Gas is approx $5.25 per gallon in October 2012 (about $1 per gal higher than Calif).  Rental cars are hotly debated on TUG and I don't have an opinion.  We've cabbed to dinner each night, at approx $10 - $19 each way, so it's not cheap.    Driving is on the right side of the road (as in U.S. style, not Great Britain style).  Thanks!

    • #493
      StevenTing
      Keymaster

      You mentioned a cab. 

      • What about rental cars?
      • What are current gas prices like?
      • Is a car needed or will a cab suffice?
      • Are there requirements for Baby seats in cars?

    • #494
      puckmanfl
      Participant

      good evening….Greg....you forgot the Dunkin' Donuts!!!!!puck...

    • #495
      dkt
      Participant

      Just to add, Food exceptional - Barefoot, Linda's Pancakes, Bavaria German, Bingo Cafe, Taste of Begium, Texas de Brazil.We rented a small car, prices were very reasonable. We like the convience, but there is alot shopping and food places to walk to if you don't want to rent a car. Also enjoyed - ABC Tours, and Philip's Animal Park. Denise

    • #496
      GregT
      Keymaster

      All, Copied from TUG (Thank you Ilene!) .................................................................... Here is a list of our favorites:Madame JanetteYemanja GrillChalet SuisseAmadeusEl GauchoBlossomsJH YeesSmokey Joe'sScreaming EaglesCarte BlancheTwo Fools and a BullAnna Maria's

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