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Honeymoon stress (Aruba)

I posted this on the March 2010 board but thought people here might have some thoughts.We're getting closer to booking our HM, and while I'm super excited, there's an element of stress. Based on our research and what our TA has said (used her before but only for plane tickets), we're thinking Aruba. I went on TripAdvisor and saw that some of the high rated hotels both there and on here have a few awful reviews. I know even the best places have some unhappy customers, but one stuck out. Someone said he thinks the hotel (think this was the Bucuti) has great reviews because most people are honeymooners who haven't traveled much and don't have the expectations of a more experienced traveler. At first I thought that was a bit presumptuous, but it's probably true that a lot of people have their first big trip on their HM.Now I'm worried as to whether we'll end up disappointed. I know it's silly, since I've traveled a lot (without a TA) and things usually go just fine, but I think because it's our HM I feel like it has to be the most amazing trip ever. I know it will be because we'll just be so happy to be married, but there's this weird pressure. Anyone else feel like this?I've been reading the Aruba posts, but any further insight into where you stayed/what you did and how you liked it would be great. Thanks!

Re: Honeymoon stress (Aruba)

  • A guy I work with went on his honeymoon to Aruba and stayed at the Hyatt and he LOVED he. My boss has also stayed there and highly recommends it.
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  • Never been to Aruba, but I completely understand where you're coming from... We've both also traveled extensively (without the help of TAs) and have lived abroad. So we're therefore more discriminating than the typical first-time travelers on their HM. I don't really have much more to add, except to say that people are much more likely to go online and rant than to rave. I think that's why there are generally so many negative reviews. The good ones just aren't posted ;) Oh, and I live in Mexico, so greetings fellow expat :)
  • We're going to the Hyatt in Aruba. The reviews are GREAT! I can't wait.
  • Look at Amsterdam Manor.  Friend stayed there for her honeymoon last month and LOVED it.  Pictures of it looked GREAT!  Not your best bet for AI, as it only has two restaurants, but the TripAdvisor reviews were all outstanding.  Just an option.  We are going to Aruba for our honeymoon as well and I love reading the reviews of all of the places!
  • It's all in what you want in a HM...DH and I wanted a quiet resort that was an AI...so we picked the Divi AI and got just that! Yes...the Divi also has some scathing reviews on TripAdvisor but we are pretty laid back people who just go with the flow, are not picky eaters and realize that Aruba is an island and therfore the people are on "island time" We loved Aruba and the Divi so much that we just returned for our 1 year anniversary. I have pics and more of a review in my married bio under honeymoon. GL...and go and form your own opinions!!! ~erin~
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  • ARE you kidding me?  I am not sure who the guy is that said Bucuti is people that have not traveled much?  I have traveled all over the world for work and play and I tell you from first hand experience, Bucuti was AMAZING!  First class! My husband and I honeymooned there for 10 days just this March and were WOWED by the service, room, view, you name it.  We were greeted with champagne, escorted to a separate check in for the Tara Beach Suites, and treated with jsut fantastic personal service.  We almost extended for 3 extra days after winning big at the little casino just next door...I could go on for days, so why don't you email me for more info and Pics.  I LOVE Aruba in general, been several times, and have stayed other great places as well...you can't go wrong! Bucuti was just perfect for us for our HM because we wanted something a little more intimate, which is exactly what we [email protected]  
  • I stayed at the Tamarijn and loved it! We've traveled before, so this definitely wasn't our first big trip! With any hotel or resort there are pros and cons. I'm someone who goes places and buys things based on reviews, but I agree with pp, people tend to leave rants rather than raves.Aruba is such a nice island, everyone is so friendly, I don't think you could go wrong. Do you want a larger resort or a smaller one? The Tam is small, but we liked it that way, its more personal, IMHO.We did the glass bottom boat tour and a bus sightseeing tour. Both were great! We stopped at the butterfly farm too. City buses are safe and easy to use and cheaper than taxis :)
  • I feel your stress.  I feel that way now, Ive traveled extensively and I want a great honeymoon.  Im torn between the big European or far away place, or relaxing at an all-inclusive.  I've never heard a person say anything negative about Aruba.  All my co-workers honeymooned there.  Im looking into the RIU, I want all inclusive, so when Im on the beach I can have whatever I want and not be shelling out a ton for water, etc.  I am reading the tripadvisors too but a travel agent told me that resorts have paid  people that write good things purposely, so I guess its a balance?
  • Reilly - My one-and-only AI experience was with a RIU in Mexico. I can't speak for the Aruban one, but I'll never stay in a RIU again based on my experience there... I'll also never do AI again. I mean, the hotels are Spanish-owned. If you've ever been to Spain, you know that service isn't exactly their forte ;)
  • Thank you all so much! It's good to hear that a) I'm not alone in my craziness and b) overall other people who have similar travel experience have enjoyed these hotels. I don't know how we feel about AI yet...the convenience would be nice, but neither of us has ever done AI, and I wonder if we'd feel restricted by it (plus what if you don't really like the food?). I think we probably want somewhere smaller, with all the amenities but not a HUGE place, but we're waiting for the TA to get back to us with options and will go from there.Expat, nice to meet you :) And lfenasci, I'm e-mailing you.Thanks again, ladies!
  • "but it's probably true that a lot of people have their first big trip on their HM." I disagree with this.i didn't like aruba at all=and we travel a lot. it felt like honeymoon central to me. if i wanted to hang around iwth US honeymooners the whole time I could've stayed home. "but I think because it's our HM I feel like it has to be the most amazing trip ever" putting this amount of pressure on yourself for someplace you've never been will inevitably lead to disappointment unless you realize that issues can come up where ever you go-be it the best trip ever or not.


  • I don't know %s or anything, and it's probably going down every year, but from what I've heard for many couples the HM is still the first big trip...people who haven't traveled take this moment to go abroad for the first time. Those people of course are going to have different expectations than someone who's been all over. You're right that it's ridiculous of me to think the HM has to be amazing - I meant to convey that in my original post. It's a trip, like any other trip, and I consciously know that, but I think there's some wedding monster voice in my head saying "this is your HM, it'd better be good!"The point about it being HM central is a good one, and I'll look more into that, so thanks for the heads up. Part of me would like to avoid that (seems like hotels/activities/etc become cheesy trying to capture the lovebirds, as though they don't think HMers can be sophisticated), but for the kind of place we want to go, I think it would be hard.
  • Alithebride - Until just a few years ago when passports became a necessity to travel to Mexico, only about a fourth of Americans even had one. That number has risen a bit more recently due to the new rules, but the majority of Americans still do not have passports. So I don't think it's a stretch to assume that lots of people on their HM are venturing out of the States for the first time. Passport questions are pretty frequent on here. I agree with Emily on this one. I think if you and your circle travel internationally a lot (as me and mine do), it's easy to forget you're actually in the minority ;) And yes, I would expect a first-timer's expectations of an international trip to be much different from my own, regardless of the destination... Example: Many people love AI, and many people have only ever traveled AI. That method of traveling is not for us. We prefer to explore the country we travel to, not spend time at a resort. I live in Mexico, and I can assure you that people who travel to an AI in Cancun have not truly experienced Mexico. That's not the same as grabbing a guide book and exploring Mexico City, for example ;) For a first-timer, however, that would be a pretty intimidating idea.
  • We had a wonderful experience at the RIU in Aruba.  I can't think of a thing to say bad about it. It had one of the best beach locations to be had.  It was very pretty, food was good and everyone was very accomodating to our demanding group of 30+ people (and none were kids).  I did not feel as if we were out  numbered by kids either and we travel at prime time in April when usually kids are EVERYWHERE.  Any vacation, or honeymoon, is what you make of it.  If you decided that you are going to have a fun, romantic, time of your life type of trip, you will.  If you let the little things (and reviews) rattle you, it will just not be all it can be.  Go with your gut and choose to have a great time and I promise you will!!!!  you cannot go wrong, really, you are on your honeymoon with the man you love most in all of the world.  Will it really matter where you stay as long as you are together?  It won't.  Best wishes...
  • [i]Will it really matter where you stay as long as you are together? It won't.[/i] Sorry, but to us, it would matter ;)
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Will it really matter where you stay as long as you are together? It won't. Sorry, but to us, it would matter ;) Ditto... It would very much matter to me.As someone who lives in a semi-international resort location.  I have met a lot of honeymooners.  Yes, I find a honeymoon is a lot of couples first experience to a big international trip. You can pick out a first timer a mile away.  Especially the couples I met a the AI resort.  More often than not they are wide-eyed about the whole experience. That does not mean all honeymooners are like that. But a lot of the ones I met even at our non-AI resort can be intimidated at the whole experience.I also can that more than half of the honeymooners I see are first time passport holders.

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  • Chipperberg, thanks for the Aruba feedback.As PPs have said, it does matter to me where we stay. If it didn't, we'd stay home. Of course the most important thing is that we'll be celebrating our marriage, but it's still a vacation, and for me that means wanting to really enjoy both the hotel and the destination.
  • perhaps it's just my friends/family/acquaintances then-i dont think any took their first large trip together as a HM.  then again-of those people mentioned most get married in their late 20s, early 30s-and not right out of college like some. i won't generalize one way or the other-but my personal experience is that most travel significantly before marriage :)  


  • Hi I just saw your post now but felt I needed to reply. FI and I had the BEST trip of our lives in Aruba last year.  We stayed @ the Hyatt and it was AMAZING in every sense of the word.  Do not go for the cheapo reviews on the Raddisson/Riu you will be disappointed imo.  We decided to splurge for an ocean room and it was well worth it.  I actually have a full list I give people of things to do/restaurants to definetly visit if you are interested email me at virtualbride at yahoo.  You will not be disappointed if you stay @ that Hyatt.  The beach is a little crowded but its the same at all the resorts they are all on the same strip.  bring your sunscreen the sun is sooo strong and we went in january!  We actually are wishing now we waited since we had such an amazing time in Aruba. now we are torn where the hell we should go!  Good luck and relax! Aruba = 90 thousand friends you havent met yet! haha
  • Hyatt Aruba. 100% amazing.
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