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ARUBA HONEYMOON RECAP (PIP)

Husband and I just got back from our honeymoon in Aruba this week. I wanted to share with everyone our experience for any future brides looking for a great honeymoon spot. We were married on Saturday July 21st and left on a red eye flight on Sunday night and arrived into Aruba on Monday afternoon. Coming from San Diego, Aruba is about 9 hours flying time and 12 hours travel time. We connected in Atlanta from SD.

 Husband and I had taken a Carribbean cruise in October and went to Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Barbados. I have also personally been to the Bahamas, Cancun, Cozumel and Hawaii, so I have a lot of islands to compare Aruba to. Husband and I loved the islands on our cruise we took and wanted to go back to a tropical destination for our honeymoon, but wanted to make sure we weren't visiting a place that was in a Hurricane area since we were honeymooning in Summer. We also wanted to visit some place new that neither of us had been to. Aruba is out of the hurricane belt, and their weather year round is about 85 degrees. We had perfect weather our entire honeymoon there, just a couple rain drops one night while walking back to our hotel. We were a little worried that we weren't going to be as happy with Aruba since it is a desert island and didn't look like some of the more tropcial, green, mountaneous islands we had previously visited. We were so impressed with the beaches, water, the greenery along beach area at the resorts. There are no waves, and the water is perfect! Aruba is a Dutch island with English, Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch spoken. Everywhere takes US dollars and everyone spoke English.  We loved we were not bothered by 1 person trying to sell you junk on the beach. Not one! And all beaches in Aruba are public.

 We stayed at the Marriott Ocean Club. Inlaws let us use their time share. Our room was a huge villa with a gorgeous view. We would highly reccommend staying in the "high rise district" when visiting Aruba. There are about 10 large hotels lined up on the beach here and you can walk for a few miles up and down the beach and have variety to choose for restuarants and shopping. The beach in this area was the nicest we saw and we were never annoyed by small children. It is a busy beach area though with water sport vendors lined up on it. The way the hotels have thier palapas set up gives you privacy between your neighbors on the beach and our hotel had an adult only pool as well if we wanted to escape. I felt like husband and I were able to relax and have private time even while on this busy beach. Some of the nicer hotels were the Hyatt, Radisson, Westin, Marriott, RIU, and they are building a new Ritz. I would not reccommend an all inclusive in Aruba though because there are so many great restaurants to choose from and you would miss out if doing an all inclusive.  Staying in the high rise district is much better than staying downtown in our opinion where there are no beaches or outdoor restaurants to see the sunset. We stayed one night at the adult only Renaissance downtown and were dissapointed, even though they had a really cool private island with boat you could visit as a guest there.

While in Aruba we did the Jolly Pirates cruise which was a blast. They took you snorkeling at 2 dive spots and then 1 spot to use the rope swing on board all with open bar the whole time. The crew was a blast. Highly recommend! We also did parasailing, 1/2 day deep sea fishing trip and the Kukoo Kunukoo party bus. The party bus was a highlight of our trip. We did the tour that included dinner. They pick you up directly from your hotel and take you out for a champagne toast on the beach at sunset to start the night, then to a private residence for dinner, then 3 bars. They have you standing up on the bus dancing and singing while the bus is moving. There were people on our bus aged 18-60.
 
We loved how friendly all the locals were and how accomodating everyone was. Aruba was super clean, no homeless on the streets or poverty stricken areas were seen. It seems to be a very wealthy island. Food prices weren't anything more than what we would pay in San Diego. For 8 days, all of our food, drinks, taxis, souveneirs and excursions cost us about $2,000. We were drinking all days and would order at least 1 bottle of wine with dinner and dinner we were eating 3-course meals. The food was to die for! Even living in San Diego, the fish we ate in Aruba was the best I've ever had. Our favorite restaurant was Hadicurari on Moomba Beach. You eat with your feet in the sand and a perfect view of the sunset. We loved the choices of nightlife on the island as well, there are the casinos, lots of bars, clubs, lounges, nighttime bands at the beach bars, etc. There is even a Senor Frogs which was a great time.

  Husband and I were so happy with our choice of going to Aruba and would highly reccommend it! It was the perfect combination of relaxing, romantic, great dining, drinking, and partying for us. We are outgoing people and would have been so bored staying at a quiet hotel where you couldn't leave and were stuck at the same 1 pool all day.
Here are some pics! Feel free to ask any questions if considering Aruba as your honeymoon spot!
View from our room!

Beach!

Deep Sea Fishing trip

Parasailing

Sunset dinner on one of the piers

Sunset at dinner one night

Party Bus

Husband and I

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Re: ARUBA HONEYMOON RECAP (PIP)

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    The scenery looks beautiful!  I'd love to try parasailing one day.
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    Great recap!  Aruba is one of our top honeymoon picks right now, although we don't know much about it.  We've been to several islands in the caribbean and like you, want to choose a spot neither of us have been.  This is very helpful!  Thanks for posting and glad you had a wonderful time!
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    I'm glad you guys had fun.  You should probably edit this though and put in some paragraphs so it's easier to read.  
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    We love Aruba too!

    I will say, we stayed in the low rise area and our beach was also beautiful and had lots of privacy and not a lot of kids
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    We went to Aruba and we were so sad to leave!  We unfortunately, did do the All-inclusive thing at the Occidental Grand...I do not recommend that!  Lvissers is right, the food is awesome out there and there are so many great restaurants the all-inclusive packages are just not worth it.  We also did the Cherri Atv Tour...it was very cool and a little bit of a rush...we are definitely planning on returning to Aruba. 

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    FI and I went to Aruba last year. I had an amazing time also. Also did the Jolly Pirates! We stayed at the Hyatt which I HIGHLY recommend. 
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