Aruba Trip Reports

Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in Aruba

December 7 - 14, 2012 by Dennis

Aruba Forum Profile: Dennis


We flew AirTran from Philadelphia (PHL) with a connection through Atlanta (PHL-ATL-AUA). The temperature in Phila. was 48 degrees and frost on car at 3am in the morning for a 6am flight. We had breakfast in the airport. There was a couple hour layover at Atlanta but the transfer went quickly with no issues.

When we arrived in Aruba the temperature was 90 degrees and we noticed a time change of one hour. We took a Taxi ($25) to our Marriott hotel and arrived at 5 pm. The taxi driver was very nice and gave is a mini-tour of the places we pasted while going to the hotel. From 3am to 5pm is a long time so we were a little jet lagged.

We toured the hotel, beach, and pools before the sun set. Had a drink at the beach (Aruba Arriba, $30 for two) The lizards and iguanas were plentiful. We had dinner at Ruth Chris ($150 without drinks) and the steaks were good. The side dishes of sweet potatoes and au gratin potatoes were excellent. The service was also excellent. We were in bed the first night by 9:30pm.

We had breakfast at 7:00am on our balcony and that was very nice. ($50) We could see the adult pool, and there was a wedding at night when we arrived. The live band was good as well as the sunset from our balcony.

The adult pool was not crowded and all the shady lounge chairs were all taken by 8am. The main pool had a bar with two "Happy Hours" where drinks were half price. (normal $12-14 per drink, excluding tip). The hot pool was nice and sometimes to hot. The beach water was a little cloudy about 85 degrees and the bottom sand smooth and nice to walk on. No swim shoes were necessary here. Half of the trip the main pool water fall didn't work and then they did fix it in the middle of the week.

We were asked to leave from the huts since they were all reserved every day. You got a different response dependent on who you asked about them. To me it was a scam to pay $25 a day for the huts. Add in the $200 for the Room and $50 room tax, this hotel was quite expensive. We were told every time we tried to rent a hut for a day they were all sold out for that day and the next. This was the biggest negative I have to say about the Marriott, otherwise it was excellent.

We had lunch at the hotel's La Vista restaurant and it was OK. They just don't make Italian meals like here in the US. All-in-all we would do it again but try another hotel because we spent very little time in the room.

Marriott's Pool Area Marriott's Pool Area Marriott's Pool Area Marriott's Pool Area Marriott's Pool Area
Marriott's Pool Area Marriott's Pool Area Marriott's Pool Area Iguana Marriott's Pool Area

Winner at Stellaris Casino

We were very lucky because Cathy hit this one slot machine 5 times at the Marriott and Stellaris Casino in Aruba. One was a really big jackpot. We quit and the money paid for all of our excursions and dinners.

The Caribbean Stud Poker paid off on a straight, which is very unusual. The minimum bet is $5.00. The tables open at 7PM and close at 4AM. The slots are open 24 hours.

Free drinks are served if you are playing. Also if you lose and you got a VIP card they will give you an additional $50 on your card the next day, so it pays to get that VIP card.

One of the toughest things to get use to is hearing Christmas music and seeing Christmas decorations when it is 85-90 degrees outside. It did not feel like Christmas. Here is a new song... "I'm dreaming of getting sunburn on Christmas." Instead of cookies and milk, it's "Aruba Arriba’s" and "Aruba Knockouts".

Passions on the Beach Dinner

Aruba Amy from her Aruba Forum and Trip reports recommended Passions On the Beach Dinner and she was right. It was the best night, meal and romantic dinner on this vacation. A must do for lovers of all ages.

The sky was clear so the sunset was beautiful; the server was kind and engaging. She took our dinner orders served recommended drinks (umbrella drinks), and took lots of pictures for us.

Cathy's steak was the best I've tasted in a long time. My Grouper was good and after tasting the steak, I wished I ordered that.

We got the special desert and it sparkled. This will be repeated on our next trip to Aruba.

Winner at Stellaris Casino Winner at Stellaris Casino Winner at Stellaris Casino Marriott's Pool Area Marriott's Pool Area
Passions on the Beach Dinner Passions on the Beach Dinner Passions on the Beach Dinner Passions on the Beach Dinner Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus
Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus

Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus

Quite simply, we are coming back to Aruba just to do this party bus again. We let our "hair" down, and "partied hardy" I even danced on the bar. Yes, you are allowed to do that. If you like to party, like to have fun and leave the driving to them...then try this.

We met lots of party animals (friends) on this bus ride. We didn't drink crazy so we didn't have a hangover the next day. I sure others did!

Sea Dinner on De Palm Island

We tried another dinner on De Plam Island. We took a boat ride to the island, which served free drinks.

We passed Passions on the Beach and the clouds hid the sun set. This excursion was twice the price of Passions, but not as romantic. It was a well-designed commercial service which included all the drinks on the boat and at dinner on the Island.

This was very nice experience but we wouldn't do this exact boat/dinner trip again.

De Palm Jeep Tour of Aruba

Anyone going to Aruba needs to do an Island tour to understand this wonderful culture. There are several jeep tours and I do suggest you go with a tour guide the first time. We wouldn't do this trip a second time. The jeep was very bouncy.

We learned a lot about Ostrich and it was mating season, so there was some comical moments. The best was feeding them.

The Donkey farm was nice for a short visit but one need to watch where they were stepping.

We learned a lot about the island, languages spoken, the snakes, wild animals, cactus and desert area. We ended at Baby Beach for snorkeling. Yes there were a lot of fish but the water was cloudy from all the snorkelers. Aruba Bob Snorkeling was much better and so was De Plam Island Snorkeling.

Iguanas Everywhere

There were all kinds and sizes of Iguanas and lizards n Aruba

These were at our hotel by the pool. If you try to feed them, you will get bit.

Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus Sea Dinner on De Palm Island Sea Dinner on De Palm Island De Palm Jeep Tour
De Palm Island Tour De Palm Jeep Tour De Palm Jeep Tour De Palm Jeep Tour De Palm Jeep Tour
De Palm Island Tour De Palm Island Tour De Palm Jeep Tour De Palm Jeep Tour De Palm Jeep Tour

Aruba Bob's Snorkeling

Since this was a new experience which involved traveling about a mile in the water, I wanted to try it before taking my wife. This was the third snorkeling trip for me. We did Baby Beach (Cloudy Water & unsupervised), De Palm Island Snorkeling which was clear in the morning but cloudy in the afternoon. (Lots of snorkelers stirred up the water.)

Aruba Bob's Snorkeling is a must do for anyone who likes snorkeling. Please make reservations early because he does fill up fast. Snorkeling with a motor driven fan to pull you though the water was great. It allowed you to go where other snorkelers couldn’t because there is a stronger but not dangerous current. The fan makes the trip easier to traverse.

We had two guides for the six of us. Kent and Stuart made sure we were all safe and that was very comforting. I was the oldest and most out of shape so there was concerns which were put to ease by these gentlemen.

They showed us a lot, allowed us to swim down to a sunken boat, and toured a variety of coral, even a small octopus.

Bob (Kent) and Stuart both had a camera and took many pictures so you didn't need to bring a camera.
Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus Aruba Bob's Snorkeling Aruba Bob's Snorkeling Aruba Bob's Snorkeling
Aruba Bob's Snorkeling Ostrich Feeding Ostrich Feeding