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bobbyd6363

AOS 14 Nov 04 Review - Very Long Review (Part Four - Aruba)

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Aruba16 November 2004

Woke up to the sound of RAIN on our balcony!! DAMN! You know it has to be raining hard for one to actually hear rain hitting the balcony on a cruise ship! UGH! DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!! My friend Dee and I have made the arrangements and booked all of our group’s excursions and today we have booked the Extreme Jeep Safari with ABC tours. I talk to Dee and Sandra and we all decide to go to the dining room for breakfast because we learned you can no longer get eggs benedict from room service. The dining seems to be the best breakfast alternative onboard because the Windjammer is absolutely packed with no tables at breakfast every single day so we will be doing dining breakfasts the rest of the week for sure!

 

After some really serious whining (that would be me whining) we head down to the pier and meet our tour guide who is to take us all to ABC Tours’ office. At ABC Tours we all get a discount for paying in cash and then we are divided up into groups and loaded into three jeeps for the excursion. This is where it comes down to Dee’s dad, Too-Tall Tim or me who will drive our jeep. Tim wins that toss because he is like 7 feet tall and with those long legs he isn’t going to fit in the back. So Tim grabs the wheel with his wife Nicki riding shotgun and off we go. The tour starts out tame enough but dammit, ITS RAINING! I WANT SOME SUNSHINE! Selfish, Ain’t I?

 

The tour takes us “off road” a bit to the Natural Bridge and the view is quite spectacular. The added bonus is that it is raining and the waves are really big over there due to the wind. We take some pictures and our tour guide Gabriel is really informative and really knows his Aruba information and does a great job giving us some detail on the island and its history. Here is also a good place to note that he asked everyone in the group where we were all from and it was interesting to see that we were all from the US and his point was that Aruba does the vast majority of its tourism business from Americans.

 

The tour continues and we are shown a place where gold bars were once made and Gabriel again filled us in on some Aruba information. It seems that there are piles of rocks and little rock sculptures all over the shore where we were and we learned that they really don’t signify anything. Gabriel told us the islanders’ call this area monkey see monkey do because someone placed a pile of rocks and started a phenomenon of copy cats stacking rocks! Stupid American tourists! LOL! Now is where we learned that the natural pool was closed due to the weather and the waves so were not going to be able to go snorkeling but we were going to go “off road” and visit the pools anyway.

 

On the way to the natural pool we stopped and visited an ostrich farm. Mind you I live in San Diego and have season passes to the World Famous San Diego Zoo, suffice it to say – I HAVE SEEN OSTRICHES BEFORE!! They are cute but dumb as dirt and bless their hearts they make great photo opportunities! There were some great shots of folks feeding the ostriches but the best part is my new friend Mercy, she sat in the jeep and had no plans to see any damned ostriches!! LOL!

 

Well the best was yet to come because we really did go off road and climbed some really interesting hills and crossed some big ruts in the road to get to the natural pool. Tim did a great job driving cause I would have probably jumped out on a couple of those hills!! SORRY FOLKS, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN! When we got to the CONCHI (natural pool) we got to look down the cliff at it and that is as close as we got! Great! So we all loaded back into the jeeps and headed out and to lunch. If you really, really, really have to pee, DON’T TAKE THIS TOUR - RIGHT RENEE?!! OH MY GOD we laughed so hard at poor Renee because Tim hit every single pot hole and rut he could so poor Renee could suffer!

 

We stopped at a local café for the lunch included in the tour and it wasn’t too bad! We were tired and Renee finally got to go pee and all was well with the world. The ABC guys took us all back to the pier and we did a little shopping at the shops around the ship and headed onboard to grab a nap! I love naps and they really make a cruise happen for me!

 

Tonight we had dinner at Portofino’s. The food is really good and the service was great! I really enjoyed the time with my new friends and taking pictures. The highlight of the meal was the tiramisu – NOT TO BE MISSED!

 

We caught the love and marriage show in the Lyric Theater and it was very cute but not near as funny as the one that included our friends Beth and Dan on the Voyager of the Seas last year!

 

Before heading to bed we stopped at the Promenade Café and had some coffee and pizza. I love coffee and the coffee at the café isn’t too bad! (Seattle Best but a little stronger) We found our obligatory towel animal and our cabin attendant had left our Welcome Back/Crown and Anchor gifts of a travel valet kit but no toiletries were in it! You mean I have to stock it myself?! We also got an invitation to a returning guest reception the next evening.

 

Today’s high point – watching Renee damn near wet herself!

Low Point – the natural pool being closed and of course the damned rain

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You have to try to hit Aruba on a rainy day. Did you win in the casino that night?:D jc

xpcdoojk - you know I didnt win anything that night in the casino!! As a matter of fact I continually lost money at that craps tables all week! There weren't any big gamblers that I saw and after all the cruises I have been on I have always seen a staunch group of crappers! There have always been a bunch of folks around the craps table with a big roll of cash rolling them bones!! On this cruise there were a few of us making our daily deposit at the craps tables and sure enough we would get a couple hundred bucks worth of bets on the table and some bozo would walk up with five dollars and roll the dice and wipe us all out!! I eventually gave up on gambling and played a few slots and won more money at the Wheel of Fortune slots! :)

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That was awesome Bobby... keep it coming. You write awesome reviews. May leave it up to you for Hawaii LOL

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Bobby, I second what Dee said, Great job and can't wait for the next installement...... Really liked the part about Renee' having to go Pee.... That was too funny that day.......:D We must make her go or not let her have anything to drink before any excursions in Hawaii:) ;)

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Steve - well there will be a great opportunity to make her wet herself when we ride bikes down from the top of that valcano in MAUI!!!!!!!!!

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What's the deal with the Jeep tours? Do you drive yourself or do you have a guide do the driving.

 

How many people in the jeeps? I was thinking of a half day tour. I am sailing on the AOS on 1/2/04.

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gooch - we were on ABC Tours Extreme Jeep Safari in Aruba. There were three jeeps in our group with different numbers of people in each jeep. The lead jeep was driven by our tour guide Gabrielle and the second (Ours) and third were driven by a member of our group. The jeep we were in had two bench seats in the back - one on each side which can accomodate 4 people on each side for a total of 8 people excluding the driver and shotgun passenger. THe lead jeep had about 10 people in it as well but the seats were a different configuration and the follwoing jeep had 4 people in it as it was a regular jeep. Did that answer your quesiton?

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yes, thanks.

 

 

your review was great. sounds like the cruise was a blast despite the rain.

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