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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 7:27 pm
Posts: 3058
Location: Ohio, Costa Linda
This was our 9th trip to Costa Linda Beach Resort. All trips have been at least 2 weeks in length; most of them 3 weeks. Except for the 9 nights my husband’s sister and brother in law joined us, it was just my husband and I. Because we did a lot of excursions last year, we decided to scale it down for 2019. My sister in law and her husband were not interested in any sightseeing tours or snorkeling sails. Most of our days were spent on the beach (walking, sitting under a chickee, floating in the water etc.) One guest told us there was no way she could stay that long. LOL It seems by the end of the 2nd week I am ready to go home but by the middle of the third week, I am sad we are leaving. My husband is a workaholic so it is time we can spend together that we don’t always have back home. Whether 5 nights, 10 nights or 3 weeks, it is great just to be in Aruba. I love the island, the locals, the vibe and of course our timeshare, Costa Linda. (Please see my reviews for Costa Linda on Trip Advisor. Just know I love love love Costa Linda and rank it a very high 5 stars!)

For the second year in a row, we did not rent a vehicle and used taxis and the Alhambra shuttle. I am glad we did because of the major construction involving several roads and roundabouts while we were there. We have decided though we miss having a vehicle at our disposal and will rent from Tropic again for 2020. We most likely will not rent for more than ½ the time we will be there though. We grocery shopped at both Ling and Sons IGA (first day) and Super Food (mid trip). We like both stores for different reasons and feel they both met our needs well. We ate most of our breakfasts and lunches in while eating about half of our dinners out. A visit to The Arubian Taste rounded out our alcohol needs; we thought it would be fun for our guests. It is always fun to taste the many different shots offered. We met some honeymooners from Texas that were having a blast there trying the various rums and liquors. A friend and I did a walking tour through Oranjestad that I highly recommend. For $39 each, we were picked up from our resort and given a tour of the downtown area sites including museums, monuments and Fort Zoutman. 2 authentic snacks were offered as well as a bottle of water. Rumors were dispelled and historical facts recited.

Observations – We had some rain and clouds while we were there each week. The rain was mostly very early in the morning and there was not a day that we were rained out. There were many more turtle nests this year than last year. There were barricades all over Eagle Beach. I was fortunate to watch two clutches of turtles hatch. Turtugaruba does such a great job assisting with the hatchings and educating all of us tourists. A mama turtle laid her eggs very early one morning while I was there but I missed it by about 30-45 minutes. Her tracks were amazing to look at though. Construction was happening all around the island, which made it difficult for taxi drivers to transport people. They seemed to be in good spirits about it though; one driver went through a roundabout a couple times trying to determine which way he wanted to take us. He joked that we were on the Kukoo Kunuku bus (going round and round). We just needed the maracas. Another taxi driver told us we didn’t know we were going on a tour of the island and started naming off the different sites while he was trying to take us back to the resort. Always better to laugh than get mad.

Flights – We flew Southwest connecting in Baltimore on the flight to Aruba and connecting in Fort Lauderdale coming home. We love flying Southwest and like being able to bring two free checked bags, one carry on and one personal bag if we prefer. In my opinion they have the best flight points program. The only negative I have is the people who save seats for their party. We purchase the early bird seating and use our boarding upgrades. Honestly, if people want to sit together, purchase the seating for all or just land where you land. Because it is a first come, first serve seating plan, it isn’t fair for people to save a whole row of seats just because they’re too cheap to buy the early bird for each person. Ok, off my soap box now. When we arrived to Queen Beatrix, we pulled out our ED papers that we completed online at home. They did want to see them this time and then told us we had to see the immigration officer because the flight number was wrong (off by one number). We have had a problem in the past with it auto populating the previous year’s flight number without giving us a chance to edit that info but it has never been an issue before. For that flight, people with the ED papers completed online were directed to the automatic kiosks while we (and people who completed the card on the plane) were directed to the officers. It was the first time in years we didn’t use the kiosk. It was quick though and the officer didn’t pay attention to the flight number. We still had to wait for our luggage at the carousel.

Helpful Tips
• Purchase travel insurance, medical emergencies can happen. We used Squaremouth through Arch RoamRight this year.
• If a multi week timeshare owner, consider renting a storage container. This was our 2nd year having one and it was so nice to have our things at our disposal without needing to carry them back and forth. We use TimeshareStorage – Aruba. They have a FaceBook page.
• Pack plastic clothespins or Boco Blips to hang up wet clothing, secure towels to a chair or close bags of snacks.
• Bring lots of ones and fives for tipping especially for housekeepers and beach attendants.
• Bring a collapsible cooler for the beach if not doing All Inclusive; saves on beverage costs.
• Pack some hair ties, headbands and or clips to help secure the long hair while on the beach. Aruba can be very windy.
• Contact your phone service company about adding on international calling and date if needed. We did use the Verizon travel pass once on each phone during our stay but otherwise had our phones on airplane mode. We were able to iMessage and FaceTime using just our wifi.
• Bring a credit card that does not charge an international fee.
• Create a packing list. I decided not to use one this year thinking “I got this”. Well, I didn’t “got” this. With a lot of back to back traveling, I thought for sure I couldn’t possibly forget anything. Unfortunately I forgot my workout shoes but remembered everything else workout related. I love doing Zumba on the island but it was a no go this time. Fortunately I brought some canvas Keds for my walking tour downtown.

Restaurants, Excursion and Accommodations’ Reviews
Listing of Restaurants we ate at. For the record I am not a foodie but my husband tends to be. I would be happy sitting on the beach, eating grapes, Old Amsterdam cheese and drinking a Moscato while watching the sun go down. (Please see my full reviews in the restaurant section)

Pizza Bob’s – First night tradition; great for leftovers
Water’s Edge 12 North – Consistently good meals from the lunch menu; inexpensive breakfast specials
Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar – Taco Tuesday!
Chalet Suisse – A restaurant that does it right!
Hard Rock Cafe – Cliché but service was good
Pinchos Grill and Bar – Favorite restaurant to watch the sunset
Pega Pega Café and Beach Bar (Manchebo) – Iggy the best Bartender!
Ellioti’s – Best Fettuccine Carbonara
Hopi Bon - Found last year; great service and food
Twist of Flavors – Great service; wonderful Nutella chocolate mousse but want old spinach lasagne back
Eduardo’s Beach Shack – Known for their Acai Bowl

Thank you for reading. I tried to be brief but apparently I don’t know how to be. Maybe some year I will take the time to add photos.

And I have no idea why my counter below seems to know when I will be in Aruba next. I forgot to delete it after my trip. I must be getting too predictable.

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