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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Southern Caribbean cruise, 7 nights, from $249

The Real Deal: Seven nights in an interior stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas, all meals, and nonalcoholic beverages, from $249 per person — plus taxes of $32.

When: Embark March 1, 15, 29, 2009; add $150 for March 8, 22 with ports of call in St. Maarten, Dominica, Isla de Margarita and Aruba; departures for other southern Caribbean sailings are available through April 12.
The fine print: Airfare is not included.
Government taxes are an additional $32 per person. Transportation between the airport and the port is also not included, but can be purchased for an additional $19 per person each way. Optional travel insurance starts at $57 per person. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $159 for an inside stateroom and $259 for an ocean-view room. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29373197/

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wikipedia on Aruba


Aruba is a 33-kilometre (21 mi)-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, 27 km (17 mi) north of the Paraguaná Peninsula, Falcón State, Venezuela. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles.
An autonomous region within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba has no administrative subdivisions. Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. It has a land area of 193 km2 (75 sq mi) and lies outside the hurricane belt.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Holland America Line Expands 2009 Panama Canal Program With More Full Transits


Holland America Line offers an unprecedented number of Panama Canal sailings in 2009, offering 45 total cruises on nine different ships departing from five separate ports. Guests can experience daylight transits of the historic and fascinating Panama Canal and itineraries that feature diverse and intriguing ports of call on voyages.

We've increased our Panama Canal capacity significantly this year to make 2009 a very exciting season, especially with full transit cruises through the winter season," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "While the roundtrip Florida canal experiences have been very popular, our guests have been asking for more Panama Canal cruises between the east and west coasts throughout the winter season. So now, there are canal cruises to suit everyone's tastes for season, length and ports of call." << >>
Ranging in length from 10 to 28 days, Holland America Line's Panama Canal itineraries feature more port-of-call options than any other major cruise line, with many port visits exclusive to Holland America Line. <<>>

Among the offerings in 2009 are ten 14-day Panama Canal cruises on ms Statendam between Fort Lauderdale and San Diego that feature different ports of call in each direction, with only one port in common. The sailings, from February into April and again in October and November, can be combined as back-to-back cruises for a 28-day round-trip Collectors' voyage. Sample ports of call include an overnight stay in Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama; Puerto Chiapas (gateway to the Pacific side of the Mayan world), Mexico; Cartagena, Colombia; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Aruba. <<>>
Holland America Line also will offer a series of 10-day round-trip Fort Lauderdale Sunfarer cruises aboard the ms Zuiderdam. These cruises sail through the Gatun Locks and offer scenic cruising in Gatun Lake. They also feature less common Caribbean ports of call and the only itineraries with a private island: Holland America Line's exclusive Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. << >>
A new 14-day Sunfarer itinerary will depart Nov. 6 and Dec. 4 aboard the ms Maasdam roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. In addition to cruising to Gatun Lake, ports will include Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; St. Croix; Dominica; St. Lucia; Aruba; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; and Key West, United States. <<>>

Starting fares for Panama Canal cruises range from $999 to $2,599 per person, double occupancy. Taxes and fuel supplement charges are additional. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit www.hollandamerica.com. << - www.hollandamerica.com -- >>
About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)]
Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 320 ports in more than 100 countries, territories or dependencies. Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, and highlights include Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal. A 15th ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, is scheduled to join the fleet in 2010. << >>
The highest-rated premium cruise line in the world, Holland America Line is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and Costa Cruises. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, these lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. The World's Leading Cruise Lines offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Bucuti Resort honored.


Bucuti beach resort Honored as aruba ’s best resort for romance
TripAdvisor gives nod to boutique couples’ resort for the fourth consecutive year

EAGLE BEACH, Aruba – February 2, 2009 – Bucuti Beach Resort has again been lauded by TripAdvisor® users as a top resort for romance in the 2009 Travelers’ Choice® awards. TripAdvisors contributors chose Bucuti as one of the top 10 most romantic resorts in the world for the fourth year in a row, as well as one of the top five most romantic hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico . Bucuti was the only resort in Aruba to be recognized in the romance category.

According to Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor, millions of real travelers worldwide identified the outstanding hotels and resorts based upon exceptional accommodations, service and value.

Bucuti’s dedicated team members craft an exceptional and specific environment for romantic getaways as the resort caters exclusively to couples. The uncrowded white sands of Eagle Beach , intimate moonlight dinners for two, a serene infinity pool and an overall tranquil ambience allow couples to enjoy each other without distraction. Bucuti associates are known for providing personal attention as they create unforgettable moments for their guests, from private beach picnics to memorable sunset cruises and underwater proposals.

"Our associates are gifted with a sincere spirit of hospitality, and they pride themselves on developing personal connections with our guests and creating one-of-a-kind, individualized experiences,” said Director of Sales and Marketing Susan Biemans. “Because of this, we have many return guests who we truly consider family. While our intimate and serene beachfront environment sets the stage for a magical experience, it’s the element of genuine service that helps Bucuti stand out and continue to receive positive accolades from our guests.”

Bucuti Beach Resort featuring Tara Beach Suites & Spa is Aruba ’s premier, intimate, upscale boutique resort. Located on the white powder sands of Eagle Beach, Bucuti offers 104 guest rooms and an abundance of contemporary European charm in addition to a caring and attentive team members, innovative technology including advance check-in, high-speed Wi-Fi access throughout the resort and loaner laptops, and a commitment to sustainable tourism. Bucuti Beach Resort is Green Globe 21 and ISO 14001 certified and has been recognized by notable organizations such as the Caribbean Hotel Association, American Express and the International Hotel and Restaurant Association for its environmentally responsible hotel operations. For more information, visit http://www.bucuti.com/.

About TripAdvisor Media Network
TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 25 million monthly visitors*, nine million registered members and 20 million reviews and opinions. Featuring real advice from real travelers, TripAdvisor-branded sites cover 300,000+ hotels and attractions and operate in the U.S. (http://www.tripadvisor.com/), the U.K. (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/), Ireland (http://www.tripadvisor.ie/), France (http://www.tripadvisor.fr/), Germany (http://www.tripadvisor.de/), Italy (http://www.tripadvisor.it/), Spain (http://www.tripadvisor.es/), India (http://www.tripadvisor.in/) and Japan (http://www.tripadvisor.jp/).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Aruba Vacation Deals


Divi Aruba Phoenix
Book Early & Save ~ PLUS!
Reserve your vacation by February 27, 2009 and save 30% off nightly rates PLUS a $100 Food & Beverage Credit! Travel March 15 - December 23, 2009. A 3-night minimum stay required. During travel from April 1 - Dec 23rd, kids 12 and younger can stay and eat FREE! Read details below.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Ritz Carlton in Aruba soon?


ORANJESTAD-The government has surprized many on the island on Wednesday by announcing theconstruction of a five star luxury Ritz Carlton Resort. The present and past governments have for 15 years tried to attract a prestigious five star resort brand such as the Ritz Carlton in Aruba, withnot much success. With great pride Prime Minister Nelson Oduber announced that the parties involved in the negotiation of the proposed Ritz Carlton project have reached an agreement, and construction of the resort will start shortly.

The Prime Minister admitted that the road to bring Ritz Carlton to Aruba was long and difficult, but was pleased with the final outcome.Aruba's tourism industry has long matured, and it is now time to elevate the quality of the tourism product to a higher level, by attracting the luxury market and that of high excellence. Contrary topast hotel projects, it is agreed that the Ritz Carlton hotel will not receive tax holiday from the government, nor will the government stand guaranteed for the project.

This project will not cost Aruba tax payers money, but will provide money to the government and locals once the resort is operational.

The hotel will be constructed north of the Marriott Resort on Hadicurari Beach, and it will be named Aruba Ritz Carlton Resort Spa & Casino. Ritz Carlton Aruba will consist out of 320 rooms of highquality design consistent with the standards of Ritz Carlton. The construction of the five star hotelproperty is priced at US$200 million. Aruba Investment Bank is the biggest financial stakeholder in the project.

While many hotel projects in the Caribbean are being cancelled because of the present global financial and economic crisis, the construction of Ritz Carlton in Aruba is a sign of confidence in the tourism product and the economy of the island. The construction of the hotel is welcome news for the construction sector, it will provide 425 construction jobs.

Ritz Carlton Aruba will employ 500 people once the hotel is operational. An additional 550 indirect jobs will be created because of additional tourists. Oduber says there is no need to attract much foreign labor, as 900 students complete their studies each year on the island. Oduber emphasized that attracting an additional five star hotel on the island does not imply that Aruba is a five star tourism destination, but it is a step forward in achieving that goal. "We have to continue to improve our tourism product, through educating and motivating employees working in the sector, and hotels should improve and upgrade their facilities." The government will continue to push for the relocation of the container terminal from Oranjestad to Barcadera, and soon announce the start of revitalizing the main street of Oranjestad.


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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Divi Resort, up to 50% discount, see link




real estate information for Aruba 2009




HISTORY
Over the past decade, prices on Aruba have risen by 30 to 40 percent, depending on location.
PRESENT
For the time being, there is a disconnect between what sellers expect for their properties and what buyers are willing to pay. As a result, housing prices have not yet fallen in Aruba, however the market has cooled considerably. There are many properties for sale right now — more than ever. The majority of foreign buyers in Aruba come from North America, Venezuela and Europe. Among European buyers, the Dutch are the most common. Most foreigners buy homes in the Noord (North) area near Palm Beach and Eagle Beach. In the North, you'll find Residential homes, commercial properties, condominiums and gated community homes. It is in the North, that the return on investment is the highest, and the demand is great, for buying and renting.
BUYING BASICS
There are no restrictions on foreign buyers. Many properties have “long leases,” which cost $700 to $800 a year for new construction and last for around 60 years. (80 percent of North is long lease land).
Most properties allow 50 percent financing, and mortgage interest rates usually run around 8 percent. Buyers should estimate paying a transfer tax of 6 percent at closing, on properties over $140,000, as well as a 1 to 1.5 percent fee for notary and registration costs.
A downpayment of 10% is needed when purchasing Aruba real estate, the rest payment upon closing (2 to 3 months after signing purchase agreement). Please check out:
http://www.arubahouses.com/ for great properties, in all areas and price ranges.

FEATURED
Homes from $62.000,- 3 bedroom under construction, Tanki Leendert, as is, where is.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Carnaval parades today and tonight




14 Feb
Saturday1:00 PM
Children's Parade NOORD
ROUTE - from Bubali Field straight to Centro di Bario Noord

8:00 PM
Aruba Tivoli's Lighting Parade ORANJESTAD
Lighting Parade through the streets of Oranjestad.
Floats, roadpieces and participants' costumes are all brilliantly illuminated with hundreds of tiny lights.
ROUTE - Aruba Entertainment Center - Avenida Milo J. Croes - L.G. Smith Boulevard - D.O.W.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Carnaval activity tonight from 8pm

11 Feb
Wednesday8:00 PM
Hebbe Hebbe Happening[People Drinking Heineken Beer]ORANJESTAD VENUE - POST OFFICE area, live bands, snacks & drinks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kool Runnings Restaurant open


Kool Runnings is now open at South Beach Centre, the mall where Hard Rock Cafe is located, in North, at Palm Beach.

Kool Runnings is in the back of the mall, across from Cafe Rembrandt. Before known as Jamaica me Krazy, visited by artists such as: Shaggy, Sean Paul and Wyclef.

If you are into Caribbean/Jerk food, this is the place to go. It is open for lunch and dinner, with the choice of inside or outdoor eating.