Featured Hotels in Aruba – Palm Beach

Featured Hotels in Aruba – Palm Beach

By Phone: 1-800-642-7822 Hours: Monday – Friday 9AM-6PM
24/7 By E-Mail: Please e-mail us using our CONTACT form with your travel inquiry
and our representative will contact you within 24-48 hours.

 PALM BEACH, ARUBA…Beauty as far as the eye can see!

We’d like to share with you 4 of the luxury high-rise hotels that add personality and color to the breath-taking Palm Beach coastline.



International Biodiversity Day May 22, 2017

International Biodiversity Day May 22, 2017

Monday, May 22nd will be proclaimed the International Day for Biodiversity (IDB)  by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the United Nations.

We are excited to be helping our friends at the UN get the word out on this vital global event! Won’t you join us on this mission!
If yes, JOIN THE THUNDERCLAP!idb-2017-logo

In just under a week from today, the United Nations and its many global supporters, including thousands of bloggers such as ourselves will be celebrating the International Day for Biodiversity (IDB).

Inspired by the world community’s growing commitment to
sustainable development, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1993 to support three main objectives:
1. The conservation of biological diversity|
2. The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
3. The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources

Aruba has consistently done its part to further the global initiative to protect fragile ecosystems along with spear-heading many successful programs to increase sustainable tourism.arubaaward
As of March 2015, Aruba has been awarded the National Geographic World Legacy Award for “Destination Leadership”
–making tourism more sustainable
–keeping the island environmentally friendly for local populations

Destination Leadership is defined as – Travel destinations that are exhibiting and excelling by instituting programs to assist the local environment, preserving the natural and cultural identity of the locale, making sure the domestic communities protected by these programs and allowing visitors to participate in local activities to enhance and educate increasing the understanding of the need for sustainability.

WINNER: Aruba, Caribbean

Destination Leadership is defined as – Travel destinations that are exhibiting and excelling by instituting programs to assist the local environment, preserving the natural and cultural identity of the locale, making sure the domestic communities protected by these programs and allowing visitors to participate in local activities to enhance and educate increasing the understanding of the need for sustainability.

Read About Aruba’s award-winning efforts:

From: Convention of Biological Diversity (IDB2017)
Press Brief: Travel Responsibly

Sustainable travel is about making simple choices to lessen your negative impact on a given destination. Individually, each one of these choices makes only a small difference. But collectively, these little things can have a huge impact. How we travel, what we carry, what we eat and drink, what we do at our destination, what we buy, and what we leave behind, can all change the impact we have. Respecting our world and all that makes us different and unique will enhance your travel experience.

To highlight what we all can do as individual travelers to preserve the integrity of our environment, the following list has been compiled from a range of sources, including the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and is intended for use by the general public:

Respect wildlife and their natural habitats
12Observe wildlife quietly and from a distance so they are not scared or forced to flee. Do not disturb wildlife or plants for a “better look”. Never feed wildlife. Feeding animals makes them habituated to and reliant on humans, and often leads to attacks and possible death for the animal.

Respect indigenous peoples and local communities
Opening your mind to other cultures and traditions, and being respectful of diversity, can transform your travel experience. Learn as much as possible about your destination before you arrive even, and take time to understand the customs, norms and traditions. Remember to always be tolerant and respectful of local social and cultural traditions and practices. Avoid behaviour that could offend the local population. Any tourism activities should be conducted in harmony with the attributes and traditions of the host regions and countries and in respect for their laws, practices and customs.

Prevent the spread of disease
Before departure, check with health professionals about any vaccinations you may need in the country or countries you are visiting. Ensure that your vaccinations are up to date to prevent the risk of introducing new diseases to your destinations. Take precautions commensurate with the risks involved and consult medical advice as necessary.

Prevent spread of invasive alien species
As a traveler, whether you know it or not, you pick up a lot of “hitchhikers” along the way. These hitchhikers can come in many forms. Seeds, insect egg, and other living material can hitchhike on your shoes to new locations (both your destination and your home on your way back), where they might become invasive alien species. Invasive alien species often lead to the elimination of local species and is one of the most significant drivers of biodiversity loss. When natural habitats for wildlife are degraded and biodiversity is lost, crucial ecosystem services are compromised also for humans, most often affecting first the poor and the most vulnerable, women and children.

Be vigilant when making purchases
The purchases we make can have a profound impact on wildlife. Think twice before buying or consuming something made out of an exotic tree, plant or wild animal or rare rock or fossil. Some species, and products made with them, are because of their endangered nature, banned or restricted from being traded or imported/exported. Therefore travellers would be contributing to the demise of the species and breaking the law to buy them or travel with them. Other products and the materials they’re made with might also be using biodiversity/species in a non-sustainable manner (even if not endangered at the present) and travellers should encourage the sustainable use of biodiversity. If in doubt, consult credible sources like CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and WWF. WWF_25mm_no_tabGenerally refrain from buying products such as bags made from wild leather, carvings made from ivory, or mounted insects, shells or animals. Often sound alternatives are available, such as purchasing handicrafts made by local artisans where the profits go directly to local communities rather than poachers or unscrupulous traders. Safeguarding a country’s wildlife is the most sustainable way of securing the future for the people who depend on it for survival.

Bargaining and haggling: Colourful markets and bazaars are among the highlights of every journey. Haggling has to be learned, though. Do only haggle if you are really interested in buying something: Haggling is communication as well as game. Be fair. The more you smile while haggling, the more fun it will be. If you accept the first-mentioned price with a grim face, you will lose money and not be a partner for a fair and good trade. At oriental bazaars, a glass of tea is part of the ritual. Accepting it won’t oblige you to buy anything. If you don’t like haggling, you better buy in shops where there are fixed prices

Street hawkers: Tourism does not benefit everyone to the same degree. Locals who don’t have formal jobs in tourism might try to make a living by selling self-made jewellery or food. If a street hawker approaches you at the beach, bear in mind that he or she also tries to earn a living from tourism. Be respectful towards street hawkers at the beach. They try to earn a living for themselves and their families. Don’t react in an annoyed manner if their approach initially seems obtrusive. Many street hawkers are extremely poor. They often have clear minimum prices. Don’t haggle mercilessly for every cent!

Water is a precious resource. It is very scarce in many tourist destinations and should not be wasted mindlessly. Inquire about the water conditions in your destination and choose hotels, which adapt their water use to the environment. Spacious hotel complexes with park-like pastures that need constant watering have tremendous water consumption. Only take short showers when water is scarce. Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth and report dripping taps. Refuse to have towels and bed linen changed every day in order to save water and chemicals.

Energy: Use energy economically, especially in countries of the timthumb maxresdefaultGlobal South. Do you really need air conditioning? If not, leave this power-guzzler turned off – additionally, you will avoid catching a cold. This also applies to heating: Reducing the room temperature from for example 20 to 18 degrees Celsius helps to economise 3 to 5 percent energy. If wood is scarce in the region you visit, you should refrain from a campfire, even if you really love it. Leave this precious resource to the locals who often don’t have alternatives. Make sure that kerosine and not wood is used for cooking on mountain hikes.

Sports and other activities: Many adventure sports damage the environment. Climbing, mountainbiking, rafting and others sports should only be practised in areas designated for this purpose. Don’t leave any garbage behind and refrain from explorations with motorised means of transport – nature is best experienced on foot or by bicycle! Stay on marked trails, refrain from illegal camping and don’t lit a fire. Take particular care when smoking.

Crime: All around the globe – and especially in tourist destinations – there is criminality. The lack of prospect for many young people and malfunctioning legal systems are reasons for criminality. Be attentive and watchful. Keep your money and documents close to your body and put valuables in various pockets. You should not be afraid, as fear won’t help in any situation. Look up emergency numbers and English-speaking doctors before you start your journey.
In protected areas, access only the places open to visitors
The world’s national parks and nature reserves receive around eight billion visits every year, according to a recent study1. Increasing the number of visitors to protected areas can be an effective tool for conservation and community development, provided well-functioning management systems are in place. When travelling on foot, stay on established tracks whenever possible to minimise disturbance or damage to the soil and vegetated surfaces. Where a track does not exist, take the most direct route and avoid vegetation, fragile terrain and wildlife. Never touch or harass wild animals. Refrain from illegal camping and don’t light fires.

Be careful when diving near coral reefs
Coral reefs are very delicate and biodiverse ecosystems, and extremely endangered globally. Never touch them, step on them, or damage them by snorkeling or diving too close. Avoid using sunscreen if possible when diving near them. If you must use sunscreen, avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone, a common UV-filtering compound. Many commonly used sunscreens can both kill and cause DNA damage in coral. The best way to protect coral reefs when diving is to cover your skin with a long-sleeve shirt, rash guard and wet suit.

Sustainable travel tips

Do like the locals
If possible, choose locally owned lodges and hotels. Use local buses, car rental companies and airlines. Buy locally made handcrafts and products. Respect livelihoods of local vendors and artisans by paying a fair price (i.e. do not try to haggle prices down below a reasonable level). Eat in local restaurants, shop in local markets, and attend local festivals and events. If you have the means, hire local guides with in-depth knowledge of the area.

Choose nature-friendly accommodation
Ask hotels/lodges about their environmental policies. Do they have an environmental policy? Have they implemented energy and water saving measures – for example, spacious hotel complexes with park-like pastures that need constant watering have tremendous water consumption. Do they contribute to local conservation efforts and support local communities? Do they compost? Recycle? Reuse towels and bed linens for multiple days. Avoid using the hotel laundry if possible, as they typically wash each guest’s clothes separately

20140929_093859Conserve water and power
Take short showers (the average hotel guest uses over 300 litres of water per night/in a luxury hotel it is approximately 1800 litres). Globally, tourists consume three times the amount of freshwater contained in Lake Superior per year in freshwater, and use 80% of Japan’s primary energy supply. Therefore, turn off the taps while shaving and brushing your teeth, report dripping taps and turn off lights and heating or air conditioning when not in use. Reuse towels for multiple days.

Eat wisely
Choose wisely what you put on your plate. Try to choose locally sourced produce that is in season. Be aware that certain endangered species may be on the menu without your knowledge. Ask local conservation organizations for a list of what to look out for.

Avoid plastic
Reduce the use of single-use plastics at the individual level by using reusable shopping bags and water bottles. Do not use straws to drink. Buy sodas in glass bottles that can be recycled. Choose cosmetic and personal care products that don’t contain microplastics – as microplastics tend not to be filtered out during sewage treatment and are released directly into rivers, lakes and the ocean.

Don’t litter
Dispose waste responsibly. Carry back all non-biodegradable litter. If you’re camping, leave campsites litter-free before departing.

Slow travel
If you have the time, take the bus, train, or ship where you can. It is more environmentally friendly. Try to fly less frequently and stay in one place for a longer time. When you do need to fly, opt for non-stop flights rather than connections. Fewer flights mean fewer emissions.

Stay informed
Be informed as to what you as a traveler can do to ensure the best experience possible, for both you and for the environment:

UN World Tourism Organization – Global Code of Ethics for Tourism: http://ethics.unwto.org/en/content/global-code-ethics-tourism
UN World Tourism Organization – The Responsible Tourist and Traveler, a practical guide for travelers: http://ethics.unwto.org/sites/all/files/docpdf/responsibletouristbrochureen.pdf
UN World Tourism Organization – Tips for a responsible traveler: http://cf.cdn.unwto.org/sites/all/files/docpdf/tipsforresponsibletraveller25-01.pdf
Green Passport – UN Environment initiative helps travelers make tourism a sustainable activity: www.unep.fr/greenpassport/
Buyer Beware – Guide to souvenirs to avoid while traveling: http://assets.worldwildlife.org/publications/315/files/original/Buyer-Beware.pdf?1345686864&_ga=1.226170202.1531626328.1402066044
Tourism Review – News portal targeted at travel and tourism professionals:
The International Ecotourism Society – Non-profit organization dedicated to promoting ecotourism: www.ecotourism.org/
The World Travel and Tourism Council – Brings together major players in the travel and tourism sector, enabling them to speak with one voice to governments and international bodies: www.wttc.org/tourism-for-tomorrow-awards/winners-and-finalists-2017/
Sustainable Travel International – Helps governments, companies, NGOs and local communities to use tourism to achieve the right balance between economic development, green growth, and protection of their natural and cultural assets: http://sustainabletravel.org/


<b>Honoring Aruba’s Women Entrepreneurs! Happy Business Women’s Day 2016</b>

Honoring Aruba’s Women Entrepreneurs! Happy Business Women’s Day 2016

chryslerAs we find ourselves entertaining the real possibility of the U.S. electing its first woman President it is clear that women’s roles in business have finally reached a point very close to our dreams of equality. Women’s contributions in science, business, space exploration, and government , are undeniable with prominent roles open to women, in all aspects of our business lives. As my partner, also a woman business-owner, and I walked briskly down NYC streets yesterday on our way to a networking event I was struck by a thought. Aruba Trip Tips has had the good fortune to work with many talented female entrepreneurs and many businesses in Aruba are woman-owned.
This is clearly a trend in Aruba we’ve been observing more and more each year.
The women business owners in Aruba that we have met, share qualities evident in their success–having a vision, defining a need and having the courage to solve that need. At Aruba Trip Tips, our mutual goal has been to enhance the experience of travelers to the island through information and services that save time and increase your relaxation at the destination. This has been a joy and a journey and through this, we have found ourselves growing as well.
So, therefore….on today, September 22nd , we celebrate Business Women’s Day !

We can’t help but ackbusinesswoman-453487_640nowledge the wonderful, female entrepreneurs in Aruba whose contributions to the travel industry are undeniable. Their entrepreneurial spirit should be commended along with their commitment, professionalism, and sincere desire to help people. It has not only caught our attention but has allowed us to see that extra puzzle piece which lends to the Aruba Success story.

Aruba Trip Tips has been honored to work with two professional women in Aruba who while having very different businesses, offer valuable and well-needed services to vacationers. In the case of these business owners, they have made it their mission to the elevate your travel experience through their own global stories.
We wanted to learn more about these remarkable women and thought that it would be interesting to get insight into their backgrounds. As travelers, we interact with many different people often never really knowing who they are but are always grateful for their care and kindness.
That is why it gives us great pleasure to introduce to you:barbulet-concierge-logo

Freya Kraag,
Barbulet Concierge


lock-and-roll-aruba-logoLiliana Gracia,
Lock n Roll Timeshare Storage http://www.locknrolltimesharestorage.com/site/

They were kind enough to generously share some of their story of inspiration with us.
Today, September 22nd , Business Woman’s Day, is the calendar date which Honors women in Business and allows us to share with the world the recognition they deserve.

Freya Kraag, Managing Director,
Barbulet Concierge

freya-barbulet-concierge1. Are you originally from Aruba? If not, where were you born and what motivated you to come to Aruba?

I’m originally born and raised in The Netherlands, but both of my parents were born in Indonesia. So I’m not the typical blonde Dutch girl;) I came to Aruba 10 years ago after I finished the Hotel Management School in Maastricht.  During my studies, I did an internship at the Westin Resort (currently Riu Antillas) on Aruba.
I had an amazing time and learned a lot about the Hospitality Industry. I never been to the Caribbean before and I fell in love with Aruba during my internship because of the weather, the people, the ambiance and all the other reasons why people come back to Aruba. Since I did the Hotel Management School there were also a lot of job opportunities for me on  Aruba. When I came back from my traineeship I said immediately ‘when I graduate I will come back to work and live on Aruba’. Soon after I was graduated there was a job market from Marriott Aruba in Amsterdam where I got hired as a Vacation Planner. I packed my suitcase and went December 2015 to Aruba and never left.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I explained already a bit how I ended up in Aruba, but I will tell you a bit more about my myself. I have an adorable son Xennon of almost 10 years old and live happily together for more than 5 years with my boyfriend. I love to play beach tennis, go out for dinner, watching movies and the beach. Furthermore, I’m a person that is very social, enthusiastic, organized, focused on her goals and always looking for new challenges.

I’m in the hospitality industry for approximately 10 years. After working for a year as a Vacation Planner at the Marriott I was promoted to Executive Admin Assistant of the Marriott Aruba Surf Club and after 4 years I became a Front Desk Manager. I also worked for a year as Front Office Manager at an upscale boutique hotel, the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort and currently I work full-time as a Quality Assurance Manager at the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa, one of the most popular low-rise hotels on the island.

3. Was it your intention to ultimately to go into business for yourself in Aruba? What inspired you?

It was not my intention to go into business for myself in Aruba.

I enjoyed working in the hospitality industry and it was in my first job as Concierge Agent that I realized how passionate I was about vacation planning and assisting guests making their vacation an unforgettable one. I turned my passion into a business and today assist visitors around the world with planning memorable vacation experiences in Aruba.

Personalized service and responsiveness are really important for me and those two things will differentiate Barbulet Concierge from other businesses.

4. As a woman business owner can you share with us some of the challenges you have faced? And what would be your recommendation for others who might be inspired by you and want to pursue a business in Aruba?

To be honest I didn’t encounter many challenges being a woman as a business owner. All my clients and partners do take my business seriously and treat me with respect.

I recommend for other women to just being yourself and don’t become the person other people would want you to be. Be confident in yourself and your business, don’t listen to other people’s opinions. In the end, it’s YOUR business and you make the decisions.

It’s also very important to start a business because you love what you do or have a passion for it and not just for the money or status.

If you still have a full-time job and your dream is to have your own business one day. Work on your plan in your free time, read articles, books and educate yourself. Take baby steps and set-up your company while having your job to have financial security until your business is making enough money to stop working.

Dream It, Wish it, Do it!!!

5. Would you say that your efforts as an entrepreneur have opened the door for other females in business in Aruba? And do you consider yourself a pioneer?

I do believe the doors were already open in Aruba. However, another female entrepreneur is always an extra stimulation for the community. Aruba is doing well with their successful female entrepreneur’s for example in Real Estate, Sales & Marketing Businesses, Event Planning, Magazines, and Clothing Stores etc. I also recently went to a ‘Woman in Leadership Conference’ which motivated female entrepreneurs and leaders.

I do consider myself a bit of a pioneer since Aruba didn’t have a professional Personal Concierge business. It’s kind of new here in Aruba and I see some similar businesses coming up, but no real competitors as yet. There is a great market for this type of business especially because staying at secondary accommodations (vacation homes, apartment complexes, Airbnb) is getting more popular.

6. What life lessons have you learned as an entrepreneur?

I have learned a lot as an entrepreneur since there are coming so many new things on your pad.
For example, you need to have a plan to start a business, but your plan doesn’t need to be perfect in order to start. Your plan will never be perfect, just start with the basics and along the way you can fine tune it. This is exactly what I did by starting with offering the basic services on my website and bit by bit I added new services. This worked out for me.
I had difficulties to ask for money or to put a price tag on some of my services, I needed to do some more research or ask other business owners for advice. I was not used to asking money in return for my services so this was really new for me. Sometimes my prices were too low or too high but along the way you will find a balance and you can see what you are worth.
You also need to have a lot of patience since your customers need to grow with time. Don’t give up to soon. If something is not working be creative to find other ways that will work.

7. The name of your company is called Barbulet Concierge. Does Barbulet mean something in another language and why did you name your company that?

Barbulet’ means, butterfly in Papiamento, which is the main language spoken on Aruba. Papiamento was recognized as an official language in May 2003 and is derived originally from Portuguese and African and has influences of Dutch, English, Spanish and Indian. The business name Barbulet Concierge Aruba came from my love for butterflies and their symbolism, I also have a tattoo of a butterfly. They are deep and powerful representations of life.

8. What are some of your services that you believe that your customers seem to enjoy the most and why?

We offer a wide variety of Concierge services; however, our most popular services are hiring a Personal Chef and the Grocery Delivery Service.
Customers like the idea of having dinner in the comfort of their rental villa with family and/or friends instead of going out for dinner; it’s a different and unique experience.
The grocery delivery service is used a lot as well. Customers are saving their precious vacation time on doing groceries. They rather go to the beach and enjoy the sun instead of going to the Supermarket.

9. Do you have any long term goals with Barbulet on the horizon or additional services you plan on offering in the near future?

Currently I still have a full-time job as Quality Assurance Manager at Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa, however, my goal is to focus full-time on Barbulet Concierge and having my own office where I can receive clients. I would like the company to grow and hire staff, being able to accept credit cards and that everybody on Aruba is familiar with Barbulet Concierge. I also would like to be more involved with large groups/events.
I’m always looking for new services that I can offer to Aruba visitors and keep my eyes open for the needs of clients.
I recently started to work with a proposal planner and a photographer which are also services I’m offering but are not listed on the website as yet.

10. What is one thing you would like to share with our audience that many people may not know that you feel that you would like to communicate to new time vacationers or return visitors?

I would like to share that we have now Live Chat on the website. Please feel free to contact me about your questions about Aruba. We are looking forward to assist you!

Liliana Gracia, Owner and Founder,
Lock N Roll Timeshare Storage

liliana-gracia3501. Are you originally from Aruba? If not, where were you born and what motivated you to come to Aruba?

No, I am not I was born in Colombia, we moved to Aruba back in 1983, my mother, my brother and me.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

> Since I came very young to Aruba I went to Brown School, then to University from Aruba, I have two kids a boy and a girl, and I am a proud grandmother of also a boy and a girl. I live with my daughter and granddaughter, we love to eat out, I love to dance.

3. Was it your intention to ultimately to go into business for your self in Aruba? What inspired you?

Well it is not a secret that I was in the hotel industry for more than 30 years, 23 of them at Renaissance, I didn’t imagine waiting there for a pension plan or getting older doing the same, I always said 25 will be the max, I was thinking about this challenge for a while, and I also think that is never late to start a new adventure, after all, this is a great and new service for Aruba.

4. As a woman business owner can you share with us some of the challenges you have faced? And what would be your recommendation for others who might be inspired by you and want to pursue a business in Aruba?

Well at first people said, people as a tendency to be pessimistic and say that Aruba is not going through the best financial stage, stores closing, higher rents, low occupancy etc…. I recommend all women out there to go for your dream, don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t, is always worth it to give it a try, there is nothing to loose, is better than having the regret of what could a happen if.

5. Would you say that your efforts as an entrepreneur have opened the door for other females in business in Aruba? And do you consider yourself a pioneer?

Jajajaja no I don’t consider myself a pioneer, I think my girlfriends do admire my courage, I hope they see my success and they’ll be inspired by me, I know many women with great ideas, they just need to start and make it happen !!

6. What life lessons have you learned as an entrepreneur?
A lot omg, working for yourself can be even harder at times, you are always busy thinking and planning , it’s responsibility , but all at your own time!

7. The name of your company is called Lock N Roll Timeshare Storage. Why did you specifically name your company that name?

I think it’s catchy, it’s like we lock your items and you roll safely home! Something like that, also that’s why the Aruba lock.

8. What are some of your services that you believe that your customers seem to enjoy the most and why?

The bin definitely, the facility of not having to take back all their stuff and the peace of mind that their things are safe and well stored. I am also starting with beach gear rental, chairs, umbrellas, ice jugs based on my own customer’s requests actually–they seem to like the freedom of borrowing/renting  and not buying.

9. Do you have any long-term goals on the horizon for Lock N Roll Timeshare Storage or additional services you plan on offering in the near future?

Well only God knows perhaps other islands, we can always change the Aruba flag lock to Curaçao or Bonaire flag!  For now, I will keep it to bins storage and the beach gear rental, but we are thinking about some others ideas but nothing concrete yet.

10. What is one thing you would like to share with our audience that many people may not know that you feel that you would like to communicate to new time vacationers or return visitors?

I wish everybody to know that I am here ! That Aruba has this service,that you don’t need to feel away from home while vacationing , that you can bring all those special items and make yourself as comfortable as you can be, that you can also explore our island taking our items around for your comfort and enjoyment.

In celebration of this day, both Aruba Trip Tips is honored to share with our readers a unique interview with both these courageous ladies. I would encourage everyone to click on their links above to learn more about who they are and the services they provide…that one click may be your one step to planning your next trip to paradise.

Concept/Writing/Research: Bill M. and Christina C.

Labor Day Travel Gear Picks 2016

Greetings to all our readers and yes the flight of time, our most valuable asset, has brought us to the Second Annual Travel Product Review for 2016! We generally choose to release our review just before Labor Day—why? We don’t know why!….well maybe it ‘s that with Summer winding down in the Northeast U.S. where we live, we are searching for a reason the get psyched about the next 7-8 months of cold temps on their way…..”Winter Is Coming”… Fly South my friends, Fly South! My more pragmatic partner would say it’s the Travel Gear primer to the high season in the Caribbean which is just around the corner. Either way, we hope you find it helpful—we’ve put these products through their paces and want to share with you what we’ve found. And with Hurricane Hermine looming on our doorsteps hence we unveil our “Second Annual Travel Gear Picks for 2016”.


1)  Vizers $19.99
How do you improve on the most basic of sun products—THE VISOR? Well the guys at “Vizers” have figured it out…one of the things fairly evident when using a cloth visor at the beach is that after a few uses it starts to grow a coral reef…lol! Seriously it gets damp and stained with salt & sweat & sea water and starts to loose some of its freshness and shape. The designers at Vizers have taken all that into consideration and created a lightweight foam visor that is comfortable, colorful, durable….it FLOATS! And best of all is easily washed with a bit of soap & water. What’s also exciting they’ve created a line of Vizers specifically being sold with Aruba emblems at all the “I Love Aruba” Stores.  Josh sent us his “ARUBA” designed Vizers and we’re sure you’ll agree they are adorable and practical, great for the Aruban “outback”!
One more sweet feature is you can customize your Vizers with “TOUTS” which are charms to embellish and represent your favorite sport from dive flag to Martini glass…
We feel it a great upgrade on a beach essential. Pack wells too! Adjustable for sizes from kids to XXL guys—hubby loves it!

Available on Vizers.com

2) Boyd’s Cosmetic Brush Travel Set $30.00
You’re going on vacation and while you can’t bring all your worldly possessions you don’t have deny yourself the basics if you have the right compact gear. From our friends at Boyd’s on Fifth Avenue in NYC we were able to test out their Renoir brand signature 7Pc. Sable makeup Brush set. The set is built for travel in a black PVC pouch with snap and holds 7 mini makeup brushes of the highest quality. Packs nice & flat with an extra pocket. What we like best is the fact that the sable brushes are luxuriously soft and do not loose bristles when used. A real winner from Renior by Boyd’s–a signature line from an NYC Cosmetic company for nearly 60 years.

Available at Boyds.com

3) Dynotag® Web/GPS Enabled QR charm Bracelet $24.95
My partner and I were having a conversation and he wondered if the QR code technology could be used in some way to store personal or medical information in a bracelet when you travel. Lo! and behold we found the DYNOTAG QR Smart Tag bracelets. They are called “passive response” and the way they work is you create a profile at their website adding medical info or ID info and just wear the bracelet. Should first responders need to assist you they scan the tag with the many scanner apps that are out there and pull up your profile on their phone.
Really cool is that they make the bracelet in a waterproof model with really cute tropical beach charms—so you disguise the ID bracelet as regular costume jewelry. Ingenious, my dear Watson!
Also shown is the orange web bracelet if charm bracelets are not for you. Dynotags are available for luggage, pets….and even kids! Cool uses for technology in travel.

Available at Amazon.com

4) SQUEEZE POD! – on-the-go natural toiletries $19.99
We love the name for this simple but handy little product that has so many applications—literally & figuratively…SQUEEZE POD! It’s a very neat, pre-loaded toiletry bag so it’s perfect for grab-n-go last minute travel. The clear toiletry bag comes pre-filled with individual, leak-proof, single-use toiletry pods which are both hassle-free and TSA compliant. Included are 2each: shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Also 3 of each: facial cleanser, shave cream, moisturizing lotion, hand purifier, hair gel, & odor eliminator.
No time to fill up little travel bottles before the flight? Not prob just “SNAP. SQUEEZE.GO”
While I’m a bit of a tyrant with only using my hair products I would gladly use the body wash, hand purifier, and moisturizing lotion. Hubby will use the rest which includes shave cream.
Great item for camping, caravans and boats where storage space is at a premium! We like!
Available at 

5) Mosquito Repellents – the new necessity in travel!
Not gonna sugar-coat this but not an expert  on mosquito vectors either. As a kid, I remember spending late summer evenings playing Frisbee on the streets until midnight and realizing when I got home I had been a bug feast—bit up in 10-12 spots. Besides the endless itching & basting in calamine lotion, it was a harmless rite of summer and nothing to worry about.
This year things are more real and precaution isn’t a bad idea—this opine from the Frisbee free-spirit…we had some criteria in our search for the best organic mosquito products on the market!
1) the product must be organic and deet-free 2) travel well in a small bottle meeting TSA regs. And lastly 3) smell great!
We found two lovely products that make us feel good about applying essential oils to our skin and not harsh chemicals…..We liked Amrita Aromatherapy Lemon Eucalyptus Bugs Be Gone as it is safe for children & babies and field-tested in 4 oz. bottle. It repels mosquitoes, fleas, ticks & chiggers. Available on Amazon.com for $10.13

Whole Clarity states their mission is to “Raise the Vibration of the Planet through excellent health and wellness and mindful living.” such a beautiful idea, in its simplicity. The packaging is a clean design and states it repels mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and ticks. The bottle is 3.3 oz and we can’t stop enjoying the scent.
Available on Amazon.com for $14.97 or at wholeclarity.com (love their website!)
Better to be prepared from home as you may find repellent quite expensive to purchase when traveling. As a final thought…oils of lemon/eucalyptus are recommended as a repellent by the CDC http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/avoid-bug-bites

6) Bags for Travel Storage Within Luggage

Alku Travel Genuine Nylon Shoe Bags –$14.99
I’ve put them in supermarket bags, pillowcases and purses always wishing someone would design the right bag to store shoes in my luggage. The nylon shoe bags from Alku Travel are sturdy and elegant with space for up to 3 pairs of shoes in each bag. The floral logo adds an air of richness and flair to the bags. The product come with 3 drawstring stopper bags and I can think of many additional travel uses—laundry, toys , souvenirs…..basically, anything you’d like to separate and protect in your luggage.

Available at Amazon.com

UU Family Toiletry Bag Makeup Pouch – $6.50
This toiletry/cosmetic bag has 3 fab qualities!
1) It’s clear, so it’s TSA friendly….no unpacking, just pull out from your luggage 2) Cute, shiny patent blue leather-like trim is very stylish and VEGAN! and 3) It has a nice larger capacity, more than your average makeup case as we were able to fit quite a few extra items in the bag. It’s a great little bag! and also available on Amazon Prime. Lastly, we spoke with the owners who are the sweetest folks!

Available at Amazon.com

Disclosure: Some of these products were received as samples in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions on this blog are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising.

Product Reviews by Christina Canzoneri

Island Report: News, events, and happenings around Aruba…

Island Report: News, events, and happenings around Aruba…

Island Report: News, events, and happenings around Aruba…
By Sue Campbell for Nights Publications

Beach tennis at Red Sail Sports

Beach Tennis at Red Sail Sports
Courtesy of Red Sail Sports

This island is burning up with beach tennis fever and now you, too, can learn to play Aruba’s most unique game at Red Sail Sports Beach Tennis Club.They have their own courts and you can either just come out to play, take private lessons, or join or organize group clinics with professional instructors. They even have a beach tennis shop where you’ll find the best gear and sportswear. Look for them on Palm Beach between the Marriott Surf Club and the Holiday Inn. www.aruba-redsail.com

A jolly way to protect the reefs

Marine Park Foundation Bracelets Aruba
100% of the proceeds go to the Aruba Marine Park Foundation – Photo Courtesy of Jolly Pirates

Jolly Pirates, one of the island’s premier sail and snorkel operators, has implemented a unique program to help preserve Aruba’s marine treasures. When you buy a cheery trio of bracelets at their souvenir shop on MooMba Beach, 100% of the proceeds go to the Aruba Marine Park Foundation, which is charged with heading up the island’s im­portant reef protection and preservations programs. The bracelets make great keep­sakes of this happy island and are a great way for you to give back while enjoying Aruba’s pristine waters. For more details visit www.facebook.com/ArubaMarinePark.

Adopt an island pet

Animal Rights Aruba (ARA) online at www.animalrightsaruba.org and the Animal Relief Foundation Aruba (ARF) at www.arf-aruba.com
Animal rights foundations and
shelters in Aruba.

The island’s animal rights foundations and shelters are always seeking homes for their charges, and they make it easier than you think to take a furry new friend home with you. Another helpful option is to act as a chaperone for a dog or cat heading to a new stateside home. To view the hundreds of heartwarming success stories about island pet adoption and find out more, visit Animal Rights Aruba (ARA) online at www.animalrightsaruba.org and the Animal Relief Foundation Aruba (ARF) at www.arf-aruba.com.

Local dance troupe delights

Dance Troupe - Popcorn Club Aruba
Courtesy of Popcorn Club Aruba

Seek out the dynamite dance troupe Popcorn Club Aruba as they entertain with explosive dance shows featuring local, international folklore, street, carnival, Latin, and contemporary styles. Tyrone Olainka Chirino’s Michael Jackson-style solo is unreal! The troupe really is “a pleasure for your eyes, ears, heart & soul.” Established in 1989, they have always strongly encouraged Aruba’s youth to express themselves through creative pastimes. Catch them at their regular shows at Tamarijn Aruba on Monday night on the pool deck. Visit the Popcorn Club & Dancers Aruba on Facebook.

San Nicolas news

Carubbian Festival - San Nicolas
Photo Courtesy of Luis Mejia.

The “Sunrise City” has been getting all kinds of upgrades this past year: the new Carnival Village is now open and the new Carnival & Festival Museum and its workshop are well underway. Baby Beach has also been given a facelift with beautiful landscaping and new food and beverage services. The brand-new Joe Laveist Sport Park is another beauty and the perfect spot to catch the local talent. And don’t forget to head out to San Nicolas on Thursday nights for carnival in the streets with the Carubbian Festival.

Eco-chic for a cause

Eco-chic Jewelry by Enamora Treasures
Photo courtesy of Enamora

Enamora supports families in Ecuador in economic difficulty by helping talented local crafters to sell their beautiful handmade eco-chic jewelry and accessories to the world through their online portal. The artisans are especially grateful that Aruba has shown such support for this worthwhile cottage industry, and you can help, too. Some of their unique treasures can be seen at The Dutch Pancakehouse showcase, or you can make an appointment to see them. You can also order online anytime by visiting their website at www.enamoratreasures.com.






Aruba Trip Tips 2nd Anniversary Giveaway

Aruba Trip Tips 2nd Anniversary Giveaway

We can hardly believe it! Aruba Trip Tips is turning two years old on June 25th.
In celebration of this special milestone we are having an Anniversary Giveaway.
Some cute Aruba/Beach prizes to thank you, our friends!

Here are our Anniversary Giveaway Contest Winners!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Aruba’s Major League Baseball Superstars

Aruba’s Major League Baseball Superstars

Happy Opening Day! Cheers to Aruba’s Own Xander Bogaerts on the Boston Red Sox….WAY TO GO!

stadiumOn the weeks leading up to this opening day I suddenly became nostalgic remembering the 16 years I had spent working for the New York Mets as a ticket seller. What a great place to work! Not sure if I missed the the pre-season preparations which began every February with snow still covering the stadium grounds or the carnival-like atmosphere of those first Spring games in early April…..

coffee-cup-by-david-joyce-smalWatching yet another snow fall cover the world from my window I sipped hot cocoa and prayed for summer or Aruba whichever came first. That and my memories got me thinking……do baseball players from Aruba ever make it to Major League Baseball? How important is the sport of baseball to the people of Aruba?

What I found was a wonderful piece of Aruba’s sports history….

Aruba has proudly given five player’s to Major League Baseball teams in the United States to date:

b74f36f0_davis1) Gene Kingsale (b. Aug 20, 1976 Solito, Aruba)
Gene Kingsale made his Major League debut on September 3, 1996 on the Baltimore Orioles where he played as an switch-hitting Outfielder. He was signed as an amateur free agent with the Baltimore Orioles in 1993.
Teams: San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners from 1996-2003
International Teams: Netherlands National Team, World Cup of Baseball, 2004 Olympics Athens, Greece, World Basebell Classic 2006 & 2009.
After 2008, he has played for Neptunus Rotterdam in the DutchHoofdklasse, as well as being a pivotal member of the Dutch national team, which played in the Beijing Olympics.

33e83e4c_davis2) Calvin Maduro (b. Sept 5, 1974 Santa Cruz, Aruba)
Calvin Maduro made his Major League debut on September 8, 1996 as a  pitcher on the Philadelphia Phillies. He was signed as an amateur free agent with the Baltimore Orioles in 1991.
Teams: Philadelphia Phillies/Orioles 1996-2002. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1996 to 1997 and for the Baltimore Orioles from 2000 to 2002. Maduro also played on the Netherlands Team at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and for the Dutch major league club HCAW.

7a8e734b_davis3) Sidney Ponson (b. Nov 2, 1976 Noord, Aruba)
Sidney Ponson made his Major League debut on April 19, 1998 playing the position of pitcher on the Baltimore Orioles. He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as an amatuer free agent in 1993.
Teams: Baltimore Orioles/New York Yankees/Kansas City Royals/St. Louis Cardinals/San Francisco Giants 1998-2009. Sidney Ponson has a fastball that tops out at 95mph.

oranjenassau1Aruba’s first 3 Major League players Gene Kingsale, Calvin Maduro, and Sidney Ponson were decorated with an Order of Orange-Nassau in the grade of Knight.  The medal and honors given represent the Dutch Order of Chivalry. It is bestowed on those that have “earned special merits for society” and is quite a great honor to recieve.

5acc6cd4_davis4) Radhames Dykhoff (b. Sept 27, 1974 Paradera, Aruba)
Radhames Dykhoff made his Major League debut on June 7, 1998 playing the position of pitcher on the Baltimore Orioles. He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as an amatuer free agent in 1993.
Teams: Baltimore Orioles 1998.

dc06acdb_mlbam5) Xander Bogaerts (b. Oct 1 1992, Oranjestad, Aruba)
Xander Bogaerts made his Major League debut on August 20, 2013 playing the position of shortstop/third base on the Baltimore Orioles. He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as an amatuer free agent in 2009.
Teams: Boston Red Sox 2013-2015. Playing in 2016
At a mere 23 he has a long, successful career ahead of him and we wish him well! Xander has won the gold medal after joining the Dutch National Team, the Silver Slugger Award as shortstop and was a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

How does Major League Baseball go about scouting players in Aruba you’re probably asking at about time….by way of local Aruban Games played against teams from nearby islands that is…
It just so happens last week (end of March) a 3 game series was played in Aruba called the U16 Prospect Baseball Games.
12919041_539566329585281_627951634_nWe spoke with Ulisses Maduro, Sports Presenter at Hit 94 FM – Mega 88 FM Stereo in Aruba, who explained the following to us:


“These games are Games between the top prospects of the Island of Aruba and Curaçao. Today they played against eachother and Curaçao won the game 4-2. After 2nd of July 2016 some of them will be scouted by MLB organisations. They are in a project where the Best of Both islands will be scouted.”


And there you have it! Aruba is an island that has huge heart for professional and amateur baseball. The island is gifted with talented players that are reaching heights of Major League stardom in the United States and around the World in European Leagues as well as the Olympics.

We dedicate this article to our friends on the local Aruba adult league team,
The Marlboro Classics.
Play Long. Play Hard. Play Ball!!!

Article by Christina Canzoneri

Credits: Player stats and some of the biographical info & photos were obtained from the following websites:
1) www.baseball-reference.com
2) www.wikipedia.com
3) www.24oranges.nl

Photo Credits:
stadium, Silviera Neto
coffee cup, David Joyce
players photos, www.baseball-reference.com
baseball, Dimitry Mazurenko

Welcome To The Pirate Shack! Please Meet Captain Al…

Welcome To The Pirate Shack! Please Meet Captain Al…

Our goal here at Aruba Trip Tips is always getting the word out on everything Aruba has to offer. Sharing Hidden treasures on the wonderful island of Aruba with new vacationers and even returning vacationers is what we’re happy to do. Personally, I believe one of the richest assets the island has to offer are the Aruban People themselves. Sure many islands in the Caribbean offer beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, exciting and interesting things to do, but the charm and the allure of the people of Aruba is the soul that adds that something extra which sets this island apart from many. They don’t call it the Jewel of the Caribbean for nothing. Traveling there for over 11 yrs now has allowed me to meet many lovely and interesting individuals. We have made friends and have had experiences some would probably not believe that are true but we’ll share those tales for another day.

Remarkable enough and somewhat ironic, there is one individual we never met in Aruba while vacationing there. However, thanks to technology and our quest for always trying to find extraordinary things about the island our paths were fortunately crossed with a rising star in radio broadcasting live from Aruba, Aldrich Marchena aka Captain Al.

His warm charm and exotic accent has been exciting the airwaves for the past year now with his special blend of music, style and appeal on his thrice-weekly show–THE PIRATE SHACK. His online radio station STUDIO 69, basically started out as a hobby reaching more or less several countries which has now blossomed into a reach of over 22 countries and growing. He is a businessman by day and an online Radio DJ by night. If it wasn’t impressive enough to have a full time job working by day and DJing 3 nights a week our friend Captain AL is also happily married and a devoted father which exemplifies the spirit of the Aruban people.

Apparently talent and passion for radio runs in the family. Captain AL’s first mate, his lovely wife Diana is a DJ as well on Studio 69 Online Radio Aruba. Her show can be heard on Tuesday and Thursday night from 8:00 pm est to 11:00 pm est. Even more interesting is the fact that the good captain’s grandfather is one of the founding fathers of radio on Aruba. His story seemed to grow more remarkable as we got to know him and we felt given his family’s past and present contributions certainly qualified as a hidden treasure worth sharing with the world. Aruba Trip Tips is honored to share for the first time with our readers a unique interview with this talented DJ on the rise who graciously devoted time for us to share with you some of his story…

The Pirate behind the Pirate Shack
1. Are you Aruban?
I am what we call in our local language Papiamento “un Arubiano puro di lombrishi”, to the English speaking readers this would translate to, “yes, I am a pure Aruban deep to the bellybutton”, I was born on December 31, 1972 in Oranjestad, Aruba. Raised on the Island for about 12 years and after that my parents sent me to Miami, Florida to live and study there. After I graduated from High School I decided that I wanted to take some time off from school and I went traveling “somewhat around the world” moved to Long Island, did New Jersey, Boston, and Philadelphia for a while, I even went to Canada to venture in teaching Salsa and Meringue classes, after a while of traveling around I decided it was time to come back to Aruba, but after living on the island for a couple of years, teaching windsurfing and living “THE LIFE” that all young adult wishes to live, I still felt that this is not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wasn’t quite ready yet for “The Island Life” so my stay on the Island rapidly became very short,… it was time to get back to school and go to the University, so I went to the Netherlands to study, after studying for a Masters in Business Administration and International Business Computer Science Communication in Music Scene at The European University in The Hague I was ready to come back to Aruba… and so I did!!!,…  

2. How did you get started as a DJ? Why radio?
It’s funny to say this Bill, but I don’t actually remember when I actually started as a DJ or if I can even consider myself a DJ. The thing is, my grandfather (may he rest in peace) Albertico Arends, was the founder and owner of the first AM and FM Radio Station here on the Island of Aruba, (Voz Di Aruba and later on the Canal 90). I remember as a young kid going to the radio station and playing music on the radio with my grandfather, thus, I guess I can say I have radio in my blood. But to actually put a time frame, I would not even know where to start… I guess a safe bet would be to say, that I was born into Radio Broadcasting,…

3. Why did you choose to call your show The Pirate Shack? Why did you use a Pirate as a symbol?The Pirate Shack Logo new 2015 9pm
The name “The Pirate Shack” actually came from a long time ago, come to think of it, I guess you can say this is actually the first time that I started going to my grandfather’s radio station late at night without permission with my friends to play “our” type of music; the type we like on the radio,… I remember my grandfather getting really pissed off at me for “stealing the keys to the radio station” ,.. can I actually say pissed off??? (Ooops! sorry, said it again,.. hahahaha) anyway, I remember sitting in the main studio of Canal 90 Fm one day with a couple of friends and thinking what am I going to call the program we were about to do,… all of the sudden, it all came to me… how we “snuck into the station like pirates” so I call the program that day “The Pirate Shack”. From the start my friends like the name for the program, and started calling me Capt. Al.

4. What kind of music do you like to play and why?
You know Bill… I am an Eclectic person, I like all types of music and I think that is why I always say during the program… “It’s The Pirate Shack and anything can happen”… I honestly can’t say that I have one specific genre that I like, but if I have to choose I guess my 3 favorite genres are between, Alternative Rock, Salsa and Reggae,… however you can easily catch me listening to New Age or Classical and Instrumental music during the day…

5. Do you work with other Radio Stations on Aruba?
Sometimes I still go to my grandfather’s radio station and play around in the studio and on Wednesdays my wife and I have a “pre-recorded” Mental Health radio program called “Perspectiva Psicologico” (Psychological Perspective) that is dedicated as part of our commitment to the local population of Aruba since one of our companies is a mental health facility (Idea Psychological Center). During this program (which airs pre-recorded every Wednesday at 9pm on Canal 90) we bring forth everything that has to do with mental health and how to improve it on Aruba.

6. I understand your Grandfather was in Radio also. Can you tell us more about that?
Wow Bill,.. this is a question that will amaze you and most of the people that had once upon a time visited (or will visit) the Island of Aruba…. It was October 9th 1954 when my Grandfather’s first radio station called “Voz Di Aruba” officially went on the air. Despite not being fully set up, it was due to a “National Emergency Information” that the station went on the air before it was fully set up and ready for broadcast. You see, on this day something really bizarre happened with the weather on Aruba… As you know Bill, Aruba has perfect weather all year around, being below the hurricane belt it allows us to have lots of sun and nothing but clear blue sky’s… However on October 9th 1954 could probably be classified as the worst weather that Aruba has ever experienced. Gusts of winds, lots of rain and somehow during all of this it started to hail on Aruba… Now, keep in mind, (for those who have not been to Aruba yet) it is always…. I mean… ALWAYS between 82 – 84 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 72 – 74 % all year on Aruba… and now… it’s hailing on the island, people were getting paranoid and could not understand what was happening on the island. At this time the authorities (let’s say the government at the time) asked my Grandfather if there was any possibility that he could set the radio on the air since this was classified as a national emergency…

I remember my Grandfather telling me that he was very nervous because the radio was not fully set up yet and he was still waiting for the main antenna to arrive from the United States. Still he took the responsibility and Voz Di Aruba went on the Air on Oct 9th 1954 transmitting the events that were happening with the weather. This helped with restoring the public order and chaos that was going on when it started to hail on Aruba… Yes, I know,… for all of this to had taken place that meant that the initial idea of my Grandfather must had come before that bizarre day in October of 54,… My “Opa” (Grandfather in Papiamento) told me that his initial idea (or like he liked to call it “My obsession yet My Passion”) started on a trip he made to Cuba in the late 40s early 50s when he went to play “Bala” (Baseball in Old Papiamento) with the all star team of Aruba… this is when he first came in contact with “radio broadcasting” and sure enough when he came back, radio broadcasting became his obsession and passion for the rest of his life.

A couple of years after Voz Di Aruba went on the air, my grandfather decided he wanted to go on the FM Bandwidth and started working towards his 2nd radio station, but now on FM instead of AM,.. This wasn’t as easy, it took a lot of time to be able to get the proper equipment and permits to broadcast on the FM bandwidth,… but sure enough, exactly 2 weeks after I was born, on January 13, 1973 Canal 90 Fm Stereo had gone officially on the Air making my grandfather not only the first person to bring radio broadcasting to the island, but now he was the first to have started Fm Radio Broadcasting on Aruba and turning him into the broadcasting legend he is today.

I know my grandfather had received many acknowledgments and recognition for all that he has done for the Island of Aruba, but you know, something that not many people know, is that for my Grandfather there was nothing more fulfilling than that first “Emergency Broadcast” he had done during that bizarre day in October of 54.

The Man behind the Pirate
7. Were you inspired by your grandfather to pursue radio in his footsteps?
You know Bill, to be honest to you,.. I was always inspired by my grandfather, he was a very intelligent, well traveled person. He always had the most interesting stories to tell me when I was growing up. I enjoyed spending time and learning from him. However, I have to say that I did not pursue radio broadcasting before Studio 69 and “The Pirate Shack” came about, yes, sure I used to sneak into the radio station and played music on the air, but I never thought of it as my future, I guess it is due to the fact that I like to be independent and I wanted to do my own thing instead of going into the family business. The fact that today I own my own Online Radio Station called “Studio 69 Online Radio Station Aruba”, is purely coincidental and a bi-product of 3 things; my hobby combined with the necessity to suppress sound from traveling in my office building or conversation from being overheard in adjacent office spaces. I guess the last contributing factor is the busy lifestyle that comes with being an entrepreneur led to the need to have a recording studio to pre-record our local program “Perspectiva Psicologico” which is being broadcasted every Wednesday night at Canal 90 since 2012.

Nevertheless, I do think somehow and in so many ways he has inspired and made it much easier for me to feel so comfortable behind a microphone, broadcasting and entertaining my fans with what I enjoy doing, in fact it is actually the way I relax and disconnect myself from my “real job”,… managing companies.…
Hmmm, but you know something Bill!!!,… How funny can it be,… after all these years, it isn’t until now, with this question of yours and this article, that I can finally understand what my grandfather’s quote “My obsession yet My Passion” really means.

8. What’s your goal with the Pirate shack? Are you trying to get the word out on Aruba through your show?
Considering all the facts that led to Studio 69 were purely coincidental and the fact that “The Pirate Shack” was originally the result of me being a “spoiled kid” who just liked to break in to his grandfather’s radio station just to play music with my friends, I would have to say that I did not have any goal for “The Pirate Shack” in the beginning, but now that the obsession has become my passion, I can’t tell you. The one sure thing I will tell you for sure is that it’s all up to the fans where they want “The Pirate Shack” to truly go. As for getting Aruba out there, well I am Aruban, I love my little Island, and yes, if I can help Aruba by spreading the word around the world, well that’s what I’ll keep doing.

9. How easy was it to open up a Radio station on Aruba?
First, I have to clarify that Studio 69 is an Online Radio Station broadcasting 24/7 from Aruba to the World, and is not a “Local Bandwidth Radio Station” and can only be heard online and not via “regular radio waves”. This means that all the local broadcasting permissions nor standard broadcasting equipment were not necessary or applicable for starting with Studio 69. In the case of Studio 69, we already had our recording studio and our “Company In-house Station” that I had hooked up to the recording studio and a local in-house amplifier. One particular day I needed to ask my good friend Elvis Kock who is the “sound engineer” for Canal 90 (my grandfather’s radio station) if he could come and do a special equalizing on my recording studio, while he was doing the equalization he told me,… “you know what Al,… did you know it is very easy for you to go live on the internet? You already have all the necessary equipment, it’s all hooked up and ready to go,… you only need one small little thing to do it with a good quality” Well of course my first question as a businessman was,… “How much is this hobby going to cost me???” hahahaha,… with a big smile on his face he told me “$35.00 and I have a spare one in my car”,… I guess to answer your question, it was very easy for me, and it only cost me an additional $35.00… hahahahaha,…

10. Do you have a local audience or is your audience global?
I would have to say, since it all started out with me and my friends playing music on the radio, I would like to say that my biggest audience is local, but the reality is that since we started broadcasting online, it has opened up a global audience and now it seems that “The Pirate Shack” and Studio 69 is building a much bigger audience all around the world. Some countries we know that are listening to our programming online are: Aruba, United States of America, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Colombia, Venezuela, Spain, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Israel, France, Mexico, Greece and Suriname.

11. How has the feedback been from your audience in Aruba?
The most common feedback we receive at “The Pirate Shack” is that they love the program and enjoy the music. Some tell us about their experience while in Aruba, and they like that we have “The Tourist Event Section” where they can find out in advance all the events that are going to be happening on the Island of Aruba. The best part about it is that they have been informed about things to do before they arrive to the island and that has helped them to enjoy the local events that normally tourist don’t get to hear about.

12. What are your long term goals with your show?
Well Bill, like I said, “The Pirate Shack” is the way I “de-stressify myself” and relax from my daily life,… We don’t really have a long term goal for “The Pirate Shack” yet and it really all depends on the fans to decide the true faith and goal of the program, but the one thing I can assure you is that I will keep bringing “The Pirate Shack” for the fans as I’ve been doing and enjoying playing all types of music for them. So, as for the long term goal!!! I guess we will be on the air presenting “The Pirate Shack” for the time being…

13. Do you recommend your show to tourists about getting the word out on Aruba?
Yes, I highly recommend for the tourist to listen to “The Pirate Shack” every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting at 9 pm local Aruban time (GMT -4) on Studio 69 Online Radio Station so they can find out what Aruba is all about and why it is nicknamed “The One Happy Island”…. And who knows,… maybe someday they will actually be able to enjoy Aruba like the locals do.

14. You’re on 3 nights a week do you plan on doing your show on the weekends sometime in the future?
Hahahaha, that is a very common question that I get asked often by the fans. I honestly have to say that there are some thoughts being put in to that we are considering it or doing something totally different during the weekend, but nothing is set in stone yet… I guess it all boils down to what the fans want, after all without the fans, there can be no Pirate Shack… 😉

15. Is there anything you would like to share with your Audience regarding any up coming shows or events that they should tune in for?Studio 69 Logo
Well, to just tune in to Studio 69 Online Radio Station every day, and “The Pirate Shack” for all the upcoming events on Aruba so they know in advance what’s happening and where to go, what to do while visiting the Island of Aruba… and if they happened to miss the show, well then they can always go to our collaborating web page www.ArubaTripTips.com for any additional information about Aruba.

16. Where do you see yourself and your show in 5 years?
Hmmm,.. where do I see myself and the show in 5 years,… well, as for Studio 69; our online radio station,… we have big plans and with some innovative ideas in Radio Broadcasting that will revolutionize this industry in a couple of years, as for me as an entrepreneur I would hope to be getting ready to retire and hopefully passing my wisdom to my son, having more time to enjoy the good things life has to offer, to enjoy quality time with my better half,… hahahaha,… if all of this goes according to plan, well I’ll be having much more time on hand, so I guess there will be much more of “The Pirate Shack” on the air…

I guess my grandfather said it well,… Music Radio Broadcasting, it’s an “obsessive passion”

Our hats off to our good friend Aldrich Marchena, a.k.a Captain Al and a tremendous thank you for allowing us here at Aruba Tip Tips for sharing some very personal, inspirational and fascinating insight into a truly rich past. Our debt is to your Grandfather and your shared passion we now enjoy today. So there you have it folks if your looking for a true pirate of the Caribbean who enjoys sharing his treasure with everyone, his beloved Aruba, check him out on Studio 69 Online Radio Station. He’s not only entertaining but is also a great source of information and can be heard 3 nights a week. We are also proud to announce that we will be partnering with Captain Al and the Pirate shack to get the word out on Aruba so please check us out if you’re interested in planning a trip…..Masha Danki Capitan Al!

Follow The Pirate Shack on TUNE-IN RADIO at:
Twitter and Facebook

Also catch the Live Stream at:

We welcome Captain Al and the Pirate Shack on our websites, www.arubatriptips.com &www.arubafestivals.com.

Written By Bill M.

Quick Aruba Excursions for Cruise Ship Visitors

Quick Aruba Excursions for Cruise Ship Visitors

Short and Sweet Adventures
Perfect Pastimes for Cruise Ship Visitors

Article courtesy of Susan Campbell as published in Aruba Nights Magazine
Photo credits: Nights Publications

Around Oranjestad

No worries if you’re only here for a short time,
Aruba is a compact treasure trove of pleasurable pastimes and
awesome adventures all within easy reach of the cruise pier.



Do-it-yourself downtown tour
Hope the free eco-trolley right off the cruise pier to get a sense of what there is to enjoy in colorful and cosmopolitan downtown Oranjestad. Modern high-end shopping emporiums like the multilevel indoor/outdoor Renaissance Mall beckon with upscale jewelry, designer clothing, electronics, and more, all with
no tax and low-duty. There are also colorful arcades like the Royal Plaza Mall in beautifully restored Dutch colonial buildings for unique gifts and souvenirs.
Downtown is also dotted with international eateries surrounding the port and a bit farther up at the Renaissance Marketplace, as well as exciting casinos, and some interesting museums. You can hop on and hop off the trolley at leisure, and don’t forget to take home some of Aruba’s famous aloe products; this island exports some of absolute best quality aloe in the world!
Want to make it double duty day?
Shop and sunbathe? No problem. Head past the Renaissance Marketplace along the water to find The West Deck grill and
beach bar part of the new linear park – a perfect spot to stop and sip a signature cocktail on its own beach so close to your ship that you can wave to the passengers still onboard! If you only have a few hours,
downtown Oranjestad has lots to offer by way of a perfect Aruba day.

Easy beach-hopping

Eagle Beach

For those who take their beach bumming seriously, Aruba is absolutely awash with spectacular stretches of sand that are
easy to get to from the pier and they are all open to the public! You can grab a cab or take Aruba’s public transit from the main terminal right downtown. The air-conditioned buses are modern and affordable and stop at every major resort along both of the most popular beaches. Eagle Beach is the first, it’s laid back and relaxed,
lining the lowrise resort stretch, while Palm Beach is the more active surfside playground cresting the highrise stretch chock full of watersports, activities, beach bars, and dining spots.

Fisherman’s Huts

You can try your hand at beach tennis there, or get some windsurfing and kitesurfing instruction at Fisherman’s Huts beach nearby. Everything is within an easy walk back to a bus stop or a taxi stand.

Surreal surf and turf trips

Aruba’s Northern Coast

Aruba’s tour operators and activity directors are first rate, and some adventures combine the best of both worlds with snorkeling or swimming at spots like the unique natural pool or beautiful Baby
ons and ancient bat-filled caves. And Aruba’s interior is very arid, cacti-studded, desert-like, and dotted with gnarled trees, lounging lizards, feral goats, and even wild donkeys.
Easy-going tours include air-conditioned motor coaches and even party buses turned day-tour-tripping vehicles to famous

California Lighthouse

landmarks like the lovely Alto Vista Chapel, the California lighthouse, the Gold Mill ruins, and the wildly, romantic North Coast.

Tunnel of Love Cave

There are all kinds of terrestrial oddities to discover on this island such as bizarre rock formatiBut if you really want to tour the rugged outback and get the authentic “shake and bake” experience as locals call it, then a tougher form of transport is required like an ATV, a jeep, or even a monster truck. But no worries, there are tour operators that offer those options.
If you’d rather take it slower, there are horseback tours, cycle and swim tours, or guided walks and hikes. Or stop in to the visitor center at Arikok National Park for maps and information about the island’s inherently elusive nature. It all depends on your interests, but it’s easy to mix and match adventures all in one day.

Arikok National Park

Sensational sea escapades
Though you might have arrived by ship, to really enjoy Aruba’s seas you have to get closer to the waves, or even under them! This island has some of the best diving in the Caribbean and there are many dive operators eager to take you out, but even if you’re not certified to dive, you can still witness an underwater shipwreck just by snorkeling as the sunken Antilla is very close to the shore and in very shallow waters. 10Most of the snorkeling trips include this site and also stop at two other fish-filled spots. Or if you don’t snorkel, there are party boats and dinner/sunset sails available, too. You can also get close to Aruba’s resplendent reefs without even getting wet via a semi-submarine or a real submarine tour under the sea. And you can also enjoy the island sights riding the waves with serene sea kayak tours.

Creature and critter encounters

Butterfly Farm

The Butterfly Farm is a must for nature lovers with hundreds of winged wonders to admire, or you can get up close and personal with some funny, flightless birds at the Aruba Ostrich Farm.

A visit to the Donkey Sanctuary is also enlightening, and Philip’s Animal Garden offers interactive and educational tours with over 50 species of exotic animals. Visit on your own, or take Kukoo Kunuku’s special tour tailored to visiting many of these animal attractions the same day.13



Escape to a private island!

DePalm Island

Just off the coast, De Palm Tours has its very own delightful island with all kinds of cool and unique adventures like Sea Trek – walking underwater with an air helmet, snorkeling, and snuba (air supplied snorkeling) with giant electric blue parrotfish and Aruba’s only water park. There are also banana-boat rides, a spa, an all-you-can-eat buffet, an open bar, and fun stuff like salsa classes and beach volleyball. Complimentary transportation to and from the island for cruise visitors is also included.

As you can see, there are lots of great things to do in just one day on Aruba. But chances are good, once you get a preview of this island’s appeal, you’ll want to return for a much longer visit. We’ll be waiting. Bon voyage!

Aruba Travel 2016: Paradise Simplified!

2016As the year winds down to a close we are very excited to present you with an article devoted to the new technologies in Aruba travel.  Aruba is truly the cutting-edge destination in the Caribbean with travel innovations that lead the industry.The new services that have been implemented will literally increase your vacation time in Aruba! That’s right! Literally! Here’s what we found:

1) Online Embarkation and Disembarkation (ED) program
If you’ve traveled outside of your home country you’ve probably completed an embarkation form on your flight–a complete buzzkill.
I tend to lose my smile when made to fill out paperwork on my vacation–just the thing I go on vacation to escape. Well the vacation visionaries at Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) and Aruba Immigration Services (IASA) have found another way to streamline your travel experience.bonbini
Embarkation/Debarkation forms are now available to be filled out online! The form can be filled out once you’ve booked your flight up to 48 hours before departure to Aruba.  Each family member/traveler needs to fill out this form (ED card) including children.  As long as the children have their own passport, parents may fill out the online ED card in advance.
The online ED card can be filled out at www.edcardaruba.aw. The website is available in Dutch, English and Spanish.  Once completed you will receive an e-mail confirmation so you don’t even need to print it out if you’re pressed for time.
Benefits of Online ED Program:

  • easy online registration
  • quick processing times
  • current status can be viewed

The best part about this program in the words of the Aruba Airport Authority– “This shortens the waiting time at the Immigration Service and leaves more time to enjoy Aruba!”
(Although it does not guarantee access to Aruba. The decision remains with the immigration officer at the airport.)
– See more: http://prn.to/1OEYz6e

2) iPoolside powered by iPalapa www.ipalapa.com
Day One
–you head out to the beach and would love to enjoy a relaxing day under a palapa–but they’re all already taken…aargh….blood pressure rising!
Day Two–it’s 7AM time to get on line outside by the beach and reserve your palapa….so much for sleeping in…. vacation, huh?!
Later on Day Two–It’s 4PM…time to get on line again to reserve your palapa for tmw. grrr…you were relaxing with family.
Sound familiar?…….

Palapas on the beach at Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort, Spa & Casino

Good News….now you can go “online” to reserve a palapa!

The hassle has finally been solved by the cutting-edge palapa reservation service– iPoolside powered by iPalapa Corporation.
If you’re staying at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Spa Resort & Casino, guests can simply go onto the Hyatt’s wifi in-resort network and locate iPalapa services (ask your concierge for more info) each day at 4PM and select the palapa location you would prefer for the next day. each day at 4PM and select the palapa location you would prefer for the next day. Choose from premium locations for a fee or free options–we tested the tool which allows you to see the entire resort’s inventory—so cool! The service is currently available only at the Aruba Hyatt but they have advised us that iPoolside will soon be available at other neighboring properties.  We predict this service will become the industry standard as it expands into additional markets throughout Latin America and the Caribbean as well.
As a longer term vision, iPalapa will be developing the option to  order food and beverage directly to your palapa without delay for waitstaff.
The interface is extremely easy to use and mobile friendly.
We rate this service the Winner for 2015-2016!

For more information please follow them on:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ipalapareserve
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ipalapareserve

3) The ‘Happy Flow’ Project: Biometric Identifier at Aruba Airport
While this futuristic ‘pilot project’ is currently in the testing stage for the next two years, facial recognition technology will be used to happyflowidentify passengers at check-in, bag drop, border control and aircraft boarding. Once the passenger is identified at the check-in point they are verified through all the stages of the boarding process. It will no longer be necessary to show passports or boarding passes again before reaching the aircraft.

Aruba’s Prime Minister, Mike Eman, announced the launch of the pilot project as “an extremely innovative and important step in the transportation industry for passengers, not only for Aruba, but worldwide”.


If the project is deemed successful it will be expanded according to Joe Nujhuis, CEO and President of Schiphol Group, which manages Aruba’s Airport. He has commented: “With Aruba Happy Flow, together we have made an innovative step to further improve the comfort for the passenger.”


The Happy Flow Project is a collaboration between Aruba, the Netherlands, Aruba Airport Authority, Schiphol Group and KLM.
– See more at: http://www.airport-business.com/2015/06/top-10-airport-innovations-2015-far/#sthash.bH8eCJBj.dpuf

4)  Other Exciting News:

  • The Radisson Aruba has re-launched as the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino
  • The “New” Holiday Inn Resort Aruba – Beach Resort & Casino is even newer and better than ever!
  • The Reina Beatrix International Airport has been fully renovated including an airport wide Wi-Fi upgrade, new Kiosks and additional seating.
  • The city of San Nicolas continues to be developed as a cultural center for the island of Aruba .
  • Player’s Choice Tours, offering the best in Aruba vacations,
    has remodeled their website increasing user experience. Check them out at www.aruba4u.com


Many exciting services are changing the Aruba travel experience with the goal of making your vacation to the Happy Island seamless and stress-free.
Best of all they will save time–your most precious vacation asset!

We hope 2015 was a good year for you and that you will be able to  make your dreams come true with a vacation in Aruba in 2016.