My husband & I went to Aruba for our 1 year anniversary/honeymoon. I loved everything about it! The people were friendly, food was delicious, music was great! (lots of salsa & merengue)-being that I'm from PR, I was dancing the nights away! Eagle beach was the best!! Unfortunately Palm Beach, the beach where this resort is, is not so great. The water was really cloudy-couldn't see your feet in shallow water. Being that it's the caribbean, I was expecting crystal clear blue waters. I assume it's all the boats, jet skis, etc. polluting the water AND all the people getting into the water with suntan oils & sunscreen lotions-being that it's a small area that is roped off for people to swim in. At Palm Beach, if I went into the water, it was on a floating mat (which the resort provides for free). I did not want my feet to touch the ocean floor because it was mushy & almost slimy. So, I would highly recommend Eagle Beach! It was amazingly beautiful!! Just what I expected, crystal clear blue, calm waters & not so crowded like Palm Beach because it's further away from all the resorts. Although, it is about a 15-20 minute walk from the Marriott. We took a cab, about $10. The check-in was nice. We were greeted with some refreshing tropical drinks & a tray of fresh fruits were sent up to our room. We had a partial view of the pool which was OK because we spent all our days on the beach until sunset.
As for the resort, I will say that they tried to offer us the "Tradewinds" all you can eat-it was approx. $110pp/per night. We calculate that we wouldn't end up spending that much on food & drinks, which we didn't. Also, you can only eta & drink at the Tradewinds club which was on another floor. It was an inconvenience. It limits you & it's expensive. We had all you can eat breakfast at Moomba's bar & grill for $10/pp (it's walking distance from resort). We had lunch at the pool bar, which we ended up ordering one entree & sharing it because they serve such large portions (the cuban sandwich was good!). For drinks, we bought a few bottles of liquor at the duty free in the airport which saved us some $$ & we went to all the happy hours for 2 for 1 drinks (The Miami Vice at the pool bar is GOOD!). We did splurge on dinner. We went to several restaurants which we recommend; Gianni's Italian (recommend the Sangria & Shrimp scampi), Tango Argentine Grill *recommend the grilled chorizo (both on the mains trip), Simply fish (on the beach at the resort-highly recommend the banana coconut cake!) and Flying Fish Bone (it's about a 30-45m cab ride, approx. $35-40) but SO WORTH IT! I recommend the Peruvian ceviche and chocolate ravioli (I will write more reviews on the restaurants).
For transportation, we took the public bus which stops outside the front of the resort. It's about $1.10 for 2 people and it drops you off right on the main strip where you can walk to all the shops, bars & restaurants. If you want to travel around the island, rent a car but if you're staying within the resort area, take the local bus. It's safe & the people are friendly & helpful. On the late night outs, we took a cab back because the bus stops running around 9-10PM. The only thing I will say about safety is for the ladies, if you're going with a group of girlfriends, just stick together at all times. That goes for anywhere but because of what's happened in the past in Aruba, just be aware & watch out for each other.
For the tours, we did the following: Jolly Rancher Pirate Cruise (lots of fun-good snorkeling, good food & drinks, and a swinging rope!), Paddle boarding (great workout-must have good balance & coordination) If you've been kayaking, this will be easy. And we did a tour to baby beach (another beautiful beach with good snorkeling), rock formations (spotted the 1st blue lizard), and the Natural pool, which I was not too impressed. I mean, it's a beautiful view but the water on that side of the island was ROUGH. Even though the natural pool is surrounded by huge rock formations that break the powerful waves, I did not feel safe. Especially when we didn't have life vests & one of the waves that crashed into the natural pool pushed my husband away while he was snorkeling. Luckily, he's a good swimmer & doesn't panic & was able to swim out of it. The ride to the natural pool was an adventure in itself. It's a very bumpy, rocky ride but it was fun & we saw lots of sheep running around.
The best time to go to Aruba is Sept.-Oct. which is considered low season. We ended up being the only ones on the tour so we got a private jeep tour of the island :) The temperature was perfect, about 85 degrees weather, no rain but very windy-no humidity.
All in all, we would definitely go back!