We just returned from a week in Aruba. I have found that arriving early helps to secure the room location I am seeking when I travel. That did not work out at this Marriott timeshare. We even stayed O/N at the Marriott Hotel next door in an attempt to get a high floor at the Ocean Club (by arriving at 9 a.m.), but were offered only a ground floor, albeit one right at the beach end (they said we could move to the third floor on Monday, but who wants to pack up again?). I am not an owner, but do trade a very in-demand timeshare, so we were disappointed in not getting a better ocean view. After having stayed at the Marriott Hotel, on the 8th floor the night before, though, I realized it was so hot, I would not be using the balcony anyway. Plus, the location was an easy walk to the beach and far enough away from the pool noise that it was pleasant. I did speak directly with a manager about the low floor (I did not not wait for the front desk staff to advocate for me because I do agree that the front desk staff at OC are either inept or waiting for a tip or something but in any event are terrible). The manager offered us consolations such as access to the lazy river (which we used only twice) for the week.
The layout of the two bedroom villa with one adult child (18) is superb. Privacy for both rooms is complete. When she was younger I did not like the lock-off, but I joked that this time she used it as a "lock-OUT" but at least she still vacationed with us! My DH, who is a VERY particular traveller said, without prompting and at the end of our week, "Well, I have no complaints about the Ocean Club." That is a stellar review from him!
Our teen was a little sad whenever we walked by the Surf Club because many teens stay at the Surf Club and very few do at the Ocean Club. After spending time on the lazy river, though, I realized I would have gone stir crazy at Surf Club with SO many kids there! Surf Club sounds like a rollicking good time, but not relaxing. As much as I love my kid, and wanted her to enjoy vacation, I am very glad we were at the Ocean Club. Perhaps the OC, since it does have a notable number of older children with their parents, could provide an opportunity for them to mingle, by either creating events for 18-25 year olds or be VERY clear up front that OC teens can attend Surf Club activities (I did see an invitation to Surf Club volleyball mentioned on the outside activities board late in our week). OC also seemed more international, which I liked, while Surf Club full of New Yorkers and New Jersey residents (being from NY, I am just saying the difference made the week feel more interesting).
This time of year, palapas (beach huts) were easy to secure. By 8:15 a.m., my DH dutifully went out to reserve our (free, third row) palapa each day and was always able to get one. I did not find OC too noisy, but I am used to timeshares and the activities they offer.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.