NOTE: This article was written by guest writer Sonny Vallejos. She’s been coming to Aruba with her husband for 20 years and love it so much here they even purchased a condo.
While visiting Aruba this week with my son and his wife, we took them to a restaurant we have in all of these years never been. It was highly recommended for the food and service. The restaurant Old Fisherman was your typical Aruban restaurant with plenty of island ambiance but not over the top.
As we were seated all four of us were given menus. My daughter-in-law received one which showed the prices in florins while the rest of us were given menus showing the prices in U.S. dollars. We started comparing the prices. You know trying to convert the florins into U.S. dollars. While it just started out as a learning process of converting florins to dollars, we began to notice a huge discrepancy between the amount charged in florins and the amount in dollars. We then asked the waiter why there was a difference in the menu prices and had one or the other not been updated. The waiter replied that my daughter-in-law received the wrong menu. She was given by mistake the menu for the locals.
Old Fisherman in Oranjestad
Well, now we were furious. We have owned our own home here in Aruba for the past 5 years and a time share prior to that, so we have been considered “locals” by many vendors just by showing our deed. However, at the Old Fisherman’s if we didn’t have a “card” then we were not considered locals and would be charged the prices in U.S. dollars, which by the way was at least 10 to 15% more in price. After several conversations with the manager, Old Fisherman finally agreed to giving us the local’s price for this one time only.
While I do believe that the locals in Aruba should be given discounts in some areas I feel that we should all be charged the same to eat at a restaurant. Why should tourists be charged differently?