My daughter went to Aruba, and did a excursion called hmm coo coo canoochoo..or something like that name....she had a blast...they rode a bus to different bars..shaking marocas and singing....was really great she said.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a better island in the Caribbean than Aruba. As Donna mentioned, the ships docks directly downtown. You have several options as to what to do. My suggestion for first-timers is a jeep tour through the cunucu, or countryside. Despite being only 6 miles by 19 miles in size, the terrain on the northern coast of Aruba is like a moonscape. Rugged, dusty and barren. The trip will take you to several sights, including an old Spanish gold smelting building, the Natural Bridge, where water has made a bridge from the shoreline, a little old chapel, Alta Vista. which provides awesome views and even to some beaches where you can swim. You should dress in very casual attire, such as swim suits, shorts and tee's. You'll need a shower when you return. Another option is to take a cab ride to Eagle or Palm Beach, about $7 for the whole cab. Eagle Beach is opposite the LaCabana resort and is fairly expansive. My suggestion is to go to Palm Beach. You must remember that even though the beaches are public, the cabanas are for hotel guests only. You should bring your own towel. By being at Palm Beach you'll have access to many immendities, such as hotel bathrooms (nobody will stop you, just act like a guest). All hotels are easily accessible and food is readily available. Take a stroll on the concrete boardwalk which lies just to the backside of the hi-rise hotels. Shopping in Aruba is plentiful, but don't look to negotiate, except on jewelry. In buying jewelry, in most of the stores, you should never pay more than 30% of the tagged price. For instance, if the gold necklace is marked $2000., you should be able to negotiate the price to around $600. For best shopping from the cruise ships, walk directly from the ship to the main street, about 300 yards, take a right about 200 yards to the Crystal Mall, walk through the mall to the other side, and then head right about 45 degs. past the Brentano's store. You see a big 5 and 10 named LaLinda. You can buy souvenirs here or head right down the street. Don't expect great bargains. Most of the merchandise comes through NYC. Lastly, Aruba is one of the safest islands, it's inhabitants highly educated and very friendly.
Gary knows what he is talking about. Just got back from Aruba last week. We shopped
then did a boat trip with snorkeling and a stop on Palm beach, then shopped some more. Beautiful, safe , clean and friendly island. My favorate port in the Caibbean.
Not getting enough gambling on board? There are also 13 or 14 casinos in Aruba
including two in walking distance from the ship.
There are actually 11 casinos in Aruba, with two being downtown, the Alhambra serving the low rises area of town, Royal Casino serving LaCabana and Eagle Beach, and the rest in the hotels of the hi-rises. Crystal Casino, on the second floor of the Crystal Mall, is open 24 hours, probably because of the tourists from the cruise ships. The other casino downtown is the Seaport Casino, located just a little past the Crystal Mall, but on the water side of the street. I'm actually not too sure about the hours of the Seaport casino. All other casinos don't really open until 4:00 PM. The casinos average about 10,000 sq. ft in size. Foxwoods they are not!! You'll find slots, black jack, let it ride, Caribbean stud at some, craps and roulette at most. Live poker ($5-$10 stud and $15-$30 Hold'em) is only available at the Holiday Inn, near at the end of Palm Beach, and the tables don't open until 8:00 PM.
Thanks, you guys are thorough! I'm going to Aruba again in March and will have alot of time there. I wanted to look around the stores, go to a beach and the casinso this time, just kind of bum around! Now I know I can do that!
I did the 4 x 4 tour last time, incl. snorkeling/lunch at the island. It was the best tour I've ever taken but once is enough. Tour was well worth it, but it is a busy day.