We have made two land vacations in Aruba, and a cruise port of call to this
wonderful island. Wonderful restaurants, great beaches, and usually guaranteed
sunshine (it is outside the hurricane belt, and is considered an arid island with
little rainfall- sort of like the American southwest or Palm Springs).
Shopping: walking distance from the pier! Good buys on anything from the
Netherlands- gouda cheese, delftware, dutch linen. Aruban souveniers in
the form of minature cunucu houses (country houses), flags, t-shirts, etc.
Restaurants: Wonderful restaurants! I'll give you a list of websites on Aruba for
more information on that and other general Aruba information at the end of this
Snorkeling: If you want to snorkel on your own, get a taxi and go to Baby Beach
which is located about 30 minutes from the terminal. The snorkeling there is
reputed to be very good. Another site to snorkel is DePalm Island-- there is a
website for DePalm Tours you can go to for more information. The Antilla
Shipwreck site is also another good site for snorkeling. One of the Aruba websites
I will give you has some beach and snorkeling information.
Beaches: Two main beaches-- Eagle Beach (includes Manchebo Beach which is
topless optional) in the lowrise hotel section (nearest the cruise terminal) and
farther north about a couple miles is Palm Beach, located in the high rise hotel
section. You can arrange to rent a beach chair and umbrella at one of the hotels
to use the beach and their facilities-- about $20 for chair, umbrella and towel, as I
recall. However, I'm sure the rental fee varies with the hotels. The watersports
concessions are located on Palm Beach. Again, the websites I will refer you
to will have maps of the beach areas.
Additionally, these websites also have bulletin boards where you can ask questions
about Aruba and what to do and see there. Restaurant information, excursions will
all be there for you to peruse. If you are going to be in Aruba late, such as until
midnight, check out the possibility of taking a Kukoo Kunuku party bus tour. This
is a party bus that takes you to some of the local bars for fun and partying and good
music. You will get a free drink at each bar. It is a real blast, and if possible, don't
miss it! Info on that is at the last website.
Hope this helps and have a great cruise!