I am sailing on the 2/20/2005 Legend of the Seas Panama Canal cruise. The first port of call is Aruba. Has anyone been there? What is there to do? Are there tour operators that you can get a the ship docking area or do you need to use the cruise ship shore excursions? Any thing recommended that I shouldn't miss?
I might add we do not party or drink but really like all kinds of watersports and adventure type activities.
We were in Aruba in April, 2003. We hired a taxi driver right at the pier to take us on a tour of the island. It was about 2 hours and cost about $20. pp. We wanted to see the Natural Bridge on the other side of the island and several other areas of interest on the island. It was a great tour. There are many taxi's right where you get off the ship, and they will take you where ever you would like to go. Don't know what type of independent tour operators are there. After we got back, we just walked into town, right there, and they have lots of shops and also there is gambling on the island. So we did a litttle gambling and bought a few souvenirs while there. You could also take a bus over to the beach area. They run about every hour and they cost either $1. or $2. pp.
Aruba was our favorite island, and waiting to go back for a week's land vacation hopefully in 2006! Hope this helps some.
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RCCL Mariner of the Sea (Mexican Riviera) 4-18-10
We took the half day jeep safari offered by the ship and really enjoyed it. Later, we took a taxi to Palm Beach where all the resort hotels are. At Palm Beach, they have all sorts of watersports or it's a nice place to lay in the sun.
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We stopped in Aruba a couple of years ago. We rented a convertible Jeep from a place right near the pier and drove the entire island. Enjoyed the Natural Bridge, lighthouse, beaches and snorkelling at Baby beach. It is very easy to navigate the island, cost about $60, and gave us the flexibility we like. There is also decent shops and restaurants to peruse after you are finished drivin. Try it.
I would reccomend just taking a taxi tour of the island. Go to the Natural Bridge and Aloe Vera factory. Then to the beach. There are watersports available there. Very nice beaches. Arrange to have to same taxi pick you up at a pre- arranged time. The taxi drivers charge about half what the ship tours are and are just as good.
Also do a little shopping. I loved Aruba. The island is so clean and the people are so freindly and helpful. I definately want to go back there again.
We are booked for Brilliance in march & signed up for a short Catamaran trip to Palm Beach & then after beach activities they take you to the wreck & the lighthouse. It includes an open bar & island music but in the morning not sure how much of a value that is.. After that we can always get a cab to see the other natural sights--if we want or shop a bit & relax.. We are going to dinner at El Gaucho