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Aruba: Pix's, Fun, Experiences Feb./2015!


TLCOhio
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From our February 14, 2015, Valentine's Day, Aruba visit, here is first some background on this island in what is called the Dutch ABC's.

 

In a parking lot this morning, we saw this phrase on the license plates: "One Happy Island". Seems to fit and we can understand why is is used as the official motto of Aruba. Aruba's economy is fueled by tourists' dollars, totally now about 70% of their economy. This island is more focused on tourism than the neighboring islands Bonaire and Curacao. Most Arubans speak English and accept U.S. currency, and shops located in and around the port area are American -- Tommy Hilfiger, Diamonds International, plus even as in smaller towns, there was Taco Bell, McDonalds, etc.

 

Aruba has a rich, layered heritage. The first people to inhabit the island were a nation of Arawak Indians. (The name Aruba seems to have derived from the Arawak Indian word oibubai, which means guide.) In 1499, the Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda laid claim to the territory for Queen Isabella. Nearly 200 years later, the Dutch captured the islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire from the Spanish, and much of that heritage can be seen in its pastel Old World architecture.

 

On Aruba, you do not come here for the old, historic buildings. It is for the diversions and some describe Aruba as the Caribbean's theme park. Lots and lots of casinos, duty-free shops, more than two dozen dive sites, a few famous shipwrecks and even a championship golf course. Lots of cactus here and then there are Aruba's trademark divi trees that always point in a southwesterly direction (due to trade winds that blow from the northeast). Loved this morning seeing the sandy beaches that ring the island.

 

Located only 20 miles north of Venezuela, temperatures are consistently pleasant (lows in the 70s, highs in the 80s). There is no "rainy" season as its rainfall is very limited and averages only about 20" total for a year. Its location is far below the Atlantic hurricane belt. Aruba's dry climate makes it home to large mondis (forests of cacti). As we drove around the island during our overview-introduction tour, you could feel like you are in Arizona, rather than the Caribbean!

 

Lots of pictures to be shared here. Many more details, islands, etc., can be seen on the full live/blog connected below. Happy to share more and answer any added questions on that live/blog thread.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 28,877 views for these postings.

 

 

Our first stop in Aruba was at the site of the "Natural Bridge". The big one collapsed a few years back, but there is still a smaller version. You can see below a sampling for the other drama here as the waves roll in along this barren, but scenic part of the island.:

 

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We covered a wide range of the island, including the residential areas, airport, etc. Then we headed to the California Lighthouse shown below. Plus, also here are a couple of views from that location. This includes just a few of the many, many dessert-style cacti growths that cover this dry island.:

 

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Edited by TLCOhio
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Below are more visuals from very interesting Aruba. It is good to be able to get a nice sampling for ALL three of these so-called Dutch ABC islands. Hope these pictures and details either bring back nice memories . . . OR . . . give a little preview for those planning visits here in this far southern part of the Caribbean.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 120,303 views for this posting.

 

 

We did a stop at an Aloe processing location on Aruba. Kind of touristy, but interesting to see and learn more. Plus, my wife did some serious shopping here. Our MasterCard saw the draining impact for that commercial exercising. You can see how parts of these plants are cut and the magic interior liquid drained for processing. Second is picture from their fields where the plants are grown with in the distant background is shown the arrival of the large Carnival Triumph ship coming into this port at mid-day.:

 

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Lots of pretty flowers on this island! Below is one example from near the lighthouse.:

 

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Here is one of the colorful and interesting shopping buildings we could see from the docking location of our ship. Lots and lots of retail here, but we fortunately avoid that type of activity.:

 

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In returning to our ship from the beach, here was the colorful back of a bus promoting their popular local beer. Fun design, right? Notice the blue license plate at the bottom left side of this bus with its slogan of "One Happy Island"?:

 

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Below is another set of pictures from Aruba. Nice stop here to sample this island, see its sights and avoid too much of those "retail" shopping experiences that my wallet seeks to avoid.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 186,131 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

Aruba's Eagle Beach gets high marks as the top beach on this island. Some even mention it as one of the best in the world. We can understand why. It is about six miles long with amazing sand. Busy, but not too crowded. We came back later in the afternoon via a cab to enjoy its fun, people, sights, activities, etc. At one end of the beach, however, are lots of high-riise hotels/housing. Personally, we prefer more of the low-rise, less-busy settings. The varied shades of the blue waters were so great. We had a fun part of the afternoon to be here. BUT, it was hot this day with a very intense sun. Did we enjoy? See the picture proof!:

 

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Here are some more varied views and examples from what we experienced during day in Aruba. These had not been previously posted on my live/blog that is linked below.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 28,877 views for these postings.

 

 

Here are some more examples of sights and options in and around Aruba. This includes some of the rough, rocky coastal areas, a long view from the lighthouse to the concentration of hotel/resorts areas, some plant/tree examples, their fun license plate and an example of the Aloe products produce on this island.:

 

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Wrapping up most of my visuals from Aruba, here is a final sampling. Lots to love and see here. This was our first visit to the Dutch ABC Islands.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 120,303 views for this posting

 

 

Here are five more visuals from Aruba. This includes an example for how wind-blown can be certain of their trees, a variety of added beach views in and around Eagle Beach and finally an interesting mix of a pine tree and one of the many tankers seen off of the coast of Aruba.:

 

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I noticed chaise loungers and palapas.. where were you able to rent them?...thanks for sharing your photos

 

Appreciate your nice comments/follow-up on my pictures from Aruba. We were there in the middle section at Eagle Beach in the afternoon and were not spending a huge amount of time there. BUT, as I re-call, there were some options and/or a process to rent those loungers, etc. A couple had been leaving and offered their loungers to us and we used them for a certain amount of time. Sorry that I do know the exact details, costs, etc.

 

The nice thing about Eagle Beach is that it is very, very long and wide. Lots of room!! And along most of its length, it is not lined and/or overshadowed by big high-rises, high-density housing/hotels. At one end of this beach are those bigger housing/hotel places, but the result that morning and afternoon was that this prime beach did not seem to be too congested or jammed. Wonderful beach area.

 

Many sources, including U.S. News, rank this beach as the top attraction in Aruba. From Fodors, they say, in part: "Aruba's most photographed beach and widest by far, especially in front of the Manchebo resort, Eagle Beach is not only a favorite with visitors and locals, but also of sea turtles. More sea turtles nest here than anywhere else on the island. This pristine stretch of blinding white sand and aqua surf frequently ranks ranks among the best beaches in the world."

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 28,972 views for these postings.

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Thanks for sharing. Taking this weekend to start planning our excursions for our Southern Caribbean trip in January, which includes the ABCs. You're certainly giving me some good ideas! :p

 

Hatteras51: I loved your pictures of some of my favorite places! You were there the day after we left to come home from our last Aruba vacation.

 

Appreciate these nice follow-ups and kind comments. For the other two of the ABC islands' date=' I have just posted added details and pictures for Bonaire and Curacao. Check out those multiple posts on this Caribbean section of these Cruise Critic boards. Let me know any added info needs and/or ways that I can be helpful. Good luck with your adventure planning.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio[/font']

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 186,397 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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From the New York Times Travel Section in Nov. 2013, they have this headline: "36 Hours in Aruba" with these highlights: "Averaging 82 sunny degrees year round, fringed with blond beaches and lapped by turquoise shallows, Aruba lets the climate do the talking when it comes to appealing to tourists. Beach lovers flock here, happy to claim a chaise with a paperback in one hand and a cold Balashi beer in the other. But the Dutch island’s manageable 20-by-6-mile dimensions and its desert landscape — calm and sandy on one coast, rough and rocky on the other — make it an explorer’s island, too. Notably multicultural, with Dutch, the Creole-like Papiamento, Spanish and English commonly spoken, the island is also increasingly sophisticated, with an aloe-focused spa, a new avant-garde restaurant and a Ritz-Carlton resort."

 

There is a 12-picture slideshow associated with this travel story. Among the many and varied highlights and options that this Times reporting summary cited include:

"hilltop California Lighthouse, a whitewashed 1910 signal tower named for a ship that sank before its construction",

"shopping on Aruba tends to involve either the same luxury-end diamond and fashion outlets seen in every popular Caribbean cruise port or cheap trinkets and T-shirts",

"aloe thrives in the island’s desert environment, much to the benefit of sunburned tourists",

"Aruba’s culinary landscape is as varied as its people, with options ranging from Dutch pancakes to Italian pasta, Brazilian steakhouses and American fast food",

"the opposite side, where the surf crashes against limestone cliffs, is Aruba’s most beautiful" and

"night life on Aruba tends to center on the predinner cocktail hour when the sun dips into the ocean and the rum flows freely".

 

For those visiting Aruba on a cruise ship, you will not have a total of 36 hours to be there, but it is important to think ahead about your priorities and what you most want to do and see compared to for your other Caribbean stops.

 

Full story at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/travel/36-hours-in-aruba.html?action=click&contentCollection=travel&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=88&pgtype=collection

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 29,416 views for these postings.

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  • 1 month later...

From the USA Today newspaper this past Friday, they have this headline: "Readers' Choice: Best of the Caribbean" with these highlights: "The Caribbean is a diverse region filled with adventure, bold flavors, shopping opportunities and plenty of places to party. We asked readers to name the best for adventure, food, golf, shopping and nightlife. For the past four weeks, readers have been voting daily and the results are in!"

 

Aruba did well!! Among the five categories, Aruba was in the top seven for all of the Caribbean islands in their rankings for nightlife, shopping and golf. This includes being ranked as number three for shopping. As noted earlier, we very much loved our day in and around Aruba with its excellent range/offerings for its sights, activities, etc. And beaches?? This survey did not rank and test this category, but we really loved their superstar of Eagle Beach!!

 

Full story at:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2015/11/13/10best-readers-choice-caribbean-winners/75722646/

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 32,373 views for these postings.

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  • 4 weeks later...

From the Boston Globe Dec. 5, they have this headline: "Aruba is a desert island you can fall in love with" with these highlights: "People seem to love this place: TripAdvisor.com named Aruba as one of the top 10 best destinations in the Caribbean. Well-traveled friends sing its praises."

 

Lots of details, ideas and options are outlined in this travel story. Among the added highlights: "Score one for Aruba when it came to weather. Aruba is a bit 'out there,' geographically; the 19½-mile long, 6-mile-wide island lies in the Caribbean Sea just 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela, and about 890 nautical miles from the equator. The flag of the Kingdom of the Netherlands flies here, but nearly everyone on the island speaks English. The beach is lovely, especially at sunset, when the sand looks silvery under a sherbet-hued sky. "

 

Fun article with pictures that brings back nice memories from our visit to Aruba.

 

Full story at:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2015/12/05/aruba-you-made-love-you-and-didn-want/BVukQmNHSFPoVZhoxkTBfI/story.html

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 128,350 views for this posting.

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Hi Terry, I have really enjoyed all of your pictures and info that you have provided. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your time in Aruba. From what I've read, I think that you would love spending a week or two on the island. If you ever decide to do that, let me know and I can give you lots of advice on where to stay, things to do, and great restaurants. I'll be there for three weeks this year. Can't wait :):):)

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Hi Terry, I have really enjoyed all of your pictures and info that you have provided. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your time in Aruba. From what I've read, I think that you would love spending a week or two on the island. If you ever decide to do that, let me know and I can give you lots of advice on where to stay, things to do, and great restaurants. I'll be there for three weeks this year. Can't wait :):):)

 

Appreciate your added follow-up and kind comments. Glad to know you're a person of such high class, great taste and wonderful judgment to make these generous comments.

 

While we would like to visit Aruba and certain other Caribbean locations more for the future. BUT, however, Aruba is not on our immediate return agenda. Why? There other places in the world we want to see and do while our bodies can do such travel and our money holds up. This includes in late January getting ready to fly to Cape Town for South Africa, Mozambique, Victoria Falls and Botswana. Plus, there are places such as China and SE Asia where we have not yet visited. And, from Central Ohio, there are air connections to Aruba, but other sunny locations that might quicker and easier to reach. Maybe, it will work in later years. Just not in the next few years for us. Glad you enjoy Aruba so much.

 

Good luck for your upcoming three weeks in Aruba. Should be sunny, warm and super nice.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Dozens of nice visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc. We are now at 207,135 views for this live/blog re-cap, including much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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Appreciate your added follow-up and kind comments. Glad to know you're a person of such high class, great taste and wonderful judgment to make these generous comments.

 

While we would like to visit Aruba and certain other Caribbean locations more for the future. BUT, however, Aruba is not on our immediate return agenda. Why? There other places in the world we want to see and do while our bodies can do such travel and our money holds up. This includes in late January getting ready to fly to Cape Town for South Africa, Mozambique, Victoria Falls and Botswana. Plus, there are places such as China and SE Asia where we have not yet visited. And, from Central Ohio, there are air connections to Aruba, but other sunny locations that might quicker and easier to reach. Maybe, it will work in later years. Just not in the next few years for us. Glad you enjoy Aruba so much.

 

Good luck for your upcoming three weeks in Aruba. Should be sunny, warm and super nice.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Dozens of nice visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc. We are now at 207,135 views for this live/blog re-cap, including much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

It sounds like you have some amazing plans. I'd love to see pictures from those adventures. :)

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It sounds like you have some amazing plans. I'd love to see pictures from those adventures. :)

 

Appreciate that kind encouragement. YES, plan to do a live/blog for these Jan-Feb. 2016 Africa adventure travels. Will post a link here and in other places as that posting starts to roll. Part of the fun in doing a live/blog is getting varied questions, comments, tips, etc., as one travels. Look on the Silversea CC Board starting around Jan. 28. That board can be accessed at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=183

 

Per below, you can see lots more pictures and details on sailing 1000 miles up the Amazon River and visiting ten different Caribbean islands from earlier this year.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 33,138 views for these postings.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I love blogs. I'll follow you while I'm escaping winter in sunny Aruba! We leave Jan. 29th.

 

Appreciate your follow-up. Hope when you are in Aruba later this month that the weather and things work well. When you return, report back and post some of your highlights, what you enjoyed most there, etc. If you read any of my blogs, don't be shy! Let me know any added questions, comments of interest, suggestions, etc. Getting ready later this month to depart for South Africa, Botswana, Victoria Falls, etc. More live-blogging!!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 131,261 views for this posting.

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Lots of pretty flowers on this island! Below is one example from near the lighthouse.:

 

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Beautiful pic :)

 

 

In returning to our ship from the beach, here was the colorful back of a bus promoting their popular local beer. Fun design, right? Notice the blue license plate at the bottom left side of this bus with its slogan of "One Happy Island"?:

 

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My friend has a licence plate from Aruba which she put on her golf cart. :cool:

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Thanks for all the great pics. It certainly looks like you had a great time in Aruba. Did you explore it with a tour group or did you rent a vehicle?

 

Hatteras51: Hi Terry. Thanks for posting the link. I plan to follow along.

 

Appreciate these nice comments and follow-ups. When we visited Aruba' date=' we did a morning overview tour through our ship that gave us a good sampling for many of the various, key sites and locations around on this island. We did not want to do the hassle for getting of a rental car, driving on our own, navigating, etc. Nor wasting time waiting on public transit, etc.

 

Although this island is not that big or complicated, for our purposes, it was good to not have to worry on any of those [b']"logistics"[/b]. Then, in the afternoon, on our own, we got a taxi to take us to excellent Eagle Island. Things worked well for our time there in Aruba. We got a good sampling, but did not have to worry too much to make it all happen. Does this help? Any other questions, comments?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 191,813 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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