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Everything you needed to know about the beaches in ARUBA


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We recently returned from a 10 day land vacation in Aruba. It was AMAZING! We hit up every beach that we possibly could. We stayed on Eagle Beach and distance from Eagle Beach to the tip of the eastern island (by Baby Bay) was about 45 minutes with the construction currently going on. (So probably around 35 minutes from the cruise port). From the cruise port to the tip of the western island is about 15 minutes and very simple and fast. I'm not going to give full reports (like I usually do in a cruise review), but I'll tell a little about each place. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

TO THE WEST END OF THE SOUTHERN BEACHES (starting from the most southwestern point).

 

 

 

ARASHI

 

 

 

Starting with Arashi at the tip of the western side. We first went here (by cruise ship) a few months ago and loved it. This is what prompted us to come back for a land vacation. You can find my full review HERE with pictures embedded. It starts around post #426 (in the cab and on the way to Arashi).

 

 

Arashi has an outdoor restaurant/bar to buy drinks and food. They have an outside shower for $1 and restrooms are $1 (although they've never charged my husband each time...not sure why).

 

 

You can rent chairs and umbrellas there, but beware, depending on what time you rent, you might not get much use out of them because they collect them and close up around 5-6pm (but still charge the full price without telling you when you rent them). They do have palapas spread out around the beach, but you'd have to get there early to use them...or later in the day when people start to leave.

 

 

The bus does have a stop here.

 

 

In my opinion, snorkeling isn't the greatest here, but if you head left of the beach and around (you'll see the boats and pirate ships that take their tours there), you'll be able to reach the snorkeling spot. My suggestion is to go over to Boca Catalina and snorkel to the right. It's MUCH EASIER that way. Starting from Arashi, it's very very hard to enter the water over on the left hand side. The rocks stick out up out of the water in many places or it's very close to the surface and with the waves going in and out, it's hard to maneuver around and sorta dangerous. If you enter over at Boca Catalina, there's a sandy entrance, head to the right and it's fairly easy to get there. The water isn't very deep and an easy swim. Just my thoughts.

 

 

HERE ARE MY PICTURES FROM ARASHI

 

 

BOCA CATALINA

 

 

Boca Catalina is situated along the beaches in the Malmok Beach area and right before you get to Arashi. It's a very small beach, but each time we went there, it was never really very crowded.

 

 

They do have palapas to sit under and a little bit of natural shade. I noticed some lounge chairs chained up, but never once seen anyone renting them.

 

 

They have a cute little box in the parking lot that looks like a birdhouse/house and they have books in them. You are welcome to take a book to read while on the beach and return. What a great idea!

 

 

The water is fairly sandy, as long as you stay within the smaller area that is roped off. But...go to the right (when facing the beach) and swim over and out and you'll find some pretty good snorkeling! This way is a lot easier than going over to Arashi and getting there. The water is fairly shallow on the swim there and you can stand up most of the way. You'll come to a very sandy area and then see a small "wall" where the rocks and coral go up and this entire area is the snorkeling area. You'll see all the boats and pirate ship tours bringing people there all day to snorkel. You can easily do it for free and go on your own. So easy. I was pretty impressed with the snorkeling and coral. It's not a huge area, but it definitely kept me busy for awhile exploring. You definitely must try it if you love to snorkel.

 

 

I highly recommend this cute little beach and snorkeling area. It's much easier to get to the snorkeling area from this beach than from Arashi imo.

 

HERE ARE MY PICTURES

 

 

 

MALMOK

 

 

I'm really confused about this particular area. I tried to do research on it prior to coming to Aruba and thought I had it all figured out. I seen on google earth there is a place called "Malmok Beach" and were told we would be scuba diving at Malmok.

 

 

We were beach hopping along this coast and I pulled over to check this area out. It was a very rocky shore line and I only seen one or two entrances to get down into the water, which was also rocky as well getting down there. I got out to take some pictures and found a scuba diving couple that was gearing up and walking down into the water. I stopped to talk to them and they confirmed that this was indeed Malmok. They said it was an awesome place to dive (and snorkel) but made a comment about there's usually so many snorkelers here that it makes diving a task and they didn't like coming when there were snorkelers here.

 

 

I'm not sure why there wasn't anyone here this day. They were the only ones but there was a boat off in the distance. I didn't see anyone snorkeling out by the boat. Maybe they were scuba divers already down under the water.

 

 

I knew that our dive company we hired for our Discover Scuba had said we were going to "Malmok" to dive. I figured this was the place. I decided not to stay here since these particular people expressed their dislike of snorkelers and since we would be diving here, I'd get to see it the "good" way anyhow. I only stopped long enough to take some pictures and then we were off again.

 

 

***However, when we went diving, this is NOT the place they took us to. We went to Tres Trapi instead. So, I did hear others mention that "Malmok" is the area and not necessarily the name of the beach. Maybe I was confused even though it list Malmok as a beach on the maps. I never did get to snorkel this area and I'm pretty darn sure that this would be an amazing place from the looks of it. Next time I come back, I'll definitely be coming here, scuba divers or not!*** But if you are on an adventure to snorkel, I would say (based on what I've heard from others and the locals, this is a great place...just not much of a beach)

 

PICTURES LOCATED HERE

 

 

 

TRES TRAPI

 

 

This place is located in Malmok and is supposed to be an amazing place for snorkelers. This time around we did not get to snorkel, but went scuba diving the day we were there instead.

 

 

There were a lot of people (especially kids-I think locals) here that day, jumping from the rocks into the water and so on.

 

 

The day we visited, the water was a little churned up and very wavy. It was ...let's be honest...a mess! We picked the worse day to go scuba diving. But, I'll share my scuba pictures with you (and you'll see how crazy the water was that day and stirred up).

 

 

There's a wall there, which I imagine would be really beautiful during a nice sunny day with calm water. To get to the wall, you would enter the steps down to the water and facing the ocean, swim to you left and just follow the shore line. The wall dips back to the left again and is fairly shallow in the area.

 

 

OUR SCUBA PICTURES

 

 

FISHERMANS HUT: KITE AND WIND SURFING

 

 

We passed this beach on our way to Arashi when we came by cruise ship. I knew I at least wanted to stop by and watch the kite surfers when we returned this time.

 

 

Kite surfing has always fascinated me and we have seen it several times around the Caribbean. My husband is a roller bladder (for many years) and has dabbled in skateboarding and such (he owns a store for extreme sports: bmx, skateboards, penny boards, blades, scooters, long boards and surf boards) and this is a sport I could see him wanting to try some day. However, we were pressed for time because I was on a mission to spend time at every beach along that area that day. But, a stop there for a short period of time was on the agenda.

 

 

It was a wide stretch of beach and although I didn't really see many out there just swimming and hanging out at the beach, I did see a few here and there. But, maybe they had been kite surfing already or was waiting to learn. They do have a vendor there that teaches you how to kite surf. We watched a person trying to learn the basics, while others had either gotten the hang of it and went on out, or people just came that already knew how. But it was amazing to watch and a lot of fun. The time we passed here in a cab from the cruise ship, there were A LOT of kite surfers. Today, not so many. We did pass this area quite a few times and every time we were passing, there were a lot. Just not today for some reason. Maybe it was the time (later in the day).

 

 

HERE ARE THE PICTURES

 

 

MOOMBA BEACH

 

Some US friends we met on this trip invited us to Moomba Beach for dinner one night. I only got to visit here at night and didn't get many pictures of the beach. Moomba is located right by the Paseo Herencia Mall (or down the street) at Palm Beach. To me, the beach looked pretty small and I imagine it can get crowded during the day, unless only those staying in that area on the beach come here. By the time we left, this place was PACKED!!

 

 

They had a live band playing and people were dancing and drinking and it was a little crazy. They did have security on the premises. Crazy is not really my "thing" so we headed out after a few more pictures.

 

 

The parking lot was jam-packed and absolutely crazy. They had security with a gate not allowing people in because there was no place to park. Those of us parked in the lot had difficulty even trying to get out. Once we got onto the street, you could barely move because everyone was also parked on both sides of the street only leaving room enough for 1 car to go in 1 direction down the street. It was terrible. All I can say is thank goodness I had probably one of the smallest cars ever made. Our friends were driving a jeep and I have no idea how long it took them to get out because we didn't see them behind us all the way out to the main road.doh.gif

 

 

I don't think this is a place I will be returning to, either for the food or for the beach. Just not my thing, too crowded, and small beach area (at least where we were).

 

PICTURES HERE

 

 

EAGLE BEACH

 

We were staying at the Tropicana and Eagle beach is their "home beach" and your stay includes free beach chairs and umbrella. So we decided to check it out.

 

 

This is one of the most popular beaches in Aruba by both people visiting the island to people arriving by cruise ships. I know a lot of cruise ship tours are offered here. It is located in the low rise hotel area and easy to get to from just about anywhere.

 

 

It's a gorgeous beach with fluffy white sand and plenty of beach space. There are some palaya's here and there and several vendors are located on the beach for watersports. I had read that Eagle beach was awarded the 3rd best beach in the world by trip advisor.

 

 

Along the beach area, you'll find some fencing up with signs that tell you that turtle eggs are located in that area and not to go in it. They had an area right were we were staying and I keep hoping that maybe we'd get lucky and see some turtles hatch...but no luck.

 

 

The water was amazing and beautiful, but don't think you'll find much in this area for snorkeling...it's not that kinda place due to the sandy bottom in the water. But it makes for a nice place to swim.

 

 

Now...here's "my" personal issue with the place. I have a small child (9 years old) that is an amazing swimmer, a mermaid and a scuba diver. However...this is the ocean and I don't trust her being out there alone. I must keep an eye on her at all times. Accidents do happen. So, my issue comes with you CAN NOT see the water/shore from the seats on the beach. They are just too far away! It kind of dips down before you go into the water too, which makes it impossible to see. So what does this mean for us? That means that we did not really get to sit on the chairs and relax at all because we had to rotate watching our daughter in the water (who doesn't EVER come out of the water...like ever...unless it's time to leave and even then it's a challenge). I love the water and beach. I hardly ever take the time to sit and relax, but...I did not want to burn either and be sitting in the sun the entire day. Not possible here. Then of course if you don't have the worries of watching a child and can enjoy sitting under the palapas, what do you do when you go to the water to swim or cool off? You certainly can not see your chairs or belongings. Someone would have to stay back with them or chance it.

 

 

For these reasons, Eagle Beach was not one of my favorites. At least not this particular area of the beach. Maybe there are other area's that weren't so far away from the water.

 

 

We did come here several times during our stay. After that first beach day here, we would run over and watch the sunset in the evening and it was nice to sit right along the water line or float in the water during the sunset. But we didn't get chairs that time and it was later in the evening so we didn't have to worry about too much sun.

 

HERE ARE MY PICTURES, WHICH INCLUDED A DAY THERE AND OTHER DAYS WATCHING THE SUNSET

 

 

DUNES BEACH-other side of the island across from (and very close to) Arashi Beach and the California Lighthouse.

 

 

We stumbled upon this "beach" (and I use this term lightly) when we had spent the day beach hopping and ending the day going toward the lighthouse for pictures. I knew that a lot of the beaches on the north side of the island were not "beaches" that you could swim at or really hang out because of lack of sand and swimable water, but figured since we were over here, we might as well check it out.

 

 

So off we went. It said it was called Dunes Beach, but I believe others may also refer to it as the California Dunes area. The road that leads here is VERY bumpy. If you are in a car (like I was), you really have to take it slow, let the trucks and dune buggys pass and you'll do fine. There were a lot of bikers (bicycles) in this area. I'm adventurous, but not that adventurous. This fluffy girl would probably have a heart attack or heat stroke trying to ride a bike in this area.

 

 

The waves were crashing on the rocks and it's a very rocky beach area. Well...I should say "coral" beach. It was beautiful with everyplace you step or look tons of coral lined the beach stacked on top of each other. I'm not sure if this stuff washes up here like this or it was placed here but I have never seen so much of it before. If anyone knows the history of how it got like this, please share.

 

 

My daughter and I went out to check it out and the hubby stayed in the car in the a/c. He was wore out from beach hopping and it was very hot outside. But I'm up for just about anything most of the time and I at least had to take a look and get pictures. I'm glad I decided to get out and at least take a look due to the abundance amount of corals lining the beach. I mean after all, I didn't drive that bumpy road leading there for nothing.

 

HERE ARE MY PICTURES

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Heading toward the east...here are the beaches we went to

 

MANGEL HALTO

 

Mangel Halto is located on the southeastern shore, toward San Nicolas, and in Pos Chiquito. I knew that this was supposed to be an awesome place for snorkeling and it was one of the options that the scuba dive company we would be using on this trip was considering taking us to.

 

 

The beach area was sand with palapas along the trees and mangroves and they had little entrances (between the mangroves) every so often to the water. We kept heading straight and it lead us to a beach-looking area, but it didn't look like a place you could swim because it was very shallow and loaded with nothing but rocks in the water.

 

 

We did an about-face and went back to pick a spot along one of the entrances to the water by the mangroves. There's PLENTY of shade in these areas and a lot of people just putting their things down and heading out to the water. You walk between the mangroves and come out to a huge open area of ocean. It's like a huge cove.

 

 

We looked to the right and could see the people entering the area from above via the ladders/steps. I headed out with my daughter and snorkel gear and swam all over the place from one side to the other and really didn't see much. I was quite disappointed. There were A LOT of damsels, a few angel fish and butterfly fish, but nothing major. Somehow (I didn't know this until after I got home and looked at my pictures) my camera got on some wacky setting and everything looks like the color was abstracted from the pictures leaving black and green colors. I have never seen pictures like this and have no idea what button I might have hit. Sorry for the terrible snorkeling pictures. I won't be sharing many snorkeling pictures because the colors are just horrifying.

 

 

When I returned back to our little "entrance" my daughter and my husband had made friends with a local family who had children. We learned that they had lived here for many years, then moved away and had just recently returned to live in Aruba again. They told us places of interest to go (which we had either already been there or was going there) and a little "history". I love getting to know the locals and hanging out. I did mention to them that I thought this was supposed to be an amazing snorkeling area. They told me it was outside the rocky area and it was unsafe to go out there and definitely not alone. So...I guess that's why I missed it.

 

 

Maybe another time when we can have more people with us or take a tour out there. According to most of the people who visit Aruba yearly, the best thing to do is take a snorkeling tour with Aruba Bob. I'm not really one to take "snorkeling tours" and especially the kind with the sea scooters that pull you along in the water (my grandson has one and I really don't think it's too fun because it's loud and with it pulling you along, my personal opinion is that it would 1) scare the fish away or 2) go too fast that you would miss things). HOWEVER, every single person I have spoke with said it's THE MOST AMAZING tour ever and the sea life and corals are beautiful out there. I guess if that's really the only safe way to see it, next time I'll be doing this! It's definitely a nice place to hang out. I loved the atmosphere...even without the snorkeling. It's an excellent place for families to come because of how shallow the water is.

 

 

HERE ARE THE PICTURES

 

 

 

RODGERS BEACH

 

We were visiting Baby Beach, which is right around the corner from here, and I wanted to stop and check our Rodgers Beach for awhile.

 

 

Coming off the road that leads to these places, you can turn right to head to Rodgers or left to head to Baby Beach. When we arrived, I have to say that it really didn't impress me. I had read that this was a "hidden gem", but maybe it's hidden because it's not that great and not many people go to it? Or maybe I just didn't care for it because we had just spent the day at a beautiful beach. I guess it could be considered a gem if you want to get away where there's no facilities, the locals hang out, and want to stay away from the crowds.

 

 

Rodger's Beach is located at the furthest end of the island (Southeast) and past San Nicolas. There weren't a lot of people here and maybe that's what makes it a hidden gem. I read that the locals like to hang out here (and probably for that reason). To me, it looked run down. Some of the sandy areas looked like it had a lot of rocks, while other areas looked powdery soft. There was a building there that seemed to be falling apart. I'm not sure if it's used now or not. They did have a HUGE palapa that looked too big for someone to just sit under and take up all the space. It looked like it was more for huge families or parties or maybe even cookouts. Then there was a mid-sized hut and a very small hut. Those are the only 3 that I seen there. They didn't look like they were in the best shape either.

 

 

I'm not sure if this is a place I would return to or not. If someone told me there was awesome snorkeling there, then yea, I probably would just to check it out. But without really having much shade...I would really have to think about it. I made the executive decision for us not to unload and stay awhile and we headed out after I snapped a few pictures.

 

 

(After posting my review of this place on the Aruba boards, several have came forth to confirm there are no facilities here, so bring a cooler with food and drinks...however, many seem to love this place and say that it's very quiet and relaxing here so...maybe I'll check it out a little more next time).

 

 

PICTURES HERE

 

 

 

BABY BEACH

 

 

Baby Beach is located on the opposite end of Arashi (southeastern end) and right past San Nicolas. It took us 45 minutes to get here (even with all of the construction and traffic detours and us being tourist...taking our time and snapping pictures along the way).

 

 

You'll know you are getting close when you see the huge red anchor dedicated to the seaman (stop and take a picture with the ocean in the background). You might also get lucky and see the donkeys out running around in the road or on the side of the road. There was a baby donkey when we were there. So cute.

 

 

This beach is absolutely gorgeous! Very nice, soft sand and it's a calm lagoon that makes this the perfect place for families with smaller children. You can walk really far out and it's still very shallow. The beach is HUGE!

 

 

There is a restaurant, called Big Mama's Grill, with food and drinks. This place is themed from the Flintstones and the employees are dressed up with the Flintstone attire as well. You'll find "stone-age" chairs and tables and statues of the Flintstones themselves around the building. It's pretty cute.

 

 

They do have a dive shop here, but the day we were there, no one seemed to be in it (or I just walked over later in the day and they had already closed).

 

 

You can also rent beach chairs (I want to say $10 each???) or you can rent a 2 person windscreen/canopy type of contraption that they set up for you on the beach and it's really nice with a screen in the back to let to nice breeze flow into it. It works great! We never really felt hot while sitting in it. It also comes with 2 lounge chairs. The price is a little on the expensive side, so be prepared to pay $56 for it all. But, if you plan on staying all day, it's well worth it because natural shade is scarce here.

 

 

Now lets get to the snorkeling...I have read multiple reports on the snorkeling that were totally opposite of each other..."great snorkeling", "not the greatest", "not good unless you go out of the lagoon area, which is too dangerous" and so on. So...here's my opinion: I thought it was pretty darn good! I snorkel everywhere we go and I'm not a pro, but I can only offer my "opinion" based on all the places I have been. I think Baby Beach is pretty good for snorkeling and the variety of things you'll see. Is it the best? No, not at all, but it won't disappoint you either. It can definitely take up a lot of your time exploring and in my book, that's good enough!

 

 

So where is this snorkeling located? When you are standing on the beach looking out at the water, look to your left. You will see a small area roped off along the rocky area not far out at all. You can walk all the way out to this area. Once you go under the ropes, it gets a little deep and you'll have to swim JUST in that area, which isn't big. That's not really the snorkeling area IMO. You'll find a lot of fish everywhere and they'll swarm you with curiosity. However, if you want to see, what I would call the snorkeling area, you'll need to head between the rocks (which would be more left). There is a HUGE current right here and you'll kick and swim your heart out. It's NOT DEEP! You can put your feet down at any time AFTER checking to make sure there's no coral you might be stepping on of course. I found at one point that I would turn around (with the current to my back), wedge my foot down on a rock and lean back to keep the water from pushing me.

 

 

You can swim up and down this area (head left once you are in it) and it's almost like a little stream through there. SO MANY FISH in this area and coral too! This place has some of the BIGGEST Parrot fish ever! It reminded me of Bermuda (there's are huge too), but I spotted the biggest parrot fish I think I have ever seen in my life before. I learned on this trip that the dark blue with black parrot fish seem to be the huge ones. I don't think I had ever seen this variation before snorkeling. I tried to look them up and maybe they are called midnight parrot fish? If anyone knows, let me know. During our trip, we would continue to see these monsters when snorkeling at places like DePalm as well.

 

 

Parrot fish go through many stages of life and change colors. Some Parrot fish are hermaphrodites and start as females and change to males later in life, while others start as males. They are called Parrot fish because they have a mouth like a beak (or parrot) with teeth. If you are in a calm place and be still, you can hear them munching on the coral and you'll hear a crunching sound. It's pretty cool.

 

 

Of course you'll see plenty of other fish and some coral as well. You can go way back in this little "stream-like" area and no worries, you can stand up along all of it...it's not deep...just watch where you put your feet down. On the way back out...just simply float your way back. The water will carry you back to the beginning. So much fun. I stood up many times to take some pictures of the water outside this area crashing over the rocks and my daughter was standing beside me on the rocks at the shore. LOL They could see the huge parrot fish because he would manage to get himself in smaller/shallow areas and he'd be sticking up out of the water. They stood right there on the rocks at shore watching and could see everything.

 

Amazing day here! I highly recommend this beach and I will definitely be returning.

 

 

HERE ARE MY PICTURES FROM THAT DAY

 

 

 

So what are my 2 favorite beaches in Aruba after spending 10 days there? Boca Catalina and Baby Beach!

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Thank you for all that great info. We were planning to do Eagle beach on our upcoming cruise and your pictures were very helpful. Did you get any pics from Palm Beach? Are the umbrellas or palaces closer to the water there? There's only two of us and we'd like to be able to see our stuff while in the water...

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Kim. I'm glad that you enjoyed your trip to Aruba. One thing to know - Moomba turns into a night club after dark. It is probably the #1 party spot on the island, and Sunday is the biggest party night of the week. It is fine before dark, but not really family friendly after dark. I've been there during the day, and it is not too terribly crowded then.

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Hey there!

 

I remember you were considering another cruise on Fascination but saw you mention somewhere that the hotel in PR you wanted to stay at again wasn't available this time around, so you decided to go to Aruba instead. I was thinking "darn, no Mitsugirly review this time around". Either your Fascination or Conquest (or both?) popped up again and I saw where you mentioned you'd be posting on the Aruba boards. Well, here I am! ;p

 

My husband really wants to get to Aruba and that is the cruise he'd like to do next, while I'd prefer the Fascination on one of the cruises where Dominica is added in place of a sea day. I keep holding back on the cruises to Aruba and Curacao only because they are 8 day cruises with only three, and sometimes four, port days. I just can't get over that many sea days but I would definitely be interested in a week vacation there. Since we are also beach people, I really enjoyed your post with descriptions and pictures of the many beaches.

 

I also had to comment on your section on Moomba Beach...that reminds me so much of the Secrets in Ocean City, MD. Don't know if you've been to Ocean City or not, but the Secrets is on a man made beach on the bay side of Ocean City. It's a restaurant/bar and has a Jamaican beach theme. During the day, you can use rafts to float around on the bayside and the bar waiters will bring drinks out to you. At night, it becomes a hopping nightclub and can get VERY busy/crowded. When I saw the pictures of Moomba Beach, I immediately thought of Secrets in OC.

 

No cruise for us this year...we bit the bullet and really splurged, big time, this year. We will be heading to Hawaii for two weeks shortly and will island hop to three islands. We had a set budget and we were able to get it under the budget, otherwise Negril, Jamaica was our back up plan. We spent a week there 10 years ago and LOVED it. Gorgeous beach and great snorkeling. We just booked this last month, but have been do busy with crap happening to really get a good start on planning. Refrigerator replacement...it went, and it went all over our kitchen floor and leaking down into the basement (ice maker broke, motor still *trying* and overheated, thawing contents of freezer and caused a huge leak in the water line); nail in DH's car tire; air condition leaking out onto section of basement floor (clogged drain, easy fix with bleach cleanout..whew!!!). **** happens! :o So I've only just started researching all there is to see and do in Hawaii. So far, I've found some gorgeous looking beaches with snorkeling that we'd like to try out. I am aware that the water isn't quite as warm as the Caribbean or even the Atlantic coast beaches from NC and south in the summer, so I'm prepared for that and my mind is made up to just suck it up and give it a go. I can't wait!

 

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts on the beaches of Aruba...Baby Beach, Arashi Beach, and Boca Catalina are just gorgeous. I think I'd feel the same way about Eagle Beach, we have no kids but we would not feel comfortable with both of us in the water at the same time without being able to keep an eye on our stuff.

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Thank you for all that great info. We were planning to do Eagle beach on our upcoming cruise and your pictures were very helpful. Did you get any pics from Palm Beach? Are the umbrellas or palaces closer to the water there? There's only two of us and we'd like to be able to see our stuff while in the water...

 

We went to Palm Beach a lot...only not to the actual "beach". So, I wasn't able to get pictures. I will next time trust me.

 

 

Hi Kim, I'm so happy to see all these beautiful pictures of your trip to Aruba. It's like a mini review to tide us over until you take another cruise! :D

Heather

 

Hello there Heather. Good to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. :)

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Very impressive review.

 

Thank you.

 

Kim. I'm glad that you enjoyed your trip to Aruba. One thing to know - Moomba turns into a night club after dark. It is probably the #1 party spot on the island, and Sunday is the biggest party night of the week. It is fine before dark, but not really family friendly after dark. I've been there during the day, and it is not too terribly crowded then.

 

I just wanted to thank you SO MUCH for all the help and everything with my planning for Aruba. It was amazing!

 

I figured Moomba was fine during the day and man was it party city at night. But I was basing my opinion of the beach itself on ...well the beach. It just looked really small. I'm not sure it's a place I would want to go to even during the day time. But I may be wrong. I'll have to check it out next time (during the day of course). :D

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Hey there!

 

I remember you were considering another cruise on Fascination but saw you mention somewhere that the hotel in PR you wanted to stay at again wasn't available this time around, so you decided to go to Aruba instead. I was thinking "darn, no Mitsugirly review this time around". Either your Fascination or Conquest (or both?) popped up again and I saw where you mentioned you'd be posting on the Aruba boards. Well, here I am! ;p

 

My husband really wants to get to Aruba and that is the cruise he'd like to do next, while I'd prefer the Fascination on one of the cruises where Dominica is added in place of a sea day. I keep holding back on the cruises to Aruba and Curacao only because they are 8 day cruises with only three, and sometimes four, port days. I just can't get over that many sea days but I would definitely be interested in a week vacation there. Since we are also beach people, I really enjoyed your post with descriptions and pictures of the many beaches.

 

I also had to comment on your section on Moomba Beach...that reminds me so much of the Secrets in Ocean City, MD. Don't know if you've been to Ocean City or not, but the Secrets is on a man made beach on the bay side of Ocean City. It's a restaurant/bar and has a Jamaican beach theme. During the day, you can use rafts to float around on the bayside and the bar waiters will bring drinks out to you. At night, it becomes a hopping nightclub and can get VERY busy/crowded. When I saw the pictures of Moomba Beach, I immediately thought of Secrets in OC.

 

No cruise for us this year...we bit the bullet and really splurged, big time, this year. We will be heading to Hawaii for two weeks shortly and will island hop to three islands. We had a set budget and we were able to get it under the budget, otherwise Negril, Jamaica was our back up plan. We spent a week there 10 years ago and LOVED it. Gorgeous beach and great snorkeling. We just booked this last month, but have been do busy with crap happening to really get a good start on planning. Refrigerator replacement...it went, and it went all over our kitchen floor and leaking down into the basement (ice maker broke, motor still *trying* and overheated, thawing contents of freezer and caused a huge leak in the water line); nail in DH's car tire; air condition leaking out onto section of basement floor (clogged drain, easy fix with bleach cleanout..whew!!!). **** happens! :o So I've only just started researching all there is to see and do in Hawaii. So far, I've found some gorgeous looking beaches with snorkeling that we'd like to try out. I am aware that the water isn't quite as warm as the Caribbean or even the Atlantic coast beaches from NC and south in the summer, so I'm prepared for that and my mind is made up to just suck it up and give it a go. I can't wait!

 

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts on the beaches of Aruba...Baby Beach, Arashi Beach, and Boca Catalina are just gorgeous. I think I'd feel the same way about Eagle Beach, we have no kids but we would not feel comfortable with both of us in the water at the same time without being able to keep an eye on our stuff.

 

Hiya! Good to hear (see) you.

 

 

Yea, the Fascination just wasn't working out for us (before and after plans). I think we need to plan for that way ahead of time to make it work. Maybe I should start planning now for next year there. hehe

 

When I said Aruba boards, I mean over on the actual Aruba forum (not here on cc). I did a mini review over there of our day by day and then also all the places we went I did mini-reviews as well. However, their forum is not as picture friendly as ours is and it would almost be impossible to do a huge review like I do here.

 

 

Yea, I don't really care for all the sea days either. I really liked the Fascination the most because it was so port intensive and that's what I'm all about. Bring it on!

 

Yea, it's been about 15 years since I've been to Ocean City and stayed. I can only imagine how much it has changed.

 

 

Well hello Hawaii!!!! That will be awesome! I hope you have a wonderful time. That's one place I have never been (and have considered a cruise there, but man they are expensive). Maybe some day I'll make it.

 

 

It sounds like everything is hitting you at once. I know the feeling trust me. We just bought a house just prior to our last cruise and once those papers were signed...everything is going wrong. lol Life, it likes to test me. :')

 

 

 

 

Thanks this is a great review. We have Aruba as part of Panama Canal in March. We are in port 7 am -1pm. If you only had 3 hours which beach would you recommend?

 

 

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Well, I'm a snorkel fan, so I would pick Baby Beach myself. But it depends on how you plan on getting there and how long you would want to stay. In port at 7am, off by maybe 7:15am...45 minute drive there puts you there at 8am. Figure in all aboard at 12:30 and a 45 minute drive back (say at least 1 hour to give yourself time to not be a pier runner) and you are looking at being able to spend 3+ hours there. Rental is $56 for the clam shell. Not sure if it's worth it to you or not.

 

 

My other personal option would be Boca Catalina (for the snorkeling). It seriously is a very small beach, but we had an amazing time when we went there and great snorkeling. But, it's not going to be that amazing beautiful beach you think of when going to Aruba.

 

 

So, that leaves me with Arashi. Beautiful beach/water, can reach the snorkeling from there...it's just harder. Beach chairs and umbrella's to rent and only about a 15 minute drive.

 

 

Such a hard question and decision. :D

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Hi, Kim! I knew you were doing a land trip to Aruba, so I was really hoping for some sort of review. Our next cruise stops in. Aruba, and we may also plan a land trip there, so I really am glad to have found this thread. I've bookmarked it for future reference.

 

As usual, I loved all of your pictures! I did spot a rather large clownfish :D in a few of them, taken at Baby Beach, I think! Or was that a mermaid? :D

 

It looked to me like your Discover Scuba went pretty well on this trip. Glad to see that Sakari was able to go with you and your hubby. Too bad the visibility wasn't better, but I wave been on many dives when it was far worse.

 

I'll have to find my way to the Aruba board you mentioned to see what you've posted thete, and I'll be on the lookout for your next cruise review.

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Hiya! Good to hear (see) you.

 

 

 

 

 

Yea, the Fascination just wasn't working out for us (before and after plans). I think we need to plan for that way ahead of time to make it work. Maybe I should start planning now for next year there. hehe

 

 

 

When I said Aruba boards, I mean over on the actual Aruba forum (not here on cc). I did a mini review over there of our day by day and then also all the places we went I did mini-reviews as well. However, their forum is not as picture friendly as ours is and it would almost be impossible to do a huge review like I do here.

 

 

 

 

 

Yea, I don't really care for all the sea days either. I really liked the Fascination the most because it was so port intensive and that's what I'm all about. Bring it on!

 

 

 

Yea, it's been about 15 years since I've been to Ocean City and stayed. I can only imagine how much it has changed.

 

 

 

 

 

Well hello Hawaii!!!! That will be awesome! I hope you have a wonderful time. That's one place I have never been (and have considered a cruise there, but man they are expensive). Maybe some day I'll make it.

 

 

 

 

 

It sounds like everything is hitting you at once. I know the feeling trust me. We just bought a house just prior to our last cruise and once those papers were signed...everything is going wrong. lol Life, it likes to test me. :')

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I'm a snorkel fan, so I would pick Baby Beach myself. But it depends on how you plan on getting there and how long you would want to stay. In port at 7am, off by maybe 7:15am...45 minute drive there puts you there at 8am. Figure in all aboard at 12:30 and a 45 minute drive back (say at least 1 hour to give yourself time to not be a pier runner) and you are looking at being able to spend 3+ hours there. Rental is $56 for the clam shell. Not sure if it's worth it to you or not.

 

 

 

 

 

My other personal option would be Boca Catalina (for the snorkeling). It seriously is a very small beach, but we had an amazing time when we went there and great snorkeling. But, it's not going to be that amazing beautiful beach you think of when going to Aruba.

 

 

 

 

 

So, that leaves me with Arashi. Beautiful beach/water, can reach the snorkeling from there...it's just harder. Beach chairs and umbrella's to rent and only about a 15 minute drive.

 

 

 

 

 

Such a hard question and decision. :D

 

 

 

Thanks for the good advice! I think Baby Beach is just too far and

Palm seems too crowded from all reports. We'll aim for Arashi

 

 

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Hi, Kim! I knew you were doing a land trip to Aruba, so I was really hoping for some sort of review. Our next cruise stops in. Aruba, and we may also plan a land trip there, so I really am glad to have found this thread. I've bookmarked it for future reference.

 

As usual, I loved all of your pictures! I did spot a rather large clownfish :D in a few of them, taken at Baby Beach, I think! Or was that a mermaid? :D

 

It looked to me like your Discover Scuba went pretty well on this trip. Glad to see that Sakari was able to go with you and your hubby. Too bad the visibility wasn't better, but I wave been on many dives when it was far worse.

 

I'll have to find my way to the Aruba board you mentioned to see what you've posted thete, and I'll be on the lookout for your next cruise review.

 

Yea that was a big clown fish in the water that day. I also spotted a peacock once. I didn't realize they liked to swim. :D

 

Actually no, the scuba didn't go so well at all. From beginning to end...failure in my eyes. :( From the people at the dive shop to the instructor, to the dive and back. It just wasn't what I thought it would be. But, we'll chalk it up to another dive experience. (The full review over on aruba boards).

 

 

 

Thanks for the good advice! I think Baby Beach is just too far and

Palm seems too crowded from all reports. We'll aim for Arashi

 

 

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I hope you have a wonderful day there. :)

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Yea that was a big clown fish in the water that day. I also spotted a peacock once. I didn't realize they liked to swim. :D

 

Actually no, the scuba didn't go so well at all. From beginning to end...failure in my eyes. :( From the people at the dive shop to the instructor, to the dive and back. It just wasn't what I thought it would be. But, we'll chalk it up to another dive experience. (The full review over on aruba boards).

 

I'm sorry to hear that your Discover Scuba was not as you expected it would be. I'm guessing you would not recommend this dive shop. :(

 

I'm not sure what the Aruba board you posted your review on is, but I'm going to find my way over there to read more about your experience. Are you allowed to post a link here? Don't want to get you in trouble if that is not allowed.

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Hi mitsugirly,

 

Thank you very much for this review of the beaches. Our family just booked a week in Aruba for next June. We are renting a villa off of VRBO close to arashi beach. I cannot wait. It will be our first time in Aruba.

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I'm sorry to hear that your Discover Scuba was not as you expected it would be. I'm guessing you would not recommend this dive shop. :(

 

I'm not sure what the Aruba board you posted your review on is, but I'm going to find my way over there to read more about your experience. Are you allowed to post a link here? Don't want to get you in trouble if that is not allowed.

 

I personally would not recommend them or use them again. However, there is someone on the Aruba board that highly recommended them and said my day was out of their character or experiences they have had. So...not sure what happened.

 

 

I'm not sure if it's ok to post a link or not. I guess I could and if it's not allowed, they'll take it down. LINK HERE

 

Hi mitsugirly,

 

Thank you very much for this review of the beaches. Our family just booked a week in Aruba for next June. We are renting a villa off of VRBO close to arashi beach. I cannot wait. It will be our first time in Aruba.

 

You are welcome and I hope you have a wonderful time in Aruba. We will definitely be back. Your villa isn't a little white cottage trimmed in green is it?

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Hiya! Good to hear (see) you.

 

 

Yea, the Fascination just wasn't working out for us (before and after plans). I think we need to plan for that way ahead of time to make it work. Maybe I should start planning now for next year there. hehe

 

When I said Aruba boards, I mean over on the actual Aruba forum (not here on cc). I did a mini review over there of our day by day and then also all the places we went I did mini-reviews as well. However, their forum is not as picture friendly as ours is and it would almost be impossible to do a huge review like I do here.

 

 

Yea, I don't really care for all the sea days either. I really liked the Fascination the most because it was so port intensive and that's what I'm all about. Bring it on!

 

Yea, it's been about 15 years since I've been to Ocean City and stayed. I can only imagine how much it has changed.

 

 

Well hello Hawaii!!!! That will be awesome! I hope you have a wonderful time. That's one place I have never been (and have considered a cruise there, but man they are expensive). Maybe some day I'll make it.

 

 

It sounds like everything is hitting you at once. I know the feeling trust me. We just bought a house just prior to our last cruise and once those papers were signed...everything is going wrong. lol Life, it likes to test me. :')

 

Thank for letting me know about the actual Aruba boards...I went to one of your recent reviews (either Conquest or Fascination...they're both still active) and got the link. I kept thinking you meant these boards since I wasn't aware it was another, totally different, forum you mean. So thank you for letting me know. Following along and trying to read when I get a few minutes of downtime. I'll have to let you know about Hawaii somehow when we return. We'll be flying and actually have a 10 hour direct flight over/return flight. I have a friend who just booked to go on Norwegian Spirit of Hawaii next year and she told me how much she's paying (for her and and her mother for her mother's 70th birthday). We also have friends we met on our Liberty cruise (the one out of San Juan) who did the Alaskan on Carnival Legend last month and they let me know how much that one was. Holy crap!!! :o The Hawaiian cruise my friend is doing is just a little more than half the cost of the Alaskan cruise!!! :o That Alaskan cruise (one week) was about the same we're paying to go to Hawaii for 2 weeks. :oUm, I think Alaska is going to have to wait until we get lucky and win a big lotto (probably never). I'm sure it's beautiful, I have heard from others who have been there that it's beautiful and I believe them, but I'm just not sure Alaska is for us. We like beaches, we like warm (hot) weather and I'll take palm trees over glaciers and snow covered peaks any day. :')

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Thank for letting me know about the actual Aruba boards...I went to one of your recent reviews (either Conquest or Fascination...they're both still active) and got the link. I kept thinking you meant these boards since I wasn't aware it was another, totally different, forum you mean. So thank you for letting me know. Following along and trying to read when I get a few minutes of downtime. I'll have to let you know about Hawaii somehow when we return. We'll be flying and actually have a 10 hour direct flight over/return flight. I have a friend who just booked to go on Norwegian Spirit of Hawaii next year and she told me how much she's paying (for her and and her mother for her mother's 70th birthday). We also have friends we met on our Liberty cruise (the one out of San Juan) who did the Alaskan on Carnival Legend last month and they let me know how much that one was. Holy crap!!! :o The Hawaiian cruise my friend is doing is just a little more than half the cost of the Alaskan cruise!!! :o That Alaskan cruise (one week) was about the same we're paying to go to Hawaii for 2 weeks. :oUm, I think Alaska is going to have to wait until we get lucky and win a big lotto (probably never). I'm sure it's beautiful, I have heard from others who have been there that it's beautiful and I believe them, but I'm just not sure Alaska is for us. We like beaches, we like warm (hot) weather and I'll take palm trees over glaciers and snow covered peaks any day. :')

 

 

Right...the price of an Alaskan cruise is what's kept me from doing one already. The same goes for Hawaii and not to mention the flight time involved. I honestly don't think I could mentally handle a 10 hour straight flight. There's just no way!

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Right...the price of an Alaskan cruise is what's kept me from doing one already. The same goes for Hawaii and not to mention the flight time involved. I honestly don't think I could mentally handle a 10 hour straight flight. There's just no way!

 

We actually never even looked into an Alaskan cruise, so never knew what the cost was, but I was shocked when I found out. I knew it was expensive but not THAT expensive. I'm curious as to how we'll handle that flight as well, but I don't think it will be too bad. At least on the flight over, we'll be arriving in Hawaii at 12:30PM (their time), so we'll have an afternoon at the beach to look forward to and I know I will be pumped with excitement. And knowing us, we will be up late the night before, so will probably sleep some on the flight, but since it IS so long, we do plan to get up and stroll the aisles (plane is a larger plane). I'm not really dreading it because we've done 9+ hour drives to southern SC with minimal stops. Last year it took about 11 hours to get home since we had pretty heavy rain from mid-NC the rest of the way. Traffic was gridlocked on I-95 from the Richmond, VA area and we sat in that *parking lot* the rest of the way home. Fortunately we're only 15 - 20 minutes away from I-95, so once we got off it was pretty smooth sailing the rest of the way. At least on a long flight we're not in control and can sit back and enjoy the long ride. Now I may be cursing up a storm about it once we get home...:')

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I personally would not recommend them or use them again. However, there is someone on the Aruba board that highly recommended them and said my day was out of their character or experiences they have had. So...not sure what happened.

 

 

I'm not sure if it's ok to post a link or not. I guess I could and if it's not allowed, they'll take it down. LINK HERE.

 

Thanks, Kim! I have the link to your review bookmarked so I won't lose it. I plan to head over and read your review, and probably register over there while I'm at it. I probably will not get to it until this weekend when things hopefully slow down a bit around here. I have an early, busy day tomorrow, so it's off to bed for me right now.

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