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One Day in Aruba


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Hi, we are a couple of Aussies who will be going to Aruba for one day as part of our cruise. I have been reading about it and looking at the internet and frankly it doesn't look all that exciting so we are looking for something to do there. Here's why we're not so excited:

  • Well really, the Great Barrier Reef is pretty hard to beat so coral fish etc are a bit ho humm, plus he doesn't snorkel anyway.
  • We both spent ages in tropical Malaysia so we've seen fish coral etc there too many times - but he does like a dip in the ocean if its warm
  • We don't gamble (he is a gambling inspector and it's too much like work)
  • We don't drink either
  • We do like beautiful places though Aruba looks quite barren (much like the Aussie outback)

It sounds like we are being knockers and really we are going everywhere on our trip and just can't wait for every other stop, but Aruba has failed to get me excited so far.


The one thing that looks really inviting on the internet is the Renaissance private island spa idea. We won't be doing any spa stuff on the ships due to the cost - but has anyone been to Renaissance private island for the day? Maybe we will splurge;) If you had one day in Aruba (given our predelictions) what would you do?

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Renaissance's island is a "bust".... not lush...

kind of barren... used to be Sonesta Island...

right under the flight pattern for the airport...

all of them going right overhead...

not that far from where the ship docks near the landfill.

That said I'd say either

A) stay on the ship if you're considering doing so spa treatments, usually on port days the cruiselines offer "discounts" and sometimes even a bundled package of some treatments at a discount.

B) look at the aruba-bb website and ask about some of the local day spa offerings. They may be better facilities and easier on the purse $$.

Good luck.

We stayed at the hotel after staying at Marriott on Palm Beach after a cruise a few years back when it was the Sonesta and was NOT impressed by the island. I believe you'll be disappointed and I'm sure it's not that reasonable $$either .


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Lahore....Do you guys play golf? If so, then the golf course is very nice. One of the best in the caribbean. It is very windy though (the whole island is windy). Their motto is "One Happy Island" but we renamed it "One Windy Island". We usually golf, then go back to the ship to drop off stuff, then walk right over to the shops and browse. Don't usually buy a lot but do look around a little. Lunch at Iguana Joe's is fun. Good nachos & lemonade (alchoholic or non-alcoholic). Some friends did the sunset catamaran excursion last year and really enjoyed it. We used to "not like" Aruba but now it is enjoyable for us even though it is not in our top 4 island choices.

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Thanks to you both so far, and any other suggestions glady accepted. I wondered about the Renaissance Island, and recognise that photos on the internet can look very different to reality, so based on your info I might skip that idea. Now we used to play golf, so that might be a possiblity, and I do like the idea of the nachos and lemonade for lunch though and if you have eaten there and enjoyed and not got sick skiiergirl we might go for that! I love nachos. Is Iguana Joes easy to find?

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not skiiergirl, but can answer your ??? about iguana joes.

it's in the shoping area (pink buildings) right across the street from the pier area... can't miss it.

From what I hear the golfing is definitely an "experience" since you have to factor in wind when playing.


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The island is really not as barren as it seems in the pictures. It is really quite an interesting island. There is a convergence of cultures not seen on the other islands. Also the landscape is striking. When you get off the ship, there is a tourist center with all sorts of tours offered, maybe you will consider one then. Don't stay on the ship. At least go to Palm or Eagle Beach. The beach is gorgeous, and the cost is minimal since the beaches in Aruba are open to all.

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Ahh, now Got2cruise you are talking my language. I am actually a lecturer in culture, so what about this convergence of cultures and what would you recommend I do to experience the local culture/s? Thanks heaps to all again by the way.

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lahore... Carolyn's right in that you do have to factor in the wind when playing gofl. (At least hubby does. My ball doesn't usually go high enough for the wind to affect it.) Yes, have personally had the nachos and lemonade at Iguana Joes and did not get sick. We also had a shrimp dish that was good but the nachos were the best. We have been cruising for 21 years and until about 3 or 4 years ago hubby would not eat off of the ship...at all...period...end of discussion....for fear of getting sick. About 4 years ago or so we started eating at Big Banana in Antigua and then Greenhouse in St. Thomas. We have slowly but surely expanded out a little and so far (knock on wood big time) we have yet to get sick. (We would not eat ashore in Mexico though. Even though I am sure it would be safe at the tourist places....we got almost deathly ill in Acapulco on a land vacation many years ago.)

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We've only been to Aruba once, but loved it. We went across the street from the pier and rented a jeep and just took off. We drove from end of the island to the other. It is a wonderful contrast in vistas. One side of the island is lush and tropical, and the other is wild and "moon-like." Many rock formations and such. There is even a stretch of several miles where people have stopped and stacked rocks. It is supposed to be good luck. We added our stack to the thousands of others. The Natural Bridge is also interesting. After spending the day driving around, we took a ship sponsored "Sunset Cocktail Cruise" and finished off the evening at Carlos and Charlies. All in all, it was one of the best island days we have ever experienced. It may not be for you, but "different strokes." Hope you have a wonderful cruise.



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thanks everyone, this is all really great information. We travel extensively (and lived for a while) in Asia. There I can judge what to eat and where, even in notorious places for tummy upsets. I have had one or two but it comes with the territory. However in South America, Mexico and Carribean I have no idea who rife gastric bugs are so we will be wary. This is a very expensive trip for us and we don't want to ruin it as we probably won't ever be back.


Horse riding - no but thanks for the suggestion. Jon is a really huge man (used to play rugby) and unless they have a very big strong horse we would feel too sorry for the horse (I am not joking, we were going to go riding in Malaysia but they have these skinny little horses - the horse would have been squashed!).


I am considering the car hire idea, it's just that we drive on the left side of the road not the right and it's all a bit confusing. But if we find a couple we can share with from the boat that could be great.


Thanks again everyone

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If you want to go with a company to show you the island. I was referred to www.abc-aruba.com for their excursions. I will be doing their extreme safari for a 1/2 day with 10 ppl. I have heard good things about this tour operator. They have different excursions to choose from. I am sure whatever you guys pick you will have fun.

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