“Aruba, Jamaica ooo I wanna take ya
Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego baby why don’t we go”
Say Aruba, and I can’t help but think of Kokomo, that classic song by the Beach Boys. When I think of Kokomo, I can’t help but think about Cocktails, the movie, because like everything else in life I tend to link events to films. When I think of Cocktails, I can’t help but think of Elisabeth Shue under that waterfall… ahem! Never mind, getting back to the travel post now;
What would you do, when on a cruise, you had one whole day to spend in Aruba?
You could possibly venture out and explore what the island has to offer. Or, if you happen to be of a relatively sane mind – considering you are reading my blog right now, can’t really confirm on that – you will take a beach towel, dress down to your basics, take a taxi from the port, and head to the nearest beach.
Once at the beach, which is bound to be gorgeous, you are free to plant your backside on a lounge chair to only get up either to take a dip in the blue waters or if you like a little bit of action, then maybe attempt one or more of the water sports on offer.
Now, depending on your comfort level, while at the beach, which are mostly family friendly, you may choose to dress down to a state where you can get an even tan on the top half of your body…just so that you know.
That’s what we did – no, i’m not talking about going topless, but about heading to the beach to relax – and trust me, all you want to do in Aruba, is be at the beach because that’s where life happens.
When choosing a beach – and there are a few- especially if you only have one day on the island, heading over to the most popular one, Palm Beach, is advisable.
Palm Beach is “rich” with hotels lining up on one side of a white sandy beach and the sea on the other being gentle with a beautiful turquoise colour. By far one of the prettiest beaches we visited, yet it did not seem over-crowded, but still buzzing with a lot of activity due to the availability of water sports.
There are a number of substantial options when it comes to water sports at Palm Beach; from banana boat rides to parasailing and jet-skiing to snorkeling, you are spoiled with choices. Feel free to bargain a little as we managed to get a good deal too after going a little back and forth with the prices – primarily because one of the attendants working on the stand was of an Indian origin.
Aruba isn’t without other “pleasures”, especially when it comes to retail therapy, which can be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace if you plan a longer trip. There are luxurious hotels and branded shops catering to the rich and famous that frequent this tiny island that forms a part of the Netherlands Antilles.
I am aware I haven’t done justice to Aruba by limiting it to just a beach destination. However, while the island has a lot to offer otherwise, if you are heading there – especially as part of a cruise – then the beach should be your one and only destination.
A family vacation, a cruise – half way around the world, one of the severest winters seen by Europe, the warm Caribbean weather living up to its name; Captivating Caribbean is a small series where I shall cover some of the stops we made during this 14-day cruise. Hopefully these “photo-essays” with the occasional tips can give you a glimpse into island life in this part of the world.