Local Currency & Tipping Customs
The official currency of Aruba is the Aruban florin , but U.S. dollars are commonly accepted in most places. ATMs are prevalent on the island, and many hotels and restaurants will accept credit cards today, too. Tipping isnt a very common practice in Aruba, but leaving 10% for your taxi driver and 15% for your server at a restaurant is polite. There may already be a service charge included in your restaurant bill.
Why Travel To Aruba
In Aruba, guests are treated to sunshine that just wont quit, and the island consistently ranks as having the fewest number of rainy days in the Southern Caribbean, and whats more, Aruba is also just outside the hurricane belt, making a direct hit from a hurricane an extremely rare occurrence.
Besides the persistent, 82-degree weather, Aruba is also one of thesafest places to visit in the Caribbean, with low rates of both violent and petty crime. Indeed, Aruba has earned its nickname of the One happy island, and those who choose to visit will find an island brimming with exciting things to do, interesting places to explore, and a rich and diverse people who are friendly and helpful.
When taking a cruise to Aruba, guests will find themselves at Oranjestad Aruba Cruise Port, which is conveniently located within walking distance of various restaurants, bars, shops, and fun activities like Jeep Safari Tours.
However, its best to plan your Aruba adventure so you can make the most of your time in Aruba. There are plenty of things to do in Aruba on a cruise, so its best to start planning as soon as you can! If youre looking for a more laid back experience, Oranjestad offers guided-walking tours with local experts who can educate you on the citys rich and diverse history. If youd rather spend your time on Arubas famous, white-sand beaches, Surfside Beach is only a 15-minute walk away! Alternatively, taking a taxi to any of the other nearby beaches is also an option.
Day 12fort Lauderdale Florida United States Of America
With over 480km of waterways, Fort Lauderdale is the ‘Venice of America’ and the yachting capital of the world. The city’s cruise port, Port Everglades is the third busiest in the world, catering to almost four million passengers every year. Before you head to your ship, check out the 2-mile Las Olas Boulevard, filled with chic cafés, independent boutiques and entertainment venues. A stroll along the tree-lined promenade and beautiful sand beaches, will give you the perfect taster of what’s in store on your sun-soaked cruise itinerary.
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What Kind Of Accommodations Does Curaao Offer
There are hotels, resorts, apartments, villas, guesthouses, vacation homes and resort villages to choose from among other possibilities. Many accommodations offer ocean view rooms or are oceanfront properties with spectacular views, splendid amenities, white sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and, most of the time, beautiful sunsets. Most accommodation is situated in the southern part of the island and close to Willemstad. Certainly, you will be able to find your perfect accommodation to enjoy your stay on your day trip from Aruba to Curaçao. Are you looking for accommodation in the Pietermaai District? Have a look at this handy page or at the right side of your screen for special Curaçao Deals when you are looking for other accommodation that suits you most! Perfect accommodation for day trippers can also be found in the Jan Thiel area. Check out this page when the Jan Thiel area would be your preferred choice of stay!
Top Things To Do In Oranjestad
See the Aruba Butterfly Farm
A unique habitat for thousands of butterflies, moths, and plants, the butterfly farm is a must-experience activity for nature lovers, kids, and families. A guided tour will walk you through the entire caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation. Informative and incredible, there arent many other butterfly farms quite like this.
Check out the Bon Bini Festival
On cruises to Aruba, dont miss the chance to see the Bon Bini Festival, a weekly celebration that happens each Tuesday evening. Its a great way to learn about Aruban cultural practices, including traditional dances, local art, and folklore.
See the Donkey Sanctuary
Venture beyond Oranjestad to the Santa Cruz Donkey Sanctuary, which is dedicated to saving the islands donkeys and rehabilitating them. Donkey feedings are a fun activity you can do with the kids while educating them about how to treat precious animals.
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Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Denied Entry To Curacao Aruba Also Canceled
Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship, Odyssey of the Seas is denied to call at Curacao and cancels scheduled visit to Aruba due to COVID.
Royal Caribbeans newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, was refused entry for a scheduled stop at Curacao on Wednesday, December 22, due to COVID-19 cases reported on board. Instead, the ship spent a day at sea, while the next port on its itinerary Aruba, planned for Thursday, December 23 has already been canceled.
So Who Wins: Aruba Vs Curacao
This is the debate people! Even after Ive weighed out both sides, I keep going back and forth. Frankly, it depends on what is most important to you. But the truth is, I would return to both of these islands. Curacao-for the culture, beautiful buildings and beaches. Aruba-for the beaches, landscape and laid-back vibe of the island .
Youll find pretty landscape and beautiful beaches on both islands. If youre looking for more of the tropical Dutch vibe, then you might enjoy Curacao more. Experiencing the Dutch culture was important to us , so we really enjoyed seeing Curacao and experiencing that aspect.
If you need more help deciding, or have already decided which Caribbean island suits you more, check out the island guides below!
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How To Get From Aruba To Curaao
The best way to get from Aruba to Curaçao is by taking an airplane. Its also the cheapest way to go. Flying from Beatrix International Airport Aruba to Willemstad Hato International Airport should take no more than 30 to 35 minutes. As there currently are no ferry services between the ABC islands, the other options would be to book a private jet or to go by cruise ship, but that would either be very costly or too time-consuming.
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Odyssey Of The Seas Reports 55 Covid
A total of 55 COVID-19 cases have been reported onboard Odyssey of the Seas, including three passengers and 52 crew members who have tested positive. This concerning number of cases led authorities in Curacao to deny the ships clearance at the port shortly before guests were schedule to disembark for tours.
Guests on board the ship noted that tour buses were parked and waiting at the pier as the ship arrived, but within a short period of time, the buses all left.
Shortly thereafter, the captain announced that the stop had been canceled. Guests who had booked shore excursions would be refunded those costs.
Royal Caribbean said in a statement sent to Cruise Hive:Royal Caribbean Internationals Odyssey of the Seas will not visit Curacao or Aruba as planned. The decision was made together with the islands out of an abundance of caution due to the current trend of COVID-19 cases in the destinations communities as well as crew and guests testing positive on board 55 crew members and guests, representing 1.1% of the onboard community. The cruise sailed with 95% of the onboard community fully vaccinated.
All of whom tested positive are fully vaccinated and mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. We continue to monitor their health. Close contacts were also identified and placed in quarantine to be monitored for 24 hours prior to testing.
Top Food And Drink Spots Near The Oranjestad Cruise Port
One of the top reasons people flock to Aruba is for its food scene, where fresh seafood rules the menu and is presented in interesting and delicious ways. Mahi-mahi, lionfish, and grouper are the most popular options. Aruban food is greatly influenced by flavors of the Caribbean as well as its earlier Dutch colonization. While youre here on a cruise to Aruba, try keshi yena, a ball of cheese steamed or fried and stuffed with meat, or one of the many varieties of soups and stews. Theres cool island soup, which is a nectar of different fruit juices destined to cool you down on a hot day. Dont forget to check out the fluffy pan bati, a sweet flatbread that is usually paired with something savory.
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Getting Around: Aruba Wins
Both islands are a decent size and renting a car is 100% necessary because cabs are expensive . Plus, if you dont know how much your taxi should be with the regulations, youre likely to get ripped off.
Aruba is easy to get around with a map and once you drive around for a bit, you find your way. Its also a smaller island so it is much easier to get out and explore pretty thoroughly on your own. However, you will need a 4×4 if you want to go ALL over the island, since a lot of the island is the rocky/sandy terrain of the national park.
Curacao, on the other hand, is an absolute train wreck of a labyrinth of one-way streets. It is essential to have someone on google maps constantly routing you and even then, one-way streets will pop up and you will be thrown on a loop road unable to get back where you need to be because there are so many one-ways. To be fair, thats mostly describing the capital. Once youre out of the city, its very easy going. But going into the main part of the capital is an adventure if you arent familiar with it.
Aruba Cruises From Ft Lauderdale
There are a lot of cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Aruba. Journeys to the islands of the Southern Caribbean often include this little piece of paradise. The complete list of departures is below.
Aruba is located in the far south of the Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela. It is one of the 3 “ABC islands” along with Bonaire and Curacao. Oranjestad is the capital and largest town. The official languages are Dutch and Papiamento, but English is known by many.
Cruise ships dock in Oranjestad, which is a fine place to shop. Some of the items are jewelry, perfume, leather goods, local crafts, Dutch Delft and Dutch cheese. A trolley offers free rides downtown.
Popular shore excursions are island Jeep tours, go snorkeling, sail on a catamaran, see a butterfly farm, or walk in Arikok National Park. At the beach you may be visited by flamingos.
Watch a beautiful short video about Aruba. It’s only 4 minutes long and definitely worth a look.
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Is A Day Trip From Aruba To Curaao Worth Doing
A day trip from Aruba to Curaçao is a fun thing to do if your holiday in Aruba is long enough. Several airlines operate multiple flights from Aruba to Curaçao daily. Its only a 30-minute flight. Because of the short distance by air a day trip from Aruba to Curaçao can easily make your Caribbean vacation even more satisfying.
Aruba Vs Curacao: Which Caribbean Island Is Better
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Deep down in the southern part of the Caribbean, just off the coast of Venezuela, lies the ABC islands, which consist of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. These three islands are also apart of the Dutch Caribbean and are island territories of The Netherlands, which is why my Dutch husband wanted to go here. We only managed to get to 2 out of 3, but the debate was on: Aruba vs Curacao.
At first glance, you would assume Aruba and Curacao would be fairly similar, being that they are both island destinations for diving, have pretty beaches and are Dutch. And they are similar in that sense, but these two islands also have some pretty noticeable differences.
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Abc Islands Cruise Highlights
Beaches & Sunshine
When it comes to sunny days, the ABC islands have a higher percentage each year than most other islands in the Caribbean, making this a great destination in which to plan some beach time. Bathe in the warm water of Aruba’s Baby Beach, or find a quiet spot to relax on one of Curacao’s secluded coves. Explore the beautiful beach of Lac Cai in Bonaire, where you can also find excellent snorkeling and diving just offshore.
Stroll through the colorful buildings in pastel shades of pink, yellow, and blue that line the UNESCO-protected section of Curaçaos port city, Willemstad. Explore the charming, Dutch-influenced center of Kralendijk in Bonaire, known for its excellent shopping and dining. Or spend some time in Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad, where you can learn about the island’s history through its many museums and monuments, such as the National Archeological Museum and Fort Zoutman.
Coral Reefs & Wildlife
When you cruise to the ABC islands youll get the opportunity to get close to dazzling coral reefs that are home to tropical fish, sea turtles, reef sharks, and stingrays. Bonaires National Marine Park is considered to be one of the best scuba destinations in the world. Aruba has two distinct reef systems that are perfect for snorkeling, while Curaçao’s reefs offer divers an excellent chance to see larger pelagic fish.
What To Do In The Southern Caribbean
Absorb local culture, discover the rich history of European colonialism and explore the pastel vistas of Dutch architecture while watching a game of cricket on a cruise to The Caribbean. Cruise to the Southern Caribbean and venture deep into exotic island activities. Ride on horseback along the pristine coastline when you cruise to Aruba, zip line through a lush canopy while travelling to Curacao and experience some of the world’s most beautiful beaches where you can snorkel to see vibrant marine life or just kick back and soak up the rays.
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Shopping Near The Oranjestad Cruise Port
The port is centrally located near shops and restaurants, so its an easy transition to go from cruise ship to shopping. Here, youll find mostly strip malls and shopping centers like the Royal Plaza Shopping Center and the Renaissance Marketplace. Find a local store that sells Dutch chocolates and coffee to bring back as mementos from your time in Aruba.
Culture & History Of The Oranjestad Cruise Port
Cruises to Aruba have been a staple of the islands economy for decades, and youd be hard-pressed to find an Aruban who isnt friendly to cruise passengers. Arubas climate is just one of the reasons it became so popular for tourism in recent years, since its beautiful, dry, and sunny almost year round. The first inhabitants of Aruba were a group called the Arawak, and in 1499, the Spanish arrived. Smuggling and piracy became common practices on the island. By the 1630s, the Dutch took control of Aruba. It took until 1986 for Aruba to gain its independence. The expansion into tourism happened as a way to rebuild the economy after the Aruban oil refinery closed down. Today, travel and tourism fuels the economy of the island. Official languages spoken in Aruba are Dutch and Papiamentu, a creole language that emerged from a blend of Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish.
Oranjestad Port Facilities & Location
The port of Oranjestad is located on the southwestern part of the island of Aruba, and most cruises that go to Aruba will dock here. The port has standard amenities like ATMs, a souvenir shop, and a tourism information center. The port is conveniently close to shopping, restaurants, and the famous Aruba waterfront.
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Cruise Ports: Curacao Wins
Cruises arent necessarily my thing, but because of the popularity of Caribbean cruises, its a valid topic to mention. Especially since Aruba and Curacao both are cruise destinations. In fact, Fodors mentions Oranjestad, Aruba as one of the 11 busiest cruise ports.
Though Aruba gets more traffic, the area around the cruise port is very geared towards tourism. The long streets are filled with shops and nice hotels. There are gift shops and luxury, designer boutiquesit definitely caters to a certain crowd.
The cruise port in Curacao is in Willemstad and puts you within walking distance of the old, Colonial buildings. While it still has shops and things, its a little less Americanized. Some of the shops are located inside Rif Fort which is a historic fort built in 1828. You can walk along the Queen Emma Bridge and of course shop the main streets. It just has a different feel and you can explore the history of the island on your stop, while Aruba feels more of just a shopping port.
When it comes to Aruba vs Curacao as a cruise stop, Curacao wins for sure in my opinion. It of course depends on what type of cruiser you are and what you like to do, butyou can shop luxury goods in the mall at home.