Cruises To Aruba: Cruisers Guide

Bon bini!

Allow yourself to discover the heart of the Caribbean and embark on a cruise to Aruba! 

Stretching 20 miles from tip to tip, this tropical paradise is packed with incredible contrasts: sherbet-colored Dutch colonial buildings, vibrant green rainforests, coral reefs that teem with hundreds of aquatic species and powdery white shorelines framed by the cobalt-blue ocean.

Welcome to Aruba – a magical place full of stunning beaches, sheltered bays, underwater gardens, and the clearest of seas!

Table of Contents

Overview of Aruba

The Caribbean is popular amongst ocean-lovers, adventure-seekers and honeymooners alike. There are so many different islands all with their own auras to choose from – they say that no two Caribbean islands are exactly alike! 

Away from the cluttered holiday destinations and the vulnerable Hurricane Belt of the Atlantic lay the ABC Islands in the pristine waters just a few miles off Venezuela’s north coast. 

Though they are politically connected to Netherlands – Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao might just be the best year-round Caribbean destinations for you and your family.

Quick Facts
Climate

Aruba has a tropical climate. The average temperature is 82°F

Timezone

The time zone is Atlantic Standard Time GMT-4

Language

Many local residents speak English, Spanish and Dutch as well as Papiamento a native language of the ABC islands. If somebody says, "Bon bini," they are welcoming you to Aruba

Currency

The official currency is Aruban florin, approximately 1.79 to the US dollar. The US dollar is also widely accepted

Getting Around

You can have an easy five-minute walk from your cruise ship to the downtown shops and restaurants. You can rent a car, or get taxis that are readily available on the dock. There are also hourly public buses if you do not wish do take a taxi or a rental

Fun Fact

Carnival is a big deal in Aruba. There are parades, contests for dance and more. And if you're in February in Aruba, be sure to attend one of the many Carnival activities

Aruba Cruise Port Information

Cruises setting out for Aruba typically sail for the shoreline, docking at prominent destinations like Baby Beach, Eagle Beach or the island’s capital and port city, Oranjestad. From there, your choices are virtually endless.

Your cruise to Aruba will touch the Aruba Port Authority, a large port only a kilometer away from downtown Oranjestad. The harbor is large enough to dock up to 5 ships at a time. 

The Aruba cruise terminal alongside it features tourist information desks, communication kiosks, ATM machines, and souvenir shops. Across the terminal, you will find L.G Smith Boulevard – a thoroughfare lined with shops, eateries and buses to take you around the town.

Cruises to Oranjestad, Aruba

Aruba Ports Authority, Oranjestad, Aruba
Aruba Ports Authority, Oranjestad, Aruba

When you anchor, you’ll find yourself in downtown Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba. The port of Oranjestad, currently Aruba’s largest commercial harbor, is situated on the island’s southwestern end. At the terminal, you have the Tours, Culture, and Heritage Information Center for anything you might need at that moment. 

There are also ATMs, souvenir shops, and free Wi-Fi. Just across the street from the terminal, there are some malls, and as soon as you exit to the left, you’ll find a small market in the Royal Plaza selling trinkets from the stalls. Shopping at duty-free is top in Aruba. 

Handcrafts at Vibes Aruba has a large range of gift pieces made locally and uniquely by Aruban Enthusiasts, such as handmade driftwood candles and paintings and works by local artists. A stroll along the waterfront is the perfect way to take in the colonial faux-Dutch architecture and tropical pastels. 

If your time of the port allows it make sure to book a sunset cruise shore excursion and enjoy the show put on by the Aruban sky.

Cruises from Tampa to Aruba

Tampa is much more than just home to Busch Gardens (one of Florida’s most famous theme parks), nicknamed ”The Big Guava”. The district of this harbor city is alive with tradition, shopping, and excellent dining. Being tucked within Tampa Bay on Florida’s west coast, it is not surprising that Tampa has developed into a busy cruise port for Western and Southern Caribbean itineraries throughout the year. All the famous cruise lines offer cruises that embark at Tampa, Florida, and visit Oranjestad, Aruba. 

  • Norwegian Cruise Line – offers a seven, nine, or ten-day round trip cruise itinerary that visits Aruba.  
  • Celebrity Cruises – you can discover the Southern Caribbean departing from Tampa, Florida, on an unforgettable cruise.
  • Royal Caribbean – go on a relaxing cruise into a tropical paradise with the Royal Caribbean cruise ships venturing to Aruba.

Best Cruises to Aruba: Cruise Lines

When planning your cruise to Aruba, choosing the right cruise line can be tricky because there are so many options. Just relax! Here is a neat list of cruises to Aruba that will take you to this picturesque Southern Caribbean Island country, among other stops on the way!

Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Getaway, Miami - Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Departure ports to Aruba

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • New York, New York
  • Miami, Florida
  • Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Tampa, Florida

Aruba Cruise Ports

  • Oranjestad

Recommended Sailings

  • 7, 11 & 14 Night Southern Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Oasis of the Seas in Ft. Lauderdale - Photo by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean Departure Ports to Aruba

  • Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  • Miami, Florida
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Bayonne/New Jersey
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico

Aruba Cruise Ports

  • Oranjestad

Recommended Sailings

  • 7 -12 Night Southern Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Horizon View - Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Departure Ports to Aruba

  • Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  • Miami, Florida
  • Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Charleston, South Carolina

Aruba Cruise Ports

  • Oranjestad

Recommended Sailings

  • 8 Night Southern Caribbean
Celebrity Cruise Line
Celebrity Edge - Photo by Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Departure ports to Aruba

  • Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico

Aruba Cruise Ports

  • Oranjestad

Recommended Sailings

  • 11 Night Southern Caribbean
Princess Cruise Line
Princess Cruises - Photo by Princess Cruise Line

Princess Departure Ports to Aruba

  • Ft. Lauderdale

Aruba Cruise Ports

  • Oranjestad

Recommended Sailings

  • 10 Night Southern Caribbean Medley
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruises

Disney Departure Ports to Aruba

  • Port Canaveral, Florida

Aruba Cruise Ports

  • Oranjestad

Recommended Sailings

  • 10-11 Night Southern Caribbean

Things To Do: Sights and Attractions

Beaches

Eagle Beach, Aruba
Eagle Beach, Aruba

Aruba Island is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches on the planet. Luxurious stretches of white sand, copious groves of palm trees, crystal clear waters, and a steady breeze to keep you cool – beaches in Aruba are just amazing! 

One of the busiest beaches on Aruba is surely the Palm Beach, which houses most of the resorts and pulls the largest tourist crowd. 

In contrast, Arashi Beach offers lots of peace and solitude if you are looking to get away from the crowds. 

The Eagle Beach is by far the most stunning of all beaches in Aruba. It is reputably the most beautiful beach in all of the Caribbean and the third most beautiful in the whole world.

Local Food and Restaurants

Aruba Sea Food
Aruba Sea Food

The Dutch Island of Aruba is popular for its postcard landscapes, exciting adventures or eternal tropical sunshine, and its unique cuisine and drinks. Aruba offers an exciting, multi-cultural fusion of delectable local flavors with influences from Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Caribbean, and Latin American culinary fare.

The Specialties

The Aruban specialties include Keshi yena (a meat mixture of either chicken or beef packed with delicious Gouda cheese), Cala (bean fritters), Stoba (goat stew), Ayacas (leaf-wrapped meat rolls) and Pastechi (cheese-stuffed turnovers).

Fresh Fish and Seafood

Seafood is the foundation of the local culinary scene in Aruba. The island’s local fishermen are out at sea in the wee hours of the morning and happily supply Aruba’s finest restaurants with daily fresh catches, including snapper, wahoo, mahi-mahi, grouper, yellowfin tuna, shrimp and the Caribbean lobster.

What to drink?

All alcoholic punches and cocktails are regional to Aruba, along with a liberal dose of rum. In addition, you can easily find imported Dutch beer with most establishments.

Aruba: The Best Caribbean Shopping Destination

Aruba Ports Authority, Oranjestad, Aruba
Aruba Ports Authority, Oranjestad, Aruba

Bustling with high-rise shopping plazas and small boutique shops at the same time, Aruba is simply the perfect shopping island. Betico Croes, better known as the Main Street amongst tourists and locals alike, serves as the city’s major shopping venue. You will find everything from souvenirs and handcrafted jewelry to fragrances and Aruba aloe products to Dutch delicacies and Cuban cigars. There are hundreds of colorful artisan shops and galleries all around San Nicolas, La Linda, Wharfside Flea Market, and Greater Oranjestad.

Aruba Shore Excursions and Activities

Carnival Shore Excursions in Aruba - Photo by Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Shore Excursions in Aruba | Photo credit: Carnival Cruise Line

If you thought that there were not many things to do in Aruba other than lying on beaches, think again. The fact is that Aruba’s ideal weather conditions and diverse landscapes offer a range of exhilarating shore excursions and outdoor adventures. 

Whether you want to walk on the ocean floor while wearing a helmet or explore the countryside riding on horseback, journey into the ocean’s depths aboard a submarine or experience Aruba’s exciting nightlife with a champagne toast, every tour is an adventure beyond imagination.

Need To Know

Post COVID-19 Travel Guidelines

New health and safety policies have been enforced throughout the island, including the Aruba Health & Happiness Code, with a particular focus on tourism and hospitality businesses to help ensure the well-being of Aruba’s tourists and the local community. All visitors will be expected to complete the electronic boarding /disembarkation card process and will be accepted for entry to Aruba.

It is recommended that all visitors review https://www.aruba.com/us/traveler-health-requirements regularly for any changes in dates, necessary procedures, and more, based on the ever-changing situation.

Best Time To Go

Generally, the best time to visit Aruba is the period between April to August. With warm weather year-round, there is not really a bad time to visit this beautiful island.

During the high season (mid-December to mid-April), Aruba appears to get more crowded, as many tourists seek to avoid the low temperatures and come to Aruba for some warmth and sunshine. With higher prices, limited capacity, reservations need to be made in advance.

If you are looking for a period that’s less crowded, it is recommended to visit Aruba during the low season (mid-April to mid-December).

Safety

Aruba is actually considered to be one of the safest of all the Caribbean islands. Even though that is true, it’s still an island in a region where petty crime, though relatively low, in Aruba still exists.

You should still avoid walking around by yourself at night, especially in secluded areas, and take percussions like everywhere else. Nature, too, can pose a threat.

While free from the threat of hurricanes, beyond the “hurricane alley,” there are still factors that can place you at risk: the land, the sea, and the often dangerous conditions that exist both on and inside. Heat can also be frustrating, so don’t forget to put sunscreen on, and hydrate regularly.

What To Pack

Making a list of which items to take with you on your vacation will help you greatly. Carrying a travel-sized backpack is much easier than dragging a suitcase behind you all around Aruba. Resist the temptation to pack non-essential items and travel lightly. Some of the articles that you should pack in your luggage include:

  1. Bathing suit;
  2. Sandals or sneakers;
  3. Medications and daypack;
  4. Bug spray and sunscreen lotion;
  5. An affordable underwater camera; 
  6. Shorts, skirts, tank tops, and t-shirts;
  7. Neck wallet, waterproof phone case, and windproof travel umbrella.
Conclusion

There is no shame in taking a holiday, and Aruba is just the perfect holiday destination! In Aruba, time is measured in happiness rather than minutes. With its abundance of natural wonders, sunshine, warm turquoise water, and sandy toes, Aruba is sure to get you hooked from the moment you arrive.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Related Articles
Cocomango Travel Insider
delivered once a week.
Subscribe Today and Receive:
Vacations Made Your Way!