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  Aruba - Netherlands Antilles

The last destination before we sail back to Florida is the 'Happy Island' Aruba. Aruba is one of the Netherlands Antilles and discovered by tourists for her perfect beaches and clear aqua-blue waters. Lots of excursions here: many have something to do with watersports, like diving, snorkeling, sailing, swimming, etc. Or you can go to the beach by yourself by taking a taxi, like we did, followed by some shopping in Oranjestad.
Page introduction photo
Aruba is being visited by lots of cruise ships. And today we are not the only cruise ship as well, as you can see here. All the cruise ships dock in downtown Oranjestad.
From our ship you can see the marina of Oranjestad, with lots of luxurious ships owned by rich families.
This is the beach in the 'high rise hotel zone' of Aruba. As you can see, it's a beautiful beach with lots to do. If you are looking for a secluded beach, you're at the wrong place. However, there's enough space for everyone.
From the upper deck on the ship we have this overview of Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba.
Oranjestad is famous for its houses with their gabled roofs, painted in pastel colours.
These gabled roofs show that the island has been under influence of The Netherlands. Many old houses in Holland built in the 16th and 17th century have these kind of roofs. Now these roofs and houses are nice for tourists.
Since Aruba is one of the Netherlands Antilles, Dutch is the official language of Aruba, although English, Spanish and Papiamento are also spoken. But yes, we could speak our mother language here to a taxi driver and some salespersons in the shops and on the beach. That's a bit odd when you're far away from home.
An overview of Oranjestad from the upper deck of the ship. On the foreground the cruise terminal and parking lot.
In the Netherlands many old towns have houses with these kind of roofs, but almost never are they painted in pastel colours. That's only on Aruba.
Oranjestad by night, preparing for some nightlife. Our ship leaves at 01.00 am headed for Ft. Lauderdale, where we will arrive after two sea days, where we'll have some time left for relaxing.