Our first stop onboard the Coral Princess was the Island of Aruba. I knew very little about the island, except for that Beach Boys song. Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba was our first port of call. I was determined to have it be a beach day. It was a very short stop. We were only there for 4 hours. Some people took the warning about coming back to the ship on time too lightly. We took off and left a couple behind. I don’t know if they caught up with us at the next port or not. I do know that when a cruise says to be on the ship by a certain time, they mean it!
We had asked someone from concierge which beach to visit on our short stay and already had a name in mind when we hailed a taxi and headed over there. Once at the beach, we encountered what the locals call a “beach bum”. That’s the person that rents you a lounge chair and umbrella. It wasn’t cheap, but we got a couple of chairs and some umbrellas.
The sand is a powdery white. The water was a little cool when you got in, but definitely nice. We were there the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t know if during other times of the year the water is warmer or if it’s always this way.
I was sad to leave this beautiful beach, but we wanted to do a little local shopping before we returned to the ship. I’ve learned throughout my travels that taxi drivers know a lot about their country. I asked the taxi driver about their currency and the languages they speak and he was happy to answer my questions. Turns out they have a square coin. I have a relative that collects foreign currency so when I visit a new country I pick up for him usually a bill, but these coins were unusual enough that I needed one. The taxi driver said they were worth something like $0.30 US.
Shopping in Aruba on Black Friday was interesting. I didn’t realize that any other country would have Black Friday deals, but they do. We were in immediate need of a selfie-stick since I was pretty disappointed that the one I brought on the trip had broke.
On the image above you can see the contents of a vendors booth. Notice that there are a lot white and blue Dutch looking items. That’s because Aruba is a Dutch Island. They even have their own windmill in town.
After visiting several stores, I did buy a selfie stick, but unfortunately, it didn’t work. Oh well, we were on our way to the next port. There was no way to exchange it.