Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Cruise
Columbia, Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba
March 10th – 17th, 2013

March 15th

Oranjestad, Aruba

Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba, was named after a King and with the discovery of gold here soon became the bustling Dutch capital of Aruba. In the early colonial days it had a massive fort that overshadowed the town. Now to look at it, it looks a bit like a mini Las Vegas with the hotels, casinos and shops to buy very high class goods. The one beautiful part about Aruba is the yacht area where you will see any number of very posh looking boats. We always enjoy walking along this area to check out what has arrived. A gorgeous ship called Ecolution is docked so close we could step right on it but of course that is not to be. We admire its simplicity and double booms that each look like mini sailboats. This is also the area that if you keep walking along the seashore you will see many iguanas out sunning themselves. They love lettuce and if offered they will come to get it from you. There are many places to shop from upscale places to street stalls. Many shipwrecks are located just off the coast and make for some great dives. Outside the city there are rock formations, old gold mining areas and stunning desert scenery. One Happy Island is their slogan and yes, they are a very happy people. Who wouldn’t be living here! It is full of Dutch influenced gingerbread architecture in colours of pastel pink and ornate tiled roofs. It’s not a large island, only 20 miles from tip to tip and about 15 miles from Venezuela. Tourism is the mainstay of the island and continues to welcome cruise ships and vacationers with warmth and pleasure. The beautiful Divi-Divi (also known as watapana) trees welcome you too with their branches all pointed in one direction thanks to the tradewinds blowing from the southwest. There is a bird sanctuary, butterfly farm, ostrich farm, and many hiking trails including the one in Arikok that includes some 48 species of native trees – some so scarce you will only see them here. When we were here a few years ago we took a trip up to see the beautiful lighthouse and Alto vista chapel that was built in the 1700’s. Aloe vera plants a plenty – introduced in the 1800’s – and was so plentiful it covered nearly two thirds of the island. The Aruba Aloe Museum and Factory now produce lotions and creams from the aloe.

After our shopping and walking we headed back to the ship for some lunch and just chilled until it was time to head out for a reception, dinner and then another reception. The crew entertained us tonight at our formal dinner with some song and dance…it was fun to see them all a bit more relaxed and wow, lots of great dancers too! Another towel buddy tonight – this time a monkey.




  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row