Took public transportation bus to Palm Beach for $2.30 round trip pp. Getting on the bus was easy at the terminal, which was within walking distance of cruiseship BUT return trip from beach took along time for a bus to come along. Waited about 40 mins. for bus to pick us up at Palm Beach stop in front of the Riu. Beach was beautiful and had lots of watersport activities. Beware there are several vendors to rent chairs, umbrellas and watersports from, compare prices, cuz they're all different. They do not work for the hotels. Water was a little chilly but very clear and refreshing once it got later in the day.
Again, people didn't seem friendly. Definitely is NOT "One Happy Island". I shopped briefly, but almost every store I went in, I was the only person in there. Shopped at the Royal Plaza Mall at around 3pm, and it was dead. Paid $5.35 for a Corona at some bar. $5.35 for a beer is ridiculous. St Martin, St Thomas, Cozumel, you can beer from street vendors for a buck($1). Thought I could get a few cheap drinks while in port, but that's not the case. Pretty much everyone spoke a foreign language, which made it overwhelming and uncomfortable. I've decided to stick to the Eastern Caribbean itineraries.
I gave Aruba a 3 star only because of the beach, which was beautiful, pretty calm and a tad bit windy. If I had to go back it would only be for the beaches. Eagle Beach looked nice to, as we drove by in the bus.
People not friendly, tried to get a cab and 4 guys were standing around until I said "can someone take us to Seaquarium". Usually cabbies are hounding you once you get off a ship, but these guys just didn't seem to care. Seaquarium was so not worth the $20adult admission. And Seaquarium Beach was so not worth the $3 adult admission. Too much construction, no tiki bars or restaurants and no island music. The beach itself was nice but thats it.
I was in Curacao about 15 yrs ago. I don't remember much but I do remember the floating pontoon bridge. When it opens, it can be open for more than an hour, because the cargo ships are lined up out at sea just waiting to get into the harbor. It can strand 1000+ people at a time which means your stuck taking the free ferry or hailing a cab back to the ship. You will be stranded if you dont plan ahead.