How would you feel about sailing your next Southern Caribbean cruise out of Aruba? While it's one of the most popular ports in the deep Southern Caribbean below the hurricane belt, Aruba has just now gained its first big-ship assignment. The Spanish operator Pullmantur has announced it will homeport the 30,200-ton, 684-passenger Blue Moon -- which you may have sailed on when it was known as Renaissance Cruises' R7 -- in Aruba, beginning cruises on November 4.
Alas, the five-ship Spanish line offers cruises for Spanish-speaking travelers and is not marketing itself to North Americans. Indeed, the passengers for each cruise will be flown directly from Spain to Aruba via Pullmantur's own charter jets.
Folks on this continent can, however, choose the only other homeporting options in Aruba if so desired: Windjammer's Polynesia offers sailings from the Dutch island, and Carnival Destiny features an optional embarkation here every Friday through 2006.