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Cruises to Aruba

Aruba (Photo:Steve Photography/Shutterstock)
Aruba (Photo:Steve Photography/Shutterstock)

About Aruba

Aruba is located in the Southern Caribbean, and represents the first letter of the ABC island chain (which includes Bonaire and Curacao), and is the richest and most developed of the three, with chain hotels and high-end stores. Cruise ships dock in the city of Oranjestad.

The island is a surprising mix of soft, white-sand beaches and desert (the aloe plant thrives here and aloe vera is one of the island's biggest exports); Dutch heritage and influences from nearby Venezuela. The official language is Papiamento, an intriguing blend of Dutch, English, Spanish and creole, but most islanders are multilingual (including English). The currency is the Aruban florin, but most shops and restaurants will accept the U.S. dollar.

Cruisers visiting Aruba will want to set out for the shoreline, visiting famous stretches of sand like Eagle Beach or Baby Beach. If time in port allows, be sure to book a sunset cruise shore excursion when the Aruban sky puts on a fiery show. Other popular excursions include an island tour, a trip beneath the Caribbean Sea in a submarine or a visit to an ostrich farm.

The weather is ideal in Aruba, which means that a daily average of 82 degrees Fahrenheit is kept comfortable by the trade winds that blow through, along with little rainfall. It's rare for hurricanes to reach this part of the Caribbean, which means that while it's pleasant to visit year-round, it can also withstand the hurricane season months of May through October.

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16 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Tampa

14 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: New York

14 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
San Juan
Visiting:
Aruba, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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13 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, Bonaire ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

9 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Aruba, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Panama City
Visiting:
Gatun Lake, Puerto Limon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Aruba, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Aruba, Bonaire ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

11 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Bonaire, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Montego Bay, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Aruba, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Aruba, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Panama City
Visiting:
Panama Canal, Puerto Limon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Panama City
Visiting:
Panama Canal, Puerto Limon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Aruba, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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56 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
St. Maarten
Visiting:
Antigua, Sopers Hole ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
New Orleans
Visiting:
Montego Bay, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Aruba, Bonaire ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Aruba

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Aruba, Bonaire ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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Why go to Aruba?

Pros:

Its location in the Southern Caribbean nearly guarantees good weather all year-round

Cons:

Very commercialized; roads are narrow

Bottom Line:

Gorgeous beaches, abundant shopping and intriguing terrain keep Aruba a cruiser favorite

Aruba Cruise Port Facilities?

You'll be anchored in downtown Oranjestad, Aruba's capital city. The terminal features the Tourism, Culture and Heritage Information Center, phones, ATMs, small souvenir shops and free Wi-Fi.

Great shopping, dining and bar-hopping are within walking distance of the dock. Several malls are located right across the street from the terminal, and as soon as you exit to the left you will find a small market in the Royal Plaza selling trinkets from stalls. A stroll along the waterfront is a great way to take in the faux-Dutch colonial architecture and tropical pastels.

Good to Know?

If you are planning on driving, use caution on the roads, as some international signs might be unfamiliar. (Driving is on the right side of the road.) Also, exercise the same common sense and safety as you would in any foreign location, particularly if your ship stays in town late and you decide to walk into town at night.

Getting Around?

On Foot: It's an easy five-minute walk from your cruise ship to downtown shops and restaurants (take a right as you exit the port and that will take you along the main drag -- L.G. Smith Boulevard); a trip to any of Aruba's beaches requires a taxi or car ride.

By Taxi: Taxis are readily available on the dock; they do not have meters, so be sure to settle your fare up front. Fares are listed on signs at the terminals. A ride from downtown to Palm Beach takes about 10 minutes from the terminal. If you want a two-hour island tour, you can fit up to five people in a car for one flat per-car rate. Taxis can be hailed from the street.

Renting a Car: There are several car rental companies in Aruba; Royal Car Rental (+297 587 7900), Smart Rent a Car (866-581-0785) and Speed Car Rental (297-582-8045) have locations at the cruise terminal. The best way to self-explore the terrain is by Jeep. Editor's Note: You should have no problem renting a car without a reservation -- but the Jeeps do go first, so either debark the ship as early as you can, or book ahead of time.

By Bus: If you want to get out of town but don't feel like paying for a taxi or rental car, the hourly public buses that run from Oranjestad to Malmok or Arashi also make stops in front of all hotels along the beach strip (look for the L10 or L10A). The roundtrip fare is \$2.30, and exact change is appreciated, though the driver will break U.S. and Aruban bills. The main bus terminal is opposite the cruise ship pier gate.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The official currency is the Aruban florin, approximately 1.79 to the U.S. dollar. However, U.S. currency is widely accepted, and most banks' ATMs will dispense it, including the Caribbean Mercantile Bank in the cruise terminal next to the information center.

Language?

Most locals speak English, Spanish and Dutch, as well as Papiamento -- a language native to the ABC islands. If someone says, "Bon bini," he or she is welcoming you to Aruba.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated Southern Caribbean Destinations
  • 2017 Top-Rated Southern Caribbean Destinations
  • 2016 Top-Rated Southern Caribbean Destinations
  • 2015 Top-Rated Southern Caribbean Destinations

Aruba Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Epic
Grandie1313
Sail Date: Feb 2020
Aruba, the best of all the island!!!! How we love Aruba. We chose a day pass at the Barcelo Resort and couldn't have been happier. Georgeous beach, goergeous pool, friendly staff and guests. This is the way to rest... Read More
Adventure of the Seas
Dipsylee
Sail Date: Feb 2020
We love Aruba and have been there many times. So we visited some of our favorite downtown places,, The Aruba Experience and the West Deck.... Read More
Norwegian Gem
BerkshireBob
Sail Date: Jan 2020
It's Aruba, whats not to like.... Read More
Norwegian Epic
Crsni234
Sail Date: Feb 2020
We have always loved Palm Beach and enjoy it if on a day stop during a cruise or a vacation to Aruba.... Read More
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