8-May-2020 • Oranjestad Aruba

While many people nowadays wouldn't step on a cruise ship after all the Corona Virus infections taking place there, I wouldn't mind sailing on one when the pandemic is all over and it is safe to travel once again and go cruising.

My partner and I have had some of our happiest vacations on board cruise ships.   We've done 7 to date.  Six to the Caribbean and one to Alaska.  Who wouldn't enjoy traveling to so many island countries, unpacking and packing once, eating at buffet restaurants day in and day out , deciding which shows to watch after dinner, and just hanging out during the entire trip?  It is just hard to pass up.   

It was around this time last year when we returned from our latest cruise to Southern Caribbean with Royal Caribbean.  It sure was nice to visit Aruba for the second time.  Since we had already visited the island during our two week cruise to different parts of the Caribbean last 2009, we decided to do our own tour of the city of Oranjestad this time around.  Among the newest additions to the sights in the island country we saw were the I LOVE ARUBA sign in front of the Parliament Building, the multi story ZARA store behind the high end Renaissance Mall, and the very colorful Natural Archaeological museum.   

There sure were numerous duty free stores eager to separate tourists from their money.  In fact, it was here where I was able to buy the Gucci perfume, Bloom, for a lot less compared to stores in the mainland US.  Normally priced at $100, I bought a big bottle for $70 tax free.  To think, I also bought a Gucci perfume, also Bloom, but with a different scent for just $67 a day before in Curacao.   Boy, was I happy!  

To top it all, we were able to go swimming at the beach on the Marriott property for free.  We did ask at the check in desk inside the hotel if we, cruise passengers, could swim there and we were told it was okay.

This is where we went swimming right after lunch on the ship.  What a delight! 

What a pleasant surprise it was to buy the GUCCI perfume here at this duty free store.

I couldn't pass up a photo opp with this beautiful Aruban home in sight.  Taken in downtown Oranjestad.

This trolley took tourists up and down a street lined with stores and restaurants. 

Here's a view of the very heart of the bustling downtown of Oranjestad.  

Saying goodbye to Aruba.  Photo shows the beach where we swam and spent a lazy afternoon in Aruba before we sailed away and headed back to the USA.  This was the property of the Marriott Chain of hotels.  

Need I say more?

It would have been nice to have visited this beautiful and colorful National Archaeological Museum of Aruba but it was closed!

What architecure! A full frontal view of the main entrance to the National Archaeological Museum of Aruba.

I shall return!

San Francisco has hearts, Aruba has horses.  This statue is just one of several that littered the Oranjestad.

Random art in a quiet corner of the city.

This was the big ZARA store we saw and visited while on our walking tour of the city. It was located behind the posh Renaissance Mall.