We pulled into Aruba around 7:00 am and were looking forward to getting to the beach early. The only question was which beach. There are three main beaches in Aruba that most cruisers visit. Palm Beach, Eagle Beach and Arashi Beach but there is also another option that we found thanks to Cruise Critic and that is the Private Beach at the Renaissance Resort which is within walking distance of the pier.
Here is a quick sketch of where the resort is in relation to the port:
A day pass to the Private Beach was $75 per person and included lunch, one drink and unlimited use of non-motorized water sports equipment (snorkel gear, canoes, floats, etc.)
The private island had an Adult Only swim area a Nature Trail a Family Swim area with a floating platform, a restaurant/bar, tennis courts and plenty of lounge chairs and shade. It was the perfect place to spend the day and well worth the money.
We swam, then snorkeled and saw many colorful fish (mostly very small) including two large green parrot fish and a one foot barracuda that wouldn’t let me get a picture of him.
Our lunch was impressive too we had a Cajun Snapper sandwich and a local beer called Balashi which was great! Well worth the entrance fee.
We did a little browsing in the local shops on the way back to the ship but couldn’t find anything we had to have so we headed back to the ship for a nap because we are on vacation after all.
After dinner there was a 70’s dance in the Centrum where we were having a great time dancing until the event staff cleared the dance floor to do a really cheesy YMCA and introduce themselves. They killed the dance floor so we headed up to the Vortex on deck 12 for Beatles hour. At 11:00 pm we headed over to the Hollywood Odyssey for Jazz before needing a break from the cigar smoke and heading off to bed.
I don’t think we could have asked for a better day at our first port!