The Carnival Breeze arrived in Aruba early in the morning yesterday. By the time I had woken up, the ship’s crew were already preparing the mooring lines to be tied up at the dock. Looking towards the city of Oranjestad from my balcony, I knew our final port day would once again turn out to be a good one.
After eating a quick breakfast on the Lido deck, I noticed that Carnival Waterworks was open and that there was no line for either waterslide. I also realized that at the time, the majority of the Breeze’s guests had already gone ashore for the day. Can you guess what happened next? I ended up sliding down each slide somewhere around 20 times! The Drainpipe may have been my favorite, because of the speed you pick up before being shot out into the bowl at the bottom of the slide. Next up that morning was Sports Square. Continuing on the “no line” miracle, I decided to harness up and try out my “above the sea” legs on the Sky Course, Carnival Breeze’s suspended rope course. Since I had never done anything like this before, I decided to take the easy path, which in my opinion, was still pretty challenging. As I began to move across the first rope, I suddenly became aware that I was about 20 feet above the deck and that the only thing keeping me from falling was a small harness with a rope. I continued to make my way across the rope and eventually made it to the next platform. Not only was I relieved to have conquered the first rope, but I suddenly had the excitement in me to start the next rope. After finishing the course, I was exhilarated that I was able to get through the entire course without either falling or quitting. Now, after the exhilaration from the Sky Course and the excitement from Carnival Waterworks, I was ready to explore Oranjestad.
Disembarkation in Aruba was quick and easy, considering that almost the entire ship was already ashore. From the port, we followed the marked signs leading us into town. Eventually, we arrived on the main street of Oranjestad, which was lined with shops, hotels, casinos, restaurants, and marinas. It somewhat reminded me of a boulevard in either Miami or Los Angeles. After walking on the main street for a little while, we stumbled upon another Renaissance, where we decided to ask for permission to use their pool and beach just for an hour or two. Soon, we were led into the resort area. Similarly to the Renaissance in Curacao, the resort area was beautiful. Huge palm trees swayed gently in the wind, the waves from the Caribbean Sea slowly crept ashore, and the hot Caribbean sun warmed the white sand along the beach. This place was truly paradise. Even the pool area was just as nice as the beach. With multiple, palm filled islands placed throughout the pool, there were many coves and shady areas to relax in. I had no intention of leaving, well, until at least we had to leave to embark, which sadly came sooner than I wanted it to.
We had soon packed up our towels and beach items and began to make our way back to the ship. Along the way, my family and I decided to explore a small straw market located across from the port. All the stores were locally owned and were selling the usual tourist trappings, such as necklaces, hats, and t-shirts. Suddenly, I took notice of a small little wooden building at the very end of the market. It was brightly painted and had little signs hanging all over it. I decided to move closer to check out what this store was selling. Well, it turns out that the store, aptly named The Island Shop, sold an array of homemade crafts and souvenirs. From beautiful hand painted magnets, to ornaments, and even painted driftwood signs with inspirational sayings painted on – this store stood out from the rest. Everything sold in the store was made on the island by locally born artist, Trudy Lampe. It was great to meet her and discuss her beautiful and unique work. [Stay tuned for a full article on Trudy and her work later this month]
After leaving the straw market it was time to embark the Carnival Breeze for the last time. As we waited to reach the gangway, I took my final looks around Aruba and then embarked the ship. Soon, our gangways had been pulled in and our ropes were aboard. Our Captain fired up the engines and we began to drift away from the dock. We then took a course through the harbor, which offered a panoramic view of the entire island. As we began to leave the channel and the Port of Aruba, I looked back into the sunset over Aruba and watched the “one happy island” disappear from view.
Where Is Mike Today? At Sea
Where Will Mike Be Tomorrow? At Sea