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Archive for July, 2014

ArubaAs posted from Cruise Radio, here are a list of 5 things to do while you are in Aruba. There are several great choices to get you there, so take a look at some of these ideas and call The Cruise Experts International when you are ready to book.

I’ve wanted to go to Aruba since I first heard the Beach Boys’ Kokomo as a child. I finally made it there a few years ago and it totally lived up to my expectations. Aruba’s seen a share of bad press in the recent years – through no fault of their own – but I found the island to be charming, friendly, safe and absolutely beautiful. Aruba quickly jumped on to my top 10 best places to vacation list.

Here are 5 things to do on your trip to Aruba:

1. Jeep Tours. This is how I saw the island during my visit and I found it a fun, yet bumpy, way to see different parts of this island. We visited the north side of the island with the crashing waves, rock formations and Natural Bridge. Since we were on a jeep tour, we really go to go off road and explore the off-beaten path to the rocky shoreline. After visiting the natural beauty, we stopped at the Aruba Ostrich Farm and then drove along the island’s back roads where we took in the views and famous landmarks: the Bushiribana Ruins of Gold, Alto Vista Chapel and the California Lighthouse. At the end of our tour, we stopped at a local beach to enjoy some down time before heading back to our ship. While it was a whirlwind excursion, I loved that we got to see the resort and wild side of the diverse island.

2. The Famous Sites. Aruba’s known for some famous landmarks: the Natural Bridge, Alto Vista Chapel, and the California Lighthouse. The Natural Bridge was a formation of coral limestone stretching almost 23 feet. Sadly it collapsed in 2005, but today you can still see the remains and other amazing rock formations caused by the crashing waves. Alto Vista Chapel is on the remains of the first Catholic Church in Aruba that was built in 1750 by a Spanish missionary. Services are still held there today. Named for a ship – the S.S. California – that wrecked in 1891 on those shores, it sits on the northwest corner of Aruba. Though you can’t climb the lighthouse, you can eat at the restaurant right next to it: La Trattoria el Faro Blanco. The best way to take these sites in is on a tour – booked locally or through your cruise ship.

3. Beaches. Aruba’s a diverse island and that’s reflected in the type of beaches you’ll find. Aruba frowns upon nude beaches, but you’ll find topless beaches including The Renaissance Island and De Palm island. Most of the beaches are on the West Side of the island including uber popular Eagle Beach. Easily accessible by public transportation, it’s the widest beach on the island and offers shaded picnic areas, hut and motorized water sports. Also, during the year, you’ll find turtle nests there and can watch – safely from a distance – as the hatchlings head to the Atlantic Ocean.

4. Kitesurfing and Windsurfing. Not found in most Caribbean ports, Aruba offers kite surfing because of the year-round trade winds the island experiences. You’ll find world famous instructors on the island eager to teach you and help you try out this new experience. Want to watch? In June/July, the island hosts the Hi-Winds Amateur World Challenge windsurfing and kitesurfing tournament. You’ll see professionals from all over the world.

5. If you’re a certified scuba diver, Aruba’s got some amazing places to explore – both for beginners and experts. The largest wreck in the Caribbean – the Antilla – is over 400 feet long. The Pedernales Wreck – another casualty of World War II – is a great site for beginners where you’ll find groupers, angelfish and unique coral formations. Overall, there are over 20 dive sites on the island.

What’s your favorite thing to do on Aruba? Have you tried any of these experiences before?

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Diamond Club

Recently Royal Caribbean began a new policy of offering complimentary drink vouchers per night to select levels of Crown and Anchor Society members to help offset congestion in its Diamond and Concierge lounges.

How does these new complimentary drink coupons work?

Three drink vouchers per day will be applied to each eligible Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members corresponding SeasPass card to be used to get a free drink at bars on the ship.

One drink may be redeemed at any one time.

Who is eligible for the drink coupons?

Guests who are Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members.

When can I use the drink coupons?

Between 4:30pm and 8:00pm

Which drinks are available with the coupons

Spirits

  • Bacardi Rum
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Finlandia Vodka
  • Dewar’s White Label Scotch Whiskey
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
  • Jose Cuervo Gold Tequilla
  • Courvoisier VS Cognac
  • Sandeman Port Wine

Wines by the glass

  • St. Martin Chardonnay
  • Zonin Pinot Grigio
  • Beringer White Zinfandel
  • St. Martin Cabernet Sauvignon
  • St. Martin Merlot

Beers

  • Budweiser
  • Miller Light
  • Amstel Light
  • Corona
  • Heineken

Can I still go to the Diamond Lounge if I use these coupons?

Yes, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members can continue to enjoy all the amenities in the Diamond Lounge.

Where can I not use the complimentary drink coupons?

Drink vouchers may not be redeemed in the dining room, specialty restaurants, room service or Windjammer.

Are the drink coupons available on all cruises?

Not yet. Royal Caribbean promises they will be rolled out by Fall 2014 but already a number of ships are offering it, including Navigator of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean has begun a new policy of offering complimentary drink vouchers per night to select levels of Crown and Anchor Society members to help offset congestion in its Diamond and Concierge lounges.

Emails are starting to go out to Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members who have an upcoming Royal Caribbean cruise booked to alert them about this new policy.

Diamond Coupons

The SeaPass card of each eligible Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club member will be loaded with three drink vouchers for each night of the sailing. Vouchers expire daily. Drinks vouchers are not valid in the main dining room, the Windjammer Café or in specialty restaurants.

It’s widely believed this new policy of offering drink vouchers is an attempt by Royal Caribbean to offset crowding in its Diamond and Concierge lounges.

This new policy will be rolled out to the entire fleet by Fall 2014.

Which ships are offering it right now is in flux, but we know that at the latest Freedom of the Seas will by July, Navigator of the Seas by September.

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