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So you're planning your next cruise with Aruba on the itinerary...
When it comes to vacations, there’s nothing like going on an Aruba cruise: from stunning ocean views to fun-filled excursions at various ports along the way—cruises are truly one of the best ways to see the world while enjoying luxurious, all-inclusive amenities.
And this is especially true when it comes to cruises in the Caribbean, as it’s quite possible to see the very best of the Caribbean in a single, unforgettable trip.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best Caribbean cruises to and around Aruba. There’s a lot to discover, so let’s get into it!
In Aruba, guests are treated to sunshine that just won’t quit, and the island consistently ranks as having the fewest number of rainy days in the Southern Caribbean, and what’s more, Aruba is also just outside the hurricane belt, making a direct hit from a hurricane an extremely rare occurrence.
Besides the persistent, 82-degree weather, Aruba is also one of the safest places to visit in the Caribbean, with low rates of both violent and petty crime. Indeed, Aruba has earned its nickname of the “One happy island”, and those who choose to visit will find an island brimming with exciting things to do, interesting places to explore, and a rich and diverse people who are friendly and helpful.
When taking a cruise to Aruba, guests will find themselves at Oranjestad Aruba Cruise Port, which is conveniently located within walking distance of various restaurants, bars, shops, and fun activities like Jeep Safari Tours.
However, it’s best to plan your Aruba adventure so you can make the most of your time in Aruba. There are plenty of things to do in Aruba on a cruise, so it’s best to start planning as soon as you can! If you’re looking for a more laid back experience, Oranjestad offers guided-walking tours with local experts who can educate you on the city’s rich and diverse history. If you’d rather spend your time on Aruba’s famous, white-sand beaches, Surfside Beach is only a 15-minute walk away! Alternatively, taking a taxi to any of the other nearby beaches is also an option.
And if you’re carrying U.S dollars, there’s no need to worry about currency exchanges as it’s accepted everywhere.
Choosing the right cruise liner can be tricky, especially since there are so many options to choose from—but don’t worry, we’ve done most of the research for you!
So, without further ado, we present to you our top picks for cruises to Aruba:
Carnival stands apart from other companies on this list, as they’re by far the largest and most diverse cruise line on the planet.
And being the biggest has some perks, especially when it comes to ship variety and onboard amenities. Take, for instance, the Breeze cruise ship: this cruise liner offers 8-day cruises spanning Fort Lauderdale, Grand Turk, La Romana, Aruba, and Curacao, making it an ideal choice for travelers who want to experience everything the Caribbean has to offer.
The Breeze cruise ship also features premium amenities that are simply to die for. For example, Breeze features an onboard waterpark known as WaterWorks—that’s right, this cruise ship has a massive waterpark located right on the ship! With Rides like Twister—a high-speed waterslide that spans hundreds of feet—and Speedway Splash that features special lighting effects, WaterWorks offers great fun in the sun for travelers of all ages.
Other amenities include an onboard theater featuring full-blown musical productions, a daycare for kids known as Camp Ocean, and a luxurious spa that’s perfect for taking a break from the day’s excitement.
For food, Breeze offers a whole host of dining options, ranging from gourmet burgers, bar-b-que, steaks, pizza, and Mexican favorites like freshly made tacos and burritos.
Accommodations on this ship include 4 room types, ranging from Interior Cabins perfect for couples to Ocean Suites featuring balconies and spacious interiors capable of sleeping 4 guests.
Needless to say, no matter what you’re looking for in an Aruban cruise, Carnival Cruises has something for everyone!
Besides Carnival, no other cruise line has the brand recognition of Royal Caribbean. Indeed, Royal Caribbean is the largest cruise line by revenue, and operates 4 of the largest cruise ships in the entire world!
And, if you’re looking to travel to Aruba, Royal Caribbean has some of the best offerings in the industry.
For example, Royal Caribbean offers an 11-night cruise spanning, Boston, San Juan, Willemstad, Oranjestad, George Town, and Tampa aboard the Brilliance of the Sea cruise liner.
Aboard the Brilliance of the Sea, travelers will find top-notch amenities, like a 40 ft. rock climbing wall, mini-golf, an arcade, shopping, live music, a spa and fitness center, and so much more!
Brilliance of the Sea also offers several premium bars and lounges, like the swanky Schooner Bar. Here, guests can enjoy live music from a piano while sipping their favorite cocktails. If you’d prefer to stay near the pool, Brilliance of the Sea also offers a Pool Bar serving up delicious frozen drinks like Mojitos, Mai Tais, and icy cold imported beers.
For food, Brilliance of the Sea offers a variety of options, including 24-hour room service! If it’s a quick bite that you’re after, Park Café serves up fresh deli sandwiches and made-to-order salads (make sure to try the “Kummelweck”!).
If fine dining is more to your taste, then Chef’s Table is definitely for you. Here, guests are treated to a 5-course meal, where each course is carefully presented by the Chef de Cuisine who explains how the dish was prepared and what ingredients were included. Topping it all off is a sommelier that pairs every course with a fine wine chosen to complement and highlight the flavors you’re experiencing.
Accommodations aboard the Brilliance of the Sea include award-winning rooms perfect for babies, couples, and large families. No matter what you’re looking for, Royal Caribbean has you covered: want a spacious interior room that’s elegantly decorated? Check! A suite with its own private balcony and lounge chairs? No problem!
Even though it may not be as big as the previous entries on this list, Norwegian Cruise Line is still a top pick for traveling to Aruba. In fact, Norwegian Cruise line was recently named the “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” for the 7th consecutive year at the World Travel Awards, making it one of the best cruise line for the southern Caribbean.
What’s the big deal?
For starters, Norwegian Cruise Line offers unique amenities that can’t be found on any other cruise liner. On vessels such as the Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Bliss, and Norwegian Encore, guest can enjoy race tracks and open-air laser tag courses. In addition, some ships even come with a quarter-mile long oceanfront promenade where guests can indulge in interesting conversation and breathtaking views.
Norwegian Cruise Line also differentiates itself with luxury accommodations that are a sight to behold. Take, for instance, the Haven: hidden away at the top of the ship is an expansive and spacious suite selection that offers 24-hour butler service and a private deck with plenty of seating for large groups. Also, Norwegian Cruise Line offers guests of the Haven a “Free at Sea” package, where they can enjoy an unlimited open bar, specialty dining, shore excursion credits, Wi-Fi, and more!
If you want to experience some of these modern amenities and accommodations, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a 21-day trip that spans California, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Santa Maria, Oranjestad, Willemstad, and New York.
Aboard the Norwegian Bliss, guests can enjoy the largest race track at sea, laser tag, a revolutionary observation lounge offering the most expansive views of the Caribbean, and luxurious accommodations, including the Haven!
If 21-days at sea are too much, Norwegian Cruise Line also offers shorter, 7-day trips that span Puerto Rico, Oranjestad, Kralendijk, Castries, and Basseterre aboard the Norwegian Epic.
For the 2nd year in a row, Celebrity Cruises (a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean) has won the annual award for Best Southern Caribbean Cruise Line from Cruise Critic—adding to its already impressive collection of awards and accolades in recent years.
Indeed, Celebrity Cruises takes great pride in differentiating itself from the rest of the pack by bringing together world-class architects, interior designers, and landscape artists to create environments and spaces that are not only awe-inspiring but welcoming as well.
In addition to top-notch designs, Celebrity Cruises also offers impeccable accommodations featuring world-class luxuries like personal butler service, a private restaurant, and an exclusive lounge—but that’s not the best part. The best part is that Celebrity Cruises is the only cruise line to offer these exclusive amenities to every suite guest!
When traveling to Aruba, we recommend this 7-day trip spanning San Juan, Basseterre, Oranjestad, Willemstad, and Kralendijk aboard the Celebrity Summit.
Recently renovated in March 2019, Celebrity Summit offers a wide range of dining options, including the Tuscan Grill—an Italian ristorante serving handmade pasta, artisanal salumi, and butcher cut meats—and Sushi on Five, a Japanese restaurant serving authentically prepared sushi and other Japanese specialties.
And if you need to get in a workout before you hit the pool, Canyon Ranch fitness has everything you need to burn those calories. From treadmills, to ellipticals, to free weights, to a full jogging track—Celebrity Summit has everything you need to stay in tip-top shape.
For lounges and bars, Celebrity Summit includes 5 unique places to get your drink on, including Cellar Masters—an elegant lounge featuring 400 wines from all over the world—and the Sunset Bar offering spectacular views and a country club-esque atmosphere.
Accommodations aboard the Celebrity Summit include 5 room types, including Inside, Ocean View, Veranda, Concierge Class, AquaClass, and Suites.
If it’s luxury that you’re after, then it doesn’t get any better than Regent Cruise Line (a subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line).
In fact, Regent Cruise Line has recently won a variety of impressive awards in 2019, including:
What’s more, Regent Cruises has been chosen as the world’s top-rated cruise line six times by readers of Conde Nast Traveler and other travel magazines—helping establish it as a leader in the 6-star cruise line industry.
To get a feel for what Regent Cruise has to offer, check out their Seven Seas Explorer Vessel. This all-suite vessel features the Regent Suite that has approximately 4,443 square feet of room, which is about as big as a 5-bedroom house!
Amenities for this suite include 2 spacious bedrooms, 2 private balconies with a custom-made Treesee Heated Minipool Spa, 2 ½ marble and stone detailed bathrooms, a private in-suite spa with sauna, a spacious living room, and a custom Steinway Grand Maroque Piano by Dakota Jackson.
Amenities aboard the Seven Seas Explorer include 7 world-class restaurants, like Prime 7—a handsomely decorated restaurant serving up the very best filet mignons and côte de boeuf—and a pool grill for casual dining.
For entertainment, Seven Seas Explorer has a full-fledged casino where you can try your luck at Blackjack, roulette, poker, slot machines, and full-sized craps tables. If gambling isn’t your thing, there’s also the Constellation Theater where guests can enjoy full-scale musical revues and cabaret shows—both of which backed by the five-piece Regent Signature Orchestra.
When going on a southern Caribbean cruise, Regent Cruises offers a 12-night cruise aboard the Seven Seas Explorer spanning Miami, Oranjestad, Willemstad, Kralendijk, St. George’s, Castries, and many more must-see Caribbean locations!
Like Regent Cruises, Princess Cruises is a luxury-focused cruise line offering high-class amenities, captivating live shows, and technology packages like keyless entry to make your embarkment smooth and enjoyable. In terms of awards, Princess Cruises might just be the most decorated cruise line on this list—just check out their Awards & Accolades page.
For example, Princess Cruises offers a 10-day cruise spanning across New York City, St. Maarten, Antigua, Aruba, Ft. Lauderdale aboard the Regal Princess, which features sweeping views and even a glass-floor walkway that extends 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship!
The Regal Princess is also is equipped with Princess MedallionClass amenities which includes a “wearable” device called the OceanMedallion™, which enables an entirely new level of service and personalized attention. This handy gadget is beautifully designed to be worn as a pendant, sports band, bracelet, or if discrete is more your style, it can be fastened to clothing via a clip. Once your wearable is synced to the MedallionClass app, you can unlock all kinds of services and features like ordering food by the poolside, booking reservations, or even automatically opening your stateroom door as you approach—neat!
Princess Cruises also spares no expense when it comes to accommodations. Each room comes equipped with gorgeous furnishings and luxury beds that were developed and certified by sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus.
If you’re looking for something to do aboard the Regal Princess, you can expect a wide variety of entertainment options including shows, musicals, standup comedy, and even an exclusive open-air poolside amphitheater to watch feature films while cozying up under the stars.
Princess Cruises also offers shorter, 8-day trips that span Ft. Lauderdale, Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire in the Caribbean Netherlands and return trip to the original port aboard the Sky Princess.
Last, but not least, is the Holland America Line (subsidiary of Carnival Cruises). This cruise line is the winner of several prestigious awards, including:
To get to Aruba, we recommend this 10-day cruise spanning Fort Lauderdale, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Kralendijk, Willemstad, and of course, Oranjestad.
This cruise takes you aboard the Volendam, a mid-sized vessel featuring great amenities and activities like the Digital Workshop—a place where guests can learn how to edit and display their vacation videos and photographs—and the Mainstage where guests can enjoy comedy acts and exclusives such as the BBC Earth Experiences live show.
Volendam also features Club HAL where kids ages 3-17 can engage in arts and crafts, sports, video game competitions, scavenger hunts, challenging team games, and themed parties—all under the supervision of a professionally trained staff!
This vessel also houses a variety of exciting places to eat, like the Lido Market that features freshly baked bread and pastries, hearty salads, hand-carved meats, fish, and much more. This modern marketplace also offers a variety of chilled juices, premium coffee, beer, wine, and soft drinks.
For a little more sophistication, there’s also The Dining Room that offers elegant breakfasts and multi-course dinners. Run by the ships very own Culinary Council—an elite team of world-renowned chefs—The Dining Room aims to bring perfection to every dish. For dinner, guests can choose between boneless lamb loin en croute, rosemary roasted chicken, and a variety of vegetarian-friendly dishes as well!
Accommodations on this vessel include 5 room types: Inside, Ocean View, Lanai, Vista Suite, and the Neptune & Pinnacle Suite.
The magic of Aruba meets the wonder of Disney when Disney Cruise Line sails to Oranjestad. Along with visits to Antigua, Bonaire, Curaçao, and two delightful days at sea—plus an entire day in Aruba—the Disney Wonder makes 7-day sailings through the Caribbean an ideal choice for travelers who want to experience everything this part of the world has to offer.
As part of the broader Disney world, Disney Cruise Line ships come with a number of unique benefits. Select cruises offer the opportunity to extend your vacation with a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida before or after your cruise.
Aboard the ship, first-run movies from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and 20th Century Fox could be playing—Avengers: Endgame at sea, anyone? On the upper decks, guests can find a variety of pools—from interactive splash zones to serene adult retreats that make it easy to get the tan you’ve always wanted.
If fun in the sun sounds a little too hot, the Disney Wonder offers a number of ways to cool off. For the younger ones, Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab offer uniquely-themed indoor play spaces. Tweens and teens have their own special areas, while the adults enjoy their drinks and dancing. And the entire family can get downright chilly when Frozen, A Musical Spectacular plays aboard the ship—something you can only find aboard Disney Cruise Line.
For those who might be a bit hungry from all the excitement, the Disney Wonder offers and endless array of options. With Rotational Dining, guests can experience a different restaurant and a different menu every night of the voyage. Snack options are conveniently located around the ship, and soda, water, coffee, and hot chocolate is included in the cruise fare.
Accommodations come in four main categories, ranging from Inside cabins with porthole-shaped mirrors to the limited-availability Concierge Royal Suite—a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom retreat with Concierge services. But no matter which stateroom is right for your family, all the fun comes standard.
So, no matter what you could be looking for in a cruise to Aruba and beyond, Disney Cruise Line offers options for the entire family.
Now that you know exactly what Aruban cruises are all about, you should be ready to book your trip!
For additional offers, don’t forget to check out our Deals & Offers page to get the best price on a hotel or resort, because you never know what kind of deals could be waiting for you!