May 14, 2008
Port of Call: Aruba
Weather: High 80s, Low Humidity, Sunny morning, cloudy afternoon
Linda enjoys the view from our balcony.
According to the Aruba Tourism Authority website, "the first people to inhabit the island were a nation of Arawak Indians called the Caiquetios who migrated north from the Orinoco Basin in South America and settled here approximately 2,000 years ago.
The native language is a creole dialect called Papiamento which is made up of elements of Dutch, Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, a number of different African languages, and Arawak Indian. Nearly everyone on the island is able to speak English and Spanish, in addition to Dutch, which is the official language of Aruba."
The Aruba local pilot boards the Disney Magic.
When Linda and I spoke to folks who had visited Aruba before just about every person commented on the beaches and snorkling.
We decided on a snorkling excursion. We bring our own snorkle and mask and use the fins and lifejacket from the tour company. You certainly don't have to bring your own as everything you need is supplied on the boat.
Turns out Ann and George were on our Sail and Snorkle excursion! It's really funny because without talking about what we plan to do, we tend to end up sharing excursions together. We gather in Rockin Bar D to leave the boat and head to the catamaran!
Sailing and Snorkling Excursion:
Escape to an underwater world of colorful fish, unique coral formations and the Antilla shipwreck during a sailing and snorkeling adventure off the coast of Aruba.
Our sister boat, duplicate of what we are on, sailing to the snorkle stop.
We sail about 40 minutes to Boca Cathalina. Located on the west coast of the island, Boca Cathalina is a picturesque beach hideaway brimming with white sands and swaying palm trees, and is considered to be one of the best snorkeling spots in all of Aruba for its vast array of fish.
Deb dons her snorkle gear.
The water level at this first stop was about 15 feet and seas were calm. The water was warm and felt great to be swimming around. After 40 minutes, we were back onboard the catamaran for a short sail to our 2nd stop, the world-famous Antilla shipwreck.
Built by the Germans in 1939, the 397-foot, World War II freight ship was sunk in 1940 by the very country that created it in direct response to the inescapable threat of being commandeered by the Dutch. Today, as the second largest wreck in the Caribbean, it is home to a kaleidoscope of tropical fish and is considered to be one of the world's top 10 snorkeling sites.
At this location the water was about the same temperature, but the seas were 60 feet deep and very rough with strong currents. Little ones, well, even some adults, had a difficult time navigating the waters. Our boat docked right on top of the ship wreck, so we didn't have to go far to get an incredible view of the ship and the tropical fish. I probably saw 4-5 different types of fish. Next time I'll have to study my fish guide before I go snorkling!
It was fascinating to explore the ship and see all the fish. There was a group of scuba divers at the ship as well. They were quite interesting to watch.
Linda and I got back on the boat after about 30 minutes, most folks were already on board.
We had a wonderful 45 minute sail back to the Disney Magic. The crew served all types of beverages and that's where I found Linda, George and Ann.
Back onboard the Disney Magic we showered and yes, took a nap LOL. I don't know what it is but we are so relaxed we just seem to want to nap.... hehe
We depart Aruba about 6pm. Would you love to stay at this resort we passed on the way out of port!!!
One of the channels on the ship TV is the Report from the Bridge. You can get weather conditions, location of the ship, sea conditions and all kinds of neat information. So far we have traveled......
The ship had changed to a more southwestern course so the sunset is no longer off our balcony. We went up to Deck 10 and enjoyed this evenings sunset out of Aruba....
We relaxed for a while in Cove Cafe with George and then began to slowly wander to our dining destination for the evening, Animator's Palate.
Along the way, we encountered this crazy man!
Characters really seem to be out all over the ship and it's great fun to just run into them as you walk the decks.
Tropical Fiesta Night on the Disney Magic. Here is Orland, our server explainig tonights menu. The next photo is Deb and Orland dancing around the restaurant.
There was a deck party complete with buffet, but Linda and I passed and returned to our cabin. A great day in Aruba. Another day at sea and then we sail through the Panama Canal!
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Deb and Linda