Saturday, March 11, 2023
Before I started getting ready for our first dressy night of the cruise, I got the laundry sorted so the stewards could pick it up this evening. Free laundry is one of the best perks about being a 4-star HAL mariner.
Played some slots and then went to the main dining room. I expected to get another pager since the dining room is usually very busy on the dressy nights. However, we were escorted right to a table for two. We made it easy on the waiter. Chuck and I each had the crab and avocado dip, the tomato and carrot soup, and the sole. Excellent dinner.
I was surprised we were able to get a seat at the comedy show of Sean Kent. When the comedy shows are held in the BB King lounge, most all seats are taken. Tonight, the staff had to bring in more chairs to set up on the dance floor. We were able to get one of those seats. Not as comfortable as the regular lounge chairs but the show is only 45 minutes. He had some good jokes. Little more risqué than most HAL shows.
Went to Cantare’s show at the main stage. The organization has been with HAL for 10 years. The show consists of 4 men who perform a variety of songs with no back-up band. Each group of men we have ever seen always harmonize well. Tonight, was no exception.
Once it was over, we called it a night. Came back to our cabin to find the dreaded “clocks move forward one hour tonight” notice. We are getting a jump on daylight savings time.
Since I didn’t wake up until 8:00, I went to the Crow’s Nest to pick up the coffee instead of the Dutch Cafe. It was much less crowded than the DC. They even had plenty of large To Go cups. The main dining room closes at 9:00 for breakfast on port days and we got in about 8:50.
Once breakfast was finished, I went to the Future Cruise desk to see if I could get a printout of one of the cruises I saw in the presentation. Lots of printouts available for Caribbean and Alaska cruises but not the one I was wanting. Decided I will have to sign up for an appointment with the consultants.
Went to Shore Excursions desk to check on our excursion in St Marteen that had disappeared off my list in the Navigator app. It was what I had feared- canceled. The usual explanation – “operational reasons” – a catch-all phrase that could mean anything from not enough interest from the passengers to the tour operator went out of business. I usually get an email when that happens but not this time – just the disappearance from the app. The attendant said he thought it would be refunded during the next leg of this cruise. We’ll see.
Also, the Barbados tour is still listed. I’ll have to keep checking to be sure it gets refunded since I did get notified that the port has been cancelled. My email said that any excursion for this port would automatically be cancelled and refunded but it obviously has not been. Annoying.
We walked 1.5 miles on the Promenade deck and then played some slots. When we got back, the stewards had finished the room and left us a towel animal and chocolate. They usually are delivered on dressy nights. Better late than never.
I’m frustrated with my laptop. I can’t get any of my Office apps to sync. The error message is vague and unhelpful. But the bottom line is that I can’t go back and forth between my phone and laptop when using the apps. I’ll try to see if I can work on it when we get back to Ft Lauderdale and I can use my phone as a hotspot.
We docked early in Aruba and people were able to get off at 1:30 instead of 2:00. Nobody needed to be in a rush because all aboard time is 11:30 pm. Most rushed out anyway.
Our view today of Aruba from the balcony:
We’ve been here several times – walked around the port area, been snorkeling, and taken an island tour on a Segway. Today, we opted to stay on board and relax, spending the day in the relatively empty Sea View pool.
Previous Aruba visits:
One thing I discovered today was that their blended juices are included in the drink package. I had the carrot, apple, and parsley blend. Excellent. I plan to try them all before the cruise is over.
It was soon time to get ready for our dinner at the Tamarind.
Alonso de Ojeda became the first European to land on the island in 1499.
Aruba was declared a useless island because of its absence of natural resources, including precious metals.
Fort Zoutman is Aruba’s oldest building. It was built in 1798 to protect Oranjestad from pirates.
Oranjestad became the capital city of the island in 1824. It was named after the first King William I of the Netherlands.
The oil industry discovered Aruba in 1924.
Eighteen percent of Aruba’s land area lies within Arikok National Park.
Every year in June, Aruba hosts the Hi-Winds Amateur World Challenge windsurfing tournament.
Flamingoes can be seen on the island. However, they are not native to Aruba.
*Trivia provided by Wikipedia