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Day Passes or All-Inclusive beaches at Aruba or Curacao


CrimsonCruiser
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Hola!

The Short Version - looking for beach access excursions that include at minimum free chairs and food or offer well-priced food. Bonus points for included non-powered water activities. RC ones are too short.

 

The Long Version - I'll be returning to Aruba and Curacao in Aug 2022 and am looking to spend more time at the beaches. We did dePalm water park in Aruba and enjoyed it. It included food, chairs, snorkeling, water slides and flamingos. But it was pretty short (only about 3 hours at the actual beach) and given that it was an island and we had to ferry from the bus, I don't think we could have just stayed longer and gotten our own transportation back.

So looking for one of the following:

  • Hotel or resort with day passes that include food and chairs.
  • Easily accessible from the port beaches with inexpensive food and non-powered water activities (free chairs are a must)
  • RC Beach excursions that will allow me to miss the return bus and loiter longer, arranging my own cab or something back

 

(Also taking [unrelated] suggestions for ATV excursions in these places if they exist)

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I did Resortforaday.com RIU Palace Aruba  it was fantastic, so good we are going again next Thanksgiving with friends. The hotel is huge and lively,  there is a pass for the "family" side or the "adults only" We had our daughter so the family side was for us, it included food and drinks, this was in 2019 (summer) but it was super clean with a pool and beach. Your choice to do the water toys for extra $$. The best part is it was on a type of concrete boardwalk and we walked down to the other end visiting many other resorts along the way. We are looking forward to going back to try the adult only side when our daughter goes off to college in a few years. 

We just walked to to taxi area after getting off the ship and were there in about 20 minutes. You check in at the front desk and they give you a wristband, then off you go towels were also included at the towel hut. The beach was vast, clean and beautiful when we visited. We LOVE Aruba, have fun no matter what you choose! (Chairs included)

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I haven't visited the RIU resort mentioned but I have been in that area and it's exactly like @Neesa is describing.  All beaches in Aruba are public, but the resorts will have chair and umbrella setups in front of their resorts that are only for guest use. It's in the Palm Beach area, which is going to be about a 20 minute cab ride from the port but getting cabs to and from should be easy.

If you can find a resort somewhere on Eagle Beach, it's a little less crowded than Palm Beach. Palm Beach is where all of the high rises are, but that also gives you more to walk around and see. Eagle Beach is closer to the port, however.

However if you are looking for an ATV excursion, Aruba is a fantastic island for that. I don't have a specific recommendation as we rented our own UTV for the day and used it to explore the island. When we visited Arikok National Park was allowing individuals on ATVs and UTVs to go in but now they have to be on permitted tours due to the ecological damage people were doing by driving off the paths. Arikok park is where the caves are and the natural pools and it's a really untouched part of the island. It was exploring on the UTV that we realized we really enjoyed Aruba and to date it's been the only island I've ever gone back to for a land visit!

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We've done the day pass at  RIU Aruba, too.  I don't remember too many specifics but I remember that this is a BEAUTIFUL property.  I recall spending most of the day by the pool/bar.  Very nice way to spend an afternoon.  I don't think we booked this through Royal.  As I recall it was a Resortforaday excursion....but I could be mis-remembering.

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On 12/14/2021 at 9:50 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

We've done the day pass at  RIU Aruba, too.  I don't remember too many specifics but I remember that this is a BEAUTIFUL property.  I recall spending most of the day by the pool/bar.  Very nice way to spend an afternoon.  I don't think we booked this through Royal.  As I recall it was a Resortforaday excursion....but I could be mis-remembering.

On 12/14/2021 at 9:12 AM, Neesa said:

I did Resortforaday.com RIU Palace Aruba  it was fantastic, so good we are going again next Thanksgiving with friends. The hotel is huge and lively,  there is a pass for the "family" side or the "adults only" We had our daughter so the family side was for us, it included food and drinks, this was in 2019 (summer) but it was super clean with a pool and beach. Your choice to do the water toys for extra $$. The best part is it was on a type of concrete boardwalk and we walked down to the other end visiting many other resorts along the way. We are looking forward to going back to try the adult only side when our daughter goes off to college in a few years. 

We just walked to to taxi area after getting off the ship and were there in about 20 minutes. You check in at the front desk and they give you a wristband, then off you go towels were also included at the towel hut. The beach was vast, clean and beautiful when we visited. We LOVE Aruba, have fun no matter what you choose! (Chairs included)

This sounds pretty awesome - I'll give it look for sure!

 

On 12/14/2021 at 9:50 AM, KristiZ said:

There's a Renaissance by Marriott right next to the dock in Curacao. Not sure if they are currently doing day passes but it would be worth it to reach out -- you can walk to it from the ship, it has an amazing pool and a casino if you're so inclined.

Ooh thanks for the tip! I didn't think to poke hotels!

 

On 12/14/2021 at 9:46 AM, AshleyDillo said:

I haven't visited the RIU resort mentioned but I have been in that area and it's exactly like @Neesa is describing.  All beaches in Aruba are public, but the resorts will have chair and umbrella setups in front of their resorts that are only for guest use. It's in the Palm Beach area, which is going to be about a 20 minute cab ride from the port but getting cabs to and from should be easy.

If you can find a resort somewhere on Eagle Beach, it's a little less crowded than Palm Beach. Palm Beach is where all of the high rises are, but that also gives you more to walk around and see. Eagle Beach is closer to the port, however.

However if you are looking for an ATV excursion, Aruba is a fantastic island for that. I don't have a specific recommendation as we rented our own UTV for the day and used it to explore the island. When we visited Arikok National Park was allowing individuals on ATVs and UTVs to go in but now they have to be on permitted tours due to the ecological damage people were doing by driving off the paths. Arikok park is where the caves are and the natural pools and it's a really untouched part of the island. It was exploring on the UTV that we realized we really enjoyed Aruba and to date it's been the only island I've ever gone back to for a land visit!

Thanks for the tips! I'm nervous about going to public beaches cuz my experience with local beaches in my hometown is that they can be very hit or miss - even the big popular ones - and may nickel and dime on everything. On vacation I want to pay once and relax haha (cruising has spoiled me!). And great to know about about the ATVs!

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  • 10 months later...

I know this is an old post, but what did you end up choosing @CrimsonCruiser?   We're sailing on Explorer 11/27 and will be doing the ABC islands.. we have booked RIU Palace Antillas (Aruba) and hoping that it will be easy to get to.  We also booked through resort for a day as other posters stated, I'm glad it worked as I was a little skeptical about it.

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On 11/13/2022 at 11:34 AM, AlwaysRollin said:

I know this is an old post, but what did you end up choosing @CrimsonCruiser?   We're sailing on Explorer 11/27 and will be doing the ABC islands.. we have booked RIU Palace Antillas (Aruba) and hoping that it will be easy to get to.  We also booked through resort for a day as other posters stated, I'm glad it worked as I was a little skeptical about it.

no worries. I actually wrote up a review of the resort we stayed at in Curacao:

 

We hadn't explored Aruba before so we did a ride around tour there instead.

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