2016 Panama Canal Cruise
March 18 - Oranjestad, Aruba
We had no excursion planned today, so we slept in. Breakfast was in the dining room. I had eggs, hash browns and bacon while Ann settled on oatmeal and English muffins.
We disembarked into Oranjestad, Aruba around 11:00. Our objective was to find a better hat for Ann. Oranjestad is a good-size town so we had lots of stalls and shops to choose from. However, they all had the same merchandise with hats that wouldn't fit. After shopping around, we finally found a different style that worked.
Leaving our hard-earned cash behind, we aimed to get back to the ship by 11:00 to beat the heat. Even though it was getting very hot, we saw some action on the main street that we had to investigate. We discovered that today was National Anthem and Flag Day and a celebration was starting. (If you want to listen to the national anthem, click here). Several groups with elaborate costumes were dancing in a designated area on the street in front of canopies where dignitaries were sitting to watch them. The watchers were wearing dressy clothes that looked very hot. We were able to walk behind them and see some of the dances.
After the dancers were finished and the colorful confetti settled onto the pavement, the parade started. It appeared to me that a quarter of the locals in this good-sized city were in the parade. We saw army units, police units (some dressed in riot gear complete with armor and helmets), a camouflaged jeep with a rifleman poking out of the top, numerous drum corps with marchers of all ages dressed in scout uniforms, little girls and older ladies in colorful Caribbean costumes, bicycle police, motorcycles and vintage cars. I had my camera out and took lots of photos. Please click here to see a set of photos of the parade.
We did not get back to the ship at 11:00. We did get back in time to miss the noon-day sun.
Lunch was on the Lido deck at the buffet where we had sandwiches and salads.
We spent the afternoon lazing around the ship in our room and on the Lido deck near the pool. We went to the happy hour in the Ocean Bar where we were serve appetizers along with the drink of the day. We were overcharged for the drinks, so our waiter gave us an extra on the house. We were very happy when we got to dinner. I had veal for my meal while Ann had fish. They were both very good, but Ann had a mild reaction the next morning to either her meal or to our appetizers.
The entertainment for the early show was a pianist who played contemporary music.
This was our route to get here: