An Aruban Port Adventure #CarnivalPartner

by Carrie with Children with 6 comments

With the girls back in school now, I’ve had some time to sit down and go through my pictures from our summer trip with Carnival Cruise Lines. It’s been fun to reminisce, I keep finding myself going back to the pictures from our Aruba to the de Palm Island, Beach & Snorkel shore excursion.

As we left the ship, we took a scenic bus ride to our destination and then hopped on a ferry boat over to the private island. Upon arrival, I saw palm trees swaying in the wind and I knew we were somewhere special. A tropical paradise – just what I was hoping for.

We were greeted and given a brief overview of the activities available to us – lots of exciting stuff! A water park, snorkeling, complimentary food, drinks and even banana boat rides were just a small sampling of the fun we were about to experience.

Aruba Shore Excursion De Palm Island

Waterpark Fun

Maggie and Molly had a blast on the waterslides and firing water cannons at their friends. As a parent, I appreciated that the water isn’t deep in the park area. It was fun to see the parents enjoying it just as much as the kids – the slides were adult friendly too. I should know – I tried them out myself!

Carnival Cruise Lines de Palm Island Aruba Shore Excursion


Adventure Awaits

My husband was thrilled to go snorkeling along the beachfront – gear is available to guests at no charge. He saw tons of fish and sea life. For sports fans, there was sand volleyball, shuffleboard and basketball courts. I loved watching families take off on the banana boat rides along the beachfront.

The quiet beach area was perfect for napping – I highly recommend the beach huts, which provide plenty of shade, lounge chairs and are free to guests (first-come, first-serve). If you’re looking for a cozy place near the beach to read a book – this is it! Beachside massages, henna tattoos and hair braiding are also available for an additional cost.

Eat, Drink and Explore the Island

When it was time for lunch, most families made their way to the snack bar, which has lots of kid-friendly foods, including chicken fingers. (Very important when you are mom to two toddlers like me.) There is also a lunch buffet with a variety of foods and an open bar that includes soft drinks and alcohol.

We loved the laid back atmosphere with no clock or schedule. Shower areas, clean bathrooms and well-lit changing stations with lockers makes it easy for families to change in and out of beach clothes before heading back to the ship.

Discover the City

On the bus ride back to the ship, we were given the option to hop off and explore the downtown area, with just a short walk back to the ship. After a full day in the sun at the splash park and two tired kids, we opted to skip Oranjestad. However, I appreciated that it’s an option and many families explored the city. From what we saw during our drive through town, the city was bustling with plenty of shopping and dining to explore.

Aruba Welcome Sign - Family Travel

Let’s Go Back Soon

Aruba was definitely our favorite port as a family. The dePalm Island excursion is perfect for families with children of any age. It was a fun four hours at the beach and a great value for those with little ones (children five and under are free).

With food, drinks and great activities for all age ranges – it was like a mini-vacation in itself.

This post was created as part of my collaboration with Carnival.  As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.


  • Crystal

    I love cruising because you really don’t need to get off the ship to have an amazing trip. However, I always want to check out the ports & see what other fun activities there are. This sounds absolutely perfect for a family with kids. Mine are a little older, but they’d still love the watermark, snorkeling, and, yes, the food!

  • Jen

    Wow it looks beautiful! And that water park – so cool! I LOVE to cruise! 5 and under are free too, ummmm that is very tempting… 🙂

  • Jennifer H

    We love adventures like this with our fam. It looks like a blast!

  • Sarah

    Oh my gosh, this looks like so much fun! Sadly my boyfriend would never go a cruise so it looks like I’ll have to make this a fun mother-daughter trip.

  • Debi

    Every time I see one of these cruise posts, I am reminded how much I want to go on a cruise. Oh I can not wait.

  • Tony

    As an adult I have a different take of Aruba. We( about 2000 passengers) were herded off the ship with only two card scanners operating. Once off, our over- priced excursion($55 each) was with a personable but non professional bus driver who had difficulty determining left from right when pointing things of interest. We missed seeing many of them. After 3 hours of meandering around the island (good and bad neighborhoods) and a stop to tour an aloe factory and purchase $70 bottles of the product, we were dropped off a quarter mile walk down a somewhat seedy street to access a beach. A beach so crowded with various things for rent it was difficult to find a place in the shade in which to relax. Maybe Carnival might consider eliminating Aruba from its ports of call.