A Travellerspoint blog


Holiday Hullabaloo: Chapter 3

Aruba- Christmas Eve

sunny 26 °C

We arrived in Aruba Christmas Eve day and pulled up alongside tourists sunning themselves from their hotels' private beaches. From the ship we could see Aruba's colorful skyline that would characterize all of the islands in the Lesser Antilles. In Aruba though, we were going to be spending our day on the water. Thanks to Carla and Jerry (Marty's parents), our entire family was going out for a day of boating and snorkeling. The water only got clearer and more beautiful as we made our way through the ABC Islands, but Aruba's water was still wonderfully warm and clear. Of the two snorkeling sites we went to, the shipwreck was most definitely the best. It is a German ship who sailed into Dutch waters centuries ago. The Dutch gave the German ship's captain the option to leave the area or relinquish his ship to the Dutch. Not preferring either of those (the former because he didn't have enough supplies for the return, the latter I'm guessing is a pride thing), the captain evacuated his crew and sunk his own ship. No one died so there were no skeletons to see but the shallow waters meant that the ship's smokestack could be seen poking above the water and you could swim alongside the ship where lots of fish had made their home.

We sipped rum punch on the trip back to the cruise ship and though we had gotten poured on while boarding the catamaran that morning before heading out, we had warmed up, dried off and had a wonderful day out on the Aruban waters (Thanks again Carla and Jerry! Everyone had a great time!)

That evening while sipping after-dinner cocktails in the concierge lounge (only adding to the wonderful Christmas eve dinner we had just eaten) the carols started. Most of the cruise passengers were native Spanish speakers, so we got to sing 'Blanca Navidad' (followed shortly by its English counterpart 'White Christmas') as well as others in both English and Spanish for a truly bi-cultural Christmas. It was great to be with my family, but the rest of our families that couldn't be there were definitely in our thoughts that evening, we missed you all.

The night wrapped up with midnight mass (where the priest sang incredibly off-key and off-beat) but we got the point. Even though most of the mass was in Spanish, the unity and spirit of Christmas wasn't lost on anyone, English speaking or not. In a rare and often missed opportunity, everyone had come together to celebrate Christmas and even those who couldn't be there with us felt like they were there. While it felt different that most other Christmases for a myriad of reasons the rest of the time, in those treasured few minutes at mass, it wasn't so different after all.

Posted by tuffchix 08:35 Archived in Aruba Tagged cruises Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 1 of 1) Page [1]