HAL Panama Canal – Day 4 – Aruba

The sun rises as we are still about 120 miles NW of Aruba. We have not seen another cruise ship on our journey yet but lot’s of freighters. Yesterday we saw a number of small 3 man sail boats that were being paddled at the front while another played out a fishing net at the back: Haitian fishermen it seemed.

Fr Pat Connoly joins us for breakfast. He is a Jesuit who taught film at a Jesuit university in Los Angeles where he still lives. Retired last year he serves as Chaplin on 3 or 4 cruises each year. He has an inside cabin, has to pay his own air fare and there is no stipend. Irish, he cannot sit out in the sun but reads and relaxes in the shade on board. He says HAL hires Catholic Priests out of tradition, not due to staff religiosity. He tells us of his world travels and teaching career. He is originally from Minnesota. We promise to meet up at happy hour. A very educated and sensitive man, we are blessed to have met him.

We dock in Aruba at 1 PM. After some wifi at Starbucks we hop a local bus for Eagle Beach. The beach is spectacular – mile long crescent shape; blonde sand with no shells again, turquoise water like a warm bath and endless tiki huts for shade. We ‎swim around and wait patiently for happy hour. We grab 2 Heinekens. We grab 2 more. Great end to a great beach day.

There is one other ship in port – the Star Pride of the upscale Windstar line.‎ Back on ship we enjoy a fish dinner followed by an outdoor Caribbean party‎ under the stars. We do the conga and a line dance. Way too much fun!

2 Comments

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2 responses to “HAL Panama Canal – Day 4 – Aruba

  1. Keep the Caribbean commentary coming. We had done much the same itinerary of 2 weeks in mid Jan to Feb 2. Also on HAL, the Veendam. Our chaplain was a Chicago Augustinian. Standing room only for Sunday Masses (2). If next is Curacao there is downtown wide internet!

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