@weddingbee098: my husband and I spent 1 day in Aruba during our honeymoon cruise and we seriously considered moving there lol.
It was STUNNING.
Our port was in Oranjastead (capital) and our tour bus took us down the coast to the California Lighthouse and then Moomba Beach.
All along the beach there are hotels, condos, mansions, etc. The hotels range from the Holiday Inn to the Ritz Carlton and everything in between, so I would imagine there’s something for nearly every budget.
All of the beaches are public and completely gorgeous. Some beaches have clearer water ideal for snorkeling, others are better for swimming, jet skis, and water sports (Moomba Beach wasn’t good for snorkeling).
Across the street from all of the hotels was a bunch of stores and restaurants. There were chain stores (even Pizza Huts and Subways lol) but there were also authentic restaurants and cute little cigar shops and craft shops.
I never ever felt unsafe, but of course we were on a cruise line approved bus tour. That being said, we left our bags/towels on the public beach for about 30+ minutes while we were on a jet ski and it was totally fine.
Compared to some other islands I’ve been to, Aruba seemed much cleaner and there were NO peddlers.
Our tour guide did say that there are some drug issues in Aruba, but the crime rate was, like, less than 10% or something like that. Again, I never ever felt uncomfortable there.
There is an international airport, too, so if you work with a good travel agent you should be able to get there relatively easily.
I would HIGHLY reccommend it. Seriously, if we hit the lottery, it would probably be our first destination.